Help identifying this transaxle (pic heavy)

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Help identifying this transaxle (pic heavy)

Postby CubicInches » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:29 pm

Hello everyone,

I and my teammates at Coventry University are presently in the process of restoring, to operational condition, a 1990s group C car. The car in question is a Nissan P35.

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My area of focus for the project is the rebuild of the powertrain and I have come across a stumbling block and as such have been forwarded to Lola - but seeing as it's more of a historical piece, I thought I'd ask here :)

The car was originally fitted with a "VRT35" V12 coupled to a transaxle. It was rumoured to use Hewland internals, which replaced the previous Weismann gearbox - however, at the time, I think Hewland only produced 5 speed boxes, whereas the Nissan was stated to be a 6 speeder? (I stand to be corrected!)

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Seemingly the casings and housings are custom made (at least, they have NPTI casting numbers and stamps on them) - I have been in contact with Hewland several times, in an attempt to narrow down what the box is and what gears it used.

Colin Reynolds at Hewland had me ID the shaft dimensions - which revealed that the layshaft to mainshaft distances suit Hewland DGB/DGN gears and reputedly may mean that this is an old Lola Indy car gearbox? Also, the selector forks (which are one of the few remaining components) are indeed stamped with Hewland part numbers.

I have attached some photos of the car & transaxle, including my initial shaft spacing measurement diagrams (which shows the diameter of the holes in the housing to carry the bearings, with the top one being the differential).

Any assistance or information would be much appreciated! If any further information or photos are required, please do not hesitate to post - as I'm keen to carry the momentum I've built up so far on the project and want to see it through to the end.

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Sorry for the quantity of pictures - I figure more information is always better than less! :lol:

Any help much appreciated. Would love to see this back on track!

Best regards & many thanks,
Lewis

kingstol@coventry.ac.uk
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Postby CubicInches » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:34 pm

As a footnote - I am looking to rebuild this completely, so any advice on what parts, components and ancilleries are required to get the box functioning is also appreciated - even if the parts are no longer availiable, at least I know what I have to machine or outsource, then.

Also, it's been mentioned that there was possibly some Lola involvement with the project at the time although I'm not sure if that is a bit of folklore, or not.

If anyone wants to read the backstory of the car, it's availiable here:

http://www.mulsannescorner.com/nissanp35.html
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Postby Writer » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:52 am

Hello.

Great car, shame about the engine! (not powerful enough), Car was built by NPTI in America/Japan. If you email me directly, john@johnstarkeycars.com, I will give you the designer's contacts, also the people who have the parts for the car.

Regards
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Postby CubicInches » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:51 pm

Many thanks for your help, Writer :D
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Postby autohausdolby » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:30 pm

Not much help I know, but that Nissan looks beautiful. And a lot more interesting than a formula student car :)
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Postby CubicInches » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:42 pm

Thanks!

I don't suppose anyone has the contact details for a Mr. Chris Norris do they?

Reputedly he is the one responsible for the transmission:

That was a 6-speed unit designed by Chris Norris. It used Lola internals though had a bespoke magnesium case and integral bellhousing. This is what Chris had to say about it and maybe this jives with what you're looking at:

"The 6 speed transmission was based around the Lola 6 speed using their bearing carriers and aft cover. The unit was redesigned to integrate with the existing '90 car suspension configuration. It was also built in 2 different versions in which the main difference was the overall length. When they went to the 4 cam motor they could not fit it in between the side sponson extensions on the back of the tub so the motor was moved aft either 2 5/8 or 2 7/8, I forget which. We accomplished this with a loose piece in the pattern work to allow us to cast 2 different versions of the casting and a shorter input shaft."


Courtesy of Mike Fuller.
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Postby J.Lowe » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:20 pm

The site requires I have one post before I can attach images. Since there is no test forum, here it is.
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Postby J.Lowe » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:20 pm

Lewis,

Ben Morgan alerted me to this post so I thought I'd chime in.

Wow! It’s like seeing pictures of your old neighborhood…Some things are as you remember and others are a bit different.

I believe the guy you should be looking for is Rob Edwards. If I remember correctly, Chris Norris was brought in to design the Gearbox for the IndyCar project. Last time I talked to Chris, he was with Disney Imagineering but that was over ten years ago. Last time I talked to Rob, he was lead race engineer for Walker Racing, also about ten years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if he owns a CART team by now.

Here’s an assembly drawing of the gearbox. I’ll see if I can find the bill of materials but that may take a while

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With regard to the statements above;

I don’t believe the P35 (NPT92C) ever used Weismann parts. I think someone is confusing the replacement of a Weisman box for a Hewland VGC on the 1986 GTP car.

IIRC the P35 box was designed to use a DGB gearset of that period.

The diff uses DGC internals and the case was custom made from a titanium forging. I have a couple sets of planet and side gears if you’re interested.

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Feel free to PM me or you can get my email from Ben.
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Postby 2002 turbo » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:49 am

Now that is a university project any passionate mechanical engineering student would want to be involved with!
I know I surely would!
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Nissan P-35

Postby Lilo Z » Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:29 am

How are getting along with your project? I have just joint the forum. I do know about the P-35 and would be able to help locate parts for the gear box and some other items.
LBZ Lola
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