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Hi guys and girls,

We know that a lot of VIII and IX owners would love to keep their 6-speed gearbox but are often let down by the relative lack of strength compared to the 5-speed cousin. They're nice to use but unfortunately don't put up that well with 250kw+ that many of these cars run. The only solution has, up until now, been to "downgrade" to the older, more reliable 5-speed.

Well, we have been working on a solution.

We've built a couple of these now and they're running reliably in track oriented cars and performing very well. We start with an Albins helical replacement gear set for 3rd, 4th and 5th. These are only available to builders, not to the general public, for reasons I will explain later.

(Albins left, stock right)

IMG_5966_zpszcznn97m.jpg

They are a coarser tooth profile with a narrower helical angle, meaning better strength (Albins bottom, stock top).

IMG_5982_zpsdzzguwtw.jpg

The design also eliminates the strange OEM thrust ring arrangement on 4th. This leads to better support on the shaft, less flex and so on. Made right here in Australia to Albins' usual excellent quality.

We then shot peen and ISF the lot.

IMG_5987_zpssa52jmm2.jpg

comparison of stock vs. ISF treated Albins (ISF Albins bottom, stock top):
IMG_5980_zpsgwdtqu58.jpg

We build them to our specs which we keep close to our chest. These are highly customised items and run clearances that are controlled via a sequence of shims on the countershaft. They are not "drop in" items, hence not really sold to the public.

We have also made some stronger synchroniser springs to replace the ones prone to breaking and causing gear lockout.

And finally, we had a bunch of testing done on the 5-6 hub and sleeve which can be problematic. We thought that we might be able to improve the hardening. The results from the metallurgist were surprising - there was little improvement to be made (none, in fact), by further heat or chemical treatments, including cryo treatment. Their suggestion was that some fatigue resistance improvement could be gained by shot peening the hub and sleeve carefully to prevent burring - which we do in-house.

We think we have addressed the key issues that these gearboxes have.

So here's the clincher. I need to order 10 sets to get Albins to do a run. They did a run of 10 and I bought a couple, the rest went to the States, so they are sold out and back ordered.

I'm looking for an expression of interest to put these back into production.

Price fully built in your box is $4,600 including GST.

This includes all of the following:

- New Albins 3rd, 4th, and 5th gears
- New synchro springs (upgraded in-house design)

- New 5-6 hub and sleeve

- New genuine bearings and seals

- New genuine 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th synchro rings
- New roll pins and clips
- New Dimple magnetic drain plug

- Crack tested shafts and gears

- Shot peened to SAE standards all gears, hubs, sleeves and shafts

- Isotropic super finished (ISF) all gears, hubs, sleeves and shafts
- Chemical clean components

- Bead blast case
- Built to Neat Gearboxes' exacting specs

- 1 year unlimited km warranty (some conditions apply for high powered, track orientated cars)
- Shipped anywhere in Aus at no extra cost with full insurance (you just need to get it to us)

IMG_5992_zpswmcouzs5.jpg

This box is every bit as strong as a strengthened 5 speed. It is not bulletproof (what is?), but is extremely reliable.

If you'd like to put an order down, I need a firm commitment. Production will be 3 months away so it won't be until the new year. I'd like to gather a list of anyone who is actually interested in this option and we will work out the details such as deposits and timeframes once we know if we can get it off the ground.

Post up, call or email us if you are interested or have any questions.

Sam:

0407 698 682
info@neatgearboxes.com.au

Cheers guys.

Edited by sam@neatgearboxes
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I'd need the box for 6 business days, + freight each way. 2 weeks as a ball park. Another option is that I have a limited number of exchange gearboxes (2 presently). We could arrange a swap with a deposit to get you back on the road straight away.

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This is some good news Sam!

Looking forward to seeing some guys abusing these!

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Sam, has there been any looking into getting billet hub/sleeves made?

I not also that 3/4 hub sleeve is not being addressed. I've seen the 3/4 hub crack, especially with cars used on the track. Surely if Albins is going to make a run of gears, protentially a hub is also worthwhile being thrown in the mix here? Or, is the design of the hub more of a failure rather than the strength of the material?

P.S. sorry for going off topic, and away from your EOI.

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DAMN! Wish i had the coin to do this ATM! Didn't Sheptrans/Jacks etc use the Albins gears n their 6 speed builds??

$4600 is a damn good price though ☺

Forgive my ignorance but is there a torque/power rating on these?

I love the 6 speed and definitely feel the 5 speed is a "downgrade"

I have a 2.3L stroker kit sitting in my workshop and a EFR 7670 setup thats almost built.. Would this handle the 400 - 420kw i hope to see?

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If my unicorn box feels like letting go this is definitely something I'd be interested in the future. Will this be a case of a limited run and that's it, or will it be something you'll offer into the future?

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Rob - happy to take questions mate.
Yes I should firstly specify that every gear, shaft, sleeve and hub including 3-4 gets peened and ISF treated, so they are all (marginally) improved.

I am in early talks with a design engineer about design improvements to the 3-4 and 5-6 hub and sleeve pairs. It is harder than you'd think to improve on the initial design. The material used by Mitsubishi as alluded to above is top notch, and there are a number of design constraints that restrict what you can do for OEM fitment. The other issue is, with the background of heavy industry scaling back, it is very difficult to find a machine shop capable of machining hubs and sleeves in Australia (including Albins and the like). Overseas machine shops won't talk to you without a minimum of 1000 units which is a big risk for a small operation like mine.

Suffice to say I'm working on it - nothing that can't be overcome. As a side note, I reckon I've done 50 or so of these gearboxes now and have seen 1 cracked 3-4 hub and probably 5 or 6 broken synchro rings. I have probably seen 20 or so burred 5-6 sleeves though, which I'd consider to be the real problem.

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Michael - thanks for the feedback.

I'm not sure on Shep but I know that Jack's bought the majority of the last batch (we have been sharing tech solutions with them to iron out some fitment issues, and to help Albins improve the next batch). The Jack's guys are good guys and are really trying to innovate which is great to see.

Price-wise, we really think it's a pretty sharp deal for what you get. Considering Jack's are selling the Albins set for US$2320 (AU$3185) pre-freight and pre-GST, I think you can see we're really trying to offer some value here and get a viable solution off the ground. I've had a few complaints about price and about it not being worth it. That's subjective. If you've driven a 6-speed you know they're nice to use and the spread is great. Also if you've got an FQ or a tidy MR and want to keep the originality, I think this package is a no-brainer.

The gearbox will handle that kind of power the same way a peened and polished 5-speed will handle that kind of power. It's not a sure thing but all things considered I think it will stay put - you'd have to have some mechanical sympathy. The key is clutch selection, using the clutch as a fuse. I'd prefer to see you use a full face sprung single or a multi-puck (8+) dampened rather than a paddle or multi-plate clutch. The real gearbox killers are the low-count paddles, and solid centre clutches with aggressive button style take-up.

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Jaimie, I'd like your post if I could but I'm not allowed for some reason.

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Eric - I think it will get off the ground - I've had quite a few EOIs that I'm sorting into "soft" and "hard" at the moment. I don't need 10 firm commitments to pull the trigger - I'll happily put a few on the shelf, just not 9 sets! It looks like I might get to 10 and if that's the case I may consider a bigger batch and put a few on the shelf. A few are in a similar boat to you. It really depends on how the marketing goes in the next week or so as to whether it will be available further down the track. I'm not willing to put multiple thousands into stock if I'm not sure if they'll sell though. This really is a toe in the water.

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It's good value I was thinking when I saw the price, knowing what a shop would charge for just a simple rebuild with OEM, GB only.

I would absolutely love to have buy a six speed and get this done so I have a spare for my MR, I'm glad it's always been run with a single organic clutch after stock replacement, it's a good idea to be able to replace a buggered clutch than GB any day.

Thing is I just don't have that coin spare presently, but if I did I'd get one, even to put on the rack in my garage, wrapped up and pallleted, it would be darn easy to sell later on anyway if I never use it.. Insurance and parts investment... No rebuild time for anyone fitting it, courier it to anyone and fit it straight in, much less hassle. Then someone could sell their secondhand for reconditioning or get it rebuilt and it is good to have soared around in the market so to speak, they are always in demand.

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Thanks everyone for the interest in our Albins 6-speed option: it looks like it will be going ahead.

We will endeavour to contact everyone who has expressed interest before next Monday (2/11) and start organising timing etc.
If anyone else is interested, please PM your email address, or send us an email at info@neatgearboxes.com.au - Cheers!
Edited by sam@neatgearboxes

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Not sure if this is the right space and apologies if it's wrong or a hijack but I'd be interested in ballpark option to replace 6th gear for a taller gear set so that at 100kmh the engine revs around 2350rpm instead of 2620rpm (mine is a stroker if that changes anything?

Don't want 5 Spd and don't want to change final drive as I love the 6 ratios. Anyhow I suspect it's mega $$$ or not an option but thought I'd ask

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I am currently running a 5sp RS gearbox (unmodified) in my car.

If it goes pop, I would certainly consider this as an option as a basic 5sp dog box is at least 2-3 times more expensive.

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Hey Paul,

6th gear is already very over-driven at 0.693:1. I am unaware of any lower gears than this, unless you swap the final drive to a 4.0 which can be done (obviously changing all ratios).

Edited by sam@neatgearboxes

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