SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal - October 2018

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 105 of 127

The Transfer Of Power Baja racing has helped drivetrain components evolve into some of the most bullet-proof pieces that continue to expand By Mike Vieria Racing in Baja is certainly one of the toughest environments for drivetrain components, and that’s why over the years, it has been used as a development tool and proving ground for manufacturers of upgraded aftermarket parts. Aside from trial and error, the experience in Baja racing resulted in many drivetrain manufactures to get into the business of building highly improved parts that can withstand the combination of high-horsepower and extreme terrain. Doug Fortin Sr. at Fortin Racing is one of the pioneers in the desert racing drivetrain industry. His son Doug Jr. recounts his dad’s racing history in the 1960’s and 70’s. “You could say that SCORE International and the SCORE Baja 500 and SCORE Baja 1000 were the reason our business got started, and our transaxles have won more SCORE Baja events and points than any other.” It’s the same for other drivetrain manufacturers, such as the Currie family of Currie Enterprises, who have been involved in Baja racing early on, and transitioned into drivetrain specialists. “Baja has been the ultimate proving ground for many of our products,” said Brian Shepard, Marketing Director at Currie Enterprises. “It has helped shape the evolution of a lot of our off-road racing products.” Drivetrain Developments Are On-Going The development and improvements are an ongoing learning process for many drivetrain manufacturers. “Replacing the clutch with a torque converter [in a manual transmission] is a tried and true method of helping durability in the desert,” says Andrew Heard at Xtrac. “But this is a first for Xtrac. While this approach does appear to massively reduce the duty cycle, it did introduce some new problems. Shifting can be more difficult with the relative ‘numbness’ of the converter, but by working closely with our partners and customers, we have achieved our signature quick shift times.” Standing up to the rigors of Baja is important for complete components, as well as individual parts as Barry Singleton from GearWorks tells us. “We get that some people like to build their own stuff. We gladly sell the pieces and parts to build your own assemblies right the first time.” Using the right components is critical to surviving in Baja, and this is one of the reasons why many drivetrain manufacturers prefer do build many of the components themselves. For example, Kyle Fletcher from Arizona Driveshaft and Differential builds driveshafts for many Baja racers and adopts this philosophy. “We use 100-percent Spicer parts in our builds,” says Fletcher. “Those universal joints are a true key to keeping a driveshaft together for a gnarly desert race.” Looking toward the future in Baja racing, its apparent that drivetrain manufacturers will continue testing, and development will still be a big part of manufacturer’s plans. Over at Xtrac, Heard tells us they are currently working on integrating new technology from their Formula One transmissions into Baja gearboxes, as well as developing new four, five, and six-speed transmissions, that will be available with and without integral 4WD transfer cases. “The direction SCORE is going with off-road racing seems to favor the AWD Trophy Truck,” adds Fortin Jr. “And to that end, Fortin Racing is working on a new five-speed AWD Trophy Truck gearbox with a center differential, as well as a new transaxle that will allow rear and mid-engine buggies to put out 900 horsepower to 40-inch tall tires to compete with those Trophy Trucks. Power designed to work with sophisticated suspension and drivetrain components is also something Weddle Industries is also looking into now and in the future. “As engines get more powerful and suspensions get more sophisticated, racers will continue to push their vehicles faster and faster,” said Nick Ito at Weddle Industries. “Making sure gearboxes survive the harshest racing conditions and operate at peak levels is what keeps us on our toes.” It’s clear that the survival of the fittest is what matters for all driveline components, especially those used for competition. The extreme Baja terrain certainly helps these manufacturers find the fittest of everything. To that end, we’ve compiled some of their latest drivetrain components that are used in a variety of applications from SCORE Trophy Trucks to Class 1 and Class 10 buggies. SPICER SPICER LIFE SERIES U-JOINTS Spicer’s Life Series U-Joints are the latest in technology from the company that invented u-joints in 1904. The Life Series has heat-treated, precision-ground, case-hardened bearing cups, a solid, cold-formed journal body, thrust washers to eliminate metal-to-metal contact and lower the operating temperatures, and a multi-lip grease seal. Those features allow the Life Series to far outperform other u-joints in testing. Available in greaseable or lubed-for-life non-greasable versions. Spicer’s u-joints are available in a variety of sizes and are used across all classes of SCORE racing. MSRP ranges from $20.00 to $45.00. FORTIN www.fortinracing,com FORTIN FRST5 CDS 4.0 GEARBOX The FRST5 CDS 4.0 is an all new version of Fortin’s sequentially shifted 5-speed truck gearbox that’s purpose built for AWD Trophy Trucks. Designed for 7,000-pound trucks with over 1,000 horsepower, using 40-inch tires, it benefits from increased size and strength to internal gearing, and a new reverse gear that can be shifted with a torque converter while the engine is running. The center differential includes a one-way sprag clutch to the front drive, allowing the truck to lock the rear brakes while keeping power to the front wheels. Housings are 6061T6 billet aluminum. MSRP varies between $45,000 and $50,000, depending on options. Additional views at FORTIN FORTIN FRS6 SEQUENTIAL TRANSAXLE The FRS6 Six-Speed Sequential Transaxle for Class 10 racers with mid or rear engine configuration can be run with a clutch or torque converter and has Dog Ring engagement of the straight cut gears for fast shifts without a clutch. 21mm wide gears are made from proprietary British alloys and are heat treated in computer-controlled ovens for maximum strength and quality control. Includes an internal oil pump and available ratios of 4.86, 4.38, and 3.88. MSRP is $28,950.00. Additional views at PRO 10-INCH FRONT DIFFERENTIAL The Pro 10-Inch Front Differential is an all new Trophy Truck version of Fortin’s front differential that made its name in Pro4 Short Course Racing. The new model has been continually upgraded to now include a 100% billet T6061 housing, side covers, and a larger input drop gear. Includes a built-in oil pump. Priced $14,500 to $18,000. Additional views at FRS5 4.0 TRANSAXLE The new FRS5 4.0 11-inch 5-speed Sequential Transaxle for Unlimited Class 1 vehicles with mid or rear engines can handle up 1,000 horsepower and 40-inch tires, allowing buggies to compete with AWD Trophy Trucks. The FRS5 4.0 uses 4-inch gear centers and an 11-inch ring gear, and is the only transaxle designed with a disconnected reverse gear able to be shifted with a torque converter while the engine is running. It uses 6061T6 billet for all housings. MSRP is $48,000. Additional views at XTRAC XTRAC 525E FRONT DIFFERENTIAL Xtrac’s 525E Front Differential offers two-stage reduction and multiple ratios. It’s available with Limited Slip or Sprag/Unlocker type options, and has an internal mechanical oil pump and filter with an external cooling circuit. Lateral offset is 4.34 inches and measures 6.8 inches across CV flange faces, and has 1480 yoke or CV flange input options. Call for pricing. XTRAC 1173F TRANSMISSION The 1173F 4, 5, or 6-speed Sequential Shift Transmission has an integral AWD transfer case and a manual or paddle shift option. Pressure lubrication is through an internal mechanical oil pump and filter with an external cooling circuit. It’s available with an exclusive RDE torque converter pump housing and matches to Reid Turbo 400 housing. Options for 1350/1480 yoke or CV flange. Call for pricing. XTRAC 1173C/E TRANSMISSION The 1173C/E Transmission is available as a 4, 5, or 6-speed with a manual or paddle shift option. The pressure lubrication system is configurable for inverted installation. Features integral rear underdrive gears with a recommendation of 3.89-4.11. It’s available with RDE torque converter pump housing and matches Reid Turbo 400 housing. Options for 1350/1480 yoke or CV flange. Call for pricing. XTRAC XTRAC P1277 4WD TRANSFER CASE The P1277 4WD Transfer Case offers a range of ratios and a variety of front/rear torque split, limited slip differential, and sprag type options. The pressure lubrication system includes an internal mechanical pump and filter and external cooling circuit, and is configurable for inverted installation. Options for 1350/1480 yoke or CV flange. Call for pricing. CURRIE ENTERPRISES F9 REAREND Currie’s F9 Full-Floater Crate Rearend for the 2009-2014 and 2017 and up Ford Raptor and F-150 is the ultimate upgrade for the owner who wants to have fun off-road, without worrying about breaking or bending the factory rearend. The unit consists of the Currie 4-inch tube F9 housing, 4140 chromoly floater spindles, 35 spline 4340 chromoly full floating axle shafts, billet steel floater hubs with factory 6x135 bolt pattern and studs, 4340 chromoly drive plates, and billet aluminum drive flange caps. Leaf spring pads, shock mounts, and all tabs are mounted, so it’s ready for an easy bolt-on installation using the included u-bolts and plates, bearings and hardware. The factory brakes and ABS are retained. MSRP is $3199. WEDDLE INDUSTRIES ALBINS ST6 TRANSMISSION The Albins ST6 is a versatile 6-speed sequential transmission available in several different configurations, including with a clutch, a converter, or clutch and converter combination. There are also an STX wide gear version, a 4WD version with a pneumatically controlled wet clutch for the front drive axle to reduce stress on the front drivetrain components, and other variations. Standard drop gears allow for quick, easy gearing changes, and all units have an internal oil pump and oil distribution system, as well as inspection ports. MSRP starts at $24,000.00 ALBINS AGB TRANSAXLE The Albins AGB Transaxle is specifically designed for the extreme shock loads and harsh environments of off-road racing and has proven itself with a multitude of wins in Baja and other races. It’s available as a 5-speed or 6-speed, with a sequential or traditional “H” pattern, and with synchromesh or dog-change. Units for Class 1 use an 11.5-inch ring and pinion, while the smaller versions for Class 10 use a 10-inch ring and pinion. MSRP starts at $24,950.00 WEDDLE HV2 TRANSAXLE Weddle’s HV24 and HV25 Transaxles the latest evolution of Weddle’s successful, well-proven HV1 Series of transaxles. The new 4 and 5-speed units fit a variety of applications and use wider gears, larger and more numerous bearings, a stronger shift mechanism, and a wider selection of ratios. They feature helical cut synchronized gears for quiet, smooth operation, and have options for a full-size LS bell housing, a torque biasing planetary differential, and an internal oil pump and distribution system. Pricing starts at $8,995.00. WEDDLE INDUSTRIES WEDDLE UTV TRANSAXLE UPGRADE Weddle Industries uses their years of experience in building gearboxes to handle the toughest conditions to offer Transaxle Upgrades for UTVs to improve their durability and dependability for off-road racing. As part of the service, internal components are Magnaflux and visually inspected for cracks and wear, gears are hand deburred, shot peened, and REM polished to increase strength, bearings are inspected and replaced as needed, backlash is adjusted on the front drive gears, and preload on all shafts is checked and adjusted. More limited service for non-competition use is also offered and includes a bearing upgrade and REM polishing starting at $895.00. GEARWORKS GEARWORKS 10-INCH FINAL DRIVE The GearWorks final drive element is a standard of the off-road racing industry. This third-member is built for maximum effort desert racing all across North America and beyond. Gearworks uses the the best and most durable components that work with other Gearworks drivetrain parts or your own axle. Prices start at approximately $3,000. GEARWORKS GEARWORKS 10-INCH HIGH PINION FINAL DRIVE Gearworks 10-inch High Pinion final drive sets new standards of strength and reliability for the rapidly developing extreme off-road sports. They are also street-friendly for the serious user. Pricing starts at just over $3,200. GEARWORKS TRANSMISSION GearWorks is a complete powertrain builder and builds rugged, reliable transmissions for a variety of racing applications, including SCORE Trophy Trucks and more. Many of the transmissions are matched to the engine to provide a complete drivetrain system that is designed to work together without compromise. The company’s in-house development and product validation make sure they get all the details right. Prices start at $14,000. GEARWORKS COMPONENT PARTS GearWorks sells all of the individual heavy-duty parts to build your own assemblies. Many of these components are the choice of GearWorks for their own complete transmission and third member assemblies that have been tested on the toughest terrain in Baja and other motorsports.

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