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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 05-03-2013, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
This is an interesting subject and I cannot stop digging for info. Looks like the transaxle was used in the Fiero in a RWD configuration and in the Citation, Celebrity, Cavalier, Firenza and Buick Skyhawk in a FWD configuration. From '83 to '89, the Skyhawk was available with a 5-speed. I believe this was an Isuzu transaxle. Other models may have been available with a 5-speed as well, but I haven't found that yet.
1985 Buick Skyhawk - MJ04016301 5-Speed Manual Transaxle, Part 4
The more you dig into this, the better it gets. Also, don't forget about the Ford Taurus all-alloy V-6, 3-liter FWD 5-speed. Neat package. Strong. Light. All-aluminum motor built by Yamaha, not sure about transaxle.
Transaxle is Mazda-sourced. I had a 91 Taurus SHO with a 5-speed and the rod-shifter upgrade that I mobbed around a little. Fun car for how heavy it was. Here's a good example of what you're talking about owned by Jay Leno.

1989 Ford Shogun - Custom Built - Jay Leno's Garage

FWIW, compared to modern longitudinal 5-speeds like a T-5, the SHO shifted about as precisely as an old SM420. It was still a blast once the butterflies in the intake opened above 4k.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 05-04-2013, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
Also interestingly, we have heard nothing from the OP since post #1.
Sometimes people throw out a plan to see how it floats, or to get some attention...and move on. Seeing as how a standard V8 Vega rates a 2/10 on the fabrication-challenge scale, and the idea discussed would be like a 5/10, it's unlikely anything would ever come of it from that end (feel welcome to prove me wrong...).

In the meanwhile it's fun to imagine and these plans could apply to a wide range of bizarre conceptions.

Another potential layout is the V-drive such as used in wheelie cars. The engine could be placed longitudinally with a normal transmission, low, backwards just in front of the rear axle instead of above as in the above application, with a shaft running forward to a boat v-drive or fabricated box without the included angle, mounted diagonally (as seen from behind) so that the second driveshaft runs alongside the engine to a diff with the center offset (axles would have to be different diameters to not torque-steer). The live-axle is of-course flipped for correct rotation at the ground. Advantages are low-cost and strength, and potential for eye-appealing mods such as huge induction and boat headers. Disadvantage is that the engine would sit a little high for a sports car, and you're ridin' with a transmission at your hip. I once did a bit of work on such a setup only the engine was normal-faced above and ahead of the axle with what I called the "transfer box" at the rear (an aluminum case containg a pair of 7" gears from a truck trans). Was to be for a street-wheelstander El Camino but when life got in the way it all wound up in the corner.
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