5 Speed Rebuild Group Buy

Discussion in 'FS&W Forum' started by Steve Hoelscher, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Based on the number of PMs I got from people inquiring about 5 speeds, after I posted the 4 speed for sale, I am considering doing a limited run of rebuilt 5 speeds.

    If you are not familiar with my rebuilds my units are as close to new as I can reasonably make them. I have been building these units for nearly 30 years and have learned their problems and in most cases how to deal with them.

    All systems; case, clutch arm, seals, shafts, bearings, gears, synchros, sliders, forks, rails, linkages, differential and speedo drive, all get inspected, cleaned and refurbished or replaced. I ensure that all functions are optimized and have learned the causes of many of the 5 speed's issues and how to minimize them. The result is the best 5 speed possible without a complete redesign.

    This is well beyond just replacing worn sychros or just replacing worn or damaged parts. I take pride in the work I do and ensure that each unit lives up to my standards.

    If I can put together enough orders I will make a run of units to fill those orders this winter. Final pricing will depend on the number of units I decide to do but, based on what I think I can do and the current cost of parts, pricing will likely be in the $1600 - $1700 range. Pricing would require a core (or refundable core charge) and shipping (I can provide shipping estimates).

    Photo of a unit I recently built for a friend.

    Attached Files:

  2. Brett

    Brett True Classic

    Molalla, Oregon
    I'd be interested, probably for two.
  3. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Philadelphia, PA
    Hi Steve,

    First, let me say Thank You to you for the assistance you so graciously gave me when I was rebuilding my trans several years ago, and for all of the XWeb Community Service that you have done for many years, helping out countless XHeads with your expertise!

    Now to my point----I'm kinda surprised that you have not had people falling all over themselves to get in line for what could be the last chance to get an X1/9 trans built by the Man. It's no secret that XHeads are, ahem, shall we say a Frugal bunch, but surely all recognize the value for money that is here. Longtime XHeads are probably having a hard time unwrapping their heads around the fact that 20 years ago a used X1/9 trans was a cheap item and decent cars (plus a parts car thrown in) could be had for your announced price. But that was then, this is now, and the cars are not getting any younger and the parts are not getting more plentiful and cheaper.

    Not sure if this is doable from a parts supply perspective, but maybe you might increase interest if it were possible to offer these options:
    1. A final drive ratio choice between the stock ratio and the taller Strada ratio
    2. A modern improvement to the components themselves, be it in the form of cryo treatment, micro-polishing, or one of the many coatings that seem to be available
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
    Tavalin likes this.
  4. Andy

    Andy True Classic

    Medford, Oregon
    I have a 5 speed that could use some help...
  5. Donald Wetzel

    Donald Wetzel Daily Driver

    Claarks Summit, PA
    Count me in Steve....doubly so if you offer a Strata diff...
  6. Dan, thanks for such a kind endorsement. I appreciate it. Its always fun when we have people to share our passions with.

    I will see what I can do about finding Strada R&Ps and let you guys know. If each of you would PM me your preferred contact info I will get started. I do have a core that I can get started with this weekend. I will put together a parts order and get that moving.

    I am looking forward to doing this. I haven't had the luxury of time for such things in the last few years.

  7. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Philadelphia, PA
    Hi Steve,

    You're very welcome! And we are very lucky to have you :)

    I'm sure this question has been kicked around but maybe not lately----as our Sultan of Synchros :), I would be interested in knowing what you think: Regarding an X1/9 5-speed transaxle, competently rebuilt with OEM or (if ny still exist) quality aftermarket replacement parts and using either Redline MTL or MT90, what would you say is that unit's horsepower and/or torque capacity, based on an "occasionally spirited" driving style but no autocross or other closed course racing, and no standing start clutch dumps (aka Russian Roulette).
  8. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Philadelphia, PA
    Another possible option: limited slip?
  9. Joe F

    Joe F Hi Miles, Lo Maintenance

    New Hampshire
    Steve, an offer like yours is hard to pass up. My '87's transmission has about 150,000 miles on it and, while starting to feel a bit balky and leaky, it seems to be fine.
    However, I am interested. I would need to have it shipped to my local mechanic and my core sent to you after installing your rebuild.
    I live in NH and probably would not install until late next summer (or later if needed, I'm in no hurry).
    When you can, please PM me your total cost including shipping and core charge and estimated delivery.

  10. Yes. I have a source for an LSD. I will need to get current pricing.
    Brayden_connolly and tonyism7 like this.
  11. Bjwhite

    Bjwhite True Classic

    Seattle, WA
    Ooo, that’d be interesting. I’d love to see this. PM replied Steve.
  12. pdxgeo

    pdxgeo True Classic

    I have a 5 speed that needs help...are there enough takers?
  13. I can put you on the list. PM me your contact info please. :)
  14. SpidArman

    SpidArman Collector of wayward cars

    Mount Bethel, Pa
    Hmmm, I have 5 unknown state 5 speed transmissions that I have accrued over the last 30 years. I would be interested in a limited slip (regular and taller ratio version) transmission depending on the additional costs.
  15. Black-Tooth

    Black-Tooth Tony Natoli


    God bless you and Terrie... good to see yur still kickin' and looking for something to do in your spare time!


    We had Steve fly out to SoCal back in 2006 where he rebuilt 3 of 5 transmissions one Saturday morning with one having a cracked case and the other was just too far gone. (He hand-carried a bag of synchros and gears on the plane... HA!)

    Alas, I am still driving my Hoelscher-Rebuilt trans 11 years later and had two others prior. Even when relatively NEW back in '83, my trans never shifted as well or "felt" as strong as this one. Bottom line, ya can't go wrong having Steve work on yours and he'll stand behind his work.

    (Both Hoelscher and I recommend Redline MTL for the street and MT90 only if doing high sped, high temperature racing.)

    I'm sure shipping is quite expensive these days but get prices from FedEx GROUND as well as Greyhound and UPS. I packed one several years ago in two layers of strong cardboard (drained) and in a 2' x 2' x 2' box... and it weighed in at 91 pounds. Also inquire about shipping to a business versus home or to a de-mark point.

    In some cases, its easier and/or economical to have FedEx or UPS pick it up or even take it to one of their packaging offices. Lots of choices out there.

    Hope ya'll have fun...
    lookforjoe likes this.
  16. Thanks for the endorsement Tony. Glad that you're still enjoying your car and transmission. I still remember that trip and how much fun we had.
  17. Update: I am in process on a couple of units that should be ready to ship this week. One of the most important and time consuming jobs is cleaning the cases. Between corrosion, cosmoline and years of gear oil and CV grease build up its a major undertaking to get these things clean. Solvent, then pressure washing and finally blasting. 3+ hours per case is typical to have it ready to build. And that doesn't include spending an hour or more to get a stubborn clutch arm out. The fork rusts onto the shaft and it takes soaking with PB Blaster, heat and patience to get it out. All necessary as you can't build a solid house without a good foundation. Photos below of the two cases ready for paint.

    I have been looking for strada R&Ps and haven't found any at this point. There is an option I am working on but no solution yet. Also, my previous sources for LSDs are NLA. There are two options I am pursuing; one is a Colotti knock-off that is a good unit but excessively expensive at over $2K plus international shipping and duty. The other is a custom unit that I might be able to source here in the US. I will update you when I have more info.

    Attached Files:

  18. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Philadelphia, PA

    When I did mine, after doing as much degreasing at home as I could, I took my cases to my buddy's machine shop. After spending some quality time in the hot tank, they were rinsed off, and then I spend a couple of hours bead blasting the cases. Took the cases home and washed them using an array of scrub brushes in hot soapy water in a laundry-tub style sink. After each wash and rinse I would feel on the bottom of the tub for bead blasting grit. IIRC it took five cycles for no more grit to be felt. Lots of work but you have to pull out as much oil from the metal pores as possible to get a perfect base for paint, and of course to ensure no grit is remaining on the inside. I used a silver wheel paint and I think it came out nice!
  19. Yep. BTDT. The cases are the biggest time pit. 3 to 4 hours just to get them ready to build and that doesn't include a half hour plus for paint. Then another hour or two prepping them; check and chase the bolt holes for the trans-mount, case halves and seal carrier. Then pull the diff bearing race from the back half and drive the new race in. Dummy up the diff and reset the diff preload. With that done I can install the new seals, clutch arm, release bearing carrier and main shift rod. Now its ready for the gearset. Total time just to have the case ready for final assembly is 6 to 7 hours.
  20. I will be closing this out soon so anybody that still has any interest please let me know.

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