Alpine Getaway

Alpine Getaway

More snow in February makes me find other projects to work on, and as I mentioned, I got a new/used overdrive transmission for my Sunbeam Alpine. I currently have a regular 4-speed transmission in the Alpine, which makes for high revs when trying to keep up with traffic on the highways. The optional overdrive for my Alpine came with a Laycock DeNormanville unit similar to Ferrari. The Ferraris used a type A, and the Alpine, a type D, but their operation is basically the same. The driver can turn on a switch when the car is in 4th gear that engages the overdrive unit giving you a 5th gear.

The first order of business was to work on the shifter. The transmission that I bought did not come with a shift lever, but in a collection of Alpine parts I keep stashed at my Mom’s house, I took off this shifter from a spare transmission. I could have taken the one already on the car, but that would require shoveling snow for a couple of hours to get to the Alpine garage!

After soaking in the parts washer, I cleaned, lubed and painted various parts on the shifter assembly. After that it was time to split the transmission case.

It didn’t take long to get the transmission in component pieces. The center section, made from cast iron, houses the four speed gear box, and the overdrive portion, made in aluminum, slides in behind.

Looking at all the internals, everything looked exceptionally clean. There were no chipped gears, or worn parts. François’ opinion was that this came out of a very low mileage car, and didn’t see a reason to take it apart. The synchros looked barely used, and probably have plenty of life left in them, so it’ll be fine.

The only parts I want to replace are the seals and gaskets that were either damaged in the inspection process, or were dried up from age. The front seal has to come out, but I can’t figure out how to get this part off from the input shaft. I’ll have to find some Sunbeam experts on the Internet for help!

Another seal is the tail shaft seal. I might have to fabricate a special tool to pull this seal out. It’s funny how François has a million special tools for Ferraris, but comes up just short when dealing with “foreign” cars!

I hope I’m keeping you all entertained with the work I’m doing on the Mustang, and the Alpine. It’s no Ferrari, but I’m still enjoying the process of discovery, and repair. In order to keep the interest of the Vintage Ferrari fans, however, tell me what this part is, and what it does:

E-mail me with the answer, and I’ll post the correct answer next time!

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