365 Gear Box


With the 365 engine at our machinist’s shop for the head work, we turned our focus on the gearbox. We were told by the previous owner that the gearbox on this car was a little worn with balky shifts and possibly worn synchronizers, so a rebuild was in order.


After a thorough cleaning, we popped off the covers to take a look and there were signs someone had already had their hands inside this gearbox. There were some aftermarket bearings in place, and one of the safety devices that should have been installed on the shift fork was missing!


Francois is showing me how to rebuild a Ferrari gearbox, and with each step of the way he is showing me the traps and pitfalls that he’s seen through the years. There are many parts that can be installed backwards, or lost if someone isn’t careful, and what’s worse is there is NO manual for these gear boxes! The closest guide to how a Vintage Ferrari Gearbox is assembled is looking at the exploded view of the parts book, and that’s not very very thorough. Since Ferrari gearboxes were designed and built in house, changes were made on the fly during production, so subtle changes in gear boxes weren’t always noted in the parts book. Since this is a late 365 gearbox, we found small differences in the parts inside this one compared to the drawings in the parts book!


Francois is teaching me the “old school” methods of keeping all the parts in order and correct orientation which includes utilizing the old broom stick handles he keeps just for this purpose. They’re the perfect diameter for holding the gear sets, spacers, and washers in place!


Although some of the bearings were replaced in this gearbox, we found one in pretty bad shape. I’m glad we took this gearbox apart and found the disintegrated bearing. The cage was coming apart, and once the transmission was disassembled, all the pieces fell out. It was just starting to chew up the nose of the main shaft, so we caught it just in time.