Differential Do-Over

Update by Tom Heath to the Berkeley Sports project car
May 4, 2009

Denny can fabricate nearly anything. He even makes good-looking shipping crates.
The gearbox is held in place by this mounting plate. The plate also ties in with the suspension components.
We removed the spacers on the tabs that control drive chain tension to allow for a wider adjustment range.
One thing was for sure: A dry gearbox simply wouldn't do.
The gearbox slipped right into position. Hurray for gravity!
A new drive chain was installed. This time, we went with a master link setup rather than a swaged chain so we could add or remove links as necessary.
With the gearbox back in place, we simply had to reconnect the suspension components.

After a less-than-stellar public debut at the GRM $2008 Challenge, our Berzerkeley was relegated to a dark corner of the garage. Our struggles with sorting the car had been frustrating, and the embarrassing on-course driveline failure put us over the top. Rather than do something rash or reactionary, we parked the car, removed the gearbox for analysis, and moved on with other projects.

Now that we’ve cooled off a bit and reflected on the problems we’ve encountered, we’ve gained a fresh outlook on how to go about resolving them. Since the reversing mechanism is now eliminated, the new arrangement promises to be more durable and undoubtedly simpler. It may require us to get out and push the car once in a while, but we’re willing to live with that compromise for now. Once the car is sorted, we can always reinstall the reversing parts.

Reinstalling the gearbox was easier than the removal; this time, gravity was working for us. We also took this opportunity to rework the tabs that are used to tension the drive chain. Once everything was in place, we decided that it would also be a good time to install a new chain, since ours had stretched beyond our tensioner’s range of adjustment.

With all of the parts in place, we’re ready to continue sorting the car. We’ll try to reduce the ride height as much as possible to lower the center of gravity. We’ll also perform a fresh alignment to make sure everything is pointing in the right direction. Look for more updates as we make progress.

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View comments on the GRM forums
mdawley New Reader
5/8/09 2:40 p.m.

I use an interactive adaptable reverse gear installed in my Bizzerkeley (aka: Wife).

It has yet to fail me under any conditions but I did here some grinding noises at Road Atlanta during the Mitty when the big storm came and we needed to back up a bit on wet grass......

BTW; can you make me a diff that will handle the 1000cc turbo - I'm living on the original Berk unit!


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