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Making a Monster: Creating a Transmission Adapter Plate for a FrankenFerrari

by • August 1, 2016 • No Comments


Nick Walker sheds a few light on the world of 3D printing and its applications inside car restoration. Read on to find out additional.

It appears like it wasn’t all which long ago which the concept of 3D printing had to be explained to me. Which makes it all which much additional awe-inspiring which just a few years later I may be complex pressed to find a fewone who didn’t know what it is.

3D printing has fairly rapidly risen to center stage as a swift and easy way to turn it into the parts you can require. Everything of prosthetics for endangered animals to abstract art are now generated with 3D printing devices on a daily basis.

But, there are a lot of creates being dreamed up which 3D printing devices just can’t make.

Okay, a 3D printing device is capable-bodied of printing a replacement 4th gear for a 1921 Bentley 3 Litre’s transmission, but what is which precise physical copy made out of? Even if it is 3D printed via the new Filamet™ copper or bronze filaments, it just won’t have the same durablity, wear, and heat resistance characteristics of a solid metal part.

Bentley 3 Litre Drophead Coupe – Image source Wikipedia

Would a 3D printed car transmission gear be perfect for mockup purposes? Absolutely! But the unlucky truth is which for the most part 3D printing has not high end to the point which the specifications of which gear can be acceptable-bodied for use in real world applications.

Even if made with a much additional high end type of 3D printing system such as direct metal laser sintering, the cost may be astronomical and multiples may have to be made so which the part’s durablity may be extensively tested preceding installation.

Which means which there are countless situations where 3D printing just does not cut it. And which’s fairly much anywhere requiring parts with high heat resistance and durablity.

So what’s a man to do if they require a replacement part which meets the original specifications? Or if a custom high durablity, heat resistant part is requireed to improve on a particular create?

Of course, the answer is which the part may require to be machined of a material which can adequately endure the forces applied to it.

This is exactly the realization Eric Halpert (not his real name) had when working out how to turn it into his modern interpretation of a Ferrari 288 GTO. Unlike those who set out to create a replica car of an uninspiring Volkswagen Beetle, Toyota MR2, or Pontiac Fiero, which was not Eric’s intent. Instead, the plan was to take what most may have considered to be a perfectly great 1987 Ferrari 328 GTS and “RestoMod” it into the Ferrari 288 GTO he had dreamed of for the last 25+ years. On the other hand not an inexpensive endeavor by any means, with the current value of a high end Ferrari 288 GTO ranging of between $2,000,000.00 and $3,000,000.00, the RestoMod version was a bit additional obtainable-bodied.

Ferrari 288 GTO – Image source Wikipedia

To attain his goal, a few quite informative engineering challenges requireed to be addressed. There were most, but maybe one of the most worthwhile was which in order lower the car’s center of gravity and convert to a dry sump, the 328 GTS’s engine orientation had to be alterd of transverse to longitudinal. And in manufacturing this alter, the 328 GTS’s transmission requireed to be removed and replaced with one which may accept a longitudinally mounted high performance engine.

If you don’t have a background in car mechanics, you can not realize how serious of an mission such a project is. If you do have a background in car mechanics, you can say which finding a way to come up with $2,000,000.00 to $3,000,000.00 to buy an original Ferrari 288 GTO is most most likely an simpler goal to attain!

After doing a bit of research, Eric settled on a transmission pulled of a Ferrari 360 Modena. In theory, a transmission of any developer may be utilized so long as it had the proper gear ratios and may handle the power which may be put through it, but there was a sturdy desire to store the car a Ferrari through and through.

On the other hand both the engine and transmission were maked by Ferrari, no one had at any time tried to mate this particular combination together. And there’s a reason which this is not a fewthing which is commjust done. As you can imagine, a Ferrari 360 Modena transmission does not just mount perfectly to a Ferrari 328 GTS engine. So in order to mate these two pieces, a custom made, high durablity, heat resistant adapter plate may require to be createed and turn it intod.

On the other hand the adapter plate may have been 3D printed in plastic for mockup purposes, Eric was confident in the part’s create. And actually yet theoretically this particular part may be made via direct metal laser sintering, the cost to make the adapter plate via this method may not just be prohibitively expensive, but may in addition most likely come with a few unknowns in regards to specifications.

So what did Eric do to solve his problem? Similar to any great engineer, he discovered a way to make it work without reinventing the wheel.

Eric knew which in order to meet or exceed the required specifications which the just real version he had may be to have a solid aluminum adapter plate custom made by a reputable-bodied machine shop. A swift Google search and a few research led him to eMachineShop, a reputable-bodied NJ-based machine shop who’s been manufacturing custom parts since 2003. On the other hand eMachineShop offers free parametric CAD software to create and price parts, Eric had may already asked his engine createer to take the necessary measurements and turn it into the schematic for the transmission adapter plate as well as for an air intake adapter plate he may require via another CAD program. So he just submitted the files to eMachineShop for quotation.

Eric succeded in the quotes, reviewed them, and placed his orders. eMachineShop got to work milling the parts and shortly after the two adapter plates were delivered to his door.

Adapter Plate – Image source eMachineShop released with customer permission

It is always a bit amazing to get a box delivered, but one can just imagine what it can feel like when which box allows for you to mate a Ferrari 360 Modena transmission to a Ferrari 328 GTS engine and top it off with a horsepower-boosting cold air intake.

For those of you wondering if Eric is via any 3D printed parts on his chimera prancing horse, the answer is, “There’s yet time if the price and high end meet the required specifications.” On the other hand the FrankenFerrari project is yet in the works, the car is bit by bit moving towards completion. So store your eyes open for what looks like a Ferrari 288 GTO. If you are lucky, you will be able-bodied to hear the throaty roar of a adjusted Ferrari 328 GTS engine over the whine of the servomotors in your 3D printing device.


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