The racecar took seven years to build and throughout those years there were stages where I need to get things accomplished. In 2003, I took the transmission I used previously in the car to a local transmission shop to have it inspected. It came back that all the gears in the transmission had hairline cracks and needed to be replaced. Between the cost of the parts and the labor, the transmission was not worth the investment. So, the search for a new Muncie M22 transmission began.
About this time I saw a small article about a company called Auto Gear Equipment based in Syracuse New York, which was in the stage of releasing their new and improved M22 transmission. So I called and spoke with George, the owner of the company. I mentioned to him what I was building and what I was looking for. He indicated the transmission he was building had a new stronger case, a heavy duty cast mid plate, and a stronger tail shaft section. They even had a gear ratio for road racing. We had a great 20-minute conversation and at the end I knew I wanted one of his transmissions. About a month or so later a new Auto Gear M22 showed up at my door with a serial number of #002 . I called George up to let him know that the new transmission looks great and it was cool that I got a low production number. It turned out that serial number 001 went to Legendary Motorcars to use on their TV show and my transmission was the very first transmission available to the public. I have been using this transmission in my race car since 2005. It has been on the back of two different motors and I never had any problems with it or have I ever had to take it apart.
I am always trying to improve the race car and I have been noticing that most tracks I go to I just use 3rd and 4th gear. I wanted to get another gear out of the transmission whether it meant going with a 5-speed and changing the rear axle ratio to work with it or seeing if my current transmission ratio could be changed. So after having 13 years of good luck with my Auto Gear transmission I decided to give them a call to see what could be done.
When I called, Nathan answered the phone and I mentioned to him what I was looking to do and asked if there was an option available for me. I mentioned to him that I had serial # 002 and he said that since I had the first available transmission to the public they would like to help me out. I then spoke to George again who was even more happy than Nathan to find out that the first transmission was doing great. He asked me if I would like to come up to his shop to tour the facility and so they could see what condition the transmission was in. So, after a little time under the car to pull the transmission out, Debbie and I went to Syracuse New York to Auto Gear.
When we arrived at Auto Gear I met with George (the owner), Matt (the General Manager), Nathan (the technical sales rep) and Mario (an engineer); they gave me a tour of the facility. At this point we opened up the transmission. With the side case open they said they could see barely any signs of wear. Matt asked me if I ever even drove the car. I replied that yes I did and I had about 1,000 track miles on it. Since I was very pleased with the transmission, I was there because I wanted another gear to use. After some discussion, it was determined that #002 was going to remain at the shop, where it was made. I totally agreed that it should be a trophy and on display as a badge of honor as to their accomplishment for building such a great transmission. In its place, I will be getting a new transmission with many new features. This is just one of the reasons why I believe in Auto Gear. Since I got my transmission back in 2003 they have been making many improvements on their designs and features. The new transmission will have over a dozen or more improvements and will be an entirely new designed transmission, which is now called Syracuse Transmission, with all parts entirely built by Auto gear. It will be stronger and quicker shifting, it will have a new gear ratio that will allow me to use now 2nd gear on the track, and it will even be a little lighter. I am a firm believer that a product is only as good as the people who make it and after four hours touring the facility and talking with the people that designed and built this transmission, I know there is not a better 4-speed out there that money can buy!!! Geore the owner of Auto Gear is a walking encyclopedia of transmissions, he knows all the history of transmissions and he also can see the future of where the 4 speed transmissions neeed to go. They have a warehouse full of transmission parts and machinery to make sure their product is second to none. I know the new transmission I get will last another 13 years or more. If you need a new 4-speed transmission you need to call Auto Gear Syracuse Transmission at 1-800-634-3001 or for more information or to purchase a transmission please visit their website at http://www.autogear.net/motorsports/