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fullthrottleguy

School me on Fortin Transaxles please

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Pretty simple stuff I hope. 

I am considering a Fortin in my new car rather than an S4S or S4D, given an Albins (while my first choice) is too big and too expensive.  I like the reputation and size of the Fortin and have used Fortin cages forever and Fortin racks,  although I have had little experience with the transaxles. I know some of the history and people with them that I dune with like them.

The 4 speed is about the size of the 2D and FRS 4spd is just a little longer, both are alot  lighter and more compact  than the S4D and Albins. Given the Car is light (under 2300lbs) and the HP is going to be fairly low - looking at 900 ish at the crank. The Fortin looks like the winner, albeit expensive and not seemingly available in the used market.  My goto has aways been the Weddle/Mendeola S4 or the PBS S4 for the last few cars.  and honestly they work just fine and are priced right,  but space  and weight and just a change have me thinking.

Suggestions welcome- thanks

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haven't heard much about them lately.   not a big fan at all of the wide 4.  really hard to beat a S4D in that price range.  they are very expensive to repair and don't have big Ring and pinons .  Passed on a funco gen 5 I really wanted because it had a wide 4 in there instead of a seq.  King tim and brandon long have owned them might PM them. 

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I have a wide 4 in my car and love it.  Even though it's only a 10" ring, it's much stronger than other 10" rings because it uses a huge pinion. Much larger contact area and higher ratio on the r&p. They shift super smooth. Even though they are an H pattern, they are a dog shift so no clutch shifts. They do make a lot of noise because of the straight cut gears. They run very cool because of the straight cut gears. It also has a gear driven oil pump available. 

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I know a r&p for a Mendi s5- 2d is around 1400, a fortin is 4k.

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1 hour ago, Hondo said:

I have a wide 4 in my car and love it.  Even though it's only a 10" ring, it's much stronger than other 10" rings because it uses a huge pinion. Much larger contact area and higher ratio on the r&p. They shift super smooth. Even though they are an H pattern, they are a dog shift so no clutch shifts. They do make a lot of noise because of the straight cut gears. They run very cool because of the straight cut gears. It also has a gear driven oil pump available. 

All good feedback so far - thank you everyone

Hondo, You bring up some of the points  that got me thinking about the Fortin -  Gear ratios that allow and a higher (lower numerically) R&P - pinion is way stronger , should reduce the chance of needing to replace the  R&P often and the dog gear shift is appealing. A trans pump and cooler is a given on any trans for me , the unappealing is that all parts come from Fortin - but thats true with Weddle and PBS  both coming from Weddle, and Albins coming  from Albins through Weddle.

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I have a Fortin wide gear since 2007.

As stated, no clutch shifts, whiney due to the straight cut gears.

I love how my Fortin shifts and not using a clutch. 

I have the 3.88 R&P, the strongest available from Fortin.

I have run the same R&P since 2007.

I go on a lot of trips.

I have a 2800 lb car with all the big stuff, outboard hubs etc.

I have always run a stock LS1, until this season.

I have only worn out 2nd gear 2 times since 2007.  Only because my stock LS1 and 3.88 R&P, I have to run in 2nd a lot. 

That is the only work I have had to do, besides seals/bearings and dog rings.  All "wearable" parts in my book.

I had 2nd replaced this past February and my tranny guy said the R&P is just starting to show some fatigue down in the bottom of the ring gear.  He said plan on replacing that the next time we have it open.

I am ok with that, 11 years so far on the same R&P.

I do understand the R&P is more expensive than a S4 or similar, but I have a buddy that had to replace the R&P in his S4 every 2 years.  $1400 each time. 

11 years for my R&P, 11/2 = 5.5 R&P.  Call it 6.  6 * 1400 = $8400.  Seems cheaper to replace my expensive R&P every 11 years.  :) 

I hope to go another 5 years, but we will see with the supercharger now.  :)

 

One thing to note Fullthrottleguy, the CVs for the Fortin have to be faced, to get them to fit into the drive flanges correctly.

If you run Fortin CV's, they will already be all set for that.  But just in case you don't.

 

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I run a fortin wide gear in my car as well. I love it and has been flawless for 5 years now. I probably  will pull it next summer for a check up.  I run the dirt and the sand I would not hesitate in owing another one.

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Buddy had his R&P in his 2005 lose a few teeth last season.  Was about 10k for the complete rebuild.  13 years is a good run.  He now has the big 3.88 and they had to upgrade the case for its size which is why cost so much.

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Call Fortin. You have a good chance of talking with Doug, the boss man. He will walk you through your setup and guide you to what you need. It seems like the Fortin motto is buy once cry once. Instead of buy cheap cry twice. 

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16 hours ago, Hondo said:

I have a wide 4 in my car and love it.  Even though it's only a 10" ring, it's much stronger than other 10" rings because it uses a huge pinion. Much larger contact area and higher ratio on the r&p. They shift super smooth. Even though they are an H pattern, they are a dog shift so no clutch shifts. They do make a lot of noise because of the straight cut gears. They run very cool because of the straight cut gears. It also has a gear driven oil pump available. 

Bet Jeff disagrees :)

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18 minutes ago, 2011BFD said:

Bet Jeff disagrees :)

Bet he doesn't.  

 

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Alex, check to see if the cv bolt holes still go into the trans case.

I don't know if Fortin changed that. They used too and if you removed the 'top' 3 cv bolts, all was good but as soon as you rotated the the flange/wheel or took out one of the 3 'lower' cv bolts the trans fluid would run out.

Makes a hell of a mess and wastes a lot of $$$ when it happens and you don't capture the fluid and keep it clean.

If this doesn't makes sense Ill explain it better.

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1 hour ago, matt86m said:

Alex, check to see if the cv bolt holes still go into the trans case.

I don't know if Fortin changed that. They used too and if you removed the 'top' 3 cv bolts, all was good but as soon as you rotated the the flange/wheel or took out one of the 3 'lower' cv bolts the trans fluid would run out.

Makes a hell of a mess and wastes a lot of $$$ when it happens and you don't capture the fluid and keep it clean.

If this doesn't makes sense Ill explain it better.

My Fortin has the thru holes on the flanges. It is a pain when doing CVS if your not planning on changing the oil at the same time. The newer flanges are blind holes. Those are much nicer for sure. I usually change my oil at the same time that I service my CVS anyway but it sure does surprise you if you aren't expecting it. 

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15 hours ago, matt86m said:

Alex, check to see if the cv bolt holes still go into the trans case.

I don't know if Fortin changed that. They used too and if you removed the 'top' 3 cv bolts, all was good but as soon as you rotated the the flange/wheel or took out one of the 3 'lower' cv bolts the trans fluid would run out.

Makes a hell of a mess and wastes a lot of $$$ when it happens and you don't capture the fluid and keep it clean.

If this doesn't makes sense Ill explain it better.

seems like a poor design  ?

thanks Matt

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7 minutes ago, SEAN@WEDDLE said:

Well, I will say...

Ah never mind.

 

?

You guys are great - I just don't want to cut up this car....  price performance, the S4S is hard to beat

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I bought a used Fortin, and converted my car when rebuilding it.  I was so excited to step up from a 2D.  I ran it for a year, and it started making a lot of noise.  I took it in, and the diff is cracked and it needed a lot of stuff.  The repair was $10k, and that was just to repair what was broken.  Of course, it turned out I had an old style, and a lot of the parts needed upgrading to the new style which made the cost as high as it was.  I wound up abandoning it, and going to a PBS sequential for under $2k more.

Edited by 2DASAND

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We run Fortin's with torque converters in the Class 1 cars. They are driven at wide open throttle for hundreds of miles at a time. We have had the 4 speed and the 5 speed in our latest Class 1 with 600hp to the tires on Danzio's dyno. The loud whine doesn't bother me.

If my prerunner didn't have an Albins when I bought it I'd be fine with a Fortin.

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On ‎11‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 5:49 AM, lincster said:

I have a Fortin wide gear since 2007.

As stated, no clutch shifts, whiney due to the straight cut gears.

I love how my Fortin shifts and not using a clutch. 

I have the 3.88 R&P, the strongest available from Fortin.

I have run the same R&P since 2007.

I go on a lot of trips.

I have a 2800 lb car with all the big stuff, outboard hubs etc.

I have always run a stock LS1, until this season.

I have only worn out 2nd gear 2 times since 2007.  Only because my stock LS1 and 3.88 R&P, I have to run in 2nd a lot. 

That is the only work I have had to do, besides seals/bearings and dog rings.  All "wearable" parts in my book.

I had 2nd replaced this past February and my tranny guy said the R&P is just starting to show some fatigue down in the bottom of the ring gear.  He said plan on replacing that the next time we have it open.

I am ok with that, 11 years so far on the same R&P.

I do understand the R&P is more expensive than a S4 or similar, but I have a buddy that had to replace the R&P in his S4 every 2 years.  $1400 each time.  

11 years for my R&P, 11/2 = 5.5 R&P.  Call it 6.  6 * 1400 = $8400.  Seems cheaper to replace my expensive R&P every 11 years.  :) 

I hope to go another 5 years, but we will see with the supercharger now.  :)

 

One thing to note Fullthrottleguy, the CVs for the Fortin have to be faced, to get them to fit into the drive flanges correctly.

If you run Fortin CV's, they will already be all set for that.  But just in case you don't.

 

Was your buddy's car that had to replace the r&p every 2 years  a rear or mid engine ?

Edited by sandhammerer

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1 hour ago, 2DASAND said:

I bought a used Fortin, and converted my car when rebuilding it.  I was so excited to step up from a 2D.  I ran it for a year, and it started making a lot of noise.  I took it in, and the diff is cracked and it needed a lot of stuff.  The repair was $10k, and that was just to repair what was broken.  Of course, it turned out I had an old style, and a lot of the parts needed upgrading to the new style which made the cost as high as it was.  I wound up abandoning it, and going to a PBS sequential for under $2k more.

 

1 hour ago, L.R.S. said:

We run Fortin's with torque converters in the Class 1 cars. They are driven at wide open throttle for hundreds of miles at a time. We have had the 4 speed and the 5 speed in our latest Class 1 with 600hp to the tires on Danzio's dyno. The loud whine doesn't bother me.

If my prerunner didn't have an Albins when I bought it I'd be fine with a Fortin.

I guess the consensus is that if its an older Fortin and needs updating - its not worth it. But Like LRS's experience many people tell me  they are dead reliable.

When I find one, I will talk to Doug Fortin before pulling the trigger

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Loved the wide gear in my S&S.  Not sure if the S4S guys use the clutch on every shift, but I always felt like a clutch would last a long time on a wide gear, because you only use it to get rolling.  Never noticed the whine - but I'm an old school V-drive guy and those suckers can howl...… 

Edited by 1newbie
update

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My buddy (BigDub) bought a Blackwidow blown ls3 & Fortin seq.  Motor was supposed to be low hours and the tran "freshened"

First season the trans went; I believe 2-3.  Repair @ Fortin was 10K and I know there was a delay due to gear availability.

Next season the motor went belly up with broken ring lands so a short season for him.  (sent to CBM)

First trip this year he broke reverse and first gear.  Fortin told him he was supposed to take it easy on reverse. WTF.  I saw a video of him backing off a 10ft hill. 

So..... the only way to get the heavy car back was to drive it back in 2-3;  ended up with a cracked case.  Damage TBD.....

 

Of course yore results may vary.

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25 minutes ago, Dunelover said:

My buddy (BigDub) bought a Blackwidow blown ls3 & Fortin seq.  Motor was supposed to be low hours and the tran "freshened"

 

Why do people buy cars on the words of the seller?  I have a Fortin 5 speed with a repair bill from Fortin over last summer that I would provide the purchaser of my car if I sold it.   I would also provide the email conversations with Jerry as to the details of the internals (gear ratios, comments on condition of R&P, polishing of minor surface blemishes, etc).  If a seller cannot provide the same to a potential buyer but advises that the trans is "fresh", the seller is a liar or a scammer.  If a trans was "freshened up" by anyone other than a select few shops around the Southwest US, I wouldn't trust it.  

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31 minutes ago, Dunelover said:

So..... the only way to get the heavy car back was to drive it back in 2-3;  ended up with a cracked case.  Damage TBD.....

 

I also cannot believe that limping a car out of the dunes in 2nd & 3rd resulted in a cracked case.  I can see the interference of maybe broken teeth or other parts from the damage to the reverse gear causing the crack, but cannot see how merely driving a car through the dunes in 2nd and 3rd would cause said damage.  

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I love the way my Fortin 5 speed H pattern shifts and it looked  great except for a few bearings when Fortin went through it this summer, but merely based on the price and availability of hard parts, I have considered selling my fresh 5 speed and going with an S4S.  R&P is over $3k in parts for the Fortin I believe.  Buddy put a new 2nd & 3rd and R&P in his 4 speed wide gear last off season to the tune of over $7k.  I think the R&P are around $1500 for the S4S.  Also, I've been told by a very reputable builder that there is absolutely no sense in buying a used S4S given the price of a new one with all of the current upgrades made by Weddle in the new units.  To upgrade an older S4S with the newer parts is over $5k in parts.   

Re-read your last sentence of the last paragraph.  Go with what you know and with what has treated you well historically.  Unless you just want to do something different on account of 'cause.  

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