Skip to main content

It is amazing how they can be so oblivious to easy in your face details. They also sent the trans to the wrong address. I gave them my business address and they sent it to my home address which cost me $150.00 extra for residential delivery charges they will be paying me back.  What a waste. I guess they must be charging way high prices to cover all of the costly mistakes they seem to be ok making.

Rancho really came thru and got the trans shipped back and changed the axles the same day it arrived to them and sent it straight back to me all shipping covered as it should be. I have my Pro Suby Rhino cased transaxle with long axles back and will install it Saturday in the Puma. While the engine and trans have been out I have cleaned and painted the under side of the car, wheel wells and engine compartment. It turned out very nice. It was not my favorite type of work but I would have hated myself later if I hadn't done it. I am glad it is done now. My heads are in transit to the engine builder. He will have them Monday. He told me he completely takes apart any new heads and checks everything. He has had new heads from CB come in with tight valve guides and get a stuck valve in the first weeks of service. I am glad he is doing this, I have bought new supposedly high quality heads in the past and have most of the valves not lapped and leaking badly. Bill will completely go through the heads and make sure they are perfect. He then should have the engine finished assembled and running by the week of the 19th. I may get the Puma up and screaming by the months end.  I am also in the process of mounting a Derale oil cooler fan assembly with fan thermostat and oil control thermostat. The only place I could get the room and get clean cool air is by mounting the cooler inside the front trunk. I will make a future post showing how I am getting fresh air flow in the trunk. It is similar to how Special Edition mounted my Radiator in the frunk of my FF Speedster Suby conversion. More to come shortly.

Puma Rancho long axle pro suby trans 2Puma type4 under carriage paint 4


Images (1)
  • Puma Rancho long axle pro suby trans 2
Last edited by Jimmy V.

I now have the Rancho Rhino Case Pro Suby Transaxle installed in the Puma. My heads will arrive tomorrow to the engine builder so my hope is in 2 weeks or less I will be installing the new 2.8L Type 4 in the Puma. I also hope I don't get any leaks at the axle seals. It is always a mystery to me how the crazy assortment of spacers, O rings, seals and paper gaskets work together the keep the oil in the axle tubes. I have extra shims in my setup that must have came with the disc brake conversion to offset the thicker aluminum back plates.  It wasn't leaking before the transaxle swap so I hope it works now. 

Puma rancho Pro comp rhino trans installed 3


Images (1)
  • Puma rancho Pro comp rhino trans installed 3

Here is my thinking. The stock 4.12 geared trans that was in the car needed a rebuild. The bearings were a screaming. The type 4 is going to easily have the power and torque of the Suby engine the trans was geared for. I have one of the same transaxles in my Suby Speedster and love it so it was an easy decision to go with this transaxle. I will run the type 4 in the Puma for awhile and get the carb jetting perfected then sell it off. I will then have Special Edition convert the car to Suby power and have heat and A/C in the car to make it a year round driver. That is my end game but I am really enjoying the fun of trying a couple of engines along the way. This type 4 is going to be a super strong running engine. I have had smaller displacement type 4 's in the 2.5L range that where really powerful power plants, so the 2.8L will be uncharted territory for me. I am mere weeks away for having the type 4 finished. I can't wait. Stay tuned.

PS. The Type 4 's estimated output is going to be well over 200 hp and 180-190 ft lbs of torque. I am planning on doing some tuning on a chassis dyno so I will have the real numbers eventually. I am eager to find out. Thanks for asking.

The 48/38 stage 2 ported heads and port matched manifolds have just arrived to my engine builder. He will completely disassemble the heads and check everything and fix anything that doesn't meet his standards. We went with the heads AA offers because  of his past experience with the quality, lead time and price. He assures me the heads will be great. I can see the finish line on the monster type 4, it is in sight now. 

Type 4 48-38 stage 2 ported head 2type 4 ported intakes

Type 4 48-38 stage 2 ported head 1


Images (3)
  • Type 4 48-38 stage 2 ported head 1
  • type 4 ported intakes
  • Type 4 48-38 stage 2 ported head 2

@Jimmy V. After I redid my axle seals I hadn't installed the drums and the axle nuts. After a few days the axles were leaking. i thought I did them wrong so I did them again. Come to find out that the drums and axle nuts were in fact the final component to keep everything from leaking. You may get some leaking if the drums or rotors haven't been installed yet. Otherwise if your seals are in correctly you should be good.

@Jimmy V. posted:

I filled the transaxle with 90Wt gear oil last night. At least I didn't see any oil under the brake rotors this morning. The real test will be in the driving the trans.  I hate to work on something I don't completely understand. I don't fully understand how the axle seals and spacers all work to keep the oil in the axle tube, I just followed the directions I found online.

“I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.”  Blanche DuBois - Streetcar Named Desire

To me, transmissions have always been voodoo. I’m sure they’re pretty simple once you understand them, but I’ve always left it to experts.

BTW, Jimmy. I was re-reading this thread and it dawned on my that the original RSR’s had a 2.7 motor in them. That Puma is going to be more of an Ocelot!

Last edited by dlearl476

Transmissions aren't that hard. Swing axles and seals aren't that hard either.

You need special tools to rebuild. You need a hydraulic press, and lots of sockets/spacers to push with. You need a long pair of heavy duty needle-nose pliers with a little grinding to remove/install the axle circlips in the differential.

You need good instructions as well. You need to do research, and take your time.

Remember, I was told(on here and Facebook) that I'd never get my trans back together and have it work. Whatever. I've had it apart several times after I beat the snot out of it. I've broken synchros, circlips, and a third gear synchro hub.

The 2.8L Type 4 is nearing completion. As with anything that has been modified my engine builder is finding issues to overcome as he goes. Being an engine with a longer stroke than stock the engine is now wider by almost an inch. Some of the issues he is dealing with include having to lengthen the push rod tubes, as is they were too short and have nothing to hold them in the head or block. He figured something out to space it on the side that goes into the head. Next issue is the DTM fan shroud. The holes for the spark plug access do not line up and will need to be enlarged on one side of each hole and filled in on the other because the heads are further out than they where. The header as it was is too narrow. It will need the spot welds ground off so the extra length can be found in the slip joint areas. Bill the engine builder has assured me that each obstacle can be overcome and made perfect ( I was glad to hear that!). He has also taken apart the rocker arm assemblies and polished the shafts and cleaned everything. The rocker arm geometry was then set using custom length pushrods. The intake gaskets had to be custom shaped to match the ported heads and intakes. The engine is mostly assembled and should be getting fired up for cam break in by the end of the week. I will be buying a new crank pulley and doing some cosmetic work once I have the engine home. I am hoping there is enough height clearance to allow the DTM fan shroud and oil cooler to fit into the Puma's engine compartment. If not I have an alternate plan to use a  lower profile version 2 DTM fan shroud and a remote oil cooler. I will hopefully have the engine home sometime next week.

type 4 2.8L dirty rocker assemblytype 4 2.8L cleaned rocker assemblytype 4 2.8L making correct length pushrodsType 4 intake manifold gasket trimming to match porttype 4 2.L header not fitting wider enginetype 4 2.8L header Type 4 2.8L engine near completion


Images (7)
  • type 4 2.8L dirty rocker assembly
  • type 4 2.8L cleaned rocker assembly
  • type 4 2.8L making correct length pushrods
  • Type 4 intake manifold gasket trimming to match port
  • type 4 2.L header not fitting wider engine
  • type 4 2.8L header
  • Type 4 2.8L engine near completion

Yes, that was my thought. I love an engine that revs up and back fast and crisp, formula one style LOL.. My plan is to detail the engine to my taste once I have it instead of having the builder charge me for that. I like doing that part. I plan to pop the engine into the car and drive her a bit and then take the engine back out once winter really sets in to make her more attractive. I am really excited to feel how this engine stacks up in comparison to the 2276 Type 1 that I just sold and the 2.5 Suby engine in my Speedster. I love comparing the different driving experiences. The engine sure sounds nice and tight. The engine should have a nice balance of torque and top end. That was the goal.

The vision of the Puma doing wheel stands just popped into my mind... hmm most of the weight including the battery is in the rear. Take the spare out of the frunk run a 1/2 gal. of fuel. If I had sticky tires who knows. I remember a front cover of Popular Mechanics back in the mid 70's that showed a VW Thing doing a wheel stand as it left a red light. They had an article describing the way the Thing was made with the engine hanging out the back made it easy to pop the clutch and lift the front wheels with a stock Thing. I never forgot that.  My minds wonders from time to time.

Arrived home yesterday with the Monster Type 4 after picking it up at the engine builder's and started getting it ready to install. I installed the custom cut aluminum pcs. to surround the engine to seal the engine compartment off from recirculating the hot cooling air. The engine surround pcs. are sold by the type 4 store to work with the DTM fan system. All of the the surround pcs. came with this engine pre build up.  I replaced the crank pulley for appearance sake and will clean and paint or replace the valve covers once the engine is installed. I am concerned that I don't have enough over head clearance to fit the tall DTM fan shroud, It is going to be very close and just fit if it does. If it doesn't fit I have a fall back plan to use a version 2 DTM shroud that was made to have a lower profile. Stay tuned. PS I just returned from the auto parts store with FI style hose clamps to replace all the worm gear clamps.Type 4 2.8 L monster ready to install 2Type 4 2.8 L back


Images (2)
  • Type 4  2.8 L  monster ready to install 2
  • Type 4  2.8 L back
Last edited by Jimmy V.

The engine was in almost as new condition ( the engine had only 4000 miles on it). The crank and rod journals were at new size and didn't need anything but a polish, the cam was in perfect shape, the pistons, rings and cylinders all perfect the cylinders still showed cross hatching. He did find a bent pushrod. If my memory serves I read the previous owner's (Chris Sutton) build blog and he mentioned that after having the engine assembled he cranked the engine over and it locked up. He tore it back down and found the cam was several teeth off from having the dots match up. The top of one piston had a little smile mark where a valve hit it. I assume he bent a push rod then. This may have caused the low compression symptom he was experiencing I don't know.  I sold off the crank, rods, heads, cam, lifters and a set of new 96mm P&C's. Which netted me more than the entire engine cost me. Then I spent a ton of money having the engine transformed into the 2.8L monster it is.

The battle is partially won. The monster 2.8 L type 4 is in the engine bay of the Puma and securely bolted to the new Rancho transaxle. I had to remove the already installed engine compartment sealing tin, crank and alternator pulleys and the header to get her to to finally to release and drop into the transaxle. Oh that magical feeling when the engine finally releases and slides into the trans. Taking a break today to recharge. The 11 hour one man battle did me in!

Type 4 2.8L before the battle. Type 4 2.8L battle partially over.


Images (2)
  • Type 4 2.8L before the battle.
  • Type 4 2.8L battle partially over.

Ok, I went to close the hood and it hits the top of the DTM shroud just as I feared. So, I can now pull the engine back out and remove the DTM fan shroud buy a Version 2 DTM and install it along with a remote oil cooler fan assembly and thermostat. Or I can finish the engine install and run it with stand offs of some design that will hold the hood open a few inches, this way I can drive it some while the weather is still nice and pull the engine later this winter to install the V2 DTM. The damn lid is only a few inches from closing. I also had thought of cutting a hole in the hood to allow the top of the DTM to protrude and covering it with a small scoop or turbo bulge but then I would be cutting up the hood. The issue is patience and time. I really would like to drive the car to see how it runs this season so I may go with rigging something to hold the hood open a few inches, it actually doesn't look that bad. I am so close I can taste it.

Post Content
Link copied to your clipboard.