Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

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Abarthnorway - Remi L
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Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by Abarthnorway - Remi L » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:37 pm

Hi all!



A nasty rumour regarding the 130 TC ZF gearbox has been circulating for many years.... Its supposedly weak.
One thing I can agree to is that the reverse gear is VERY weak, and this should supposedly have been fixed on later models.

I have been doing some local research regarding this, and have not been able to find any good examples of failure except the reverse gear weakness.
I have personally had 6 Abarths in different state of tune, and I know of quite a few more:

- I know one turboed in use to this day - and its driven hard with no problem.
- In late 80`s/beg 90`s the 130 TC was used in seriuos rallying - I have spoken to 2 teams and they had no problems regarding the gearbox in competition.
- A very expensive well prepared "ToTip" Abarth with 194 hp (confirmed on rollers) ran for years on the road, and later in racing with a standard gearbox now resting in my garage - I have got the same box in the garage now because the engine blew up....
- I have had a 230.000 km Abarth with the original box, and a friend had one with 270.000 - no problem except for a slightly worn 2.nd synchro

I consider a lot of the rumoured problems regarding the ZF box to be the same as for the car as a whole - neglect.
I have been told by a quite well informed person that the car were delivered with GL3 grade oil from factory, and this could have been the cause for failure. Solution was GL4 oil.
Personally I have no idea about gearboxoil whatsoever.....

So:
Will the 130 TC ZF box be able to cope with racing conditions?
What oil should be used in the box?



Best regards

Remi Lovhoiden
No idea myself regarding oil quality and the Abarth box, I have never really had to, as I have never had a problem.....;-)
Last edited by Abarthnorway - Remi L on Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Guy Croft
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC - Any good?

Post by Guy Croft » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:33 am

I do know an awful lot of them did break but I never personally stripped one to find out why.

The recommended lubricant according to the OE manual for the 130TC is Fiat Tutela ZC90, I would not deviate from that although I figure plenty of owners did. Maybe that was the problem, because if you don't use that gearbox oil in the 124/131 type box you can have problems. Gearboxes are not really my 'thing' to be honest.

See also:

http://guy-croft.com/viewtopic.php?f=4& ... hilit=zc90

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Abarthnorway - Remi L
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by Abarthnorway - Remi L » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:26 pm

Hi!


I have begun to source some material about the 130 TC transmission.
The standard saying states that the 130TC came with a ZF gearbox - which is not neccesarily true. Fiat also had their version of this box - shared with at least the Lancia 1.6Turbo.
The ZF also produced a stronger 130TC box. This probably came as a result of the breakdowns of the "std" 130 TC unit, and were not fitted to all cars, probably only the later versions.

The conclusion is that the 130TC geabox exist in at least 2 different version - one from Fiat, and one produced by ZF for Fiat. I have had this confirmed from two different and very reputable sources who have both been working on these units in the "old days". The REAL ZF unit can handle a lot of punishment, the Fiat supplied one probably not.

I have 6 boxes stored, and I will have to rebuild one before the summer. I will do my best to document the process and try to figure out their differences. I will keep You posted.


Best regards

Remi Lovhoiden
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Haymanracing
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by Haymanracing » Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:49 am

Yep the early Delta HF Turbo has the same ZF gearbox. I have had mine apart for a look - basically inside its a copy of the 128 box. In fact heaps of the internal components are the same. I've had plenty of 128 gearbox failures - all of them my own fault, not that of the gearbox.
I Am Carl.

MichaelNooij
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by MichaelNooij » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:50 pm

Hello Remi,

I had a 130 TC in the past and had the gearbox failure and solved it. The problem was/is the shaft were the reverse gearwheel slides has a smaller diameter, out of my head because it was in 1994, 12 mm. The normal gearboxes have 14 mm or 16 and some with a gap milled for the gears.

ZF took smaller diameter for installing bigger and stronger gearwheels. But when you are mis using the box in reverse the 12 mm shafts bents and you start with big problems.
At that time i had made a new reverse gearwheel and took a piece of linear guiding shaft of INA. I grinded carefully the slot for the keeper plate with a narrow disc in the angle grinder.

Because of the European law is Fiat not obligated to make spare parts after 10 years of last production but then in 1994 there were no spare parts for the reverse anymore in stock and they had no intention to produce them.

The 1,6 HF Turbo of Lancia has a ZF gearbox when you can see at the place of the Starter enging ZF and then serial number. If ther is no serial number it is a normal Fiat gearbox.
Inside the gearbox is written in the casting Abarth, for what it is worth.

I hope the mystery is solved.

In my car I run a Colotti T141 gearbox with the straight gears and the housing is modified so that the 3 bolts at flywheel side are plugged that you can open the box when it is inside the car.

I have changed the gear shifting internals with Fiorino Diesel parts because they are a lot stronger then the 128/Ritmo shifting arms. But again Fiat is not producing them anymore and the warehouse is empty.

If you can catch on the brake yard a Fiorio diesel gear box from 1992 you are the lucky person because you have a 5 speed 13-53 and the best shifting system Fiat ever made for the 128/Ritmo.
But it will not fit in the 130TC gearbox, then you have to find a 105TC box.

Best regards,

Michael from The Netherlands

Haymanracing
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by Haymanracing » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:11 am

Thankyou for that info ! my ZF definitely has "abarth" stamped on the inside, and yes the gearchange arms are the same as the 128 ones (which funnily enough is exactly what i hurt in my gearbox). Will keep my eyes open for the Fiorio diesel gear box.
I Am Carl.

torkil
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by torkil » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:21 pm

Hi Remi !
My own experience with Ritmo Abarth 130 with ZF internals.


1 The chaft who holding the spider gears in place ,have a tendency to come out and carve in the gearboxhouse, And must be tack welded. The holding clip is not strong enogh and the shaft spinns out.
2 The ZF has a little stronger coggs and different bearings , Same zise, But the internals is a little more brittle ,due off hardening prosess, Before you make a burnout ,set tension in your drivetrain before you do burnout.
3 Use proper oil in the gearbox.
4 Remember that these boxes are not constructed for racing , but sport driving, But can be oppgraded to race boxes by using good internals Colotti and Bacci parts for instance,
You can destroy almost every type off gearbox if you try, My friend twisted off a input chaft on a Volvo Turbo , fittet with a Tre -Mec gearbox.

I have workwd with these boxes in the 1980-1990 for Norwegian Importer, 124 127 -128 Uno -Turbo Punto Ritmo Tipo Croma-turbo , Cars

My boxes has been wery good FWD and Rwd boxes , But i have never had high power engines on them. Just lighly tuned, Ove
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Abarthnorway - Remi L
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by Abarthnorway - Remi L » Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:14 pm

torkil wrote:Hi Remi !
My own experience with Ritmo Abarth 130 with ZF internals.


1 The chaft who holding the spider gears in place ,have a tendency to come out and carve in the gearboxhouse, And must be tack welded. The holding clip is not strong enogh and the shaft spinns out.
2 The ZF has a little stronger coggs and different bearings , Same zise, But the internals is a little more brittle ,due off hardening prosess, Before you make a burnout ,set tension in your drivetrain before you do burnout.
3 Use proper oil in the gearbox.
4 Remember that these boxes are not constructed for racing , but sport driving, But can be oppgraded to race boxes by using good internals Colotti and Bacci parts for instance,
You can destroy almost every type off gearbox if you try, My friend twisted off a input chaft on a Volvo Turbo , fittet with a Tre -Mec gearbox.

I have workwd with these boxes in the 1980-1990 for Norwegian Importer, 124 127 -128 Uno -Turbo Punto Ritmo Tipo Croma-turbo , Cars

My boxes has been wery good FWD and Rwd boxes , But i have never had high power engines on them. Just lighly tuned, Ove

Hi Ove!


Thanks for the advice I will try to stick to it - even though I have seen You mistreating Your own 130TC box on several occasions with Your 16V x1/9.....see point 4......

I will need to see You soon as I need to dismantle a ZFbox and install a 13/53 end drive from Bacci, and a Colotti differential. I will also try to document it on this site.


The easy way to distinguish a std 130 box from one with ZF internals:

Gearbox housing.jpg
Gearbox housing.jpg (164.91 KiB) Viewed 3789 times
This is the gearbox casing, and as MichaelNooij said - if it is a ZF box it will have a ZF mark + a serial number on the edge where the starter is mounted

Gearbox std.jpg
Gearbox std.jpg (165.5 KiB) Viewed 3789 times
Std box (84model)

Gearbox ZF.jpg
Gearbox ZF.jpg (180.85 KiB) Viewed 3789 times
ZF box with serial number (87 model)


Best regards

Remi
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MichaelNooij
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by MichaelNooij » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:58 pm

hello Remi and other enthousiasts!

Herewith some pictures of the Fiorino gear selector parts in my Colloti gearbox.

The linkage system of the Fiorino is also much smarter and I have built it in with the Diaphragm like Abarth did.

Th reverse gear is against the first gear and gives damaged reverse in the Colloti 5 speed, the 4 speed I have has the original shift pattern with Fiat reverse gear.

It shifts the gears far better and fast.

Have fun!

Regards,
Michael Nooij
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The shaft to the gearbox is contra rotating and makes shift sideways also shorter.
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Testing in the car
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Final stage
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The original from Abarth.
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Haymanracing
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by Haymanracing » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:34 am

that is a seriously hot piece of engineering ! carl wants.
I Am Carl.

Abarthnorway - Remi L
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by Abarthnorway - Remi L » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:47 am

Hi all!


Thanks for the response - keep it coming:-)
Very useful!


Best regards

Remi
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Nobby
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by Nobby » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:05 pm

That is a lovely gear lever mechanism Michael! Top job.
Chris Burgess
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Abarthnorway - Remi L
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by Abarthnorway - Remi L » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:59 pm

After seeing Ove Torkhildsen - an experienced racer - testing and developing his x1/9 2l 16V with racecams, 45 mm injection etc, I conclude that the 130 TC box is indeed a strong unit.

Ove told me the 130 TC box recently survived 50 test launches - with Ove testing that means dropping the clutch at around 8000rpms on rear engined 225 sticky tires 50 times over.....

This racing mindset appeals to me in a way - there is a complete 100% focus on performance and speed - nothing else!
And that means absolutely zero mechanical sympathy - I am amazed, and a bit shocked as well.
Ove x.jpg
16V - racecams - 45 Throttlebodies - tubular manifold......and 130 TC box
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The box has 2 weak spots:
- The "shaft" holding the differential in place can work loose and tear the casing/box to pieces. This pin can be welded for extra security.
- Some early boxes had a thinner shaft(16mm?) supporting the reverse gear - take care. Later boxes had a 21 mm shaft.

If these points are taken into account the ZF box will survive a lot of abuse.


Remi
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torkil
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Re: Gearbox Abarth 130 TC

Post by torkil » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:05 pm

Exatly Remmi ,Look at my spinn at Århus Historic , on Youtube , There is only one off the 100drets off lonches done, I have also done the same with front wheel drive Strada /Ritmo Abarts , Similar results.
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