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Transmission Trivia

Butch and I have been dismantling 3 "M" trannys in the last couple of days and have found a peculiar trend.
All the ball bearings in all transmissions are made in Italy!
Was this a Durant practice to use imported components?

Anybody have any insight on this matter?


Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Star Touring, 1927 Star Coupe

Re: Transmission Trivia

Hello Don,
the transmissions were made by Spicer which is now Dana Corp on of the largest drive components manufaturers in the world.
The gears and bearings and shafts are metric.
When I rebuilt mine I was able to get all the bearing and made up the main shaft with metric pg cromed shafting hard to fing in North America.
The only thing I had to custom make was the bushing that holds the main shaft.

Re: Transmission Trivia

Is it possible that the whole transmission came from Italy? Note the following Bio:

Giovanni Agnelli, 1866–1945, served as a cavalry officer until 1892.

One of the founders (1899) of Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino), he became its head in 1901.

He also established (1907) Italy's first ball-bearing plant.

Under Agnelli's leadership, Fiat became one of Europe's leading manufacturers of automobiles and also produced airplanes, railroad cars and locomotives, streetcars, and tractors as well as armament for the Italian military.

By the way, by convention, all ball-bearings have metric dimensions. Metric gears, however, would have been highly unlikely to have been made in the US, unless under license. It is possible that the gear housing was mfrd in the US, and all the internal parts were imported.

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes


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