Most of use know that since the 358 engines, with their big horsepower and torque numbers, have become standard in the Trans-Am series and elsewhere, so has the Hewland wide gear transmission.

But I was speaking yesterday with one of the competitors who is still successfully using a standard STA200 (aka narrow gear) tranny.
This fellow has been using this transmission for several years, graduating from a 700+ horsepower 310, to todays 850 horsepower 358. During that period he has had only one failure, a broken tooth on a 3rd gear during a race when he was running a 310.

When asked about the durability with todays motors, he first qualified his response by saying that he was pretty easy on transmissions. That the driver was a major contributor to the success or failure of any transmission.

But that aside, the big motor does require much more maintenance on the transmission. That the gears had to be closely inspected after every race. And, at the first signs of pitting they MUST be discarded. Otherwise they will soon fail. Other than that they follow a normal maintenance schedule for the rest of the components.

When asked if he felt that the wide gear was the proper way to go, the response was that yes it was better, but he needed other things first.

So, I guess like most things in a race car, it depends on your priorities, but if you dont have a spare 15k, you can still survive.

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