Bellhousing failure is an all too common issue with the R35 Nissan GT-R. It first manifests itself as a faint rattle at idle, but will eventually become an unavoidable clanking sound that reverberates in your head and sucks the pleasure right out of your Sunday drive. Let’s take a look at what exactly the bellhousing is, what it does, how it fails, and how the folks at Highline have made them more durable:
First off, the R35 GT-R is an all wheel drive vehicle with the transmission located at the rear of the vehicle (as if you didn’t already know!) That being said, a simple bellhousing is mated to the rear of the engine in lieu of the contemporary transmission placement. The bellhousing is an aluminum housing with a shaft running through the middle. This shaft is connected to a damper at the engine end that bolts to the engine flywheel – It looks like a sprung hub clutch disc at a quick glance.
The other end of the shaft bolts to the driveshaft which travels rearward to the transmission/transaxle. The shaft is supported by two small bearings inside the bellhousing, and herein lies the problem…. This shaft is subject to 500+ horsepower, and well over 6,000 RPM’s at times. The resulting torque will cause the bearings (made of steel) to wallow out the aluminum bellhousing over time. The bearings will eventually float freely from the housing, and the clanking sound is caused by the bearings (and shaft) rattling around. Believe it or not, Nissan has YET to devise a cure for this. Even a brand new $1600 Nissan OEM bellhousing may only last a handful of launches. This is where Highline stepped in with their expertise.
A Modified Bellhousing that is Cheaper AND Stronger than OEM – Only at Highline Car Care
If you’ve followed our blog, you might already know that Wes (Our Owner) picked up a 2010 GT-R project a while back. It had the “rattle” from the very beginning, which progressively got louder. It eventually got loud enough to sap the joy out of driving and a solution was to be devised! In typical Wes fashion, he did not rest until the matter was resolved. The bellhousing was removed from the car – The Nissan labor guide calls for removal of the entire engine to replace this item. However, we are able to remove it by supporting the engine and lowering the subframe. Much less invasive, and quicker!
Once the bellhousing was removed and disassembled, we devised a fix. Replacement bearings were ordered, and the bellhousing itself would need to be repaired so that the new bearings would not come loose.
The “Highline” Bellhousing is bored out and fitted with steel sleeves that have been retained by set screws
The Highline bellhousing uses precision milled steel sleeves and only high quality replacement bearings to ensure trouble free operation. Nothing is 100% bulletproof, but we have yet to see one of ours fail. That’s saying a lot,
considering Nissan hasn’t been able to solve the problem in 10+ years. Give us a call or shoot us a message today if you’d like to have your bellhousing replaced – The experts are standing by