Just a quick question... Now that Westfield are going other to MX5 running gear, are you considering a bell housing to enable a Vauxhall engine to go on the Mazda Gear box?
Answer:We always keep an eye on the market and see what new products may be of interest to our customers. The main reason we currently stick to the Type 9 bellhousing is due to the wide range of gearboxes available with this bolt fixing. Nearly every manufacturer of motorsport gearbox now has a version of gearbox to suit this and this helps to keep our costs down and the range of bellhousings available to a minimum.
Although the Mazda gearbox seems like a very good gearbox, when developing a new bellhousing the cost from start to finish to holding quantities of bellhousings in stock would be in the region of £10000 cost to us, so we need to be sure that the market will be big enough to recoup the design and development costs before investing in a new product such as this. The other thing about the gearbox itself, is that the quantities manufactured are fairly limited in comparison with the Type 9 and variants, so this would also limit the use in the wider market such as rallying, racing, etc where the engine outputs are regularly being pushed to 300bhp, at which point a specialist gearbox is then required. So the Mazda gearbox in it's current form, unless others take up further internal upgrade will not be suitable for higher engine specifications. Most of our customers, who use the 2.0L XE engine are normally using highly tuned versions so again require a gearbox capable of coping with this, particularly in the rally market where the majority are now using sequential gearboxes.
We do quite often get asked for bellhousings or adaptors to mount uncommon gearboxes to the Vauxhall or Duratec engine and when it is a one-off, I would quite often suggest that the gearbox is placed on the back of the engine and then the gap between the back of the block and the gearbox is measured. If the gap is then greater for one of our current bellhousings, that they could have an adaptor made to convert our bellhousing to mate to their gearbox.