Nissan GT-R Transmission Failure Examined

February 22nd, 2009

Samurai Speed, the tuning shop that currently holds the current 1/4 mile drag racing record for the Nissan GT-R R35 with a 10.55 @ 128.4 MPH just opened up their transmission that was destroyed during a hard launch control launch back in December 2008.

The damage appears to be isolated to first gear and the gear shaft. After looking closely at the torn apart first gear, they noticed a pattern of hairline cracks in different places on the gear. Samurai had launched their highly modified, 600+HP Nissan GT-R over 100 times, pulling some very quick 60′ times that dipped below 1.5 seconds on some of their runs.

The cause of the first gear failure could be attributed to many things, too much power for the stock transmission, wheel hop, elevated transmission temperatures and driveline shock at the launch. Having been in a GT-R while launch control was used on stock and modified cars, we would we guess it’s the initial driveline shock when the car abruptly slams into gear from a 4,500 RPM drop. This would be especially hard on Samurai’s GT-R since they were running much more power than stock, had sticky drag radial tires on the car as well as lighter weight wheels.

With Nissan’s latest launch control TCU update, we’re thinking that most GT-R owners will no longer need to use launch control at the drag strip, since after the update, the car will now allow the driver to essentially power-brake the car to 3,000 RPM for a much smoother and less stressful “non-launch control” launch without having to slam the car into first gear like the full launch control system does.

Here are some pictures of first gear and the gear shaft:

Additional Nissan GT-R Resources:
Nissan GT-R Drag Racing Timeslips
Nissan GT-R Dyno Results and Graphs
Nissan GT-R for Sale