Ken's SLC build thread

The top flange head bolt in the blank off plate was removed and the bolt hole countersunk for a flat head bolt. I also cut part of the head off the fastener that was in the middle of the plate. This bolt secured the plug to the plate. It was set with red loctite for permanent mounting. These mods were needed in case there was a clearance issue with the starter ring gear or clutch assembly. I have seen some pictures of Gallardos with all three fasteners the same and some with a flat head bolt countersunk in the top position. Better safe than sorry so I swapped the top bolt out.

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Here is a picture of a OEM original 2wd graziano transaxle. Dan Carter had his modified this way at Heffner Performance. He had the installer machine the snap ring grooves and install the factory plugs. The factory plug is #086311120 (outer) and #086311137 (inner). If you send your transaxle to Ron McCall for drop gears and removal of the front drive shaft assembly he installs a carbon fiber blanking plate in this position. Ron also makes a plug for the inner hole. He graciously provided one for me to use since my transaxle was already at a shop (Heffner Performance) when I bought it.

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I made a bracket today for the transaxle oil cooler thermostat. It fastens to the drivers side mount of the transaxle. I tucked it in as far as possible and angled it for easier hose integration. The transaxle body is off set to the right so it makes sense to mount it on the left side for maximum exhaust clearance. I'm using the same thermostat as the one on the SLC (Improved Racing FSM 165). It opens at 165 degrees F. The stock one used on the Audi R8 is made by Mahle (TO 9 75) which opens at 75C/167F. I like to use the steel Aeroquip hose fittings and teflon hose where ever possible. I built the mounting plate out of .180" thick steel. Over kill for sure but that's just how I . I scanned the card board template and made a PDF if anybody wants to copy this design. Just send me your email in a PM.

It's designed to use 90 degree fittings at the bottom of the thermostat. I just stuck a couple of 45 degree fittings on temporarily (for the picture) as I ran out of 90 degree fittings.

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Anybody else have this problem? With my engine steel braces snugged up to the solid aluminum frame posts (as shown in the first picture).....the top of the tubing points no where near the rod end U brackets. I guess I have to find someone with a tube bender so I can have them bent "dead nuts" on. They aren't off just a hair.....they are way off. Forcing them to fit is not an option.

My finger is pointing to the part of the solid vertical frame member that could fail if I was to try and force the rod end into position as is.


Dan Carter


Mine are tight and under a lot of stress once tightened, however, I am able to position them by hand however before tightening them up. The upper Heim is maxed out with the side load due to the angle. That upper mount should have been angled better to accommodate the direction of the brace, but the roll bar was built straight up and down for the upper mounting point....I thought about a design update, but moved on as is. That's looks a long way off in your picture. I trust you will solve yet another mystery.

Joel K


Just curious, does the brace that sits on top of the trans fit fine? I agree you would not want to stress that area too much. Better to make that brace line up properly.
I did swap sides and they were positioned exactly the same Rich. The horizontal brace fits fine Joel. Both sides can be/were forced into place but I'd rather not do that.
Not wanting to complicate this more, but were you able to put the bars in after the engine plate was installed? I noticed in the picture that you have the engine and gearbox installed but neither the x brace nor the braces to the roll cage are installed. Seems there is probably some sag in the chassis based on adding all the weight without all of the chassis supports in place. In the end either this deformation stays or you need to unload the chassis and then adjust to get it back in alignment.

When I got my engine plate, the holes didn't align but after talking to Fran I "coaxed" the bracket to fit and then reinstalled the two side braces and then the X brace. At this point the x brace fit a bit tight but I got it in with the factory heim settings and then the two side braces went in, again with some tension but I kept the heims within a turn of where they were coming from the factory.

What I do know is all the pieces fit when the car rolled off of the trailer and at that point I was able to get the front and rear alignment set. After adding weight (just the gearbox at this time) and pieces to the back without fully supporting the frame I started to see the alignment issues. But again knowing that everything did fit I measured the position of all of the heim joints and every time I add anything I put them back in to support the chassis. I am also careful to support the chassis behind the seats AND under the rear suspension cradle whenever the braces are not installed.
Tweaking the interference between the bell crank and shock at full droop. I don't like the gouging on the two parts so I'm doing the same as Bill. The first picture shows the finished result. The second and third picture shows the damage when the suspension is at full droop.

The x brace and bars had been installed all along Mike. I just took the x brace out recently to remove the transaxle. The poor fitting bars were like that from day one. The factory employee just rammed the lower bolt into position with a hammer. It was a bear getting that bolt out. I took note of that issue when I removed the bars to install the engine and transaxle years ago. Here is a picture of the drivers side bar now bent to allow a slip fit of both the upper and lower bolts. This was the worst of the two bars. I could have forced the the bar in to place without bending it but that would have put way to much stress on the lower mounting point.

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Bending a bar like that greatly weakens it in compression. Now it is "pre-buckeled"; why not simply cut it shorter and re-weld it?

Joel K

Nice work Ken, I think you did the right thing, having those aluminum parts stressed like that is probably not ideal.