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How to build a Shipping Crate for a Transaxle
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
Posts: 15462
Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: How to build a Shipping Crate for a Transaxle Reply with quote

Thought I might as well document the process since I needed to build two of these for Peter. This is specifically for an Audi 5-speed transaxle, and the procedure will work for both NA and 931 versions, with a few minor tweaks for the 931 box, which I will point out when we get there.

Materials & Tools Required
(for one crate)
  • 1 piece 4' x 8' sheet of 1/2" plywood. (I used 1/2" particle board, which made assembly a bit trickier because the material was a bit too thin for screws. You can use 3/4" if you want, but that makes the dimensions a bit wackier).
  • 8' section of 2x4
  • 1 box of wood screws
  • 1 box of finish nails (not required if you use thicker plywood, use screws instead)
  • Hammer
  • Power screwdriver or drill
  • Circular saw
  • 1.5" hole saw bit (only required for 931 transaxle)
  • Carpenter's square
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Measuring tape


Cutting the Plywood
  • Cut your sheet of plywood in half so that you have two pieces of 4'x4' (48"x48") plywood. (This just makes it easier to maneuver)
  • With the first half of plywood, cut out three pieces that are 16"x48" long
  • Cut out one more piece from the other half of the plywood that is 16"x48" long
  • You should now have four pieces that are 16"x48". Along the long side of each piece, use your square to mark out a cut line at the 27" mark and the 44" mark. Do this for all four pieces. Measure twice (!) then cut.
  • You should now have the following: (4) pieces that are 27"x16"; (4) pieces that are 17"x16"; and (4) pieces that are 4"x16".
  • Set aside two of the 16"x17" pieces, as they are extras and we won't be needing them. The following photo is the plywood we'll use to make the crate.


Cutting the 2x4
  • Cut off three pieces of 2x4 that are 16" long.
  • Cut off four pieces that are about 5" long
I didn't bother photographing this, as it will be obvious later how these pieces will be used.
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15 981 GTS | 88 924S SE | 82 931 Holbert | 82 931 Rallye | 81 937 | 81 Euro 931 | 81 Weissach | 80 US 928 | 80 US 931 '941' | 80 US 931 | 80 931 GTR | 79 Sebring | 78 D-Prod Replica | 78 w/D-Prod kit | 78 Poli-Form | 78 Limited Edition | 77 Martini


Last edited by ideola on Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
Posts: 15462
Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assembling the Crate
Using one of the 27"x16" pieces as the "floor", nail or screw two other pieces to make the vertical sides. I used a milk crate and extra pieces of wood to help keep things square during assembly.


Lay the crate on its bottom and attach one of the 16"x17" end pieces


Take one of your 16" pieces of 2x4 and position it on the bottom, about four inches ahead of the back side of the crate. Do NOT screw into the bottom of the crate yet, only screw in from the two sides.


Place the transaxle into the crate with the tail end of it resting on the cross piece you just added. Now take another one of your 16" pieces of 2x4, and position it about 6" behind the front of the crate. The goal here is to create a cross piece that will stabilize the walls of the crate, providing a fastening point for the lid, but also keep the trans for bouncing around, so you want the 2x4 to be positioned where it can rest just on top of the trans, but still be 1/2" lower than the top of the box (because the lid will go on later...)


THIS NEXT STEP ONLY APPLIES TO 931 TRANSAXLES because the input shaft sticks out further than on the NAs. You can skip this step if your crating up an NA transaxle. We need to drill a hole in the other end piece to allow the input shaft to stick out. We'll cover this up later. On my crate, when facing the front of the crate, the hole needed to be centered at a spot measuring 8" from the RIGHT side, and 7.5" from the BOTTOM. This is just slightly off-center of the end piece, and yours may vary slightly so be sure to measure exactly where the hole needs to be cut. I cut mine with a 1.5" hole saw.


Attach the front (16"x17") piece to the crate.


Take your last 16" piece of 2x4 and attach it to rear of the crate, leaving 1/2" from the top to accommodate the lid, which will go on soon.


Take one of your 5" pieces of 2x4, position it in perpendicular to the wall of the crate, resting on the floor, and squeezed in between the RHS CV flange on the transaxle. It may take a bit of maneuvering to get it in there...it's a tight fit, but that's what we want (yeah, I know, that's what she said!). Attach with screws.


Take another 5" piece of 2x4, position it parallel to the wall of the crate, resting on the floor, and squeezed in between the LHS CV flange on the transaxle. As above, it should fit very snugly. Attach with screws.


Take your remaining two pieces of 5" 2x4, and attach one in each of the front corners of the crate, 1/2" below the top to allow room for the lid. Attach with screws from the front and side. Note that in my photos, I was using smaller pieces as I was cutting from scraps, but a 5" piece will work beautifully because it will further "sandwich" the front of the trans bell housing to prevent it from moving around.


Almost done!


After pausing to admire your work, attach the lid. If your an expert carpenter like I am , it may take some persuasion with a hammer to get the lid to fit down in the recess. Attach the lid with SCREWS only, using the two 16" 2x4 cross braces and front corner braces to snug it down. You want your recipient to be able to remove the trans with a minimum of disassembly of the crate!


Turn the crate over. The trans should be very snug and should not bounce around at all. Take the four pieces of 4"x16" plywood and double them up to make two feet for the bottom of the crate. For the rear foot, screw it into the 16" 2x4 cross brace that the tail end of the trans rests on.


THIS NEXT STEP ONLY APPLIES TO 931 TRANSAXLES because the input shaft sticks out further than on the NAs. You can skip this step if your crating up an NA transaxle. We need to create a cover to protect the input shaft. Take some of your scrap plywood and cut out two equal size pieces. Use your hole saw to make a hole in ONE of the pieces (NOT BOTH). Attach the cover to the front of the crate.


Cleanup. Two crates makes a surprising pile of saw dust!!!


DONE! 931 crate in front, NA crate in back:

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15 981 GTS | 88 924S SE | 82 931 Holbert | 82 931 Rallye | 81 937 | 81 Euro 931 | 81 Weissach | 80 US 928 | 80 US 931 '941' | 80 US 931 | 80 931 GTR | 79 Sebring | 78 D-Prod Replica | 78 w/D-Prod kit | 78 Poli-Form | 78 Limited Edition | 77 Martini
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
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Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last thing that might be a useful reference point:
The NA transaxle weighed ~160# including crate.
The 931 transaxle weighed ~170# including crate.
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15 981 GTS | 88 924S SE | 82 931 Holbert | 82 931 Rallye | 81 937 | 81 Euro 931 | 81 Weissach | 80 US 928 | 80 US 931 '941' | 80 US 931 | 80 931 GTR | 79 Sebring | 78 D-Prod Replica | 78 w/D-Prod kit | 78 Poli-Form | 78 Limited Edition | 77 Martini
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Joes924Racer  



Joined: 03 Nov 2002
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Location: Oregon, Denver Colorado native!

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow that was amazing job well done.
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Rasta Monsta  



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
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Location: PacNW

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you got part numbers for this setup??


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Joes924Racer  



Joined: 03 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ideolas busy making tranny shipping crates hmmm what does that tell you.
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pocketscience  



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
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Location: Sydney, Australia... mate!

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It tells me that Xmas is coming - the trannies aren't mine, but my bits will be in the same container load of 924 parts!!


G.

ps. I know Dan, Xmas is out of the equation now!
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
Posts: 15462
Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pocketscience wrote:
Xmas is coming

Yeah, Christmas is coming! It may be a little late this year for you boys down under, but Santa will make it down there eventually...it's much harder to pull that sleigh without snow

In the meantime, have a listen to this to get into the spirit:


You can even buy one or two if you like it. Hard copies can be ordered from my site via PayPal, and iTunes copies are here.
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15 981 GTS | 88 924S SE | 82 931 Holbert | 82 931 Rallye | 81 937 | 81 Euro 931 | 81 Weissach | 80 US 928 | 80 US 931 '941' | 80 US 931 | 80 931 GTR | 79 Sebring | 78 D-Prod Replica | 78 w/D-Prod kit | 78 Poli-Form | 78 Limited Edition | 77 Martini
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dpw928  



Joined: 03 Nov 2002
Posts: 1861
Location: owasso, ok 74055

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If these are going to be shipped via truck line, I would make a couple corrections. 1) the feet should be 3 to 4" high to give plenty of room for the near sighted forklift driver to get under the box without stabbing the side. Also, the feet need to be spread wider. If too narrow, the forks will hit the feet on one side or the other. Dont expect the forklift driver to stop and adjust his forks for your nonstandard sized box. A normal crate or pallet will have 36" between the feet. 2) Boxes make nice platforms to stack someone elses 2000 lbs pallet on during transport. Needless to say, the box won't make it to the next destination if that happens. Recommend you at least write in big letters "DO NOT STACK" on the top and sides of the box.

BTW in my business we ship and receive 100's of pallets a month and I can assure you that if there is a way for them to screw it up, it will happen.

Dennis
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Rich H  



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best bet is something I learned about storing explosives. Make sure that the bottom is nice and flat, but the top slopes a bit. that way no one will put stuff on top of it...

Good point about the fork truck tine spacing.
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ideola  



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dpw928 wrote:
A normal crate or pallet will have 36" between the feet.

The boxes are only 27" long, so that wasn't an option. These will be going onto a pallet at the freight forwarders that I will be loading, and I believe will subsequently be shrink-wrapped, at least according to the person I spoke with when I first looked into it. I'll definitely be marking the box clearly with "DO NOT STACK", "THIS END UP", etc.

Good tip about the uneven surface! But I'll be putting these on the bottom of one pallet with lots of other "uneven" boxes stack on top. Should minimize those types of issues once the pallet is shrink wrapped. As for the feet, I only put them on to make it obvious which was up, and to make it easier for me to maneuver around the garage (i.e. get my fingers under 'em).

Thanks for the constructive ideas
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15 981 GTS | 88 924S SE | 82 931 Holbert | 82 931 Rallye | 81 937 | 81 Euro 931 | 81 Weissach | 80 US 928 | 80 US 931 '941' | 80 US 931 | 80 931 GTR | 79 Sebring | 78 D-Prod Replica | 78 w/D-Prod kit | 78 Poli-Form | 78 Limited Edition | 77 Martini
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dpw928  



Joined: 03 Nov 2002
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Location: owasso, ok 74055

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ideola wrote:
dpw928 wrote:
A normal crate or pallet will have 36" between the feet.

The boxes are only 27" long, so that wasn't an option. These will be going onto a pallet at the freight forwarders that I will be loading, and I believe will subsequently be shrink-wrapped, at least according to the person I spoke with when I first looked into it. I'll definitely be marking the box clearly with "DO NOT STACK", "THIS END UP", etc.

Good tip about the uneven surface! But I'll be putting these on the bottom of one pallet with lots of other "uneven" boxes stack on top. Should minimize those types of issues once the pallet is shrink wrapped. As for the feet, I only put them on to make it obvious which was up, and to make it easier for me to maneuver around the garage (i.e. get my fingers under 'em).

Thanks for the constructive ideas


If they put it on a pallet, make sure they attach it with strapping tape otherwise someone along the route will remove it from the pallet to save floor space. This used to happen with my ceramic and stone shipments and was the kiss of death for that material. Stretch wrap is nice but really only useful if there are multple cartons on the pallet.

Dennis
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ideola  



Joined: 01 Oct 2004
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Location: Woodstock IL

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff, Dennis, thanks for the tips. After all the work that's gone into this shipment for the Aussie boys, I definitely want it to get there safe and sound!
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15 981 GTS | 88 924S SE | 82 931 Holbert | 82 931 Rallye | 81 937 | 81 Euro 931 | 81 Weissach | 80 US 928 | 80 US 931 '941' | 80 US 931 | 80 931 GTR | 79 Sebring | 78 D-Prod Replica | 78 w/D-Prod kit | 78 Poli-Form | 78 Limited Edition | 77 Martini
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dpw928  



Joined: 03 Nov 2002
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Location: owasso, ok 74055

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW did you know that the hardest part of carpentry was building a square box? Looks like you have some good experience there.

Dennis
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78 928 AT Euro Black
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Joes924Racer  



Joined: 03 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe some handles then.!
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