A Bert/Brinn-style transmission is an excellent example that not everything in racing has to be more complicated than the U.S. tax code. A Bert transmission is a favorite in many dirt racing classes because it's small, lightweight, has a low rotating mass, is dependable, and easy to repair.

The two-speed transmission cuts down on the number of parts, including the standard clutch. Instead, the transmission is included inside the housing. Still, even though it is quite different that what you might consider a "standard" transmission like you would find in a street car, a Bert transmission is easy to maintain and rebuild.

To get a better idea of what exactly is involved, we travelled to Jim Cook Racing Transmissions and brought him our well-worn Bert from Circle Track's own Dirt Late Model project car. Cook says if you take care of your equipment and don't have any damage from wrecks, a Bert (and the similar Brinn brand) transmission should last a full season-or even two-between rebuilds. It all depends on your power levels, the condition of the track and your driving style.

So if you've got a worn-out Bert underneath your car but can't afford to send it off for a refresh, you may want to try a rebuild yourself. All we needed for ours was a rebuild kit and a new reverse idler kit from Bert Transmission. After that, it just takes plenty of rags, a tube of silicone, a parts washer or brake cleaner, and a little time. Let's get to it!