The gears DO whine a little and I WAS grinning from ear to ear when I drove it home today!
After took 5 months, 1 week, and 3 days, I'm finally behind the wheel of my own car again!!!
Here's the breakdown:
$316.00 labor for the trans teardown
$474.00 labor for the rebuild
$4,142.51 for the Albins 1-5 gearset (after a 10% discount because I had to wait so long)
$83.95 for an SPT trans mount
$30.00 for a set of Kartboy trans crossmember bushings
$39.50 labor to install the mount/bushings
$99.33 for a new battery (my stock battery was dead)
$19.75 labor to install the battery
$7.99 for a 3" 2-bolt exhaust gasket
$19.00 for a turbo-to-downpipe gasket
$75.00 for the resurfaced flywheel
$5.00 for miscellaneous exhaust hardware
$48.40 for Motul 75w90 gear oil
$5,630.65 grand total
My intention for posting the price breakdown is to give everyone an idea for how much this type of job costs and what makes it so expensive. I realize I probably could have gotten certain things cheaper elsewhere, but I was in a difficult spot and I did what I did.
Both JJ and Rick test drove it and they were very impressed. They both said it shifts as good as any 5 speed they've ever driven. 5th gear is slightly taller, so I'll get better gas mileage on the highway which is a nice bonus. I kept all of my old parts and they're working on a photo gallery of the rebuild which should be finished in several days and I'll probably post some of all of those pics too. After driving the car myself, it feels insanely tight, shifts are extremely crisp and direct, and the whine (with the windows up) is definitely tolerable. You can really only hear the whine if you're listening for it, but it's always there. It seems to be slightly louder in the lower gears at lower speeds. After the ~1,500 mile break in period of normal driving, I'm going to switch back to the Andrewtech cocktail and change that every 15,000 miles.
That's basically it.
My car's back and I'm extremely happy. I look forward to putting many more miles on my car in the coming years.