Performance & Hotrod Business - July '15

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July 2015 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 41 "If you'd have bought that GM LS3 in a vehicle," Strange notes, "instead of in a box, it would have had a 6L80E bolted up right behind it. And with a proper swap harness and computer, a 6L80E will match perfectly with your LS crate engine. No extra calibration is needed to make it work properly." Remember, too, that some of today's daily drivers can deliver a tornado's worth of torque against a truckload of inertia. So there's no need to worry that today's multi- speeds aren't as tough as the TH-350s and TH-400s that ruled the hot rod world when today's college grads were still out racing their Hot Wheels in the sandbox. "The GM 6L80E is very robust," says Winstead, "perhaps not quite as robust, yet, as the old TH-400, but with some upgraded components and tuning it can be built to handle 800 rear-wheel horsepower. The Ford 6R80 is capable of over 700 rear- wheel horsepower with nothing more than a proper tune. It's also very durable." "Even in stock form," Strange agrees, "the newer automatic transmissions are fairly stout. They can handle a small upgrade in horsepower as long as it is done properly." The most common mistake people make with these transmissions is not reca- librating the line pressure and shift timing to correspond with any engine mods. "We've seen many stock transmissions fail, needlessly, from this issue alone," he says. Three Pedals, No Waiting And for all the sophistication of today's automatic transmissions, traditional three- pedal manuals remain as popular as ever. American Powertrain of Cookeville, Tennessee, is an Elite Distributor for Tremec of Plymouth, Michigan. American Powertrain co-owner Gray Fredrick explains how Tremec has come to so TCI's top-level automatic transmission is the Super Street Fighter. (Photos courtesy TCI Automotive) ing a huge performance increase over the 2.5 to 3:1 ratios that came in previous three- and four-speed transmissions. "This in turn allows a higher rear end ratio of 3.27 or 3.55 for low-rpm cruis- ing, while still delivering the kind of neck- snapping acceleration we used to associate with a 3.90 or 4.10 rear." Perhaps even more fundamentally, however, the new transmissions were designed from the ground up to run with the new engines that have become today's hot rodders' most popular choices.

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