Given the history, I'm questioning everything now. The same shop built the trans and the converter - the only major assemblies on this car I didn't build myself. I had to take it back to them once because the conveter was way loose - the motor would be north of 5000 rpm as soon as I hit the throttle. They redid the converter and it seemed right, but now this. Now I'm wondering it the real problem in both cases was a clutch that wasn't holding. It was ok for normal driving but couldn't live with full torque combined witb sticky tires. If that's the case, then once I get the trans right I'm going to have a converter that's too tight. Sigh...
) and getting recommendations from folks over on PSP http://psp.aquacomp.net/default.asp . I dropped the car off at http://jakesperformance.com/Home_Page.html in Sanger for him to go through and do one if his Stage II transmission builds on.
He's also going to tweak the governor to raise ths shift points a little, and add an auxilliary trans cooler. Plus he'll open up the converter and make sure it's not damaged/contaminated.
I was set to do all this myself, but after talking with him I learned that the Trans-Go shift kits are "ok" for most regular street engines but once you start getting close to 500 HP they can have problems supplying enough bite to the direct clutch. He has his own valve body calibrations he's developed for his Stage II builds. Plus, he replaces the rear thrust washers with a Torrington bearing, uses the 34-element intermediate sprag (which I'm supposed to already have, but I have my doubts), and adds an additional clutch plate to the intermediate and direct clutch. We talked quite a bit about the various types of clutch frictions and he convinced me that he knows his stuff. He runs all his builds on a transmission dyno to check them out before delivering them. Add to all the above the fact that a good set of bushing drivers is crazy expensive, and you have the reasons I decided to let him to do the work.
Bear, you did exactly the right thing. The trans will be bulletproof and worryfree, and will match the rest of your drivetrain in beefiness. It'll be interesting to hear what he finds when he tears it down. Keep us posted on that score. Can't wait for you to get the car back....I'll bet you'll be surprised.
I'm optimistic. They definitely give me the impression they know what they're doing and that it will be right. Everything Jake said made sense and was logical. That's a curse I have - a logical mind - even though I've not been into a TH400 myself, I've studied them enough to understand quite a bit. I'm a lot happier when things make sense. One of these days I'll tear down that spare and get my hands all up in its guts.
I spoke with Jake Friday. So far, he's found that it did in fact roll the intermediate sprag, and it did have a 34-element one. He said it's very unusual for that to happen to one of those, unless they used a poor-quality (or perhaps a used) sprag. He also didn't like the springs in the direct clutch - said they were way too stiff - and didn't like the way the hydraulics were set up. I'm feeling good about it.
Well..... I picked it up last night after work. I spent a good long time visiting with the owner and learned a lot, and liked what I was hearing more and more - convinced that the guy really knows his stuff.
On the way home I noticed oil pressure was zero -- Well, obviously it had pressure and I really knew better, so I figured they'd managed to disconnect the wire from the sending unit during the R&R since it's right there by the trans filler tube. No biggie.
This morning I went out to fix that.
Found the sending unit wire was pinched between the block and the transmission. Well, ok --- it's an irritation but still manageable.
I put the car up in the air.
That's when I found one of the trans cooler line fittings at the trans leaking - pretty bad.
That's when I noticed the trans had a factory pan on it instead of my chrome one with the drain plug.
Am I just snake-bit when it comes to transmissions in this car or what????
I can't decide if I'm going to be mad or just be defeated...
Well, ok. I fixed all the problems myself, except for the tranny pan, but I did speak with the shop owner and he's going to get mine back to me as well has 'having a talk' on Monday with his guy who did the R&R.
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