Picking The Right Automatic Transmission - How It Works

Hard-core drag racing calls for durable, lightweight, and efficient automatic transmissions. The pros explain how to pick the right one

Stephen Kim Jul 18, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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Stan Poff: TCI Automotive has transmissions for entry-level bracket, class, and big horsepower heads-up racers. For entry-level bracket racers, the need is for a transmission that will leave the starting line and run the all-important number reliably every time. To the class racer, a transmission with lightweight components and less reciprocating mass is more important. The big power heads-up classes are the biggest challenge for transmission builders today. These cars harness some 1,500-3,500 hp in heavy cars with limited tire and suspension setups. They have caused us to go back to the drawing board on many occasions. For instance, to change an input shaft diameter, more than just the input shaft has to be redesigned. The pump, drum, planetary, and on the TH400, the center support of the transmission has to be redesigned. Of course, when you redesign these components, you have to change the materials in order to stay ahead of the curve. That in itself takes a lot of time and research, and today your secret materials only remain secret for so long. In addition to our extensive line of catalog transmissions, TCI offers a build-your-own Powerglide program. This is a great option for well-informed racers that involves selecting specific components, such as transmission case, pump, drum, planetary, and valvebody release off of a chart. As the range of aftermarket components for GM transmissions continues to expand, more and more are completely new from the tailshaft to the input shaft. CHP


Gearstar Performance Transmissions
Akron, 44308
TCI Transmissions
Ashland, MS 38603
ATI Performance Products
Baltimore, MD 21207


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