1983 Chevrolet Camaro 4L60E Upgrade - Transmission

We Happily Take Out Our Third-Gen’s’ 80s-Era Overdrive And Shift Into A New 4L60E

Joe Rode May 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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The BMR crossmember kit uses all of the stock mounting holes. Notice the torque arm mounting plate to the left of the transmission housing.

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Phoenix Transmission’s Street/Strip 4L60E features their high performance pump, special valve body and servo assembly, steel-bonded apply pistons, 29-element input sprag, special modified sun gear shell, increased clutch capacity, and a host of other modifications. The 2500-stall Street/Strip torque converter they sent us was built with a carbon clutch, furnace brazing, and a hardened hub. They’ve been rebuilding high performance and specialty transmissions since it was founded in 1983. Greg Ducato and his staff are dedicated to producing the highest quality, custom-tailored transmissions and torque converters for discriminating customers.

Once the internal parts have been hand and machine-washed, and inspected a third time, they go to the polishing station where all contact surfaces are lathe-polished. This prolongs bushing and washer-wear, especially in high-rpm applications.
Each transmission and torque converter ordered are custom-built to the vehicle’s individual specifications including shift points and torque converter stall speed. Every Phoenix transmission undergoes an eight-step cleaning and inspection process, which produces a semi-polished finish on the aluminum case. It’s both pleasing in appearance and stress relieved for added strength.

Phoenix builds their torque converters in-house on the latest computer-controlled equipment and every unit is computer-balanced. Thoroughly dyno-testing each transmission before it leaves their Texas facility allows Phoenix to guarantee shift accuracy, stall speed and internal line pressures, and offer a two-year, 24,000 mile warranty that doesn’t begin until your transmission is in service. This gives the builder plenty of time to complete their project without worry of running out of warranty before the car is finished.

While it was off, we decided to replace the stock torque arm with a BMR adjustable tubular arm (PN TA001, $329.95). Like most OEM parts, the stock arm was built with cost as its main consideration, so flimsy stamped-steel was used for its construction. The BMR arm is MIG welded and made using 1.25x0.120-inch tubing and heavy-duty ¼-inch mounting plates.

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The torque arm fastens to the rearend housing using grade 8 bolts. We found it easier to remove the mount plate from the torque arm assembly and mount it to the rearend first, then re-install the torque arm.

The front end of the torque arm mounts with a polyurethane bushing that is encapsulated in a clam shell bracket which fastens to the mount plate on the crossmember. BMR provides several different torque arm mounting positions based on the horsepower of the car. Since we’ll never see more than about 400hp, we used the top-most location. On a 9- to 10-second car, this would provide enough leverage to put it on its bumper, but it will work wonders for a 12- to 13-second ride.

The final step of the torque arm installation was to set the pinion angle. This requires the use of a magnetic protractor, which BMR includes with every torque arm. BMR’s instructions call for the pinion angle to be measured with the suspension loaded (either by resting the car on the ground or resting the rear end on jack stands). You’ll need to place the angle finder on the driveshaft and record the angle. Then place the angle finder on the rearend torque arm mounting plate and record that angle. Adding the two measurements will give you the pinion angle (for example, -3 rearend angle plus +1 driveshaft angle = -2-degrees). BMR recommends that F-bodies with automatics be set at 1- to 2-degrees negative. Turning the adjuster on the torque arm will allow you to fine-tune your angle to the desired setting. A bit confused? Visit www.bmrfabrication.com  to view a video with step-by-step instructions.


Energy Suspension
San Clemente, 92673
Phoenix Transmission
BMR Fabrication
Thonotosassa, FL 33592
SW Fabrication




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