Automatic transmissions were nicknamed slushboxes for a reason. For the most part, automatics are designed to shift for maximum comfort with little or no performance considerations. This is great for the grocery getter, but leaves driving enthusiasts wanting more.
This is where the aftermarket has made a definite improvement. A number of companies have designed kits that improve the way automatics shift, allowing them to be shifted at a higher rpm for a firmer feel and better acceleration. The popular TH700-R4 has been used in thousands of vehicles (both from the manufacturer and in custom applications) and is a prime candidate for shift improvements.
To improve the shifting characteristics of the 700-R4 gearbox on our third-generation Camaro, we called upon B&M Racing & Performance Products. B&M suggested a Transpak kit for the car. In addition, B&M touted the fact that its easily installed transmission oil coolers will greatly increase the life of the 700-R4. B&M is also famous for its line of bolt-in shifter upgrades. Because the factory Camaro shifter is fairly sloppy and lacks a gear indicator, we decided to completely revamp the shifts of the car from driver's hand to the pavement. Remember that all of these upgrades can be made to any vehicle equipped with a 700-R4, so your Tri-five, Nova, Monte Carlo, or Chevelle will see nearly the same improvements as we did on our F-body. Installing B&M's Transpak kit is fairly straightforward, but isn't quite as simple as, say, swapping an intake. The inner workings of an automatic gearbox are complex, with valves, springs, and check balls that require exact placement. What we're saying here is that the instructions should be fully read beforehand and then closely followed. Having seen the kit installed we'd also recommend double-checking everything before putting it all back together.
In the tools department, hand tools were about all that's required. B&M includes the necessary drill bits. One thing that will make the installation much easier is a lift. Without a lift, you will want to get the car on a level surface and raise it as high as your jackstands will go. This allows you room to work comfortably under the car.
When it came time to install the Megashifter and SuperCooler the process was much easier. In addition to the aforementioned basic hand tools, you will need a 9/32-inch drill bit for the Megashifter mounting screws. To see the entire process, follow along with the remainder of this story.