Technical Information for Transmissions
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Technical Information for Transmissions
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PowerGlide Technical Information

Instructions for use with Fluid Release Powerglide Transbrake

 

You have purchased one of the finest hand fabricated transmissions on the market today designed specifically for pro tree or full tree use. If you have any questions regarding installation or use, please contact us prior to use.

 

1. Install the transmission into the vehicle and bolt to the block with a minimum of grade 5 hardware.

 

2. Ensure the engine dowels extend into the transmission bell housing at least 1/4" for proper alignment and support or case and bushing failure will occur.

 

3. The use of a polyurethane transmission mount is recommended to eliminate unnecessary stress to the transmission case due to chassis flex. Lateral strut rods are recommended from frame to engine block on motor and mid plate cars to prevent front to rear deflection on acceleration.

 

4. The torque convertor should pull out of the transmission pump .080" minimum to .145" maximum when fastening to the flywheel.This is VERY important and if you do not understand please call us first. Proper hardware including hardened washers and locking nuts are recommended.

 

5. All transbrake solenoids will draw 8-10 amps when used. The maximum on time should not exceed 15 seconds. 14 gauge wire should be used in this circuit.

 

6. The transmission shift pattern is PRNDL. To back up, place the shift lever in reverse position and press the transmission brake button for reverse to engage.

 

7. BURNOUTS! Start all burnouts in low gear then shift to high gear as soon as possible. If you can start and finish in high gear that is the best. DO NOT not let the tires hook while at hard throttle after leaving the burnout box as this will cause damage to the high gear clutch pack. Lift as soon as the tires start to hook.

 

8. Make sure the shifter adjustment is PERFECT. Check especially low and high gear positions. The linkage only has to be out .050” and this will cause a failure.

 

9. If your transmission has a 9310 gear set it is recommended that you use synthetic racing fluids. These include Redline Type F racing oil, Amsoil Racing ATF, or Mobil1.

 

10. Fill the transmission and check the transmission fluid level with the vent tube disconnected to get a true oil level reading. Fill the transmission to the FULL mark. Be sure to check both sides of the dipstick and assume the lowest reading is correct. Check the fluid level with vehicle running in gear on jack stands.

 

11. BREAK-IN PROCUDURE! BEFORE racing, get the transmission up to at least 150 Degrees F by checking with a temperature gun on the transmission pan. Allow the vehicle to run with the wheels spinning for at least 3 minutes. This allows the assembly lube to melt around the needle bearings and proper lube to enter for maximum protection. A mild load in gear will allow the temperature to come up fast.

 

***WARNING***

DO NOT NEUTRAL TRANSMISSION AT THE FINISH LINE OR FAILURE WILL RESULT!

 

Turbo 400 Technical Information

Instructions for use with Fluid Release Turbo 400 Transbrake

 

You have purchased one of the finest hand fabricated transmissions on the market today designed specifically for pro tree or full tree use. If you have any questions regarding installation or use, please contact us prior to use.

 

1. Install the transmission into the vehicle and bolt to block with a minimum of grade 5 hardware.

 

2. Ensure the engine dowels extend into the transmission bell housing at least 1/4" for proper alignment and support or case and bushing failure will occur

 

3. The use of a polyurethane transmission mount is recommended to eliminate unnecessary stress to the transmission case due to chassis flex. Lateral strut rods are recommended from frame to engine block on motor and mid plate cars to prevent front to rear deflection on acceleration.

4. The torque convertor should pull out of the transmission pump .080" minimum to .145" maximum when fastening to the flywheel.This is VERY important and if you do not understand please call us first. Proper hardware including hardened washers and locking nuts are recommended.

 

5. All transbrake solenoids will draw 8-10 amps when used. The maximum on time should not exceed 15 seconds. 14 gauge wire should be used in this circuit.

 

6. The transmission shift pattern is PRN123. Pro Brakes use the transbrake to back up, place the shifter in neutral and press the transbrake button, this will engage reverse.DO NOT use the reverse position to back up the car. Special versions have a full reverse, but Pro race versions do not.

 

7. The shifter linkage must be EXACT. Check it several times in the most critical gear selections N123.

 

8. BURNOUTS! Start all burnouts in 2nd gear and then shift to high gear as soon as possible. YOU MUST leave the burnout in high gear. A second gear burnout will damage the transmission if the tires hook while in second gear.Its always best to start and finish the burnout in high gear whenever it is possible.

 

9. NEVER plug transmission lines on a TH400!!

 

10. The use of "quick disconnect" cooler fittings will cause a restriction, I do not recommend them. A recommended cooler line system with an ID of .280" (-6) is recommended.

 

11. Fill the transmission and check the transmission fluid level with the vent tube disconnected to get a true oil level reading. Fill the transmission to the FULL mark. Be sure to check both sides of the dipstick and assume the lowest reading is correct. Check the fluid level with vehicle running in gear on jack stands.

 

12. IMPORTANT! If at any time a part fails behind the transmission under power, the transmission WILL have roller clutch damage. Pull the transmission and have it inspected and/or replaced. Failure to check the roller clutch after such a driveline failure may cause the transmission to explode at the release of the transbrake. This trans likes good fluid, use Redline racing type F, Amsoil Racing ATF or a mixture of John Deere Hygard and type F.

 

***WARNING***

DO NOT NEUTRAL TRANSMISSION AT THE FINISH LINE OR FAILURE WILL RESULT!

 

Automatic Transmission Technical Information

 

Drag Racing Automatic Transmissions

 

One of the best aspects of drag racing is the burnout! Although it would look as if it is a very simple process, it can be one of the most damaging to an automatic transmission.

 

If you are running a 3-speed transmission, I would recommend always starting burnouts in second gear regardless of make. Starting a burnout in first gear with water under the tires and shifting to second applies a great deal of unnecessary shock to the low roller clutch. Once the tires start to spin be sure to switch to high gear as soon as possible to finish the burnout. The exception to this would be a transmission that uses an intermediate band where you could start and finish in second gear if needed. Those transmissions would include a Ford C4, C6, Chrysler 727 and 904's. None of the GM 3 speed transmissions should finish a burnout in any gear except high.

 

If you have a powerglide, the burnout can start in low and shift to high, but in all cases it is best for any transmission to start and finish in high gear if possible.

 

Unfortunately, if you run an auto shift transmission you will have no choice but to start in low gear. We suggest starting in manual 1st gear, waiting until the tires start to bite, and then pulling the motor down slightly before upshifting. This will help reduce the shock loads on the low roller clutch during the shift.

 

Oil levels and dipstick accuracy seems to be another transmission killer. Several brands of “flexible” dipsticks make the level very difficult to read. When checking the oil level ALWAYS look at both sides of the dipstick and take the lowest reading as being correct. Locking dipsticks are mandatory in most classes of drag racing and there are many easy to read designs available for all applications. Always check with your local tracks to see what the regulations are on this matter before race day to avoid problems in tech.

 

Shifter adjustment always seems to be a problem. With most race shifters it takes two people to get these adjusted properly. There should be a person in the car that knows how the shifter works and another making adjustments under the car. Always start by making sure the linkage arm on the transmission can run freely through all its ranges without any interference against shields, oil pans, or lines. If necessary, bend the linkage slightly for clearance. Check that the shifter cable has the straightest possible path to the shifter arm and again, bend the bracket slightly to help alignment with the shifter arm if required. Be sure to have the proper cable length and that the cable has very gradual bends as it approaches the transmission pan bracket to ensure that there will be no binding. Set the shifter linkage adjustment in all drive ranges first. For example, set it for 1-2-3-N, go up and down a few times and make sure the cable pin moves in and out of the shifter arm freely and is not pulling it one way or another. Maladjustment of just .050" either way can destroy a transmission in just one run, so be sure to take time as this will save dollars and grief throughout the season.

 

Many classes are starting to require a vent system for automatic transmissions. Many times the transmission case requires modifications to attach vent lines securely to the case, such as threading and drilling vent holes for fittings. Any vent lines should leave the transmission and go straight down or straight up into a vented container. If a vent line travels down then up it will have an area (trap) for oil to collect. When oil collects, the transmission cannot breathe. This makes it impossible to check the fluid level correctly and will give you a false reading, which can result in certain failure. If possible, always remove the vent line when checking the transmission fluid level.

 

After-pass shutdown procedures are always a touchy subject. The best way to shut a car down at the end of the track is to let off the throttle. Putting a transmission in neutral at the finish line can cause an explosion. This applies to all transmissions unless it was specifically made to do so. For example, clean neutral models.

 

Have a great racing season,
Hutch

Canadian based transmission shop specializing in racing transmissions.  We custom build transmissions for everyone from bracket racers to 3000+ HP professional race teams.

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