"...TCI has made a bulletproof...
"...TCI has made a bulletproof six-speed automatic that can withstand up to 850 hp with no sweat."
TCI's 6X Six-Speed automatic-based on GM's 4L80E, which is itself based on the indestructible Hydramatic Turbo 400 box-is a dream come true for hot rodders wanting a trans with the ultimate in strength, compactness, and efficiency. Through some extremely innovative (and patented) modifications to GM's four-speed 4L80E unit, TCI has made a bulletproof six-speed automatic that can withstand up to 850 hp with no sweat. Starting out with a computer-controlled 4L80E, TCI changes the planetary gearset to alter the gear ratio spread, then applies the overdrive clutches in Second and Fourth gears to fill in the extra gear ratios. Major modifications to the valvebody fluid circuits allow the extra gears to operate, and additional clutches and steels are added to the package to beef up the torque throughput. TCI combines the reworked trans with a special controller and harness, which is dyno'd and tuned all together as a system prior to shipping. TCI also offers lockup converters (and even a multi-disc with a billet case for high-hp cars) to complement the 6X.
The ratios of the 6X Six-Speed trans are: 2.97, 2.23, 1.57, 1.18, 1.00, and 0.75. The overall shape is identical to a 4L80E, and only slightly longer that a Turbo 400. Essentially, you can bolt the TCI 6X into most any car that can accommodate a Turbo 400-cars with a small trans tunnel (Camaro, Nova, etc.) may need some fabrication. Other cool options are a billet aluminum paddle shift, or an Outlaw shifter with dual up and downshift buttons on the handle (nice for a more drag-oriented ride). TCI tells us the 6X costs $6,065, and includes the harness and controller as a complete system.
"Poor ring seal, valve seat...
"Poor ring seal, valve seat damage, and valveguide wear can all cause a loss of power, but figuring out the exact source can sometimes leave you scratching your head."
Moroso LeakDown Tester
Much like a doctor uses a stethoscope to assess the health of his or her patient, the engine builder, serious enthusiast, or racer uses a leakdown tester to deduce the health of a high-performance engine. Poor ring seal, valve seat damage, and valveguide wear can all cause a loss of power, but figuring out the exact source can sometimes leave you scratching your head. This tool can help. Via a simple pressurized air connection to the combustion chamber-connected at the spark plug port-a leakdown tester can detect the sealing integrity of any cylinder, and when used properly, can even tell you exactly where that leakage is coming from. Moroso's new leakdown tester-PN 89606-is ideal for the hot rodder or racer, with its rugged construction and compact design. Only top-quality components are used in its design, and it's calibrated for high accuracy and repeatability. Housed in a stand-up black powdercoated steel case to make taking readings easier, the tester comes with 14mm (long), 14mm, and 18mm (short) adapters, a tapered plug adapter, and whip lines.
"...this book should be considered...
"...this book should be considered a must-have for every garage, large and small."
MSD Wiring Guide
If you've ever called the MSD technical hotline (915-855-7123) for help with an installation or a tech problem, it's a good bet your tech guy was reading from this bible: MSD Ignition Wiring Diagrams & Tech Notes. This healthy 166-page tome is stuffed with helpful stuff, from the obvious (like the firing order of many engines), to the technically advanced (like wiring a sophisticated drag racing ignition with all the bells and whistles). It's been compiled from decades of tech phone calls and online inquiries, and pretty much anything that's been asked by a customer is answered right here in step-by-step detail, and accompanied by diagrams and charts. MSD knows that the DIY guy has to be a jack of all trades, and that vehicle wiring (and ignitions in particular) can present a major technical hurdle for enthusiasts. As such, this book (available as MSD PN 9615 for $3 from MSD) should be considered a must-have for every garage, large and small.
Chevelle Rack Cradle
The new Flaming River power rack-and-pinion cradle kit for Chevelles has over 6 inches of travel, and provides the factory's full lock-to-lock turning radius that is often lacking from other rack-and-pinion conversions. Flaming River's cradle kit is a completely new unit built in the USA, and allows for an adjustable pinion angle. Designed for '68-72 Chevelles and other GM A-bodies (Buick Skylark, Pontiac LeMans/Tempest/GTO, and Olds Cutlass), the kit uses a travel bar design to properly position the steering pivot points to their original location and deliver the original turning radius. The travel bar system features a stabilizer guide clamp that locates the inner tie-rod ends at the original pivot points. Moreover, the '68-72 Chevelle system uses the factory tie rods to connect the travel bar to the spindles. It installs in the original steering box and idler arm mounting holes, and does not require any cutting, drilling, or welding, and installs using basic handtools.
Flaming River also offers small-block Chevy Ultra Angle headers, which have been specifically designed to leave room for the steering shaft and universal joints when installing a rack-and-pinion system. The Ultra Angle headers are available uncoated (FR50001) and coated (FR50001C). The Chevelle cradle kit includes the rack/cradle assembly, a floor shift tilt key column, wiring adapter, grade-8 bolts, universal joints, support bearing, power steering pump, and polished aluminum reservoir. Flaming River's power rack-and-pinion cradle kit costs $2,750 with tilt column, and $3,170 with tilt key column.
"Dart's Horsepower in a Box...
"Dart's Horsepower in a Box kits are the result of building and testing hundreds of engines to ensure optimal performance in an affordable package."
Dart Horsepower In A Box
Dart has created complete top end packages, which include Dart heads and COMP Cams camshafts, along with virtually everything else you need to make your short-block or crate motor really come to life. You may remember how we built up a Dart SHP 400 in our January issue using the SHP short-block and Dart's top end kit. We still had to collect all the valvetrain gear, but now Dart has simplified things further by offering a limited number of power systems that include the valvetrain gear too. Dart knows that selecting components that will work together properly can be a challenge, and if you don't get it right, performance will suffer. Dart's Horsepower in a Box kits are the result of building and testing hundreds of engines to ensure optimal performance in an affordable package.
You get a pair of legendary Dart cylinder heads, fully assembled with premium stainless steel valves, spring, retainers, and related hardware, an aluminum intake manifold, valve covers, gaskets, fasteners, and spark plugs, along with a COMP Cams camshaft, lifters, and timing set. Cylinder heads are available in cast iron or aluminum, and hydraulic flat tappet or roller lifter camshafts are available. It's a money-saving, time-saving move that will plaster a smile all over your mug!
Ididit Tilt Column
Ididit's all new Ford top shaft and Ford turn signal switch steering column for the '67 Ford Mustang is a direct bolt-in that includes year-specific style knobs and handles. They also include the male and female plugs with terminals, and it uses the stock underdash mount with a pre-packaged floor mount, making this a slam-dunk same-day install. Ididit's new 1967 Mustang column will accept a stock Mustang steering wheel or an aftermarket wheel with an adaptor. This era-specific Mustang steering column will work with either your stock box or an aftermarket rack, so specify what you need when ordering. The all-new floor shift, eight-position tilt, American-made column is available in paintable steel, chrome, and black powdercoat.
Engine Bay CloseOut Panel
Undercover Innovations now has engine bay closeout panels for all early Mustangs, including "Eleanor" style '67-68 ponies. What started out as a fix for overheating has become a new way to add some class to an overlooked area on any car. All Undercover Innovations panels are made with aircraft-grade anodized or polished aluminum. Many different stock designs are available (including for GM vehicles), but customizations are also welcome. Pricing is quite reasonable too; the one shown (for '67-68 Mustangs) runs about $89.
Yukon Grizzly Locker
This new Grizzly mechanical locking unit from Yukon Gear & Axle features an 8620 chrome-moly case and 8620 chrome-moly internals for added strength. According to Yukon, the Grizzly Locker's patent-pending design reduces common locker failures. Yukon Gear & Axle says these lockers are designed to stand up to the huge power and tall tires of today's performance vehicles, with the internals being hand-fitted for faster engagement. They're targeted for drag racing, circle track racing, off-road, and towing. Applications include Ford 9-inch (28- and 31-spline), Chrysler 11.5-inch, GM 11.5-inch, D44, GM 14-bolt truck, and Rockwell 2.5 ton, with more applications coming soon. All units are assembled in the USA. We checked around on the web, and found the Ford 9-inch unit with 31-spline axles for $485 from Randy's Ring & Pinion.