New transmission book

Engine, Transmission & Driveline

  1. Badvert65

    Badvert65 Active Member

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    I just got my copy of a new transmission book by Tom Hand.
    "Chrysler TorqueFlite A-904 & A-727 Transmissions: How to Rebuild (Workbench How-to)"
    https://www.amazon.com/Chrysler-TorqueFlite-904-727-Transmissions/dp/1613253354
    This book is great for those working on their own transmissions.
    I am especially excited about the A904 specific information pertaining to race builds. There are even several recipes for performance 904 builds.
    Great book, I'm jus' sayin'
     
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  2. polara71

    polara71 Old Man with a Hat

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    Thank for the tip.... I'll pay a guy
     
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  3. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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  4. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    I always had read about how strong the A727s were in the 1960s, then "Hot Rod" had an article of how to upgrade the A904s for drag race activities. That after about 25 hard runs, they "needed attention". It detailed which clutches to replace and with what brands, plus the better band. The upgraded frictions and a few other tweaks and then they'd last a well as a 727, PLUS they took less power to run, which led some B/RB racers to adapt them to their big block cars for "more power to the pavement". As the Gen I Hemi and the LA-block have the same bellhousing bolt pattern (as I understand it) it might make a good upgrade for the '50s V-8s, too? When appropriate durability upgrades have been done.

    ONE thing I might mention is that aside from the several books on Chrysler automatics which have been written, the old Chrysler Direct Connection race manuals (later Mopar Performance) were "factory information" on what mods to make to Chrysler automatics. Back then, the "full race" orientation included the "Manual Reverse Pattern Valve Body". This was in an era before automatic trans floor shifters with ratchet mechanisms. The orientation was that "D" was where "!" used to be in the shift quadrant, so no possibility of inadvertently going to "N" rather than "D"/3rd in a race. You shifted away from "N" rather than toward it. These valve bodies were also "full manual" rather than automatic. Don't know why they couldn't also be automatic, but these earlier ones were not.

    What became the Direct Connection Race Manual (over 1000pages!) was a compilation of the old Drag Race Clinics which Mopar racers did in the later 1960s at dealerships. The older ones looked a little clunky, being copies of type-written race bulletins, but they had THE FACTORY information of how to get the best performance out of Chrysler powertrains, plus chassis set-ups, at the time. Ford and GM never did that, relying on the car magazines to do it for them, over time. If you were going to drag race, doing things as the Race Manual specified would get you to about 90% of potential. The other 10% being execution and driving ability, by observation. It wasn't a "trick of the week" orientation, but backed by Chrysler engineers who raced and designed these things for a living.

    In the later 1990s, they upgraded and separated the ONE manual into specialty-area manuals, plus expanding them into other areas, too. The one major upgrade was they were now type-set and had color pictures. Same information and possibly updated information. NOT the same stuff you'll see in a normal car magazine!

    My machine shop operative used to joke that he could tell a "real Mopar Nut" as when they'd come into the machine shop, they'd have "The Mopar Bible" in their hand. And that it was!

    The Race Manuals would not duplicate the "build" things the factory service manual covered, but tell you what and how to do things past that. PLUS things you'd not find anywhere else (like using epoxied popsicle sticks to equalize mixture distribution in particular intake manifolds). ALL "factory" information, NOT what some magazine writer might say.

    To be sure, there are some good non-factory books out there, but this is variable, by observation. I started out with HPBooks and then the S-A Designs books came out, so I started looking at the publishing house rather than the author.

    As for automatic transmissions, by observation, each major trans builder (person or company, local or otherwise) has their own orientations of what they feel works best in a particular situation. And THAT's what's in the books they write, understandably so. Nothing wrong with that. BUT that doesn't mean it'll work "as you desire", per se. So as with other advice, you need more than one source for best results. Still, the way some authors indicate how to do things, in the field, can be helpful and sometimes bypass certain measuring situations that might be necessary in a factory-assembly situation with unknown components, especially if you've never done this before.

    IF you might happen onto one of these older Race Manuals at a swap meet, get it! Then spend many hours in the recliner reading and deciphering what's in it, cover to cover. You'll learn a LOT about Chrysler powertrains and other aspects of the products.

    Then, for a break in the action, head over to MyMopar.com or the OnlineImperialClub website and go through the Chrysler Service Tech library, earliest to latest, 1950s to about 1976, for "factory training" filmstrips/videos.

    Then for a break from that . . . check out the multitude of Mopar-related product videos on YouTube. How a '64 Imperial was better than a similar Cadillac, for example. Or the "On The Test Track with the 1957 Chryslers" series of performance trials! Or the many other "sales training" videos for Chrysler Products archived in there. The links to other videos seem to be endless!! Best to have an unlimited Internet rate plan!

    While you're here, also look for the books on cylinder heads and intake manifolds by David Vizard. It might not be Chrylser-specific information, but the theories he mentions work the same on Chevy heads as for other brands of engines. LOTS of interesting information in there, too!


    The winter season is fast approaching, so reading and watching can be good diversions and "keep you out of trouble", so to speak, as you also learn a lot about Mopar design, engineering, and heritage.

    ENJOY!!
    CBODY67
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  5. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    ONE trick which a friend in our Mopar club discovered. A difference in '65 and '66 727s.

    In the middle 1960s, GM was the dominant manufacturer and most of the car companies were seeking to emulate their products in some manner. In these times, it was about smoothness and the beloved "boulevard ride". The THM400 was just out and operated smoothly in gear changes, "imperceptible" was the desire, and the THM400 pretty much hit it, while also being GM's equivalent of the Chrysler 727.

    So, as my friend discovered, the '65 727s had "flat steels" between the friction plates in the clutch pack. When he got a later 727 to rebuild for his '65 Belvedere (his desired model and year), he found "wavy steels" in the clutch pack. He'd observed the '66 and later 727s shifted a little softer than the earlier ones, so he determined this change was the reason. So all 727s he rebuild, he used the earlier "flat" steels". He took me for a test drive one night, in his car with one of the '65-spec steel plates in it. The shift was quick and firm, not harsh, but a little "nicer" as if it had somebody's shift kit in it. But it was not a big improvement, per se, as 727s usually shifted quick and firmer anyway, but IF you knew what you were feeling, you'd feel the difference. It made sense, too, that the wavy steels would soften the shift with no other changes. AND at very little production price/complexity increase at the factory level.

    Before the test drive that night, he just told me it was a trans he'd just rebuilt and he wanted me to see how it felt to me. I just figured he'd done a shift kit plus a normal rebuild. After I'd felt the shifts, I asked which shift kit he'd used as it felt very nice. That's when he told me the only "shift kit" was the "flat steels" rather than the later wavy steels. Pretty neat, I thought! No drilled separator plates, special this or that, just earlier spec parts.

    Enjoy!
    CBODY67
     
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  6. 70bigblockdodge

    70bigblockdodge Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I have the engine and chassis direct connection books (after the split). There is a lot of now outdated info in them but a good read still. The drag strip formulas for a certain et. can still be followed with lighter internal parts and better rods and a lot of stuff they promote can be had at a swap meet for pennies on the dollar.
    The 904 internals and rollerizing a 727 is for stock and superstock racers. Neat idea but the reliability and cost go inversely proportional very fast.
    Best advice for a 727 is good clutches set tighter than factory spec which is .080 on the low side, a good kickdown band with a 3.8 :1 ratio and a manual valve body if you want to still have a automatic use a transgo shift kit and follow instructions for the type of shifts you want, also following mod to fill converter in park.
     
  7. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    Funny you mention this, I just came across my old white book copy.

    The factory manual valve body conversion worked well, but was definitely not street friendly. I had one that was done by a local Mopar guy in a street car and it was really hard on u-joints. The shifts were hard, but after driving it for a while, I could feather the gas just right and have a crisp shift rather than a shift that rattled your fillings. The 2-3 was rough, the bands overlaped for a split second.

    The other issue was there was no deceleration while in first gear... It just free wheeled.

    Paul Forte of Turbo Action refined the manual valve body... cutting the overlap of the 2-3 by enough to pickup a tenth in some cars over the old versions.
     
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  8. Chrome58

    Chrome58 Active Member

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    Indeed. I rebuild mine (cast iron) last winter for a sprag clutch failure.
    It was my first time ever fixing an automatic transmission, and I got very good results.

    But you gotta have the service manual, be meticulous and precise, and have buddies that can help you with some technical questions when needed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  9. Zwap

    Zwap Member

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    My -66 Service Manual says .024 to .123 clearance in front clutch and .037 to 0.060 in rear clutch, should I go for the low side of these?
    With new clutch plates I got .080 clearence in front clutch and 0.038 in rear clutch, is it OK?

    The Service Manual also says 10 springs in front clutch but when I teared it down there was only 7 springs, should I add 3 springs or should I keep the 7 springs?
     
  10. 70bigblockdodge

    70bigblockdodge Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I would not set the front clutch any tighter than around .060, that .024 number only leaves .006 clearance in between plates. The rear clutch does not have to grab when moving unless you are prone to pretend your Jim Rockford or like yanking it into first to pass people and usually if your over 30-35 mph it will not go into first. I would like a bit more clearance in rear clutch to make drag less when not engaged but it is okay and will put some clearance in when it breaks in. Springs I would follow the FSM unless making more high performance then add more, to control against increased line pressure.
     
  11. Gerald Morris

    Gerald Morris Senior Member

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    I've got the Munroe book and might, if constrained by economics attempt my own rebuild. I'm also trying to raise $ to do THIS job on my '66, leaving me at leisure to rebuild a 77 &2& that came off an RV w a 400. I might even attempt converting from the 19 spline torque converter in my 66 to the 25 spline one w the 77 for this job, IFF I can remove the external balance weights without damaging the converter. The Munroe book plus the FSM appear to give plenty of information on rebuilding. Aside from never having done it, my greatest source of doubt and trepidation arises from relative lack of good facilities for rebuilding. I have a 30 month old little terror running amok around this trailer we dwell in, and SHE makes even oil changes problematic. Its HARD to confine the little monkeys or otherwise constrain them to leave the mechanical work to Papa. My last concern about me and the DIY path is TIME. Again, if I have a good tranny working in Mathilda, then rebuilding one at leisure, where a mistake won't mean having to rely on the City bus if somehow something goes awry with the build.