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Old 05-17-2011, 02:53 PM   #287
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Kyle.Gilmour's Avatar
Drives: 427 LSX- with TWINS
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Back in Michigan!! Do miss ATX and my Tejas friends
Posts: 2,747
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write up I did for my new ARD Trans

Soooo… it happened again…. At CamaroFest I messed up another clutch. But mind you I do not take responsibility in either occurrence. Hahaha.
At Fest 1, I just had too much power for the stock clutch, so the failure was almost expected.. almost
For Fest 2, well that was still under investigation until a few days ago when Monster said they would not warranty my clutch because there was organic material on it (oil) and this was due to improper installation. I will give you one guess as to who installed my clutch… if you read the first few posts of my build thread you will know.

Anyway, with my whole transmission already out of the car, it did not take much convincing from Russ/Deaver/Mike/Jason/Ronnie and even Owen to push their ways on me and convince me to put an Automatic into Detroit Muscle. Owen from ARD in Houston built up his own 4L80E and built it to RUN!!
To put in perspective, Owen’s daily driver has this same transmission and he has not had to touch the tranny in 2 years….. oh, and his car is well over 1000 rwhp and I believe… 4th fastest 5th gen in the world. So I was pretty stoked to have something similar in my car.

From what I hear the build went fairly smoothly, other than actually getting the yolk, but in the end, the Drive Shaft Shop came to the resuce and theirs turned out better than what was going in. Owen’s transmission went into an Automatic Camaro with a few headaches here and there, but it turns out that installing a 4L80E into a Manual Camaro makes for a much easier and cleaner build.
Below are pictures of the transmission, the B&M Proratchet shifter with LockUp mechanism, and a few internet shots of the hardware I did not have actual pics of.

4l80E: ARD stage 3 (manual)
• 3800 stall Circle D multi disk billet
• Upgraded servo piston
• Carbon rear band, carbon lined coast band
• Alto red eagle Power packs all forward gears
• 36 element sprag drum
• Trans Go 4l80E-3 full manual valve body kit
• New lower roller sprag
• New overdrive sprag roller type
• New Borg warner High energy 4th gear clutches
• All new bushings and seals

I do love the new transmission, it is fast and keeps me in boost pretty much all the time when you are above the stall converter. I have not been to the track yet, but with this, it will be almost impossible not to run mid-10s.

There are a couple downfalls to it though.
• The MPG, we expected it to drop a couple miles per gallon, but it was almost 7-8 mpg at 70mph. Even with the LockUp it still does not drop the RPMs low enough. I think another reason for this is the stall converter; quite a bit of fuel is used at lower speeds. I was getting at best, 21mpg with 708rwhp. Now with the new trans I am getting 14.5 at 70mph, if I drop it to 60 and use cruise control I can muster out about 17.5mpg. So this was a bit of a surprise for me, but you got to play to pay as we all know.
• Tranny noise – there is definitely a lot more road noise, especially in first gear, but this is all expected when dealing with the high performance parts that we have.

So those little things set aside… I love the transmission and to know it is “bulletproof” (hope I did not jinx myself) makes me feel secure that it will last a long time even with me beating on it.
I picked up car on a Friday night, Owen took me for a “spin” literally, hahaha. He showed me how it drives, and how to use the ProRatchet shifter. This took me a few hours to get into the groove, so I didn’t have to count what gear I was in. Those that have used this type of B&M shifter know what I mean. The LockUp feature, for those that dont know what it is, is described as “A lock-up clutch physically links the impeller and turbine, effectively changing the converter into a purely mechanical coupling. The result is no slippage, and virtually no power loss.”
I have an on/off switch on my console that I can use to LockUp when I am driving at highway speeds to help reduce my RPM and increase my MPG. It is a great feature, but I learned the hard way… you have to remember to turn it off before coming to a stop. Hahahaha

So, I headed over to Mlee’s house to have dinner with DaHose and DangerRuss that night, we also cleaned the car so it was ready for the Houston 2011 Camaro Convertible GM Media Event the next day. We had a blast at the event, but I tell you what… that new tranny helps me hit speeds much faster….
I am sure if you Search hard you can find some pictures proving that

So all in all, I am very pleased with my new automatic 4l80E ARD stage 3 (manual) transmission, the fit and finish that Owen puts into this is fantastic. Nothing was affected, the cruise control still works, the trans temp reads accurate, tires spin uncontrollably, and the stitching he did on my stock shifter boot is ingenious!! All I do is have to hit the throttle part way and I am off like a rocket in a straight line, when i get to the rev limiter I just smash the shifter forward, then again, then again. It is way different than having to lift and shift.

One more point to how great of a shop ARD is, my B&M shifter broke the second day, no fault at all associated with ARD, it was just a bad mechanical part. Owen sent his driver and mechanic to Austin to pick up my car, brought it back to Houston and welded up inside of the shifter to make it better than it originally was. Then brought it back to me the day before I needed it for a Cruise in my honor (going away party cruise). I cannot express how genuine and caring this shop is.


The shifter pic does not show the LockUp button on the console, must not have been installed at the time of the pics, but there is also an intermediate LockUp button on the handle of the shifter
Oh, and I through in my Dyno sheet WITH the auto and Meth Injection.
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