Well, 9 months later and she's back on the road!
The Circle D converter has better low RPM creep than the DD converter but loosens up when you get on it so it feels like it's about the same stall (supposedly 3400-3600). Lockup is much improved; I have my tune set up to lock the converter more or less immediately after the 1-2 shift (to keep noise/attention to a minimum and also to help a bit with economy) around town and before, the application of the clutch would sometimes do what I wanted (quick but not jarring application) and sometimes slam like I was at WOT, shaking the whole drive train and car along with it. In my time on the roads this afternoon, consistently a smooth application - just how I wanted it.
Trans shifts are very precise. Quick and uneventful, no loud "clank" sounds like the old one made when shifting. I haven't beaten on it yet but my first impressions are very good so far. I'm tentatively planning to take it out for an "extended" drive tomorrow (I'm taking it to work and tomorrow I'm heading to Huron, which is about 35 miles at 75 MPH) to see how it behaves on the open road.
I asked Darrin for a brief breakdown of the details of what the build consisted of (e.g. which parts from which year trans, valve body/spring setup etc.) which I imagine I'll be getting when he does the teardown of the old one. He and I both expect it to be the stock 97 trans; I figure DD might've slapped a different valve body on it but the internals... not counting on anything but stock 97 hardware there. For posterity (and kicks!) here's what I was told I would be getting... and I now see how he was masking his true intentions by virtually begging me to let him install his hackjob so I wouldn't catch on right away!
Originally Posted by DD
Ford Mustang 4.6L,AT 72,554 A P07328 $500 Stricker Auto Parts USA-OH(Batavia) Request_Quote 1-800-582-5405 Request_Insurance_Quote
Call and order that unit, go to ext 137 the guys name is hap, if you can have someone out of state order for you you won't have to pay tax. To get out of paying a core tell him who is coming to get it and it is a builder, that relieves them of all warranty and makes it worth them to not get a core back. They are 3 miles from me I can pick it up, take it apart and inspect it all, switch a 7 tooth output shaft into it with solid sealing rings, upgrade the direct to 7 friction, change the overdrive band to high energy, weld the snap ring on the reverse drum, install a sonnax overdrive servo pin, and a sonnax pressure regulator valve, mod the valvebody and put a new filter on it. You'll have roughly $350-$400 in parts and labor and it will handle 400hp with ease, by other peoples standards that would be an 800hp transmission. Bring your old transmission I will get the lever, extension housing and output shaft from it. I have a set I can use to have the unit ready to go when you get here. The 11 inch converter you have is 2400 stall or higher. 3000 is a very mild improvement and will cost you the same as a 3500 because we have to go to a 10 inch to get there. other choices to make are to use a cast aluminum pan or not and a lube mod or not. You should really consider having me install the unit. I can do the job in a few hours and knwo all the tricks to make it right. The cooler lines are really what makes me say that as it isn't a big deal to me to upgrade the lines to 3/8, doing it yourself would be a very difficult thing, if it needs a rear main seal or even a pinion seal I can do that while I have it on the lift without much additional labor. I run into a bunch of people who want to save a little by installing the transmission themself, it really isn't worth it to most people because the cooler lines are muich easier to upgrade while the transmission is out, the cooler lines on salt belt cars are usually dangerous, both of mine were. To me the transmission install is simple, to a guy on his back in the driveway it is a complete challenege. My wife has watched me remove one in 15 minutes, that is no lie. I had the car ready to go racing after doing a converter swap in less than an hour. Granted my back was much better then and the car had been apart recently. If I have the car here for the entire job I can guarantee you will nto have any problems. When you go do it in your driveway I just wait to see what tiny little thing is going to become a huge nightmare. I shipped a transmission back here from florida because the owner didn't replace his broken off vss. the little stuff that makes carry in transmissions a big ordeal. I do them all the time but if bringing the car here is at all possible I highly suggest it, you will be time and money ahead.
Darrin gets props for another job well done on this one. Pleased with his attitude, knowledge, attention to my needs, professionalism and candor, and product.