If necessity is the mother of invention, as the cliché goes, then perhaps consumer demand is a favorite aunt. That was certainly the case with Jamie Passon of Passon Performance in Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania. During the more than 10 years when he specialized in Chrysler’s A833 four-speed transmissions, Passon kept getting requests for an overdrive gearset for the Hemi (18-spline) version of this trans. There was a time (before there were any viable overdrive transmissions) when a close-ratio four-speed with steep gears was the best way to get down the track in a hurry. If you wanted to go cruising, you either stayed close to town or just learned to live with 3,000-plus revs on the highway. Perhaps we’ve all matured some, or maybe we’ve just been spoiled by the overdrives in our daily drivers. But it seems that more and more owners still want the thrill of at least a semi-short gear but also want to be able to enjoy their cars on the open road, especially with the … [Read more...] about Passon A833 Transmission – A Four-Speed Overdrive for Hemis
It’s interesting to take an occasional look back at our hobby to consider all the changes that have taken place. Street rods have certainly evolved, and it’s probably safe to say the quality of the cars today is better than ever. There’s no denying they have become more civilized; most of the cars we feature have as many bells and whistles as any production car found in a dealer’s showroom. Amenities like automatic transmissions are considered by many to be standard street rod equipment. Speaking of automatic transmissions, some of us can remember when they first started showing up in rods. It seemed a little strange at first, but their performance potential, affordability, and ease of installation soon made them popular. And while all manner of automatics were used, when the three-speed Turbo 350 became widely available, it was immediately embraced as the transmission of choice by those with Chevy-powered rides. Who knows how many Powerglides were junked when … [Read more...] about Ford Automatic Overdrive Transmission – EZ OD For The 5.0 ’41
E-mail your tech questions to us at [email protected] (include the words “What’s Your Problem?” in the subject line) or fax them to 323/782-2223. All correspondence must be signed with the sender’s real name (not a nickname or a screen name) and include the sender’s hometown and state or province. While mail cannot be answered personally, Car Craft will publish as many letters and replies as space permits. Photos are welcome, but no materials will be returned. Aod A-Ok?I have an early Mustang with a small-block and a Holley carb, and a couple years ago I decided to replace the stock three-speed auto trans with a later-model AOD overdrive automatic. I had the trans (from an ’86 Mustang police car) freshened and then installed it. The overdrive was great, but the shift timing and quality were never what I’d hoped for. After a couple years, the trans began refusing to shift into overdrive. Everything seemed correct, so I pulled it and brought … [Read more...] about Overdrive -What’s Your Problem
Last month, we introduced you to Project Road Warrior, Courtney Barber’s 1965 Mustang hardtop. A veteran of many road rallies and tours over the last few years, Barber’s pony had been rode hard and put away wet enough times that it was ready for a complete overhaul, both cosmetically and mechanically. The first step, which we addressed last month, was the significant rust repair, panel replacement, and new paint to make the car visually nicer and physically more capable. Now it’s time to address the drivetrain. Courtney and the Mustang make up Team Mustang Girls (https://www.facebook.com/TeamMustangGirls), and one of the biggest problems they had on the rallies was keeping up with the other cars, specifically the exotics on Bullrun (which includes Lamborghinis, Porsches, and other high-dollar, speedy rides owned by the venture capital crowd) and the pro-built hot rods on the Goodguys Road Tour. Our Road Warrior’s carbureted 351W junkyard engine ran fine, but … [Read more...] about Installing Horsepower and Overdrive into 1965 Mustang Project Road Warrior
Street SweeperAt $4.27 per gallon for 91 octane premium unleaded, the price to fill up the 20-gallon tank in our ’68 Chevelle just climbed well over $80. Yikes! On top of that, the actual distance yielded by that gas with our 496-inch big-block and Turbo 400 trans was only about 150 miles. We’ll do the math for you: That’s about 7.5 miles per gallon. Something had to give, so we contacted the overdrive specialists at Gear Vendors. We’d heard good things about Gear Vendors overdrives from friends and readers. For one thing, we’d lose none of the strength of our bulletproof TCI Turbo 400 like we might if we switched to a 700-R4, 200-4R, or 4L60E. We’d need none of the complicated programming electronics like we would for a 4L80E or 4L60E. We wouldn’t need to break out the chopsaw for tunnel clearance either-only a slight massaging of the tunnel with a rubber mallet would be needed. Traditional overdrive automatics also hunt worse than Elmer … [Read more...] about 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS – Put It Into Overdrive!
Who knows what Chevrolet was thinking in 1953 when they introduced its new Corvette with the only transmission available being a cast iron 2-speed automatic famous for sluggish shifts? If equipped with the same 3-speed manual transmission found standard in 1953 passenger cars and pickups, the early Corvette, with its factory hopped-up 235-inch Blue Flame 6, could have been a peppy performer. With the exception of 70 V-8 powered 1955 Corvettes produced late in the year, the Corvette finally became available with a stick shift transmission in 1956. Sixty years later the Corvette continues to offer a choice between an automatic or manual transmission with the manual as standard equipment. Either option is a good choice; it just boils down to personal preferences. For the C7, the standard Corvette transmission is a Tremec TR-6070 7-speed manual transmission. This transmission includes Active Rev Matching, a feature that matches engine and vehicle speed for smooth, quick and precise down … [Read more...] about A Quick Look at the Corvette’s 7-Speed, Triple Overdrive Transmission
Mopar muscle car owners have been dealing with the same dilemma for decades: solving the gear ratio paradox. If you actually drive your Mopar muscle you know exactly what we are referring to. Let’s face it, these cars are about acceleration, and for that you need deep rear gears. How deep? Back in the day, 3.23 gears were considered a highway ratio. 3.54/3.55 ratios were performance gears, and anyone really serious would consider nothing less than something like 3.91/4.10/4.11 ratios. For the dragstrip, this muscle car gearing was perfection—four on the floor with a four-series rear gear, and you’re through the traps at redline in top gear. All of that is well and good, until you take things into the context of street driving in the present era. Sure, those low gears will help a classic Mopar accelerate like a Navy jet off a catapult, but at speed it’s like dragging the anchor. Go with the flow of interstate traffic at a high-speed cruise, say at 80 mph, even a … [Read more...] about The Ultimate Mopar A-833 4-Speed Fix: Get Overdrive & Strength!
One of the greatest innovations of the ’80s was the incorporation of overdrive into manual and automatic transmissions. Overdrive has been a terrific means to reduced wear, tear, and fuel consumption on the open road by reducing engine rpm. Overdrive-equipped automatic transmissions arrived as original equipment in new automobiles at the cusp of the ’80s as a means to improved fuel economy and lower emissions.As the ’80s passed enthusiasts began to wonder how to get this kind of efficiency into their classic cars and trucks. One by one transmission builders and aftermarket companies jumped on board with overdrive automatics and conversion kits.Converting to overdrive should be something of a package deal depending upon the type of classic truck you’re building. If you’re building a mainstream truck high on popularity numbers, transmission conversion packages and parts are available to facilitate your conversion. And when there isn’t, you will have to … [Read more...] about A Quick Reference Guide to Overdrive Automatic Transmissions and Parts
we've already driven the 2012 Mitsubishi i and shared both its vital statistics and our impressions, we thought you might appreciate a second opinion. The video series Green Overdrive offers just that. With Katie Fehrenbacher behind the wheel, the crew spent a day with the all-electric, putting it through the demands of life in San Francisco and recorded the results.The assessment includes information owners will likely be happy to learn. For instance, you can fit a bicycle in the back without removing the wheels. (Very handy.) Also, the diminutive four-door can easily handle the twisty descent of the iconic Lombard Street.Perhaps one of the more interesting, dare we say poignant, parts of the piece had to do with charging while on the go. Using the PlugShare app, they tracked down a place to boost the battery, but when they arrived, they frustratingly found that the available chargers didn't fit the 3-pronged plug they were equipped with. Had they been more successful, it's doubtful … [Read more...] about Green Overdrive tries the 2012 Mitsubishi i in San Francisco
Fast and Furious movie and thought to yourself, "Man, it would be so cool if I could race alongside Dom and Letty?" Well, Anki is adding a new starter kit to its Anki Overdrive remote-control racing line that will let you do just that. It's just on a smaller scale and without the massive property damage.In case you're unfamiliar with Anki Overdrive toys, imagine a cross between slot cars and Mario Kart. The starter kit comes with a variety of track pieces for the cars to race on, and the cars themselves are endowed with artificial intelligence (AI) that keeps them on the track. The cars can be controlled by a person via a free Anki Overdrive phone app, or driven by the on-board AI. This means that you can race friends and family, or race solo against the computer. The Mario Kart part comes in the form of various upgrades and weapons used to defeat opponents. However, they don't actually create explosions like the concept art below, they just temporarily affect the opponent car. The … [Read more...] about Relive The Fate of the Furious in your living room with Anki Overdrive’s remote-controlled cars