First off, I fully accept my own guilt for this me$$
. The ray of sunshine is that I'll share my experience for future 700R4 Transmission buyers and hope they don't make the same mistakes that I did.
I purchased a 700R4 Transmission from a nationally known manufacturer of "high performance" transmissions as part of a complete kit. The Transmission was pricy, but I figured the extra cost was well worth it to get a bullet-proof Transmission -- a selling point was the "constant pressure Valve Body
." Once I received and unpacked the kit I immediately regretted getting a kit simply because the transmission fluid cooling kit was very
cheaply constructed -- I could have easily found a better cooling kit for less $$$ (also, the Transmission came in a cardboard box strapped onto a broken shipping pallet). I had the Transmission kit installed by a local transmission shop. All was well. Once my 'Bu was home I designed, built, and installed a better electrical harness for the Torque Converter lockup unit. I believed I had properly seated the plug-in for the harness to the Transmission. In fact I had screwed up and the plug eventually came unplugged. By the time I realized there was a problem (i.e. Why is the Torque Converter not locking up?) it was too late; the Torque Converter had started "making metal" shavings.
, my screw up would not have been covered by the manufacturer's warranty. However, I learned
that the best time to figure out the manufacturer's warranty is before you buy the Transmission, not when it's broken. The warranty from the "major" manufacturer where I got my Transmission requires the Transmission to be shipped back to them for evaluation -- you remove it from your car, you crate it up, and you get it freight shipped. IF the Transmission is replaced (assuming the manufacturer stands behind the warranty) the manufacturer would freight ship it back to you COLLECT
-- at which time you'd have to reinstall it. I feel that this sort of warranty is pretty much useless
to the average buyer.
Thankfully, I located a local transmission repair shop with a decent reputation and one that actually builds a lot of extreme duty transmissions (they were difficult to find because they do zero advertising of this facet of their business -- I had to ask around in the local collector car community).
HERE'S where my story get's "frightening"
: The shop tore down my Transmission (remember: I'd bought this particular Transmission because it was supposed to be high performance/heavy duty, street fightin' etc.). There was exactly one "high performance" part in the entire Transmission
and it wasn't even the pump. Stated another way: the High Performance Transmission I got from a nationally known manufacturer was virtually STOCK
. Just as disappointing, the machine work done on the Transmission was really poor quality -- even I know that there aren't supposed to be big scratches on machined surfaces. I really feel bad because I'd suggested this brand to friends... in the past
: Deal with a LOCAL transmission builder, that way should the Transmission fail you can have you car towed to the builder's shop. Additionally, make sure the builder is experienced with high performance/extreme duty applications, and fully explain to the builder how you intend to use the Transmission so the builder can install the appropriate heavy duty parts.