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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So,

I bought a JW Ultra Bell for my TH400 after suffering the aggravation of the CSR shield.
(POS)

Cut the front off the trans, got it mounted etc. The instructions sucked, but figured it out anyway.

Mentioned the install to my engine guy...and he asked questions that I tend to not think of as usual.

Like, "how do you know it's concentric to the crank and the pump?" Afterall it's a hotrod part.....

Of course I trust JW's machining. But otherwise .....doh...I dunno!

The deal is, it only locates on the pump bolts. Nothing else locates it to the trans.

So, has anyone here measured the concentricity to the crank? Are they ok?

The only locater to the trans is the pump bolts.

My guy asked good questions, and I'll attempt to measure this, but it's not a simple measurement for me.

He suggested getting it set up right, then doweling the pump to the Ultrabell.

If it's off, that would mean enlarging the holes that mount it to the pump. They are very tight as is.

So my question again is, has anyone else measured this?

One more thing, some TH400's have 6 bolt pumps, some have 8 bolt pumps. I think 8 bolts makes more sense....JW didn't mention this in their fine hand drawn instructions.....I will be adding the extra 2 bolts...

thanks,

Ron
 

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You are not the only one who finds it disturbing when you pay a lot for a 1st class product and get minimal instructions. This is my biggest compliant about hotrodding in general. Even the "Drinking Bird" comes with good instructions.

You need to find some way to indicate the housing for squareness and concentricity. Never having done that before, it sounds like it may be time consuming, at the least. I would start by indicating the housing bore with an indicator on the crankshaft to make sure the bore is in the right place using the engine dowels. And then the transmission mounting face for being 90* with the crank centerline. After that, I don't know how you will get the transmission in the center of the housing bore without looking at it myself. Good luck! Maybe take the front pump out and indicate the pump bore in the case and dowel that to the new housing.

Like I said, will take some time and patience.

I cut the front off a BOP, using a band saw to rough cut the bell, then chucked the entire transmission housing in a lathe to finish facing the trans front. I was curious to see if it would be easy to put the TH400 on a Lakewood housing. The answer was yes and no. The Chevy Lakewood needs a xmission hole about 1/2" bigger. Or some slots cut for the pump to fit into. It could be done. Another unfinished project.
 

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Ron, I Bought My Transmission Already Built With The J.w. Ultrabell Already Installed On It. It Is A T.h. 400. I Ran Into A Problem Trying To Run A Stock G.m. Starter That I Had Been Running Before Purchasing That Transmission. The Nose Of The Starter Hit The Bellhousing And I Had To Clearance The Bellhousing In That Area For It To Work. Also Had A Problem With The Flexplate Clearance To The Bellhousing. Just Some Problems I Encountered With This Setup. Hope You Won't Also. All Issues Are Resolved Now With It As I Run A Powermaster Mini Starter Now And My Bellhousing Has Been Clearanced For The Flexplate. Hope This Helps You Before You Have These Issues Too.
 

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Ron,
Just thinking quickly, the converter pilot should center in the crank itself, mine does. My initial thoughts are as long as this engauges ok, and the converter should still freely spin in the crank, it is centers. Better yet measure the converter pilot and crank and see what the clearance is to add into the equation.

I assume the UB has holes for the block dowels. If so, measure the hole size and dowel size. If everything is tight, you should be good IF the converter easily goes into the crank. If there is a bind, then no.

Finally, I'd post on DRR.

Call up J&W too!
 

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Ron I've done a few ultra bells and have one in my car. I never had any problem with them just going by the pump bolts. Does this mean it's right, no, but just letting you know it does work. Also about the flexplate I did see this problem in a friends car. He had a regular cheap sfi flexplate and it fit fine. When he tried to put a B+M flexplate it hit the bellhousing. Then he wound up with a Reactor flexplate, I think, and it fit fine. I have the cheap $60 flexplate in my car and both the one I had on the 509 cleared and the one on the 540 clears.
 

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here's an idea.

With an 8" converter, you can see the seal on the trans correct? do you think removing the seal and using an inside mic on both sides, and the bottom of the seal to converter snout would be accurate enough?

Or installing it with no converter and using a machinist block you could probably get a good idea of how far off it is, based on the input shaft.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the great replies guys.
Especially good to know about the starter clearance issue (I also run a stock starter) and the possible flywheel interference.

I'll bolt the bell housing to the engine tonight and check those things.

I can also put the empty trans case on and see what I can or can't indicate w/o the converter. At least at this point the assembly will be light weight.

I'm not sure if a mag base and dial indicator will even fit in there!

My engine guy always get's me checking things.....Drives me nuts, but he is a sharp guy and knows his stuff.

Ron
 

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Has it crossed your mind that he is devising pointless (unachieveable) tasks to keep you busy, either for entertainment value or stalling for time to attend to his responsibilities?

A good way to tell.......Does he open a beer, call a buddy, film and/or blow giggle bubbles out of his nose while you are attempting to complete these impromtu missions?

I would think that the pump bolts would provide a superior mounting index, compared to the original bellhousing as cast. Especially with the number of weekend warrior/low budget/beaters running around with heli-arc'd mounting ears. As long as enough housing is removed to provide that there is no "high" spots to cause the new housing not to "seat" in the location intended. I see no reason to question the squareness of the pumps machined bolt bosses (I'm reasoning that this is where the bellhousing surface would actually mate to the tranny), therefore, would, also, be entailed to believe that the engine mounting surface would likewise be within reason.

Of course, I too would insure that the converter has adequate, but not excessive freeplay; front to back, as well as, rotating. Unless an obvious issue is evident, I don't think that I'd go all dork on it. First do a test fit, I think that you can leave the protractor at home for the time being.

Some of the more questionable, MacGyver type repairs, far outperfomed/lasted the well thought out, checked twice and measured in triplicate endeavors of my past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Rowdy,

My guy, I'll call him Larry cause that's his name, is simply always wary of hotrod parts. So he likes to check things. I'm sure his exprience here is from aftermarket bellhousings for stick shift stuff. He runs a stock car, and he just wants to know things are correct.

The question here is about the concentricity of the pump to the crank. In other words the two better line up.

I gather from DRR, that no one has had an issue, and thet the JW part is machined correctly.

I will say that the bolt holes to the pump line up dead nuts, and are indexed very tightly.

If the bellhousing was machined on a CNC mill, with the block dowels as the reference, I'm sure it's correct. Still room for error though.

Like I said, I'll bolt the bell housing up tonight and see if I can even make a meaningful measurement. If I can't, oh well.

Ron
 

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The fellow who builds my trans and other super stock, street, comp ect.. advised me to make a CSR fit. Due to the alignment issues, and the PITA to align, and the fact you still need a blanket. So your being critical is necessary.

As rowdy mentioned the converter maybe most of the concern insuring it doesn't wipe out the pump ot thrust. Does the pump now become closer to the crank, will the converter be moved forward any with the new bell?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The fellow who builds my trans and other super stock, street, comp ect.. advised me to make a CSR fit. Due to the alignment issues, and the PITA to align, and the fact you still need a blanket. So your being critical is necessary.

As rowdy mentioned the converter maybe most of the concern insuring it doesn't wipe out the pump ot thrust. Does the pump now become closer to the crank, will the converter be moved forward any with the new bell?
I can't imagine that the relative position of the pump to the crank flange would be different than stock......that would not be smart.

I can install the converter to check as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If it installs between the pump and case something has changed correct? IMO the converter pilot and flywheel pads would need reduced
It installs on the outside of the pump. If it were to change the distance from the pump to the crank, that would require a custom converter. Doesn't make sense.

Why are you using the ultrabell? Was your stock case cracked or damaged?

If not, the CSI Supershield would have been a whole lot simpler install. I wouldn't use anything else.
I chose it because I wanted to?
Is that a fair answer?

Ron
 

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yep. "A man and his money are soon parted" or something like that. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yep. "A man and his money are soon parted" or something like that. :)
The UltraBell is $219. The CSR full shield is $299. The CSR half shield is $149.
I already have a blanket.....

Custom power transformers for tube amps are $275.....and working nicely BTW.....

Ron
 

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Wow, they hit you $275 for those things? Must be some pretty froggy iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bolted the Ultrabell to the engine.
No starter clearance issues with either the starter (stock) or the flywheel.
In fact, it bolted up nicely. Thanks for mentioning this Laughing Rat!

Put it back on the trans, and mounted the converter....no problems there either. Made the measurements to the flywheel location, typical as expected.
It would be STUPID if JW changed this dimension. STUPID!

I asked if anyone had concentricity issues....

Ron
 
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