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FLT or Extreme Automatics?

This is a discussion on FLT or Extreme Automatics? within the Automatic Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Trying to decide if I should get a built 4l60e now or wait. So I'll have a 396 LS6 with ...

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    FLT or Extreme Automatics?

    Trying to decide if I should get a built 4l60e now or wait. So I'll have a 396 LS6 with heads and cam on e85 with 14.1:1 compression through a FAST 102 and I am thinking my 4l60e will blow but I am unsure of my power levels are. If you were in my boat what would you do. Ride the 4l60e for a little while (since I am not sure if down the road I may want to switch to a t56) or get a built unit now and sell it later? If I get a built unit I am between FLT stage 4 or Extreme Automatics stage 2 (good to 700hp supposedly). On ls1tech these two both seem to be good choices. Anyone have experience with either company? Also anyone know what the FLT stage 4 is good to?

    I am thinking I should get the transmission built and sell it later (years down the road) if I decide to go manual since I would hate to break it on the dyno with my Vigilante stall.
    1998 Trans Am WS6 - Phantom
    421 CI LQ9, Tick Performance Custom Cam, TFS 255cc LS3 heads, Kooks 2" LT headers, Kooks 3" True Duals w/ high flow cats, FTP 104 lid, Speed Density Tune, 4" silicon tube, LS6 VCT, FAST 102 Intake, NW 102 TB, Oil Catch Can, SLP Bilstein Shocks w/ Vogtland Springs, CTS-V 4-piston Calipers w/C6 Z06 rotors, Stainless Steel Brake Lines, R1 concepts premium rotors, Hawk HP+ brake pads, VFN WSQ Hood, C5-R timing chain, SLP oil pump, E85 tune, Walbro 450 fuel pump, Deatschwerkz 95# injectors, Breathless performance headlights, Frost Tune, !HVAC.
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    Member Dzel's Avatar
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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    FLT told me for my setup their stage 4 would be perfect. I am awaiting what the total price shipped would be.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Having a T56 makes choices like this much simpler

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Except that he'll have to stick just as much money in the T56 to make it stout enough to live behind the abuse he is going to dish out, so either way it's a money pile.

    Frankly if his heart is set on a T56 in the future I wouldn't even stick a dime in the auto, because he's going to be spending $3,000 all over again.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    OP, if it makes you feel better, I doubt you'll have any issues on the dyno. That's actually fairly easy on the car with a few simple high gear pulls.

    It's the street and track abuse that will put the most strain on the tranny. If it's going to break that's where you'll find out.

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    Senior Member cpop98ws6's Avatar
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    4l60e 700r4 4l80e performance gm transmission performabuilt

    I have the level 2, It only has about 600 miles on it so far but those miles are hard. It has about 10 track passes on it running 11.0 with 1.49 60fts. It drives nice on the street, much better than my last built trans.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Yea, I have about $1500 wrapped up in my T56. It's been taking the abuse like a champ though lol.
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    It's on jackstands.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Have you really been giving it the abuse it's capable of though? That's the question. A 4th gen with 500 RWHP should be running high 10's at around 125 MPH. To do that would require a suspension/rearend setup to take the 4-5,000 rpm clutch dumps and power shifting like Ronnie Sox

    If it hasn't seen that then that trans hasn't really been pushed hard. Very few stick cars are driven to potential and even fewer owners capable. Even a rebuilt T56 won't stand that abuse for long. It needs alot of upgrades.

    I at least hope you put the larger output shaft setup in that thing, because the tooth pick output shaft the T56 comes with usually snaps with a few good 60 foot launches.

    A T56 setup for abuse can easily be $1500-$2000 or more, then a good clutch and hydraulic setup is another $700-$1,000 or more. Then you really need a good driveshaft to go with it, because the stock aluminum will twist like a prezel with the shock load a manual trans puts on it. It's just a domino affect. Stick cars are very expensive to set up properly and reliably under higher HP applications.

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    It has seen high rpm dumps, but I haven't had a set of worthy tires that hook doing that until now so it will be tested some more this year. It's mostly a street car and just sees high rpm shifting so I'm not too overly concerned about it. I already have the clutch, rear and driveshaft taken care of (I hope lol). I do need a MC though as I've noticed trying to shift hard around 6300 into 3rd the clutch feels like it isn't disengaging properly now that I have more torque.

    I'd be very happy being a 10 sec club member, but until I get that addressed she'll likely be 11's....which I'm still happy with for a street car/garage queen lol.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    It has seen high rpm dumps, but I haven't had a set of worthy tires that hook doing that until now so it will be tested some more this year. It's mostly a street car and just sees high rpm shifting so I'm not too overly concerned about it. I already have the clutch, rear and driveshaft taken care of (I hope lol). I do need a MC though as I've noticed trying to shift hard around 6300 into 3rd the clutch feels like it isn't disengaging properly now that I have more torque.

    I'd be very happy being a 10 sec club member, but until I get that addressed she'll likely be 11's....which I'm still happy with for a street car/garage queen lol.
    Yeah these hydraulic clutches are so finicky. I've done the adjustable master on mine, modified the line, and everything else is new, yet I notice if I get aggressive with it, it's fine for about 2 passes, then that clutch fluid gets hot and it won't shift to save my life if you are aggressive (shifts fine slowly). If I let the car sit in the pits for 45 minutes it's fine for hammering gears for another 1 or 2 passes before it happens again. The fluid just gets hot and won't disengage the clutch, comes out of gear but won't go into the next one. Frustrating piece of garbage.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Damn last time I checked almost no one replied lol. The trans could probably use a rebuild however since some idiot messed up something. When I would switch gears from reverse to drive or vice versa it would jerk but otherwise drive fine once I get going. Although in reverse it would be jerks while backing up now that I think about it. Well if it would be fine on a dyno then I'll do nothing except maybe a minor rebuild to fix my issues.
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 03-19-2014 at 02:15 PM.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Ah well you neglected to mention it was having issues already, lol. If it's doing something goofy then I'd do something about it before it goes back in the car. Whether that be a full tilt rebuild or going with a different trans all together, now's the time to do it once and be done with it.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Ah well you neglected to mention it was having issues already, lol. If it's doing something goofy then I'd do something about it before it goes back in the car. Whether that be a full tilt rebuild or going with a different trans all together, now's the time to do it once and be done with it.
    The dilemma I am having is I am not sure what trans I want to run but I am thinking a manual but the swap is pricey mainly due to the fact I can't find a t56 under 1k and most want 1500 or more for them used. At the same time I don't want to pour money into my 4l60e if I am not going to keep it. I don't know when I'll have the chance to swap to a manual but I can't right now and I don't want my 4l60e to blow up on me. I have found some kits that should hold my power if installed properly for between $500+ but I would have to pay someone to rebuild it for me as I don't have the tools so I am between a performance rebuild or a stock level rebuild at this juncture.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Ridiculous money for a used T56 since you'll have to spend another $2,000 rebuilding it. May as well buy a new magnum trans at that point.
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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Ridiculous money for a used T56 since you'll have to spend another $2,000 rebuilding it. May as well buy a new magnum trans at that point.
    Which is why I haven't done the swap yet lol. I might as well buy a TR6060 instead huh, once I have the funds to do so anyways.

  17. #17
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    Which is why I haven't done the swap yet lol. I might as well buy a TR6060 instead huh, once I have the funds to do so anyways.
    Well that's how I approach things. Personally, I'm not going to pay $1500 for a used T56, knowing it's going to cost at least another $1500 to rebuild. I don't care how much the owner says it's a perfect working trans, there's a reason he's selling it and if it aint a divorce from the other half then 9 times out of 10 something is wrong with it. At that point you can buy a brand new version, rated at more torque capacity and with a warranty to boot. That's a no brainer if you ask me.
    In my opinion a used T56 is a $500 trans at the most, because of the fact that a complete rebuild with proper upgrades is expensive for these things. Just no way around it. I always expect right off the bat that any used transmission is going to be rebuilt before it goes into anything I own. I don't like doing this crap twice.

    I've been through this with muncies for years. They are easy to inspect, just spend a minute to remove the side cover, you can see how worn the sincro's are, what kind of shape the gears are on both the main shaft and cluster, etc..and you know what you're getting. You don't have that luxury with a T56, they just don't crack open in seconds.
    Used to be able to buy muncies for $100-$150, and a rebuild kit was about $200 if you didn't need hard parts. It was affordable to do. Now you go to swap meets and see used muncies for $1,000-$1,500 just because it has a desirable casting number. Now everybody wants at least $750 or for any muncie, even the less desirable versions. Ridiculous for the hot rodder that just wants a transmission. That's why I keep what I have and don't care to buy anymore unless they get more reasonable. Plus the fact that you can still buy a brand new Super T-10 from Richmond (took over muncie after 1974) from any retailer in any gear ratio you want for $1200, so why buy a used one for $1,500??
    I view a T56 the same way, there is nothing special about casting numbers on them, no one cares about that with a trans like this. It's the retro swap guys that have driven the price up on these things to a point that they are overpriced when you look at it from a practical sense that I explained above. May as well go buy a new one.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Yeah I refuse to pay that much for a used T56 especially since I can pretty much get a built automatic for that price lol. I think I am going to do a stock rebuild on my 4l60e and start piecing together everything I need for a T56 swap and once I have everything I'll swap it all over.
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 03-20-2014 at 06:11 AM.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    And just to add a little more babbling,

    That whole thing I explained above is kind of sad really because it's getting to the point that no one wants to rebuild anything anymore when the used pieces to start with are overpriced to the point that buying a new one makes more sense. That drives the parts suppliers out of business. The used parts need to be more affordable in that sense to keep the market turning.

    Case in point, I had an alternator for a vette I had to rebuild, very simple process, just brushes/diodes/bearings and takes about 30 minutes of your time. The comment I got from the parts counter was "no one rebuilds those anymore they just buy new ones"...... Oh really? I just laughed. Have people gotten to the point that they don't want to spend $15 on a rebuild kit and would rather buy a $40 alternator?? I think it has more to do with people that have lost the knowledge of how to do things like this. So most parts stores aren't carrying the kits/parts/pieces anymore.
    Anyway, I got the kit from another source, blasted the casing halves, rebuilt the thing and it looks like new and will work as such for another 45 years. This was a case where the date code mattered and even the housings are cast differently than the china rebuilt aftermarket alternators you get in the store, you can spot them a mile away.
    I run into the same thing with cast iron nose starters. Can't buy them anymore so I rebuild what I have. Parts stores want to sell you a new casting made with cheaper aluminum noses. Some of the aftermarket resotration suppliers have caught onto this and are now offering this odd shaped alternator housings and cast iron starters, but you pay for it I'll just keep sourcing the rebuild kits.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 03-20-2014 at 06:18 AM.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Where are your alternators $40? Mine are like $140 lol. I think most do it because they are lazy as well and don't want to spend the time on it to rebuild them.

    Too bad a Corvette t56 won't work, I found one starting at $100 lol.

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