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What happened to the seat of the pants power?

This is a discussion on What happened to the seat of the pants power? within the Automatic Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Today I was merging into traffic on the highway and needed to get on it. I hammered it and the ...

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    What happened to the seat of the pants power?

    Today I was merging into traffic on the highway and needed to get on it. I hammered it and the RPMs shot up as you would expect from it (3200 stall converter).... but there was really not much by way of power. I have had the ECU tuned too. Everything else is bone stock.

    So what I'm saying is - it's slower than it used to be. I used to think that my `79 Firebird 400 was possibly slower than the TA, but now I'm sure that the Firebird would destroy the TA. Any thought's?

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    BLKHWK Durango's Avatar
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    Did you just get the stall installed

    I just installed a Yank SS3200 and at 60mph when I floor it it feels slower because of the looseness of the converter I was told it felt faster and had more of a kick with the stock converter I raced a buddy of mine when I didn't have the converter in it now I want to try with the converter at the same speed and something tells me it's slower I'll let u know

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Sounds consistent with my situation, Durrango.

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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    I never had the issue with my 3500 TCI and 2.73's. But I wonder if the converter or transmission is starting to slip? I know when merging or getting into traffic with the 3500 the front would raise and the back would squat. Durango your issues still makes me wonder. I will say the 3500 here was a little loose at low rpms. But if I was far enough up in the rpms or hit the throttle hard it would put me in the seat some. Now that its a 4000 lolol... While it does take it a second to flash once flashed it put's you back in the seat hard. I enjoy taking people who have never been in car with a big converter for a ride. I tend to show the power getting on the highway with no traffic around. The look on the faces and the comments.. How long have you had the converter in 79Firebird_99TA? And I do see that you have it tuned.

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    BLKHWK Durango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z28Thunder View Post
    I never had the issue with my 3500 TCI and 2.73's. But I wonder if the converter or transmission is starting to slip? I know when merging or getting into traffic with the 3500 the front would raise and the back would squat. Durango your issues still makes me wonder. I will say the 3500 here was a little loose at low rpms. But if I was far enough up in the rpms or hit the throttle hard it would put me in the seat some. Now that its a 4000 lolol... While it does take it a second to flash once flashed it put's you back in the seat hard. I enjoy taking people who have never been in car with a big converter for a ride. I tend to show the power getting on the highway with no traffic around. The look on the faces and the comments.. How long have you had the converter in 79Firebird_99TA? And I do see that you have it tuned.
    Actually my car is a 2000 now I bought a new one with 34000 miles and I've only had the converter in for 2 weeks put about 500 miles on the car and it was tuned by Frost At 30mph it's great but at highway speeds it felt to launch a lot harder with the stock TC my buddies thought the same when I took them for a drive I'll let u know Friday I'm suppose to race a guy that I raced the day Before the converter install and I want to have him again from a 60mph roll we will see but it feels slower hgw speeds for sure

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z28Thunder View Post
    How long have you had the converter in 79Firebird_99TA? And I do see that you have it tuned.
    It's been about a month, Z28Thunder.

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    I will say that it's really a blast to drive around town. The shift points are dead on and lockup seems fine. It's really when I NEED it to move out and I'm at around 60 ... that it feels like it's falling on it's face.

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    BLKHWK Durango's Avatar
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    My car is slower with the converter

    It's conformed I just raced my buddy from 60mph to 110mph last time I had him by 4 lenghts and now we are side by side I at 80mph I pulled him by 1/3 of a lenght but it's definetely slower :-(((( I'm thinking of taking it out and just going back to stock..... We did try 4 or 5 times and I am really really disapointed

    Before the converter my buddies would look at me when it shiftede at 50mph area and now they look at me and say it doesn't hit as hard as it did before the converter what a freaking pitty to throw money out the window when I saved up for a a few years to get my car ready :-(
    Last edited by Durango; 04-22-2011 at 01:03 PM.

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    Just me Y2KPewterSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79Firebird_99TA View Post
    Today I was merging into traffic on the highway and needed to get on it. I hammered it and the RPMs shot up as you would expect from it (3200 stall converter).... but there was really not much by way of power. I have had the ECU tuned too. Everything else is bone stock.

    So what I'm saying is - it's slower than it used to be. I used to think that my `79 Firebird 400 was possibly slower than the TA, but now I'm sure that the Firebird would destroy the TA. Any thought's?
    It could be that you are having tranny problems, but you also got to remember, aftermarket convertors rob automatics of more HP, 20 or so. Add some more mods, headers and LS6 intake, get it retune and you will LOVE your stall.

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y2KPewterSS View Post
    It could be that you are having tranny problems, but you also got to remember, aftermarket convertors rob automatics of more HP, 20 or so. Add some more mods, headers and LS6 intake, get it retune and you will LOVE your stall.
    Well I hope it's not tranny problems. I will say that that makes sense about the power loss. It feels like a sub-300 HP car. For now, it is what it is .... it's my DD so I just have to live with it. I've got 2 other cars in my shop that wants some money ....

    At least it's not a chevette or Pinto trying to merge onto the highway from a stop.

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    BLKHWK Durango's Avatar
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    Just to keep u updated

    My mechanic checked everything over and tghe clutches in my converter are slipping I am checking with my tuner guy and he will change the tune to 100% lock up and PWM off " pulse width modulation" (It lets the tranny or clutches slip a little when changing gears or downshifting so it slips in gear nicely)It sometimes slips too much, if that doesn't help I need to change the converter :-)

    Check with your tune to make sure it's not the tuning that makes your converter slip!

    Good luck

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Drive it like a Chevette

    Quote Originally Posted by Durango View Post
    My mechanic checked everything over and tghe clutches in my converter are slipping I am checking with my tuner guy and he will change the tune to 100% lock up and PWM off " pulse width modulation" (It lets the tranny or clutches slip a little when changing gears or downshifting so it slips in gear nicely)It sometimes slips too much, if that doesn't help I need to change the converter :-)

    Check with your tune to make sure it's not the tuning that makes your converter slip!

    Good luck
    Yesterday I had to drive the car 150 miles... the last 75 miles were on the highway and at 72 mph, my rpms would climbs to 3k at certain points. I also had to get on it to pass through a yellow light and my rpms climbed to 4k with very little acceleration. Fluid is full and firm shifts are gone too. The only thing that I can think of is that the fluid is overheating. I don't have the external cooler installed yet. I have to drive it as though it's a chevette because it could be dangerous expecting something that it can't do anymore.

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Sorry for the rant ..... sigh... I was clearly frustrated.

    Has anyone seen this kind of behavior when transmission fluid is overheating?

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    BLKHWK Durango's Avatar
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    Soumds like a bad tranny

    Quote Originally Posted by 79Firebird_99TA View Post
    Sorry for the rant ..... sigh... I was clearly frustrated.

    Has anyone seen this kind of behavior when transmission fluid is overheating?
    It sounds like the tranny wasn't built right it's slipping clutches Do you have a warranty on it That is completely wrong I', thinking of going back to stock myself

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durango View Post
    It sounds like the tranny wasn't built right it's slipping clutches Do you have a warranty on it That is completely wrong I', thinking of going back to stock myself
    hmmm ..... I guess we'll see. The guy that built the tranny came very highly recommended with really good ratings on ebay; he also specializes in those transmissions. I guess if the clutches are burn it's my own fault for not getting the cooler in there sooner. It's not been that hot ... so I wasn't overly worried about it.

    I installed the B&M cooler today and took it for a test drive and it was fine. I will be driving it to work tomorrow so we'll see how that goes.

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    BLKHWK Durango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79Firebird_99TA View Post
    hmmm ..... I guess we'll see. The guy that built the tranny came very highly recommended with really good ratings on ebay; he also specializes in those transmissions. I guess if the clutches are burn it's my own fault for not getting the cooler in there sooner. It's not been that hot ... so I wasn't overly worried about it.

    I installed the B&M cooler today and took it for a test drive and it was fine. I will be driving it to work tomorrow so we'll see how that goes.
    I don't think the tranny will heat up unless your hot laping or sitting in traffic at 30 degree's or more Don't be so hard on yourself sometimes they just make mistakes building them we are human after all and surely not perfect

    In my case it will cost me $500 to fix someone eleses mistake so that is a bitch But I have to figure out if I will put in the new converter or just sell it and go back to stock!!!!!!! I'm 1/2 a second slower if not more :-((((

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Well you may be on to something, Durango. I drove it to work today and I had good firm shifts and operation for 15 miles then the shifts (particularly 1-2) got soft. This afternoon driving home things started slipping and I barely made it off the highway. The rest of the way home it wouldn't even shift out of 2nd gear. I was at 3k at 40mph. The shifter was in 3rd and if I downshifted to 2nd it made no difference. Also when I let off at 3k it didn't rev down - it dropped to 800rpm. Then when accelerating again it would pick right back up at the high rpms.

    I checked the fluid once home and it's burnt and dark. I'm really not sure what I'm going to do at this point. I really don't know if it's the torque converter or transmission.

    Should I get the transmission flushed of all fluid and go from there ... or just tear it down?

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    BLKHWK Durango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79Firebird_99TA View Post
    Well you may be on to something, Durango. I drove it to work today and I had good firm shifts and operation for 15 miles then the shifts (particularly 1-2) got soft. This afternoon driving home things started slipping and I barely made it off the highway. The rest of the way home it wouldn't even shift out of 2nd gear. I was at 3k at 40mph. The shifter was in 3rd and if I downshifted to 2nd it made no difference. Also when I let off at 3k it didn't rev down - it dropped to 800rpm. Then when accelerating again it would pick right back up at the high rpms.

    I checked the fluid once home and it's burnt and dark. I'm really not sure what I'm going to do at this point. I really don't know if it's the torque converter or transmission.

    Should I get the transmission flushed of all fluid and go from there ... or just tear it down?
    I would say the tranny at this point for sure changing the tranny fluid MIGHT help but I would say bring the car to the tranny guy

    Good luck

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    It also appears that the transmission shop that is located on the east coast of maryland is out of business too..... so much for the 36 month warranty.

    This whole affair has been a nightmare. I think I'm going to scrap the stall converter and transmission and just go with a performabuilt level 2 with 2500 stall. I'll put it in so that I know that it's right. It's only taken me 2 days of driving a `99 Suburban to realize how much I love my TA.

    BTW - My 2 other cars are out of commision due to the `79 being in the body shop for paint and so yesterday I drove my `75 Vette to work ( or at least I tried.) I felt something holding me back as I was cruising on the highway. I then heard a loud BOOM and a fireball shot out the back of the car. I pulled it over and the caliper was fire!! Luckily I had a bottled water - which saved the Vette. The rotor was cherry RED.

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Vigilante 2500 and RPM level 4 tranny ordered.

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