Volume IX, Issue 12, Page 28

Project Muscrate… another year gone!

Hi everyone and welcome back! Wow! I thought I had it bad last month weather-wise. Today it is 7 stinking degrees above zero and I’m longing for the 20’s of last month! Yes, I’m one of “those people” that is rarely ever happy with the weather. I hate it when it’s this cold and I hate it mid-summer when it’s 95 and humid! Give me 72 degrees, 30% humidity, a high barometer, and a tail wind and I’m a happy man! Do I sound like a racer?

Man, I cannot believe it’s already December and Christmas is only a few weeks away. This will be a special Christmas for my family and I because it will be our 9-month-old boy Michael’s first Christmas.

Well, let’s get to work! In the last article I built a C-4 transmission using components exclusively from TCI Automotive. The trans worked great and I finally get to use a transmission brake! I forgot to mention, though, that I also had TCI build me a torque converter. What I did was send in one of my old 8-inch Stock Eliminator units and had TCI give it the once over. I had thought I remembered it having some “issues” when I took it out, but I couldn’t remember what exactly. As it turned out I probably should have just got a brand new everything because it was junk. It was not, I repeat not, a cheap converter either. I always went pretty fast with that brand but I also ruined four converters in 10 years with no more than 500 hp. Not sure why.

TCI basically re-used the billet rear plate over again and installed everything else new. I gave them the normal information for building a true custom-built converter including, but not limited to, car weight, max torque and cubic inch, gear ratio, trans brake or no, etc. and asked for a “flash stall” off the converter of 5800 rpm. As it turned out they came pretty close for the first try and nearest I can tell it was flashing to around 5500 rpm on launch. I need to say though that I honestly didn’t pay as much attention to the flash as I intended. Those huge wheelies tend to occupy ones’ concentration!

The converter seems to work real well as evidenced by the low 1.30 sixty-foots and the 134-mph passes. Next year will bring some more testing and my plans right now will really put a converter to the test! More on that later.

This is the TCI Outlaw shifter and the optional handle mounted button. Two fasteners are removed and replaced and you are set.

I also installed what for me has been the absolute coolest and best working shifter I’ve ever used. The TCI “Outlaw” 3-speed gated shifter with cover (#616331). This is a forward shift pattern from TCI so I also ordered a reverse pattern gate plate (#618013) to work with the trans brake shift pattern. It is a good idea in my opinion to use a reverse pattern because you are always shifting away from reverse during the run.

Another cool touch is the replacement grip with a built-in button for use with a line lock or whatever you decide to use it for (#618008). The grip and button assembly simply replace the existing cover fastened with two screws and the wires for the button get neatly routed down the shifter handle for a really clean installation. The shifter installed easy and the “pistol” grip handle is reminiscent of the old Mopar-style manual trans shifter in the “muscle car” days. It also comes with a heavy duty cable and all the required mounts and fasteners. Best part is it works great and looks bad ass!

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