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Discussion Starter #1
I've always been a hard gear type but I've been toying with the idea of putting the TH400 back in my in my Willys wagon. Everyone tells me that a manual valvebody would be the trick way to go for a street beater/mild off-roader.

Now, can somebody please give me a basic breakdown of what a manual valvebody will do for me and maybe throw in a little school on converter stall speed.
 

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Biggest advantage of a manual valve body is it gives you more control over the tranny. What ever gear you put it into it will not shift, no matter what the speed. Kinda sucks when you forget to shift and try to take off in 3rd gear. <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0">
 

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IH/Rover Moderator
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From what I have been told there are two types. There is a street and a drag type. The drag type gives you no compression braking. The reason is if your motor blows you can coast across the finish line and it helps keep the car under control when using a parachute.

They make it a little harder to enjoy a <IMG SRC="smilies/beer.gif" border="0"> on the trail. <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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Broke Bastard
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Is the kickdown still needed? or is it useless with a manual valve body?
 

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In the straight manual, you wouldn't need the kickdown. In the manual/automatic it will still cycle through the gears when in 3rd/drive and kickdown. Another advantage to the manual, if your spinning your tires in first because of slick conditions, say ice, putting it in second, and stating from there, will a lot of times lower the torque to the tires enough to let you gain traction.

[ 09-08-2001: Message edited by: BrianR ]
 

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there are shift kits that hold first and second but still use drive so you can ba lazy alot of the time still
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, next question. Who makes the best?
 

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I had good luck with a TCI valve body in my race car, but that was 10 years ago. Still use their tranny re-build kits with good results.
 

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1962 YellowSubmarine
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Originally posted by BrianR:
<STRONG>In the straight manual, you wouldn't need the kickdown. In the manual/automatic it will still cycle through the gears when in 3rd/drive and kickdown. </STRONG>
<font color="yellow">
This is correct, but also GM trannys are like this from the factory. Once you add a shift kit, you can hold first and second gear and it won't shift. In 3rd (drive) it will cycle through the gears everytime you stop. this is great for on the street. I've run 3 TH350s and my TH700 all with good shift kits and a standard automatic valve body. I personally will not go to a manual valve body ever on a GM tranny. I watched guys wheel with them, and they are a pain in the a$$, far outweighng the benefits in my opinion. There's no need for one, with the shift kit the tranny won't shift out of first gear if its in first, and won't go past second unless its in 3rd (drive). Just get a good ratchet type shifter (I've always run B&M, but hurst's shifters seem to hold up well in a few trucks I wheel with). A ratchet shifter will allow you to hold first gear, then "hit" the shifter forward to get second, then hit it again for 3rd. OR you can just put it in drive and not worry about anything. OR you can pull it into 1st and leave it there. OR you can put it in 2nd and it will only go as high as 2nd, but will start in 1st (GM trannys - Fords will start in 2nd).

As for the low stall converter, The best set up I've found for the TH350 is to use the Allison style converter. Its bigger, has more fins, more capacity, more torque multiplication, and runs cooler. There is slight grinding required inside the bell housing to clear the tranny. I always run a 1000-1100 Stall speed converter (actual stall speed, not 1000above stock). This will give you great off the line hookup, and great compression braking going down hills. It may mean you have to push on the brake a little harder at stop lights, but I've found this not to be the case with the idle set around 600RPM...It all depends on the motor. I've run anywheres from 300-420 HP motors in my trucks, and not had any problems.

Also the Low stall converter really shines when rock crawling. I can crawl rucks just above idle (with my pathetic 1.96:1 low range), while guys running stock converters have to "blip" the throttle constantly (remember the stall speed is the point where the tranny "engauges fully"), causing lurching from rock to rock. The low stall converters run cooler due to less slipping generating less heat, making your tranny last longer.

EDIT: oh yeah, this is all in my '62 Willys Wagon, Here's my specs if you want some more ideas or just want to see what else I've done <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"></font c>

[ 09-09-2001: Message edited by: Yellowsub1962 ]
 
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