Transmission / Drivetrain


For the past several months Super Duty Headquarters in Gilbert, Arizona, has been working one very special project—a full-custom, double-throw-down pre-runner for non-other than Jesse James. Yes, that Jesse James.

Transform Your Transmission: Adding Easy Maintenance with Mag-Hytec!

OK, we all know that it is easy to ignore automatic transmission maintenance—its messy and time consuming and no one really thinks about it until the trans starts to slip. Most transmission pans are simple stamped steel and do not have a drain plug so draining the fluid makes a big mess on your garage or shop floor. If maintaining your automatic trans was easier and less messy you would probably stay on top of the maintenance wouldn’t you?

Toyota RF1A Level Up

The gear driven RF1A Toyota transfer case found in 1979-1995 4 cylinder pickups and 4Runners fits the needs of many wheelers. It offers a strong, lightweight package with growing aftermarket support. These transfer cases have been used in numerous pickups, 4Runners, buggies, and even Jeeps! Everything from dual transfer case adapters, low range gear sets, twin sticks, and low profile crossmembers are available for Toyota transfer cases from a bevy of aftermarket sources. The RF1A is lighter and less expensive than a Dana 300, though they are not as easy to “clock” and do not allow front wheel drive operation.

A Tough Act to Follow

Though clutches rank below power-adders on the desirability scale, they are every bit as important. In fact, you’d be better off not spending the time and money on a trick blower or turbo kit if you do not plan on upgrading the stock clutch assembly. Sure, it is possible on some applications to improve the performance of your motor without a clutch and pressure plate upgrade, but you can only take things so far. Eventually, the engine will let you know by racing to the moon when you least expect it. Your clutch will likely slip under full throttle, and most probably at the highest load. Better hope you have a rev limiter or things can really get ugly. But have no fear … Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has come up with a variety of effective combinations to cater to the needs of performance enthusiasts and racers.


Our old 350 Chevy-powered ’47 International was running a three-speed 350 Turbo trans with 4.11 gears, which, as you know, is not a great combination for this type of highway cruising. It is fine, however, for those who absolutely love in-town, short-?distance, stop-and-go cruising, as it does prove great low-speed throttle response. On the highway, however, it spins up the engine and uses more fuel. We decided that after having our low-speed fun, we were using too much fuel and weren’t comfortable listening to the whine of the small block as we approached 70 mph. It was time to make a change. We looked around for a number of answers and talked to many classic truck owners who had either installed a new set of gears, an overdrive trans or a Gear Vendors overdrive/underdrive unit. We figured that the new 700R4 trans best fit our application budgetwise, although future plans may call for a Gear Vendors unit, as it represents the best of both worlds. But we first wanted to start with a newer, more modern trans.


PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: DieselSite’s High-Performance Turbocharger for Ford 7.3L Trucks

Built with a custom Wicked Wheel® 2 performance billet compressor wheel and a Turbo-Master™ mechanical wastegate controller, this upgraded turbocharger guarantees enhanced power and responsiveness. The center section boasts a journal bearing support system with a 360° thrust washer, enabling it to handle higher boost levels. Additionally, the turbocharger is fully rebuildable, ensuring longevity and allowing for future maintenance and upgrades.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: DieselSite’s 2008-2010 Ford 6.4L Billet Impeller Water Pump

The original equipment (OE) Ford water pump utilized a plastic impeller that was prone to cracking and breaking off the hub, leading to costly repairs. In response to this common problem, DieselSite has developed a lightweight yet sturdy alternative. Crafted from a billet aluminum alloy, the new water pump ensures exceptional durability, providing peace of mind and protection against impeller failure.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: DieselSite’s 4R100 Transmission Cooler Bypass Delete Kit

One of the key culprits behind transmission overheating in the 1999-2003 Ford 7.3L Automatic Transmissions is the external cooler bypass tube. This component, responsible for redirecting transmission fluid from the pump output to the return line until reaching operating temperatures, often fails, hindering the flow of fluid to the cooler. Even when functioning properly, the bypass never fully closes, leading to insufficient cooling of the transmission.

Driven Racing Oil’s GP-1 8OW-90 Gear Oil

GP-1 Conventional 80W-90 GL-5 Gear Oil is a conventional limited-slip gear oil for use as recommended by high performance gear and differential manufacturers. Designed for racing and high-performance differentials and transaxles, it’s formulated from USA made Pennsylvania Grade base oils that provide natural film strength, tack, and tenacious cling without relying on polymers that shear causing viscosity loss.

The 2022 SEMA Show

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show engulfs Fabulous Las Vegas annually. It brings together the biggest names in the automotive world to show off the latest and greatest, whether it’s new products, amazing custom builds, or the newest trends. TheAutoBuilder is excited to be in the thick of it all.

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