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Old 04-03-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
sirhk100
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Default Auto Transmission abuse and choices?

I've seen adapter plates to go from the 3.4 to a domestic auto transmission and that's an option but I'm curious if anyone has experience racing on the tacoma auto transmission? Heard rumors about the stock shifter assembly in the console being a bit lame but it can be fixed by swapping over to a gate style shifter. Anyone know how reliable the stock autos are under race type conditions? Anyone know anyone that's currently racing on a tacoma auto trans we could talk with to see how their experience has been and what they've possibly done or modified to help it last?

I've seen a company on the east coast that's doing higher end custom transmissions and that's an option as well but right now I'm just looking to begin the research in what we currently have in the truck and what we can expect out of it so that we can plan accordingly for a swap if need be or build up or whatever.

Obviously a quality external cooler/fan combo will be in use and a temp gauge will help us monitor things on the fly but still, if the trans is known as a ticking time bomb from the get go we'd probably address it from the start.

Thanks,
Khris
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:42 PM   #2
editmars
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No racing experience, but my .02

I love the a340 and like the reliability of a keeping everything is its pre-configured state (engine swaps and trans swaps are always a can of worms. ALWAYS).

Even built, the a340 is going to be a weak link, so dumping so much into one seems like a waste. Either run it to the ground and swap it later or put in something proven, cheap to buy, and cheap to work on, none of which the a340 is.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:13 PM   #3
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Awesome!!! At least that's feedback of some sort which so far we've had zero! I'm pretty sure as of right now we're gearing up to do a manual swap actually. I've been thinking a lot about it since i made the post and it just makes sense to do whatever we're going to do right now up front. And then after thinking more, going manual just makes sense in a few ways for the vehicle. Jason is on board so now it's a matter of doing the research, creating a parts list, scrounging up the parts, and then doing the work when the time is right along the build.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
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If you're looking to do a manual swap be aware that they aren't perfect either. I know Bonzen goes through about 1 manual tranny a season. I believe he always blows up 3rd gear (the most used gear). They are cheap to find though.... the other option is an older gen supra transmission R154, same dimensions as a 2wd tacoma manual tranny with stronger internals. Known to be reliable and strong behind the turbocharged Supra motor should last a long time behind a 3.4. Price tag is a little bit higher though. Used are in the 1200 range I believe.

Edit: the R154 is the route I'm planning on taking if I can ever get around to building my race/play truck. (have it just need to get funds together to start!)

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Old 04-06-2012, 11:20 AM   #5
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Yeah, we've talked with Bonzen and pretty much would be looking at the trans as a consumable almost and will most likely have a spare with us in the pit boxes just for that reason. Might have to look into that supra setup though...
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:07 PM   #6
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sorry to thread jack, but is it a pretty simple swap to install the gate shifter?

my stock auto shifter sometimes slips into "N" when mobbing and it's annoying as fuck. i actually messed it up last time in pismo and it's show i'm in neutral when i'm in drive...
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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Not sure but that was our plan. I think Jason had done the research cause he had heard of the exact same reason and our original plan I believe involved using a TH400 gate shifter mated to the stock setup. Now though we're 99.9% sure we're going full speed ahead with the manual swap. Jason might have more info but I blieve he's out of the country this whole week making more money to fund the truck so maybe he'll chime in next week. He left me with a bunch of reading homework on the transmission swap so I need to spend a night educating myself on that so I can give him a shopping list when he returns home! LOL

I figure when the cab is gutted and before the new dash goes into place I'll get the pedal assembly swapped out cause that would be easiest and also do the clutch master so that we know clearances aren't an issue in the engine cage. I think we might be going to a full CNC peddle setup anyways but I need to get all that figured out soon! I'll do the physical transmission swap when the engine is out of the truck for frame plating and engine cage welding...
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelson18matt View Post
sorry to thread jack, but is it a pretty simple swap to install the gate shifter?

my stock auto shifter sometimes slips into "N" when mobbing and it's annoying as fuck. i actually messed it up last time in pismo and it's show i'm in neutral when i'm in drive...
Dont have first hand experience, just internet research. The TH400 looks to be the compatible gate shifter and requires a slight adjustment to the linkage, a new hole drilled to get the proper throw from what I can gather.

Regarding popping out of gear, I have heard that solid trans and motor mounts helps solve the problem. If you already have that, I have also read that tacking a weld somewhere in there will prevent it from popping out as well, thus probably eliminating the need for a gate shifter.

Again all second hand, must what I've gathered from old threads on here and DR, etc.
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