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Discussion Starter #1
I have an "01 GT automatic and am wondering what's the best thing to improve performance, shift kit or convert to manual, etc. Any thoughts? Thanks!
 

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mustanglisa said:
I have an "01 GT automatic and am wondering what's the best thing to improve performance, shift kit or convert to manual, etc. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Well, my 2000 GT was an Automatic and I believe besides the Supercharger the Auto to Manual conversion was the best overall mod I have ever done to my car.

Don't get me wrong the modern 4R70W Auto Tranny is one tough cookie and with a little help via Gears, a tranny cooler and possibly a Performance Valve body and/or Shift kit or Jerry Mod it can bring life into your car. If you keep the Automatic the first Mod I would do is get a set of 4.10 gears! Best mod for an Automatic Transmission! Well, that and a Supercharger :D
I went with 3.73 gears and wished I went with 4.10s after they were in. If you do swap gears you will need a Computer chip to adjust for the shift point and the speedometer. I would recommend the Fordchip guys especially when it comes to automatic transmission tuning. They are one of the best out there and understand the proper adjustment of the shift points of your automatic which is crucial to the performance of your car.

I would recommend a Lentech or Art Carr or PA Performance Valve body as well. Shift kits are okay but if you go that route you might as well do the Jerry Mod which is free. It basically entails you taking the Valve body out of the tranny and drilling some holes into the seperator plate. Here is a link for it:
http://www.tccoa.com/articles/tranny/#

Getting a performance Valve body is a lot easier and most of the work has been done already. All you have to do is swap Valve bodies and you are done.

After it's all done and said your car should be great at the track and very consistant. However, I was more out for the fun factor of slamming gears and shifting when I wanted to shift. So I eventually did the Auto to Manual swap and never looked back.
It's a lot more fun driving the car. I have more control over when I want to upshift or downshift and that makes a big difference as far as the fun factor goes.

It just depends on what you want to do with your car and what you like better. One thing is for sure, I know longer loose any races from a roll ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much!!! How difficult was the swap to 5-speed? I think I am leaning that direction. Did you do it yourself or have it done somewhere, and what kind of labor costs am I looking at?
Thanks again!
 

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PA valvebody or Jerry mod.

I have the PA Street/Strip version - you can manually shift or leave it in 'D'
 

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mustanglisa said:
Thanks so much!!! How difficult was the swap to 5-speed? I think I am leaning that direction. Did you do it yourself or have it done somewhere, and what kind of labor costs am I looking at?
Thanks again!
I got all the parts first:
Transmission (I opted for the T-45 since I was limited on funds. If you can afford it I would either go with a T-56 or a TKO)
Clutch: I got a custom Clutch but a Spec Stage II works really well and comes with a Pressure Plate, Friction Disk and HD Throwout bearing,
Pilot bearing,
Clutch Fork,
Clutch Cable,
UPR Quadrant and Extreme Firewall adjuster,
Maximum Motorsports Clutch Pedal Height Adjuster,
Flywheel, (I got a Fidanza Aluminum Flywheel but nodular iron one will do)
Clutch Pedal assembly,
Manual transmission harness,
Pro 5.0 shifter, (You can also go with a Steeda Triax or if funds are low stick with the stock shifter for now.)
Bullitt shift knob,
Red Line D4 ATF fluid (Takes little over 3 quarts)
Conversion chip from the Fordchip guys to convert your Automatic Computer into a 5 Speed computer. That way you don't have to replace the EEC.

Labor to install will vary on how fast the shop can get it done and how much labor they charge. I found a place still for $40.00 bucks and hour labor. Of course they took a little longer than I hoped for since they didn't have a lift and worked with Jack Stands. Still cost me about 800 bucks in Labor.

The entire swap after it was all said and done was about 2000 Dollars. Next time I would most defintely do it myself since it isn't all that difficult. I could've done it in 20 hours with some help from my friends. A good shop that has done this before should be able to do it in about 10-12 hours.

Once you get used to driving a 5 Speed you don't want to go back to the Slush box ;) It all depends on what you use your car for. If you are going to the drag strip the Automatic will net you more consistant times. Personally I don't care about that.
I like the 5 Speed for the street and the overall fun factor.
My tranny shifts as smooth as glass and so far I haven't had any trouble with the T-45. It is holding up very nicely. When it does go I will more than likely switch to a T-56 and put some 4.30 rear end gears in ;)

Good Luck in whatever you decide.
If you decide to stick with the Automatic I would most definitely recommend a Transmission cooler. If all automatic transmissions had tranny coolers they would last a heck of a lot longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much -- this is very helpful! I see you have a Vortech -- what made you choose that one over the others?
 

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mustanglisa said:
Thanks so much -- this is very helpful! I see you have a Vortech -- what made you choose that one over the others?
I spoke to a lot of people and did a lot of research. What clinched the sale was a long talk I had with Lidio Iacobelli. This guy knows Superchargers and told me that the Vortech is the only Superchargers he puts in his Racecars. Easy to install and to tune. The are reliable and in the almost 3 years I had mine I never had a problem with it. If I had to do it over again I would still choose a Vortech without a doubt!! Only this time I would get the kit with their Aftercooler already included. At the time I didn't think I needed it but now I wish I would've gone with it from the beginning.

I started with only 308 RWHP with a completely stock engine and the Supercharger. With several modifications later it now has 446 RWHP with the Same Supercharger and the Same Stock engine.

There are other good blowers out there but in my opinion Vortech is the Best. (My second choice would've been a Novi 2000 blower)
 

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If you decide to keep your auto. Check www.lentechautomatics.com
They have some wicked valve bodies. Had one in a 88 AOD Fox body. Wasn't dissappointed. I tried 3 other shift kits before I found the Lentech and they were all crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the link! What are the best options for staying with the auto -- what's the highest number of gears, and what's the best best for a daily driver? I plan to add a supercharger so I will eventually be 400+ hp.
 
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