Tag: American Powertrain

American Powertrain™ Introduces G-Body Hydramax™ Hydraulic Clutch Kit Designed for 1978 – 1988 GM G-Body Cars

Cookeville, TN, (August 16, 2018)American Powertrain™ now offers a G-body Hydramax™ hydraulic clutch kit as a true bolt-on hydraulic conversion for all ‘78-‘88 GM G-body vehicles.

For clutch modifications, the stock G-body firewall is well known for not being strong to handle clutch conversion, and often does not have the pr

oper geometry for a universal type hydraulic bracket.

American Powertrain’s Hydramax utilizes the stock brake master to locate the clutch master cylinder support bracket and ensuring a strong m

ounting location. The G-body bracket is laser cut, powdercoated and uses a tried and true Wilwood 3/4” bore clutch master for added reliability and easy mounting.

With no cutting required for install, the Hydramax Clutch Kit includes the Hydramax a hydraulic release bearing for use with a T5, TKO, T-56 a

nd Magnum 6-speed and works with American Powertrain G-body clutch pedal set for a complete manual clutch conversion.

For more information about American Powertrain’s G-Body Hydramax Hydraulic Clutch Kit or TREMEC transmission kits for Ford, GM or Mopar, visit www.americanpowertrain.com. To speak with one of American Powertrain’s highly qualified technicians, call 931-646-4836. For weekend and holiday calls, a call back service is available at 423-773-9789.

 

-###-

 

ABOUT AMERICAN POWERTRAIN™

American Powertrain™ exists to help muscle car owners equip their cars with modern drivetrain technology, offering overdrive transmission systems, hydraulic clutch kits and a wide range of drivetrain related parts from diff to block. Since American Powertrain opened for business, we have quickly become the world’s largest TREMEC dealer. Our installation parts and systems are proudly made right here in America for unmatched quality. Our staff of highly experienced enthusiasts has years of experience helping car owners and builders make the right drivetrain choices.

Hoonigan’s Jon Chase Banks on American Powertrain For Shootout with Roadkill’s Mike Finnegan

The definition of a Hoonigan is a person who operates a motor vehicle in an aggressive and unorthodox manner, consisting of, but not limited to, drifting, burnouts, doughnuts as well as acts of automotive aeronautics. In effect, one who ‘hoons.’ And what an apt description for Ken Block’s business that is always one step ahead of the curve with every vehicle build, every race, every video game app, and every Gymkhana event production. Block, co-founder of DC Shoes is a professional rally driver with the Hoonigan Racing Division formerly known as the Monster World Rally Team. Over the years he has amassed an impressive team of 30+ within the Hoonigan ranks, one of which is Jon Chase, also known as Design Daddy by his fellow team mates. Jon is responsible for the company’s branding, art direction, video hosting, and most recently for talking trash with Roadkill’s Mike Finnegan.

When Chase and Hoonigan’s Garage team created the YouTube video, ”Building a 9 second street car-Jon’s Gasser,” Jon called Mike out at 10:02 with a challenge. It turns out, the two share a passion for the ’55 Chevy Bel Air.  Finnegan and his Gasser Blasphemi had long been a high-profile car in the hot rod world.  Chase discovered an abandoned project car that was under the freeway overpass, then purchased and restored his own ’55 Chevy Bel Air as a Gasser named Tri Five by Fire. Hot Rod Magazine shared the callout post on their site and social media, where it came to the attention of Finnegan.

This summer, both are making modifications to their Gassers in preparation for the shootout, and on a visit to Westech with Blasphemi, Finnegan stopped in at Hoonigan’s Donut Garage for more car talk, video production and trash talk.

As soon as Tri Five by Fire’s new engine is built, the two will schedule a shootout of epic proportions. Hoonigan fans have been wanting this to happen for some time, and are delighted. Finnegan runs a 528 Gen II Hemi that makes 900 HP at the wheel, and Chase’s goal is to run in the 9:90’s, make at least 700+ HP and be sure the car is ‘streetable.’ The engine building team at Hoonigan’s knew that to reach those goals, they would need a power adder and a bullet proof drivetrain. That’s where American Powertrain entered the picture.

American Powertrain Director of Marketing Matt Graves and Jon Chase met several years ago during Hot Rod Power Tour, and discussion ensued regarding the best possible drive train set- up for the Tri Five by Fire.

Chase says, “Originally I had restored my gasser with junkyard parts. Both my gasser and our chief creative officer’s ’72 Nova broke nearly every day on the tour.  Fortunately, Matt and American Powertrain was on the tour and with their help we were able to get the parts we needed to stay on the road. There’s no question now I have this big shootout with Finnegan that I would use anything but American Powertrain. I trust the quality, service and reliability of their products and know that Matt will steer me in the right direction to get the win. And no matter what the outcome, we still get a win with all the great exposure the callout has created.”

“It’s pretty exciting to be associated with and considered a go-to source with a company the caliber of Hoonigan,” said Graves. “We’ve enjoyed developing a relationship with this great team, and for the Tri Five by Fire, we outfitted Jon with a custom fit 6 Speed Magnum with Cryo gears to withstand the high horsepower this power adder outfitted Gasser would need to battle the likes of Finnegan’s Blasphemi. We will be following this build and upcoming race very closely.”

For more information about American Powertrain TREMEC transmission kits for Ford, GM or Mopar visit www.americanpowertrain.com. To speak with one of American Powertrain’s highly qualified technicians, call 931-646-4836.

For more information about Hoonigan, visit https://www.hoonigan.com/

Bobby Alloway of Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop Selects American Powertrain Exclusively for Manual Transmission Installs

Bobby Alloway gained his love of cars from his father who after retiring from a long term well digger career went to work as a local car salesman. Eventually and because of his love of cars, Bobby landed a job with a local Ford dealership and worked as service manager for 16 years. When the philosophy of that dealership began moving from serious customer service to placing all their resources toward moving vehicles in volume out the door, he felt the culture of the company did not fit with his beliefs and began seeking a change. Luckily, Bobby had a side job that turned into an illustrious career move for him.

For several years, he had been building from ground-up street rod project builds. While still with the dealership he won the coveted Ridler Award with his ’33 Ford Victoria Altered Street Sedan in 1985. The Ridler Award, sponsored by Meguier’s was named after Don Ridler who was hired in the 50’s to help promote the Detroit Autorama, and soon enthusiasts flocked to the event held at the Cobo Hall at the Michigan State Fairgrounds to see some of the wildest hot rods that cruised the streets of the Motor City. After passing away at an early age, the Ridler Award was established in Don’s memory. Since it has grown to be one of the most illustrious awards given in the indoor custom car show industry. The winners also receive a $10,000 cash prize, and entries must be making their first official showing at the Detroit Autorama. Best in Show Ridler Awards are judged on creativity, engineering, and quality workmanship.

After the success of his win at the Autorama, Bobby began building even more ground up project builds and as his reputation grew, the idea of going into the business of building ground-up projects full time got stronger and in 1991 he opened Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop. He has won almost every award there is to win including Battle of the Builders at SEMA, America’s Most Beautiful Roadsters, is in the Hot Rod Hall of Fame, IHRA Hall of Fame, and his builds have been featured on the covers of almost every magazine among the endemic press.

Bobby has a very strong work ethic and his business philosophy when it comes to his parts suppliers is that the products are no better than the people who sell them. When he finds a supplier who does what they say they will do, provides immediate customer support and deliver parts on time every time, that supplier has his loyalty. That’s why he has used American Powertrain exclusively for all of the manual transmissions he installs in his builds for the past five years, which is typically three to five per year for customers from across the country.

Bobby also serves on a number of builder panels, one at the SEMA Show and one at Detroit Autorama each year, and he does so in order to help preserve the influence of project builders in the industry by working with the youth who will be the future of the business.

KC Mathieu, formerly of Fast N’ Loud uses American Powertrain Exclusively for Manual Transmission Installs

KC Mathieu, owner of KC’s Paint Shop and former regular on Discovery Channel’s Fast N’ Loud, grew up at a young age helping out at his Dad’s collision shop. Mathieu says, I would him always hear Dad muttering about what hard, hot and back-breaking work it was, and telling me I needed to find another career option.”

Luckily for Mathieu, he chose not to follow Dad’s advice. Instead, he worked with his Dad and other shops until renting his own building, and starting the business that he learned to specialize in since age 12 – custom automotive paint.  A few years ago, call it chance or serendipity, Richard Rawlings, owner of Gas Monkey Garage, walked in and Mathieu’s destiny tooka new turn. When Richard landed a TV deal with the Discovery channel for Fast ‘N Loud, it was KC he turned to as a regular for custom paint segments.

“Of course this was a wonderful opportunity to showcase my passion. With the success of Fast ‘N Loud,” it reached a point that fans would line up and hang around the building when we were filming. If I headed out for lunch we would be mobbed. Three and half years of this it began to get old to have this kind of attention, so I decided to go back to what I love most and re-opened KC’s Paint Shop: Hot Rods and Restorations.”

The silver lining of leaving for Mathieu was the immediate success of his business as there was nearly nearly instant recognition of my name and expertise. Through social media, and with triple digit followers on Instagram, Facebook and You Tube, the shop exploded in growth. In fact, the company has gained so much business that KC’s staff has grown from one to nine employees adding support for accounting, marketing, vendor support, fabrication, bodywork and paint specialists.

“I am so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short period of time,” concluded KC. Over the course of my career, some things stand out as more important like developing close relationships with my preferred automotive suppliers like the one I have with American Powertrain. About five or six years ago, I was poking around trying to find the best options for a manual transmission to install, and American Powertrain came highly recommended. Paul Unterstein and the whole team over there are so supportive and helpful from determining the best options for my builds, to quick turnaround and immediate customer support when needed. In fact, just a few days ago, I ordered two transmissions from them for a couple of projects I have in the shop. We do a good dozen vehicle service projects and two or three ground up builds every year, and if any require a manual transmission install, I call American Powertrain every time.”

 

Swapping a 5-speed into an F-100

Driving a classic truck is fun. It’s even more fun with a stick.

American Powertrain had an F-100 project built by their IT guy Barry. It’s a “pro-touring” like project he has been slowly and meticulously building at home. The truck has good handling and old school looks with a modern EFI 351W under the hood. The parts are a go-to play list for F-100 builds: Panther front end swap, FITech and disc brakes. He knew the final cherry on top would be a TREMEC TKO 5-speed swap. Follow along on the install.

 

Barry’s 1972 F-100 short bed. 351W with Fitech EFI, Trick Flow heads and mild cam. Even has Vintage Air

 

The truck came in with no transmission so this gave us a nice clean place to start. The Crown Vic Panther front end swap puts the engine pretty close to stock location so transmission placement was no issue.

 

The heart of it all is the American Powertrain F-100 Pro-Fit 5-speed kit, using a TREMEC TKO-600. This kit has everything you need to install a 5-speed in a classic Ford truck: crossmember, hydraulic clutch, pressure plate clutch, bell and flywheel.  A custom built driveshaft is also included in the kit. Once you do the install, fill out the driveshaft order form to send in the measurements and your new, custom made shaft will be on its way a couple of days.

 

The first thing we did was slap the bell housing on with no flywheel or clutch. We hoisted up the trans to see what kind of clearances we had to work with on the tunnel. Turns out we had to do a little hammering just at the vent tube (a common clearance issue on TKO’s). One of the ways American Powertrain gets these larger transmissions to fit into older cars is case minimizing on the transmission. They also offer a fiberglass tunnel hump for F-100. 6-speeds will need a larger tunnel opening.

 

The trans on the left is a stock out of the box TREMEC TKO. The trans on the right has been “minimized” by American Powertrain. You can see the corners on the top cover of the trans were CNC milled and new cover plates installed for better tunnel clearance. Doing these mods yourself will void the TREMEC warranty. APT works with TREMEC on approving these mods and offers a two-year warranty. The shifter has been replaced with a White Lightning short throw shifter that also serves as forward shift position to clear a bench seat.

 

Once the tunnel clearance’s was checked and shifter location set up, we installed the X-Factor universal adjustable crossmember. American Powertrain has these in 3 sizes that adjust to fit frame widths from 20” to 34”. We used the widest one that adjusts from 32”-34”. This allows you to set height for the right driveline angle, and uses a standard GM transmission isolator. The crossmember also allows adequate exhaust clearance for lowered trucks. Simply slide the plates to the frame, mark your holes and drill, using the supplied grade 8 hardware

 

 

Set the crossmember to the right driveline angle. Plus or minus 3 degrees are the specs that TREMEC calls for to avoid vibration.  A cheap angle finder makes this pretty easy.

 

 

Now the real fun begins.  Once we did the mock up and took out the trans, it was time to start the install. One of the critical procedures is to dial indicate your bell housing. This is very important to make sure the bell is centered on the engine so the input shaft lines up straight with the crank. This is critical for transmission longevity. American Powertrain has videos and instructions on how to get this right. 

 

Once the bell is checked, take it off and start installing the flywheel and clutch. Make sure to torque everything down to spec!

 

Now its time for more math! This time it’s for the hydraulic clutch bearing. Once the bell and clutch were installed, we had to measure the distance from the pressure plate fingers to the back of the bell. Then from the face of the trans to the face of the bearing. This difference tells us how far the bearing is sitting back from the clutch fingers.

 

The Hydramax Hydraulic Clutch Kit allows many different clutch combinations. The key to this is making some measurements and setting the depth correctly for the set up you have. The specs are .150” air gap between the bearing and the pressure plate fingers. Once you get the measurements this will determine the number of shims you need to set it correctly for long clutch and bearing life. Once again, American Powertrain has all the instructions and videos to make this pretty easy.  A digital caliper is all you need.

 

Install the trans and the bearing together. Make sure to run your lines out of the bell and away from the exhaust.

 

 

Barry’s truck already had a clutch pedal. These are fairly easy to find for Fords in a junk yard or any of the restoration catalogs.

 

Next up mount the patented Hydramax master cylinder bracket on the fire wall. This requires a about four holes to be drilled. The bracket has a backing plate to prevent firewall flex. You may have to drill an additional hole higher up on the pedal to get the clutch rod ratio set correctly. We had to lengthen out the mounting point using a piece of flat stock to get the correct angle. American Powertrain will have this added in to the kit for F-100’s as soon as research & development approve the new component.

 

Finished install is now ready for a new drive shaft. Do a few simple measurements on the included driveshaft measurement form then send it in to American Powertrain. In a couple of days your new driveshaft will show up, ready to install.

 

We had plenty of room for a bench seat with a double bend 18” shifter handle. APT has tons of shifter handles, shifter knobs and boots to finish up your install. We finished it off with one of their gunmetal gray billet shift knobs to match the wheels of the truck. No more boring automatic!

 

 

American Powertrain also now offers an F-100 fiberglass high hump tunnel replacement for F-100s. TKOs and T-5s fit the truck with slight massaging. Magnum 6-speeds will need more clearance. But if you want all the room you can get grab one of these to finish it out.