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Tech Question

Sam Doh, Auckland, New Zealand, 1970 Chrysler Valiant 245

Love your show, E-booger. This is less of a tech Q but moreout of curiosity. I’m interested in this Clutchflite business, I understandthe basic working principles of the beast but from what I’ve been reading onthe net, these things shift real hard – what’s the deal with that? Is thisbecause of lack of soft coupling between the engine and the tranny that isthe torque converter? With a manual valve body conversion, is thiscomparable to a true manual transmission? Realistically speaking, is itstreetable? Cheers, Sam

Sam, yes, with the hydraulic coupling gone, there’s not much to cushion theshifts. I don’t consider it streetable – stuff breaks awfully often. Myguess is that this is what kept it from becoming popular, plus, with thetorque converter’s 2.2:1 multiplication factor gone, you lose the hole-shotadvantage that has always been the purvue of automatics. So about the onlyplus is maybe 1-2 MPH of trap speed.

When you say “comparable to a manual”, the question gets sorta muddy. Firstof all, there’s only three speeds. But, like today’s OEM manu-matics, you’dbe able to shift at will w/o clutching. You could probably shift to neutralas reduce speed to avoid declutching then, but you’d need to declutch beforeselecting “1”. The whole experience is very different from any true manual Ihave ever driven.

Rick

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