The Automatic Transmission Factory releases another wild animal. A bright yellow 1,500+ horsepower twin turbocharged Dodge Viper with an ATF Stage 4 Powerglide is on the loose. The Viper came to the shop equipped with twin 76mm turbos and a race ready, stroked V-10. ATF removed the 2003 Viper's T-56 six speed manual transmission and replaced it with a bulletproof ATF Stage 4 Powerglide. The Stage 4 is rated for applicatons up to 2,600 horsepower and can take anything this twin turbo Viper can throw at it. ATF's Powerglide transmissions are proven race winners that can be configured for any application. The ATF Stage 4 Powerglide custom built for the Viper features an SFI approved Reid / Dedenbear aluminum case and tail housing, ATF custom fluid release valve body with ATF transbrake, ATF 1.80 gear set (1.80:1 first gear, 1:1 second gear), red clutches and steels, ATF 2" high energy band with hardened steel adjusting pin, ATF stator tube and pump, ATF large diameter input shaft, ATF billet servo and billet servo cover and a deep aluminum pan with a high flow filter. An ATF spec'd billet bolt together torque converter with a stall speed of 3,500 RPM links the Viper's engine to the Powerglide transmission. The ATF Powerglide conversion provides the Viper with brute power handling capability and extreme drag racing consistency in an easy to maintain package.
Installing the Powerglide and its components into the Viper was a challenge that ATF's Jason Gatlin faced with confidence. ATF began the conversion with the removal of the T-56 manual transmission, the clutch, the clutch pedal and other related parts. Then ATF test fit the Powerglide and mapped out the locations for the shifter cable, cooler lines and dipstick / transmission fill tube. Measurements for the adapters, spacers and a custom driveshaft for the Powerglide were also taken during the test fitting process. The Viper needed to shed some skin to make room for the width of the Powerglide. To get the clearance the Powerglide needed, ATF notched the frame rails and then boxed them for maximum strength. The Powerglide was then mounted to the Viper's chassis with a custom fabricated transmission mount. Jason Gatlin and his talented fabricators and technicians handled all of those aspects of the Powerglide conversion with ease. The true test of ATF's expertise and ingenuity was creating the flexplate, adapters and spacers required for the Powerglide and its torque converter to be connected to the Viper's powerful twin turbo V-10 engine. Jason spent many hours in the ATF machine shop designing and manufacturing billet steel and billet aluminum adapters and spacers he needed to make the Powerglide conversion flawless. While the ATF machine shop made the spacers and adapters, ATF's technicians installed and plumbed a heavy duty B&M transmission cooler. An electric fan was installed on the B&M cooler to ensure proper operating temperatures in all driving conditions. To keep an eye on the automatic transmission fluid, a Lokar transmission dipstick / fill tube was mounted to a custom made plate on the passenger's side of the engine.
Fitting a Hurst 'Quarter Stick' Powerglide shifter into the Viper's console posed a problem. The Hurst shifter was not designed for the Viper but it had to fit and function properly without cutting up the interior of the car. The Viper needed a custom shifter housing and Gatlin used everything is his arsenal to develop the solution. Gatlin's machine shop is equipped with a host of modern marvels including a high tech plastic printing machine. It prints layers of ABS plastic that build up to form solid objects. The ABS plastic is durable enough to be drilled, tapped and machined. Jason plotted the exact dimensions of the Viper's console and the Hurst shifter. Then he designed a new shifter housing using Solid Works CAD software. When his design was completed, he printed it in black ABS plastic. The result was a well made shifter housing that tucked right into the Viper's console and fit the Hurst shifter like a glove. Problem solved.
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