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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased this valve body for my Turbo 400 about 5 years ago and never fitted it.
Now it's time to rebuild the trans. I'm not sure the valve body is suitable for my intended use.
The trans. shop I got it from is no longer around and I can't remember what I originally told them I wanted.
It's going behind a 500hp 383 small block which will be 99% street driven and see the drags about once or twice a year.
I'm rebuilding the trans. with the usual sprag, snap ring and dual feed upgrades and I want it to shift nice and crisp but not be harsh at part throttle.
The VB has the modified 1-2 shift valve and the vent hole plugged and the 2-3 accumulator is being held in place by an allen headed screw.
Also the holes for the 2-3 accumulator feed and reverse for the dual feed are blocked in the separator plate though it is only a single plate unlike the sandwiched Transgo plates.
I haven't yet tried to remove the screw to see if there's a spring in the accumulator ( I assume with the piston screwed down all the way and the feed blocked there won't be) or removed any of the other valves and checked the springs.
The 1-2 feed in the separator plate is .118" but my main concern is the size of the 2-3 feed which is .171" and another hole which is circled in the pic.has also been enlarged to .171" which the ATSG book says is the modulator feed.
I'd like some advice on whether I'm right in thinking this VB isn't going to suit my purpose and will make the trans. shift much too hard for what I'mlooking for and also if the other hole is the modulator feed and why it would have been enlarged ???
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It's fine. That hole near the 11 is governor to mod valve feed. The big hole feeds the accumulator regulator valve.
You have control of 2nd gear in the plate, the regulator spring you choose and the clutch pack configuration you choose.

Leave the direct drum seal out and use Teflon rings and go.


Hutch
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks very much Hutch.
Though I don't know what the line pressure was previously, the regulator has a standard spring and 1 horseshoe spacer, and that's what I was planning on starting with.
Also, I am planning on using BW high energy clutches in the standard 5/3/5 setup.
When I pulled the box apart I was surprised to find it was completely stock apart from a 2800rpm converter.
The only signs of distress were all the clutches smelled toasty and all the steels and pressure plates had a lot of hot spots on them.
For some reason it has an aluminium direct pressure plate but the intermediate is the old narrow steel type, so I'm going to replace that.
Otherwise, as I said, I'm going to do the sprag, snap ring and dual feed as well as putting in the Sonnax ani-walk case bushing kit.
A couple of other areas I'd like your advice on if you don't mind are, whether I should restrict the converter feed and if so, what size ???
The guy at the transmission place I got the direct drum from was asking about my rebuild and suggested I do it @.110".
But I haven't dealt with him before and only found him through fleabay when searching for a drum, so I'm not 100% sure about his advice.
It was good of him to ask me about it and give his opinion, I guess.
Also, is it necessary to do either or both the H/D direct return springs / drill the direct drum bleed hole for my power and RPM level (500hp /6000rpm) ???
Again, thanks so much for the reply.
 

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HD return springs help along with a bleed hole ranging from. 032" to. 062" depending on line press, use etc.

Converter feed restriction also depends on line pressure whether it's constant or variable. Tough to give a general size that fits all applications but the range is. 110" to. 155" normally if used.


Hutch
 

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For some reason it has an aluminium direct pressure plate but the intermediate is the old narrow steel type, so I'm going to replace that.
The early 70s 400s ive seen out of Holdens seem to all be aluminium forward and direct, and steel intermediate piston.

My book says aluminium intermediate was around 1967 and older, then went to steel.

So I think the steel piston is actually newer, not older. Then somewhere around the mid 70s, maybe 76 on from memory, they have steel pistons in the direct and forward also. 😬
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yes it's from Pro Matic or PTC.
How could you tell ???
Have you had any experience with these valve bodies Gregaust ???
I've just started gathering the bits for the rebuild again after a 5 year delay.
Mark Weaven was good enough to help me chase up the aluminium pistons and a direct drum after the one I bought from Ebay turned up and was the roller clutch type !!!
I was sure I'd made it clear enough that I wanted a smooth drum to suit a sprag, but obviously not ???
When I contacted him to return it he was a bit annoyed and told me most builders prefer the roller sprag over the element sprag ???
I told him we must have different definitions of what a smooth drum and a sprag is ..... another delay and lesson learned I guess.
Also, the BW tan waved intermediate clutch plates for the 400 I ordered turned up and they're 4L80E flat ones so they had to go back as well.
I'm finding you have to be pretty careful who you deal with when ordering parts over the phone.
 

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The early 70s 400s ive seen out of Holdens seem to all be aluminium forward and direct, and steel intermediate piston.

My book says aluminium intermediate was around 1967 and older, then went to steel.

So I think the steel piston is actually newer, not older. Then somewhere around the mid 70s, maybe 76 on from memory, they have steel pistons in the direct and forward also. 😬
ive pulled down alot of standard holden 400s none have had aluminum pistons. with the exception on a couple with aluminum forward piston
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I posted a reply that I edited a couple of times and is now awaiting mod. approval ???
Yes it is a Pro Matic or PTC valvebody.
Any thoughts or experience with them ???
 

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ive pulled down alot of standard holden 400s none have had aluminum pistons. with the exception on a couple with aluminum forward piston
Interesting. I havent looked inside many, I think its only 3 ive been inside that were from holdens going off the tag, early to mid 70s, and they all had what I said above. .. so i assumed more would be like that.

I suppose they couldve been modded, as anything Ive looked at was already over 20 years old at the time.... but one that i still have ( I use the case for mock ups) , I bought it back in the early 2000s from a bloke who said he pulled it out of a stock HJ 308 wagon, and he had the wagon there.

I guess it couldve been re-co'd at some point also and they changed them, I just figured it was unlikely in that instance. Im about to use that aluminium forward piston now, its been sitting for 17 or 18 years but is good.... the alu direct piston out of that one was still in the drum and in a spot that got rain getting in, and it corroded, so I cant use that one, its a paperweight in my shed.
 

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I posted a reply that I edited a couple of times and is now awaiting mod. approval ???
Yes it is a Pro Matic or PTC valvebody.
Any thoughts or experience with them ???
Yes i have used a lot of valvebodies from them including a few T400 both manual & auto shift , their stuff all works nice
I'd have to check back in my notes that looks like the auto shift ?
I may still have that same plate as the T400 I used one of those valvebodies in I later converted to manual VB
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Yeah, it is auto shift.
Even though I can't remember exactly what spec. I asked for, I'm sure I requested that.
My last build had a full manual VB and I found in a daily driven street car the novelty wore off reasonably quickly.
Good to know it's from a reliable source, thanks.
As I said, the only reservation I had with it was the size of the 2-3 feed being 11/64", though Hutch's reply has reassured me it'll be OK.
I got this one as a changeover so I don't have the original plate, otherwise I would've modified it and blocked the feeds internally.
I like that this plate is noticibly thicker than stock and has the accumulator and dual feed passages blocked but it does have a small raised gouge in it.
It's very minor and and hasn't actually dented the plate so I'm confident it'll smooth out OK.
Having said that Gregaust, if you do have it and it has smaller or similar sized feed holes to mine, you aren't gonna use it and don't mind selling it, please let me know.
Thanks again for the replies.

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Discussion Starter #14
So, the plan is to use :

The PTC VB and plate as is
Existing stock regulator spring which has 1 horseshoe aiming for 160-170 PSI
Scarf cut teflon seals for the pump and centre support
New bushings, thrust washers and torringtons
New BW 34 element intermediate and low roller sprags
Spiral sprag lock and HD intermediate snap ring
New bands
5/3/5 clutch set up all with a waved steel and aluminium piston
BW smooth tan fwds (0.040-0.050" clearance)
BW waved tan intermediates (0.045-0.055" clearance)
BW grooved tan directs (0.050-0.060" clearance)
Sonnax anti-walk HD case bushing kit
(BTW does the thrust bearing in the kit locate on the output shaft without needing any modifications ???)
Governor re calibration kit
Half n half HD and stock direct clutch springs and 0.059" (1.5mm) drum bleed hole
0.140" (3.5mm) converter feed restriction

I had originally looked at using BW high energy smooth fwd and waffle direct frictions but I can only find the HE waffles in Raybestos HD now and I think they're probably unnecessary for my build anyway ???

Also, I've been told a couple of times now that for a street car with 500 fwhp / tq and a max. of 6000 rpm the drum bleed hole and HD springs are overkill and converter feed restriction isn't necessary and I will have no thrust bearing issues on a SBC at less than 180 psi ???

If anyone's got any thoughts on anything I've missed, should change or need to add, I'd really like to hear them ???

Again, thanks.
 

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Sounds like a plan
I used that valvebody without any converter restriction and had no issues . But knowing what I know now the .140" is prob a good idea .
I ran that kit with a bleed hole . Mainly because the combination of drum and piston I had , I was left with no checkballs in either drum or piston. . The drum had a .040" bleed . I stayed small as the pressures in that kit are lower than a normal manual or transbrake.

I did find the instructions , they say for heavy duty use all 6 checkballs
street only 5 do not use #4 , and competition only 2 in positions 5 & 6
Note :- Delete direct clutch mid seal
 

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BW grooved tan directs (0.050-0.060" clearance)
Do you have a local (australian) source for these?

Id bought some years ago from Motospecs.


Sonnax anti-walk HD case bushing kit
(BTW does the thrust bearing in the kit locate on the output shaft without needing any modifications ???)
I think it just locates around the bushing, I have one on the way so will see soon as I have my 400 apart. Im thinking the torrington for the anti-walk bush must have a bigger ID than the torrington used with the regular bush? again will see soon as I have a torrington here for the stock bush also.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes Lumen8 I've been getting pretty much all my bits from Motospecs, with the volumes they buy they kill everyone else on price, especially for Sonnax parts.
I was surprised how big they actually are and didn't know they own Repco.
They would be much easier to deal with if they had an online catalogue, then you could ring and quote part numbers rather than relying solely on the salesperson's knowledge.
I had to return my intermediate frictions twice after the wrong ones were delivered and both times the receipt said they.were 4L80E frictions which are not waved.
The last time I rang I was told the waved BW tan frictions I was looking for did'nt exist, even though I had given them the BW part number to look up.
I ended up getting them from Alltranz who are probably the best back up and had them in stock.

I thought the thrust bearing simply located around the bush's flange too.
I know it's hard to tell for sure from the description photo but to me the flange doesn't look thick enough to properly locate the bearing and whatever shims might be needed.
Please let me know.
 

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The sonnax bush kit arrived today... the flange is about the same thickness as the bearing, instructions say shims go on first towards the case, so there is some room left for the bearing to locate on the bush, all of the bearing wont be on the bush but I guess it just needs some to locate, and it has that.

Its an AC delco bearing.

Pics...














I didnt want to remove the torrington from the plastic until I install it, but that measurement above would be close despite it being in the wrapper.

And I placed the flange inside the bearing (again while it was still in the plastic) and yes the bearing fits over the flange, the OD of the bush flange is slightly smaller than the ID of that torrington
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah, of course it makes sense once the shim(s) are in place the torrington would sit slightly proud of the flange.
Otherwise the output shaft would ride against the flange.
Thanks for the info. Lumen8, I'll order one from Motospecs.
I pulled my pump apart today and found the small gear has worn a nasty gouge in the opposite surface.
Not sure it's worth even trying to save by refacing it so I hunted around for a replacement and came up empty.
After recently hunting high and low before I managed to find a smooth direct drum it seems good, used TH400 hard parts are getting scarce.
Good luck with your build and thanks again.
 
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