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Old 10-22-2015, 10:39 AM
sscamaro sscamaro is offline
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Default Any good tranny shops out there BESIDES Jakeshoe and CK?

What is a good place that doesn't mind talking to you, concerned about what your looking for and will help you? I would rather give my money to a shop that doesnt mind helping me, but, I have a fall back parts list for MAKCO and WIT website if need be. My main concern is NOT rebuilding the trans, or, making it last, per say, but, getting the shift feel just right (for ME). Its kind of like goldilocks and the three bears. I dont want sloppy shifts and I am trying to stay away from any jarring shifts, if possible due to a really bad back. I know this may cut down on tranny life a little, but, thats a price I have to pay for my back. Not sure if it is even possible to have the two worlds together, lol.

I contacted Jakeshoe transmission and asked how much his 4l80 kit is without the electronics (I already bought those before I heard about him) and his response was verbatim "We sell a whole complete kit only because people come back wanting more. If you don't want the complete kit, you need to go elsewhere". WTF??? SO, I said, "I already have all the electronics and just do not need them, so, if you change your mind, let me know, thanks". I mean, since you already have/know what the basic soft parts are, whats the big deal? He has so many tech articles he gave assistance with, but, no hard parts, lol?? He whines and says "because people keep calling afterwards". Then he says what a great owner he is. He doesnt even have the smarts to just say "here is the parts but we do not offer support"? Doesnt sound that smart of a business owner to me. Okay, whatever, I wasnt really sold on the 4L80e anyways.

I weigh my options and like the 2004r gear spread better so I go see Chris at CK. I explained I want one of his rebuild kits and want to know if I can exchange the shift kit for a billet servo, that I dont think I need a shift kit (I already have his anyways). He says "this is the main kit behind the tranny. Okay, thats cool. I then write to him that all street kit I have ever used are harsh and I have a bad back I explained I would like to build the tranny to last the longest with the smoothest shifts. This will be in a daily commuter 90% of the time and my back cant handle 1 hour 20mph back and forth jarring shifts. I ask if his "kit" he sells able to do this? Can I use the kit and omit a spring or something and get smoother shifts while still make the transmission last? I asked (to make sure I was not wasting his or my time) is this even possible? I never got an answer.

I dont know what is up with these holy than thou, shut up its my way or the highway attitudes? I have read so many times where people say "I spent hours on the phone with and he was great? I was humble and extremely polite, explaining in full detail to both parties what I was looking for and why. What happened? Looks like those reviews are bought testimonials, fanboys or a bait n switch tactics because apparently, when you go one on one, they didnt care about my needs and what I was looking for. I guess as long as you buy their crap, shut the fk up and build it their way, they will pay attention to you? Looks like I am going somewhere else.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:52 PM
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kenmosher kenmosher is offline
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Location: CO
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Default Re: Any good tranny shops out there BESIDES Jakeshoe and CK?

A couple others to try to talk to would be Century transmission (make sure you talk to Mike). He's been doing 200-4Rs forever and has a good reputation in the community. I've also heard a little about but nothing directly.

I've found just good basics (such as DON'T shim the crap out of the accumulators and DON'T raise the line pressure sky high with a race only valve body kit) will usually net a firm (not neck jerking) shift and result in good reliability. Also, experiment a bit with trans fluid (like use Type F for slightly firmer shifts and so on).

The bottom line is that this is a small (and shrinking) market, so the pickings are getting slim for any vendor/shop to want to spend a bunch of time on these. Most of their customers are going to be more interested in high HP performance builds, so you're request is probably a bit out of the "sweet" spot for a lot of these guys.

On the 4L80E/4L70E/4L65E/4L60E front (in a turbo Buick, right?), there's a ton of rebuilders and if you have an "E", you should be able to do a lot of tuning with your powertrain management solution (from context, I assume you've got something like a FAST XFI or whatever to control an electronic transmission?).

In that case, I'd just build a good reliable unit and then use the tuning software to adjust shift points and pressures where you want? Since this is a daily driver, it sounds like, you don't need a bunch of the exotic hard parts and the electronics can give you A LOT of adjustability (. (especially if you're not making a ton of horsepower). Heck, you can even have a race tune and a street tune to change things between your commuter use and hammering on it?
Ken Mosher
1987 GN original owner 650+ HP Black
2015 BMW 328xi XDrive wagon
2012 Volkswagen Tiguan (the Tig!) Night Blue Met (sold)
2006 Trailblazer SS Red Jewel Tint 395 HP AWD (sold)
2014 Silverado LTZ Crew 4WD
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:01 AM
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Keller Keller is offline
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Question Re: Any good tranny shops out there BESIDES Jakeshoe and CK?

If you are considering the 200-4R, have you talked to Lonnie Diers (Extreme Automatics) or Vince Janis (Janis Transmissions? Both have been around quite a while and I think would be more accommodating than the experience it sounds like you have had.
Scott Keller - GNTTYPE Founder & Moderator
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