Making more power with a camshaft and head swap or by adding boost is incredible but what if you’ve found a power level you’re comfortable with but still want to improve your vehicles acceleration or driving habits? Sometimes improving a vehicles performance doesn’t require more power. Sometimes a good transmission is just what a vehicle needs.
For example, in the muscle car era if you wanted to go really fast, a manual transmission was the way to go. However, if consistency was more of your speed, then an automatic was what you should be looking at. Although, with todays transmission technology advancements, in many cases automatic transmissions have surpassed the mark set by the stick shift.
As good as the modern factory units have become, the aftermarket engineering has really taken off for automatic transmissions and just as importantly torque convertors. Working with the guys at TCI, Richard Holdener recently got the opportunity to see this for himself in a back to back track day test run of a Coyote engine powered Mustang.
The 2016 Coyote Mustang featured a number of modifications including Comp stage 2 cams, an air intake system, headers, full exhaust, a Snow Performance water meth system, and drag radials. To maximize performance, the car was dialed in on the street as well as Dyno tuned before heading to the strip. With the factory convertor the Coyote ran a straight 12.0-seconds @ over 122 MPH.
After establishing a baseline, a TCI billet convertor with a twin disc clutch and a 3,800 RPM stall was installed, which in reality was probably overkill for the naturally aspirated Mustang but the decision was made with future plans of boost in mind. It was then dialed in on the street and dyno tuned, just like before.
The TCI torque converter allowed the Mustang to run an 11.4x @ 122.97 MPH run at the strip. It is important to note that while we dropped the ET, the MPH stayed the same. Which means that it is possible to improve acceleration without changing the horsepower.
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