We've all heard of adding a "shift reprogramming kit" to our ride, but what exactly does it do inside your transmission? Basically, the main purpose is to "reprogram" the flow of fluid through the valvebody for firmer shifts and improved efficiency. It's actually pretty straightforward. Depending on the manufacturer, the kit will consist of a steel plate, some springs, and, we hope, easy-to-read instructions. Commercial shift reprogramming kits are often installed primarily so the driver can "chirp" his or her tires when they hit Second gear; nonetheless, they will give quicker power transfer between gears at the expense of some driving comfort (you will know when the car has changed gears!).

The fact is, most of us are scared to get inside of our automatic trannys. Believe it or not, reprogramming a valvebody requires a couple of simple handtools and a willingness to work in a clean environment; that's it. We recently went to JW Transmissions in Rockledge, Florida, to see how the pros do it. JW is best known for their aftermarket UltraBell SFI bellhousings, but perform numerous other upgrades and modifications to all types of transmissions and converters.

Normally, a "simple" TorqueFlite reprogramming kit may cost around $40. Truth be told, you can reprogram this valvebody without even using an aftermarket kit. While these changes might not be all you'll ever need for flat-out performance, they will give you firmer shifts and you can keep the dough in your pocket. If you feel more comfortable doing so, buy the kit and this primer will give you an idea of what will be required; just be sure to follow the instructions that come with the kit, should there be any variance.

Meanwhile, Tim Greear, the valvebody technician at JW, will show us just how simple it is to modify your valvebody. This isn't rocket science; by following a few easy steps, even the novice can improve the shifts in his ride. Simply remove the valvebody from the transmission, open it up, and drill a few holes. Nothin' to it.

JW Performance offers kits for your application that vary slightly from what we have shown you. For your truck and for towing applications, order the JW Performance Heavy Duty kit (PN 50001-1). Remember to specify the year of your valvebody using the date stamp on the valvebody. If you're more performance-oriented, then the JW Performance Street-Strip kit (50002-2) is for you. Again, specify the year of the valvebody using the date stamp. Both kits get a little more in-depth, but are still quite user-friendly.

SOURCE
JW Performance Transmissions
1826 Baldwin St.
Rockledge
FL  32955
321-632-6205