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Transmission Tips From the Pros at JW Performance

Who better to answer your questions about high performance automatic transmissions, than the pros that actually build them for everything from high performance street cars, to all out drag race vehicles.

Automatic Transmission Adjustment Tips and FAQ

1. How often should I change my transmission fluid?

Every 25 to 40 runs depending on application. Trans fluid should look clean. If it starts to look dirty or smells burnt than you should change it sooner

2. How often should I rebuild my racing transmission?

Every 250 passes for those with less than 1,200 horsepower. Those with over 1,200 horsepower every 100 passes.

3. What is considered a good temperature for my automatic transmission?

160 to 200 degrees F. Over 200 degrees F is considered too hot and will create heat damage to the band and clutches.

4. How often should I rebuild my torque converter?

Every twelve to eighteen months is the suggested time frame.

5. How much fluid does my transmission hold?

  • Powerglide with deep pan = 9 quarts
  • Powerglide w/o deep pan = 7 quarts
  • TH400 with deep pan = 9 ½ quarts
  • TH400 w/o deep pan = 7 ½ quarts
  • TH350 with deep pan = 9 ½ quarts
  • TH350 w/o deep pan = 7 ½ quarts

6. If my solenoid has two wires what should I do with the second wire?

The second wire needs to be grounded to the pan or to another location on the transmission.

7. How do I install my torque converter?

Fill the converter with ½” of a quart of transmissions fluid. Install the converter onto the front pump. When installing the converter, insert into the crank pilot 1/8” to 3/16”. There should be 1/8” to 3/16” of clearance between the flywheel and converter mounting lugs.

JW Performance Transmissions JW Jr.

John Winters Jr.
Transmission / Valve Body Department Manager
Over 17 years experience

8. How many amps should my solenoid draw?

All solenoids draw between 6 to 7 amps.

9. How do I identify the trans cooler lines?

The bottom line is pressure and the top line is the return line, for all GM applications.

The front line is pressure and the back line is the return for the C-4 and TF727 or TF904 applications.

10. What increases or creates stall speed?

The torque multiplication exists when more torque is applied to the turbine through redirected fluid force from the impeller, which is operating at a lesser torque. This condition is commonly called Vortex fluid.

The pitch of the fin angle determines the fluid velocity flow and therefore determines the stall speed. The greater the pitch of the fin angle the more stall is created.

11. How do I adjust my transmission band?

The powerglide, C-4, TF727 and TF904 are the only transmissions that need a band adjustment. The TH350 and TH400 do not require a band adjustment.


Loosen the 9/16” jamb nut tighten the bolt within 7/32” allen wrench to 72 inch pounds.

Back the adjusting screw to 3 ¾ turns. The band should be adjusted every 25 runs.



  • Remove lock nut
  • Tighten adjusting screw to 10 foot pounds
  • Back out three turns
  • Install lock nut and tighten


  • Loosen lock nut
  • Tighten adjusting screw to fit 10 ft. pounds
  • Back out 1 ½ turns for coarse thread
  • Back out 2 ½ turns for fine thread

TF727 and TF904

Front Band:

  • 4.2/5/0 lever: 1 ¾ turns - CCW (off)
  • 3.2/3.8 lever 2 turns - CCW (off)

Rear Band:

  • 2 turns - CCW (off)

12. What are the typical causes of oil leaking (puking) out of a transmission?

    A.  Too much oil

    B.  Pump halves not flush, causing a cross leak into vent or into drain, causing foaming.

    C.   VB cross leak blowing out into oil, therefore foaming the oil.

    D.  Pump gaskets blown on pressure or suction side.

    E.   Broken torque converter, or too much torque converter clearance.

    F.   Over heated oil, which raises the overall oil level.

    Automatic Transmission Rebuild Books

    Powerglide Trans Hp1355: How to Rebuild or Modify Chevrolet's Powerglide for all Applications

    Step-by-step instructions for how to modify the General Motors Powerglide Transmission for drag racing, road racing, and circle track racing. Includes sections on theory of operation, transbrakes, valve bodies, adapters, disassembly, modifications, assembly, adjustments, installation, high horsepower applications, and torque converters.

    How to Rebuild, Repair or Modify Powerglide Transmission

    Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 Handbook

    One of the most popular automatic transmission systems is covered in this comprehensive book. Fills in the gaps between the factory manual and what it takes for a do-it-yourself job to be successful. Includes money saving tips like interchanging parts.

    Turbo350 TH350 Transmission Rebuild and Repair Handbook

    How to Work with and Modify the Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 Transmission

    More than 450 photos, detailed drawings, tool lists and charts combine with an information-packed text to provide the most authoritative handbook of its kind! Chapters include: Basic maintenance, from fluid checks to linkage adjustment; Automatic transmission theory, the nuts and bolts of planetary gears and hydraulic circuits; Removal, rebuilding, installing, final checks, parts interchange section and break-in pointers, all in a step-by-step, how-to format.

    Turbo 400 TH400 Transmission Rebuild and Repair Handbook

    GM Automatic Transmission Overhaul (Haynes Manuals)

    Total Car Care is the most complete, step-by-step automotive repair manual you'll ever use. All repair procedures are supported by detailed specifications, exploded views, and photographs. From the simplest repair procedure to the most complex, trust Chilton's Total Car Care to give you everything you need to do the job. Save time and money by doing it yourself, with the confidence only a Chilton Repair Manual can provide.

    Covered are the TH 200-4R, TH 700-R4 TH 350, and the TH 400. Only the non-electronic versions of the four speed automatic transmissions are covered.

    GM Automatic Transmission Overhaul (Haynes Manuals)

    GM Automatic Overdrive Transmission Builder's and Swapper's Guide

    The automatic transmission is a miracle of modern engineering, but it can also be a source of trouble. If your transmission breaks down you're not going anywhere, and if it's just not working properly, your car will never realize its performance potential.
    In this book, expert mechanic and drag racer Cliff Ruggles demystifies the popular GM 700-R4 and 4L60 automatic transmissions. Keeping the enthusiast in mind, Ruggles explains the history of these transmissions, presents critical identification guidelines, and leads the reader through the complete disassembly, repair and upgrade, and assembly processes. DIY-ers will learn how to test their transmission to ensure its proper operation before installing it in the car.
    This book includes information about high-performance modifications, both from the factory and the aftermarket. These include internal parts and external components such as shift kits and torque converters that will help you make your transmission perform at its best. It also covers common installation issues such as mounting, shifters and linkages, wiring harnesses, and more, and includes a special section by Ro McGonegal on swapping these transmissions into earlier performance and muscle car chassis.

    GM Automatic Overdrive Transmission Builder's and Swapper's Guide

    How to Rebuild or Modify Chrysler's A-727 Torqueflite for All Applications

    This book provides step-by-step instructions for how to modify Chrysler's A-727 Torqueflite automatic transmission for drag racing, road racing, and circle racing. Topics include theory of operation, transbrakes, valve bodies, adapters, disassembly, modifications, assembly, adjustments, installation, high horsepower application, and torque converters.

    Torqueflite Transmission Book How to Rebuild or Modify Chrysler's A-727 Torqueflite

    Haynes Techbook Ford Automatic Transmission Overhaul

    This book covers the covers rear-wheel drive C3, C4, C5, C6, and AOD transmissions and also the front-wheel drive models ATX/FLC and AXOD.

    Included are the fundamentals, diagnosis techniques, and modifications. Sftbd., 8 1/2 x 10 3/4, 288 pgs., 691 b&w ill.

    Ford Automatic Transmission Overhaul (Haynes Manuals)

    Ford Transmissions Repair Book 1960-2007 Automatic and Manual Transmissions Author: Max Ellery

    Automatic AOD, BW 35/40, LE85/91/93/95/97, C4, C5, C6, C9, C10, FMX and M51. Manual 3 speed, 4 speed and 5 speed single rail, Top Loader, T5 and M57. Step by step instructions for a pull down and rebuild. Includes specifications, torque settings, problem diagnosis, shift speeds plus more information. This book is from an Australian publisher, and covers both American and Australian applications.

    Paperback - 8" x 11" - 264 pages - 919 b/w, 10 Ill.

    Transmission Repair Book Ford 1960 to 2007: Automatic and Manual


Thanks to JW Performance Transmissions, Inc. for providing the above transmission tips.








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