Tom Wilson
February 4, 2010

We didn't have a chance to baseline Ricky's car at the strip before the transmission went in, but previously we tested another, nonsuperchared AOD 5.0 prepped by Art and it gained 0.2 second in the quarter. We did chassis dyno Ricky's car before and after the transmission work, but we didn't see any power gain. The track improvements that gearboxes such as these exhibit come from getting what power there is to the ground better and faster, not so much in increasing available power.

Also, increased power to the ground from a performance transmission is really secondary. The major advantage from a prepped transmission such as the CPT Extreme Duty is it will live through hard use and increased power levels the stock AOD could never withstand.

And now, with the supercharger on the engine and the transmission taken care of, it seems the only parts Ricky has to worry about blowing away are the rear tires.

Ricky's Ride
Ricky Best's project coupe is a typical, modern 5.0 project car. A nearly stock coupe when he recently bought it, Ricky's ride sports a 2-1/2-inch Bassani X-pipe with cats, along with a Bassani after-cat on the exhaust side and an Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe on the intake-well, that and a Vortech V1 T-trim set at 8.5 pounds of boost.

Although the car is quite clean and there's life left under the hood (the odometer shows 125,000 miles), Ricky really doesn't need to push his luck until he can spiff up the basic engine. One change he will be making shortly is from the stock 2.73 rear-axle gears to probably 3.73s. That job will likely be handled by Extreme Automotive in Canoga Park, California. They got Ricky through a pan-gasket change in record time and would probably enjoy a straightforward gear change after the gasket hassle.

California Performance Transmission can tailor almost any part of the transmission's function as desired by the customer. Clearly the major changes by the torque converter are a common adjustment, but so is shift rpm. Often CPT sets an AOD to shift at 5,500 rpm, but given the high mileage and possibly weak valve-springs on Ricky's coupe, CPT set it up for a 5,100-rpm shift to avoid any overspeed issues.