Throwback Thursday: Building A Bullet-Proof Turbo 400

When it comes to revered Chevrolet transmissions, the Turbo 400 is one that everyone agrees is one tough unit. It has been the most-used transmission in heavy cars for drag racing for many years. Its strength is combined with an ability to survive in a myriad of configurations and unforgiving situations. But as we all know, the Turbo 400 has not been produced by GM since 1987. That’s why I thought Building A Bullet-Proof Turbo 400 With ATI Performance is a great article for this week’s Throwback Thursday.

Read any article about upgrading a hot rod, and you’ll likely hear about the installation of a late-model overdrive. It’s not surprising, as they afford enthusiasts the ability to gear their classic for spirited short-jaunt driving and still enjoy low RPM interstate cruising.

turbo 400

The Turbo 400 SuperCase is the result of more than two years of development and has been in production for seven years. The SuperCase features improved fluid pathways to assure better performance. Plus, it’s SFI approved.

In the original article, we worked with ATI Performance Products to showcase the building of a nearly indestructible Turbo 400. The big news we learned involved the SuperCase for the Turbo 400. The SFI-approved case is understandably strong and made of aluminum, so it’s relatively light.

When talking about the ATI transmission internals, each stock, Turbo 400 part gets replaced with an ATI part or modified to improve performance and reliability. For instance, a stock front pump is utilized, but it is blueprinted before it is put into service. Although the Turbo 400’s front pump is a great unit in stock form, Baker adds, “We offer both stock-style, blueprinted units and our Super Pump. The Super Pump is great for higher horsepower applications because those need more pressure than a stock pump can supply. You need the correct pressure for the transmission to work and to be able to handle the power. It’s also utilized as a bolt-in stator tube.”

turbo 400

Although ATI will use a blueprinted and upgraded stock pump, the Super Pump is CNC-machined from billet aluminum for precision and durability. The re-engineered lubrication circuits allow for increased flow volume in all critical areas. In fact, the pump thickness is increased to improve oil pressure and volume at low RPM, resulting in a cooler-running transmission and converter.

Likewise, the stock input shaft is a stout piece and perfectly acceptable behind engines delivering mild horsepower. To be safe, a new ATI piece is made in-house from either 300M or Vasco. Also, all ATI transmissions come with a heavy-duty center support. The upgraded center support for the Turbo 400 features a bronze bushing that virtually eliminates premature sprag failure.

Turbo 400

ATI offers all-new input shafts with lightweight drums for less rotating weight and improved durability. The “big” Vasco inputs are 1 3/16-inch thick at the converter side and 1 1/4-inch where they press into the forward drum. Available with either an aluminum drum (PN: 406003V) that comes with a steel center or an all-new lightweight billet-steel drum (PN: 406002V) with a new billet-aluminum piston.

There’s some great information about building a Turbo 400 in this informative throwback article, but you’ll have to check out the original article to get all the info. So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t time to find out how easy it is to get a great automatic transmission? For that reason, I selected, Building A Bullet-Proof Turbo 400 With ATI Performance as this week’s Throwback Thursday showcase article.

More Sources

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
Read My Articles

Classic Street Rods in your Inbox

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Rod Authority, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes
Rod Authority NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Rod Authority - The #1 Authority for Street and Rat Rods

We'll send you the most interesting Street Rod articles, news, car features, and videos every week.

Rod Authority - The #1 Authority for Street and Rat Rods

Rod Authority NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Rod Authority - The #1 Authority for Street and Rat Rods

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...



Hot Rods & Muscle Cars

Classic Chevy Magazine

Corvette Enthusiasts

Rod Authority - The #1 Authority for Street and Rat Rods

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...

  • Hot Rods & Muscle Cars
  • Classic Chevy Magazine
  • Corvette Enthusiasts

Rod Authority - The #1 Authority for Street and Rat Rods

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Rod Authority - The #1 Authority for Street and Rat Rods

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Loading