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Yep, you read it right, we're telling you to put a Ford transmission behind your Cummins. But why, isn't the 68RFE supposed to be one of the most advanced automatic transmissions behind late model diesels?
The advantage of the 4R100 transmission over any stock or performance built 68-RFE is ultimately the reliability and price. The 68RFE transmission has some great qualities, but unfortunately it suffers in several areas that cannot be easily overcome. The ATS performance built 68RFE transmission with Co-Pilot Controller installed is great at power levels up to roughly 600 RWHP, but above this level, several inherent, unmodifiable traits rear their ugly head.
Conditions of the 68RFE that cannot be overcome:
For starters, the 68RFE clutch apply and release is 100% computer controlled. That means every time a clutch pack is applied or released, the computer must control the exact clutch apply rate and the exact clutch release rate during the shift with exact precision or one of the two clutch packs being applied and released will be damaged. This is the real issue with the 68 transmission. There are 5 clutch packs in the 68 transmission that are responsible for all forward and reverse gears. If two clutch packs are applied you get one of 6 forward gear ratios, if one is applied you get no movement, and if three are applied you get a bind-up or clutch drag! It is just short of a miracle that the Dodge TCM can adapt to such changing conditions that effect clutch to clutch application rates as well as it does.
Here are a few of these changing conditions:
- Fluid Temperature
- Engine Load
- Power Level
- Throttle Position
- Clutch Coefficient
- Line Pressure
- Internal Hydraulic Leaks
- Internal Clutch Clearance
- Solenoid Resistance
- Wiring Fatigue
- Battery Voltage
- And More!
This is all wrapped around the envelope that the engineers calculated to be the environment that the 68 transmission would live in. This is why the 68 is relatively reliable in a bone stock truck using factory stock calibration. As soon as you increase power to the engine by installing a tuner you go beyond the ability for the TCM to accurately calculate the Clutch Volume Index (CVI) of each clutch pack. CVI's are used by the TCM so it knows the clutch pack clearance of each clutch pack. The TCM must know the clutch pack clearance so it will know what CVI number to plug into its algorithm to accurately apply and release the on and off going clutch pack. The TCM must do this correctly every time under all power levels to ensure a consistent shift takes place. ATS deals with all this nonsense by placing the Co-Pilot between the TCM and the transmission and apply another level of input (true engine load) to the TCM and take control of the transmission. This allows ATS' Built 68RFE to reliably and consistently handle up to 650 RWHP without the negative effects, as long as the rest of the factory electronics are in good condition. As you can see, the 68 transmission is a slave to the outside environment and is very venerable to so many possible problems that can and does often cause total transmission failure in a very short time!
The 4R100 Advantage
First off, the 4R transmission is a synchronous type transmission, which means there is no "clutch to clutch" timing issues that need to be dealt with by the computer! This in itself lay the foundation for a brutally reliable transmission package! Shift quality is much better controlled by the 4R transmission, because all shifts are actuated by an on/off shift solenoid that passes clutch application through a clutch fill valve that also has an accumulator to better control clutch fill time allowing for precise clutch application. This provides a near perfect shift at all power levels. The gear ratios of the 4R Transmission are evenly spaced providing a consistent RPM drop between all shifts. This consistent RPM drop gives a smooth power transfer while reducing the air disturbance through the turbocharger maintaining even boost levels. The Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) application is a modern day type Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) signal that provides smooth, controllable TCC application. All this combined adds up to a transmission that shifts through all the gears and applies the TC with smooth accurate operation.
The specialty built torque converter is custom manufactured to perfectly match the exact stall speed of the Cummins torque curve to provide the optimal RPM flash stall, allowing the turbocharger to start making boost pressure while at the lowest RPM range possible. This is all because of the properly designed turbine, impeller, and stator design. The billet stator directs fluid from the impeller back into the turbine to most efficiently harness the lost energy in the fluid that is not absorbed by the turbine. All this means the torque multiplication is maximized providing a very smooth power transfer and maximum torque transfer from the engine to the transmission at an RPM that is well within the beginning of the torque curve of the engine. The lock up section of the converter is ATS' patented Viskus Clutch pack design that allows for a smooth transition from fluid coupling to a 100% mechanical engagement, providing over 3000 foot pounds of torque transfer without slip! The overly built Viskus clutch pack allows for a pulsed in TCC application at any power level without the concern of damage to the clutch pack. What this means is the PWM application of the 4R-Performance Transmission can be utilized in the programing to slowly apply the TCC, providing a soft application, while not damaging the TCC. All this translates to an even RPM drop any time the TCC clutch is applied. You will never again have to live with a hard TCC shift.
The 4R-Trans has a superb gear ratio set that really favors the diesel engine. The gear ratio provides an even RPM drop between all shifts from 1st all the way to 4th gear. This coupled with the ability to release and apply the TCC between shifts gives the feeling of the smoothest power transfer at speeds up to 100 MPH!
Ratios of the 4R-Trans:
The synchronous shift application of the transmission mean there are no "clutch to clutch" timing concerns to deal with while making the transition between gear shifts. The 68RFE transmissions require a managed application rate to apply a clutch, while also having to manage the release of a clutch to achieve a desired shift. All this overhead presents a real problem when adapting to large power swings like a turbocharged diesel presents. This is the main reason the 68 transmission has a serious issue coping with the power fluctuation levels of the turbocharged Cummins. The 4R transmission clutch application only requires a single feed to apply all four gear applications. The simplicity of the hydraulic circuits and the synchronous operation provide a perfect performance transmission platform.
The 4R has electronic line pressure control, electronic accumulator control and PWM TCC control. All this allows the precision turning capability so the user cannot only control when each shift occurs and the converter clutch occurs, but the shift quality can be altered by changing line pressure along with tailoring the accumulator rate to optimize shift quality throughout the entire power curve. Not only can ATS tailor the shift quality, but can also tie the clutch application, TCC apply, and accumulator rate directly to engine load, instead of only throttle percentage! This equates to the best shifting transmission you have ever driven!
In general, the ATS 4R Performance transmission package is the perfect transmission choice for just about any application. ATS offers a variety of mounting options so the transmission can be placed behind just about any 5.9 or 6.7L Cummins Engine. We offer numerous transmission build options from stock power to extreme 1500 HP+ applications to mate up to this Conversion Kit. The transmission controller package is easy to install and comes complete with all plug-n-play wiring harness, software and instructions.
CALL US TODAY TO HELP YOU DETERMINE THE RIGHT 4R100 TRANSMISSION TO MATE TO THIS CONVERSION KIT!
- YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO SHORTEN/LENGTHEN THE FRONT AND REAR DRIVE SHAFTS FOR APPROPRIATE LENGTH, ANGLE AND FITMENT. DRIVE SHAFTS ARE NOT INCLUDED.
- YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO REPLACE THE TRANSFER CASE HEAD GEAR, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THIS KIT.
- YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO REFLASH THE FACTORY COMPUTER TO A G56 MANUAL TRANSMISSION. MOST DODGE DEALERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THIS.
- ManufacturerATS Diesel Performance
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Does this kit mean I will need to replace my whole 68 tranny for a 4100? And if not does this kit turn my 68 automatic tranny into a standard? Soot?
This is just the conversion kit to put a 4r100 ford transmission in place of the 68RFE.
Will you still be able to shift between 4x2 and 4x4 on the fly??
Yes, this would not effect the function of the factory transfer case
Does the factory options such as remote start and backup camera still function correctly??
Yes it would eliminate the factory backup camera. Also disables the PRNDL switch so the remote start will not work. And if your truck has a tap shifter that will not either. That kit is more geared towards guys racing their truck.
My 08 has the G56, is this kit compatible, and if so what other products are needed??
This is for individuals that have the 68RFE auto trans and would like to convert to the 4R100 auto. This kit is not designed for manual trans trucks that want to swap to automatic. You could use this kit, but there will be many more parts that would be needed to convert a manual to auto. I do not have an exact list of parts needed to do that task.-TL