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Drivetrain Parts Buyer's Guide

Posted in Product Reviews on September 1, 1998
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You might call drivetrain components the heart and soul of a vehicle. Any way you try to figure it, there's just no way to do without them. Wheels and tires are great, but what good are they if you don't have the equipment to turn 'em? Exhaust systems? Great performance enhancers, but we'd like to see how they benefit a vehicle that's missing its driveshaft or rearend. Engines? Sans a tranny, all you'll get out of it is a warm manifold burrito.

Just about the only thing you could purchase to replace the drivetrain of a vehicle would be a winch, but how much entertainment do you gain from dragging a vehicle up and over an obstacle and then home again? A vehicle's just not a vehicle without its drivetrain. With that in mind, isn't it about time you treated yours to a little something special?

Reider Racing
Reider Racing now offers a Ford 9-inch, 31-spline TrueTrac differential. This all-geardriven, limited-slip differential manufactured by Tractech is said to automatically provide smooth torque transfer based on traction demands. With no clutch plates or friction plates to wear out, the TrueTrac provides durable performance with no loss in power transfer. The TrueTrac is also available for Dana 30 and 44, GM 8.5- and 8.875-inch, Ford 8.8-inch, and Toyota 7.5- and 8-inch axles. Information: Reider Racing Ent., Dept. 4WOR, 12351 Universal Dr., Taylor, MI 48180, 800/375-1330, 734/946-1330.

Precision Gear
With Ford's new body style came new front and rear axles. Precision Gear now offers 4.10:1 and 4.56:1 ratio ring-and-pinion gearsets to fit the new reverse-rotation 8.8-inch front axle and 9 3/4-inch rear. Information: Precision Gear, Dept. 4WOR, 12351 Universal Dr., Taylor, MI 48180, 734/946-0524.

Art Morrison
nch rearends. The company has developed special fixtures that allow technicians to hold all components in correct alignment when fitting the housings with new tubes and billet-housing ends. Each housing is built to meet your specific needs and is equipped with appropriate suspension brackets and a housing-end bolt pattern. Information: Art Morrison Ent., Dept. 4WOR, 5301 8th St. E., Fife, WA 98424, 253/922-7188.

Auburn Gear
Auburn Gear offers its high-bias limited-slip differentials, which are said to outlast and outperform the standard OE differentials by delivering more torque, better traction, and faster engagement for controlled power transfer and reaction to changing load conditions. Auburn Gear has a full range of Pro Series high-bias differentials for most Chrysler, Ford, GM, and Toyota applications. Information: Auburn Gear, Dept. 4WOR, 400 E. Auburn Dr., Auburn, IN 46706-3499, 219/925-3200.

Tom's Bronco Parts
Designed to stop broken axle U-joints, Heavy Duty axles from Tom's Bronco Parts feature 3/4-ton U-joints and are said to be stronger than stock. Because of the bolt-in design, the Heavy Duty shafts are easy to install and don't require any modifications. Information: Tom's Bronco Parts, Dept. 4WOR, 2294 Sage Rd., Medford, OR 97501, 541/779-1339, e-mail

West Coast Differentials
West Coast Differentials sells rebuilt third members for most drop-out rearends. The units are built to your specifications with any components you desire, including with a positraction or locking differential. Everything is installed and ready to bolt to your axle. Information: West Coast Differentials, Dept. 4WOR, 11235-F Coloma Rd., Rancho Cordova, CA 95670, 916/635-0950

Currie Enterprises has the answer to driveline-angle problems that plague short-wheelbase off-road vehicles. The Currie High Pinion Gear Case offers an improved pinion angle, more ground clearance, less weight, and a higher pinion location than a reverse-cut Dana 60. If you have a 9-inch rearend, you can reuse the housing, axles, and carrier. The gear case is CNC-machined from high-strength nodular iron and is equipped with chrome-moly carrier caps. Information: Currie Ent., Dept. 4WOR, 1480 N. Tustin Ave., Anaheim, CA 92807, 714/528-6957.

Tri-County Gear
Tri-County Gear specializes in all of your hard-core 4x4 needs, from custom axles to heavy-duty steering parts. Tri-County Gear carries new and used Jeep parts as well as components for many other applications. Information: Tri-County Gear, Dept. 4WOR, 1143 W. 2nd St., Pomona, CA 91766, 909/623-3373.

Dynatrac Products
Dynatrac Products is offering GM, Ford, Dodge, and Jeep owners a heavy-duty alternative to troublesome corporate rearends. These custom-built Dana 60 assemblies are brand-new bolt-in replacements and can be equipped with factory drum or high-performance disc brakes that fit all standard five- or six-lug wheels. The Dynatrac rearend includes a limited-slip differential, a choice of gear ratio, and 35-spline alloy steel shafts. Lockers and full-floating hubs can also be added. Information: Dynatrac Products Co. Inc., Dept. 4WOR, 7236 Garden Grove Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683, 714/898-5228.

Randy's Ring & Pinion
Randy's Ring & Pinion has a huge supply of rearend setup shims in stock for popular and not-so-popular differentials. The company carries the shims in stock as complete shim kits, with or without bearings. Shims and shim packages for many applications are available separately. Also, for those odd applications, Randy's Ring & Pinion can usually make a custom package for your specific needs. Information: Randy's Ring & Pinion, Dept. 4WOR, 11630 Airport Rd., Ste. 300, Everett, WA 98204, 800/291-1360 or 425/347-1199.

B&M Racing & Performance Products
The B&M Traveler transmission is a rugged model recommended for light trucks and RV/towing applications. The Traveler increases oil flow, which is said to provide cooler operation under heavy use and has a medium-to-firm shift compared to the hard shift of B&M's Street/Strip model. Information: B&M Racing & Performance Products, Dept. 4WOR, 9142 Independence Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311, 818/882-6422.

JB Conversions
JB Conversions now manufactures its own adapters for utilization of the new Dodge NV4500 transmission into Jeep Wranglers and CJs. The adapters are sold as a package with a new Dodge transmission (oil included). YJ applications come with a transfer-case shifter and a new input bearing retainer is supplied for CJ applications. Information: JB Conversions Inc., Dept. 4WOR, P.O. Box 2683, Sulphur, LA 70663, 318/625-2379.

Summit Racing Equipment
Summit Racing Equipment offers its own line of Summit torque converters for popular GM, Ford, and Chrysler automatic transmissions. Remanufactured from select cores, the converters provide approximately 1,500-2,000 rpm stall speed depending on the application. The converters are computer balanced and feature a custom-machined stator, a hardened hub, submerged arc welds, and extra welding on the stator fins for durability. Information: Summit Racing Equipment, Dept. 4WOR, P.O. Box 909, Akron, OH 44309, 800/230-3030, Web site

Premier Performance
Available from Premier Performance is its T-700 & Install Kit to upgrade older Chevy trucks to a four-speed, automatic overdrive transmission. The T-700 offers a low First and Second gear for crawling and a 30-percent Fourth gear Overdrive for highway cruising. The T-700 can be adapted to a variety of transfer cases and is suitable for performance-built engines. Information: Premier Performance, Dept. 4WOR, 1020-B S. Melrose St., Placentia, CA 92870, 714/630-3235.

Dynamic Transmissions
Dynamic introduces its forward-shifting manual T400 with engine braking in all forward gears. In addition to transmissions, Dynamic also offers torque converters, valvebodies, internal brakes, overhauls, repairs, upgrades, and conversions. Information: Dynamic Transmissions Inc., Dept. 4WOR, 143 Adeline St., New Haven, CT 06519, 203/865-6884.

A-1 Automatic Transmissions
A-1 Automatic Transmissions announces the availability of a series of torque converters designed to improve fuel economy and bottom-end torque. The Plus Torque/MPG converters feature specially designed turbine fins, a stator-matched application, a heavy-duty sprag, needle-bearing thrust washers, and complete factory balancing. The Plus Torque/MPG converter is available in 12- and 13-inch-diameter models. Information: A-1 Automatic Transmissions, Dept. 4WOR, 7359 Canoga Ave., Canoga Park, CA 91303, 818/884-6222.

TransGo Performance
The Performance Shift Kit from TransGo Performance gives the driver control of shifting and is said to bring a dramatic increase in firmness, control, and durability. The Performance Shift Kit is available for a number of GM, Ford, and Chrysler applications and doesn't require removal of the transmission or any special tools to install. Information: TransGo Performance, Dept. 4WOR, 2621 Merced Ave., El Monte, CA 91733, 626/443-4953.

LC Engineering
LC Engineering offers Performance Clutch Kits and Flywheels for the four-cylinder Toyota 20R, 22R, and 22RE engines. Each Professional Clutch Kit is custom-assembled from all-new components and features a 1,440-pound-rated, heavy-duty pressure plate combined with LC's custom brass-impregnated clutch disc. The heavyweight Flywheel is said to increase the rotating inertia, making it great for towing and hauling and improving highway cruising. Information: LC Engineering Inc., Dept. 4WOR, 1880-B Commander Dr., Lake Havasu, AZ 86403, 520/505-2501.

Centerforce Clutches
New from Centerforce Clutches is its Lightfooted Heavy Weight, a weighted pressure plate system clutch designed to apply progressive holding power that increases as rpm rises. Centerforce centrifugal-assisted clutches are said to deliver superior pedal feel and control along with unparalleled frictional performance. Models are available to fit most vehicles and applications, domestic and import. Information: Centerforce Clutches, Dept. 4WOR, 2266 Crosswind Dr., Prescott, AZ 86301, 520/771-8422.

Novak Enterprises now makes an adapter for mating the NV4500 five-speed to the Jeep 300 transfer cases. The kit is designed to be used with a Chevy 4x4 NV4500 transmission. No disassembly is required to use the kit. Information: Novak Enterprises Inc., Dept. 4WOR, 13321 Alondra Blvd., Ste. A, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670, 562/921-3202.

Transfer Cases
4X Heaven
4X Heaven has a full line of drivetrain parts available, including chains, gaskets, seals, overhaul kits, and housings. The company also offers rebuilt transfer cases such as the 205 Power House. Information: 4X Heaven, Dept. 4WOR, 221 W. Fulton St., Gloversville, NY 12078, 518/725-1203.

4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers
4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers announces the availability of Genuine Gear Transfer Case Kits and components. The Gasket and Seal Kit is ideal for fixing leaks, and the Master Kit and replacement drivechains are recommended for complete rebuilds. The Master Kit has all of the necessary hardware, including gaskets, seals, and bearings. Kits are available for GM, Ford, Dodge, and Jeep applications. Information: 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers, Dept. 4WOR, 801 W. Artesia Blvd., Compton, CA 90220, 800/421-1050.

Driveline Shop
Driveline Shop specializes in the design and fabrication of steel and aluminum driveshafts. The company will work with you to design a custom driveshaft for any application. Each steel driveshaft is made from 1026 D.O.M. tubing and is tested for balance at all rpm ranges. Custom-drawn 6061-T6 aluminum tube is used in constructing all aluminum shafts and yokes, providing optimum strength and a highly polished finish. Information: Driveline Shop Inc., Dept. 4WOR, 1842 E. Commercial, Springfield, MO 65803, 800/798-1967 or 417/863-1830.

L&S Automotive Products
Constructed of heat-treated manganese steel and designed specifically for use on 4x4s, New Alloy Super Joints from L&S Automotive Products are said to be 30 percent stronger than standard universal joints and are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Super Joints feature high-temperature, double-lip neoprene seals to increase bearing life, carbonized heat-treated cups to protect needle bearings, and a special black petro coating to block rust and extend life. Information: L&S Automotive Products, Dept. 4WOR, 6 S. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma City, OK 73101, 405/236-5501.

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