Lokar Automatic Electronic Sport Mode Transmission Shifter Installation
Easy Modern Automatic Transmission Shifter
The old-school lever on the steering column or simple aftermarket floor shift that says "PRNDL" just won't cut it when it comes to shifting these modern multi-overdrive automatic transmissions, which can be set up to hold a gear or shift when directed. Ranging from 6L80, 6L90E, 6R80, 4L80E, AODE, and 4R70W, shifting is down to you, whether you want to simply select "D" and let the transmission shift in full-auto monkey mode or you want to toggle the gears yourself. The days of the promised paddle-shifted automatic in the aftermarket is here.
Our 1969 Bronco project has just such a transmission behind our BluePrint Bronco Edition 306ci V-8. The transmission is a 2011 Ford F-150 6R80W built and adapted to the engine by Performance Automatic. This transmission, like many newer auto units, requires an electronically shifted controller (we have one from US Shift, supplied by Performance Automatic, which we have yet to play with since the truck isn't running yet). It also requires a mechanical shifter to act as an interface between driver, electronics, and mechanical selections made within the transmission. So what do we do? We could repurpose some factory parts to serve as this interface, but with a truck, and one with a retro feel, a shifter from a late-model Mustang would seem out of place.
Our solution was to reach out to Lokar Performance Products for one of its Automatic Electronic Sport Mode shifters, specifically one designed to work with the mechanical and electronic aspects of the Ford 6R80W transmission. We installed the shifter and are very happy with it so far, but as the project comes to an end we will also report back on how the shifter and transmission work on- and off-road. For now, check out our installation of this tricky Lokar shifter with evergreen good looks.