Tight engineering specs give Transtar rebuild kits an edge
As automakers strive to improve fuel economy in their vehicles, the days of inefficient four-speed automatic transmissions are quickly fading in the rear-view mirror. It’s a shift that has major implications for the aftermarket industry.
“Eight-speed automatic transmissions are well-developed, and we’re now seeing demand for those kits in the aftermarket,” said Eric Fassnacht, Transtar’s product manager for soft parts and kits. “Jeep introduced a nine-speed automatic transmission in its Grand Cherokee model this year. GM and Ford are going to deliver a joint-developed 10-speed next year.
“It’s an interesting evolution in our industry because, ultimately, more speeds in a transmission mean more wearable parts.”
And with those additional wearable parts come additional specifications. Another major component of fuel economy is vehicle weight. That poses a challenge as transmissions take on more parts: Build a transmission that’s too heavy, and your vehicle’s fuel economy will dip.
Getting the best of both worlds – a transmission with additional speeds and minimal weight gain – requires maintaining a balance along a razor-thin margin for automakers and aftermarket brands developing rebuild kits.
“You need to be more precise and have tight engineering specifications,” Fassnacht said. “That’s why Transtar focuses on delivering OE-quality and high-quality kits.”
Exceptional Industry Partnerships
For Transtar, that means working with exceptional partners, including Transtec, an exclusive supplier. Fassnacht said Transtec does an exceptional job of staying on the cutting edge of late-model applications, working through transmissions that customers won’t see in shops for three to four years.
“They tear down transmissions and look for seals and gaskets – their core product lines,” Fassnacht said. “Transtar tears down those transmissions jointly to look for gear trains, hard parts, and friction and steel clutch plates. We work with associated vendors to make sure we have the operation of the transmission identified correctly and the products to support rebuilding transmissions.
“As a product manager, it’s nice to have the resources that Transtar has available. We partner with the best vendors and suppliers, and that ensures we get high-quality parts to our customers.”
Want to learn more about Transtar’s rebuild kits and soft parts? Contact your local Transtar representative today.