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Step 1) Find and acquire a Hexmods F1 valve body. Without it, you'll destroy your 5EAT in short order at those power levels.


Unfortunately, rumor has it Dave (username here climberd) has retired and is no longer making F1s.. This makes it somewhat harder to achieve.

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June 16, 2016 ·

I received a great question:

Do you have an idea of what this [5EAT] transmission and diff can handle? I'm wanting to push it but reliability is still a must for me.

The Answer:

The reliable power levels all depend on how much you're willing to spend, and what fuel you're willing to use (E85 or Gasoline).

The following numbers are for gasoline:

-300whp/wtq can be done safely with the right tuner, and is a lot of fun to drive.

-350whp/wtq can be done reasonably safely if your engine tuner is quite good and doesn't squeeze ignition timing, but a good bit more research and preparation is required.

-400whp/wtq can eventually lead to needing a built engine, but the transmission itself can handle it. This is about the limit for 5EAT to provide reasonable longevity (relative to 400whp). Yes, the 5EAT can handle a lot!

-450whp/wtq is a major undertaking, most likely won't be reliable, and will be hard on the stock clutch packs, resulting in dramatically short transmission life. This level would require a good bit of discussion, but several customers have met or exceeded this level and are enjoying the heck out of their cars.

For these levels 300-400whp/wtq, the 5EAT recipe is the same:

1) You will need a valve body upgrade, no question.

2) Some cars run hot, some do not. If yours does (above 200*F) then a transmission cooler is essential.

3) If you launch occasionally but not brutally, center differential bulletproof bushings will increase your margin of safety considerably. However, the center differential can still break with enough repeat abuse, which isn't hard to do. It fails from fatigue, not usually from single stress events, thus:

4) A Center Differential Upgraded Gears kit can allow you to really hammer on launches. But beware, with a great enough quantity of drag races or other abusive driving, even this can eventually break. When a center differential breaks (and I've seen a lot break), it sometimes causes other damage throughout the transmission, and is not cheap to fix.

You can see the theme here. Launching (and other repeated stresses to the center diff) is not recommended.

Everything else is encouraged.


David Hettena

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