BTE loves hearing success stories from satisfied racers. Today we feature a testimonial from Greg Schmidt, a driver for Paradigm Racing whose 1989 Camaro, Bad Influence, saw significantly improved performance using BTE’s custom-built TH400 transmission.
Greg Schmidt, Driver for Paradigm Racing writes:
For those who may not follow our racing, we are Paradigm Racing and our car, Bad Influence, is a 1989 Camaro sporting a Big Tire, a healthy 632CI engine with a nice sniff of nitrous from Nitrous Outlet. We have had a BTE Bolt Together Converter and Top Sportsman Powerglide in our car from 2015 thru 2017 and this setup brought us a lot of win lights, five event wins, numerous semi-final and final round appearances, and a championship in 2016.
Building Bad Influence
In 2017 at PRI we talked to Brandon and his crew from BTE about what we could do to not only speed up our car, but to help showcase BTE Racing and their products. Brandon's crew said, "Let's go to a 3-speed."
Our Crew Chief Al was excited but I was skeptical—I fear change and tend to think, "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." BTE Racing put together a Reid-cased TH400 with a close ratio 1.66/1.34/1:1 gear set, a reverse manual valve body with a clean neutral, and a pro brake with 1st AND 2nd gear transbrake. This was great since our Top Sportsman Powerglide was a 1.69 1st gear. We topped off this setup with an air operated Precision Performance Products Shifter.
We knew we wanted to keep our comparison "apples to apples," and the TH400 is slightly heavier than the Powerglide (50-70 lbs depending on how you have them setup), so we put the car and driver on a diet over the winter of 2017/18. When making the switch from a PG to a TH400 the transmission mount will change, and the driveshaft will need to be shortened 1-1.5 inches depending on your suspension setup and travel.
We hit the track May of 2018 and we were 5 lbs lighter than the previous season, even with the exact same engine, nitrous, rear gears, converter, tires, etc. We put a known good tune in the car that we had data on to go 4.77 in the 1/8th mile.
When we let off the brake and held on for the ride the time slip put a smile on my face. A 4.67 Elapsed Time made it easy to let go of my fear of change! A swap from a 2-speed to a 3-speed gave us a full tenth of a second on a light tune in the 1/8th mile, plus the car was better to drive, kept the G meter up longer and pulled better throughout the pass. Our transmission temperatures have stayed cool all season, and we've been able to play with gear timing curves much closer than we could before.
BTE Racing changed our racing program with the change of a transmission, adding one more tuning trick to our toolbox. If you are a heads up racer or FAST Bracket racer wanting that extra little edge, this is a product you need to look into to help your program out!
Next appearance—South Georgia Motorsports Park for No Mercy 9. You can see this transmission in action in the OUTLAW 632 class this week at SGMP or tune into the live feed! Thank you Brandon and the ENTIRE crew at BTE Racing for the amazing products and service over the years.