ATS Diesel Performance - Stage 3 Billet Transmission

Building A Better Slushbox

Agustin Jimenez
Dec 1, 2012
Photographers: Agustin Jimenez
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to deal with a slipping automatic transmission, you know there’s no worse feeling than that—especially when a heavy trailer is hooked to the back and you have a long climb ahead of you. Such was the case for us while towing our gooseneck magazine trailer to Moab, Utah, for the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari. There was quite a bit of slippage in our 2006 Dodge Ram Dually when going into Second gear, which made climbing steep grades a chore. Luckily, though, our transmission held up long enough to not only make it to Moab, but it also got us all the way to Arvada, Colorado, (sans trailer) for a solid rebuild of our 48RE at ATS Diesel Performance.
Photo 2/23   |   building A Better Slushbox ram Dually On Lift
We realized pretty quickly that the stock 48RE in our Dually would not be able to live very long behind the stock 5.9L 24V Cummins, especially when constantly used to tow heavy trailers for hundreds of miles. To make sure our 48RE was up to the stresses of constant heavy work, we decided that a Stage 3 Billet Transmission was just what we needed. The ATS Diesel Performance Stage 3 Billet Transmission is built to stand up to these heavy loads and stop-and-go commutes to work, as well as high-horsepower applications. ATS Diesel modifies the transmission to make it the strongest and most reliable part of the drivetrain by using a Five Star Viskus clutch drive torque converter, an ATS Diesel large-capacity cast-aluminum transmission pan, and an ATS Diesel billet input shaft, as well as the ATS Diesel Co-Pilot torque converter lockup controller system.
The guys at ATS Diesel had our Dually up and running pretty quickly. We couldn’t believe how fast they worked and were impressed at the quality of work they performed. ATS Diesel does offer shipping on their parts and has authorized installers throughout the country. However, if you can, it’s worth it to make the drive to their headquarters to check out all the cool stuff they have, and while your tow rig is under the knife, you can hang out in their luxurious lounge and drool over all the cool diesel engines they have on display, shoot some billiards, or even play some arcade classics. Heck, even the bathroom is fit for a king!
Results
So, how do we like the Stage 3 Billet Transmission package? It’s awesome! It’s certainly more fun to drive now that the torque converter can lock up in all gears, and when paired with our Banks exhaust brake, we’ve noticed we don’t have to use the brakes as much to slow down. It was a pleasure coming down Eisenhower Pass hardly having to use the brakes down a 7 percent grade thanks to the Co-Pilot allowing us to keep the torque convertor locked in every gear. The gear shifts are significantly smoother and firmer, delivering a better overall driving experience.

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