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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread is to be a resource for R18 A/T owners to see what their options are for increasing the power of their cars. I will update this post as more information is gathered.

First things first, however: no one knows how much power the R18 A/T can tolerate either on the short term or over the long haul. That means questions like "can my automatic transmission handle 200 whp?" cannot be answered at this time. There are plenty of guesses but no actual data.

For F/I options, see this thread:
http://www.8thcivic.com/forums/civi...sive-performance-parts-list-r18-part-2-a.html

Options

Transmission Cooler
One of the things that will kill an A/T is heat. In order to combat heat, a bigger transmission cooler can be installed. jmo19D wrote a nice DIY about doing that: http://www.8thcivic.com/forums/civic-coupe-sedan/205640-auto-trans-cooler-diy.html This is a cheap mod and relatively easy to do. If you do install an intercooler and external transmission cooler, you may want to consider upgrading your radiator fans so that you do not hamper your radiator's ability to cool.

Upgraded Torque Converter
Your next option would be to upgrade the torque converter. A company on the east coast called level10 is in the business of rebuilding torque converters to be able to tolerate a lot of power. They provide two options: you ship them your torque converter to be upgraded or you buy a converter that is already modified through them. The send-it-in option is $598 (excluding shipping) and the buy-it option is $998. If you go to their shop, they will upgrade and install your new torque converter over the course of about 3 business days (labor charges apply).

Note that no one has installed a level10 torque converter on an 8thgen. No one knows if the remainder of the transmission can withstand dramatic increases in horsepower, even if the torque converter can. If we judge by the manual cars, they seem to be doing ok with a clutch upgrade, so it is possible that a torque converter upgrade would be all that is needed.

Also note that level10 does each torque converter/transmission as a custom job. They do not offer a "standard" kit for you to do the conversion yourself.

Upgraded Transmission
level10 also offers the service of upgrading your transmission to tolerate increases in power. This is priced at $3298 if you send in your transmission and $4298 if you get one they have built already. Again, they offer the ability to do the installation themselves over the course of about 3 business days

Other Considerations
One thing to consider with these cars is that the shift points are not adjustable via Flashpro. This means that even with more power you will still fall victim to the funky shifting habits this car's computer seems to be fond of.

It's blinking because there is no current way to program the TCU. The control unit monitors gear shifts based on vehicle speed sensor, and throttle position sensor.

The load on the engine it outputted from the PCM/ECU to the TCU, and it compares that to the TPS value table to the vehicle speed tables to determine when to shift and when to lock up the torque converter.

Since you've gone turbo, the value it is using for load is probably not changing or unchanged, and when it is interpolating the shift point between the TPS table and VSS table, it's probably getting a value that is outside of operating parameter, or safe range. Or perhaps the tables within the TCU dont have that high of a range.

Or, it is possible the that input shaft speed is not matching output shaft speed within parameter based on converter lock-up pressure, the fluid might be too hot, it might be slipping outside of parameter, perhaps wheel speed isn't matching vehicle speed, or it's conflicting with the grade logic functions, or some crazy combo of the above.

All signs point to making too much power. This doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing, but there will be little to no warning if the transmission fails, and it will most likely by catastrophic failure( catastrophic meaning complete failure )
NOTE: Kakashi's diagnosis may not be accurate. See http://www.8thcivic.com/forums/civi...fficial-turbod-r18-crew-201.html#post11866889

If anyone else has some constructive input, please post it up and I'll add it.
 

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thanks for posting this thread up, itll be very helpful in the future. I still have the kit sitting in my closet awaiting install in my a/t. But still saving up for flashpro... if anyone has any input with experiences with this I hope to hear soon.
 

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I agree with your first point, definitely step 1 is to get good synthetic transmission oil in there and add an oil cooler. At this stage is still exploratory not many folks have done it on this specific chasis if anyone at all on the auto gearbox. It starts with YOU (owner of vehicle) taking an initiative and ordering an oil cooler kit and figuring it out really. Should be like every other automatic transmission before this.

On the other points I don't really know to much to chime in on except for the last one, keeping the trans in "D" you will always battle with the early MPG biased upshifts. Solution ? manual shift it, the gearbox is electronically controlled and won't harm itself.

Here's an example, doing 80 MPH on the interstate you can worry free put the lever into the "1" position and it will NOT go into first gear causing an over rev, it will go into it once safe to do so which is 30 MPH.

Does this increase wear ? Possibly, my guess is that it creates just as much wear an a normal downshift.

Upgrading the torque converter though is usually a good step, but IMO I'd rather wait that out and see if your turbo application causes slip. If it does, then upgrade. If it doesn't, keep the stock unit to act like a "buffer" between the engine and the transmission so you first point of failure is the actual torque converter instead of that stress being more transfered downstream into the actual gearbox.

Lastly, anyone greatly making more power then stock MUST expect future failure and prepare for it. I no longer have an auto box so I kind of stopped looking into it but my suggestion would be to just buy a spare gearbox from a salvage yard and keep it handy.

It's my experience that bad things always happen in the worst of times, prepare while you're ahead this way your downtime is minimal.

Good Luck and I look forward to seeing every one in this community being ingenuitive in this category.
 

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Looks pretty on point. Placement of the oil cooler is easy, you can mount it anywhere, as long as you get a small Setrab cooler or equivalent. Any small fluidic high temp pump will work as well.
 

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I agree that an overheated tranny will have a short life but the AT has an operating temperature. If it runs too cool, the fluid won't flow as freely and you'll kill mileage and add additional parasitic drag. Make sure the cooler has has a thermostat so that it can maintain the optimum temperature.
 

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Thanks dude! I am really considering going turbo in my auto. the only thing that holding me back is NJ emissions standards, anyone from NJ have any experience with going f/i here with any car? are you okay with just an after market cat or will you get busted regardless? :/
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree that an overheated tranny will have a short life but the AT has an operating temperature. If it runs too cool, the fluid won't flow as freely and you'll kill mileage and add additional parasitic drag. Make sure the cooler has has a thermostat so that it can maintain the optimum temperature.
These transmission coolers are passive radiator type coolers only. They basically provide additional surface area for transmission fluid to exchange heat. If someone wants to go more complicated then ya some type of active, thermostat regulated cooler could be better.

Thanks dude! I am really considering going turbo in my auto. the only thing that holding me back is NJ emissions standards, anyone from NJ have any experience with going f/i here with any car? are you okay with just an after market cat or will you get busted regardless? :/
You are pretty close to level10.
 

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I think that was back in the day when it was an r&d project way before flashpro. They never got to finish it if I'm correct and he cut ties with ajp.
 
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