An Interview With Import Performance Transmissions – Part One

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Interview with IPT

At the request of Charles, a reader, we contacted Import Performance Transmissions to learn more about their performance transmission options for the Toyota Tundra.

Our interview is with John Lombardo, founder and co-owner of IPT. John has been making performance modifications to transmissions since 1987.

Question 1: Are the bulk of your customers looking for more performance from their factory transmission?

John: Yes, but performance is a pretty broad term. Our customers range from people with totally stock vehicles who just want a stronger, more reliable transmission, to rock crawlers and racers with 6 second vehicles.

Question 2: Often times automakers, in an effort to save money, make design compromises that hurt performance. Generally speaking, what are the three most significant limitations/design compromises of an OEM automatic transmission?

John: I would say that first, factory transmissions are designed more for fuel efficiency and “shift pleasability” than they are for solid performance. I also find that factory transmissions don’t have any “extra” capacity or strength. If you modify your truck and increase power, the factory transmission might not be able to handle it.

Question 3: While I understand why a sports car owner would be interested in making their transmission “faster” (for lack of a better word), why would a truck owner who isn’t worried about speed be interested in a performance rebuild kit or modified valve body?

John: First, let’s address a misconception. The concept that a performance transmission is going to make you significantly faster is false. While a faster shift may result in something measurable on a time slip, it’s going to be pretty minimal.

The main reason that anyone should want to invest in performance transmission work is for the increased durability. Having your truck shift more “like a truck” is also something that many people like.

Question 4: It sounds like a modified valve body makes shifts much firmer – have any owners found the shifts to be too firm?

John: We don’t do the super-firm “break your neck” type of shift thing. I learned many years ago that even if someone asks for that they will hate it sooner or later.

That said, our modification is customizable to a customer’s preference. We have a minimum setting that will provide good durability and extend the transmission’s life and we then can go up from there in regards to shift feel.

Question 5: What half-ton truck manufacturer makes the best transmission in your opinion – Ford, Toyota, Dodge, or GM?

John: Read part two for the answer to this question and others!

Filed Under: Toyota Tundra Accessories


RSSComments (8)

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  1. Mickey says:

    Intresting about performance on the tranny. Good info Jason. Now I got to do research and find out my code which came up P-2714 Pressure control solenoid D Perf stuck off. That I think is causing my trannies wackiness.

  2. Danny says:

    Great info!

  3. Jason says:

    Mickey and Danny – Glad you liked it. These posts don’t get as much participation, but I learn a lot when I write them, so hopefully it’s worth it!

  4. P-2714 can be set by having a low fluid level- I would check that first.

    Basically, the code is set when line pressure isn’t matching what the computer is commanding.

    IPT Performance Transmissions

  5. Jason says:

    Mickey – There you have it! Good to know a transmission guy, eh?

  6. Stick says:

    What’s the transmission number/designation for a 2008 Tundra 2 wd with the 5.7 liter engine? I went to the IPT site and didn’t know which one to look at. Thanks

  7. Mickey says:

    Toyota wants $4,600 for a remanufactured tranny from the factory. Still doing some research on it. It’s also the cause of the SUA. Got to check with other tranny places like AAMCO for a rebuilt one.

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