There’s a lot of data you can collect from your race car that will improve its performance and consistency. Two of the most overlooked and undervalued data sources are transmission temperature and transmission pressure. These two readings can unlock more performance, prevent problems, and troubleshoot issues you might be experiencing at the track.
The amount of heat that’s in your transmission before each run is more important than most racers realize. A transmission does in fact need to reach a certain operating temperature to perform properly. For a bracket racer, keeping close tabs on your transmission temperature will vastly improve consistency. A transmission temperature gauge will allow you to accurately monitor temps before and after a run so you can add that information to your logbook. Keeping track of your transmission’s temperatures will make tuning your vehicle easier, too, since you can track it as a known variable.
Every transmission likewise has an optimum operating pressure based on its specific application. The transmission pressure gauge is going to help paint a clear picture of what exactly is going on inside a transmission during each run. Monitoring pressure will tell you if there’s an issue that needs to be addressed, or if there’s some performance being left on the table.
There are a few different ways you can monitor your transmission’s temperature and pressure; if you’re using a standalone ECU, all you’ll need to do is add an input for each sensor. For those that don’t, you’ll just need to find a transmission temperature gauge that can read up to 250 degrees and a transmission pressure or oil pressure gauge that can read up to 200 psi. These monitoring methods will need a temperature sensor installed in the transmission pan to get an accurate reading. The pressure sensor can be tricky to install — you can contact a reputable transmission company like ATI Performance to find out the best spot to install a pressure sensor.