PRI: Transmissions and More for the Mopar faithful

Its been a couple of months since my last post here, and I thought it would be interesting to talk a little about what is going on as I fly at 35,000 feet over the southeast from Orlando, Florida following the recent 23rd annual Performance and Racing Industry show December 9-11. This is really the show if you are into hardcore parts for your street or race machine, and while the economic news remains uncertain, the industry is overall hopeful and positive for better business in the new year. Indeed, many good reports were given about things being better for many companies.

Building horsepower is always interesting, but what I found even more impressive was what is going on in the rest of the driveline field. To prevent any conflict of interest in this story, I’ll say up front that I was at PRI in part to help Shafi Keisler and the Keisler Engineering team in their booth since they were shorthanded. Joined by Mike Gray of AMD and the guys from FM3 Media, we again rented a house in nearby Kissimmee where ‘the bar,’ pool and hot tub, offer opportunity all night long; the neighbors got to listen to blasting relics from Pink Floyd and Joe Walsh when we had the doors open, but I digress…

Keisler Engineering’s new RS series transmissions are all-new five-speeds that are part of the company’s Perfect Fit line. The Chop-Cut-Rebuild 1969 Charger was the first Mopar recipient of the latest project, and versions for the E- and A-body lines are coming soon. The next step will be a matched replacement Dana 44 differential.

Keisler has spent the last several years designing a new line of transmissions to replace the Tremec models he formerly offered. While those and the Borg-Warner models were fairly strong, he identified some needed improvements and has now released the Keisler RS series five-speeds to the aftermarket, available in three forms of performance (400, 500, and 600) and featuring all-new internal construction plus redesigned castings (the main body casting is scheduled to be released by the middle of next year). This is a combination of technologies he has developed, using the dimensional characteristics of the Borg-Warner T45/56 models. We’ll take a more indepth look at this product in the next couple of months for MoparMAX readers; it’s pretty neat.

As in the past, Keisler’s Perfect Fit versions are offered to allow you to make the swap as effortlessly as possible, including a new custom driveshaft, cross member, and specific bell housing. B-Body versions are already available, with A- and E- designs coming soon. Prices begin at $1399.00 and range upwards of $2999.00 with peripherals based on performance level.

Meanwhile, Passon Performance has begun manufacturing a new five-speed transmission that is dimensionally the same as the old A833. While it is pricy at $4295.00 for the transmission (no extras), it may be an option if you want to simply pull the A833 out of your four-speed restoration to go driving. Passon told us that he did not want to do a complete kit since there are so many aftermarket and OEM layouts possible; you'll reuse your old driveshaft as well.