RFE Production Years:
Since its early production in 1999, the RFE platform has been plagued with many issues. Some of the biggest problems have been premature clutch failure and valve-body wear. The premature clutch failure can be isolated to hydraulic cross leaks and warped valve bodies. Approximately 80-90% of those cross leaks have been found in the OE channel plate casting.
If you look closely at the stock casting with a straight edge, you will notice that there is some severe flexing and warpage. Looking at how the valve-body is fastened to the transmission and being that there are limited contact surfaces it’s no wonder we see so many problems. For example, fourth gear clutch failure, premature valve-body bores worn, and defective valve lands.
We have noticed over the years that in many cases the same vehicle would require another new valve-body after only 60-70,000 miles. So, we decided that the best way to fix this issue was to eliminate channel plate flexing.
We developed a new plate made of billet aluminum that has shallow hydraulic circuits. It is made from a solid 1” piece of material. Machining away only what is necessary to ensure no warpage and a very solid foundation to bolt the valve body back to. Also, we have slightly moved some passages and eliminated those not necessary in hopes of stopping separator plate chafing and valve-body breakage and cracking from high line pressure in performance applications.
With our new billet channel plate, the end user is able to use the stock hardware. They can also choose whether they want to use a bonded separator plate or a good used stock one. The customer can also apply stock or performance tuning with higher line pressure with our D-CF2 plate. We believe that with our plate there will be no more need in ever buying another valve body again.
We have done extensive testing to our plate to ensure zero warpage. For an understanding of the durability we tested the strength of the plate. We put the stock plate on a press that has a pressure gauge. With the edges supported just like factory, we then put a 1.000-inch round bar in the center. At 300 lbs of pressure the stock plate warped to .168 and then cracked. We then did the same to our plate. At 1 ton it did not move. We then went to 2 tons with barely any movement. Flex was .021. Then we went to 5 tons and it was .047. So, we decided that we would give it 10 tons…. It flexed to .160 and out of fear we stopped. It didn’t return to zero, but it did however recover to .056