As probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, high-performance diesel transmission shops in the country, SunCoast Diesel sets a standard that’s hard to compete with. We recently made a trip to the Florida Panhandle to check out some of the best drag racing that northwestern Florida has to offer. While we were there, we weren’t going to pass up an opportunity to see this state-of-the-art facility.
We first caught up with Blake Carter, director of sales, at SunCoast Diesel Transmissions as the company was having a week-long class being held. Carter was an absolutely terrific tour guide as his knowledge of the products from end to end was outstanding. It made for easy understanding when seeing new things.
SunCoast rebuilds and sells ready-to-go units for multiple applications including the Dodge 46RH, 47RH, 47RE, 48RE, and the 68RFE. Every 68RFE transmission that is built here is installed in a donor truck and street driven before shipment to ensure proper shifting and functioning. With the issues that people have with these 68s, SunCoast wants to ensure that every unit leaves perfectly functioning.
What’s Behind The SunCoast Walls
Don’t worry you Ford and GM guys, they have you covered as well. Offered in many levels of performance capabilities are the Ford E40D, 4R100, 5R110, and the 6R140 transmissions. For the GM guys, the LB7, LLY, LBZ, LMM, and the LML are covered through SunCoast.
In this room, every transmission makes its way through here for testing. The blue machine in the back of the room is a transmission dyno where all makes and models of transmissions headed out the door are tested at full potential to ensure quality performance and also investigate for leaks.
Next, we moved our way into the valvebody rebuild room. SunCoast tests its valvebodies to ensure they are capable of handling the abuse that we know they will be put through. In their testing, they check the flow rates for each unit and vacuum test them for leaks.
Moving on, we made our way into the torque converter cutting and a transmission washroom. In here, all of the units that are shipped in are torn down and washed up and the converters are cut open for any adjustments.
Below was the converter rebuild room. In this room, after the torque converters are cut open, the converter pumps are waiting for the hubs to be welded in for reassembly. Also, in their spray booth is Tony, painting one of their units for the final coat. SunCoast makes sure that their converters are sent out looking perfect for the customer.
Seen above are the tops of the converters waiting for reassembly. Once these items are welded back together and ready for testing, they make their way over to the pressurized leak checker. Also, David, also known as “Heavy,” is tig welding a pump into a converter. Heavy’s room is a music and welding sanctuary. As the doors opened, we were hit with the sound of booming music.
The next room is the torque converter final assembly room. This is home to Jerry and Derek Veech. “Jerry and I are the only two people inside the final assembly room,” said Veech. Once a torque converter enters this room, they check all the heights and clearances to make sure they are one hundred percent done and ready to ship.
In the machines room below are HAAS machines. SunCoast uses these lathes and CNC machines for a lot of the parts that you have seen going into transmissions. The machine on the left is used to cut turbines and for all of the milling jobs. On the right, the CNC machine is for all things custom. They customize flex plates, billet covers, etc.
Nothing Plain Jane Comes From Here
SunCoast not only manufactures parts for diesel trucks, but they also work with gas applications in a racing application. Below is a Billet Turbo 400 channel casting for the valve body transmission case and to the right are billet flex plates and stators ready for installation.
In the warehouse, this is where they keep all the ready-to-go units and you may even see an old earth-shaker that was driven by Dan Hair. If you love transmissions, this would be a heavenly building to be in.
Lastly, we moved into the owner of SunCoast Diesel, Ron Woolverton’s office, and build room. This is also the research and development room for the company where they come up with all of the industry-leading ideas. It was an absolute honor getting to tour the SunCoast Diesel Transmission facility. It has been on our bucket list to hit this place for a very long time. We would like to thank everyone here for the hospitality and information including Ron Woolverton, Blake Carter, and Derek Veech. For more information on SunCoast Transmissions and how to get your own today, check out their website.
It was an absolute honor getting to tour the SunCoast Diesel Transmission facility. It has been on our bucket list to hit this place for a very long time. We would like to thank everyone here for the hospitality and information including Ron Woolverton, Blake Carter, and Derek Veech. For more information on SunCoast Transmissions and how to get your own today, check out their website.