Although I pretty much work on anything from a weedeater to a bulldozer and anything in between, most people know me for rebuilding demo derby transmissions. Now, 1st/reverse only transmissions have been around for many years. I remember guys in the pits when I was a kid following my dad around talking about 1st/reverse only. pretty much the transmission shop welds the governor and presto right? Well, not exactly. Over 10 years ago now, I was going through a TH400 for my drag car and one of my friends asked me to build him a 1st/reverse only. being the mad man I am, I decided I wanted to build a performance transmission that would really hit like in a drag car. after all- it's demo derby. I also wanted it to be cost effective.
The first prototype was a BOP shorttail trans I got from skinny as a spare case for my drag car.......sold the day before thanksgiving to Punisher....it kinda snowballed from there. Bomber Transmission was born. now, it has and continues to evolve as parts suppliers, builders, and shows change. And yes, there are growing pains along the way a lot of ideas I tried worked great.....others not so great. in fact the first generation of th400's I built were called B-17 transmissions. by the time I hit 53 or 55 of em I changed it to B-24 transmissions as a reference for myself so when they eventually came back around I could update some things. 2 years after the first one was sold, I was so busy that I taught Punisher how to build the 1st/rev only design and we built units together for a few years.
As things evolved early on, I realized that there was a need for comprehensive bracing, not just a top brace. so I started out by making a long steel tail housing with the help of a local machine shop. this was spring of 2010. the original plan was to take the steel tail and brace it up to the distributor protector. at spring explosion that year a ran into Nerat with one of the first 2 or 3 steel bellhousings. so....I bought it and 2 weeks before metal mayhem that year I began glueing this monster you see together. it was so massive I needed more than just the 6 bolts at the back to hold it on the back of the case, so I also designed a mid plate between the pan and case to support that 80lbs tail from twisting off the back of the case. and there was the first midplate (or mauler brace plate). it was on display at the booth at mayhem in Pec, IL that year. within 2 months it was outlawed by 4 different promoters. within 8 months copies of it began to show up. it was nearly a year or two after this first one nerat began making the steel tails. in spite of what anyone says, this is where it started.
Now in recent years, I developed a 1-2/rev only th400 to help out with the absurd rear axle set ups with big gears....paired with high performance engines that like to heat up. by having a second gear to shift to, you relieve some rpm either on a muddy track of just idling around the pits. by omitting 3rd gear entirely over a full manual style transmission, I have the ability to meter and replumb the reverse circuit to aid in keeping the direct clutch together. it has had a large amount of success in recent years. however the 1st/rev only design i developed is still superior in my opinion. the 1-2/rev only is simply an option
Now, along the way I have been accussed of being a copycat, a crook, a swindler, a liar, an absolute loudmouth fucker at times .....some folks in fact got so bent out of shape with me they threatened not only me but my friends. my family has been threatened....had a friend get his tires slashed at mayhem a few years back.....well I won't get into all that too much. It's safe to say I don't plan on ever driving in or vending a derby event ever again. There are also several people out there now building variations of my original designs, of which I really don't give a shit, they will never be able to build the derby trans like i do often imitated-never duplicated.
However, I do still build th400 derby transmissions(primarily for re-sale to other derby vendors), Each transmission is tore down, inspected, cleaned, modified,and rebuilt as an individual unit one at a time. During the damn near 30 year run of these transmisssions were several subtle changes....paired with 2 out of every 3 have been rebuilt at least once and somewhat modified(usually wrong), along with being soaked in water, thrown off the back of a truck and cracked.....i digress....basically you need to take attention during a build as most of these parts can and do break during competition, and if rushed can be overlooked easily in the name of profit. throwing them together as an "off-the-shelf" item, well i don't treat a transmission as that. most people don't look at an engine that way, why would you look at a trans that sits under your ass separated by a piece of sheet metal as that. thanks for reading. look forward to helping you out. you can also look up my youtube channel for helpful how-to information.