Getting in Gear – An Inside Look at Gearstar Performance Transmissions
When Zack Farah opened the doors to Gearstar Performance Transmissions 20-plus years ago, the company quickly became known for producing quality products. The reason was simple enough. After years of involvement with Tristar International, a company that produced more than 100 remanufactured transmissions and 300 converters per day for cars and trucks of all makes, Zack knew the weaknesses of them all. More importantly, he knew how to correct those weaknesses for performance applications.
From the outset, Zack’s goal for Gearstar was to produce the best high-performance transmissions available. As a result, be it a three speed, four speed overdrive, or the latest six- or eight-speed automatic, each Gearstar transmission is specifically configured for the customer’s needs. There is no such thing as a stock replacement transmission or a “one size fits all” application. As Zack puts it, “a transmission is what your wife has in her minivan. What we’re building are horsepower transferring systems. Whether it’s a Ford, GM, or Mopar transmission going behind a mild small-block or a blown big-block, we approach each transmission as if it was going into our own personal car.”
When ordering a Gearstar transmission, the team will ask for specifics about the engine, rearend gear ratio, tire diameter, and of course, what will the car be used for. Armed with that information, and to maintain consistency and quality during the building process, one technician then handles building the transmission from the start, to placing it in the crate that will be delivered to your front door. In addition, should a customer have questions or concerns about their new purchase, the very person that built that transmission will be available on their tech line.
To ensure the performance and longevity of their transmissions, Gearstar uses only top-grade internal parts and components from U.S. manufacturers. To further ensure quality control, Gearstar now builds their converters in-house as part of their Torque Converter Rebuilding System (TCRS), the same system used by the Big Three automakers. Standard and lockup converters are available in stall speeds appropriate for any application.
Once completed, the transmission with its torque converter installed is tested in one of Gearstar’s dynos. Each transmission is tested to confirm line pressures, shift points, and downshifts, as well as converter stall speed and lock-up operation. Transmissions are subjected to varying loads and speeds for the equivalent of 100 miles before they are shipped, guaranteeing they will perform as they should. And speaking of guarantees, all Gearstar transmissions are warranted against failure due to workmanship and/or parts used in the remanufacturing process for 3 years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first from the date of shipment.
For more than two decades, a host of high-profile rod and custom builders, various automotive television shows, and many magazine projects have turned to Gearstar for quality transmissions. That same quality is available to you, too.
Photos by John Jackson and Courtesy Gearstar