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A High-Performance Trans for Supercharged V-8s

By Harley Camilleri

Photography by Maxwell Matthewson, Patrick Mccarthy and Dan Ward

It hasn’t been an easy life for our in-house project, Blue Bomber, a 2011 Chevy Silverado with a supercharged 4.8L. We have flogged it on big tracks and we have wasted plenty of tires on autocross courses. It has done everything exceptionally well with what little effort the truck really took to complete. We love it, and maybe we’ve loved it a little too hard.

After too many track days and drift sessions, the stock 4L60E finally gave up the ghost and let us know it wasn’t happy with our thrill-seeking antics. We weren’t 100 percent sure what we broke, but we did know that some of the forward gears weren’t present any longer.

We needed a replacement but felt that the original-equipment rebuild was a recipe for a repeat offense. Blue Bomber hungered for something a bit more up to speed with its new capabilities. We reached out the transmission professionals at Gearstar for one of their Level Seven 4L70E transmissions.

Stuffed inside the aluminum case is everything a tough trans needs. In it you will find Raybestos racing frictions, high capacity pump, hardened sun shell, high rev spring kit, 300M hardened output shaft, high hold second and fourth gear servos, a TransGo shift kit, and plenty more. We opted for the Yank 11-inch billet torque converter as icing on the cake.

The Gearstar Level Seven 4L70E is rated to withstand way more power than Blue Bomber makes, giving our street bruiser a wider safety cushion. Installation was easier than you may think and everything bolted right back up.