Recently High Performance Pontiac sat down with racing electronics manufacturer Altronics and discussed the company's SHIFT shifting system for automatic transmissions.
HPP: What is the SHIFT system?
ALT: SHIFT allows the driver to shift an automatic transmission manually with push buttons, and can be easily custom programmed for reliable automatic operation with shift points based on time or RPM.
HPP: How is it operated?
ALT: SHIFT is operated with a simple three electronic shift button control unit that is mounted to a standard steering wheel, or on the dash or floor. Wireless Altronics SHIFT electronic Paddle Shifters for Automatic Transmissions, which allow the driver to sequentially shift while keeping their hands on the steering wheel rim, are also available.
HPP: What is the benefit of SHIFT?
ALT: For manually controlled automatic racing transmissions, SHIFT provides a precise, consistent and economical shift control system. For fully automatic transmissions, SHIFT allows racers to consistently shift at the exact RPM that optimizes the performance of their engine. Thereby, avoiding variances in shift points often experienced when relying on a valve body to choose shift points under race conditions. Road racers and autocross racers benefit as gears are quickly and easily selected while keeping their hands on the steering wheel. Gears can also be held when an upshift or downshift isn't desired. SHIFT is great for street use too - owners of rods and customs can eliminate unwanted mechanical shift levers.
HPP: How is the SHIFT system installed?
ALT: Basically, the original shift linkage is replaced with a high-speed motor controlled actuator, which requires a single bracket change to install. The actuator uses one cable connection that is simply routed to the easily programmed control unit. The SHIFT system is much easier to install and less expensive than other shift systems, such as air shifters. No external rpm shift control box is needed.
HPP: Is SHIFT safe?
ALT: Yes, the SHIFT electric shifter incorporates multiple integrated safety lockouts to inhibit accidental shifting into reverse or park. SHIFT meets and exceeds NHRA requirements.
HPP: What transmissions is SHIFT available for?
ALT: SHIFT kits are available to electronically shift popular GM automatic transmissions. From two speeds up to six speeds with standard, clean neutral, or reverse patterns.
Here's a closeup view of the electronic shift control button.
The high speed-actuator motor replaces the shift linkage, CO2 air bottle, electric solenoi
The actuator is simply mounted using a single bracket. One cable connection is easily rout