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As we work to develop support for ten speed transmissions, we swapped the 4R70W in our 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis for a 10R80 transmission. If you'd like to learn more about the swap, such as the modifications and challenges we encountered, check out our video series which documents the Silver Bullet Project and gives advice that can be relevant to any transmission swap. Much of the information in this series also applies to the 6R80 because of how similar it is to the 10R80.
New Circuit Board Design
April 24, 2019
We know that it has been a while since we introduced this project, so an update is long overdue. Our first development phase for the 10R80/10L90 project has been hardware (printed circuit board or "PCB") development. In order to properly support the 10R80, we needed additional circuitry in our controller. So, we started out with a Quick 6 controller that we modified by hand to add the new circuitry for Quick10 and to update our existing circuitry to improve manufacturing and operating efficiency.
Since the 10R80 operates with more solenoids energized at any given time than the 6R80, one of our main concerns was with heat buildup in the solenoid driver circuitry. We also needed to add new input circuitry to accommodate the additional sensors utilized in the 10R/10L transmissions. Once we had a working prototype, we performed thermal analysis to optimize the circuity and utilized thermal imaging to verify the results. We have also put extensive mileage on the car in the process, including several long road trips, and have had no problems thus far.
We are now in the process of designing our new PCB to implement the 10R80-specific circuitry, as shown in the CAD screenshot below. We hope to have new prototype PCBs in the coming weeks. At that point, we will verify the hardware and finish development of the 10R80 firmware. We will also need to spend time refining the shift quality for these transmissions, but we plan to begin beta testing the 10R80 controller later this year.
In the meantime, we are also planning to upgrade the interior of Silver Bullet with Marauder seating, console, and instrument cluster, among other things. We hope to post a video of this project phase within the next few months. Thank you for your interest in the project.
We had to modify the crossmember to allow a 10R80 (or 6R80) to be mounted in the panther body. Here is a diagram showing what we did to it. You can also watch the crossmember video, available from the playlist above.