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Old 2005-06-12, 15:17   #1
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What is a trans-brake, how does it work, vs line-lock?

My title says it all.

What is a trans-brake, how does it work, and is it better than or comparable to a line-lock, and why?
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Old 2005-06-12, 16:02   #2
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Transbrakes engage clutches in a transmission in a way that locks the transmission against itself so the engine is loaded and the converter can flash. AFAIK its better than line lock because the drivetrain is locked as opposed to just brakes which can be overpowered by the engine.
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Old 2005-06-12, 16:03   #3
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Trans brake is a solenoid operated valve in the trans valve body. It essentially locks the tranny in foward and reverse at the same time until the actuating button is released. Really puts a shock on the internals but is instant engagement of foward gears. They are also used mostly with other electronic devices, for quicker reaction times and consistency in et's. Line lock is also a solenoid but is installed in the hydraulic brake line, to lock up the front brakes for burnouts and some even use them on the rear for launching(never seen them work for that to well). They are button or switch operated too, but only releases the brakes and has nothing to do with the trans.
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Old 2005-06-12, 18:18   #4
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Use a line-lok on a streeter,much cheaper & easier on parts.
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Old 2005-06-12, 20:31   #5
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Line lock is for burnouts and burnout contests. Transbrakes are for race cars.

The main purpose of a trans brake is so that a driver can mat the gas at the line with the transbrake engaged, and the car will not move. When the button is released (and a delay box is not used) the car is already wide open and it will instantly go. No waiting for the throttle to open, secondaries to come in, timing to advance, etc...it just goes. Also, they're more consistent than just footbraking at the launch...The driver's eye-foot coordination is worse than eye-hand coordination, plus with the use of a delay box you can get near perfect reaction times consistently and easily (yes, "box" racing is easier than footbraking!) as releasing the button and ultimately "unlocking" the transmission is much more consistent than having to push the throttle down, release the brake and steer all at the same time.

Don't try a transbrake on the street..unless you have slicks. It just blows the tires off instantly. Used to know a guy with a '77 Camaro with a 509 BBC/powerglide with transbrake that would play around on saturday nights on the streets. It'd come up on the converter (5000 stall), light turns green and he'd release the button...and tiresmoke was almost instant, as was the 7000 RPM limiter. No wonder the motor didn't last long!

Line locks were originally designed for standard-shift cars so that they wouldn't roll through the lights at the starting line while the driver had one foot on the clutch and one on the throttle. I remember how much of a challenge it was driving my old Mustang 5 speed without a line lock. Good thing I wear size 15 shoes...makes it a little easier to hold the brake and gas with the same foot.

Last edited by mavman; 2005-06-12 at 20:33.
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Old 2005-06-12, 20:35   #6
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transbrakes are essential in certain classes of racing. just make sure you have lots of spare parts and money.
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Old 2005-06-13, 07:06   #7
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The transbrake sounds like it would be hard on internal transmission parts, as well as other driveline parts. For a daily street driver, I think I will install a cheaper and less invasive line-lock.

Line lock will free up my rear brakes for burnouts. How hard on brakes is a burnout? It seems that some of that smoke should be brake-shoe heat and powder. Does burning out with the brakes on lead to, not only shoe/pad wear, but warped drums/rotors and other permanently ruined brake parts? Or is it just as much wear as coming to a complete stop 5 or 6 times from 70mph?
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Old 2005-06-13, 09:17   #8
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i've been doing burnouts with my brakes for 7 years now and no problems. but they don't get any additional use on the street.
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Old 2005-06-13, 16:16   #9
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the line lock only locks the front brakes when set up for heating the tires. shouldnt bother the brakes at all. trans brake is hardest on the converter & the fluid, but also the axles, gears, tires, etc. also doesnt lock the front brakes, so the car can move forward when tires grab. you should also be off the throttle when the tire do grab, or bad things can happen inside the trans to the sprag, etc.
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Old 2005-06-13, 16:44   #10
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As Don said, holding the brakes on with your foot is probably the most used way of doing burnouts. However, it sure puts some wear on the rear shoe's as the torque overpowers the brakes to spin the tires. Is not an issue with moderately fast cars, but those pads or shoe's stay hot all the way down the track and on very fast cars, could cause a problem. Line lock on fronts is my choice, even for my turd of a race car. The trans brake release is only used for launch and is compared to holding your foot on the gas, wide open and then sliding your foot off the clutch on a std. shift car. Better have good tranny to take that abuse, and just for info, when you are on the start line and watching the tree come down, you are holding the gas pedal wide open and never letting off. Just releaseing the button and with or without a delay box, crossover, etc, the car should shoot out of the box like a rocket, Most are launched at 6500 to 8000+ RPM's, some even higher. They are useless on the street and very dangerous too.
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