Drag racing has been popular with Mustang fans since the car made its debut over 50 years ago. Since 2011, Ford has utilized the 6R80 automatic transmission as the slush-box of choice for automatic equipped Mustangs. With six forward gears this transmission has proven not only to be a fuel economy winner, but also incredibly robust at the drag strip. We’ve seen stock 6R80s with converter swaps, carry street/strip Mustangs deep into the 9-second zone at the dragstrip, and even read a few claims of some of these breaking into the 8s.
JMS Chip and Performance rolled out its LaunchMAX for the 6R80 at the 2015 SEMA Show. This device is a transbrake module designed to connect to the stock transmission harness. Owners add a momentary switch of their choosing and viola, now the car has a transbrake for maximum starting line performance at the strip.
“LaunchMAX is designed as a splice-in unit, but after January first we will have it available in plug and play. It works on all Mustangs from 2011-14 equipped with the 6R80 as well as F-150 pickups,” says JMS’ Brad Grissom.
Having a transbrake allows automatic cars to leave the starting line harder at a higher RPM than can typically be achieved by foot-braking the car. According to Grissom LaunchMAX can be used with any custom tune ECU file, and like other JMS products offers the ability to be easily removed should the need arise.
Adding a transbrake to older cars used to be a matter of removing and modifying the transmission’s valve-body, or installing a modified version from a transmission expert. According to Grissom, no such work is required here, “This connects directly to the transmission harness and is about a one hour install time, there’s no need to open up the transmission.”
Owners of 2015-16 Mustang will have to wait a little longer to get the LaunchMAX for their vehicle. “We’re still validating for the 2015-16 Mustang, we expect to have support for that after the first of the year. “
We can see a wide variety of cars using LaunchMAX, everything from weekend warriors or the occasional NMRA participant running True Street, to hardcore class racers in participating everything from Modular Muscle to Renegade.