Tech Talk With Brian Lohnes. The Lenco Transmission
My good friend Brian Lohnes, whom I’ve said more than once I would love to have ...
My good friend Brian Lohnes, whom I’ve said more than once I would love to have narrate the story of my life if they ever make a movie about it, is back this week with another NHRA Tech Tuesday video. While mere mortals would have to research for a segment like this, I’m willing to bet money that Brian simply grabbed his mic and went to work, as he’s proven again and again to be a literal walking motorsports encyclopedia.
I’ve discussed my love of Pro Stock in several other articles, so as soon as Lohnes said the word Lenco, it brought back memories of the class I love and drivers like Darrell Alderman, Bob Glidden and Warren Johnson grabbing those trademark shifter levers as their cars screamed down the track. As Brian mentions, most drivers have updated their shifters to air-activated units in the name of consistency, but there are still a few drivers out there who grab levers.
Regardless of how it’s shifted, the Lenco has been around for decades, despite many drastic changes to basically every other part, component, and way of thinking in doorslammer racing. It’s combination of strength and overall simplicity has earned the Lenco a stellar reputation and allowed it to stand the test of time. Plus, if cool points matter, I’ll always take a manual trans, even if it’s shifted by solenoid, over an outright automatic transmission just because I like them better.
Lohnes takes a look inside a disassembled Lenco unit, revealing a relatively simple set of parts. While 3, 4, and 5-speed models are common, I believe there have been as many as 7-speed units built for various types of racing. Luckily, for Lenco users, all they have to do is bolt another gear set to the back of the existing assembly to add another gear. That too is part of the reason they’ve been relevant in the sport for so long.
Thanks, as always, to Brian and the NHRA Tech department for sharing their endless knowledge with us!