1200hp capability with 600 lb/ft in Overdrive, full auto shifting even behind a boosted motor, and a GM bolt pattern. These were my requirements, and the only transmission that could meet them was a Lentech Strip Terminator. I had heard of Lentech long before I was ever into making cars go fast, but it never dawned on me to check them out. I was looking at a GM Turbo400 trans, but due to the vacuum regulator, I would have to go with a full manual valve body if I were to use a turbo or supercharged engine. My other choice was a 4L80E, but with the cost of a decent torque converter and computer to control it, I would be approaching $4000. Plus, 4L80E's are not that efficient. That is when Anthony suggested Lentech. "No way" I said, not wanting to entrust my drivetrain to some crazy Canadian Ford guys. I gave them a call anyway and talked to Ross and Len, who were both extremely helpful. The more I spoke to them, the more I realized that their upgraded AOD was the way to go. 1200hp capability with full auto shifting under boost, plus it would bolt to my engine. I added the heavy duty bell housing (a must for 9.99 or faster) option as well as the wide ratio gearset (I liked the feel of my previous 700R4's, just not the strength). Len threw in the aluminum pan option and a Crown Vic dipstick and the total came out to be $3995 w/ a 9.5" torque converter. The only worthwhile AOD transmission yoke is a billet 1350 series made by Mark Williams, so I picked that up seperately ($150). The transmission bolted right in, although to attach the flywheel to the torque converter, you need to use Lentech's supplied 0.5" spacers. Not perfect, but not a big deal.
My first impressions were excellent. Firm fast upshifts, and the confidence that I could neutral drop it all day without worries. Later, when I had engine problems, I sent the Lentech in for a freshening. Ross rebuilt the trans, and added a stronger output shaft ($40), their new Stage II input drum package which ups overdrive torque capacity to 600 ft lbs, and additional clutches for third gear ($479). I also had them up the line pressure and send me a new t-shirt, as the other one had been stolen (free). Don't ask. (Anthony's note: John stole it. I would have too, given the chance.)
On the note of line pressure, with the strip terminator you can either use Dextron trans fluid of Ford Type-F. Either works fine, but the Type-F will produce firmer shifts.
I am planning buying a new valvebody with a transbrake and engine braking in first and second gears, which is not standard on the strip terminator. This will be the ultimate street/strip transmission. The only thing I don't like is that the 2-3 shift is very low, but at the track manually shifting it, it is no problem.
So if you want a trans that you never had to worry about again, the Lentech strip terminator is the way to go. Just change the fluid once a year and you'll be set.