Transmission Repair, Transmission Performance - Transmission Digest

Transmission Repair, Transmission Performance

Superior Transmission and Auto Repair is a family business that branches out into performance and general auto repair.

Superior Transmission and Auto Repair is located in the quiet town of Heber Springs, Arkansas. It is well-known in the state as both a retirement community and a tourist town, because of its proximity to Greers Ferry Lake, a popular vacation spot.

But while the shop does take in general repair work from community members and rebuild transmissions for the tourists while they swim in the lake or fish for bass, Superior also is known to do work on drag racers and muscle cars.

This wide range of service is intriguing, but why should a customer bring in their vehicle, whether it be 10-second dragster or a hour-long-commute sedan?

“We’re the best,” proudly proclaimed owner Mike Woods.

Mike is familiar with Transmission Digest; he was sweeping the floors of Delta Transmission in Conway, Ark., when we first covered the shop in 2000.

Much like many of the small-town shops we explore in Transmission Digest, Superior Transmission is a family business.

“My sons work here – 22 and 16. The 16-year-old works here after school and on the weekends. My father-in-law owns Delta Transmission in Conway. I started working for him when I was about 18 or 19. My wife works here part time. We started the shop about five years ago We had about 800 bucks to open it and we opened with old used telephone poles for legs and built a stand and a building bench and we had an old kitchen sink for a wash vat.”

The shop he works out of had previously been part of a Chevrolet dealership when he began working out of it. It’s a 16-bay shop with three rotary lifts and three drive-on.

“Two years later we bought it and it’s been going real good. We’ve got five employees; we’ve got real equipment now, real building benches and no more kitchen sinks.”

And what brought him specifically to transmission work?

“I don’t know- it was just a job at first, and I just liked it- it was fun,” he said.

But transmissions weren’t the end of the line. Performance quickly became a daily source of revenue for the shop as well.

“I’ve got drag trucks and we do Rhino Liners too,” Mike said.

But he doesn’t really consider himself a “car guy”- it isn’t a romantic thing for him. He said that there wasn’t a vehicle he owned that he wouldn’t mind selling. But the performance work is nothing if not lucrative.

“We just took in a $25,000 job on a Blazer unit for a gentleman. I’ve got drag trucks and racecars- and I don’t even like working on them anymore to be honest with you. I like to supervise on them now,” Mike said.

The shop does three to four transmission rebuilds per week, with a good helping of smaller general repair jobs and performance upgrades.

He said that the general repair was fairly new addition to the shop, after hiring on a general repair technician, and that it’s good for more than one reason.

“It’s been really lucrative, and it keeps you from getting burnt out on transmissions,” Mike said.

But it isn’t just the diversity of work that drives customers to the door: it’s the dedication.

“Do what’s right even when it hurts. In a small-town word travels fast,” Mike said, and that he’d done some jobs that he didn’t necessarily want but didn’t want any bad word of mouth going around town.

Mike said that all of his employees simply grew up working with cars and have acquired their technical ability through experience. His philosophy for keeping his crew working well together and working hard is all about fair treatment and little incentives. “Well, we live in a tourist community- it’s a lake town, so I find in the summertime, if all the work’s done and it’s 3 o’clock, let them leave and go to the lake. And pay them. I mean, if everything’s done, you know, they’ve worked hard all week, just let them go and pay them- don’t dock them time the second they walk out the door.”

It’s apparently worked, as Mike reported: “I’ve only ever fired one employee.”

Mike said that one of the quirks of working in Heber is that he finds that his shop is busiest when other shops are very slow- Christmas, Thanksgiving and other holidays in what some would consider the “off-season,” though he said he isn’t entirely sure why. He said it likely has something to do with the tourism in town- people travel to the area to celebrate only to have vehicular problems on the way in.

You May Also Like

How seriously should shops take the EV wave?

Automotive repair shops across the country are essential for keeping vehicles of all shapes and sizes, designed for every application under the sun, moving. With the emergence and increasing popularity of electric vehicles, repair shops now have a decision to make: Is it the right time to invest in EV services? Between necessary new tools,

Automotive repair shops across the country are essential for keeping vehicles of all shapes and sizes, designed for every application under the sun, moving. With the emergence and increasing popularity of electric vehicles, repair shops now have a decision to make: Is it the right time to invest in EV services? Between necessary new tools, training and shop equipment like charging stations, it isn’t easy to know for sure.

What 105 years of history has taught Camargo Transmission

Camargo Transmission, in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, first opened in 1918, when original owner William Cockrell returned home from World War I. Related Articles – The torque converter can of worms: Lockup and aftermarket programming – The Subaru mystery burn – Shift Pointers: Where’s that fluid leak coming from? For a company that opened its doors

Camargo-100thAnniv-1400
2023 Reman Suppliers and Product Matrix listing

Each year, Transmission Digest provides a listing of suppliers of remanufactured transmissions, as well as a product matrix. Both of these can be found in the images below – click on each image for a closer look. Related Articles – Shop organization: Tools in a tube – Shop profile: DL Transmissions has leveraged a new

Shop organization: Tools in a tube

Every shop has a special location. Sometimes it’s a shelf, sometimes it’s a drawer. It’s where we keep all the “tools” that come in a tube. They’re usually community property, except for the occasional extra expensive items that reside in a manager’s office. Related Articles – A long journey to success at New Jersey’s Wholesale

Tools-in-a-tube-feature-6.23
Shop profile: DL Transmissions has leveraged a new location into significant success

Location, location, location. It’s commonly cited as a real estate motto, but really, it’s essential for any type of business. Whether it means being in close proximity to as many customers as possible or simply being in a visible or noticeable location, it can be a key to success for a transmission repair shop. After

Other Posts

Solera launches Identifix Shop Manager

Solera has introduced a new comprehensive repair shop management solution, Identifix Shop Manager. Related Articles – Toledo Trans-Kit 10L transmissions now available – Alto introduces new filter for Toyota AB60E/F – Rostra highlights GM 8L90 speed sensor, harness assembly Identifix Shop Manager is a cloud-based system for repair shops of all sizes, giving managers visibility

shop-management-tool
12 transmission jack safety tips

A transmission jack is a must to remove, install or move transmissions, transfer cases and transaxles in a shop. These jacks save backs and time, but they are powerful multitask lifting systems so they must be operated correctly, with safety being the first priority. Related Articles – Going the extra mile: Price’s Garage builds on

techtip-1400
Going the extra mile: Price’s Garage builds on a family legacy

Joshua Price grew up in the transmission industry — so much so that he used to take copies of this very magazine to school with him. Related Articles – Allison 1000 geartrain bind-up – How to get around non-serviceable GM 6T70/75 self-tapping pump screws – Watch out for high pressure in GM 8L45, 8L90 valve

Rolling with the changes: How Mister Transmission plans to continue growing in its 60th year and beyond

Tony Kuczynski may be on the executive side of the transmission industry these days, but having gotten his start as a technician, he has experience with both the business and the technical side of things. Related Articles – Bosch launches shop EV Training Tour – Eaton four-speed electric transmission receives PACEpilot award – Can you

Mister-Transmission-5-1400