... suncoast is less than 60 miles from me ( ft walton fl) what is the general opinion on their stuff???
Suncoast makes good stuff. They are a mass-market outfit that sells quality stuff to their customers.
BTS and John Wood specialize in the hot-rod end of the business. They build bulletproof trannies that will live with high horsepower and the abuse of racing. Brian Thompson at BTS dares you to break one of his 4R100 trannies, regardless of how much power your engine produces. If you can break it, he'll fix it free.
I don't have high horsepower and I don't race, but I figured if a BTS can live behind one of David Lott's engines in his SnowWhite race truck, then it will live behind my mildly hot-rodded towing machine with only 300 horses. I've had my BTS for 5 years. It has been a reliable tranny with absolutely no problems. I don't know if I could say the same about a Suncoast.
Brian started his career hot-rodding diesel trucks. He could make them produce gobs of power, but he couldn't keep an automagic tranny from blowing up behind his race engines. And he couldn't find anyone to build him a bulletproof 4R100 tranny that would live behind his engines. Not even Suncoast. So he began tearing into his busted 4R100 trannies and replacing broken parts with better parts. Before long, by replacing almost every part inside the tranny with stronger parts, he could build a 4R100 that would live behind his hot-rod engines. Then other racers asked him to build them one of those bulletproof trannies. And that's how BTS became famous for building bulletproof 4R100 trannies.
If you watch Brian build a tranny, you'll notice that almost every part he removes from inside the tranny goes in the trash bin. Many of those parts look as good as new, but Brian replaces them with higher-quality, stronger, parts. And he also has a few "trade secrets" that he's learned to include in his trannies. He makes some holes bigger and some smaller to give the tranny the proper shifting "feel".
Brian is proud of his work, and he charges for it. That's why the typical 4R100 rebuild now costs around $4,500. But worth it.