rh77, you sound like another person who would benefit from a calculated RPM/MPH number so that you could tell when there's slippage...
That's a good idea, but I've really gotten to know the automatic over the last couple of years -- so detecting slippage would be fairly apparent.
The darn TCU/ECU has a mind of its own -- despite meeting (what I think are) all of the requirements for full TC lockup, as documented in the shop manual, it just doesn't want to engage as expected. Especially when first driving on the highway -- it may take several miles before it's "Comfortable" with it.
I think the hill-logic control may have a part in it (it calculates speed, load, and TPS to determine if you're on a hill and to hold a gear or TCLU -- steep ascent or descent). Driving with higher loads and a lower TPS with higher speeds must freak-out the processor. Maybe I need to pull the fuse(s) to reset the processor(s) before trips like this. It happens mostly in cold weather, but sometimes in the summer -- who knows...
rh77 -- Even if you don't want it, please spread the word that it be a great addition to the upgrade flashes. It would be the second most used gauge if I had it (first is LOD). I really want to have that on a ScanGauge. Maybe another company with a form factor that I can fit elsewhere will come up with one.
Would you want to have direct control over the tranny? It would seem ideal for what you're doing. I'd love to have control over my slushbox. I have a shifter slusher but it downshifts at the same points and upshifts well before redline (so I've been told)... probably a good thing when you are normally not shifting and then forget you are and the engine is super quiet.
I'd love to be able to upshift early and have lockup options... I have to speed up to 62 kph in 50 zones to get into 5th and then I'm find down to 50 - the mileage in 4th is probably around 30% worse.