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Old 12-16-2008, 11:05 AM
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700r4 into 72 chevy truck... A few questions

Hi! I just bought a sweet 72 c20 3/4 ton pickup with a 350 chevy. Its all 100% original and bone stock, down to the clunky 3-speed on the column, which I am NOT a fan of. My first modification, I want to swap to an overdrive... and I'm thinking of a 700r4. I will use this truck for hauling and towing, so the trans needs to be able to hold up to that kind of heavy use.

Now for the questions:

Can someone please explain to me what a 'lockup' convertor is, and why I do or do not want one in this truck? Is there a particular convertor that is recommended for truck/towing use?

What parts should be upgraded in a 700r4 to make it tough and strong and durable for towing use?

What kind of kick-down cable/lever etc. does the 700r4 use and what will I need to do to the Q-Jet to make it work?

I am planning to locate a factory Automatic steering column. Is there ANYWHERE I can get a shift indicator that has the correct 4 gears for a 700r overdrive? I saw something like that in Car Craft a while back.

Do I need to swap out brake pedals? Did chevy use a wider brake pedal on automatic trucks in 72?

Will the factory th350/400 shifter linkage work with the 700r4?

Will I have to have the driveshaft shortened?


Thanks to anyone who can help! I apologize if this some of these topics have already been covered on other posts.

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Old 12-16-2008, 12:10 PM
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If you have the tranny rebuilt before you install it tell them its going into a non computer car with a carburetor, they can install the correct valves so it will lock the converter. You want it to lock the converter so it will get better MPG. The cable has to have enough travel, not sure about your carb but there are adapters that will fix it or you can just make something that gives it more travel if it needs it. The peddles should not have to be changed. This is the same tranny I have in my Vette.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:24 PM
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700r4 into 72 chevy truck... A few questions

eBay for linkage $20 buy it now
yes you can buy indicator for OD ,
yes all parts groups sale them also
column from van if you modify it or pay more
yes you got to cut drive shaft and shorten
700 will fit and lockup vac switch from say 84 -87 to make converter lock up right .
and you'll need a cross member

Last edited by burnt olds; 12-16-2008 at 12:25 PM. Reason: for got
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:12 PM
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Lock up converter has a clutch inside... this applies for a 1-1 hook up to the engine like a manual trans... less heat build up in over drive.

Do not tow in over drive gear.

Move the trucks cross member back = reuse it. If the cross member still has the upper braces revitted on... cut the rivets off, toss the upper brackets. Drill holes in the frame for cross member bolts.

RE: vacuum switch for lock up.. un-needed in my opinion. Have the trans built for lockup in 4th gear only. A good large trans cooler is advised. Cooler lines in the radiator and large AUX cooler is better

A good rebuild of the 700 with Z-Pak clutch pack in 3-4 clutch...the Beast drive shell is good .

Shorten the drive shaft. If you have a short bed truck , use a 1 piece drive line.

I drove my 1971 chevy short bed like this for 14 years.

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Old 12-16-2008, 03:21 PM
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Great info everyone!

This truck is a 3/4 ton long bed


What kind of modifications does the van column need to make it work?
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