Lets talk OD units(GearVendors, US Gear, Laycock P-type) - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:25 AM
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Lets talk OD units(GearVendors, US Gear, Laycock P-type)

Lets get right to it.

I am building a 1988 Chevy 1/2 Short bed. Street/Strip truck.
496 , 10.5:1 compression, Aluminum Rect Port heads, .650 lift hyd cam and a Turbo 400 Trans, 3200 converter.. Hope for 650+TQ numbers..

I have a 700R4 but I have ate these trans up with just mild small blocks.. I dont feel its worth the cash to pour into a 700R4 that still might not hold up.. I want a lil more gear for cruising on the street..

So why not a turbo 400 with an Overdrive??

I have a Laycock P-type and US gear OD in my possession and a Turbo 400.
There is the US Gear Dual range that was already on my TH400.. I can just build the trans, bolt this thing on and go. Has adapter, wiring & switch. Everything is here.. These have a higher GVW and power rating then the Gear Vendors Or Laycock P-type..US Gear was bought out and there are no more spare parts for this product. So you cant get any replacement parts unless you buy another used unit for parts..

Seems the Laycock P-type is still used today but labeled as a Gear vendors OD..So there are replacement parts available atleast. These things can supposedly safely handle over 1000Ft Tq... But I need the adapter and shaft to use it. Thats about $600..

I am not sure what to do, I have yet to ever see any of these units at work and when I have seen them they were not on street machines. Either on race cars or show toys..

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Old 10-13-2011, 04:00 AM
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If it is any help to you I had at one time a gear vendors OD in a mercury station wagon with a 460/C-6 and it worked fine as I was using it for a tow car..held up well for me in my use of it..

Sam
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:41 AM
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Those things are tough, I wouldn't hesitate to use it.
There're a few members on MonteSS & TurboBuick sites using them. "Hey-O" just completed a GV w/TH350 install.
http://www.montecarloss.com/communit...748#Post857748
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:41 AM
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The gear-splitting function of the GV unit is a lot more trouble than its worth. Yes the GV unit is essentially a Laycock OD. I seem to remember my boss saying the original GV units were re-purposed Laycocks bought from AMC.

The US gear unit is probably better designed, however being an albatross would make me nervous. I personally know a LOT of RV people with these.

The big warner overdrive is a better design than the Laycock; but the amount of custom work to adapt one, is more trouble than its worth...unless you're a machinist and get one for like 400 bucks.

We've installed a few GV units on our Muncie-style 4speeds; assembly wasn't terrible, you just have to make sure the GV adapter aligns everything properly; misalignment with the output shaft would be catastrophic pretty quickly.

Perhaps you're in the market for a 4L80E? One of my tremec customers has the worlds fastest stock longblock LS motor (RPM Transmission in Indiana) with a 4L60e. Another customer (Finishline Trans out of Illinois) builds a lot of the 4L-x units for trucks like yours.

Not to come off halfcocked, I hope I was informative; but if you have a street motor, and you're eating 700r's alive...its usually one of 3 things: Your idea of a street motor would make John Force grin, Your TV cable is set improperly; the builder of your trans is missing something.

Food for thought:
You could sell the US Gear/400 combo along with the Laycock and probably be able to recover enough to make getting into a 4L80E comfortable.
Make dang sure GV hasnt changed some dimensions from the Laycock or you'll be up a crick
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:49 AM
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The 4l80e/85e would work well, then you get a lockup TC function as well.

There are lots of guys that say the 700r4 can be built for this application, you just gotta find the right builder.

FLT does great work.

peace
Hog
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:04 AM
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The Lockup TC is definitely a + with the 80E, if it's going in a Street/Strip cruiser.
If mostly Strip use a Non-Lockup TC would be much better, those 80E TC's are 'very' heavy.
Jake has good deals on 80E Pkg.'s
http://www.jakesperformance.com/4L80E.html
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:27 AM
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The GV is a great unit. I've installed many on big HP race and street cars with great results. I actually prefer the GV unit in Hot Rods. The cost of making yours complete will get higher if you dont have the brain and wiring for it.

The US gear is a good unit too. There is some hard parts out there for them.. BUT they're spendy. The motor and circuit board are still available though.
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:00 PM
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I can get 4L80E trans for pretty cheap.. I just stayed away from them for the reasons they are heavy, power robbing, expensive to control rather its a controller or manual valvebody and supposedly expensive to build the guts to hold up.. Was also told that the 4L60E wasnt sufficient for my BB. Two trans shops told me the same stuff.

I really dont know much except they are heavy..

As far as the 700R4 goes, I would build it. If I wasnt going to spend more building it up then the motor.. I built my last two 700R4 trans after 4 trans failures by my previous trans builders.. My rebuilds are still going strong behind mild SBC's.. 6 years later.

I am not dying for OD, its not going on road trips. But there is a possibility

It would just be nice when i do wanna cruise down the street...I wouldnt mind that short first gear in The OD trans either...

I personally like the US gear I have.. Its just the availability of parts that is keeping me from using it.. Today I looked at 1990 Chevy 3500 with one of the US gear OD in it. The guy says he pulls a 10,000# trailer and they have a 500HP Crate 502 in the truck. The OD unit has 90K miles on it. So it seems they hold up pretty well.

I guess I should learn some more about the 4l80E trans.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:10 PM
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If you're not afraid of soldering, wiring, and some programming, Megasquirt makes a trans controller that can run the 4l60e/4l80e Transmissions, and their torque converters. I personally haven't used one yet, but am going to this winter when I replace the TH-350 with a 4L60E.

Depending on where you source the parts, you could be controlling it for ~300 bucks. A lot cheaper than some aftermarket control units in the 600-1k range. But there is a learning curve to it all.
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