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Old 12-09-2012, 03:32 PM
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mild 454 build

Hey everyone, I have a 1990 Chevy 1500 short cab long bed, 33x10.50x16 tires, 6" Rough Country lift, I am getting 35x12.50x16's when I come across the money. I recently stumbled across a completely rotted out Chevy K3500 4x4 with a 7.4 and a 4L80E tranny. I am taking the rear end, engine, tranny, and transfer case out of that truck, and transplanting it into my 1500, I am going to fully box and maybe weld some added cross-members to add more frame strength. This truck is primarily my daily driver in the winter, and I take it mudding occasionally, and I tow snowmobile trailers here and there. I never towed anything more because the old 305 could barley pull its self up a hill due to the 33's. I want this truck to be able to tow basically anything reasonable. I know the 7.4 alone is going to be a huge upgrade, but I was wondering if there was any quick reasonably priced ways to get some more torque and horse out of it. I was thinking cam/heads? I plan on going long tube headers to dual magnaflow mufflers and turn outs before the rear tires, or turn downs after the muffler, I was thinking either 3 or 3.5" exhaust headers back. I'm not worried about having a fast truck, I just want to be able to haul anything, and pull people out when they get stuck. So, for me, torque is more of a goal then HP is. If anyone has any suggestions, that would be hugely appreciated. I plan on doing a full tranny re-build with a shift kit, and a rear end re-build and will be putting a possi unit into it.

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Old 12-09-2012, 03:47 PM
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Be sure to upgrade the hard parts of the trans getting stuck in the snow and mud can be harder on it than drag race launch. Get the one peice sungear basket or what ever its called. Also get the good softparts so it will last even if you have to beat on it a little.

Box the stock frame rails but leave room for water and mud to get out or they will rust faster. Drilling holes works also spray some rustoleum rattle spray can in there. Before and after you weld try to cover up as much as you can. Also eastwood may have some better products if you got the bucks.

Engine is all tq from the factory. Are you running a carb or injection. Regular 049 round port heads will make a little more power stock for stock since i think you will have peanut ports on the truck but not sure with out knowing the casting numbers. Dont worry about square ports unless it already has them.

Rasie the compression a little will make a little more hp and tq. Have the heads milled and maybe thin gaskets. Becareful not to go to high since the cam your going to run will be smaller one. Best to get the Heads off and figure out what you got and if its even servicable then move on to the upgrade. I have gone in for simple 500 dollar cam swap upgrade and lucky to get it back together under 1000 dollars bone stock. Best to figure out what you got and compression ratio of final assebled engine then pick a good cam for it.
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:49 PM
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I'm sure you know you need to match the gears in the diff's front and rear..
the 454 truck engine is set up for torque.. way down low..
it'll have peanut port heads.. these engines are all done at 4000 rpm..
I'd leave it alone.. it's 400 ft lb flat torque curve.. and will run on 86 pump piss
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:56 PM
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The peanut heads will work and a small cam would help. 500 lift 218 duration@50,or close to that.The headers and 3 inch exhaust is a very good idea. You should easily spin those tires in 2 wd on the pavement.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:23 PM
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yeah, I'm going to match the gears, i think the 3500 rear end has 4.11's stock? maybe, I'm not sure, I'll know much more when I get it all out, as of now I'm out of school for semester break ( one full month of work, so i should have money to rebuild the tranny when i go back to school, and it's convenient because i have Automatic Transmissions class next semester, so i can do all my re-build there and get credit (: ) and as for gas; I run 91 pump in it right now, and synthetic oil, I always have, I just like knowing that I'm using the best gas I can, and the truck loves it. Anyone have any comments or suggestions on which muffler/headers would work best? I honestly haven't done a ton of research yet, I just want to get other peoples opinions before I go searching.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:18 PM
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I seen this guy on ebay and talked to him a while back seemed like he was really cool and down to earth maybe he can help you buy your rebuild parts at a good price and make sure you dont get stuck with some of the sloppy kits on market today. But just being able to buy all the parts you will need and the right ones for your trans may be worth the effort of an email. I was asking about a fully built trans so kind of a shot in the dark for just parts but he knew what needed long before i did. I am buying one of his level 2 700r4 His price is so good i cant fight it.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHEVY-4L80E-...item460aa0f7c5

But i know when you go to buy rebuild kits you can pay 100 dollars for everything needed to rebuild the trans and then you can spend 600 on everything needed to rebuild. What the difference is in those many kits but i have no clue so best to seek pro for help getting the right parts. Once you got all the new parts rebuild is alot simpler. Just swap out parts and make sure clearence is right.

Last edited by hcompton; 12-09-2012 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Posted the wrong link
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:29 PM
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what year is this thing..
it's mostlikely a roller engine... and maybe alum headed
and efi..
if you drop your old distributor in you need to change the gear to a melonized gear..
if keeping the efi, not a bad idea.. plan on pain with the gauges and the need for a speed sensor..
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:41 PM
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the 3500 is a 1992, still TBI, so im going to swap a carb into it so i don't have to worry about computers. Less complicated, but I might do an EFI swap later down the road.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 454k1500 View Post
the 3500 is a 1992, still TBI, so im going to swap a carb into it so i don't have to worry about computers. Less complicated, but I might do an EFI swap later down the road.
that 4l80e isn't gonna run without a computer/controller of some type
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:14 PM
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This is true.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 454k1500 View Post
This is true.
There are solutions for computer controlled trans with everything from manual valve body to stand alone control box. You will have to search out a solution that works for you. I know most can be changed over to work with out a comuter but performance may not be the same.

Oh just looked at the link he says no computer is 400 bucks for brain box that only requires 12 volts. So that does not sound to bad for good od trans even controls lockup that will be very nice with lots of tq from the big block.

Last edited by hcompton; 12-09-2012 at 06:22 PM. Reason: New onfo
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:30 PM
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A first gen TBI system is very simple and cheap to run. With nothing else changed a carb swap generally will make less power, get worse fuel mileage,and will not able to easily drive up grades off road without any stumbling. Unless you use a off road carb which is $$$. Of course you then need a stand alone computer for the transmission $$$.

A cheap and easy way to make a bit more power while still retaining the factory drive train is to let that engine breath better with a intake and exhaust that will work with your existing cam. The tbi will support these upgrades within reason without needing to be upgraded itself.

I myself am a fan of the sm465 mated to a BBC when used in a dd/towing application. While it is not a quick shifting transmission it is very tough in stock form. When the bearings do wear out and it needs a rebuild it is something you can do yourself for less then $200 compared to around $1500-$2500 for the 4l80. As far as overdrive is considered that is a manner of running the right gears.

For instance a sm465 with 3.08 gears gives the exact same highway gearing as a 4l80.

Final drive ratios 4l80 with 4401 and 4.11 gears running 35" tires

Transfer case

High
10.19
6.08
4.11
3.08

Low
27.42
16.36
11.06
8.29

Final drive ratios 465 with 4401 and 3.08 gears running 35" tires

Transfer case

High
20.20
11.03
5.24
3.08

Low
54.35
29.66
14.08
8.29

I do not want to discourage you from running the 4l80 transmission. If you do not want to mess with driving and converting over to a stick it makes sense. But, if you are using it based upon overdrive alone the craw ratio and lower cost to run a 465 may interest you.

If you want power compare the 11.03 to 6.08 second gear. You would need 45% more torque to move the same speed. In third you will need 22% more torque.
Now you are going to loose some of that power in shifting. But, once in gear the power is something you will notice.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:02 PM
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I've always wanted to make the truck a standard, I found a tranny for $150 but that's without the transfer case. Do I need to buy a new transfer case along with the sm465? And I'll need to buy a clutch and pedals and all that good stuff.

Last edited by 454k1500; 12-11-2012 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 454k1500 View Post
I've always wanted to make the truck a standard, I found a tranny for $150 but that's without the transfer case. Do I need to buy a new transfer case along with the sm465? And I'll need to buy a clutch and pedals and all that good stuff.
You can buy an 480LE auto for 1500 or so bucks built and ready to go. Yeah its alot more than 150 bucks but its a long shot the cheap trans is going to be great. It has never happend for me. I always pay top dollar for a complete pos. And end up building it twice to get it right when i could have purchased the right trans for the same price. Does your stock transfer case work with the th700r4. I know a lot of 4x4 guys run them and they are dirt cheap to buy built for 500 ft tq. Now if they work with big blocks i do not have much info on that.

To rebuild a manual trans is easy enough if you done it before. But you will hate yourself if you drive the car on the street alot. Standard trans blows in a car or truck with low gears. You will spend all your time shifting and have no time for playing with the radio and texting.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:14 PM
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I don't mind shifting. I'd rather be shifting then texting and crash I would prefer the manual to be honest. I just need to get a new transfer case now. And pedals
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