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Old 02-06-2011, 11:29 PM
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454, what turns your crank?
 

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what tranny to go with??

i will be building me a new 454 chevy big block that hopefully with have around 600-650 HP&TQ. it will be going into my 1981 Pontiac Firebird. now i just built up a TH350 with all sorts of goodies inside. including milling down the "clutch basket" to add in the extra clutch. i built it to withstand the power coming out of the 454 that i built back in June. the build didnt go as well as i had hoped, i didnt pay attention to some minor important details and needless to say the motor ate itself to death. now i will be leaving to go overseas for a year in a few months and when i get back i will be completely redoing everything from the motor to the drive train. my dilemma is that i want to have awesome acceleration but have good highway RPM's. my buddy is hooked on 6 speeds, but those are a little out of my budget range. i am not sure as to what rear end gears i want, but nothing shorter than 3.73:1. now i want to keep my TH350 since i put alot of time into building it. but i will be giving up my top end. i have never really experimented with gearing so i was just looking to see if someone had some input with what they have used. i would even considering doing a manual tranny conversion but want to keep the price low. anyone have any good input on a combo that will be best for both worlds?

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Old 02-07-2011, 12:43 AM
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you could do a 4l80e which is pretty much a th400 with 4th gear it can be set up to manual shift or you can get a controller if you want to have it shift auto. for a complete setup youd probably be in the 2500 dollar range.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:41 AM
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gearing dilemma

I think Gear Vendor sells an aftermarket OD unit that's built like a tank that you could look at. The cost would be about the same ($2,500 or so). Check it out. Might be a used one on ebay somewhere too......
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:14 PM
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454, what turns your crank?
 

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i do remember seeing in one of my hotrod mags about and adapter that adds a gear to the end of the Th350 or Th400. but i couldnt remember the name of the company or which mag it was in for that matter. i thought i was a prity cool idea, but wasnt sure about if they would hinder the durability of the tranny. has anyone ever used on of these before? also, how bad would it be to use 4:11:1 in the rear with a TH350? would my highway RPM's be way too high?
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:18 PM
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454, what turns your crank?
 

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i have never used the 4l80e tranny before, but from what i have heard they are weaker than the 700R4... is that true? i have seen 700's disintegrate with just a mild big block put in front of them.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevykid90
i do remember seeing in one of my hotrod mags about and adapter that adds a gear to the end of the Th350 or Th400. but i couldnt remember the name of the company or which mag it was in for that matter. i thought i was a prity cool idea, but wasnt sure about if they would hinder the durability of the tranny. has anyone ever used on of these before? also, how bad would it be to use 4:11:1 in the rear with a TH350? would my highway RPM's be way too high?
The GV wont have any negative affects on the Trans. It can turn a 3-speed Auto into a 6-speed Auto. 1st/low, 1st/high, 2nd/low, 2nd/high, 3rd/low, 3rd/high.

You wont like 4.11 gears on the Highway/Freeway.
Input your Info in this calculator 2nd one, "A MPH Calculator from RPM and Gearing">> http://hotrodworks.net/hotrodmath/quarter.html
Figure about 3500rpm @65mph, w/26" tall tire.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevykid90
i have never used the 4l80e tranny before, but from what i have heard they are weaker than the 700R4... is that true? i have seen 700's disintegrate with just a mild big block put in front of them.
The is wrong, a 4L80e is much stronger than a 700R4. The 80E is like a TH400 with O/D.
IMHO, the 700R4 doesn't belong behind a Big Block.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevykid90
i have never used the 4l80e tranny before, but from what i have heard they are weaker than the 700R4... is that true? i have seen 700's disintegrate with just a mild big block put in front of them.
Not even close to the truth, the 4L80 is very stout. The 4L80 is basically a TH-400 with an extended case for the 4th overdrive gear set, shares several parts with the TH-400.

The 700R4/4L60 has parts in common with the TH-350 and thus shares strength comparisons with the TH-350.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:25 AM
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80e? The term 'Ox' comes to mind.

I know its kind of my mantra and I should put it in my sig but; multiply your rear gear by the first gear and try to come up with a number more than 8.75. Factory high perf cars were 9.0-ish or higher. This is your 'total gear reduction'
We have installed Gear Vendors units on our Muncie-style 4spds several times.

If you want an idea of what a GV unit is or have nothing better to do, look up 'Laycock Overdrive.' They're very robust, just make sure you specify 27 or 32 spline application and expect to modify your Driveshaft. PS get the dimensions for the GV. I know it'll fit in an impala or chevelle. No experience with an F-car.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:45 PM
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454, what turns your crank?
 

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maybe it was the 4l60 he was talking about... to be honest i have never had a car with a manual in it. and to be honest this is my first "car". i have always driven full size trucks and blazers. for my blazers i loved the TH350, and i think the only reason we got away with using them was because of the huge tires i used. (have 44's). but i am starting to think that only 3 gears in a car isnt enough. if all else fails would a muncie be a good manual to go with? i can pick one up prity cheap. from my understanding there are four different ones right? what numbers should i be looking for?
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:25 PM
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for ease and cost I would put a mild built th400 in it. the a 3.73 gear it will have decent street manners. he th350s they can be built to handle the power but they do also share a weakness of the 700r4 being the low roller assembly whiich is actually a little bit weaker than a 700. you wont go wrong with a 400. the 4l80e would be great to have the 4th gear and al lthe parts in a 4l80e aside from the OD section are the same as a 400 and some are actually stronger than the parts in a th400 depending on model. but there will be a cost in doing the 80e it will not be a direct drop in. you can easliy get a th40 for app for under 800.00 whereas to do a 80e you will be in the 1900 range after trans and converter and in the 2900 range if you want it to shift automatically.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:26 AM
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I agree with the previous poster. For ease of use, the TH400 3spd Auto cant be beat. 4L60 is a 700r4

Before you go buying some random Muncie, make sure you price out your Z bar, pedals, clutch, flywheel, shifter etc etc.

There were 3 factory Muncie gearsets, all are direct drive in 4th.

M20 has a 2.5 1st gear and should have 3.55s or so
M21 has a 2.2 1st gear and should have 4.11s or so
M22 is essentially the same as an M21 except it has less pitch to the teeth and is a bit stronger.

There are aftermarket gearsets available (ours from italy and brand x from india and china) a heavy duty gearset to use a 3.73. We also have a heavy duty gearset for 3.08s - 3.31s

Expect a used muncie to need an overhaul kit ($115) and a Midplate ($60) and probably new reverse gears ($100 total depending on which trans). If the gearset goes south, high quality sets are in the 5-700 dollar range for a 5 gear set, cheaper offshore sets are significantly less. If you get lucky and it can live a couple seasons before needing an overhaul...good deal, go play powerball. A lot of the old cases have stretched over the years, aftermarket cases are available for $240 or so.

Use a non synthetic GL4 or GL5-MT1 75-90wt or so. 1qt no more no less.

If money was not a concern, Id get a M22Z with a 2.98 1st gear with a 26spline input, 27spl output. An all new unit with all new parts is 2grand. Throw some 3.23s in the back and the thing would be a killer.

You'd have a hard time getting a single OD to get you that kind of economy, and that kind of 1st gear launch

Only possible problem might be getting a shifter to work in your factory console, although I suspect you can use a T10 shifter for that car and it would get you close.

T10 route would be even easier I suspect, and they have several ratios available. Cheapest new T10 are available from Summit.

Keisler has remanufactured T45s available. Theyre 2k with the entire installation kit apparently, however I would do a lot of honest research (not reading keislers marketing hype) before I willingly bought a T45.

Ask more questions...its your money and either way you go is going to put you in a 2grand hole, so you deserve to be satisfied with your service and the product. Drive different cars if you can, peoples opinions are great but its your comfort level that matters since its your money.

BTW tall tires crutch a lot of things transmission wise
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:07 PM
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454, what turns your crank?
 

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now its time to decide if i am going to keep it a automatic or start looking for the parts to convert it to a manual.

kind of off topic but i am looking to narrow my rear end and do a mini tub. any idea where i can find a place to get a descent priced rear end? or how if its possible to just take mine in and have them shorten it. if anyone has looked in my project journal you will see that my rear tires stick out a good 3 inches or so. i bought the car with those wheels and tires on it and i really liked it at first... but now its starting to look a little ridicoulos. i could buy new wheels but i think i like the fact that i can have a 12.5 W tire, but would look a whole lot better if they were tucked in.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:19 PM
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For a good bit less than the cost of a complete new narrower axle assembly, or narrowing the housing you have and buying aftermarket axles.....you could just get a set of new wheels that would look much better and have the correct offset to fit the car correctly.

Figure $650 minumum to narrow your housing and get new axles(the stock axles can't be shortened and resplined) along with seals, bearings, gaskets, etcetera, ....and 2-2.5 times that for a whole new assembly.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:51 PM
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454, what turns your crank?
 

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i have thought about getting the right wheels but wouldn't getting a smaller wheel/tire it would hinder my traction capabilities?
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