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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2019, 09:28 AM
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I have gone with both combinations in a 350 powered S10 Blazer. Started off with the built 77R4 with a converter, but after 6 months the lockup solenoid failed. Replaced that with a Turbo 350 and a Gear Vendor and cant be more happier. Plus I can remove the GV if I should sell the Blazer someday.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2019, 01:43 PM
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Made some progress this weekend. Not a ton of fun pictures to look at, but got 95% of the inside electrical work done.

First thing I did was address the shifter bolts. They were in place with the head of the bolt inside the car and the nut on bottom. I didn't like this for two reasons. First, the end of the bolt stuck way too far down. The GV unit would have never mounted in place with them there. So I trimmed them. Disliked it even more. What would happen if I ever needed to remove that shifter for any reason? I'd probably have to take the trans out to get to the nuts! Not my idea of a good time. So I went and got new bolts and nuts, and put them in there with the head on the outside of the car, nuts inside. This way, if I ever do need to take it out, I can do so from the top side, jamming two nuts up top to hold the bolt if need be to loosen it. Yes, I did buy two extra nuts and put them on the bolt just in case of this so I don't have to hunt for them. And the actual bolt itself would not have a chance to fall through since it's so close to the trans down there. Win win I guess if I never need it.

Next I enlarged the hole in the glove box so that the harness disconnect would fit through there. Fein tool saved the day again. Then placed the electrical box in there where I'll eventually mount it. This is the new electrical box that GV doesn't mention much in their instructions. I guess they don't even send the old control box any more, this is the only option of control that you have with the switch. Gave it power - still need to find a good ground. That's the 5% that is left. I just ran out of time.

Ran the two LED's up to the dash and fished those wires through.

Rather than using the switch that GV sends with the product, I used one of the open toggle switches in my dash panel. Got the shift handle all setup with the switch and everything is connected. Just need to find a ground yet. After that the inside work is done. I am very happy that I had the roll bar clevises welded in before doing this, having to navigate around those side bars in place while doing electrical work is just a nightmare.

Next, back under the car to finish the heavy lifting!
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 08-22-2019, 06:53 AM
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Finally found some free time last night where it wasn't hot has heck here in Omaha. Went out and attempted to make some progress. Didn't get very far!

When the part shipped to me from GV, they included a sheet that showed some cross member modifications that may need to be done to the vehicle for clearance of the GV unit. They did include a note in there that said if you clearance the tunnel well enough the modifications would not be necessary. So I decided to press my luck. I got the cross member back up in there, and mounted all up loosely with all of the bolts to figure out where exactly it would land when permanent.

It turns out, I need modifications. Not for the reasons that are on the GV sheet, but rather to clear the square pan part on the bottom of the OD unit itself. I'll post some pictures here to show the difference. Not a huge deal, just need to get the part down to my machinist/welder (AKA my old man) for some assistance. It's a good reason to go visit this weekend anyway.

In the mean time, I took the cross member back out and began to clean it up. At some point in time some bone head thought it would be excellent to spray undercoating on this car. That stuff is no joke to remove, especially from a round part. I found myself spending some quality time with an angle grinder and wire wheel. It's 90% cleaned up. Then I ran out of daylight and it was time to call it a night.

More progress another day. I may start to make room in the rear part of the tunnel while this piece is being welded up. It's probably a week out or so to get that done, but the labor price is right!
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 08-23-2019, 09:06 AM
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While on hold for the cross member I figured I'd get the rest of the unit up in there to see how and where I was going to have to beat the transmission tunnel into submission. To my surprise, it was very little! If you ever go to install one of these into this particular car, you're going to probably look up and think "there is no way this thing is going to fit" but try it first. You may be surprised! The top of it slopes down and back exactly where and how it needs to in order to make for a very good fit. I thought about mounting it up there for good, but was not sure about that amount of weight hanging off of the tail shaft housing without the cross member in there for support, so I'm going to wait on that part.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2019, 10:36 AM
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Got after it again this weekend!~

Modified cross member cleaned and painted. The cuts were 1.5" each way. If I were to do this again, I'd make them a bit larger. It just *barely* clears. But it works.

I got the OD unit mounted up in there, and everything bolted back where it belongs. Completed the wiring below the car as well. Getting the nuts on the top two studs was a bit of a magic trick but it's done now.

I measured the driveshaft, from center joint to center joint mine ended up needing a length of 41 3/8th. This is with the yoke pushed all the way into the GV unit. I subtracted 5/8" as the instructions said and took it down to the drive shaft shop this morning. They are going to have to replace the entire tube because this one changed shapes a bit. In one section it was smaller, then it stepped up to larger and then back down to smaller. So they are going to re tube it, new U joints and balance with the GV yoke. All in it's going to cost me $200. Probably well worth it in the long run. Should be done tomorrow.

Once that is done all that is left is to bolt up the driveshaft, fill the unit, connect one ground wire inside and test it out! Getting excited now.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 09-05-2019, 07:54 AM
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Went out last night to get things buttoned up.

Installed the new driveshaft, filled the unit with Dexron III fluid and installed the last bit of electrical wiring needed. Test drive shows no leaks. Speed is right on. Doing 60 mph it's below 2k RPM's! Things are good I believe.

Now I just have to get the hang of using the thing. I have only two switches for operation. One toggle that is in the console, and one latched switch that is on the shifter handle. I've read the GV instructions no less than 192374921378947 times and I'm still a bit confused. I have a red light and a green light on the dash.

When the toggle is in it's closed (open circuit) position, does this mean the unit should be in manual mode or auto? I'm assuming manual. I also have no indicator of when the switch in the shift handle is open or closed, the surface of the button is the same height in either position. So that makes it interesting. What happens if I'm in auto drive mode, but the shift handle switch is open?

Sometimes I have no lights, other times I have just red, then green above 45. So I'd like to think this is the auto drive mode. But it's rather confusing. Also, my trans is a manual valve body so throw some shifting in there too and it makes for an interesting experience.

Also - on a semi related note here is a pro tip. If from some work you've collected a bit (or maybe more than a bit) of extra transmission fluid in the drip pan on your lift...........remember to clear that stuff out of there before starting the vehicle and pulling it off............it get's quite ugly if you do not. The last two hours of my night were spent with purple power and floor dry. =\
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 09-05-2019, 09:11 AM
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I read my instructions a while back.


How I remember it:

Start with switch off,... simultaneously, shift and hit the switch, rinse and repeat.


I can't see myself doing much of this after the novelty wears off. About 15 minutes, I imagine.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 09-05-2019, 09:15 AM
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Right, for the split shifting I believe that is the correct way of operating it. What I'm trying to get to is just understanding what the thing is currently doing by looking at the lights.

I have a red light, and a green one. I know that when green is lit, OD is working. Sometimes the red is on, sometimes it's off, sometimes both are off. And I don't know which position this toggle set's AutoDrive or manual. Maybe I just need to play with it a bit. I only got about 15 minutes with it last night on the road.
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