Techin' In With Fletch - May 2014

Dan Fletcher Mar 25, 2014 0 Comment(s)
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Got a restoration question that's been puzzling you? Send it to:
[ m ] Super Chevy, Fletch, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619.
[ e ] [ f ] 813-675-3557

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I'm having a problem connecting a 700-R4 to a low-mileage ‘95 LT1. A friend had this '95 LT1 with a T56 transmission in his '57 Chevy, and when he pulled it out to convert to a new LS3 I bought the whole engine/trans package. In turn, the plan was to install the engine in my wife's '57 Chevy, but couple it to a rebuilt, never installed 700-R4 transmission, then hook up the T56 to my '50 Chevy coupe's SBC, which is a story for another day.

I've spoken with vendors of parts for both these components and have gotten different suggestions. The first explanation I got was that the current throttle body and ECM would have to be replaced with a ‘93 model because there is no way to hook up the TV transmission cable to the throttle body, and the current ECM is looking for a six-speed transmission. This would set me back about $2,500 (yikes!), and I would have to dump the new Holley 58mm throttle body that was installed just before I bought the engine. The second suggestion was the 700-R4 only needs a torque converter lockup switch and no TV is needed, which doesn't make sense to me.

Others suggest converting to a carb setup, but using one of the new stand-alone throttle body setups currently being celebrated in the magazines. But again, well over $2,500 by the time I buy the intake, fuel injection system, distributor, damper, and timing cover with the Opti spark hole blocked.

And finally, some say to switch to a 4L60E transmission, but again, big money for little bang and then I'm stuck with a “new” 700 transmission.

At this point, I have the proverbial stepchild nobody wants and I wished I would have just converted to a LS, it would have cost about the same and would have been a better engine/injection system. Thanks for any help!

Fremont, Ca

The 700-R4, also known as the 4L60, definitely needs the TV cable, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you're intent on using the 700-R4, I'm afraid the first bit of advice that you received is probably your cleanest way out. On the upside, you shouldn't encounter any mechanical roadblocks on the way.

A '93 F-body came from the factory with that 700-R4 transmission, and the '93 vintage throttle body, therefore it has provisions for a TV cable. You reference the Holley 58mm unit that is currently installed, so I would consider replacing it with the following: Summit Racing - 1993 Chevrolet Camaro Holley High-Flow EFI Throttle Bodies 112-505. As for the computer, I would simply buy a stock '93 Camaro ECM from any retailer, or preferably junkyard, and send it off to have it tuned. You could actually leave the stock ECM alone, but there are a plethora of reputable mail order tuners that will do a custom tune for very little expense.

You threw out a reference to $2,500 in order to facilitate this sort of swap, but I can't see it being anywhere close to that neighborhood. I'm thinking you're all in for well under a grand, and that's with no ECM core and before you Ebay off the existing throttle body. Clearly, other options exist if you choose to bail on the 700-R4, but they just seem like good ways to increase the cost of the project for no good reason, and we all know I'm not a proponent of fiscal irresponsibility.




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