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Techin’ In With Fletch - August 2014

Dan Fletcher Jul 2, 2014
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Another Wheel Question

I saw your answer regarding a ’68 Camaro wheel fitment issue, and I have a similar question regarding my ’68 Nova—but I was thinking of going with the Detroit Speed 2- or 3-inch kit. I was wondering if it might be too low for me, as the car is a family project, not a weekend road racer. My next question is about the driveshaft. This is my first real project and I put in a 700-R4 transmission, but I’m confused on the measurements. I’m on a budget and want to try to keep costs down, so not making a mistake on driveshaft length is very important. Money is tight, so I need to stretch the budget.

Bill Mc.

Detroit Speed certainly makes nice stuff, and I’m sure you’d be happy with anything it sells. This is totally a personal preference-type question, so I can’t give you a right or wrong answer, but I can offer an opinion. IMHO, I think a 2-inch drop would be the appropriate choice, and that a 3-inch might be a bit much for your application.

Here is a link to the front kit from Detroit Speed:, and here is a link to the rear

As for the driveshaft length, if you went from a Powerglide or TH350 to the 700-R4, you will need to shorten the shaft approximately 2 to 3 inches. I would physically dummy up the install. Measure twice, cut once, as they say. You want about 1-inch of exposed yoke when the driveshaft is in place.

Pick Me, Monte

I am currently restoring an ’84 Monte Carlo SS that had an engine fire a couple of years ago. The fire burned everything from under the dash to the very front of the car. I have replaced the motor with an LT1 out of a ’93 Corvette, complete with the 700-R4 tranny and ECM. I was wondering what wiring harness I will need to get all my accessories up and running. To clarify, I mean everything from the lights, electric windows, door locks, etc. I will be tackling this job on my own, so the most practical option would be preferred. I know there are a couple of options, but I just need to be pointed in the right direction. Any help would be much appreciated!

Via email

You certainly have your work cut out for you. It’s not like you gutted it and you’re wiring it like a racecar. You’re requiring everything factory to work. My initial thought was to send you off to a junkyard for everything that got wrecked in the blaze, and have you get the car back to stock before we worried about the engine and transmission management. But then I called Painless Wiring, and I believe your life just became far less complex. Not simple, mind you, but manageable.

I spoke with Mike in the tech department, and he had some good insight into how to best approach your situation. Painless offers a complete chassis harness for your car, PN number 20102, which you can check out here: This will handle all of your accessory functions; well, almost. A couple of problems do exist, and a trip to the junkyard is probably still required. If it was destroyed in the fire, you’re going to need to procure the specific connector that serviced the instrument cluster. The Painless kit will take you to that point, but you’re going to need that connector to marry the Painless harness to the dash. A schematic would be nice, but Painless uses the factory color-coding in its product, so leave a few inches of wire when you cut off the connector. The second issue is with the power functions contained within the doors. Hopefully, the fire didn’t wreck the harness in the doors, or the connector at the point of entry. If so, you’ll need both. What I’m sure probably did get damaged was the crossover harness, so you’re going to have to get one of those as well.

Now on to the engine and transmission management systems. Painless can run an LT1, no problem, and you can check out its offering here, PN 60502, The problem now is that the company’s deal is designed around a 4L60E, not a 700-R4, so I’m thinking your best option is to bail on the ECM you have and find one from a manual transmission LT1 F-body, ’94-and-up. You can now utilize PN 60109 for the 700-R4 lockup function, which you can view with the following link:

I have tried to point you in the right direction, but clearly I’d have Painless Wiring’s number on speed dial…

Got a restoration question that’s been puzzling you? Send it to:
[ m ] Super Chevy, Fletch, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619. [ e ] [ f ] 813/675-3559

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