How To Improve MPG & Performance With An Overdrive Transmission - CHP How It Works

Going Broke Filling Up Your Hot Rod? Here’s How to Improve MPG and Performance With an Overdrive Trans

Stephen Kim Jun 15, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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Turnkey Conversion Packages

Achilles Thomas: The easiest way to upgrade to an overdrive transmission without having to worry about running a computer would be to go with a Monster 700-R4 overdrive conversion package. Our 700-R4 packages are turnkey solutions that are mechanically operated, which means no complicated electronics or expensive computers are required. These packages include everything needed for an overdrive swap along with detailed instructions and toll-free tech support to walk you through the process. Another option is the 200-4R, which we also offer as part of a complete conversion package. Monster’s conversion packages include either a 700-R4 or a 200-4R trans, a performance torque converter, a dipstick, a throttle cable, coolant line fittings, converter bolts, a trans mount, speedometer gears and housing, an external lockup kit, a trans cooler, and a dust cover. There are a couple of optional items as well, such as a crossmember and driveshaft and in some cases you can actually reuse those parts. If not, we offer a full line of custom crossmembers and driveshafts to fit your application. When you purchase from Monster Transmission you never have to worry about hunting around for additional parts or pieces. We make it easy.

Trans Controllers

Stan Poff: Running an electronically controlled transmission in an older muscle car has always been a challenge. The 4L60E and 4L80E can now be used in older-model vehicles or as replacements in newer vehicles thanks to TCI’s EZ TCU. The TCU controls the electronic functions of these transmissions, and doesn’t require a computer or laptop to load the programming onto the trans. The EZ TCU has a handheld scanner that asks some basic questions, such as the tire size and gear ratio being used, and follows a basic program menu to get the car up and shifting rather easily. The basic EZ TCU program will work for 90 percent of the customers, but if they wish to fine-tune it a little to better suit their tastes, the customer can go back in the scanner program and raise shift points and make speedometer adjustments as well. For those computer geeks out there wishing to have more control over their transmission tuning, there is the standard TCI TCU that lets you control many more parameters.

Trans Evolution

Zack Farah: The 4L60E, the 4L65E, and the 4L70E are essentially the same transmission based off the 700-R4. The difference is that they’re electronically controlled, and each successive variant features increased torque capacity. The 4L60E was introduced in 1993 and configured to LT engines; the 4L65E was introduced in 1999 and configured to LS-style engines. In 2005, the 4L65E was re-designated the 4L70E and designed with more durable internal components. The choice of one over another is dictated by a vehicle’s horsepower and torque. Gearstar can manufacture all GM electronic transmissions beyond their factory horsepower and torque capacities. Stan Poff: GM transmissions are always being updated, and 700-R4 and 4L60E have come a long way. Not too long ago, 600 hp was really pushing the limits of these transmissions, but now they can handle 800-plus horsepower. This enhanced durability is attributable to stronger drums and input shafts made from special materials, along with billet servos, billet pump rotors, and higher performance frictions, steels, and bands. Likewise, the TCI’s EZ TCU also addresses and manages line pressure issues as well as pulse modulations in the converter. This allows for automatic lockup, thus cutting down on early wear.

Achilles Thomas: The 4L60E is an evolution of the 700-R4, while the 4L80E is an evolution of the TH400. The 700-R4 and 4L60E are pretty much identical in every way, including their size and horsepower capacity. If a novice were to put the two right next to each other, they would have a hard time telling the difference between them. On the other hand, the 4L80E looks quite different from the TH400. It is usually 3-4 inches longer and slightly heavier, but the durability between the two is about the same. We can build either a TH400 or a 4L80E to easily handle over 1,000 hp. The main advantage of the 4L80 is that is has a 0.75:1 overdrive ratio. Needless to say the 4L80E and TH400 are extremely durable.


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