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Old 06-02-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
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Cool 4 speed verses GV

I have the standard 3 speed Auto on a '82 build 1983 310. I have tried looking at the GV overdrive but by the time it gets here in the UK it's "Megga Bucks!".

I may have the opportunity to obtain a 4 speed unit, in which I believe the fourth gear is virtually the same ratio as the overdrive unit, is this correct?

My question is, can the 4 speed be a direct exchange fitted (Give or take a cable or two) and am I on the right track? Or should I "bite the bullet" and go for the GV?

Thanks in advance
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:12 AM   #2
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Chuck,

Which 4-speed transmission are you looking at? The only two that I'm aware of that would work are the 4L80E and the 700R4 (4L60?). The 4L80E would be the better of the two choices. I have a 4L80E that I will eventually install in our 1984 310, I just haven't had the time to tackle that project as yet.

You will likely have to shorten your driveshaft a little and if you're going to use the 4L80E you're going to need the computer that goes with it and some additional sensors added to your engine to control it, although there are some aftermarket control boxes that replace the original factory control box.

Brad
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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The newer 4 speed automatics are computer controlled. Whether they can be integrated into your vehicle systems I don't know, but I would be asking about this before I started changing transmissions.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:25 PM   #4
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Hey you two, that was something I never gave a thought to! Computers eh!
Yuk! I hate them with a passion, but having said that what am I driving at present? a Merc and a Chrysler PT - both with ECU's.....
OK so I had better do some more swatting up. I have a mate that has a 250 with a 4L80E - I think, anyway I will have a nose round that and see what's involved.

Thank you guys for your input it has certainly made me sit up and think - Still doesn't the GV have some sort of controller/ECU? - It's all good fun!!!
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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I have the GV in my truck behind a C6. The GV does have a control unit that allows for automatic engagement between gears, a floor switch that facilitates on and off once your speed is reached for a manual approach and a switch on the dash that lets you be in charge when you want to switch between manual operation and auto operation. And ofcourse the wiring harnesses to make all that stuff work. But if you wanted to be completely computer free then you would just toggle the solenoid on and off everytime you hit 30 mph. I myself would forget to turn it off and end up leaving the light with overdrive still engaged but thats just me... but it could be done.

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Old 06-03-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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A lot of mo/hos had the rear-end gear ratios changed to get some highway speed, especially on the diesels, but they pulled like a slug on hills, even in low. Whatever you do with transmissions and/or OD units, the driveshaft will have to be shortened, and by someone who knows his stuff; the angle is critical: you could take out the u-joints, the middle carrier bearing and the rear end if the alignment is not spot on. I get 65 (US) mph at 3200 with my U.S. Gear o.d. Yes, a ECU comes with the o.d., at least, mine. I'm on my second module, but, geez, look at my mileage! U.S. Gear Corporation Home Page
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Hello Mike,

The angles are important. Good comment. I actually had to address that on my truck.
I am surprised that your up to 3200 rpm at 65mph. You must have 4.10's or lower?
I have 3.55's and with a highway speed of 65mph I am at 2300 rpm. Now granted while im climbing a hill i might be in second gear with the GV applied. I have to split the gears to find that sweet spot but im getting 14mpg towing with a pretty heavy setup. I think i was in the 10mpg before.

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Old 06-03-2009, 07:02 PM   #8
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I also had the US Gear overdrive in my truck. I think it would be the better way for Chuck to get an extra gear without needing a computer. That said, I think the Gearvendors unit is really the same as the overdrive unit in older Volvo cars. It may be easier to get parts from that direction.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:50 PM   #9
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I just got a 4l80e in my 75 argosy working last weekend. So far I like it, shifts so nice and smooth. Too soon to tell about mileage, 2100 rpm/55 mph. Drive shaft work was only $160. You will need to change the speedometer ,as there is no mechanical output for the old speedo cable The good part of that, is you can get a KPH speedo

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Old 06-04-2009, 12:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbs View Post
I just got a 4l80e in my 75 argosy working last weekend. So far I like it, shifts so nice and smooth. Too soon to tell about mileage, 2100 rpm/55 mph. Drive shaft work was only $160. You will need to change the speedometer ,as there is no mechanical output for the old speedo cable The good part of that, is you can get a KPH speedo

bibbs
Bibbs,

What engine are you running in your 75 Argosy, 454 or 350?

Also, if you are running a carburetor what did you do for a computer/ecu? I'd like to install the 4L80E that I have in our 454 powered Argosy but haven't taken the time to figure out the best way to control it yet.

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by vlamica View Post
I am surprised that your up to 3200 rpm at 65mph. You must have 4.10's or lower?
Isuzu likes it at 3200; bear in mind, it was designed to be a stationary engine; running fishing boat gen sets, etc. I burn no oil, get 15 mpg. I got tons of paperwork when we bought the coach. no indication that the rear end had been modified, though it's common.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:27 AM   #12
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Thanks Guys for all this information, Forums to the rescue yet again!

I may have miss-led you all a bit on the computer front. I do hate them but resigned to having them! In other words if needs must..... as they say.

As a mechanical engineer I see so many applications and controls that have been taken over by "boffins" and their PC's and make a total hash of things, whereas my mechanical designs go on 'ad~infinitum'. So as an old codger, I have these reservations.

I must say that it hurts a bit when you see that the Laycock Overdrive - now Gear Vendors - started in the UK and now is in the USA, and consequently adds the shipping costs to it all. Funny thing is that no one in the UK knows - or wants to know - anything about an overdrive for a large vehicle.

The information and banter here has certainly helped although no decision is made yet.
I just need to get more 'gas-miles' with the cost of fuel here still exorbitant. Its a choice of propane conversion or overdrive - OR BOTH!

Thanks again
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:30 PM   #13
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Brad
I have a 454,and a TBI conversion I bought an after market wiring harness and computer. But you cam buy a PCM and wiring harness for carb setups for $500 or $600.

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Old 06-07-2009, 01:13 PM   #14
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Chuckles have you worked out how many miles you drive per year, how much fuel you burn, and how much you could realistically save with a new transmission?

In many cases it will take 10 years or longer to save back the cost of an overdrive. Unless you drive an awful lot of miles.

I don't know why people resent paying for fuel so much. I don't like shelling out at the pump either. But you have to look at what you are getting for your money. Weight requires power in proportion to move it. When you look at the size of vehicle you are moving the fuel use becomes more reasonable.

The alternative is to travel in a VW diesel or possibly by train. If you want to enjoy a motorhome you have to face the fact of fuel use philosophically.
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