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demon69

Gear Vendors Overdrive

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Hi

I have a 351W with FMX and Truetrac 3.5 rear.  I'm thinking of installing a Gear Vendors overdrive for better fuel economy and reduced engine wear.  If anyone has installed one, appreciate your advice on ease of installation and performance.

Thanks

Peter

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This may not be an answer you like, but I strongly recommend going with a 4r70w if you want an automatic with overdrive. The fmx flexplate and crossmember work for the 4r70w swap as well, and the factory hard lines can be cut and modified to work with the 4R. I think I remember that the slots in the crossmember just need to be widened a bit.

There is the possibility of driveline angle issues with the gear vendors tailshaft, but this isn't always the case. The GV units have good reputations, but their overdrive is .80 I believe and the 4r70w is numerically lower (this is a good thing for highway cruising/mpg).  That means you can get numerically higher rear gears and have the benefits of more acceleration, without increasing highway cruise rpm.

Not to mention a 4r70w by itself is a ton lighter than an fmx with a GV unit, and since it has lower rotating mass that also means more HP eaten turning the driveline = less efficiency as well.

I was damn near doing this swap myself, when I came across a great deal on a toploader...so I'm prepping for that now.

Even if they are a good product, which is what I have read, to me they really don't make sense.

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I love mine.  302/347 built c4 and 3.5 trutrak.  I did the rear gears and GV at the same time and get almost the same rpms and the stock 2.8 gearing and c4.  All it required was slight modification to the transmission cross member to lower the transmission like 1/2 in and a new drive shaft.  I had the shop that did the rear gears put in the GV( and inspect it as it was used) and I wired it.

 I didn't like the foot switch or main on/off switches.  So I found a USB power supply for screwing in under the dash on amazon pulled the guts on and put in a round on/off.  Hid it right under the windshield wiper switch by angling it a little behind the center console.  I then used a motorcycle handle bar mount on/off switch and attached it to the gear shifter of the activation.  I did have to use some rubber gripping material to get this to work as handlebars are larger in diameter than the gear shifter.  The biggest choice will be deciding where to mount the controller.  I 3m trim double sided taped it to the bottom of the ac/heater box.  That's held for 3 years.

Another guy in MN did his own on his 1970 with a Cleveland and C6 and also loves it.  Its fun to be able to switch gears manually.   He uses it to drag race.  He's burnt out 3 C6s and not hurt the GV unit.

My recommendation would be if your transmission Is week or high milage or worn out.  Do some kind of built AOD swap (I had looked at silver fox). However if everything else is good do the GV.  

On a side note the GVs keep about 70% of their value.  So it can always be pulled and sold.

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Thanks for the comments.  I was originally keen on using the AODE but there seem to be quite a lot of dissatisfaction with it from the feedback I received.  Finding a reputable supplier for one and there seemed to be issues with the kick down adjustment.  Plus it is necessary to purchase a new crossmember, and controller and other parts that end up costing around $5K  I live in Australia where there is little support for the AOD and on top of that, we have to add over 30% to the cost for exchange rate  and shipping.  The GV overdrive is under $3K and bolts up to the FMX so it is a less expensive and far easier conversion plus it is as solid as a rock.  So on the basis of this, I considered it to be a good alternative to a 4 speed box.

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34 minutes ago, demon69 said:

Thanks for the comments.  I was originally keen on using the AODE but there seem to be quite a lot of dissatisfaction with it from the feedback I received.  Finding a reputable supplier for one and there seemed to be issues with the kick down adjustment.  Plus it is necessary to purchase a new crossmember, and controller and other parts that end up costing around $5K  I live in Australia where there is little support for the AOD and on top of that, we have to add over 30% to the cost for exchange rate  and shipping.  The GV overdrive is under $3K and bolts up to the FMX so it is a less expensive and far easier conversion plus it is as solid as a rock.  So on the basis of this, I considered it to be a good alternative to a 4 speed box.

I would have to agree in going with the GV, I know a lot of guys have had major issues with the AOD'S and as you mentioned little to no support here. The 4r70w's are expensive here and also not a great support with parts and knowledge and most sellers need a core replacement as well.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ford-4R70W-4-Speed-RWD-Reconditioned-Automatic-Transmission-/321667247732

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On 12/18/2018 at 5:25 AM, demon69 said:

Thanks for the comments.  I was originally keen on using the AODE but there seem to be quite a lot of dissatisfaction with it from the feedback I received.  Finding a reputable supplier for one and there seemed to be issues with the kick down adjustment.  Plus it is necessary to purchase a new crossmember, and controller and other parts that end up costing around $5K  I live in Australia where there is little support for the AOD and on top of that, we have to add over 30% to the cost for exchange rate  and shipping.  The GV overdrive is under $3K and bolts up to the FMX so it is a less expensive and far easier conversion plus it is as solid as a rock.  So on the basis of this, I considered it to be a good alternative to a 4 speed box.

Like some of the other guys, I prefer the 4R70W swap.   Much better gear ratios...    1st=2.84:1   2nd=1.55:1  3rd= 1.0:1  4th=0.67:1

The super low 1st gear is great for accelerating out of the hole, and the 0.67 OD is much better than the Gear Vendors 0.80 OD.

I bought a 60,000 mile 4R70w + convertor for $350  and a brand new Baumann U.S.Shift Quick 1 controller for $430.  All together I will have around $1000 into my conversion, and with my 3.73 rear gear it should be a LOT of fun and still be able to easily cruse at freeway speeds...   :)   

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On 12/18/2018 at 6:08 AM, unilec said:

I would have to agree in going with the GV, I know a lot of guys have had major issues with the AOD'S and as you mentioned little to no support here. The 4r70w's are expensive here and also not a great support with parts and knowledge and most sellers need a core replacement as well.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ford-4R70W-4-Speed-RWD-Reconditioned-Automatic-Transmission-/321667247732

AODE does not have the kickdown, its electronic. you would need a controller from US Shift

the 4R70W is the same tranny essentially and is far better.

If looking for one for a 302/351 you will want one out of a 95ish e150, the bellhousing is made for the sbf instead of the modulars.

 

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On 12/16/2018 at 2:11 PM, MN69Grande said:

All it required was slight modification to the transmission cross member to lower the transmission like 1/2 in and a new drive shaft.

And this changes the driveshaft angle that lanky mentioned which can cause a vibration and/or premature u joint wear.

 

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10 hours ago, barnett468 said:

And this changes the driveshaft angle that lanky mentioned which can cause a vibration and/or premature u joint wear.

 

You are correct of course.  But all of this on my install was measured and the angles are well within tolerances.  One reason I used a shop theat specializes in drive trains for the install was to avoid such a scenario but plenty of people have installed GVs with good success.  The shop also created a new custom and balanced drive shaft for a reasonable price too. 

My current set up has zero vibration.

So really I think the note here is to make sure your angles are with in tolerances and you get a good balanced drive shaft.

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On 12/19/2018 at 8:54 AM, newstang said:

AODE does not have the kickdown, its electronic. you would need a controller from US Shift

the 4R70W is the same tranny essentially and is far better.

If looking for one for a 302/351 you will want one out of a 95ish e150, the bellhousing is made for the sbf instead of the modulars.

 

You can also use a 4R70w out of a 3.8L V-6 mustang.   It still fits the Windsor block and has the 2 hole starter mount.  The only real difference is that it has 1 less intermediate clutch disc, but most people feel that is not an issue unless you are making over 600 HP, but the extra clutch disc can be easily added.   Also, the V-6 torque converter is just loose enough that it can stall up to 2600 rpm under the torque of a decent 302 engine.  The trans I got is out of a 2002 Mustang, so it has the desirable Mechanical Diode instead of the weaker sprag...   Good deal all around!!!

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4 hours ago, san408 said:

What year model? I'm about to start looking to put parts together for this swap from my C4. 

Look 2 posts above yours, 2 members explain which year & model to look for.

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any ford car or truck from about mid 90's to early 2000"s with small block ford with 4R will work. This includes trucks and cars. They have two different length tail shafts,  you just have to look and be sure, but probably want matter if you use the long or short because you will need to cut the shaft any way. The reason I mentioned the 4R from a truck 4.2l is because it has the extra frictions and steels in the clutch packs already if it is original to the vehicle. 

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45 minutes ago, det0326 said:

any ford car or truck from about mid 90's to early 2000"s with small block ford with 4R will work. This includes trucks and cars. They have two different length tail shafts,  you just have to look and be sure, but probably want matter if you use the long or short because you will need to cut the shaft any way. The reason I mentioned the 4R from a truck 4.2l is because it has the extra frictions and steels in the clutch packs already if it is original to the vehicle. 

On my 351w/fmx/9 inch, I used an AOD (same case as AODE & 4R70W) and the drive shaft didn't need to be shortened. Now if you use an OD trans from a truck or van, the tail housing is one inch longer. I was also able to use the stock trans cross member after modifying it so both side mounting bolts are in single shear. One side has 2 ears that mount to the chassis, and the wider side interfered with the trans pan. As far as FMX vs C4, I measured both of mine and all the mounting point measurements were the same. If there is a next time, I'll be using a 4R70W.

755156507_aodmount.thumb.jpg.6f3d22163ff64b776b0f5acd131d6497.jpg461199581_transcrossmember.png.1adc5164651e4a042b2b2249c15f8d82.png

 

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It depends on which pinon yoke you have on a 9" rear I seem to remember there is one that will work and one that the shaft has to be cut.  I made my cross member to slip over the frame mount on both sides.  I have given it some thought and if I were to go the overdrive route again I would use the AOD with modified converter and a solid input shaft. Just use it as a 4 speed overdrive with no converter lock out. 

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demon69

I apologize for getting off topic. Considering the fact you are in Australia the GV may be a better choice for you if you can get one locally. Here lately I find myself keeping it out of OD anyway around town and just normal cruising.      

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On 12/15/2018 at 10:49 PM, demon69 said:

Hi

I have a 351W with FMX and Truetrac 3.5 rear.  I'm thinking of installing a Gear Vendors overdrive for better fuel economy and reduced engine wear.  If anyone has installed one, appreciate your advice on ease of installation and performance.

Thanks

Peter

I believe it's all good info for someone still thinking about a swap to O.D. My posts were trying to show a cheaper way to get an O.D.

And yes, there are different yokes which if swapped can prevent needing to cut the drive shaft. Also, the Daytona bearing support on the N case is thicker by ~3/4" which will require the owner searching for a new yoke :)

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Once again, thank you all for the advice.  It's a tough call.  Unfortunately, I haven't got the opportunity to buy a second hand transmissions and have someone with experience to re-build it in Aus.  In rough figures, it would cost around A$4K for GV and around $6K for 4R70W with the necessary options and controller.  It's expensive but it would be great to have better fuel economy on longer trips.  Added to my concern is I don't know the condition of the FMX.  I have owned the car for 6 yrs but I don't have history before that.  The box operates well although it only holds first gear for a very short time and tends to "clunk" into reverse at times.  If the FMX is in good shape then GV is a good option.  But if I had to re-build the FMX then maybe the 4R70W.  It is something I will have to decide on in the new year.

Cheers and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Peter

 

 

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On 12/23/2018 at 5:38 AM, Mike65 said:

Look 2 posts above yours, 2 members explain which year & model to look for.

For the one out of the mustang that has one less clutch and steel.  The post two above mine doesn't mention anything about the year model truck with the 4.2L that has the more desirable transmission. Thanks though. 

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7 hours ago, san408 said:

For the one out of the mustang that has one less clutch and steel.  The post two above mine doesn't mention anything about the year model truck with the 4.2L that has the more desirable transmission. Thanks though. 

From what I have read, it appears that 2001 and 2002 model transmissions would be best.   Up until 2002, they still had a speedometer gear output to drive traditional mechanical speedometers.  Those newer models also have improved valve bodies, improved "Mechanical Diodes" compared to older sprags (one-way clutches) in 1998 and newer transmissions, And the newer models have improved oiling to the rear bearings / bushings as opposed to the older models which required oiling mods for higher horsepower applications.  I bought a 2002 model 4R70W for my build...

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