The "Road Oiler" gets overdrive (700R4 Swap)

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Speddmon

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Well, the time has finally come to get the cracked turbo 400 out of the "Road Oiler". I figured since I have to pull it out anyway, I might as well go ahead and do the 700R4 swap. I picked up a good '89 core from a gasser off of craigslist a little while back, and just had it rebuilt with a shift kit to help handle the torque of the diesel and diesel governor.

I've been slowly gathering the necessary parts for the change out. I have a new flex plate for an '84 K5 blazer with a 6.2. A new 1600 stall torque converter, new TV cable and the ever elusive TV cable bracket. Bought a heavy duty transmission cooler to mount in front of the radiator for extra cooling. Also bought a deep transmission pan for the added oil to help with cooling. If I would have had the core from an '83 to an '87 I would have gone with the Transgo 700-LU mechanical lock-up kit so no wiring or anything of the nature would be needed. BUT, the '89 core I have doesn't have the correct valve body to use the kit, so I ended up ordering the Bowtie Overdrives Brake switch lock-up kit.

The main advantage I saw in the Transgo kit was the fact that it is totally mechanical (Hydraulic), and there is no need for any external wiring or parts, it would just automatically lock up in 3rd and 4th gears. But like I said I couldn't use it, so with the Bowtie Overdrives kit it will automatically lock-up in 4th gear, and I got the extra switch to lock it up in 3rd manually. And the brake switch will unlock it.

Along with the TV cable bracket that Recovry4x4 was kind enough to provide for this project he also provided me with the proper 27 spline NP208 transfer input shaft. I ended up getting a new input shaft seal for the transfer and new U joints for the rear drive shaft as well. While I had it apart in GA the rear U joint was pretty dry, so I figured since I have it out, now is as good a time as any to replace them. I'm also going to take the drive shaft and have it balanced while it's out of the truck. There is a small dent in the shaft from what, I have no idea. But either way, it has to be out of balance, and that is not good for anything. I highly doubt this had anything to do with the 400 transmission case cracking, but I am not going to take that chance. Luckily with the core, came the adapter for the NP241 transfer case. Unfortunately it was the short adapter rather than the tall one. The tall one would have been a direct bolt in. But I ended up having to make a spacer block at work so I can bolt everything in.

While I have it in the garage and the entire week off of work, I'm also going to try to get the OEM fuel filter changed out with one of Gimpyrobbs fuel filter deals he is selling in the classified section. And if time and money permit, I am going to try to get a 12 volt fuel pump mounted on the passenger side frame rail to help with priming fuel. All that and I need to drop the tank and clean it out as well. I had to go most of the way to, and come back from GA running the fuel from the aux pick-up tube in the tank since the sock filter on the main tube kept sucking closed on me.

The fun starts tomorrow 12/9, but I wanted to get the preliminary stuff out of the way first. I'm going to try to snap some pics as I go through the project, but I usually end up getting on a roll and forget the do that.

Wish me luck, hopefully by the end of the week the truck will be backing out of the garage under it's own power and going a whole lot faster when it's on the highway.
 

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m38inmaine

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Thanks for posting. My M1010 is going to get the same treatment. I have a 85 6.2 takeout 700R4 which came with all the linkage etc. I also robbed the shift indicator while I was there. Excited to see your pictoral progress, good luck.
 

swbradley1

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Now what we need you to do is take the new transmission and drill a hole in the bottom. Thread the hole. Install a petcock in the newly thread hole.

That way you will be able to adjust the road oiling flow rate in the future.

It pays to think ahead.
 

Speddmon

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Interested in how it will drive with the low first gear and high stall converter, maybe you'll be able to spin the tires!!:smile:
With a transmission that was never really intended to be placed in a 1 ton truck....I can practically guarantee there will be no tire spinning....but it would be cool :grd:

Now what we need you to do is take the new transmission and drill a hole in the bottom. Thread the hole. Install a petcock in the newly thread hole.

That way you will be able to adjust the road oiling flow rate in the future.

It pays to think ahead.

It sure does pay to think ahead. But that may just have to wait. I am more interested in getting it back on the road before I have to go back to work the week of the 16th. I plan on driving it to work toward the end of that week in case the world ends while I'm at work, I want to be able to get back home.
 

Recovry4x4

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So cool. Can't wait to read the AAR on this install with the SECM. Mark, I have the input gear, may not have the adapter. Didn't want you to think Tom got the one we spoke of. Just been super busy.
 

poppop

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I have a 90 Chevy 1500 that is going to the scrapyard. I think it has a 700R transmission in it. The trans is bad but should I keep just in case someone else needs it????
 

jwaller

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no, 700's are so easily available I'd not keep it. I've got 10 of them in my shop that are going to the scrapper on my next trip.
 

Speddmon

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Well, I got the old stuff pulled out today. Yanked the drive shaft, transfer case, transmission and crossmember today. I removed the old flex plate and installed the new one already. Tomorrow morning I'll pull the pan on the new transmission and remove the original wiring for the lock-up solenoid and install the Bowtie Overdrives wiring. If I can get it in the truck and the crossmember back in place and bolted in I'll be happy with that. It takes a lot longer to do things by yourself. I was in and out from under the truck about 50,000 times today getting this and that.

Once I got the old transmission out it is pretty easy to see why the JB Weld didn't stop the leak in GA. It was also easy to see that is was a small miracle that the truck got me home at all. You can clearly see in the pictures that the back part of the transmission is almost completely broken off. I also snapped a pic of the dent in my drive shaft. I have no idea what would cause the case on that transmission to crack like that.
 

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swbradley1

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Holy cow! Looks like you drove the thing thru a burning Kuwaiti oil field. Clean all that up with brake clean before putting it back in (per Gimpy).

My guess is a GL forklift. (Drive-shaft bent?)
 

Speddmon

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I would agree with the GL lift theory, but this truck left the service before GL took over the contract (I think).
 

MarcusOReallyus

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You can clearly see in the pictures that the back part of the transmission is almost completely broken off. I also snapped a pic of the dent in my drive shaft. I have no idea what would cause the case on that transmission to crack like that.
Vibration.

I have a '94 with the 4L60E that I got from GL. I replaced the flex plate because the starter had chewed a bald spot in the starter gear. (That's why I had to trailer it home.) I don't have 5,000 miles on that new flexplate and I now have a cracked flex plate, trashed TC, and probably need a trans rebuild. aua

Highway speeds and an unbalanced drive shaft are not a good combination. :-(

This was a comms maintenance truck on Ft. Meade. Probably never left the base, which means it didn't see highway speeds until I got it.

I didn't think a few dents in the driveshaft was that big a deal. I think I was wrong.

Getting it balanced this week at a local shop. $125 to basically rebuild it.
 

Recovry4x4

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I would agree with the GL lift theory, but this truck left the service before GL took over the contract (I think).
That's funny right there. Have you ever seen GL jump start a vehicle? They don't use their crap, they use our crap, sales and surplus crap. Long before GL was schooled on surplus sales, DRMO was smashing doors and bending driveshafts with eerie precision. These are the very same forklifts GL abuses into the ground then sells it to us suckers.
 

Speddmon

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Vibration.

I have a '94 with the 4L60E that I got from GL. I replaced the flex plate because the starter had chewed a bald spot in the starter gear. (That's why I had to trailer it home.) I don't have 5,000 miles on that new flexplate and I now have a cracked flex plate, trashed TC, and probably need a trans rebuild. aua

Highway speeds and an unbalanced drive shaft are not a good combination. :-(

This was a comms maintenance truck on Ft. Meade. Probably never left the base, which means it didn't see highway speeds until I got it.

I didn't think a few dents in the driveshaft was that big a deal. I think I was wrong.

Getting it balanced this week at a local shop. $125 to basically rebuild it.
I would agree that the vibration is bad for things...but I would think the rear drive shaft vibrating would cause damage to the transfer case long before it made it to the transmission
 

cliffyp

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That picture of your cracked trans looks exactly like mine. Right at the governor door, wrapping up and over the top, looks like its about to split in two. JB weld didn't help mine either.

I was amazed when I pulled the trans out to see how bad it was. My trans mounts had pretty much turned to mush.

This is why I put a 700r4 in my truck too.
 
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