Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5.7 Vortec, 700-F and 3.73 gears in a 10 Bolt Differential


What I believe Would Be ThePerfect Powertrain Setup For A Modified Tri-Five Classic Chevy

-Alan Arnell

If I won the lottery, I would have many classic and sports cars in my garage for every want, wim and activity.  I would want a a modified Tri-Five to long trips, period correct Tri-Five, a Hot Rodded-1957 Chevy, a ground pounding-door slamming dragster, a couple of Corvettes (C-1, C-2, C-5 for starters), etc.  The lottery still being elusive, I have settled with my greatest heart's desire a 1957/150, 2-door 1957 hot rod, made to the style I would have made it if were it 1964.

~~~small Hell bitch.jpg
My 57/150, named the Hell Bitch!

For today’s topic: I wish to tire kick what I would like to have in a cruiser for the long distance haul to remote destinations.

I would start with a Chevy Vortec engine, most likely a 5.7 L with fuel injection.  However, a 4.8 L would be better for gas mileage and and may be purchased at a lower price, however to the detriment of less horse power.  Since, I’m dreaming, I will go with the 5.3 L engine.

The GM small-block engine family is an engine design intended as the primary V-8 engine used in General Motors' line of rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks. The GM small-block series was a "clean sheet" design with only the rod bearings and bore spacing in common in terms of shared parts and dimensions with the classic Chevrolet small block V8. The basic layout owes a good deal to the essential concept of Ed Cole's original small-block design of 1954-55, though the small-block engine also uses design cues from Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac engines. Some small-block engines are all-aluminium, especially the performance oriented engines, while others use cast iron blocks.

The small-block engine has been the main power plant of the Chevrolet Corvette from 1956 to 2016, and has seen use in a wide variety of other General Motors vehicles, ranging from sport coupes to full size trucks. Due to the engine's relatively compact external dimensions compared to its displacement and power output, the engine family is also a popular choice for engine swaps, import cars, kit cars, hot rods, boats, buggies, and even light aircraft.

The Generation III V-8 engines replaced the Gen II-LT family in 1997 and Gen I completely by 2003. Like the previous two generations, the Buick and Oldsmobile small blocks, the gen III/IV can be found in many different brands. The engine blocks were cast in aluminium for car applications, and iron for most truck applications (notable exceptions include the Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS, Chevrolet SSR and a limited run of Chevrolet/GMC Extended Cab Standard Box Z71 Trucks). The architecture of the LS series makes for an extremely strong engine block with the aluminium engines being nearly as strong as the iron generation I and II engines and with the iron LS engines far exceeding the capabilities of the previous two generations.

The LS engine also used coil-near-plug style ignition to replace the distributor setup of all previous small-block based engines. The traditional five-bolt pentagonal cylinder head pattern was replaced with a square four-bolt design ( much like the 64-90 Oldsmobile V-8 ), and the pistons are of the flat-topped variety (in the LS1, LS2, LS3, LS6, LS7, LQ9 and L33), while all other variants, including the new LS9 and LQ4 truck engine received a dished version of the GM hypereutectic piston. The cylinder firing order was changed to 1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3, so that the LS series now corresponds to the firing pattern of other modern V8 engines (for example the Ford Modular V8).

The Vortec 4800 LR4 (VIN code "V") is a Generation III small block V8 truck engine. Displacement is 4.8 L (293 cu in) with a 96.01 mm (3.78 inch) bore and 83 mm (3.27 inch) stroke. It is the smallest of the Generation III Vortec truck engines and was the replacement for the 5.0 L 5000 L30. The LR4 engines in 1999 produced 255 hp (190 kW) while the 2000 and above models made 270–285 hp (201–213 kW) and all have a torque rating between 285–295 lb·ft (386–400 N·m), depending on the model year and application. The 2005-2006 models made 285 hp (213 kW) and 295 lb·ft (400 N·m), LR4s are manufactured at St. Catharines, Ontario and Romulus, Michigan. It uses flat top pistons.

LR4 applications:
2003–2006 Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana
1999–2006 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500
2000–2006 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon

5.3 L
The Vortec 5300, or LM7/L59/LM4, is a V8 truck engine. It is a longer-stroked (by 9 mm (0.35 in)) version of the Vortec 4800 and replaced the L31. L59 denoted a flexible fuel version of the standard fuel LM7 engine. Displacement is 5.3 L (5,328 cc (325.1 cu in)) from 3.78-inch (96 mm) bore and 3.622-inch (92.0 mm) stroke. Vortec 5300s are built in St. Catharines, Ontario and Romulus, Michigan. Another engine variant, the L33, shares the same displacement, but has an aluminum block with cast in cylinder liners, much like the LS1.

As for a transmission: I would go for a 700-R or the 4L60.  The 700-R automatic overdrive transmission combined with deeper gears from 3.42 to 3.7:1 would be just the ticket for cruising Route 66.

The 700-R features a low 3.06:1 First gear combined with a 070:1 Overdrive that offers a good combination for sporty performance, make  for a pleasant  long hauler, with much better gas mileage than a Turbo 350.  The overdrive lops off a  thousand or more revs when driving on the Interstate, meaning, less wear and tear on the motor and fuel economy improvement of 30%.

In the past the benefits of the 700-R were appealing, however early models were considered weaklings in stock condition.  The clutch packs were weak, the servo/piston was too small, the pump was short on pressure and volume and the small clutch disc in the lockup torque converter was inadequate.  But by 1987 Chevy upgraded the transmission and today aftermarket models are even better still.  No worries.

One item of note:  if you cruiser runs a tall gear set like a 2.41, installing an overdrive trans. throws off highway cruising rpm.  Sure, the lower first gear will help acceleration, but when the fourth-gear overdrive kicks in that 2.41 becomes a 1.68!  This means that the engine will be lagging well below its effective rpm range.  

Since, I may not want to run a computer for the lock up torque converter via the speed sensor.   I would most likely choose to modify the transmission so the converter will lock up without the use of a computer.  This could be done by installing a modified pressure switch that locks up the converter in Third and or Fourth gears and a rewired converter solenoid.  This solenoid is also wired through the brake switch for safety.  Some systems also incorporate an engine vacuum switch that unlocks the converter on hard acceleration.  

The deep gears and lower first-gear ratio should make for some personally to my Tri-Five cruiser.  I would like a car that is responsive and quick off the line, yet eerily quiet on the highway.  

Since the late 80s, nearly every modern car has been made with an overdrive trans.
And lock up torque converter.  It is easy to see why.
 They’re a no-compromise solution that offer the best of both worlds.  

As for the rear end I would most likely go for a 7.5-inch GM 10-bolt,  While not as strong as the 8.5-inch 10-bolt or the 12-bolt, the 7.5 is adequate for modern street use-just not with 2.41 gears.  

Well for the want of money I am and most likely just be in the thinking and wanting stages for this Tri-Five powertrain setup.  But, you never know, I may swap out my carbureted 1977-stroked and bored 383 small block and 4-speed Borg/Warner to the cruiser setup I fancy.  

THM700R4 / 4L60 / 4L60E / 4L65E / 4L70E

The four-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic 700R4 was introduced for the 1982 model year for use in Chevrolet/GMC vehicles

In 1990, the Turbo Hydra-Matic 700R4 was renamed the 4L60, Under the new designation, the "4" stands for the number of forward gears, the "L" for longitudinal applications (rear-wheel-drive), and the "60" is the strength rating (less than the 4L80). "60" is the relative torque value. For example, 80 is stronger than 60, which is stronger than 40, etc.  A 4L80-E can handle more torque than a 4L60-E. The "E" denotes electronically controlled shifting. The 4L60 however is hydraulically shifted based on governor pressure and TV cable position.1992 was the last year of widespread usage of the 700R4 (4L60). 1993 Camaro, Corvette and Typhoon were equipped with the last production 700R4.The last design change of the 700R4 was an added checkball to the valve body.

In 1992 electronic controls were added, and it became the 4L60-E.  The 4L60E went into service in trucks, vans, and SUVs in 1993 and in all RWD passenger cars (Corvette, F and B/D bodies) in 1994.

In 2001, an updated version — the 4L65-E, was introduced Five-pinion planetaries, along with a strength-improved output shaft, were improved to withstand the 300+ lb·ft (400+ N·m) of torque of the 6.0 Vortec engine.The 4L70E transmission is the same as a 4L65E with a speed sensor located in the pump.700R4 / 4L60 / 4L60E / 4L65E / 4L70E / Technical Description.

The Turbo Hydra-Matic 700R4 can be identified by an oil pan number six shown at General Motors Transmission Pans.

The tailshaft housing is held onto the main case by four bolts (the bolt spacing is similar to the THM350) and uses a square-cut o-ring seal, and not a gasket. The typical width of this transmission where it bolts to the engine is 20 in (51 cm) overall. From the engine/trans mating surface to the cross member mount bolt is 22.5 in (57 cm),and engine/trans surface to output shaft housing mating surface is 23.375 in (59.37 cm) overall,with the tail shaft housing typically measuring 7.625 in (193.7 mm).

Transmission fluid cooler lines on the 700R4 the bottom fitting on the right side of the transmission is the "out" line to the cooler and the top fitting is for the return line from the cooler. These fittings are .25 in (6.4 mm) pipe thread, and can include an adapter from the factory for threaded steel lines in a SAE size 4L60Es manufactured after 1995 use snap-in connections instead of threaded.

In 1995, the 4L60E received a PWM-controlled lockup converter.  The early designs simple on or off lockup function while the later design can variably lock as to not feel the lock up occur.    GM added a 5th solenoid to the valve body, called the PWM solenoid

In 1996, GM introduced a redesigned 4L60E transmission case that incorporated a bolt-on bell (2 piece case, bell and case) housing and an 6 bolt tail housing.This 2 piece case style was first seen in 1996 and up model S-10 Blazer, S-10 Truck, GMC Jimmy, and GMC Sonoma with the 4.3L engine. In the large majority of 1998 & later applications of the 4L60E were 2 piece cases (i.e., a removable bellhousing).  Both transmissions are the same internally.   The non-PWM (1993-1994) style 4L60Es are not interchangeable with PWM-style (1995 and later) 4L60Es Also in 1996, GM changed the 3-2 solenoid to a different style which makes it not interchangeable with any previous models

For the model year 1996 GM trucks, there were 2 versions of the 4L60E transmissions One had a bolt on bell housing the other did not. The bolt on bellhousings used on the 4.3L and 1996-2002 GEN I+ versions of the Small Block Chevrolet used the same bellhousing while the LSx engines used a longer bellhousing to accommodate a redesigned torque converter with a longer pilot nose (GM sells an adapter assembly for using the LSx 4L60-ES when used with an early engine).

The gearing for the 700-R is:
First - 3.06:1
Second - 1.63:1
Third - 1.000:1
Fourth - 0.70:1
Reverse - 2.29:1

With this car you could take a trip and never want to come home!

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My winning Peal Out at the 2011 Lone Star Classic Convention in Dallas

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