I've decided that I'm going to be bolting an automatic to the back of my 4BT. I can drive stick, and you can call me a pansy all you want, but I REALLY don't wanna sing "row, row, row your truck" every day during my commute on surface streets through downtown Knoxville.
And, while the intended recipient of this repower currently has a 700R4 that has delivered sterling service, I'm thinking that for the long run a 4L80E might be better. If I can get more power via turning a few screws, it's likely those screws will get turned. 4L80E seems to be the answer if you're adding more power.
Don't get me wrong.. The 700R4 I have now is at 220K and shows no signs of giving up anytime soon. When my Dad had it, it spent a significant amount of time with a 30' camper dragging behind throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. In overdrive... When it wasn't doing that, it was just as likely to be at Lowe's getting WAAAAAAY too much ready-mix or lumber loaded on it. When I got the truck, the transmission fluid was a rich brown color, with a burnt nutty aroma. I asked Dad if he'd maybe gone a bit over the recommended interval for fluid change.. "It's not been changed since it boiled over on that hill at around 25K miles.." As I look down at the odometer showing 130K at that point..
Anyway, in the process of researching the 4L80E option, I've run into one $nag: The controller.
Yes, I'm fully aware of the Compushift offering, but my wallet has to breathe slowly in a paper bag every time I look at the price tag on one of those. Other companies' offerings are similarly priced. Also, I'm not interested in the full-manual conversion on the 4L80E for this vehicle.
So, in the quest for doing things a bit cheaper, and from the angle of repair parts availability in the event of a breakdown, I'm wondering about the stand-alone controller that was used on the diesel (and some gassers, possibly??) 4L80E equipped trucks in the 92-93 or 94 years.
The controller itself seems to be readily available:
GM Part number: 16147609
Standard Auto # TCM609
Pricing for that is more in line with me eating something other than Ramen for an extended period (not that I'd REALLY be harmed with a bit o' weight loss - might get me another .2 MPG or some such, too..). In fact, the pricing I've seen would allow me to carry a spare! But, there are some questions I've not been able to answer through Google and looking here:
1. Has someone actually used the factory controller for the 4L80E behind a 4B/6B w/ VE pump? And, how do you like it?
2. What is needed, besides the controller? Obviously, we're talking a wiring harness of some sort, and from what I've read so far, there's going to be a TPS needed. I also suspect a tach signal would be desired. Anything else? Schematics / wiring diagrams / pictures / part numbers / sources would be GREAT.
3. Programming / tuning needed?? I have no issues with doing a PROM burn, but wanna know up front if I'm going to need to set up for that..
4. What are the differences, if any, between a 4L80E for gas and one that is for diesel? I know we're probably talking torque converter stall speed, but anything significant?
Anyway, any info is appreciated..