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Alright guys...here is the deal. I have a 2003 Silverado 1/2 4wd ex cab with the 5.3 gasser in it. i have almost 200k on it and have been thinking about upgrading to the 6.0 gas motor(bolt-in). The other night I got a wild idea and said, "What about a 4bt?" What do you guys think. I am in the process of dropping in a 14b SF rearend already. I would put the 3500 torsion bars in for the extra weight and I should be set to go. I tow 6000# with truck on occasion and drive ALOT. The mileage would be much better with the 4bt and the longevity, etc. But, what problems am i going to have with the guage cluster and the computer issues? Any help would be apprecited. Also-should I keep the built up 4L60e or go to 4L80e or manual? I know this has been long but I am appreciative of your help. Thanks in advance!

Greg
 

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One of the things that i can see would be the emission because you change from gas to diesel. That is the biggest problem that i see.
 

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Sounds like a good project but some guys have run into legal issues with the newer trucks with emision controls and all the state and fed regulations on what we can and can not do to our own vehicles and still be legal to drive them on US roads. I would check into this before you get to far.
 

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No Emissions Testing in MN

If I remember right there is no smog check in MN. As far as the swap I think that the the 4L60e would be just fine. To keep the gauges you will need to get creative, and you may want to consider the aftermarket style gauges mounted in your cluster. The computer controls the transmission so you need to keep it in there.
 

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Since he would be keeping the computer to operate the transmission, I would also use it to control the gauges. I'm not sure this is possible with the GM setup, but this is what I (and others) am doing/have done to operate the gauges. The computer ends up not controlling much, except the gauges and transmission (and possibly climate controls). Just hook up the TPS to the 4bt, install the GM oil pressure and coolant temp sensors, and all of the existing transmission circuits, and everything except the tach should work.

As for the rear axle, I'd skip the SF axle and go right to a FF. I was riding in a Chevy truck that had a SF 14-bolt break an axle because of a worn axle bearing, and I REALLY hate SF axles now! If you tow with it (and you do), you would appreciate the strength of a FF. I know they can be a little harder to find, but not that hard...I have had 3 given to me over the past couple months, not counting the one that came in my bread truck.

Jim
 

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Since he would be keeping the computer to operate the transmission, I would also use it to control the gauges. I'm not sure this is possible with the GM setup, but this is what I (and others) am doing/have done to operate the gauges. The computer ends up not controlling much, except the gauges and transmission (and possibly climate controls). Just hook up the TPS to the 4bt, install the GM oil pressure and coolant temp sensors, and all of the existing transmission circuits, and everything except the tach should work.

As for the rear axle, I'd skip the SF axle and go right to a FF. I was riding in a Chevy truck that had a SF 14-bolt break an axle because of a worn axle bearing, and I REALLY hate SF axles now! If you tow with it (and you do), you would appreciate the strength of a FF. I know they can be a little harder to find, but not that hard...I have had 3 given to me over the past couple months, not counting the one that came in my bread truck.

Jim
I'm pretty sure you will need a tach signal for the trans to shift right.

I'd get a diesel converter for the 4L60E and get it reflashed for lower shift points.

Either that or I'd get one of the after market controllers and set it up yourself.

I'm not positive how long the 4L60E will hold up, when you tow, i'd tow in 1:1, not OD. But, if it goes, putting a 4L80E in should be a piece of cake. All the hard stuff is taken care of.
 
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