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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, im Nate.

This past January I traded in my 2018 Civic SI on my dream car, a 1994 Impala SS. She's got no rust, and had 53k miles on the dash, now 55k.

Why would anyone trade a new, fuel efficient sports car in on an old 90s v8 boat a lot of people ask me. Well, thats simple. The 7th gen Impala SS is the car that made me into a car guy.

When I was somewhere around 3rd grade, (2002 to 2003) my grandma and I went to the local DQ for an icecream cone. I was standing there enjoying my vanilla icecream when I heard a rumble coming down the road. When I looked, it was an Impala SS. Now I didnt know what it was, but it was the coolest dang thing I had ever seen at tha point, and id often fantasize about having one. I never forgot that car, or how it awoke my love for cars, and with the price of them soaring up over the past few years, I figured id never get one. You see, my chosen career path working on the ambulance as an EMT simply doesnt pay well. So when the crazy car prices hit and the dealer absolutely had to have my SI, I jumped all over the opportunity to negotiate for a great deal on the 94 Impala SS they had sitting in a warehouse.

Its been a total blast owning it this past summer, taking my wife and kids to several carshows. Im so glad I decided to make the trade, it was worth every cent :)

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Hello fellow 94 SS owner

Glad your enjoying it! These cars are super enjoyable in stock form for cruising and trips.

Problem is some of us get hit with the mod bug and fall into a never ending pit of spending 馃槀, you can see how it happened to me in my build thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Theres a lot id like to do, but asside from a trans build so it doesnt die on me, im going to keep it stock. They are worth most in that configuration.

Well, that and removing the mufflers but keeping the res. I want a nice rumble.
 

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What do they have factory?
3.08, GM's typical copout response to '90s CAFE MpG tests that were anachronistic in the 70s.
... maintaining highway drivability is important to me.
Gearing for more aggressive acceleration would impact that quite poorly ...
The biggest bang for your buck mod for Fleetwoods, RoadMasters, and Caprices, including your Impala SS, has always been and always will be either:
3.42 if you want to avoid driveshaft vibes and do lots of mostly highway driving
3.42 has a proven track record of statistically irrelevant highway MpG penalties
or
3.73 if you are ready to upgrade your driveshaft and do more city / metro / urban driving
3.73 has a proven track record of improving city / metro / urban MpG about as much as it costs highway MpG:
1-3MpG, depending on the driver and the qualiy of the pcm tune

Feel free to disagree, but 1Slammed96SS knows what he's recommending.
The ISSF has 13 years of collectively repeated and documented experiences which substantiate the above.
If not for the Great Data Mismanagement of Aug 2009, it'd be 21 years instead of 13.

If you are ever lucky enough to dare to test drive a B- or D-car with 3.42, you'll see for yourself:
More assertive gearing impacts drivability quite favorably.
Otherwise GM would not have used 3.42 for the Fleetwood 7000lb tow package (V4P).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
3.08, GM's typical copout response to '90s CAFE MpG tests that were anachronistic in the 70s.The biggest bang for your buck mod for Fleetwoods, RoadMasters, and Caprices, including your Impala SS, has always been and always will be either:
3.42 if you want to avoid driveshaft vibes and do lots of mostly highway driving
3.42 has a proven track record of statistically irrelevant highway MpG penalties
or
3.73 if you are ready to upgrade your driveshaft and do more city / metro / urban driving
3.73 has a proven track record of improving city / metro / urban MpG about as much as it costs highway MpG:
1-3MpG, depending on the driver and the qualiy of the pcm tune

Feel free to disagree, but 1Slammed96SS knows what he's recommending.
The ISSF has 13 years of collectively repeated and documented experiences which substantiate the above.
If not for the Great Data Mismanagement of Aug 2009, it'd be 21 years instead of 13.

If you are ever lucky enough to dare to test drive a B- or D-car with 3.42, you'll see for yourself:
More assertive gearing impacts drivability quite favorably.
Otherwise GM would not have used 3.42 for the Fleetwood 7000lb tow package (V4P).
I wont disagree with you. Im a total novice mechanic whos experience is in building gokarts and working on bikes. Ive only recently been slowly working on my own cars because mechanics prices are insane. I was under the impression that MPG would drop a lot more than that. If 3.73 looses that little, well thats no different than just driving it a smidge harder than normal.

So if I swap gears, would it have an impact on the life of the trans? Ive been told many a horror storry surrounding the B body and the 4l60e. Heck my mechanics 94 caprice just shat the bed. He said theres plastic discs in the trans, and they broke. I have no idea what he means, its just got me worried to break my SS, as itll take me a LONG time to save up for a replacment
 

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So if I swap gears, would it have an impact on the life of the 4L60E?
Were you to upgrade from 3.08 to 3.42, you'd be doing what GM did for the Fleetwood V4P.
Lesser gearing would not be able to withstand towing 7000lb.
Heavier GM vehicles (trucks / suvs) with similar tow ratings have proven that the 4L60E prefers more gear.
Heck my mechanic's 94 caprice just shat the bed. He said there's plastic discs in the trans, and they broke.
... it's just got me worried to break my SS, as it'll take me a LONG time to save up for a replacement.
To make a long story a bit shorter:
Were you to take
the 3.73 vs 3.42 questionnaire
your score would decisively and handily land on 3.42.
Your 4L60E will appreciate it.

That said, there's other cheaper things to do to extend the 4L60E's life, even if you never tow 5000lb.
1. You can improve on the ATF cooler by:
a) relocating it so air can actually hit it, or adding some baffling to redirect air at it, or both
b) adding an electric fan to it
c) upgrading the cooler itself, which also makes it easier to do 'a' & 'b'

2. Provided your Impala SS never sees winter, disconnect the ATF lines connecting to the radiator
In winter, the ATF is warmed more quickly by the radiator.
Once warmed up, the radiator unnecessarily heats the ATF, especially in the summer.

3. have your pcm reprogrammed.
Among many other more enjoyable things, reprogramming the pcm lowers GM's very high fan-on thresholds.
Lowering those fan-on thresholds improves the lifespan of the entire powertrain.
 
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