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to make a swap4l80e into the 96 caprice /my motor is ready and ill like to use a 4l80e tranny i hear they are strong trannys. what do i need to make this swap happen?
 

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First, what are your goals for the car performance wise? Unless you're running lots of power I think the 80 eats up too much power and weighs more than the 60.

Mike
 

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For the 4L60E to 4L80E swap I've heard you need a transmission controller for it, and those can get a bit expensive. Also its a bigger and heavier transmission so would make our already heavy cars heavier, also the transmission tunnel will have to be modifed. Additionally it also takes more power to turn it so would have more of a power loss. The tail shaft would also have to be swapped out and those apparently are not cheap either. See http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c4-tech-performance/1781147-4l60e-to-4l80e-conversion-adapter-kit.html for a little more information. - Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First, what are your goals for the car performance wise? Unless you're running lots of power I think the 80 eats up too much power and weighs more than the 60.

Mike
i want a durable tranny ,not saying 4l60 wont hold the power, but i just blu one with stock lt1, i have mild lt1 w hot cam set up, 342 gears 2.5 exhaust , im looking for an converter but im going to decide of using an 4l80. there rated hp 1000hp with some work.
 

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Interesting. I understand the logic behind doing that but haven't heard of this before for the 4L60E to 4L80E swap. Do you have a link you can share for those who are interested in it? - Peter

You can run a 4L80E on the LT1 PCM, just invert the logic on the one solenoid that's different by using a relay.

PM JaySS - he has some experience with putting a 4L80E in a B-body. It is not nearly that complicated.
 

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I posted my "link" - JaySS!

Yeah, go look at the logic diagrams. Everything is the same except for one on-off shift solenoid.
 

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I posted my "link" - JaySS!
Here you go :)

Since there have been several interested people on this I’ll go ahead and outline what we did to change over a ’95 Impala to a 4l80E.

While the reasons to stay with the 4L60E can be argued until everyone is blue in the face, the fact is that we felt the 4L80E was better a long-term solution for our application. It is important to clarify that it is _not_ necessary to use an aftermarket transmission controller, the LT1 PCM _can_ control the 4L80E. As far as the weight/rotating mass argument goes – well, first of all we weren’t that concerned as this isn’t a drag car, and secondly, the same was said when the Syclone and Typhoon guys started changing over from the 700R4’s to the 4L80E’s. But what was found was they generally ran the same or up to 2 tenths quicker, something they attribute to the quicker shift event times and/or reduced RPM drop on the 1-2 shift. This is only an explanation of what we did, not necessarily an argument for/against the changeover.

Mechanicals:

We purchased a used 4L80E locally from a 2500 Chevy Express van, something like a 2003 or so, just before they were switched to the LS engines. The converter is supposed to be the loosest one that the factory offered (look for 2000 - up small block applications) so it has a stall speed not too far from a factory SS converter. Dropping $800.00 - $1000.00 for a decent lockup converter wasn’t in the cards at this time, so we tried to get as close as we could and upgrade later, if necessary. To mount it into the Impala, we obtained a 4L80E crossmember from Dan @ CIA.

Since the 4L80’s use the large ring gear, and there isn’t room to readily adapt it to the smaller 153 tooth Impala flexplate, we bolted it up using a 168 tooth flexplate (from a 350 powered ¾ ton pickup) found on eBay. As the LT1 blocks are already double drilled for both starter configurations, we then selected a 454 gear reduction starter (as used on the ‘96 – up Vortec 454's) and that went in by just rerouting the starter cable. By going to the larger ring gear flexplate, we were able to reuse the converter that came with the transmission. Note that iIf you were to obtain an aftermarket converter this step would be unnecessary, as most are available in the smaller - 153 tooth - bolt pattern.

The trans went in as is, without having to slice the converter dust shield mounting ears as we had expected we might need to. As the car is equipped with FLP headers, they may have helped this time. In this instance, the starter to header clearance actually improved, but you may not be so lucky with your particular configuration. There was no floorpan massaging necessary to fit, though it is a bit tight in a couple areas. Since our 4L80E was a post-1997 model, it was necessary to lengthen the cooler return line to reach the rearmost fitting, easily handled with a section of brake tubing, a compression union, and some careful bending.

The shift cable was too short by about 5 inches – we ended up going to the wrecking yard and selecting several that looked like they might work. Not sure what we eventually ended up with, but a Blazer unit might be a good place to start. The floor shift conversion was performed while the car - again this was on a ’95 SS - was still running the 4L60E. At that time the column linkage was retained to actuate the reverse lights, etc. That had to go clearance reasons - it is necessary to tie into the combination switch on the 4L80 range selector shaft - similar to the setup used in the '96 Impalas – to get the safety interlocks and reverse lights back up and operational.

Everything we could find showed that the 4L80E is 5/8" longer than the 4L60E. Since the car had already been fitted with the extended rear control arms, we were thinking of reinstalling a factory shaft with a conversion U joint to fit the larger yoke, but as it turned out we couldn’t locate a nice unit quickly and ended up having the existing aftermarket shaft cut down 1 inch by a local shop. It was their opinion that the conversion joint was not the best solution in terms of future availability and recommended that we proceed welding in the proper end, so we followed their advice.

Electricals: You will want to tie into the combination switch as mentioned above. It may have been necessary to re-pin the VSS connector to fit the 4L80E housing. That would be a function of year, as the ’94 & ’95 cars use a different connector than the 96’s. Using the ’95 FSM and 4L80E SRTA manual, the car’s transmission connector was repopulated to match what the transmission expected. To accommodate the inverted logic of the ‘Shift B’ solenoid, the output line from the PCM was split and a tied into a standard Bosch relay at Pin 30, with the transmission side tied to the normally closed – 87A – contacts. The coil contacts - 85 & 86 - are supplied by an ignition-switched source. See http://www.teamrocs.com/technical/pages/relay_basics.htm if you need a better explanation.

That is pretty much it except for the PCM programming, there are a number of people that can better speak to the table values that should be modified to account for the various transmission differences better than I can, so I’ll defer to them for that.

Once out on the road, we did find that the shifting was softer that we had expected, that may be due to the OEM van application our transmission was sourced from, so a TransGo kit was installed and then the car brought back to do the final adjustments on the shift firmness.

This is pretty much what was needed to put a 4L80E where the 4L60E was. Hopefully this will give everyone an idea of what to expect if they are contemplating doing the same.

- J
 

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holy crap. all the trouble u went thru to get the 4l80e transmission under there. i guess i'll just upgrade to a level 2 4l60e. im doing a motor swap for an lq4 engine and my eyes are bleeding from research and my brain are extremely tired. i learn so much with lq4 and many parts to throw at it and how to make it work for our cars. and how extremely headache it is to do the wire harness. i think that's enough for me for now i dont wanna get into the transmission since i do not own a hydraulic lifter to put my car in the air =/
 

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You should also consider the gearing differences between the two, because the shorted OD of the 80e will limit your rear gear choice if you plan to do much highway driving. Rather, if you like to drive fast on the highway.

If I were to do it again, I'd consider a 2004R. But truth be told, you don't need more than the 4l60e for a mild heads cam car.
 

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Rat you don't like your 80?
It's just not optimal from a highway cruise perspective, i.e. street driving. That's why I'd consider a 2004R, better gearing than both a 60 or 80e, and supposed to be strong as hell when built right.

it seems the only way for me if I wanna drive on the street any
I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you primarily street race? Otherwise, a 4L60E is perfectly suited to street driving.
 

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It's just not optimal from a highway cruise perspective, i.e. street driving. That's why I'd consider a 2004R, better gearing than both a 60 or 80e, and supposed to be strong as hell when built right.


I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you primarily street race? Otherwise, a 4L60E is perfectly suited to street driving.
dual purpose is the best way to describe my car street/strip.

The starter, will a factory size starter fit with the 4l80?
 

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In one of the post it stated that a bbc starter was used due to the 168 flywheel which in turn was used because the converter didnt have dual bolt patterns, i.e 153 tooth and 168.
 

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oh ok, so you can use normal starter if you use the LT1 flywheel, just got to make sure the converter matches tranny/engine and if you go that route space wont b an issue, gotcha, I'm GTG!:D
 

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4l80e Questions

I have seen a couple threads asking and answering questions on the 4L80E but I am left with a couple questions myself.

I have a couple projects going on, both involving the 0411 PCM and am wondering,
What year model 4l80e's will work with the newer 0411 PCM?
Also, what year(s) can be tricked with a solenoid and used with the LT1 PCM?

If anyone esle has questions or facts about the 4l80e feel free to post it up here


Thanks alot guys,
ZACH
 

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You'd want a 97-later 4L80E to use with the 0411 PCM. /i also think those years were "stronger" than the pre-97s. If you contact HPTuners support, then they should be able to do a segment swap for you. I'm not too sure as to the solenoid trick.
 

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I've been told that you no longer need to use a solenoid with the LT1 PCM. Apparently the latest Tuner Cat allows you to reverse the Shift B solenoid in the PCM. Therefore, swapping to a 4L80E should involve nothing more than changing pin-outs and a few PCM tweaks.

I'm currently using a separate TCU for my 4L80E, but I'm going to try and make it work with the LT1 PCM this winter.
 
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