Gear Vendors behind a TH400

#1
So a while back my 200r4 took a crap on me and after pricing the cost of shipping it out and upgrading to a stage 3 with a converter I decided to put in a th400. My new th400 is rated to about 950-1000hp along with the new converter. I figured this new transmission will last me a lot longer than a 200r4 will and whenever the time comes to give it a refresh it will cost a lot less and I will not have to ship it out to some special wizard. After driving my car around for a while with a reverse manual valve body I found it to be actually fun. However, I started to miss that 4th gear overdrive on the occasional long trips. It’s not that the car couldn’t go 70mph but that it was taching out at 3000rpm. So after seeing what the benefits of a Gear Vendors overdrive does I decided to pull the trigger. The Gear Vendors was not a direct bolt in. I did have to slightly persuade the transmission tunnel a little with a hammer. But the biggest hurdle was the transmission cross member. I had to notch it to clear the small oil pan on the Gear Vendors unit. I also had to shorten my drive shaft. I can say the car runs fantastic and I can split 2nd and 3rd. The Gear Vendors essentially makes my th400 into a five speed transmission. Below is a approximate cost of my endeavor. I only made this thread for other people who might consider going this same route.

FTI stage 4 TH400 $1930
FTI 3400 converter $900
New drive shaft $300
Gear Vendors $2750
Total cost: $5880
Reliability: priceless

Transmission cross member notch.
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The two ears at 10 and 2 had to get clearance a little with a hammer.
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Gear Vendors oil pan clearance in the notch
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Used the same H&R parts th400 motor mount
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2300rpm at 71mph
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#3
I actually installed a three speed hurst shifter. But if you wanted to keep the stock shifter GBody parts has a shifter detention plate you can install. As for the Gear Vendor there are two options for shifting. One is a manual mode that allows you to split gears. Meaning that you can shift to 2nd then hit a button and go into 2nd overdrive, 3rd and hit the button again and you are in 3rd overdrive allowing you to have overdrive whenever you want. The overdrive is engaged via a floor switch like a old style high beam switch. I place mine on the floorboard in a conventional location. Or you can switch it to automatic. This mode will automatically engage overdrive at around 47mph. All the electronics and wiring are provided for you in the kit.

Here is a picture of my shifter
978623A0-6F40-4028-ADD2-235261EFD099.jpeg

And on the dual gauge pod I mounted the manual/automatic switch. The green and red lights lets you know if you are in or out of overdrive.
F01B54EA-C668-4733-AABC-A5B93BADAB63.jpeg
 
Last edited:

wb_7354

Active Member
#5
I actually installed a three speed hurst shifter. But if you wanted to keep the stock shifter GBody parts has a shifter detention plate you can install. As for the Gear Vendor there are two options for shifting. One is a manual mode that allows you to split gears. Meaning that you can shift to 2nd then hit a button and go into 2nd overdrive, 3rd and hit the button again and you are in 3rd overdrive allowing you to have overdrive whenever you want. The overdrive is engaged via a floor switch like a old style high beam switch. I place mine on the floorboard in a conventional location. Or you can switch it to automatic. This mode will automatically engage overdrive at around 47mph. All the electronics and wiring are provided for you in the kit.

Here is a picture of my shifter
View attachment 319524
And on the dual gauge pod I mounted the manual/automatic switch. The green and red lights lets you know if you are in or out of overdrive.
View attachment 319523
That’s really slick. I may be looking to do this down the road a bit. I already am using the B&M Quicksilver shifter. The indicator lights are a nice feature. I was wondering how it worked as far as the gear indicator on the console. That explains it.


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NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
#6
So, let me get this strait.

On a 400 with a reverse manual valve body it would go like this ?

Drive in first, then shift to second, hit a button (momentary button?) then your in 2-1/2, then when you shift again now your in 3rd, Hit the button and now your in 3-1/2.

I guess what I'm asking, is this. Do you have to click the button to turn on the split gear and then again to shut off the split gear? Can the same button be used for all the gear vendor shifts? Or do you need to run a separate button (like the one you put on the floor) for the 3-1/2 (overdrive)?

Please take me through all the steps necessary to operate every available gear all the way up.
 

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
#8
I actually installed a three speed hurst shifter. But if you wanted to keep the stock shifter GBody parts has a shifter detention plate you can install. As for the Gear Vendor there are two options for shifting. One is a manual mode that allows you to split gears. Meaning that you can shift to 2nd then hit a button and go into 2nd overdrive, 3rd and hit the button again and you are in 3rd overdrive allowing you to have overdrive whenever you want. The overdrive is engaged via a floor switch like a old style high beam switch. I place mine on the floorboard in a conventional location. Or you can switch it to automatic. This mode will automatically engage overdrive at around 47mph. All the electronics and wiring are provided for you in the kit.

Here is a picture of my shifter
View attachment 319524
And on the dual gauge pod I mounted the manual/automatic switch. The green and red lights lets you know if you are in or out of overdrive.
View attachment 319523
The reason why I'm asking the above questions are because I roughed-in and pre-wired some switches into my console and shifter when I installed my 400. I did this for the possible future install of a Gear Vendors unit. I haven't installed one yet. But I'd like to know if what I did was about right for a future install.
 
#9
So, let me get this strait.

On a 400 with a reverse manual valve body it would go like this ?

Drive in first, then shift to second, hit a button (momentary button?) then your in 2-1/2, then when you shift again now your in 3rd, Hit the button and now your in 3-1/2.

I guess what I'm asking, is this. Do you have to click the button to turn on the split gear and then again to shut off the split gear? Can the same button be used for all the gear vendor shifts? Or do you need to run a separate button (like the one you put on the floor) for the 3-1/2 (overdrive)?

Please take me through all the steps necessary to operate every available gear all the way up.
Yes the same floor button is used as the primary button to put it in overdrive and take it out of overdrive.

When in manual mode 1st shift is not normally split because it is to close of a ratio. It’s best to do the following
Start: 1st
Shift: 2nd
(Hit Floor button) 2nd overdrive
Shift: 3rd (at the same time hitting floor button to take it out of OD, or else you will go 3rd overdrive)
(Hit floor button) 3rd overdrive

When in automatic mode. Flip the auto switch on (red switch on gauge pod) hit the floor button to pre-engage the overdrive the red light will turn on letting you know it is out of overdrive and ready to automatically turn on at 47mph. Once you reach 47mph the unit will go into overdrive, green light comes on letting you know it’s in overdrive. And will automatically disengage overdrive when you get down to 35mph. You can drive in this mode just like any other overdrive car. But best to go into manual mode when going to the track or having fun.

The Gear Vendors unit is almost indestructible. It will hold more than we can throw at it in regards to Horse Power. That being said when in manual mode Gear Vendors recommends not running the unit in overdrive below 25mph and in reverse. The electronics will automatically disengage the unit at 25mph as a safe mode.
 
Last edited:

NY Twin Turbo

All the good stuff.....Times 2.
#10
When in manual mode 1st shift is not normally split because it is to close of a ratio. It’s best to do the following
Start: 1st
Shift: 2nd
(Hit Floor button) 2nd overdrive
Shift: 3rd (at the same time hitting floor button to take it out of OD, or else you will go 3rd overdrive)
(Hit floor button) 3rd overdrive
So in manual, you have to turn on, and turn off the split gears? I see.
Once you reach 47mph the unit will go into overdrive,
How does it know? Is there an internal driveshaft speed sensor? Do you have to program it? Or do you tie it into an existing speed sensor?
 
#11
So in manual, you have to turn on, and turn off the split gears? I see.

How does it know? Is there an internal driveshaft speed sensor? Do you have to program it? Or do you tie it into an existing speed sensor?
No drive shaft sensor just a new speedometer sensor that is wired to a supplied control module. You don’t need to program anything it already knows to shift into overdrive via a solenoid at 47mph. The sensor replaces the one in your transmission and is on the actual unit. The kit brings a plug for the old location. The kit also brings a straight sensor however I requested they send me a 90 degree for clearance.

Here is the control module with straight sensor and the floor switch. When you order you will need to let them know tire size and rear end gear ratio so it shifts at 47mph.
BB2183E6-6C4A-4A39-AAE4-0160850AA9CD.jpeg


Here is the 90 degree speedo sensor
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#13
you don't need a Speedo sensor. It's one option. Other is just manually hit a button.
if you're running a close-ratio transmission. you should not be splitting every gear. remember you're running this on a turbocharged engine that likes a little extra load. I would hit Overdrive once first gear is about over or second gear. transmission will take over after that. but with the gear ratios at th400 has. I'd hit it in first. Let the turbo pull.
 

marleyskater420

still needs to learn
#14
No drive shaft sensor just a new speedometer sensor that is wired to a supplied control module. You don’t need to program anything it already knows to shift into overdrive via a solenoid at 47mph. The sensor replaces the one in your transmission and is on the actual unit. The kit brings a plug for the old location. The kit also brings a straight sensor however I requested they send me a 90 degree for clearance.

Here is the control module with straight sensor and the floor switch. When you order you will need to let them know tire size and rear end gear ratio so it shifts at 47mph.
View attachment 319601

Here is the 90 degree speedo sensor
View attachment 319600
Is there a driveshaft sensor that you can buy with the gear vendors unit?

I'm wondering if you can use the driveshaft sensor along with a sensor on the front disk brake/wheel and use these to hook up to the ECM for traction control?

I know the MS3 Ultimate has traction control built into it, it just needs the sensor inputs. I think it would work using a driveshaft sensor..right? I know that TRZ sells a MRW high def reluctor wheel that goes on the pinion and uses a Hall sensor to measure the speed. I believe by using a sensor on the front wheel and comparing their speeds, it can measure and determine when you lose traction/have slippage, and I think it uses that to determine and implement the various traction control strategies that you program...I THINK...

Btw OP- what do you suspect is the parasitic loss you are experiencing with the TH400?

I plan on running a TH400 in my car and I'd like to reduce the parasitic loss as much as possible (if that is even possible in the first place) if there are certain parts that would do so....would you happen to know of any way to accomplish that?