M1010 Ambulance to Expedition Rig

Outback

Explorer
Well it may work just great for some people but not for this build. First off the Gear Vendors only has a .78 to 1 overdrive. Also its very long! That may be fine but I am adding a ORD Magnum Box in front of the NP206. That adds 6" of length. The standard NP205 has a very crappy Low Range of 1.96 to 1. That is terrible for as your ONLY low range. The advantages of the NP205 is the shear strength. That with a Magnum Box you really get 3 different Low range gears. You really need to have a good low range in any 4x4. The .78 to 1 really is not enough of an overdrive for me. Thank you though for the link and reference. I looked into Gear Vendors years ago but did not know you could get one to bolt to the rear of the NP205.

Magnum box gear ratios bolted onto a NP205:
1:1
1.96:1
2.72:1
5.33:1


700R4 Overdrive Ratio is .70
 

Outback

Explorer
I believe my first step will be to bolt up the 700R4. From there I can add and change out the Magnum box and NP205. Currently she has a NP208. The work continues. I also may have another M1010 in my Corral!
 

El Gordo

EL Gordo
bought a 86 Suburban with unknown mileage and history stupid cheap. Drove great for 2 1/2 years before the 700r4 died. 4WD with 3:42 axles, so I never went fast enough for the o.d. to work. I really, really think if you go with the 700r4 you should keep the 4:56s. Hi rpms with the biggest cooler you can stick on it should last you a long time.

I'm not bad mouthing 700r4s, I've had good service from them when I got them new or near new. As I said the one in my burb had an unknown maintenance history...if I put another one in I'm going 4:56s at least.
 

chilliwak

Expedition Leader
Would a custom built 4l80e or whatever its called with a push button overdrive not be an option? They say its like a turbo 400 with an overdrive. Solid and bullet proof. All the electronics can be disconected so that you can have a push button shifter for engaging the overdrive manually and you dont need any of those useless computers that always fall apart. Cheers, Chilli...:cool:
 

CampStewart

Observer
That 700r4 would have a much better chance at a long life with 4.56 gears than 3.73 with 35 inch tires. OP is your trans builder aware of your vehicle weight, aerodynamics, tire size and gearing choice?

The reason I asked these questions is that about 10 years ago I was looking to put a 700r4 behind a low revving high torque motor in a heavy vehicle with no aerodynamics and large tires. Cooler size could have been anything I wanted. I talked to a number of companies and even the ones that bragged about all the hp and torque they could take recommended against them for my application which was very similar to yours. The issue was not in low speed off roading it was with high speed driving for hours on end. After talking to many companies that catered to street driven vehicles I went to companies that embraced off roaders. I am curious as to if the same companies have now changed their tune, who are the builders that will stand behind their transmissions in your application?
 

CampStewart

Observer
Would a custom built 4l80e or whatever its called with a push button overdrive not be an option? They say its like a turbo 400 with an overdrive. Solid and bullet proof. All the electronics can be disconected so that you can have a push button shifter for engaging the overdrive manually and you dont need any of those useless computers that always fall apart. Cheers, Chilli...:cool:

4l80 also came behind diesel vans and used a simple stand alone computer and I believe a TV cable the same as the 700R4. That would be another option besides a non computer version. Back when I was researching this to go completely without a computer the 4l80 would have had a full manual valve body.
 
4l80 also came behind diesel vans and used a simple stand alone computer and I believe a TV cable the same as the 700R4. That would be another option besides a non computer version. Back when I was researching this to go completely without a computer the 4l80 would have had a full manual valve body.
All you need is a throttle position sensor, tach signal and the US Shift software. No TV cable. The computer controller gables converter lockup and shifting. It works great in the 6.2 and 6.5 hmmwv’s. I am about to do it in my truck if it ever quits raining.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Outback

Explorer
I forgot to mention that the wife had bought me a BARNES Shaved 14 bolt kit for Christmas. This kit allows you to shave off 1-1/4" off the bottom of the rear axle (Corp 14 Bolt). That's my next upgrade. Maybe this week if the weather decides to clear up. It snowed again today.

Thank you all on the 700R4 topic. While all of your suggestions have valid bases and or points I will be going with the set up I described. I have been researching this for a very long time and have had all of these trans before in multiple Square bodies. I am acutely aware of there strengths and weaknesses. I currently run a 4L80E in my Blazer (bought it that way). Works great but still need a taller Over Drive and that's with 4.11 gears in the one ton axles under her. Again "this custom built" 700R4 I will have in the M1010 is much stronger than a stock 4L80E. Stronger, shorter, taller overdrive and no computer. In the end it will all come down to how she performs. We shall find that out together. Sink or swim you will know. Im one of those guys that can actually admit when he makes a mistake. Any way that will be down the road a bit as my company has started the bid process for some contracts. If all goes to plan I should be done with these contracts in the next two years. If I get them. I will definitely though keep working on the Campulance in the mean time.
 
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Outback

Explorer
Today I started the process to install a purpose built 700R4 into my Campulance. I have a K code 700R4 and it is sitting at the trans shop as I write this. I am currently gathering all of the little bits needed. The TV cable bracket is turning out to be difficult to fine. I will be hitting the junk yard tomorrow. Hopefully there is a mid to late 80s chevy/GMC square boy or van with Diesel in her. There was one there a fenths ago but didn't even think about that bracket. Oh well. I found a 27 spline NP208 that I will rebuild myself. I will keep my TH400 and NP208 for another project down the road. They only have 5,011 miles on them currently.
 

Outback

Explorer
Today I went to the local Junk Yard and found the very elusive TV cable bracket. I found it in the very last vehicle that possibly could have had it! I also found a suburban that was 4 wheel drive 1/2 ton model that use to have a 700R4. Well the Trans, Tcase and steering column were missing but laying on the ground under her was the Trans/Tcase crossmember I needed. She is currently soaking in degreaser. I will take her down to the pressure carwash in the morning. I will then sand her down and paint her up real nice. I am now waiting to hear back from a Craigslist seller about a 27 spline NP208. I am also in need of the OD gear shift indicator to replace the 3 speed one currently on my steering column. Today was a great parts find day!

TV cable bracket found in junk yard: $11.43
700R4 Transmission crossmember found in junk yard: $24.00
Flexplate found at Rockauto.com: $43.00 with shipping.

NEEDED ITEMS:
NP208 to 700R4 spacer/mount (I cannot find mine and suspect I gave it to a friend years ago) UPDATE: Located one from a friend on Steel Soldiers.
OD gear selector indicator for steering column.
27 spline NP208 or 27 spline NP241with mechanical speedo cable. UPDATE: Found a NP241 from a friend on Steel Soldier


(The Three pictures below are of the Diesel 700R4 TV Cable Bracket)
503906503907503908
 
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chilliwak

Expedition Leader
Good to see you get your gear together Mr Outback. The tv cable looks very similar to the old school kick down cables found in turbo 350s, just without the cable added. Keep us updated with the progress of the work you are doing and thanks for posting pics. Cheers, Chilli...🆒
 
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Outback

Explorer
Some things I have learned researching this transmission swap. First off its as close to a direct bolt in as you can get. The transmissions are within 1/4" in length of each other (TH400 /700R4). If you have a TH400 you can use your stock crossmember and use the "TALL" Transmission/Tcase Mount/Spacer. This is roughly 6" tall. If you source and and use the 700R4 "W" crossmember then you will need to use the 2 inch "SHORT" Transmission/Tcase Mount/Spacer. You do not need to shorten or lengthen your drive shafts either way! Thats a big money and time saver. If you are having a 700R4 Rebuilt prior to install (which you should) you can have installed a 32 spline output shaft. This will allow you to use your existing NP208. That new shaft runs around $450. If your NP208 is in new or excellent condition then this may be a good route to go. If you have the Tcase rebuilt (which you should) you can simply find a NP208 27 spline Input shaft version. The choice is yours regarding the Tcase. The only other part I found I needed to replace is my Flexplate. I found mine new on Rockauto for $43ish which includes FEDEX Ground shipping. AS WITH ANY VEHICLE MODIFICATIONS YOU NEED TO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. I will keep you posted as things progress. I have had several friends from different Forums assist me on this swap. These forums are a huge asset with your build.
 

ExpoMike

Well-known member
Some things I have learned researching this transmission swap. First off its as close to a direct bolt in as you can get. The transmissions are within 1/4" in length of each other (TH400 /700R4). If you have a TH400 you can use your stock crossmember and use the "TALL" Transmission/Tcase Mount/Spacer. This is roughly 6" tall. If you source and and use the 700R4 "W" crossmember then you will need to use the 2 inch "SHORT" Transmission/Tcase Mount/Spacer. You do not need to shorten or lengthen your drive shafts either way! Thats a big money and time saver. If you are having a 700R4 Rebuilt prior to install (which you should) you can have installed a 32 spline output shaft. This will allow you to use your existing NP208. That new shaft runs around $450. If your NP208 is in new or excellent condition then this may be a good route to go. If you have the Tcase rebuilt (which you should) you can simply find a NP208 27 spline Input shaft version. The choice is yours regarding the Tcase. The only other part I found I needed to replace is my Flexplate. I found mine new on Rockauto for $43ish which includes FEDEX Ground shipping. AS WITH ANY VEHICLE MODIFICATIONS YOU NEED TO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. I will keep you posted as things progress. I have had several friends from different Forums assist me on this swap. These forums are a huge asset with your build.
So in doing a little searching for these adapter/mounts it seems the "short" versions are on Ebay about 1/3rd the price of the "tall" versions. Would there be any reason that a mount that would span the difference between these two could not be made? I the fab skills to build a mount but without having these parts in front of me, it's hard for me to visualize how they integrate with the crossmember.

Loving this build and fingers crossed, I will be picking up another M1010. Really regret selling my first one.

 
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