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Old 08-04-2012, 06:37 PM   #1
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gear vendors overdrive imfo/ help

hi i have a 86 starfire motorhome with the 460 motor & c6 trans am trying
to find out more about the gear venders units ? do you get better mpg ?
anyone known of a used one for sale ? are they easy to install ect.
thanks john
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
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I've checked into it several years ago for an under geared RV we had, & getting one & then installing it is quite a large ordeal.
Special mounting brackets would be needed to mount the unit, then a shortened drive shaft, plug the other cables & rods to hook up is just a bunch of work.

Theres several different brands & qualitys of these over under type drives & the cheap ones could end up being trouble.
There are manual shift type & then there are electric shift to choose from, the later being the higher cost type & some will have oil flow inside, the higher quality type, so it can get into a large ordeal.

After looking most of them over, learning as much as I could about them & all that would need to be done & the cost once finished, you figure all that up & the total would make a very nice down payment on a newer & larger RV with a much lower gear ratio & much happier rpm range on the engine.
It would be a tuff call to go through it all, but if you could do all the work yourself, not have to pay out for labor & then find everything you needed kinda cheap, you could probably come out on top, but it would be iffy & would need to be one of the high quality type of units.
1999 32' Holiday Rambler Vacationer, F53 V10
Wife & me love camping at a race track, dirt track that is.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:57 PM   #3
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I looked into it too for the same combo, and for the price, you could prolly get an overdrive trans built tough enough and simply replace the C6.. But, unless you do A LOT of driving, the extra 1-3 mpg you gain is not really worth it in the long run.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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I had one in a 91 Dodge w/TDC 3/4T PU. I liked being able to split gears but don't know if it improved milage. (it was installed when I bought it). I didn't like that it would shift down to low @ 15mph if it was in high range (with a bang). One time a wire came loose when I was doing about 60 and it shifted down with a bang.
With a 460 probably the best way to improve milage is to learn to "keep your foot out of it". I do that with all our vechiles and it works. I get 13/14 with our 3500 dually towing up to max GCVW and up to 18 empty and it has a 410 rear end. I can get 45 on a trip with our 2012 Honda Civic and 30 with my old 91 Pontiac that before I thought 20/22 was a good day. I don't push it when starting out and stay under 60 on all of them.

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Old 08-06-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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I looked at a lot of gear vendors overdrives/ underdrives. I was shocked to see them first hand. They are a remanufactured Laycock overdrive put behind British cars and some Volvos in the 60s and 70s. I was a Volvo master mechanic in the mid seventies and wouldn't wish a Laycock unit on anyone. They had a particularly nasty habit of chewing up the planetary gears and their engagement system and they frequently slipped behind a Volvo weighing in at 3500 lbs and 120 Hp. How they can be installed behind a diesel or large V8 or V10 engine that is pulling 12,000lbs or more and is making 400 horses is beyond me. They were poorly made pieces of British poo that deserve to stay in the junk yard. My reccomendation is to avoid them.

At a Gear vendor demo table they had a cut away of the unit and I asked how in the world a Laycock unit is now Gear Vendors? They responded with, "oh it's been completely gone through and redone." I asked them all the right questions and after much argument and pointing out that it IS a Laycock just like in 1968 they, in effect, finally agreed that is a rebadged Laycock but insisted it's better now. Nonsense, it's the very same unit that gave so much trouble in 1968-73 in the P1800S and E series behind the 1800 cc and 2000 CC motors producing, at most, 132 horsepower.
-Paul R. Haller-
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #6
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I have a Gear Vendors overdrive installed in my '87 Suburban that was used almost entirely to tow our 7,500 lb travel trailer. The average road ready combination weight is 13,500 -14,000 lbs.

The overdrive was installed when I installed a 502 cu in Chev high torque tow truck engine with fuel injection and headers in the Suburban. This engine combination was originally estimated to produce 400 HP and 540 lb/ft of torque by Edelbrock - I suspect that would have to be gross.

However this combination very, very strong with the trailer attached. Typically I use it in second overdrive on steep climbs and in high overdrive on the level. At just under 40,000 miles it has never given any problems.

The GV unit I installed was a factory rebuild. In discussing the appication before hand with them I was told it is not the passenger car unit I am also familiar with but a unit built for and used in medium duty trucks.

Tony & Margaret Howard
2001 Surf Side 3311 DSO
Monroe WA
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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Have a friend had a 32 coupe with 502 blower engine, installed one of those overdrive behind the power glide, first pull after a burn out, overdrive exploded just past the tree.
Good thing he had installed a new floor pan when rebuilding that car.
How I found out, I heard he had an overdrive, maybe wanted to sell it, so I checked in to it to see if he did & then I got the story.
I guess it was a good thing it happened before I bought it.
1999 32' Holiday Rambler Vacationer, F53 V10
Wife & me love camping at a race track, dirt track that is.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #8
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gear vendors

thanks for all the imfo i think i am going to wait a whille does not sound like its going to give me more mpg thanks john
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