For some time now I have been considering doing a 4T60 swap on my ’86 GT. But, for whatever the reason, it has taken me about 5 years to get around to it. Other projects on the car took priority; Digital HVAC system, 2002 Camaro/Firebird BCM swap, etc. You are familiar with the exercise, first one thing than another.
For starters, I have had the transmission for about 5 years now, more or less only recently was I inspired to complete the swap. My motivation was several factors; 1) I was participating in the Crusin’ the Coast held recently and secondly I plan on doing the “Hot Rod” Power Tour 2016 this coming June. Oh, another driver for the swap was the fact that most of my driving is at highway speeds and thought it was ludicrous doing 70 mph at just under 4,000 RPMs.
I had located a thread here on the forum about doing a transmission swap without dropping the engine. Ok, said to myself, that sounds doable. So, here we go the beginning of the 4T60 swap. It didn’t take too vary long before I realized that this approach was not the best. Besides, I was not in the mood for cutting bracket supports. I later discovered a thread by Toddster, “Removing a V-6 Engine – By the Numbers. ( By the way, thank you Toddster for that very well presented thread.) I went through the thread and soon found out that I had already completed about 90% of the work that was described in Toddster’s thread. So, what the heck let’s see if we can accomplish this. After all, all that was remaining for dropping the engine and the transmission was disconnecting the coolant hoses, one or two electrical connections, disconnecting the ECM then we are ready to do the removal. Also, while I had the engine out I figured I would go ahead and address other items that I had identified that needed addressing. I.e.: replacing the A/C compressor, installing the belt tensioner by Dodgerunner, water blasting the cradle and engine to remove almost 30 years of dirt, grim and slug. I also checked the spark plugs (the front ones) to see what condition they were in, they were clean. No carbon buildup. In fact the ceramic on the plugs was still white. The plugs are 3 years old. Also, while I was at it did a compression check on the engine; all cylinders were within 5 lbs. of each other.
My 4T60 by the way is one out of a ’90 Toronado with 2.84 gears. I did replace all of the seals before installing. Also replaced were the transmission mounts & brackets, engine mount, CV’s, etc. Here is a listing of the parts used and where purchased:
1. Transmission mounts – RockAuto
2. Motor mount – RockAuto
3. Modulator – RockAuto
4. Replacement TV cable – Rodney
5. Cradle bolts – The Fiero Store - did not use
6. Transmission seals – RockAuto
7. Vacuum hoses – AutoZone
8. New HR6 A/C compressor – RockAuto
9. CV's - EBay
10. Hi-Lo A/C compressor switches – Advance Auto
11. Exhaust hanger - Driver side - The Fiero Store
12. Transmission oil line hoses - AutoZone
During the re-assembly I found out that the total engine/transmission drop was the better choice. To properly install the engine to transmission bracket it was necessary to remove the alternator. With everything being out this made the installation easier. As mentioned earlier I utilized my existing engine to transmission bracket. All that was required that the bracket be relocated to the bolt holds on the engine block to the right of the existing bolt hoses. Then elongate the transmission mounting holes slightly. Worked for me!
The one issue that I did have and have yet to truly resolve has to do with the VSS unit. I was never able to locate a unit that was compatible with the Fiero. My plan B was to utilize a interface module from Dakota Digital. That works but not my preference. I do happen to run across a VSS that is compatible in the future that puppy is going in.
1. Upon testing, on the road, the transmission I was having shifting issues but was later resolved by watching a couple YouTube videos about adjusting the TV cable. The transmission now shifts at set points I’m comfortable with.
2. Transmission oil leak. Again when road testing the transmission developed a pretty severe leak. When stopped the leak was non-existent. Start engine and put into gear without moving, no oil leak. I made another short road test down my drive way. Yep, again an oil leak. Hauled the car back onto the shop to begin yet another tear down. The leak was on the passenger side. During the dis-assembly I noticed that the CV would move slightly only to discover the snap ring had not set. CV set, snapped into place, oil leak resolved.
1. If I would have known earlier how much better the car runs I would have done the swap years earlier. Now I do highway speeds (70ish) with the engine turning a little over 2100 RPMs.
2. Did I mention gas mileage improvement? I went from 26-28 MPG to about 40 MPG. I’m liking the swap even more with the improved gas mileage. I recently did a road trip with the new transmission (Ruckus 14) and was averaging in the 40 MPG range.
3. I have put about 800 miles on the transmission since the installation without any issues or problems; I feel I’m ready for the Hot Rod Power Run come 2016.
4. I was going to install a rebuilt 3.4 engine out of a ’95 Camaro but held off due to the condition of my existing 2.8. Dollar savings
[This message has been edited by Cajun (edited 11-06-2015).]