I’ve always wanted a gear vendor kit for my truck but the initial purchase price has had me holding off. A fella at the ecomodder forum named bigdave has one on his 2000 F250 2wd with the 6spd and he can really go low rpm wise on the highway.
He reported tons of issues that the manufacturer was happy to help with though. How has your experience been?
Did you install all of the electric's? I talked with Rick at Gear Venders when I was buying mine and he told me I would only be using the foot on/off switch and wouldn't be installing the manual/auto switch because the E40D has an overdrive already and the manual/auto switch would be moot for that transmission. So I'll have 6 gears when towing instead of 4. Just wondering if the 4R100 is the same setup. Can you let us know what your readings are when towing up a grade? Thanks
I thought of this posting, had my camera, and snapped the pic on my river trip last week. Here's some answers to your questions, in random order.
It was installed by a GV Dealer in Santa Ana California in 2004 for the previous owner. Mileage at the time was 54,000. All-inclusive it was right at $5,000. I acquired the truck from him in 2013 with 119K, it now has 210K.
The PO is a very close friend. I know for fact that neither he nor I have had any trouble with the GV.
I don't know what the GV's mechanical limits for torque capacity are. My 99 has an old school Super Chips tune, 4" exhaust, and an AIS intake. It also has an AFE compressor housing, but I didn't put it on, so I don't know if it has a different compressor impellor or not. The GV has been fine with these mods. The overall package has been rock-reliable for many years and >200,000 miles. No complaints.
I know he towed his 30' Airstream with the truck, and he "split gears" using the GV. I don't use the GV when towing my 5,500 lb enclosed car trailer, the EGT is just too high most of the time, even on the flats. 4th Direct works well for me with the car trailer. I do use the GV with my 2,000lb ski boat. The GV has held up well. It now has ~150K on it, I change the lube in it every 15,000-ish miles.
I have the "Auto-Drive" feature. I never use it. I also never shift back to Direct once I engage it. The down-shift back to Direct makes a horrible clang and jerk when moving, so I just don't do it. So I can't "split gears" other than to downshift the trans with the GV still engaged. When coming to a stop, the GV drops out at about 15 MPH, and will not re-engage until the foot switch is again pushed. So once the GV is engaged it stays engaged until speed drops below 15MPH. This procedure has worked well for me for the 90k I've owned it. And the GV has not broken.
My 99 will pull most grades in 3rd-Over at <850 EGT (post-turbine) not towing. If the trans downshifts on its own, I usually push the OD OFF button until EGT drops below 800 to prevent gear hunting. I will also use 2-Over if the grade is really steep, or the EGT is pushing 800 which is my comfort-level for sustained running.
The one little thing with my system that remains a mystery to me (because I have never found the answer) is that after engaging 4X4 (my truck retains its stock SOTF 4X4) The GV won't always re-engage until I back up about 100 feet, then it will. There are no sensors on the front drive shaft, nor on the T-case rail. I have no idea how it "knows" that the front hubs haven't released, but it does. I've learned to get under the truck, twist the axle shaft joint while watching the other side for movement. If both don't turn, I smack the hubs with a block of wood until they do. Once I learned this, the GV always engages. I use my 4X4 perhaps 2-3 times a year, probably why the hubs stick.
Where the GV REALLY shines for me is in highway cruising when not towing. I have had several tankfuls that corrected at just over 20 MPG. I had one run south from Reno to Los Angeles (it really is mostly downhill) that netted 23.x MPG. With the 58 gal tank, my endurance is over 1,000 miles between fuel stops. Makes 1,000 miles in 16 hour days very do-able. I also feel my engine has been so trouble-free because it revs a lot less with the GV. It lives an easy life at 1,700 RPM. I'm confident it will outlive me without any major work.
Sorry for the TL;DR. That should answer the questions.
My total cost for install will be $550 for labor and $460 for new shorter crankshaft. With the cost of the GV and install and all necessities it will be around 5K. Hope I didn't bite the big one here. I got it specifically for grade climbing. 2nd winds out pretty high [email protected] towing 10K toy hauler and 3rd is to low and EGT's climb to 1150ish at same speed. I'm looking for a happy medium between 2nd and 3rd like 2nd over. That's strange what it does while you're in 4X4. I'm happy they have good CS and know I can call and get any problems and questions answered.
I don't know. You tow twice as much weight, and probably have substantially more frontal area as well, as I do. I have stock 285/75 tires and 3.73 gears. I'm very happy towing in 4th-Direct at about 62 MPH in California's 55 MPH While Towing. I oink it up to about 70 when out of Cali.
Hopefully your install will behave better than mine does when shifting in and out of OD at speed. Mine bangs so hard, I don't do it. I know the PO split gears with it with his Airstream which is about 8,000 pounds, and he lived in Breckenridge so for gear selection vs EGT, he had altitude to deal with as well. Maybe he just let it bang. It's still working, so maybe it doesn't hurt anything.
You'll still be very happy with the highway manners when not towing. It's a lot quieter. And if you travel through states with 80 MPH limits, you'll have other guys with the same engine badges on the doors as you do wondering how the hell you're passing them at 10 MPH faster than they can go.
I have a modified, many new and upgraded parts, 1995 F350 DRW with 4.10 and I'm running same tires as you. The install is being done by the same guys that did the rebuild on my 7.3. They're very meticulous at their work. Took 7 months for the rebuild. They've assured me they have done around 15 GV installs and none have come back or have developed any problems/issues with product or install. Rick broke it down for me and laid it out as this. When I get to a grade, when towing, I take the transmission out of O/D, if in it, and turn the GV on with the foot switch and it will automatically switch from 3rd to 2nd over as speed decreases and RPM's increase and when I'm at the top of the grade I turn the GV off and resume as I normally tow. Quiet is the second thing I'm looking for so that's good news about HWY running empty. My truck is very loud when RPM's are up there thanks to the 4" turbo back with 5" flow through muffler. I do have an after market inner cooler which this year 7.3 didn't have so I'm thinking and hoping it's keeping my EGT's lower then what they would be, running stock. Once my GV is installed I'll be posting here about results and my impression of the performance of the GV.
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