Putting power to the ground is just as important (if not more so) than
producing the power itself. I chose to create an efficient system by
which I could have a good balance of driveability, economy, and
The Camaro came from the factory with TH350 automatic as
well as a 10 bolt posi-traction differential and 3.42 axle ratio.
The ratio was actually not a performance option, but rather a trailering
ratio. It must have been an obscure option because only 130 were
made in 1971 with that axle ratio. The 3.42's have served me well
over the years and as a result I kept it.
To benefit from some modern technology, in 1994, I installed a TH700-R4
overdrive trans. Since the car was my daily driver and college was
32 miles away, it was almost a necessity so as not to have the engine
screaming at 3000+ rpm down the highway. At the time, there were no
kits to do this so it was a totally custom job. None the less,
the install went smoothly and it ran great for well over 100,000 miles.
However, during a recent rebuild, I further upgraded the trans with
various clutches and bands from a 2003 Cadillac Escalade as well as a 1996
LT4 Corvette torque converter. This transmission is now more than
capable of handling whatever my ZZ4 gives it. The steep first gear
gives a serious rush of acceleration off the line, yet with the lockup
converter, it provides a nice comfortable cruising rpm of about 2200 at 70
mph and gives me well over 20 mpg on the highway to boot.
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