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Episode Transcript

(Narrator)>> We wrapped it, gave it a lift, and added a blower. Today on Truck Tech our sweepstakes Silverado gets a beefy transmission and matching gears to make sure all that added power stays on the ground. ♪ ♪

(LT)>> Welcome to Truck Tech. Today we're gonna be working on the Sea Foam Truck Tech Sweepstakes, this 2014 Silverado 1500. Recently we installed a supercharger, an eight inch lift, and 35 inch tall tires. And all those upgrades by themselves they're pretty cool but they do present a few issues which we're gonna have to correct.

(Austin)>> That's right and when we first picked up this truck we noticed on the test drive that this higher mileage transmission shifted a little weird, shifted a little wonky, and well we threw extra power at it. So we figure let's rip this thing out and upgrade it all together.

(LT)>> In addition to that we're also gonna be installing a steeper set of gears to help this engine have a little more leverage to turn those giant 35 inch tall tires, but first we've got some teardown to do.

(Austin)>> Let's get started. We'll kick things off by first draining the fluid from the transfer case. Then the driveshaft unbolts at the yoke and slips right out. The front driveshaft is now removed. A screw jack supports the rear of the transfer case, and the crossmember is unbolted from the truck.

(LT)>> This gives us clearance to remove the mid-section of the exhaust, giving us more room to work. And with a few bolts removed it slides right out.

(Austin)>> I got it.

(LT)>> Now Austin will get the fluid out of the transmission, and since there's no drain plug he'll just remove the pan bolts and instead of using a pan.

(Austin)>> #$^% got me.

(LT)>> He'll just dump it out all over himself.

(Austin)>> Not cool.

(LT)>> Ah you made an even bigger mess. So what is this like your first day on the job or something?

(Austin)>> All the oil's out of the trans, just so you know.

(LT)>> How much?

(Austin)>> None left in the transmission.

(LT)>> No but how much made it into the drain bucket?

(Austin)>> Uh none, but I got it.

(LT)>> Alright here's the deal. A man should be able to clean up a transmission job with one rag. So good luck. Look at the floor. Dude, come on. We just had this place cleaned.

(Austin)>> With the mess cleaned up we can remove the last few parts like the shift cable... ♪ ♪ ...and the trans cooler lines. The trans jack is brought in. ♪ ♪ The bell housing bolts are removed, and we can work on separating the engine from the transmission, which does require a little bit of effort. Got it, got it, got it. [ hammer tapping ]

(Austin)>> There we go, now we're good. ♪ ♪ Now y'all saw us struggling with this thing trying to break it free. Now partially that's due to LT not paying his gym membership dues on time, but hey, what can you do? Really we have an enemy, what's called electrolysis. When you have a steel dowel pin and aluminum housing, over time that thing can seize up and really be hard to break free. Well with this aluminum bell housing you want to double check and make sure all your bolts are removed, and we've checked it like three times just to make sure cause if you go banging and prying it can be real easy to break.

(LT)>> Now you'll also notice that we left the transfer case attached to the transmission. Now there's plenty of room underneath the truck to get everything out in one piece, and it saves us some time because there's these three or four bolts on the top that are kind of difficult to get to when the floor pan is sitting right here. Also never leave the torque converter attached to the flex plate. You can pull it out that way but you're gonna probably damage the front pump or the seal. But all in all not too bad. Our 2014 Silverado is equipped with a GM Six-L-80 all electronic clutch to clutch automatic transmission. Now it is a fairly complex piece of machinery. So rather than rebuilding it on our own we called up Powertrain Products and they shipped us this remanufactured unit. Now they keep the Six-L-80, and it's bigger brother the Six-L-90, on the shelf in stock and ready to ship to you so you can get back on the road in a hurry. Now every transmission has the most modern factory updates and each one has been dyno tested before it leaves so you know that there won't be any problem once you get it in your truck. Now normally these guys will just do a stock rebuild but we were able to get some special treatment and they built us a heavy duty version to stand up to that supercharged five point three. So now all we've got to do is get this bad boy installed.

(Narrator)>> Later on step by step re-gearing of a front differential.

(Austin)>> We're back on Truck Tech prepping out the new Six-L-80 to go underneath our supercharged 2014 Silverado. There are just a few parts that have to be swapped from the core to the new unit. Like docking a spaceship. And the transfer case is secured with the original hardware and a little thread locker. Then the whole package can be transferred on the trans jack and wheeled underneath the truck. Make sure our lines are good.

(LT)>> Dip stick's in right?

(Austin)>> Dip stick's in. [ drill spinning ]

(LT)>> The pole jack is brought in. The trans jack goes away... ♪ ♪ ...and the crossmember is temporarily installed. Know what they call that where I come from? Blueberry pie.

(Austin)>> Makes no sense.

(LT)>> Finally the shift linkage and bracket re-attach, followed by the cooler lines. Now the exhaust is lifted into place and it's connected to the manifolds and behind the cat. Finally the crossmember is permanently installed into the truck.

(Austin)>> And that about wraps up the transmission swap on the Sea Foam Truck Tech Sweepstakes build. You know a lot of guys tend to neglect other parts of the drivetrain when they're adding horsepower. We don't know who's going to end up with this thing. It could be a lead footed fella such as, well this guy. Break it in the first 30 seconds.

(LT)>> Okay well it's called torture testing for a reason, and since we're giving this thing away we've got to make sure there aren't any weak links before they take it home right?

(Austin)>> Right, so if you find yourself in the middle of a build and you have some components that have some wear and higher miles on it Powertrain Products not only offers great transmissions, they also offer other parts of the drivetrain such as differentials, transfer cases, and even engines.

(LT)>> One of their latest offerings is the three point six liter V-six found in late model Jeep and Chrysler applications. From the factory these have an issue in the cylinder head which starts out as a ticking noise, but eventually will lead to a misfire and then internal engine damage. Powertrain Products makes it easy to get your Jeep back on the road with their remanufactured crate engines. It comes with an all-new design of cylinder head which completely eliminates the ticking problem, has all new internal parts, and even comes with a five year warranty. Check them out at Powertrain Products dot net.

(Austin)>> Since we're rolling a bigger set of tires we have one more thing we need to address to fine tune this build, and that is a new set of gears. This Silverado comes from the factory with 3.42's and that's fine for a stock size tire but honestly it'd be struggling a little bit with these 35's. So we shopped around and we ended up with these 4.56 Nitro Gears from Just Differentials dot com. They not only include gears for our GM 12 bolt and eight and a quarter i-f-s but also just about any application you can come up with. So here we have the ring and pinion sets for the front differential and rear differential. Also included is a master install kit with bearings, seals, races, just about everything else you need for a painless install. Now I know we showed you guys many times how to re-gear a solid axle, but I don't thing we showed you how to re-gear an independent front suspension. So let's get this thing tore down.

(Narrator)>> Next 4.56 will do the trick.

(Austin)>> Welcome back to Truck Tech. We're about to dive in and re-gear the Sea Foam Truck Tech Sweepstakes build, and the first thing you will notice is this front diff is drastically different than that solid axle you're used to seeing us re-gear. Once you pop that diff cover off that carrier staring you in the face held in by some carrier caps and a few bolts, once removed it pops right on out. Now you might be wondering where's that differential cover and how do you access the gears? Well this front carrier's actually held in by two halves of the case, and we're gonna show you how to rip this thing apart to access it. It all begins by unbolting the axle housing and removing the shift fork with a splined collar. ♪ ♪ Then the bolts are removed and I can separate the two halves of the case. ♪ ♪ Next a lick from the hammer on the axle flange helps release the circlip located inside the carrier. The axle is then removed along with the carrier, which can be separated from the case. ♪ ♪ Now being the expert that I am I still sometimes get a little trigger happy. I completely forgot the fact that this ring gear's left hand thread. What can I say? I just get stuck in reverse mode sometimes. Broke that one. So after breaking the first bolt and getting that right out of the way I bumped impact in the forward and backed out the rest intact. ♪ ♪ Done! The pinion nut is backed off and the yoke is removed after a few bumps of the hammer. ♪ ♪ I then get to work on removing the pinion seal, which is pushed out by the pinion bearing behind it. Got her! The inner pinion race is knocked free, and the axle seals and bearings are driven out in both sides of the case. Our master install kit includes a replacement for every wear part inside the diff. So we'll strip it clean. The carrier races are slip fit because they're designed to move with the side adjusters. However they still require a little strike on the back side of the adjuster that allows them to fall free. Over at our CRC Smart Washer I'll clean and degrease the ins and outs of both sides of the case, along with all the other internal parts that will be reinstalled. With the clean parts back on the table I'll scuff up the mating surfaces to ensure good adhesion of the gasket maker when it's time for the final install. Everything is blown, cleaned, and prepped for the new build.

(LT)>> While Austin is making progress on the front I'll get started tearing down the rear nine and a half inch 12 bolt. It is honestly a lot of expense and time to re-gear a four wheel drive truck. So why is it worth the effort?

(Austin)>> Is this what you wanted?

(LT)>> It's all about balance. Since we had swapped to a much taller tire the effective leverage of the 3.42's that we had would be greatly diminished, and if we left it alone we would place a lot more stress on the transmission, throw off all the shift points, and cause poor acceleration and a much too low r-p-m at highway speeds, causing the trans to constantly hunt between gears. By swapping to a 4.56 we'll bring the engine back into its proper operating range, get better acceleration, better fuel mileage, and have a much more drivable truck.

(Austin)>> Back to re-gearing the front, we're reusing the carrier. So the old bearings get pressed off. I'm cutting up the old bearing to get to the inner race, which I will use as a press spacer so I can install the new bearings without damaging them. Now it's on to removing the pinion bearing so we can access the factory pinion shim, which will be used to being the new pinion install. The assembly process begins by slipping in the carrier races into the case halves. ♪ ♪ So as you guys can see, the way this tool setup, when we come to drive in our pinion race, well you won't really have anywhere to hit it. So with a little thinking ahead and the right tools we'll flip it around, get the right size that we need for the race, and we'll be able to drive it through while creating a little space to do so. We'll slide it on there, set it up, hold it flat, and go to town baby. [ hammer tapping ]

(Austin)>> The inner pinion race is driven in, followed by the outer pinion race. Next I will install new axle bearings flush to the inner surface of the side adjusters. Now I'm gonna open up the inside of the old pinion bearings to make the setup process easier. When setting up a ring and pinion you may have to make quite a few adjustments on the pinion depth to dial it in just right. I always being with a factory pinion shim and a setup bearing so I'm not running back and forth to the press 100 times and possibly messing up those brand new bearings. This is not gonna be the final time we rip this thing apart. So just makes it easy. The new pinion and yoke gets installed with no crush sleeve and no seal. We'll now install the 4.56 ring gear onto the carrier. There are 10 bolts and all left hand thread. They'll get torqued in sequence to 65 pound feet. The carrier is dropped in and both halves of the case are assembled with no gasket. So obviously I could barely turn the pinion by hand. This means the carrier is a little too tight. So we'll start with these side nut adjusters, release some backlash, run a pattern check, and go from there. I loosen the bolts that assemble the case together to free the stress on the carrier bearings. I then remove the retainer nut and the right side adjuster assembly on the right side away from the pinion. I make a big adjustment by turning the adjuster counterclockwise, which will create the backlash needed. The case is then bolted tight. The pinion now moves freely. So I start with applying marking compound on the ring gear through the access hole. After a bunch of turns in both directions the pattern is checked. One more adjustment needs to be made to the side adjusters to create a little more backlash. I also had to strip the case apart and add 10 more thousandths to the pinion shim. We'll put it back together and run one more pattern check. And with this thing separated you can clearly see our contact pattern on the drive side of the gear is money. I'll remove the pinion from the case, take off the setup bearing, press on the final bearing to the pinion. The bearings get a coat of gear oil, and the pinion and yoke are permanently installed with the crush sleeve and the seal to the correct pre-load specifications. Gasket maker is applied to both mating surfaces of the case. Both halves are then bolted together. The shift fork, collar, and axle get reinstalled with the axle housing, and the front gear install is complete. ♪ ♪

(Narrator)>> Next snug as a bug in a rug.

(LT)>> We threw the front diff back underneath the truck, topped off all the fluids, got the t-c-m programmed, and we took her out for a quick test drive. Everything shifted just like it should and there are no funny noises coming from the axles, which means this truck is pretty much done. Now we still need to put a couple of easy miles on it just to make sure that the differential gears get fully broken in, and the t-c-m is allowed to complete its relearn process, but the very last thing we're gonna do is address this bed. It's pretty bare on the inside. So we're gonna installing a bed rug that we picked up from Truck Hero. It'll dress up the inside and keep that paint nice and protected, and the very last thing is we'll top it off with this Vortrak retractable bed cover. It sits flush with the rails of the bed and it'll keep all of our cargo out of that weather. The bed rug easily zips together by first attaching both sides to the carpet and floor. We'll toss the rug up into the bed, get her all lined up, and lift up one side at a time so we can peel the backing off the adhesive and make her stick down to the floor. Then I'll follow the same process along the header panel and both sides, being careful to line everything up and eliminate any wrinkles. With a little assistance the tonneau cover is set onto the bed rails, centered up, and the side track engaged with the cover, and a pair of clamps attach the rails to the bed sides. With both rails on we can check adjustment and then close the cover for good, keeping the inside of our bed cool and dry. ♪ ♪

(Austin)>> All 50 states make it mandatory in one form or another for you to wear a seatbelt while riding in a motor vehicle, and it wasn't until 1968 that the US government required it as factory equipment. And with today's bigger engines, bigger brakes, and the like well it's just smart for you to install a new set when building that restoration project. Now Brothers Trucks offers an array of options to fit your specific truck and budget. We picked up this two point seatbelt kit that includes all the brackets and hardware you need to install both driver and passenger side. It also comes in a wide variety of colors. Visit Brothers Trucks dot com for more.

(LT)>> There's no doubt working in a shop does require some specialty tools, especially since modern fasteners require very specific steps to properly tighten. One new innovation from Matco Tools is their half inch digital torque and angle meter, which can convert any ratchet into a torque wrench. It has a range between 15 and 270 pound feet, and it'll change color and beep when you get close to your desired torque setting. Plus for torque to yield fasteners it'll measure the angle of rotation. Find out more from your local Matco Tools distributor. I was wondering where you went. I guess I should have figured you'd be sleeping on the job.

(Austin)>> You didn't put this in here for me?

(LT)>> Why would I have done that?

(Austin)>> Well it looks so inviting, and plus I figured we were finished with the build.

(LT)>> Well you're right, this truck is 100 percent done, and it's come a long way from the bone stock 2014 Silverado that we started with. The very first thing that we did, lift it up in the air eight inches and throw some 35 inch tall tires underneath.

(Austin)>> Then added some horsepower. Bolted in that supercharger. It went on without a hitch and give this thing some scoot.

(LT)>> And the very last bit of the puzzle, 4.56 gears up front and back, and a built transmission in the middle, which has prepared this powertrain for whoever is going to wind up with this truck.

(Austin)>> And that could be you. To find the parts used in this build or to enter to win the Sea Foam Truck Tech Sweepstakes visit Powernation TV dot com.

(LT)>> Thanks for watching Truck Tech and we'll catch you next time.

(Austin)>> Alright man so where'd you get these jeans?

(LT)>> Let me tell you about these things, check it out. Dude embroidery, acid washed.

(Austin)>> I like it. You've got two pairs.

(LT)>> The most comfortable thing you will every wear. I'll hook you up.
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