Best gears for street?

Discussion in 'Transmission & Driveline Topics' started by ratpatrol71z28, May 11, 2013.

  1. largestar

    largestar Member

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    I have an 81 4 speed. I always thought I had 3.42
     
  2. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    It was an option .Depends on what box the original owner checked.
     
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  3. slayer021175666

    slayer021175666 Veteran Member

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    Mine has 3.42 with a TH350. Lots of people tell me to stick with it when I ask about 3.73s. They say it's best compromise for street AND freeway. I been wanting an overdrive tranny for a while, too. Big Gear Head told me I will really like the lower low gear with my 3.42s and a 700R4. He says first gear would be like having 4.33 gears. Still want to hear opinions but, it sounds like maybe I don't need the extra expense of swapping to 3.73s.
     
  4. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    If you don't need a new rear end stick with what you have and drive it. You can always add new gears later. The 3.42 will be great.
     
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  5. 1978 Z/28

    1978 Z/28 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    1978 Z 4 speed cars had 3.73s and autos had 3.42
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
  6. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    1978 Z28 ratios--4 speed 3.73, auto 3.42 http://www.nastyz28.com/camaro/camaro78.html#engine
    1979 Z28 ratios--4 speed 3.73, auto 3.42 http://www.nastyz28.com/camaro/camaro79.html#engine
    1980 Z28 ratios--4 speed 3.08, auto 3.42 http://www.nastyz28.com/camaro/camaro80.html#engine
    1981 Z28 ratios-- http://www.nastyz28.com/camaro/camaro81.html#engine (chart is somewhat confusing as to what the Z28 got)

    80 and 81 got a very wide ratio 4 speed to make it able to handle higher rear gears for better fuel economy.
     
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  7. largestar

    largestar Member

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    Thanks for the list. Mine is a California 305, 4 speed, so I’m pretty sure it’s 3.42. You guy did make me curious enough to decode the fender tag and check the rear end manually.
     
  8. largestar

    largestar Member

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    You will love the overdrives low gear and reduced rpm in od with 3.42’s. I’ve had 4.56, 4.10, 3.42,3.08, 2.73, and 2.56. They each have their pluses and minuses. For all around city and highway I agree with the other on 3.42 or 3.73. With an od transmission you could do 4.10. I’m older now and running 4.56 gears used to be ok for the occasional street action or track but killed me at the pump. I like low rpm highway cruising with about 300 ft lbs of torque from 1500 to 4000 rpm. Just my opinion, sorry so long.
     
  9. ratpatrol71z28

    ratpatrol71z28 Veteran Member

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    Funny as it is 5 years ago I was trying to figure out the right gear ratio that would suite my driving, within this past week I finally just dropped off my spare axle to get it all built up. So I concluded after years of headaches after headaches with my engine and brakes.... I chose 3.73! From what I have learned is that it takes at least two steps to have a noticeable difference within gear changes, for example if you currently run 3.42s replacing them with 3.73 will not give you a huge change other than a few hundred rpms. From 3.42s going to 4.10s you should feel a noticeable difference. I originally went in looking to get 3.55s as that would be perfect for my engine's specs but within the 8.5 10 bolt that is not offered so I leaned towards the lower gears of 3.73 because I figured I only drive on the highway from off ramp to on ramp and trips are only to the next city. I figured I rather go low as it suites my driving better and if I need to ever upgrade to an overdrive Trans I plan to go with the 200r4 as the gears (stock comparison) to the 700r4 are a much better combination!

    Goodluck!
     
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  10. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    3:55 were offered on a 12 bolt. You can also play with tire diameter as well/
     

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