472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?
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500, 472, 425, 368 Discussion, 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...? in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I have a stock 472 in my 73 fleetwood hearse but the 3 speed is killing gas. Could I drop ...
  1. #1
    YourMainParadox is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    I have a stock 472 in my 73 fleetwood hearse but the 3 speed is killing gas. Could I drop in a 700r4? or is there a better option?

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  3. #2
    steelybill is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    You can't just drop it in. The 700R4 was built for the Chevy bolt pattern only, likely because the SB Chevy became the "corporate" engine. There are adapters though, and I believe the Cad Company has them, and maybe MTS does too.
    The word is, that the 700R4 wont live long behind a big Caddy engine, if pushed very hard. Don't know that myself.

    The 4L80 is the heavy duty over-drive transmission, and developed from the venerable TH400. Not cheap, but some may be around at salvage yards that have late model stuff.

    Oh yeah, the drive shaft yoke is the small TH350 size on the 700R4, so a drive shaft mod will be required.

  4. #3
    YourMainParadox is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    will the 4L80 swap in directly?

  5. #4
    YourMainParadox is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    also doesn't that require a computer? This is a 73 carbed car

  6. #5
    maxfax is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    You would need an adapter to bolt to the engine, same as the 700R4, plus you would need a stand alone trans controller as the 4l80 is an electronically shifted trans....

    In the early 80's there were some 700R4's with the proper bell housing to bolt to the Caddy.. There was also the 2004R OD trans that came with the proper bell.. Now days however those particular trannies with the right bell are scarce..

    Neither of these transmissions would live long in stock form either.. Keep in mind these transmissions blew apart behind anemic mid 80's 305 Chevys.. You could have one built up to handle the load, but you'd be looking at some significant expense.. Probably till you found the right trans and had it build to last you'd be nearing the cost of a 4l80E, controller, and adapter..

    There are also the options of an add on overdrive unit such as the one's offered by Lokar, Gear Vendors, and US gear.. None of which are still real inexpensive options.. And all woudl involve some drivehsaft mods...

  7. #6
    deVille33 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    Your main fuel use is the power needed to get all that weight rolling. Also, I think the hearses used a lower gear set than the other production models of those years. The hearses and the limos were built on commercial chassis that helped add weight to the vehicle.
    Check all vacuum lines and replace as needed. These engines with vacuum operated options, run more efficiently when there are no vacuum losses. Don't forget the hoses in the passenger compartment. These lines don't dry out as much as the ones around the engine, but sometimes they will. Do some resaerch here on the CO. This subject has been covered several times
    If you have and understand how to use a multigauge, check the resistance and condition of your plug wires. Longer wires will have more resistance. You have to use a scale of distance = x amount of resistance. This is usually covered in any repair manual. I use a sliding scale for this, as the readings you will get aren't going to be dead nuts on what the manuals recommend. Check resistance at the distributor cap. Replace if needed.
    If your distributor is original, it has points. Check the condition of the point set. Do you have a timing light and dwell meter and do you know how to use them? Check the condition and gap of you spark plugs. If the engine is set up properly, your gas mileage should improve.
    If your distributor has been replaced with an HEI unit, check wires, cap, rotor and plugs as well. Plug gap still is important for proper and efficient engine operation.

  8. #7
    YourMainParadox is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    on the "CO"? I was told the engine and trans is the same out of any other fleetwood? Maybe they would change the rear diff but I might even doubt that as well. I know the spark plugs are 5ish years old. The plug wires are only a few weeks old and the engine seems to run fine... just the car could use an overdrive. I am not sure what the resistance "should" be on the rotor and the vacuum lines I see seem good. I don't know the correct gap setting on this. Also I think this is still a distributor and not an hei system but I am not sure.

  9. #8
    maxfax is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    Driving land yachts for years, I agree that it's the take off that kills the mileage more than cruising.. The 700R4 has a lower 1rst and 2nd gear than the 3 speeds which is where I think alot of the gain is seen.. I had a '77 Continental that consistantly got 12 city and 18 highway.. I change the rear end gears from 2.47:1 to 3.00:1 and saw my city milage jump to 15.. Highway stayed the same..

    What kind of mileage are you getting exactly for curiousity sake??

    As deVille spoke of, plain old maintenance goes along way.. You driving habits, the gas you are using, etc will also make some huge differences....

    AN HEI unit is still a distributor, it's just GM's electronic ignition.. THe coil is bolted to the top of the dist cap..

  10. #9
    YourMainParadox is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    I have only had it a week but I would estimate 8 city and 12 or 15 highway but I can't be sure as some of it has been working on it.

    It is also 8,000 lbs but I speed up very slow on this and get passed like crazy HAHAHA

  11. #10
    maxfax is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    Sadly even an OD trans is probably not going to give you huge gains.. Keep in mind you're about as heavy as a 4x4 pickup...

    Have you done a lot to the car yet, such as tune up, or carb work? A good state of tune, some good flowing exhaust (duals! ) and if you don;t have it already electronic ignition (Either HEI or even something aftermarket) will be the biggest help..

    Since that sounds like a commercial chassis I'm going to guess it has a slightly lower rear end gear than most.. Not that that's a bad thing.. As I mentioned earlier, I've found the slightly lower gears actually help with the mileage..

    Unfortunately this ethanol "enriched" gas they're pushing on us really hurts too..

  12. #11
    deVille33 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    CO = CadillacOwners forums

  13. #12
    YourMainParadox is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    I was trying to fix an exhauste leak BUT the bolts just break off inside the head for the manifolds.

  14. #13
    BRUCE ROE is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    Those engines are terrible for cracked exhaust manifolds & broken off bolts. I have had to take the heads on more than one engine to a machine shop, to get the broken studs out. Use a #8 bolt replacement, I believe the originals are only #5. Bruce Roe CLC # 14630

  15. #14
    YourMainParadox is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    2 are broken off inside the head and I don't know what to do for fixing it or trying to get the rest loose.

  16. #15
    deVille33 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 472 will a th700r4 swap directly or...?

    In the early 80's there were some 700R4's with the proper bell housing to bolt to the Caddy..


    These trans were found in the trucks with the Olds based diesel engine. You have to change out the torque converter.

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