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Bought some new toys for the Suburban- Deep Transmission Pan, Airbags, and Tach

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Crawdaddy, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Last week I ordered some new parts to put on the Suburban, and some of them are already here! Summit had an insane turnaround of right about a day to get me most of the parts I ordered. I bought an Autometer Z-Series tach, an Autometer 3-gauge panel, a TCI deep transmission pan, and a Firestone airbag kit! Everything but the airbag kit is in; they're estimating another 2 weeks for the airbags because they're special-order from Firestone. I am so excited to have ordered these parts. Here they are:

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    And here's some of the TCI pan. It's for the 700R4 in the Suburban, and lemme tell you, it's MASSIVE and HEAVY, especially for aluminum. It must weigh 5-10 pounds! It's also considerably larger than I imagined in my mind's eye.

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    The pan is also considerably deeper than the factory pan, but was designed to clear the transmission crossmember that passes under the last 2 inches or so of the pan. It also has a drain plug that the factory pan doesn't have and provisions for a transmission temperature sender. Additionally, the temp sender port seems to be in a different spot than what I saw i the pictures when I ordered it. The pictures indicated the sender would be on the side of the pan which is fine, but it's actually on the back, where the sender can be protected by the transmission crossmember, so kudos to TCI for thinking about that. The description claims that it works with stock filters and has raised sections in the pan to hold the filter up, but then TCI specifies 2 part numbers for filters in the instructions. I still need to research whether these are deep filters, or stock height; I'm hoping the latter.

    The tach is a 2-1/16" Autometer Z-series tach that goes up to 5000 RPM. I could have gotten a higher-range tach, but I don't ever expect to break 4000 RPMs in the truck, so why have that extra range. It should also give me better resolution on the exact RPM I'm running at since the scale is dedicated to less RPMs. It should hook up to a white wire coming off the coil helpfully installed by Chevy even though Chevy trucks during that time period only VERY VERY VERY rarely had tachs from the factory. Works for me.

    I'm hoping to get all this installed sometime during the week or next weekend. The weather's not looking too great this week so it might get pushed back more. Oh how I wish I had a shop I could drive the truck into...

    So look forward to write-ups on these mods and more in the future!
  2. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

    That is a monster pan. What other gauge are planning on putting in? That tranny should run nice and cool with the extra capacity and the finned aluminium.
  3. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I'm really not sure. Depending on what I find out with some testing, probably either a oil pressure or oil temp gauge. My factory dash oil pressure gauge has been giving me some readings I'm not sure I can trust, but I don't know if it's the gauge, the sender, or the wiring between the 2. I need to figure out where the issue is and I can hopefully fix it. I'll also have another spot open in that panel once I build my switch panel that's going where the factory radio was. The tach will move up into that switch panel leaving another empty hole, so I'll have to find something to put in it. Perhaps a vacuum gauge or a fuel pressure gauge.
  4. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Summit came through for me and delivered the airbag kit early! It looks real nice. I can't wait to install them! Look for a write-up next weekend of the install, provided I don't get rained out...
  5. 99'HEARTBEAT

    99'HEARTBEAT Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Wow Christoper........You got some Awesome Toys for the Suburban!!......on the Air Bags, did you go with a Compressor and Gauge/Controls??.....
  6. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    No, but it's in the future. I just didn't have the cash to go that route now.
  7. janikphoto

    janikphoto Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    Looks like some great stuff! I just saw some deep pans in the jeg's catalog and thought about doing that next year. I just changed my fluid and filter, otherwise I would've done it now. Take pics of it installed!
  8. Ape

    Ape Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Looking forward to what you have to say about the pan install and funstionality. I've been thinking about doing that with mine for a while now just because the factory pan has no drain plug. I just haven't done it yet because I've been busy getting other mechanical issues up to snuff. So maybe it's time to do that once I've read about your experiences with it.

    By the way, did you buy the temp sending unit and wiring from Summit for the tranny too?
  9. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    As of yesterday, the pan is installed. It would have been fully installed Saturday, but I bought the wrong transmission mount so the transmission was held up by the jack until yesterday afternoon. Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of it, I'll try to get one soon. The pan install was pretty straightforward: drop the transmission crossmember, loosen the bolts on the pan, get rained on by copious amounts of ATF, drop the pan some more, get rained on more by ATF, change the pan filter, install the new gasket in the pan, install the temp sender in the back of the pan, install the pan with the included bolts, fill with 10+ quarts of ATF.

    The temp sender came with my Autometer transmission temp gauge which I did also buy from Summit. It included a couple different adapters so you can fit it in pretty large holes, but the pan was the proper size for just the temp sender. No functionality checks on the pan and its performance yet except for a quick 200 foot drive or so. I will report my temp readings once I get some miles on it. I will then compare my unloaded temps to loaded and towing temps.

    Since I was already dirty and had all the tools drug out, I got started on my airbag kit. I got the passenger side installed completely, but ran out of time and daylight to work on the drivers side. Installing the upper bracket involved enlarging one hole and drilling 3 others from scratch. I had to work around all the fuel lines which wasn't fun. I still need to figure out how to protect one of the fuel lines; it's rubbing against one of the bolts for the upper bracket. It looks like if I can secure the line down to the bottom part of the frame rail, it should be fine.

    The lower bracket install wasn't bad as it is just bolted to the spring pack with 2 carriage bolts. The trick though was getting the bracket lined up perfectly with the upper. The bracket isn't 100% correct for me as the kit was designed for my Suburban when it still had the 1/2 ton axle with the u-bolts facing up. My u-bolts now face down so the plate that held the u-bolts in place isn't up top anymore. The rear of the bracket's hanging out in space by 3/8 of an inch. I think I'm going to have to cut a piece of plate to fill the space.

    It tooks some finagling and checking from a distance to ensure the bag was perfectly vertical. It's also crucial that the bag not be twisted any or failure could occur early. I think I got it pretty well lined up. I do have a couple of pics of the installed bag, but they're on my phone. I'll get them up tonight.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  10. Ape

    Ape Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    So the stock filter works fine for depth I take it?
    Can't wait for the pics.

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