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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Willow Street, Pa.
    Posts
    37

    Default American Eagle Overdrive???

    Just wondered if any of the readers here have heard of this company or know what happened to it. Back in the early 90's they built a unit that would slip on to the back end of a 350 or 400 turbo (as well as others) and gave it a tremendously nice extra gear!! It was strong, simple and used the oil from the main trans for lockup pressure and for cooling and could be shifted with a seperate switch at any time the driver chose. If I remember right the price was like $1600 in 1992. I know they filed for protection (Bankrupt) but the product was good and i have to beleive they could have sold the idea to someone. I remember they tested in a motor home as well as a drag rail. The deal was sold with a money back warrenty against failure. I heard they were in Redding Calif and that one of the partners went to Tennesee. But anyway, I have one of these units in a truck and a spare one on the shelf that needs some parts. If anyone knows of a used unit or peices of one I would like to hear about it. Sure would be a neat deal to put in a GS or a Riv!!
    Thanks for any info
    ED
    Ed Leaman
    73 Riv Stg 1
    71 Riv GS
    IH 1568

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    13,426

    Default

    www.Gearvendors.com makes a similar unit - I've heard that for A-bodies the floor pan needs to be slightly modified/raised where the unit sits for it to fit

    Its a very stout unit capable of handling 1000hp

    hope this helps
    Alan W

    BPG # 1048 - Charter Member
    NE GS/GN Club - 17 Year Member
    68/69 Buick StepChild Nation - 29 Year Member

    What is a Buick StepChild ?
    Quote Originally Posted by 442w30 View Post
    ... They have awkward proportions from certain angles, and they look dumpy compared to their GM brethren
    ....'68 SportWagon400 "Sportn'Wood"..............'69 GS400 Convert "BigRed"..........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    austin,tx
    Posts
    2,938

    Default

    Yes..the Gear Vendors unit is supposed to be nice..I have a friend putting one behind a 440 Mopar here...he's not done yet but the people at Gear Vendors basically told him as long as he follows the instructions and uses the correct oil in the unit, he will not be able to tear it up. You can use the overdrive for each gear also. They are not cheap. Patton

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Reed City, MI
    Posts
    400

    Default

    I can personally say the gear vendors unit is awesome. Six gears out of three speed and shifts like a ton of bricks. Shift harshness can actually be tailored by changing fluids. Put one in my dual purpose bracket heads up car to stop the rear gear changes from motor to nitrous set up. Unfortunately never had the urge to spray it after installing the gear vendors unit as the heads up rules had changed. Car was 3850lbs. on an 11" street tire ran 10.02 at 142 with 3.50 gear with 1.88 60' with nitrous, ran 10.70 at 127mph with 4.56 gear through gear vendor unit with 1.50 60' I was looking at a mid 9 second ride but the class changed to a mid 8 second class with the new rules. Ran the gear vendors for 1 season with no problems then sold because I was only bracket racing and one extra gear is one more chance for a mistake. Would be an awesome adition to a street strip car or any dual purpose car.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    13,426

    Default

    Dennis - is it true about having to modify the floor pan to make the GearVendor unit fit ??

    TIA
    Alan W

    BPG # 1048 - Charter Member
    NE GS/GN Club - 17 Year Member
    68/69 Buick StepChild Nation - 29 Year Member

    What is a Buick StepChild ?
    Quote Originally Posted by 442w30 View Post
    ... They have awkward proportions from certain angles, and they look dumpy compared to their GM brethren
    ....'68 SportWagon400 "Sportn'Wood"..............'69 GS400 Convert "BigRed"..........

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Reed City, MI
    Posts
    400

    Default

    Mine was in a 79 regal and needed no modification at all. The unit is smaller than you would think. One of the magazines installed one in a chevelle and said a small amount of clearancing was needed. Tunnel should only need to be massaged slightly which should be fine on anything short of a totally restored numbers matching car. I can't imagine any cutting would be required except for shortening the driveshaft. I was using a Denny's driveshaft and they shortened it and freshened it up for $35+shipping. Driveshaft is gauranteed for life including changing cars, I would recomend them to anyone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    the cold north
    Posts
    811

    Post

    The Gear Vendors unit is nice, but you better be prepared to spend some money to get one, somewhere around $3200 dollars!!
    Bob Gable
    70 GS Foe Fiddy 5

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Pine City, MN
    Posts
    8,133

    Default

    Bob,

    Your a "G" high here... GV unit goes for $2200... we will be putting two of them in this coming winter here.. one in a '72 STG 1 convert, one in a '87 Big Block Regal.

    If you want on OD, in my opinion this is the way to go... costs less than a fully "built" 200R4 trans/converter, (when used with your current trans) and is bulletproof for the long haul..

    Not to mention, you end up with a 6 speed trans... \


    Please pass the 4 series differential cases...

    JW
    Owner/operator

    Tri-Shield Performance
    Jim Weise
    Founder/Owner
    V-8 Buick.com
    320-629-8999 shop or 612-532-2207 cel

    Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
    Abraham Lincoln
    16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Reed City, MI
    Posts
    400

    Default

    Keep your eyes open, they are available from time to time used. I bought mine used and sold it again when I was done. Retail price was $2600 new at that time. $2200 is a good price for new.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Pine City, MN
    Posts
    8,133

    Default

    Here ya go guys... price code "A" is for the TH 400, with short tailshaft (4")

    http://www.gearvendors.com/prices.html

    JW
    Owner/operator

    Tri-Shield Performance
    Jim Weise
    Founder/Owner
    V-8 Buick.com
    320-629-8999 shop or 612-532-2207 cel

    Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
    Abraham Lincoln
    16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Reed City, MI
    Posts
    400

    Default

    Racing aplication wasn't an option last I checked about 2 years ago. I asked for better price for not taking all of the kit, they would remove parts but wouldn't lower price. Well worth the $2200 price tag. Good info Jim.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    13,426

    Default

    When i was researching OD it was either the GD unit or a 4L80e.....didn't even consider the 200R4

    By the time you're done with the converter and computer for the 4L80, the GD unit is alot less expensive....like 1k worth
    Alan W

    BPG # 1048 - Charter Member
    NE GS/GN Club - 17 Year Member
    68/69 Buick StepChild Nation - 29 Year Member

    What is a Buick StepChild ?
    Quote Originally Posted by 442w30 View Post
    ... They have awkward proportions from certain angles, and they look dumpy compared to their GM brethren
    ....'68 SportWagon400 "Sportn'Wood"..............'69 GS400 Convert "BigRed"..........

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Patetown N.C.
    Posts
    54

    Post

    Didn't US Gear make an overdrive unit for a T400?? Seems to me that I remember reading or hearing something about them 2 or 3 years ago. I think they were called a VDO overdrive and they attatched to the back of the tranny. Are they sill around ?
    Robert Kelly
    71 GS 455 into 3.0 Low Gear 1st gear T400 into 8.5 3.08 posi-trac

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Moses Lake, WA
    Posts
    1,966

    Default

    Just curious; does the unit soak up much power? Or is does the gearing more than make up for that?
    BJ
    BPG 1474

    CURRENT BUICK
    1972 Skylark Custom - 462 (TA/TSP S1), TH400, 3.42 posi

    PAST BUICKS
    1971 Skylark Convertible - 11:1 400, TH400, 3.55 posi
    1968 GS 400 - Drivetrain donor
    1963 Riviera - 425, Dynaflow

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Reed City, MI
    Posts
    400

    Default

    US gear makes or made an overdrive or underdrive but was not both and was not shift on the fly. Gear vendors unit takes very little power to run, they claim 1-2% I think. I ran identical MPH with or without the unit on motor alone with 4.10 gear with a bit better E.T. with the unit with 4.56 gear. MPH is the true indicator of efficiency and horsepower not E.T. There are to many factors in E.T. to make a good comparison of power loss.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    1,820

    Post

    Bile Bob said:Didn't US Gear make an overdrive unit for a T400?? Seems to me that I remember reading or hearing something about them 2 or 3 years ago. I think they were called a VDO overdrive and they attatched to the back of the tranny. Are they sill around ?
    Bob, My father put a U. S. Gear overdrive behind his TH400 in his 1 ton Dually. It had a 454 and he kind of wanted more mileage. Only helped out about 2mpg dry, but towing made about 3-4 mpg difference. It was a shift on the fly unit, but took a while to figure out how to do it without grinding the OD unit.

    The only problem he had with it this year(been in the truck for about 40k miles) is that when he went from high to low, it DID NOT go into low. When he parked the truck and put it in Park and walked away, the truck rolled down the hill and hit a tree. The thing is now in low, but will not switch to high gear anymore. Has not had any other trouble, but what is the use of a bolt on OD if it won't go into OD.

    Several of my friends that run deep geared trucks(I'm talking 6.72:1 gears here) say that the U.S. Gear unit is junk. I think I would agree with them if you can only get 40k out of them. Not at all worth the $$ outlay.
    Greg "They Don't Call Me Raul" Schmelzer
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult!!
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, margarita in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO- What a Ride!"
    1984 Electra Park Avenue Platform for sleeper with a stage 1 build
    alkasmeltzer318@aol.com
    http://www.finishlinemotorsports.com/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Patetown N.C.
    Posts
    54

    Post

    How much was the US Gear unit compared to the GV unit. You are right, it should not have torn up after 40K miles. Longshot here, but its not still under warranty is it? Also how hard is the GV unit to put in a 71GS?
    Robert Kelly
    71 GS 455 into 3.0 Low Gear 1st gear T400 into 8.5 3.08 posi-trac

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    1,820

    Post Have patience.

    Bile Bob said:How much was the US Gear unit compared to the GV unit. You are right, it should not have torn up after 40K miles. Longshot here, but its not still under warranty is it? Also how hard is the GV unit to put in a 71GS?
    Have patience, Bob. Trying to get the info from the folks. I will post it here when they reply to my email. but they are retired and don't really have to move too fast. Guess I'm a little envious!
    Greg "They Don't Call Me Raul" Schmelzer
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult!!
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, margarita in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO- What a Ride!"
    1984 Electra Park Avenue Platform for sleeper with a stage 1 build
    alkasmeltzer318@aol.com
    http://www.finishlinemotorsports.com/

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Lincoln, Ne
    Posts
    3,180

    Default Re: Have patience.

    Greg Schmelzer said:Have patience, Bob. Trying to get the info from the folks. I will post it here when they reply to my email. but they are retired and don't really have to move too fast. Guess I'm a little envious!
    No its not under warrenty anymore. Even though it only has about 40k on it dad had it installed in 91 or 92. I believed he paid 2900.00 installed.

    Sure is nice to have it in there though. Nice to be able to run down the freeway at 85 mph and pull 10 mpg with 4.10 gear.
    BPG # 1190
    1973 Buick Century 16.14 @ 84.49 w/ stock 350
    Now has a 464. 13:1 comp, eagle rods, TA 608 cam (.595 intake .601 exhaust w/ 1.60 TA roller rockers) Alum Stage 1 heads, SP1, Holly HP1000, MSD/Mallory ign,

    Be who you are and say what you feel. The people who matter don't mind and the people who mind don't matter.--Dr. Seuss

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    1,820

    Post

    Just got the email from Ma. The overdrive was installed in 1994. They are coming down this weekend, and they are bringing the book for the overdrive, so I will be able to post the numbers for the thing. Still irrelevant, 8 years and no worky?

    Wait 2 more days and I will have the info needed. I told you before that they don't move too fast I ho[pe I have the opportunity to do the same within ?? years.

    Don't see it happening real soon.
    Greg "They Don't Call Me Raul" Schmelzer
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult!!
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, margarita in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO- What a Ride!"
    1984 Electra Park Avenue Platform for sleeper with a stage 1 build
    alkasmeltzer318@aol.com
    http://www.finishlinemotorsports.com/

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    1,820

    Post

    Bob, Ma and Pa just got here with the info. It was NOT a shift on the fly unit. They had to by an electric shifter for it to make it a shift on the fly unit. Total installed cost in 1994 was $1930. Total mileage on the unit before it broke was around 55K. Still not a long time to last. I think I would have to say that they are not that good. Hope this helps.

    Greg
    Greg "They Don't Call Me Raul" Schmelzer
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult!!
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, margarita in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO- What a Ride!"
    1984 Electra Park Avenue Platform for sleeper with a stage 1 build
    alkasmeltzer318@aol.com
    http://www.finishlinemotorsports.com/

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    1,820

    Post

    Bob, Ma and Pa just got here with the info. It was NOT a shift on the fly unit. They had to by an electric shifter for it to make it a shift on the fly unit. Total installed cost in 1994 was $1930. Total mileage on the unit before it broke was around 55K. Still not a long time to last. I think I would have to say that they are not that good. Hope this helps.

    Greg
    Greg "They Don't Call Me Raul" Schmelzer
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult!!
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, margarita in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO- What a Ride!"
    1984 Electra Park Avenue Platform for sleeper with a stage 1 build
    alkasmeltzer318@aol.com
    http://www.finishlinemotorsports.com/

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Willow Street, Pa.
    Posts
    37

    Default group purchase???

    Just a thought on the purchace of an Overdrive unit. How many out there would consider buying one of these if the price was a little better?? Maybe worth thinking on!! I am sure the power's behind this group would have some pull if the commitments were made. Actually maybe the BPG is the place to go for a group purchace. I know I want one between now and spring and I think JW admitted they are gonna buy 2. I bet an order for 10 would get somebodies attention.
    Any thoughts ???
    ED
    Ed Leaman
    73 Riv Stg 1
    71 Riv GS
    IH 1568

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    South Africa (Brakpan)
    Posts
    2

    Default American Overdrive

    Hi yes they did go under but I believe that the tooling is still someware around we are in the early stages of manufacturing these units and will be supplying the S A market in the new year spares for these units will also be available. (pricing for these units new will be app $1300.00 +shipping.)
    Regards Stanley
    Last edited by Stan H; 09-28-2005 at 11:13 AM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,426

    Default

    I wouldn't mind getting one of these in the future, just not the near future unless I win the lottery of course.

    ----------------
    Drive it like you rented it. Driving it like you stole it means driving 5 mph under the speed limit and using your turn signals.

    "Those who are willing to trade civil liberties for temporary security, deserve neither". -Benjamin Franklin

 

 
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