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#1010949 - 08/26/14 04:46 AM Hydramatic 8L90E  
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Keeping in line with what's on the horizon for potential swapping into our cars someday, I saw this article today about the 8L90E transmission (a ten-speed is in the works too, and it isn't a bicycle...)

http://www.lsxtv.com/tech-stories/drivet...charged-lt4-v8/

Interesting that GM engineers benchmarked this transmission against the ZF transmission in a certain Porsche (see article) and claimed 0.08 sec faster shift times. At the time of this posting, a concurrent thread in this forum is still active under "Anyone try the ZF 8HP90 8-speed automatic?" which makes for an interesting comparative read.

Best,
MAP


Last edited by MAP; 08/26/14 04:53 AM.
#1011066 - 08/27/14 08:13 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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No word yet on EPA Fuel economy for this combination, but given:

1. Curb weight of 3,300 LB for Z06/07 probably not far from correct (transmission rear-mounted as at present.)
2. Claimed 5% better fuel economy than the 6l90;
3. Claimed 8 lb lower mass for the 8L90 vs. the 6L90;
4. 10:1 SCR for the supercharged engine,

It's probably reasonable to expect mid-20's mpg on the highway. If correct, not bad for 650-ish hp. By the way shift speeds are "up to" 0.08 sec faster than the ZF 8HP90, so this is a maximum difference, not an average one as I implied in my last post.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 08/27/14 08:14 PM.
#1011179 - 08/28/14 09:40 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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Turns out the 8L90E is going into more than just the 2015 Z06: it's slated to go into truck platforms with the 6.2l motor as well. From the 8/22/14 edition of "Autoblog" by Greg Migliore,
Corvette spokesman Monte Doran was quoted as saying:

"Chevrolet has developed a successful model for sharing components with Corvette and other models in the portfolio," he said. "For example, the eight-speed transmission was designed for Z06, and will also be used in full-size trucks with the 6.2L; the carbon-ceramic brakes are shared between the Camaro Z/28 and Corvette Z06. This enables Chevrolet to offer stratospheric-levels of performance without stratospheric prices."

So far, I've seen two unofficial quotes for economy with this package: one was 15/24 mpg, and the other was 15/25 mpg. Again, quite respectable for 650 hp.

Thx - MAP

Last edited by MAP; 08/28/14 09:46 PM.
#1011191 - 08/29/14 12:50 AM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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The great thing about this is going to be the LS bell housing and the external controller the bell housing will make swaps easier than the ZF. The external controller will help as the tuners break the TCM. This should make swaps easier. It will be interesting to see what inputs are required. This trans plus a 2.56 or 2.73 rear would be a good combo.

BTW. This trans is very similar to the ZF 8HP. Seems to be the same concept with planet sets 1 and 3 swapped. I like the GM layout better but it is probably not a big difference either way. Should be very available for cheap once the trucks use it for a few years.

John

#1011208 - 08/29/14 04:13 AM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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First concern is if these new transmissions can fit the transmission tunnel in g, bodies without having to split and expand the tunnel.

Second, the more gears a automatic transmission has, the more difficult it is to program the shifting while avoiding gear hunting. Especially for a non factory/dealership tech, programming such a transmission for a non factory, custom application such as a swap.

I just have to wonder how much of this gear war is just gimmick or holdover until better CVTs, or complete replacement of gasoline engines occurs.

Last edited by Buick Runner; 08/29/14 04:42 AM.

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#1011283 - 08/29/14 09:26 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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Hi 32v and Buick,

Thanks. Encouraging, overall. About hard numbers to justify eight ratios: I don't have much data, but if the 5% fuel economy improvement compared to the 6L** is genuine, and the shorter shift times than the already lightning-fast ZF are genuine, and 8lb less weight than the 6L** is also genuine, then indications are good. Also, the OEM certainly wouldn't add the two extra gears in the 8L** without an absoluting compelling justification, I'd have to imagine.

Best,
MAP

#1011296 - 08/30/14 01:06 AM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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Definitely require trans tunnel surgery. The physical install won't be the issue.

The electronics will be a problem at first for non factory applications. How difficult it will turn out will depend on how dependent the TCM is on the canbus. Hunting won't be a problem. The problem will be gear lug. These boxes are designed to allow low RPMs. Your engine will need to be able to carry it up a hill or downshift. Once you get too low your choices are hunt, lug, or stay down.

Bump in fuel economy is all about thinner fluid, better pump, and 2 open clutches versus 3. The other thing that is cool is the ratios used. For the 3, 4, and 6 speeds the box will go through 1-3 during a quarter mile run. The eight speed will do 1-4 with a taller high gear because the gears are closer together. This will translate into faster times. This is most true with smaller less powerful engines. Blown big blocks may not see much performance improvement.

#1011304 - 08/30/14 02:28 AM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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Hi 32v,

Your feedback coincides exactly with an engineer friend's advice from inside GM. That's why they try to design motors with good low-speed WOT (or less) stability, which usually means a minimal overlap triangle from the cam.

This is why I'm hoping that in the not too distant future, we'll be able to buy the LT4/8L90 as an integrated package (E-rod or what-have-you,) rather than the LT4 or the 8L90 as standalone components. Either that, or I'll wait for a 2015 Z06/07 to crash some years from now I suppose, and hopefully scavange the rolling chassis...

Curious how you know all this - are you an industry insider if I may ask?

Thanks,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 08/30/14 02:29 AM.
#1011378 - 08/31/14 06:08 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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No. I am just a guy with a hobby and a non automotive day job. I do read a lot and enjoy thinking about this stuff. I also understand that the average car is getting faster. Upgrades are required now just to not feel slow when you drive your older car. I don't personally need a lt4 or hellcat but the stock 305 is not enjoyable or fast compared to nearly any new car. Making it better on all fronts takes a little thought. It is easy to degrade one parameter like fuel mileage when making the car better performance wise. Watching what the OEMs do allows you to get better all around.

John

#1011397 - 08/31/14 10:11 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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#1011877 - 09/07/14 05:42 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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the external controller will be the down fall, as it will more than likely be part of the engine ecu.. not a stand alone unit..

I doubt the truck unit will get the internals the vette is, so it's shifting and weight will be slower and more respectfully
it would be nice if g.m. made a stand alone controller as a catalog over the counter part.. not holding my breath..

Last edited by Eric'sMonteSS; 09/07/14 05:43 PM.
#1011911 - 09/08/14 03:00 AM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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The new controller won't be part of the engine controller. The transmission has enough time based inputs (shaft speed sensors) and outputs (PWM) that it requires it's own processor. It will require being on the network. All of the new transmissions use a torque based pressure control scheme that requires a delivered torque input from the ECU. In older transmissions the way shifts were managed was by accumulator. The accumulator pressure was the clutch fill pressure and the accumulator spring controlled the pressure rise during the shift. As the shift pressure rises during the shift it ensures a complete shift. None of that hydraulic system exists anymore. The pressure is controlled by the TCM. It uses the delivered torque from the ECM to calculate a pressure. Then it watches the input shaft deceleration to monitor that the shift is taking the appropriate time. Without a torque value it has no reference for picking a pressure value. Shifts would be very erratic. Soft one time and firm the next. The solution to retrofit is the same as 6L80. There is a plug in module that talks to the TCM and gives the right info to allow it to work.

The transmission is designed so that ring plus sun is divisible by three and four. This allows for three or four planets in the different ratings. The corvette unit will be unique because of the placement and bell arrangement. I don't expect the truck trans to be different from the camaro version. With software controlling the calibration it doesn't make sense to make lots of versions. Make them all interchangeable and plug in an external control.

John

#1011920 - 09/08/14 06:18 AM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: 32v_dohc]  
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Originally Posted By: 32v_dohc
No. I am just a guy with a hobby and a non automotive day job. I do read a lot and enjoy thinking about this stuff. I also understand that the average car is getting faster. Upgrades are required now just to not feel slow when you drive your older car. I don't personally need a lt4 or hellcat but the stock 305 is not enjoyable or fast compared to nearly any new car. Making it better on all fronts takes a little thought. It is easy to degrade one parameter like fuel mileage when making the car better performance wise. Watching what the OEMs do allows you to get better all around.

John



I have to disagree with some of your statement. Upgrades aren't a requirement for enjoying a car. Upgrades are merely a garnish to enhance the enjoyment of your car, not for drowning out a favor you don't like.

These are 30 year old cars, everything about them, even the very steel they are made of is outdated. As machines get older they become increasingly more expensive and diffcult to update to ever rising modern standards and it always comes to a point when it is better to just buy a newer model than to keep fighting a losing upgrade battle with older machines.

If someone doesn't enjoy older machines and or technology, then perhaps old cars are not really for that person and that they would be happier owning a more modern model that comes with the desired advancements without major rebuilding and heavy modifications and the costs to perform them. At the classic car shows, the guys that don't give a crap, about their cars being up to modern standards seem to enjoy their cars much more than the guys who fret about feeling slow and rack up huge debts for upgrades for their still old cars. Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by Buick Runner; 09/08/14 08:13 AM.

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#1011944 - 09/08/14 03:55 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: 32v_dohc]  
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Originally Posted By: 32v_dohc
The new controller won't be part of the engine controller. The transmission has enough time based inputs (shaft speed sensors) and outputs (PWM) that it requires it's own processor. It will require being on the network. All of the new transmissions use a torque based pressure control scheme that requires a delivered torque input from the ECU. In older transmissions the way shifts were managed was by accumulator. The accumulator pressure was the clutch fill pressure and the accumulator spring controlled the pressure rise during the shift. As the shift pressure rises during the shift it ensures a complete shift. None of that hydraulic system exists anymore. The pressure is controlled by the TCM. It uses the delivered torque from the ECM to calculate a pressure. Then it watches the input shaft deceleration to monitor that the shift is taking the appropriate time. Without a torque value it has no reference for picking a pressure value. Shifts would be very erratic. Soft one time and firm the next. The solution to retrofit is the same as 6L80. There is a plug in module that talks to the TCM and gives the right info to allow it to work.

The transmission is designed so that ring plus sun is divisible by three and four. This allows for three or four planets in the different ratings. The corvette unit will be unique because of the placement and bell arrangement. I don't expect the truck trans to be different from the camaro version. With software controlling the calibration it doesn't make sense to make lots of versions. Make them all interchangeable and plug in an external control.

John


even if it's a transmission module, it'll still need (more than likely) the inputs/output of the g.m. engine ecu and I'll bet the ABS module, and maybe even the nav gps for a 2nd source of speed.. again it be nice if they made it super simple to adapt to other uses.. And I'd love nothing more to see that, I'm not going to hold my breath

#1011945 - 09/08/14 04:06 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: Buick Runner]  
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Originally Posted By: Buick Runner
Originally Posted By: 32v_dohc
No. I am just a guy with a hobby and a non automotive day job. I do read a lot and enjoy thinking about this stuff. I also understand that the average car is getting faster. Upgrades are required now just to not feel slow when you drive your older car. I don't personally need a lt4 or hellcat but the stock 305 is not enjoyable or fast compared to nearly any new car. Making it better on all fronts takes a little thought. It is easy to degrade one parameter like fuel mileage when making the car better performance wise. Watching what the OEMs do allows you to get better all around.

John



I have to disagree with some of your statement. Upgrades aren't a requirement for enjoying a car. Upgrades are merely a garnish to enhance the enjoyment of your car, not for drowning out a favor you don't like.

These are 30 year old cars, everything about them, even the very steel they are made of is outdated. As machines get older they become increasingly more expensive and diffcult to update to ever rising modern standards and it always comes to a point when it is better to just buy a newer model than to keep fighting a losing upgrade battle with older machines.

If someone doesn't enjoy older machines and or technology, then perhaps old cars are not really for that person and that they would be happier owning a more modern model that comes with the desired advancements without major rebuilding and heavy modifications and the costs to perform them. At the classic car shows, the guys that don't give a crap, about their cars being up to modern standards seem to enjoy their cars much more than the guys who fret about feeling slow and rack up huge debts for upgrades for their still old cars. Just my 2 cents.


yes and no
I like my SS because of it's looks, it's nascar history and it's ride and handling, yes newer cars will make it low silly, as far as fast, but the character of cars got lost in the aero age..
If I had the money I'd put a 2014 f body drivetrain in a g body in a second.. as I'll get the power/etc in a package I like.. well more than likely I'd buy a '14 SS. but it's not an us vs them.. there is something to be said for K.I.S.S.

some will never be happy unless they have the newest tech.
only way this would be better than a floor shifted 5 or 6 speed manual is if it was a paddles shifted synco trans that allowed the operator to pick gears without a ecu nanny getting in the way of the fun, not likely as that's how they make these live behind the hp of today... remember todays hp is smooth, unlike the muscle car days of brutal and why a big block anything feels stronger than a 427hp ls..

#1012261 - 09/12/14 11:58 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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All very interesting perspectives, and I see valid points from all sides.

My perspective is: if I could have a car that looks exactly like an MCSS in and out, but accelerates way faster in a straight line, and moderately faster in a curve, then I'd call that having my cake and eating it too.

And one of the paths to get there is to transplant a modern drivetrain into this car. Unless you open the hood, it's out of sight and out of mind until the grin comes on your face from driving it.

Anyway, I already communicated to a certain GM engineer that I esteem highly, that while a standalone LT4 would be very nice indeed (and would have to pair-up with a 4L85E if transmission options are restricted to the current GMPP catalog,) it would be much nicer still if it could be a full e-rod package with the 8L90. I suppose all I can say is let's hope...

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 09/13/14 01:22 AM.
#1012288 - 09/13/14 04:26 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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Originally Posted By: MAP
All very interesting perspectives, and I see valid points from all sides.

My perspective is: if I could have a car that looks exactly like an MCSS in and out, but accelerates way faster in a straight line, and moderately faster in a curve, then I'd call that having my cake and eating it too.

And one of the paths to get there is to transplant a modern drivetrain into this car. Unless you open the hood, it's out of sight and out of mind until the grin comes on your face from driving it.

Anyway, I already communicated to a certain GM engineer that I esteem highly, that while a standalone LT4 would be very nice indeed (and would have to pair-up with a 4L85E if transmission options are restricted to the current GMPP catalog,) it would be much nicer still if it could be a full e-rod package with the 8L90. I suppose all I can say is let's hope...

Best,
MAP



Map That gives me a flashback four years ago with the new LS line up in GMPP. It will never end and as we update the cars they will be outed once completed....Uh car are like computers now.


Last edited by 1 Slow SS; 09/13/14 04:29 PM.

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#1012324 - 09/14/14 03:55 AM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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Hi 1SlowSS,

I'm cautiously optimistic. I think the LT4 will make it sooner or later as a turn-key engine from GM. But GMPP has been extremely slow and conservative with transmissions: again, the 4L85E is their current highest torque-capacity unit, and it sports only four gears and a paltry 3.3:1 bottom:top ratio spread. The platform is more than 20 years old and is rated only at 460 lb-ft. Talk about being behind the times! The 6L series has been around for at least nine years, and it has yet to make it to GMPP.

At this rate, about the 8L90, I suppose it might beat the next ice age in arrival. Or not (?!)

I think we hotrodders need to make more collective noise to GM that we aren't uncaring about performance and economy, as many seem to think we are (and some in fact are. I'm obviously not speaking for that camp, or at least not since gas headed north of $2/gallon.)

My feeling for now is the likeliest way to get this package before the decade is out is to wait for a 2015 Corvette Z06/07 to crash with its drivetrain intact, and buy the rolling chassis.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 09/14/14 04:04 AM.
#1012331 - 09/14/14 11:37 AM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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BUT MAP.
The 4l85e has not been around 20 years.. wasn't the 4l80e the older unit.. even so.. the 4l85e ft lb of 460 is real
unlike the other trans that are higher but not true ft lb rating, those are rated with a torque management, sure they stuff it behind a 700ft lb engine . but the trans never saw any of that 700 ft lb at any shock loading time (take off, up shifts, down shifts, or God forbid a n-drop) and why those that retune the computers automaticly void the warranty, and why the ecu now RECORDS any "updates"or changes to the firmware..
believing thise trans can take the power ratings they list, is like believing a mag story of build a 600hp big block for 2000.oo it's b/s..
I'd advise looking at the materials used and the size of the parts.. spline counts, and so on. Then look at all these engines and the block at the mounting point and tell me, 650-700 ft lb yank would not rip the block wall out where it is mounted to the unit body. oh, and look at the drivers side motor mounts, sure that's going to see 650-700+ ft lb.. COME on..
If all these new rear ends can take this type power why they not used in cars built to drag.. because it'll puke if it got hammered with 400+ ft lb offen.. that's why.. look at the whole vehicls and you can clearly see that the ratings are a joke.. You could more than likely get a 2004r and 7.5" rear to live if you had the torque management that never allows the engine to hammer it at upshifts/downshifts/launch,or a n-drop..
# 1 issue with the 4l80e/85e is the center support, for these new silly rated trans to take the ft lb they are rated at, the center support would have to be much beefier and so would the case, and well, I don't think they are carving the cases out of billet. so.. Metallurgy has come far, but it still can't perform miracles..

#1012332 - 09/14/14 11:39 AM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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hint, there is a reason trucks have a tow mode..

#1012344 - 09/14/14 07:50 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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I still don't see this as too much of a benefit in terms of cost to cost savings. What will the 8 speed net in gained fuel economy, maybe 2 miles per gallon HWY. I know my A6 2010 vette still had the .67 final gear ratio as an old 200. The only change was a 4.02 first gear I believe and having a 1:1 in third verses 4th gear. With a 2.56 rear gear the car only made 26 HWY. Sure the car was fast but I can't say that performance is cheap and cost effective. When it was still only a mid 12 second performer in the 1/4 mile.

Last edited by 1 Slow SS; 09/14/14 07:51 PM.

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#1012361 - 09/14/14 11:44 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: 1 Slow SS]  
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Originally Posted By: Eric'sMonteSS
those are rated with a torque management,

Originally Posted By: 1 Slow SS
What will the 8 speed net in gained fuel economy, maybe 2 miles per gallon HWY.


IMOP...its all in the firmware. The second you take it out (motor and trans, or just the trans) and put it in something else all bets are off. The performance/mileage is sooooo heavily engineered to fit that specific body, I would think any gain would be lost in the translation, no matter how good the "tuner" thinks he is.

But maybe I am wrong


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#1012389 - 09/15/14 01:36 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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top fuel slipper clutches, is the mechanical type of set up that the "torque management does to an automatic..
it decides how fast the line pressure comes on to lock up the clutches.. These new trans might be very efficient from a mpg point of view, but when you are "on it" it is sucking up the power buy slipping the clutch packs.. and the engine ecu limits the fuel/ign maps to slow the rpm rise along with the drive by wire that will slow the signal rise.. so the clutch slipping doesn't feel like a 5500 rpm stall converter when you hammer it..
it's all in the drivetrain computer control.. not the hard parts..
at some point, you will see, fast/holley/etc offer a drivetrain control computer system.. most likely only offered for popular set ups.. like a ls and whatever g.m. trans becomes a main stay in cars and 2wd trucks.. that you'd download oor map out the engines dyno sheet into the ecu and it pick how the torque management handled the power, and would require the system to control the engine and trans and throttle (i.e. it have to be drive by wire)

#1012428 - 09/15/14 10:40 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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Hi Folks,

Combining all of the foregoing highlights, I think, why the LT4/8L90 combo currently in production shouldn't be split, but sold as the same combo as an e-rod package. Trouble is, I'd like to keep the 8l90 transmission rear-mounted as it is in the Corvette, which probably points me back to waiting for a 2015 Z06 to crash and buying the rolling chassis with drivetrain.

My guess is that if we'll ever see the LT4/8l90 as a GMPP e-rod package, it will come with an engine-mounted transmission rather than the Corvette scheme.

Btw, the whole question of torque management explains, I suppose, why GMPP (or anyone else as far as I know,) isn't offering the 6L series as standalone transmissions. Apparently, sans TM, the 4L85E is still the king of the hill.

Best,
MAP

Last edited by MAP; 09/16/14 12:44 AM.
#1068320 - 10/19/20 03:05 PM Re: Hydramatic 8L90E [Re: MAP]  
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Posts: 8
lambeau40 Offline
New Member
lambeau40  Offline
New Member

Joined: Sep 2020
Posts: 8
Benton, WI
Refreshing a 6 year old thread here....Since the 8L90 has been on the streets for a few years now, has anyone tried to put one in their Monte??? I'm in the process of building an 87 Aero Coupe and have a LT1 and 8L90 out of an '18 Camaro. Our next step is the sit the engine and tranny on the frame. The concern is whether or not it will clear the tunnel when we sit the body on the frame. And since we're replacing the floor pan (due to rust issues), it would be a good time to modify the floor if clearance is an issue. I haven't been able to find anything online showing an 8L90 in a G body. I see people are selling cross members for them, but that doesn't mean they will fit without issue. Thoughts?

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