Make Mine a Real Shaker
First off, I love the mag and have been reading it for years. OK, now to the question at hand: My father is building a Chevy LUV. He has swapped a small-block 350 into it and wants to put an actual shaker hood on it, not the cheap fiberglass sticky tape ones. So far, he is unable to find a company that manufactures one. Any help with the search would be great. We do not want to try and fabricate one ourselves. Thanks for any help you can provide.
Chad Lynn
via email

When you say you're looking for a "shaker hood," I'm going to assume you are referring to the classic Mopar and Pontiac hoods, which feature an air scoop assembly mounted to the engine that pokes through a hole in the hood. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any aftermarket company that makes a bolt-on shaker hood for your truck, which means that you'll have to adapt the shaker assembly to your stock hood. A competent body shop or fabricator should be able to tackle this job relatively quickly since the shaker assembly is available in the aftermarket. If you're not already a member, this site ( has a ton of good info on LUV trucks

Some Questions About that Swap
I am gathering parts for a first-gen S-10 V-8 swap. In December of '08, you all ran a story on such an engine swap with a Ford 9-inch rearend. My question is threefold: First, will I need to use the oil pan you all used or can I use the stock one? I'm using a 350 from a '99 Chevy 2500. The JTR manual says that I don't. The year of the motor goes into my second question. Due to the fact the Vortec heads are different (when comparing intake manifolds), will the same be true for exhaust manifolds or can I run the same headers as in your article? Last question, did you all run an electric fuel pump or use the stock pump and aftermarket regulator? Any info would be great. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more about your Dime on steriods!
A. Jones
via email

Mr. Jones, the JTR manual is correct, you don't have to use the oil pan from the story. We used the pan because we didn't have an appropriate one already and we wanted the better performance the windage screen will provide. The headers should bolt on. Even though the heads are different when it comes to the intake manifold, the exhaust ports are similar. The S-10 we worked on had an electric fuel pump and an aftermarket regulator. You can use the stock pump, just regulate it for your fuel delivery system. A great source for more information will be or

Gimme Some Overdrive
I've got a three-speed tranny in my '81 Chevy dualie. I'd like to upgrade it to an overdrive tranny with the hope that my fuel economy will improve. My truck has a carbureted 454ci engine in it. What tranny will be my best option? I think the rear axle has 4.10 gears and the tires are stock size.
Ben Williams
Atlanta, Georgia

I'd recommend a 4L80-E transmission with a billet cover B81 converter. The 4L80-E is the equivalent of a five-speed automatic; it will maintain the same gear ratio in the first three gears as the TH400 you have now, but it will also give you a .068 overdrive 4th gear. Additionally, the lock-up converter will afford you another 4,00RPM reduction at highway speeds. This means that you'll be able to utilize the engine's torque to get the truck moving effectively in the first three gears and then cruise at a lower rpm on the highway to achieve maximum fuel economy. This is a computer-controlled transmission so it will require a standalone unit to control the functions of the transmission.

The 4L80 E transmission is 3 inches longer than your current TH400. Your truck's transmission crossmember will have to move 2.58 inches backwards on the chassis and you will have to have the driveshaft shortened 2.5-3 inches. Your bolt-on yoke will interchange with the 4L80-E.

This question was answered by Zach Farah, a 25-year veteran of the tranny biz and owner of Gearstar Transmissions, a high-performance transmission builder that specializes custom trannys that handle a ton of power. Each Gearstar tranny is built by a single technician to assure quality control. Zack can be reached at or (800) 633-2353.