A518 Lock Up Wiring Instructions (46RH Only)
A727 to 46RH (A518) Lock Up Wiring Instructions
This is how to replace your three speed 727 transmission with a 1995 back A518 overdrive transmission with a three wire connector (gas). A 518 transmission has a 31% overdrive and will produce a 30 to 40% increase in gas mileage on the road over a three speed transmission. Remember overdrive is only 3rd gear high range anyway. There are two wire 518 transmissions out there; these have a non-lock-up torque converter. With this three wire setup you have a four speed transmission plus a torque converter lock-up feature. The extra gear is 3rd high range.
We've been asked this question for years, so I decided to put it down in black and white. What we're actually going to do here is control the overdrive and torque converter lock-up normally controlled by the computer using one vacuum and two oil pressure switch. Instead of using an electronic speed sensor and throttle position sensor we will use a mechanical / hydraulic / electronic speed sensor and a vacuum / electronic throttle position sensor. This will be accomplished with the use of three GM parts and some trick wiring. Lets say you drive an average of 400 highway miles per week, at that rate you could save as much as $1000.00 per year on gas. This can be made to work with a diesel motor also with or without a vacuum pump and vacuum regulator.
#1. The center wire on the transmission is the hot wire and the two other wires are ground wires for overdrive and the lock-up torque converter. The front wire is the overdrive ground and the rear wire is the torque converter lock-up ground. You can get a three wire female connector from a junk yard or buy one from us.
#2. Run a 12 volt fused wire that turns on and off with the key to the vacuum switch, then to the center wire on the transmission connector. This is a normally open vacuum switch that takes 7 inches or more of vacuum to shift into overdrive and lock-up the torque converter and 3 inches or less of vacuum to down shift and unlock the torque converter. Lets say you're in overdrive going 54 miles per hour at very light throttle, when you press on the throttle and the vacuum drops below 3 inches the transmission will immediately shift back to 3rd gear low range without lock-up or even a lower gear depending on the throttle position.
#3. At the governor
pressure tap on the transmission install a tee fitting for two oil pressure
switches. Say a 44
#4. Run a wire from
the front pin on the transmission connector to the 44
NOTE: People make this swap all the time, but I've never heard of anyone doing it correctly. They drive down the street flipping a toggle switch on and off at every stop. This setup works automatically.
NOTE: The way governor pressure works is 1 pound of pressure per square inch equals 1 mile per hour unless someone has changed the tire size, or rear end ratio, or governor springs and weights. The vacuum switch acts as a throttle position sensor and the oil pressure switch acts as a speed sensor.
NOTE: Use a lock-up type torque converter if possible, this could get you as much as 5% better gas mileage and the transmission will run much cooler. Running cooler will make the transmission last longer.
NOTE: You can also run the torque converter ground wire through the brake switch if needed.