I have a 1979 cabalero that came with 305/350 trans,loaded with every availible option, I am installing 350 roller cam motor with TPI,I have a comeplete 1986 trans am TPI donor vehicle that also has every option,my question is will the 1979 cruise control stuff bolt on to the tpi motor or can I use the cruise stuff off the 1986 donor car,which would be better/easier? the 1979 vacume pod that pulls the throttle on the carb is quite large,will it fit on the tpi unit?
I would expect the electrical connections to the TPI cruise unit to be very much the same -- I'm an engineer and know we reuse a lot of designs. But you'll want to check a manual to be sure.
In my case the swap was from a carbuerated '84 engine to a '94 LT1. The big vacuum can from the '84 didn't have the same angle on the LT1 throttle body, and I couldn't get it to work. So I got the later style electric cruise unit -- no vacuum can -- and found that even on that unit the electrical connections were equivalent to the old cruise control.
I know dozens of you guys have a tpi motor in your camino,some of you must have installed cruise on it ,there may several different ways to do it,I think the system on my donor car uses a signal from the VSS/computer,I am not sure what system a 1979 camino uses but I know there is no vss or computer used in the 1979 system,so I dont think you can combine the two systems,but I could be wrong,have any of you solved the problem?
Dakota Digital sells a cruise control by Rostra that I used on my 1940 Buick street rod, although it had a carbed 350 in it at the time. I am sure it would work with a TPI, which is what I have in my 86 Camino, but no cruise as of yet. This is the route I intend to take when and if I install a cruise unit. Best I remember it was about $250 or so for it. Worked excellent, too.
If it ain't broke, keep on fixin' it 'till it is....
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Installing a VSS is quite simple, use a 2 piece speedometer cable and install the sensor in place of the joiner between the two or install the VSS on the transmission and fasten the original speedometer cable to the sensor. It's a simple 2 wire hook up for the cruise control, one wire to ground and the other supplies the cruise signal. The Rostra Universal electronic system is a breeze to install and works fantastic.
You're gonna need a VSS sig. for the TPI so you may as well go with the later cruise. It also has tap-up/down feature which is nice.
If you want to get rid of the old cable driven transducer just get a cable for a non cruise car and add a VSS as oldelky80 suggested.
You may run into a problem with the turn lever switch. I don't know if the 79 had a push in type or if it was held in with a screw. The 86 was push in.
Are you using the trans from the TA? Does it have electronic VSS or cable?
I went with the same type you're considering in my 82, but went digital so I did'nt have to deal with the cable problem. Rick
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