Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am about to put in a new transmission and am calling on the wisdom of the forum!

For my 62 sedan, does the overdrive make a difference in fuel economy? Is the 350 adequate? What are some of the pros and cons this rookie should first consider that I haven't mentioned?:confused:

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
1967 Chevy II nova Hardtop
Joined
·
3,916 Posts
200r4 is a good choice too with the benifit of no drieshaft modification. OD is a very worthwhile choice unless you know that gas prices are going down and staying there.
Even if gas was $.50 I would still choose an overdrive. I can't stand the drone of an over revving engine.:no:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
I am confused. As I said I am still a newbie at this however I have learned lots of things here and also working at my garage.
Basically the Th350 does not have overdrive instead it is just a kickdown cable to downshift and then pick up again correct?
The 200R4 has three gears as well but it does employs an overdrive option how?
Detent wire of manually shifting to overdrive.
I am asking because I have a friend that has a fully rebuilt 200R4 for 200 bucks but based on many peoples suggestions I keep thinking that TH350 is the best out there.
Reality is ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,990 Posts
best out there?

I am confused. As I said I am still a newbie at this however I have learned lots of things here and also working at my garage.
Basically the Th350 does not have overdrive instead it is just a kickdown cable to downshift and then pick up again correct?
The 200R4 has three gears as well but it does employs an overdrive option how?
Detent wire of manually shifting to overdrive.
I am asking because I have a friend that has a fully rebuilt 200R4 for 200 bucks but based on many peoples suggestions I keep thinking that TH350 is the best out there.
Reality is ?
There isnt really a "best out there". it depends on your application and what you are trying to do. The 200 thats been mentioned would be a good way to go as well. Ive installed a few of each in 1st and 2nd gen Novas. You'll need to shorten the driveshaft with a 700r4, shouldnt be required with a 2004r if you have the short tail shaft th-350. You'll also want a TV cable setup. Actually make that NEED a TV cable. Check out Bowtie Overdrives and get some questions answered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
I am confused. As I said I am still a newbie at this however I have learned lots of things here and also working at my garage.
Basically the Th350 does not have overdrive instead it is just a kickdown cable to downshift and then pick up again correct?
The 200R4 has three gears as well but it does employs an overdrive option how?
Detent wire of manually shifting to overdrive.
I am asking because I have a friend that has a fully rebuilt 200R4 for 200 bucks but based on many peoples suggestions I keep thinking that TH350 is the best out there.
Reality is ?
for $200 bucks you better jump on it. You will have 4 gears with either 700r4 or 200r4. The nice thing about the 200r4 is like mentioned , no mods needed to the drive shaft. Just need a cross member and a good shop to set it up to shift correctly or you will burn the tranny.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
670 Posts
for $200 bucks you better jump on it. You will have 4 gears with either 700r4 or 200r4. The nice thing about the 200r4 is like mentioned , no mods needed to the drive shaft. Just need a cross member and a good shop to set it up to shift correctly or you will burn the tranny.
and i would suggest not driving the car to that shop to get the cable adjusted. You could burn up the trans in that short drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
I am not sure about the power when tunned but it should be around 400-420 HP according to specs on parts. I will still jump on it since I found a 1968 Camaro left on a garage that I am chasing down. This I would like to build around a 200R4 hope so.
As far as my Nova I was just wondering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,289 Posts
Just made the change in my 72 from a 350 to 700R4. Yes , yes , yes. Lower RPMS , better mileage and just a more enjoyable ride. And everyone mentions the drive shaft issue. It's a $75.00 deal, shortened and balanced? If your stepping up for the trans, torque converter etc is 75 bucks the breaking point? Just saying...
Go with the OD trans. 200R4 or 700R4 what ever makes you happy but the OD helps if your going to drive your car on the freeway etc.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,853 Posts
My built 700r4/Ford 9 with 3.90 gear allows me highway travel no problem. People tell me I am giving away a few 10ths at the strip compared to a Turbo400/350 trans but I don't care. I say go 700r4 or 200r4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
my vote is the 200r4... too much good to say no to for 200 bucks.. all you need to do is use a modified trans crossmember or a 400 crossmember if i remember right... there are ways around the lock up tconverter.. check out bowtie overdrives...'

the 700r4 is nice but its big and heavy and does have some notoriuos weak spots in stock trim...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
I ran 350THs for years. I have stacks of time slips with impressive numbers and consistent times with that transmission. It is an excellent choice if you plan to spent a lot of time at the drag strip. The gears are very evenly spaced and the time between the 1-2 & 2-3 shifts is the same.

I have had a 700R4 in my present Nova for 18 years and have driven it to 23 states during that time. It is an excellent choice for a car that will be driven on the street a lot. Especially on long trip or at high speeds. It should be noted the gear spacing on 700R4s is unusual. There is a big jump from first to second gear, second to third spacing is just about right, & third to fourth is another big jump. My car drives great with this transmission and it's not an issue. Put the shifter in drive and you will never notice it. Manually shifting with a ratchet shifter after spending years with a non-overdrive transmission is a little awkward though. And the car will have a slower 1/4 mile time with a 700R4 than with a 350TH. Opinions vary if it is a couple of tens or a full .5 seconds but there's a difference.

The 200R4 is a great compromise between the 350TH & the 700R4. You get the close gear spacing with an overdrive. The downside being that GM did not build the 200R4 to handle as much torque as a 700R4. A good transmission builder can beef these up to handle much more but it usually comes at a price.

An overdrive transmission (with a conservative rear gear) will do more to improve fuel economy than even adding EFI. And again, It is an excellent choice for a car that will be driven on the street a lot. I ended my days at the dragstrip some years back and so getting that fastest timeslip possible or having the fastest car is no long on my priority list. It could be argued that if your car isn't fast enough with a 700R4, maybe you need more power. With 450 lb ft, my car is still pretty quick with a 700R4 & 3.42 gears. And 26 mpg makes it all worth while 'cause with the price of gas, I get to drive the car a few more miles per week. And driving my car more is still very high on my priority list.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,086 Posts
If its a cruiser I'd definitely go with an overdrive tranny. Less revs, better mileage, etc. Of course there is always stuff you run into that you have to deal with when modifying or changing things around, but you can figure it out or get the help of a trans shop, etc. Well worth it in the long run I think.

My car is more of a street/strip car right now, but in the future I may return it back to a cruiser again like it used to be. Whenever I do that, a nice 700R4 would be nice to have, I'd definitely go for it.

If you go with a TH350 and you cruise a lot and go on the highway, I wouldnt go any higher than 3.55 gears out back, preferably 3.42 or 3.23 for cruising. My car with a TH350, 3.73 gears, and 27" tall tire turns about 3200 RPM at 70 MPH. It has loud exhaust too, so that gets to be old stuff after a short while. When I go on the highway I'm the dude in the right lane going 60 MPH with everyone else passing me by, haha!

I vote for an overdrive tranny, I think it'll be a good investment over the long run and you'll definitely save some money on gas too.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top