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Discussion Starter #1
I was just hoping to get some feedback regarding the swap to 700R4, any specific issues anybody has had during their swap into a 3rd gen.

Maybe some feedback on gear selection, I am running a 4.10 gear and was wondering if this is going to be a bit much with a 3.06 first gear in the 700R4?

Are the early years of the 700R4 reliable behind an agressively built small block? Do they make valve bodies for them that are reverse pattern manual shift only? Do they manufacture parts to use this as a trans break too.with a trans-break

Thank you for input it is greatly apprecaited.

James Y.
 

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The 700R4 wasn't reliable behind anything let alone a beefed up V8. The 700R4 went out in my cosuins blazer with 60K on it and he never towed or did anything to abuse the truck. My other friends C1500 truck with the V6 went through 3 in 1 year while he was towing a landscape trailer.

I wouldn't touch a 700R4 or 4L60E with a 10 foot pole. Now if they are built up with better parts by a shop that knows what they are doing then it may be OK but I still wouldn't trust it. If I wanted a 4 speed auto I would jump right to the 4L80E. With a few upgrades the 4L80E can handle 1000hp. Stock they can take something like 600hp reliably.
 

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Yeah, if you can afford the electronic tranny (4L80E) they are bullet proof. Think TH400 with MORE. They were not available when I did my build and to be honest the money wasnt available either :) I have a B&M prepped 700r4 and I cant even give any info as to reliability cause basically, I have yet to drive it. But if yer interested. It was inexpensive, bolted up easily. I made a cross member for it. Had a drive shaft made for it from Denny's. Its hooked up to a ford 9in with 3.73 gears. And I have tooled it around the neighborhood and thats a LOW gearing. The TV cable was a cinch to adjust after some reading on the subject.

But as far as durability I really cant say first hand. I would never race it. My car is a street car only so Im hoping it will live up to that. Oh, the engine is a small block 350 with edelbrock injection and if I built it correctly it makes around 400hp. Not much torque.. JR
 

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All I can say is built properly they will work fine. Would I use it in a high horsepower race car? No. But I know of a C4 corvette that runs mid 10's on slicks at sears pt with a 700R4. A customer of mine has a 70 chevelle street car with a 500hp 400 small block that he drives the **** out of it and it has a 700R4 in it. A dude out of Oakley named Rob's performance built the trans its been in the car for 5 years with no issues. I drove the car it shifts hard but smooth.

Since 1990 all my trucks had 700's and I towed with them just fine. I always towed in 3 gear till I got on to flat ground then shifted into 4th. Soon as I knew I had to climb a hill back into 3rd it went. Regular fluid changes and a good tranny cooler are your best friends.
 

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Anybody who doesn't think a 700R4 is reliable has clearly never owned one. It's best to seek advise from someone with first hand experience.

I have been running a 700R4 (trouble free) in my third gen for 14 years. It was bone stock (pulled from a totaled '86 TA) for the first five years. Then we added a B&M shift kit and went another three. When I was building the new engine, I had it rebuilt during the car's downtime (even though it still worked flawlessly). The guy that built it was running a 700R4 on the dragstrip in a '55 Chevy with a nitrous feed 427 under the hood. I figured that if he could make it live behind that monster...

I found that a TH400 crossmember works well for this application (once you drill four new holes in the subframe). I fabricated a homemade linkage to retain the column shifter for the first couple of years (to maintain a sleeper image with the gray prime and hubcaps it wore for years). An aftermarket floor shifter is a lot easier (can you say bolt-in). With a 26" tall tire on a street car, I'd choose 3.73s for high winding engine or a 3.42s if you have a torque monster that doesn't get twisted so high (I've ran both. Currently happy with 3.42s).

One more thing, you do not want Torrington bearings in your convertor. The cheaper convertor will live longer. (Which is why GM did not use them.) ;)

Let's be clear. Torrington has a great product. I have used their bears with great success in some severe duty applications. Their bearings just don't belong in a convertor.

That said, a 700R4 is great for the street but it's easier to run consistantly at the dragstrip with a TH350 due to the closer gear spacing.
 

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Anybody who doesn't think a 700R4 is reliable has clearly never owned one. It's best to seek advise from someone with first hand experience.

I have been running a 700R4 (trouble free) in my third gen for 14 years. It was bone stock (pulled from a totaled '86 TA) for the first five years. Then we added a B&M shift kit and went another three. When I was building the new engine, I had it rebuilt during the car's downtime (even though it still worked flawlessly). The guy that built it was running a 700R4 on the dragstrip in a '55 Chevy with a nitrous feed 427 under the hood. I figured that if he could make it live behind that monster...

I found that a TH400 crossmember works well for this application (once you drill four new holes in the subframe). I fabricated a homemade linkage to retain the column shifter for the first couple of years (to maintain a sleeper image with the gray prime and hubcaps it wore for years). An aftermarket floor shifter is a lot easier (can you say bolt-in). With a 26" tall tire on a street car, I'd choose 3.73s for high winding engine or a 3.42s if you have a torque monster that doesn't get twisted so high (I've ran both. Currently happy with 3.42s).

One more thing, you do not want Torrington bearings in your convertor. The cheaper convertor will live longer. (Which is why GM did not use them.) ;)

Let's be clear. Torrington has a great product. I have used their bears with great success in some severe duty applications. Their bearings just don't belong in a convertor.

That said, a 700R4 is great for the street but it's easier to run consistantly at the dragstrip with a TH350 due to the closer gear spacing.
Guys with stock LT1 and LS1 cars are blowing them up. I had the 4L60E in my 97 TA but I never raced the car. It worked fine for a daily driver. I still wouldnt trust one at the drag strip.
 

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You should contact bowtie overdrives they arereally knowlegeableand super friendly,,760-948-0196.they will help you sort it out and not try to sell you BS you don't needand hey they do it for a living.
 

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The transmission needs some serious internal upgrades, but can be built to hold up just fine. I however would recommend looking into a TH200-4R instead. It will work better with your 4.10's, and the gear splits are better. It's also a bit smaller than a 700 and when built the same, a little stronger as well. We use them behind torque monster 455 Pontiac engines all the time. Contact Art Carr Transmissions, or Level 10 Transmissions. The last time I talked to Art Carr about one, I was going to get a Th200-4R with a transbrake and a 4500 stall converter for right around $4200.00 that would hold up to my big block. To get one that will hold up to any serious power, be prepared to spend some serious coin on it. And with 4.10's, you shouldn't need to get a lock up converter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank You guys for all the great info. Looks like I just need to spend the money and get it done right.:yes::yes:

Thanks Again
James
 

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The last time I talked to Art Carr about one, I was going to get a Th200-4R with a transbrake and a 4500 stall converter for right around $4200.00 that would hold up to my big block.
42 hundred!! OUCH.. With that money Ill be expecting some durability. But for that kind of money why the 200?? I dont get it. A glide or a 400 or a electronic 80E. I guess racing IS expensive :) JR
 

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I was looking at the 200 for a street/strip car. I wanted the proper rpm drop between gears, plus an overdrive to drive on the freeway with my 4.56's. I also wanted a brake. Now the 200 is lighter than the 4L80E and dosen't require a controller to run it, is stronger than a 700 plus has better gear spread, is easier to fit to the car, and was cheaper than a braked 400 and a Gear Vendor's unit with a good convertor.
 

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all the GN guys swear by the TH200-4R. And yes the gear spread is better IMO. Really my only complaint about a 700R-4 is the big drop between the 1st and 2nd gear.
 

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i was looking at putting a 700r4 in mine but i wound up buying a gear venders overdrive.the reason i went that route was becaue i had a good th350 already.and when i looked into the 700r4 it was about 2000.00 to have it built and if the TV cable is not just right it will burn the tranny up quick and that ment rebuild time again. its alot cheaper to rebuild a th350 or th400.the GV unit was a direct bolt in took about 8hrs to install and i got the driveshaft the next day. total cost was $2780.00 yes thats alot but everything works the same(shifter,gears,dipstick,crossmember,converter)but just push a button and you have another gear.i have had mine for about 2 months now and its some of the best money spent.good luck with your overdrive choice.
 
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