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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 1978 ss from an older gentleman who didn't know much about its build just that the current 350 engine wasn't the original (original was a 305) and neither was the 1986 model 700r4 transmission. The engine was shot so I took a 305 from another 78-ss el camino and had that put in... after getting the TV cable adjusted it shifts good except... just HARD a jerking shift for 1st and 2nd then completely smooth.. I was told by the mechanic its because there is probably a shift kit..

I can live with the hard shifting if its not doing any harm to the transmission?

My question..
Would this cause damage if left alone?
And
If so, what would my options be to correcting this?
aannddd
Is it safe to tow a small load?

Thanks!
 

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If it's the TV cable, it could ruin the transmission, and quick.
Hi DeanOh, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. Hope you will meet members in your area and make friends. Have fun with your 78 and the community.
 

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Under light acceleration, at what speed does it make the 1 - 2 shift?
 

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The 4L60E (computer controlled 700R4) that I got with my LT1 engine and stuff has a shift kit. When I get on it, the 1-2 shift gets a little chirp from the tires. (y)
Actually, the usual thing that wears out transmissions is slipping. The hard shift means it isn't slipping.
 

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1981 400 4-Speed
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If it's shifting at what "you think" is the correct RPM, and the TV cable appears to be hooked up and working, I would bet it's got a rebuilt 700R4, that someone went threw and upgraded with either a modification to the valve body, or an aftermarket shift kit. Which (IMHO) is a good thing. Hard shifts don't hurt the transmission. They beat up on U-Joints, but hey, it's the price you pay for a 1-2 chirp. So, if it's shifting when you think it should, just enjoy the car/truck, and be happy... ;)
 

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If it's shifting at what "you think" is the correct RPM, and the TV cable appears to be hooked up and working, I would bet it's got a rebuilt 700R4, that someone went threw and upgraded with either a modification to the valve body, or an aftermarket shift kit. Which (IMHO) is a good thing. Hard shifts don't hurt the transmission. They beat up on U-Joints, but hey, it's the price you pay for a 1-2 chirp. So, if it's shifting when you think it should, just enjoy the car/truck, and be happy... ;)
X2!! 👍
 

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1984 El Camino
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I did exactly what you did, bought a 1984 El Camino from an older gentleman that didn't know much about the car. He was a Vietnam Vet and had cancer and no longer had the drive to work on the car. I gave him his asking price and rolled the dice. Love the car and I'm happy I bought it but the engine and tranny were nothing like he said.

I have a 350 and a 700R4. Had the engine pulled and went through it top to bottom. When it was put back in I was having issues with it slipping and it lacked the proper acceleration. It also would shift in and out of gear at around 40 MPH. Someone already said this but you will damage the transmission if it is not set correctly. I would bring it to a good transmission shop. You need to basically interview them to see if they know how to work on on older cars. I was lucky and found someone in the Dallas area. My transmission was all wrong, incorrect linkage and the tranny needed a re-build. Still waiting on one part and it should be done. Good luck!
 

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I did exactly what you did, bought a 1984 El Camino from an older gentleman that didn't know much about the car. He was a Vietnam Vet and had cancer and no longer had the drive to work on the car. I gave him his asking price and rolled the dice. Love the car and I'm happy I bought it but the engine and tranny were nothing like he said.

I have a 350 and a 700R4. Had the engine pulled and went through it top to bottom. When it was put back in I was having issues with it slipping and it lacked the proper acceleration. It also would shift in and out of gear at around 40 MPH. Someone already said this but you will damage the transmission if it is not set correctly. I would bring it to a good transmission shop. You need to basically interview them to see if they know how to work on on older cars. I was lucky and found someone in the Dallas area. My transmission was all wrong, incorrect linkage and the tranny needed a re-build. Still waiting on one part and it should be done. Good luck!
Keep us posted please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone! I took it to a local speed shop and the mechanic was nice enough to ensure the cable was adjusted correctly and took it for a drive, he said everything seems to be shifting correctly just with an "added boost" he agreed and said most likely the transmission has been built up. Didnt even end up charging me!
 

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I've seen so many nice running Turbo 400 and 350 transmissions ruined by those shift kits. The only thing I want that shift kit to do is give me the ability to stay in any gear I want...

Having a rough shifting transmission will usually crack the case in the Turbo 400..
 

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Thanks everyone! I took it to a local speed shop and the mechanic was nice enough to ensure the cable was adjusted correctly and took it for a drive, he said everything seems to be shifting correctly just with an "added boost" he agreed and said most likely the transmission has been built up. Didnt even end up charging me!
Glad things worked out Dean 👍
 
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