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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

As a total noob here and to cars as project hot rods I am asking is there a "hammer simple" solution to all of the issues with these automatic transmissions?

Is there a better alternative in a 4 or 5 speed manual shift with a clutch?

What are the benefits and the drawbacks?

I need absolute reliability and affordability if that is possible in the same sentence.

I'm having issues with my 1984's 3 speed on the column now. Does not have overdrive. I like the automatic until it started giving me issues a few days ago. After reading the infinite number of possibilities that can cause issues, I am wondering if there is anything bomb proof and like a socket going on a ratchet - that just works because there is nothing else it can do?

Now I am already thinking about a replacement or possibly a manual shift. I just want it to be reliable. I am completely charmed by this car even in it's stock 305ci and 3 speed form. It just that at 28 years old I think that I am just begining to see a log stream of issues.

Ideally if I had the kind of money that it takes I'd drop a 350 crate motor in it with a matching crate tranny

What is the cost to rebuild my 3 speed?

What would a new one cost?

What would a rebuilt one cost?

Is there a better alternative cost wise in a 4 speed or five speed manual?

Is there a drop in for my car?

New cost? Used cost?

What would a 5 or 5 speed cost?


Thanks in advance for all of the great help so far you guys. I really appreciate the way people throw in here on this forum. One of the best on line!

Best regards,

Fiftysixer
 

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that just works because there is nothing else it can do?



this is the only thing that fills those specifications



Also depends on how you use it. Mornings here are 30-45 min stop/go driving to get the 4 miles to the interstate (there's 3 schools on the way to it). Driving that in my 5 spd Maxima is a PITA!!!! Autos run great with little maintenance most of the time. So do manuals. pick your poison.

btw, if you canvert to a manual, you'll have to come up with a clutch pedal and linkage, and then install it.
 

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I must not be firing on all cylinders today took me a minute to get Keyser's Brick joke LOL.

I wouldn't personally try to switch mine from automatic to manual but I don't know about your skill level. I know a lot of the guys on here have done it and love theirs. But I would switch out from 3spd auto like you have to an OD 700r4 or 200-4r. The 200-4r in my car had 380k miles on it before I rebuilt it a few years ago and just had started slipping. As far as prices you would have to talk to some of the other members. I paid about 1100 to have mine gone through and rebuilt and I think cores are a few hundred. The 3 speed I just don't know anything about. Without the OD you can never get very good gas mileage though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
New or Rebuilt 3 speed with OD

Thanks Andiamo and Kyeser for your replies,

Since that initial post I have researched the conversion to a 4 speed manual and based on the complexity it's a non starter so back to a rebuild on the current 3 speed or scouting out one with OD.

Can you please detail the differences between the OD 700r4 or 200-4r?

Please don't hesitate to be as detailed as possible - I am just a beginner with all of this.

Thanks again for your replies guys.

Best regards,

Fiftysixer
 

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Deputy Director Region 18 Participating Member
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..most of the guys on this site runs a 4 speed automatics with a stall converter and 3:73 in the rears.At least,you can't miss a shift in a auto,but,I've seen it happen before,next,How quick are ya on shifting 5 times compare to 4,or 3..??..you could find the parts to convert it over to a stick,be cool as heck..run a big cam,loping down the road,suckin up all of those little imports and spitin them out the tail pipe..yeah,I can see it....:beer:



:beer:
 

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Well its good youve ruled out the manual conversion, if you were going to do that the overdrive route is really the only way to go and unless you are adept at bone yard crawls you would be looking at nothing less than $3000-4000 for that conversion.

an overdrive automatic is by far going to be easier than going stick. Assuming your car is equipped with a th350 then probably the 200r4 is the way to go as length is roughly the same. you shouldnt need to have the driveshaft shortened. Also since you have a 305, you really dont have to worry about the tranny not being able to handle the engine output so you dont have to invest in high dollar performance builds of your automatic.

The TH350 trans mount can be used on the 200R4, although the 200R4 will require a spacer between the trans and the mount to correct your driveshaft angle. The TH350 trans crossmember will need to be moved toward the rear of the car due to the trans mount location on the 200R4

there are additional costs though, new torque convertor, a kit to control lockup, a TV cable setup for whatever carb you are running. Probably new cooler lines

No swap is going to be super cheap but I think you will find the auto swap to be easier to afford than a manual swap
 

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I just sold hkdup a 200-4R w/shift kit and all new seals for $250. Except for a minor brain fart on my part (incorrectly installed snap ring, easily fixed) he is currently using it to pressure test his U-joints! LOL This is an easy swap from your th350.

I have a TH350 sitting at MattyMan's that works great but needs all the gaskets/seals replaced (he was talking about doing that, but not sure if he did). I was asking $75 for it as a leaker, prolly $100 if he did the gaskets/seals.

Point being, look on here, G Body central, or MalibuRacing sites and you'll find a decent deal on a good trans. There's lots of them out there.

:poke:
 

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What kind of driving do you do? Highway or around town mostly? How far do you drive every day?

I did the 200-4r because that's what mine came with from the factory. But the more I learned about them the more I liked the idea of it.

The gears are the difference
2004R vs. 700R4
1st Gear 2.74 vs. 3.06
2nd 1.57 vs. 1.62
3rd 1.00 vs. 1.00
4th .67 vs. .70
And it supposedly takes more $$to make the 2000-4r take more hp. I know my deep aluminum pan cost a mint LOL. I was told there is less hp lost between first to 2nd shift with a 200-4r anyone chime in if this isn't true just repeating what I was told.
 

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I switched from the 350 that came in my tk. to a 2004-r tranny and love it. The stock crossmember would not fit on mine and I've heard others say the same. It doesn't take much to build a new crossmember if you have the facilities or you can buy a prebuilt from several sources.The driveshaft is the same from 350-C to 2004-R . WP:nanawrench:
 

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Welcome from South Carolina! I'm personally leaning toward a 4 speed manual for my '73 project, but it's a "start-from-scratch" project. I'm sticking with auto-column shift in my '78 Caballero parts getter:dontknow:
 

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My '56 is a converted auto to manual, converted from 3-spd to 5-spd O/D. I didn't do the conversion, so I don't know how difficult it was. I know it was a lot of time and effort from the 3 to 5 spd. My '87 has a 700r4 in it (was auto to start with, don't know which), and it works fairly well.
 

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im in the middle of a manual swap in my 85 elco i have a 350 with th350 trans now with 3:42 gears in the rear its fun from stop light to stop light but i cant drive at hi way speeds just waiting to find the right 5 speed manual trans and i will complete the install
 

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200-4r. I used a 74 kingswood estate x-member for a th 400. An overdrive control is needed. EZ PZ and I the extra mpg is nice.
 

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the down the road cost to repair the manual it 10 fold what it is for a automatic. i build my own and know the costs of parts for both. i can rebuild my 700 for the cost of the clutch alone in a manual.a gm factory rebuilt is about 1600$ for a 700r4. no brand new 3 sp auto s are available ,all gm trans are rebuilt except new model year trans.a decent price for a 350 c is between 600 to 1200$ depending on what is done to it and wether it is carry out or installed. for a 305 powered elco i would go the 200r4. its lower first gear makes it accelerate quicker from a red light and its 30% od makes it very easy on fuel if driven correctly. by the time you do a manual conversion depending on parts bought new you could easilly spend in excess of 3000$ shopped carefully you could do the auto w/od for about half
 

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his 84 should plug into the od trans and control the lockup as long as he still has the ecm operating
 

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here's a link to crossmember info. Using the crown vic xmember is REAL easy, and gives you double humps to clear dual exhaust too. They go for about $15 around here at salvage yards. Can post more pics/directions if you want.

:poke:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Keyser Sose

Thanks Keyser for the post. I didn't see the link for the crossmember info.

Can you post that.

Best regards,

Fiftysixer
 

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How far does the 350 cross memeber have to be moved back to fit the 200 4R?
 
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