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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have a question regarding a transmission swap.

I have a 1985 ElCo Conquista. It had a rebuilt 350sb transplanted after the factory 305 died. The transmission is a 200R4, and it's started to rattle and lag, unless I really slam down the gas pedal.

I was considering just getting a rebuild kit and going from there, but a few other options have crossed my mind.

1. Just rebuild the factory 200R4.
2. Rebuild the 200R4 but swap to a floor shifter instead of the column shifter I have now (not sure how well it would fit with my bench seat though).
3. Swap out for a manual transmission, 4 or 5 speed. This may involve changing driveshafts and rear ends as well, and again, not sure how well the shifter would fit with my bench seat.

Has anyone done this swap? And if so, what do you recommend; just rebuild what I have, or go for a manual?
Thanks guys!
 

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Silver Sport Transmissions (formerly Keisler) offers a 5 speed for G Bodies with a bench seat........Your 200 4R has a .67 4th gear, the final drive on the TKO 600 (close ratio) is only .64 which only makes for 100 rpm or so difference at crusing speed of 75. Not much benefit for the cost really (better gear spread and less power loss aside), you can get a nicely built 200 4R for less than 2k vs 5.5K for the manual. If you decide to go manual....don't waste your money with a 4 speed unless you already have one....your auto is better geared for MPG.
 

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welcome Ben

you probly need some better rear gears for overdrive anyway..
makes it a lot more fun to drive, and youll think you added a 100hp..
the 5th gens come with purty tall hiway gears..
heres a tire/gear calculator,
http://gtsparkplugs.com/GearCalc.html

as for manual or auto, that's all you
I'v had both, i grew up drivin 4spds
I like both, but I hate them hydraulic clutches,, so i guess i like a auto better now days..
my knees are gittin old too..

as for a floor shifter, i like the B&M Quick Silver, its a ratchet shifter
but it has a lift up style gate, you can go from park to drive and back easy too..

:texas:
 

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.....how did I not notice that was your first post.....
:Welcome!: from Yuma AZ!
 

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ON the 200-4r, getting the TV cable seet properly is VErY IMPORTANT to it running properly, and to extending it's life. When the 350 swap was done, did they use the stock Carb, or an aftermarket. Aftermarket's require a special bracket for the TV cable. Any of these could be your issue, and might save you the cost of a new trans ( if caught early enough)

More reading
http://www.tvmadeez.com/article/index.php
 

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200 4R is a better trans than many people give it credit. Personally I would stick with it and get it rebuilt if it needed it . If I was getting it rebuilt I would add a shift kit because I like a firm shift and depending on engine combination trans can be beefed up with heavy duty clutch packs etc. Also the 200 4R has more desirable gear ratio than the 700 R4. To swap to a manual would be much more expensive and the bench seat would need to be modified to clear shifter.
 

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Mike
I agree with you that if the car has a TH200R4 that can be rebuilt to meet the needs, that is a good direction to go in.

However many of us "prefer" the "more desirable" gears on the TH700R4. This is particularly true for some of us running rear ends from about 3.40 down to 2.28.

That lower first gear in the TH700R4 provides a more crisp and fun first gear response.
The difference in overdrive gears, "almost" helps keep my truck with 3.08 from lugging in o'drive at 65 MPH (fwy speed limit).

Trans ............................................... 1st . 2nd .3rd .4th .5th
GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 ............... 2.52 1.52 1.00 n/a .n/a
GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 400/4L80E ..... 2.48 1.48 1.00 0.75 n/a
GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 2004R ........... 2.74 1.57 1.00 0.67 n/a
GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 700-R4/4L60E 3.06 1.63 1.00 0.70 n/a

http://chevellestuff.net/tools/rpm_calculator.htm
 

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I agree with Gale and Mike, if you have one already keep the 200-4R. HOWEVER I don't agree with the "better gearing" of the 700, the off the line feeling of the 700-R4 may be better....but the 1-2 shift of the 700 will drop you approx 200 rpm lower after the shift than the 200-4R. If your engine has the torque to compensate then it wouldn't be a problem. The overdrive difference @ Texas highway speeds only favors the 200-4R by 86 rpm. Transmission shops prefer 700's because they are cheaper to build, and they can make more money. Look at it this way.....the baddest car (factory stock) of the time period.....GNX...ran a 200-4R (although, built better than the ones that came in our Elco's).
 

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I'd shoot somebody if they put a shift kit in my 2004R also ! I had nothing but trouble from a shift kit .If you like snapping your neck when it shifts,GREAT,go for it ! The 2004R tranny is a fabulous trans but it absolutely needs to have the shift cable set up CORRECTLY,or it will burn up in a few miles.
 

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Kyle
Clearly it is a matter of preference.

Since the TH700R4 2nd gear ratio is also lower, I've never had any difficulty with the gap from 1st to 2nd. At those low revs and gears, I am just like a low compression 350. Enough torque to not notice. Just enough difference that the ears notice.

If I had a TH200R4, I would probably never be able to go into overdrive (locked up). My engine is OK at about 1800 cruising, yet not happy at 1700. It isn't just the 65, it is that it fluctuates downward.

I guess I could go to even shorter tires. Yet, speedbumps are tough enough with what's on there now. Maybe go cart tires would be fun!

Here is an interesting thought on why some trans builders are pushing TH700R4/4L60E and newer.
One of the best known TH200R4 builders had on their website last year: (paraphrasing) "When ordering a TH200R4, you must provide buildable core for us to rebuild". Basically, cores got real scarce. They appear to have found some cores and removed the message from their site earlier this year.

In the supply/demand equation, this difference has more to due to the abundant supply of the 700/4l60E/4l80E (think mid 1980's to 2000 Silverados and Suburbans).
 

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Undoubtedly the 700 is more plentiful......nothing you have said is "wrong", we're just bench racin'. :smileyb:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the good advice guys!
This is my dd truck, mostly back and forth to work and hauling my bike around (1980 CB750 Cafe Racer). Eventually I might make some bigger modifications like intake manifold, cam, headers, exhaust, carb, etc. Right now I'm running the factory carb on the 350.
For the money I think I'll just get it rebuilt. The kit is $132 from Advance, and the mechanics where I work (Subaru dealership in Boone NC) will give me a discount on labor.
Heres a link to the kit I plan on getting
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/pro-king-automatic-transmission-basic-rebuild-kit-kb-847/10254181-P?searchTerm=transmission+rebuild+kit
JJLT1, do you think that B&M shifter would be a good fit and easy install? I'm leaving for Wilmington next weekend (312 miles each way) for a few days, and theres a lot of mountain between here and there. I'd like to get the transmission done before that, the shifter could wait if need be.
 

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as you said the shifter can wait..
heres the install instructions.. its not hard, just needs to be done right..
http://www.bing.com/search?q=quicksilver+instructions&form=IE10TR&src=IE10TR&pc=ASU2JS&pc=EUPP_

I would be more concerned with the trans,
just replacing gaskets, seals, and clutches, may not fix it.. that's not a full rebuild kit..
there are bushings and bearings that need to be replaced, and lots of clearances checked,,
before you can call it rebuilt..
the trans case may be worn past the limits too??
I would replace the torq-converter on a rebuild also,
install a cooler, and back flush the whole system, add some magnets to the pan,,
drive it a week, and change the fluid again..

then again
it could be something simple like a valve or governor sticking.. don't know??

there are lots of up-grade parts for the 2004r,
that's how they make them last with more power..

just sayin, not sure if I would plan a 600mi trip so quick, ether way..

:texas:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Some of the techs at work here suggested I just replace the trans entirely, saying that it would be easier and cheaper in the long run. I could get a new (or rebuilt) 200r4, or possibly a turbo 350 if i could still use the same driveshaft, and it would marry to my block without any issues.
 

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The 200 4 R is a fantastic trans ! You can't go wrong if you can get the 200 4 R by a "REPUTABLE,KNOWLEDGABLE," builder. Personally I wouldn't have a shift ( SLAP ) kit in my trans ! Been there done that and won't go back! I am running a 2:73 rear gear and love it . Good luck on your quest. WP:nanawrench:
 
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