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View Full Version : Whats a good Auto Tranny for a pontiac 400 engine?



Mr.VENGEANCE
07-30-2006, 07:26 AM
going to daily it so id like something suited to it.

anyone got some ideas?

thanks fellas!:grouphug:

Marauder
08-15-2006, 05:42 PM
If you want to stay automatic I'd have to say the 7004R with a performance rebuild and a good torque converter. The 7004R requires and adapter plate while the 2004R will bolt right up however they typically aren't as strong. I have a great article about doing the swap in a '70 GTO. I installed one in mine and love it.

Too big to attach, I'll see it I can email it to ya.

streetfytr68
08-15-2006, 06:38 PM
Once you've tried electronic, you never go back. It's that good.

Marauder
08-15-2006, 11:12 PM
Once you've tried electronic, you never go back. It's that good.

Only after reading another thread did I come to understand that you could use a 4LE60/80 in the older cars. The major difference is just the electronic controller made by TCI or others for around $650???

streetfytr68
08-16-2006, 10:39 AM
More specifically, the major difference between a 700R4 and a 4L60E is the computer--and a throttle position sensor instead of a TV cable. A 4L80E is more involved from an installation standpoint, but the function is the same.

Mr.VENGEANCE
12-28-2008, 12:13 PM
Now on the hunt.. bumping a back from the dead thread!

anyone know the best place to buy a pro built out of the box reasonable priced tranny for my GTO?

I talked to my mechanic and he talked me out of a 700r4.. and i dont think hes too adept at putting in an electronic 4l60e.. so i guess i dont have many options.. unless the 700r4 is built to hold up against pontiac tourque..


help!

Roadbuster
12-28-2008, 12:27 PM
Now on the hunt.. bumping a back from the dead thread!

anyone know the best place to buy a pro built out of the box reasonable priced tranny for my GTO?

I talked to my mechanic and he talked me out of a 700r4.. and i dont think hes too adept at putting in an electronic 4l60e.. so i guess i dont have many options.. unless the 700r4 is built to hold up against pontiac tourque..


help!

Sounds like it is time for a TKO600!

Jon

Mr.VENGEANCE
12-28-2008, 12:37 PM
wheres a good place that sells those?

trying to keep my cost low on this girl..

streetfytr68
12-28-2008, 01:27 PM
Engine specs? Also what is final drive ratio and tire diameter.

Roadbuster
12-28-2008, 01:45 PM
wheres a good place that sells those?

trying to keep my cost low on this girl..

Girl? I thought that was Bonnie. No wonder Clyde is not happy :)

Summit has them, they are a five speed trans that handles 600 ft lbs of torque out of the box. They are not cheap about $2200 not including clutch and scatter shield.

You pretty much killed the auto since you eliminated the 700R4 and electronic trans. 200-4R can be built to handle the Pontiac torque but according to Feb2009 PHR the 700R4 is stronger to begin with. 700R4 has some line pressure and linkage issues that need to set up right for them to live. 200-4R is simpler. Either one you have to figure out the lockup torque converter.

The 700R4 or 200-4R is the easiest to install just need to relocate the trans crossmember and shorten the driveshaft. You can even keep the his and hers shifter.

You can stick with TH400 but then just have yours rebuilt. That is the cheapest route.

A stock 400 pontiac puts out 445 ft lbs of torque at 3500 rpm so you need a solid trans.

Jon

Mr.VENGEANCE
12-28-2008, 02:37 PM
hahaha Yea its Clyde thats hurt.. makes me sad too.. ive been driving him DAILY for almost a month!
i could do a 700r4 but i got to be sure that it can handle the torque.. didnt know that the stock 400s torque is that high!


and the gear ratio is stock (for now) but ill probably go to 373s and tire size will be 275 40 17s in the rear..

but if there is a 700r4 that can handle it then ill go that route.

i was trying to stay right at 1000 bucks but well have to see what we got..

megaladon6
12-28-2008, 03:22 PM
http://www.bowtieoverdrives.com/catalog/catalog_inc/viewitem.php?ITEMID=12
the 700 is slightly stronger, than the 200-4r, stock. however it had more problems when it first came out, and the early 4l60e had problems of their own. but they can both be built to take over 800hp.
as mentioned the post '84 200-r4 has a dual bolt pattern and can be used on BOP or chevy motors.
however, i'd go electronic if you can, the only extra work to it is installing the TCM and one wiring harness. plus you can get the newer varients like the 4l65e, 5l50, 6l50 etc.

slowcamaro
12-28-2008, 03:25 PM
http://www.700r4l60e.com/ - Dana at pro-built should be able to handle it. One of the top players in the game when it comes to auto trannys as far as I'm concerned.

http://www.jakesperformance.com/ - Jake may also be worth calling. I'm not sure if hes in country at the moment. He built my trans.

I'm sure theres also a few board sponsers that can build a 700 thats up to the task.

streetfytr68
12-28-2008, 04:39 PM
hahaha Yea its Clyde thats hurt.. makes me sad too.. ive been driving him DAILY for almost a month!
i could do a 700r4 but i got to be sure that it can handle the torque.. didnt know that the stock 400s torque is that high!


and the gear ratio is stock (for now) but ill probably go to 373s and tire size will be 275 40 17s in the rear..

but if there is a 700r4 that can handle it then ill go that route.

i was trying to stay right at 1000 bucks but well have to see what we got..

At $1000 you'd be best to avoid overdrive. Or scrounge up a very clean 2WD 4L80E for about $350. A good converter and shift kit will take you to the $1000 mark and steal the TCU from Vengeance. Otherwise, for under a grand it's TH400.

6'9"Witha69
12-28-2008, 06:20 PM
It'll be 2,000 minimum for a 700 conversion. I can vouch for Bowtie, as they are the only ones who have built a 700 capable to handle my 542 ft/lbs and be beat on repeatedly through up and down shifts, constant accel/decel in 2nd, etc. They are very good for the price.

Marauder
12-28-2008, 09:59 PM
I've got a built (with the Transpack kit) 700R4 in my '69 GTO that is getting replaced with the Tremec TKO600. It has 5000 easy miles on it, I just decided that I'd rather shift gears myself.

Hadn't really thought about it before but I might as well sell it as I don't really plan on going back and I have the original TH400 anyway.

I have the shortened driveshaft to match, adapter plate and B&M Racing 2400 stall converter.

Let me know if you are interested.

Marauder
12-29-2008, 06:36 AM
To convert to a 7004R you also need to change the flexplate or drill another set of holes in the stock one to mount to the new torque converter. If memory serves, this is the one I used:

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?part=TCI%2D399673&view=32&N=700+115

The picture they show is not representative of what the actual flex plate looks like though.

T_Raven
12-29-2008, 07:14 AM
I know you are looking for an auto but since the tko600 was mentioned a couple times I just wanted to point out that there is a seller on ebay who has them for $2,000. That's the best price I've seen.

If you are wanting overdrive don't forget about the Gear Venders unit, though it's not cheap either. But really to stay under a grand you probably won't get over drive unless you stick with a stock trans and then you'll have to be careful with it.

Also I'm pretty sure the turbo buick guys are running 10's with the 200-4r, but one built to that level will be a couple Gs. I think I'll rebuild one with a few upgraded parts for my 69 tempest, but it's just a cruiser with a 350.

Mr.VENGEANCE
12-29-2008, 10:10 PM
im looking at this tranny..

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/PONTIAC-TURBO-400-PRO-STREET-TRANSMISSION-STAGE-3-VB_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZ66Q3a2Q7c65Q3a3Q7c3 9Q3a1Q7c240Q3a1318QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhash Zitem360119127399QQitemZ360119127399QQptZMotorsQ5f CarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories

anyone heard of Jackson Performance in NC?..

i did some google searching and some chevelle guys said his trannys are pretty good..

anyone?

The Stickman
12-29-2008, 10:52 PM
I'm running the 200R4 and just bought a shift kit and shifter for it. Now I just have to find someone that can install it right. Now I am not and will not be running big horsepower anytime soon. But if I can find the block and crank I want it won't take long. And I love the OD on it.

HWYSTR
01-02-2009, 10:37 AM
Totally disagree with the line of thinking (and PHR) on the comments that the 700 is stronger than the 200, that's just nonsense. You want a lesson on 200s & 700s, visit the turbo GN site(s) and do your homework. Another piece of advice that many have learned the hard way. Don't go to BTO for a 2004r. Neither a 700 or a 200 will live (for long) behind more than 600 ft lbs, and over 450 ft lbs the life is limited, especially with slicks.

If you're stuck on going 200 (or 700), than there's only 3 places to go for it:

CK Performance
PTS
Extreme Automatics

JakeShoe (Jakesperformance.com) is considered also one of the best, though not sure how many he does anymore, or what his backlog is.

I just went through this with a Pontiac, and am now in the middle of installing a 4L80e, since in my opinion (and anyone who knows and isn't going to lie to you) it's the ONLY option, especially in a higher torque & horsepower application. A built 4L80e will take 1200HP/ ft lbs all day long and not even break a sweat. The most anyone will ever say a 200/700 will take is 800, and that's the limited life thing again.

THE computer to get for the computer controller trans is the CompuShift unit. Once you install a computer controlled trans, and you've 'gotten by' with one of the other 'fixed' units, you WILL want to upgrade, so bite the bullet from the get go.

Cost for upgrading to an OD auto is about $4500, be it a 2004r or a 4L80e, the difference is very little. A well-built 2004r costs bucks because there's certain hard parts that are REQUIRED to make it live, and those parts just plain cost. Converters for a 2004r, again, one that works and lives, are between 700-1000 bucks. If you are changing from an auto to a manual, you will see that the cost will climb up close to that anyway, so again it's a wash. A Gear Vendors unit is $2500, a good built TH400 is $1000, and a good converter, like Continental, is another 800-1000. Again a wash.

My BTO level III is being rebuilt by BTO (warranty, 2nd time), replacing the converter, and I have the TV Made EZ kit with a Lokar. Once it gets back from BTO, I'll sell you the whole thing for $1500 obo plus shipping if you'd like.

.

sporter
01-02-2009, 08:08 PM
I agree with HWYSTR, just went through this myself. Last year I decided to swap my TKO-600 for an auto (bad ankles/knees) and contacted Jakeshoe for a recommendation. My car is about 4000 lbs race weight and I have 500 ft lbs at the rear wheels before I hit the 150 shot. He recommended a 4L80E as a no maintenance option. He said while a 2004r "could" be built to work, it would be a high maintenance unit requiring frequent rebuilds at this power level. As Hwystr said, total cost would be close on both units. Since my car is not a race car I went with one of Jake's 4L80Es and a Compushift/Paddle shifter from Twist Machine. Also, with the 4L80E I'm good for about 200 more ft lbs of torque at the wheels than the 2004R if I decide to up my power.

The only downside of the 4L80E is the necessary fabrication to install. Where the 2004r is pretty much a bolt in swap, the 4L80E required a trans adapter, a custom crossmember, modifications to my exhaust and even more holes in my firewall for wiring. But the payoff in reliability and peace of mind is worth it.

In keeping with the US military's emphasis on dual use technology, I built a crossmember that also doubles as a trailer hitch for most imports. :)
http://memimage.cardomain.com/ride_images/1/1651/3601/4126800334_large.jpg?254917-001

Roadrage David
01-03-2009, 01:06 AM
ohh wel here are our 2004r cars with BTO level III transmissions. http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=kghSCRQDSyc
http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=BtgHOAzyTbg
the first car (from my frind) fried his plates due to the standard OIL PAN.
afther going to the bigger deeper oil pan and ecstra oil cooler and other convertor no more problem .
my own car the green one is going to do the cannon ball runn!!!!. it hase 3 oil radiators for the transmission. 90% of the trans failiers is heat.
both cars have 550 hp 577 lbs feet of torque.

critter
01-03-2009, 06:59 AM
How much wiring was required on the 4L80e? Are we talking 12 wires or 3 wires? Any input on the controller you used and other modifications to make it work? I'm guessing that was a stock TH400 crossmember you modified?

sporter
01-03-2009, 07:47 AM
How much wiring was required on the 4L80e? Are we talking 12 wires or 3 wires? Any input on the controller you used and other modifications to make it work? I'm guessing that was a stock TH400 crossmember you modified?

One harness goes from the TCU to the transmission, one goes from the TCU to the TPS on the carburetor, one goes to the paddle shifter box and one goes to the display box. Only the transmission and TPS harnesses need to go through the firewall. I have not used it yet, as I also have other parts to replace on the car at the same time. Hope to try it out next week-end.

http://www.compushift.com/files/images/compushift%20kit%20box%206.preview.JPG


The crossmember was an old one for a late 70's Camaro. Once I had the transmission bolted in the car (supported by a jack) and positioned where I wanted it, I simply bolted the crossmember to the transmission, cut the center section to clear the deep aluminum pan, bolted the cut-off ends onto the frame and tack welded the new steel plate in place. Then removed, welded and painted it. Not the most elegant crossmember in the world but its solid and functional. Of course, I had to move my x pipe back about 3" to clear the new trans.

b-man
01-03-2009, 08:39 AM
There is only one transmission worth using if you are on a strict budget and want something pretty much bullet-proof.

The TH400.

But you knew that already.:1st:

Sure, it's great to have an overdrive trans. But you have to pay dearly for one that will take abuse, as you have already seen posted here in this thread.

I'm paying in the 4K range for the 4L70E with a converter and controller that's going in my Tempest. The same car had a TH400 in it when I couldn't afford to spend big for anything more sohisticated.

I'm also running a TH400 behind the 455 in my GTO. It was built over 15 years ago, and stood up to bracket racing (running 10" slicks and using a transbrake) in the low-12s for 10 years of that time. Still working fine for running around on the streets now, and I do beat on it.

Just have a TH400 built up by a reputable builder (send me a PM if you want a good one built and shipped from CA to GA) and be happy.

Put a 3.08 gear in the car and it will be nice out on the highway and be good around town too, use a 3.23 if you're in town most of the time.

Overdrive transmissions are great, but not entirely necessary especially with big Pontiac torque working for you on the low end and mid-range.

Karch
01-04-2009, 10:08 AM
Did you specifically mention needing/wanting an overdrive?

In a relatively mild 400, a TH350 is very capable, plentiful, reasonably priced, and reliable.

Keep in mind that while 400 Pontiac's are strong and torquey, they are not the torque animal that 455's are, so you have more options.

Edit: Oops, I didn't see the second page (I am on my son's computer, with a 14" monitor...yikes).

Bart is correct, but I stand behind the TH350 for a mild 400 Pontiac, as they are lighter, a bit less expensive, and depending on what your car came with, you may not need a different cross-member or driveshaft/yoke.