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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Country Flag: Canada

    new trans time...what would you do?

    this topic is likely to have been beaten to death but my group of local hot rodders doesnt agree with me so hear me out...

    1970 Chevelle 350CI - TH350 - with soon to be 12 bolt with 3:08s - that will be upgraded after i decide what to do with my transmission.



    My current TH350 is slipping when i down shift basically in third i will give it WOT it downshifts but just revs up until i back off. A full rebuilt with shift kit, new clutches and steels is about $1100. However i thought this might be a good time to put in a overdrive, so after research i like the 200R as its basically bolt in, the first to second gearing is aggressive and give me my OD, i can have it built up to 500 HP for $2500 locally.

    Now in the back of my mind i am getting the LS itch but an LS swap will cost me around $10,000 all in including engine, trans, computer, gauges, front accessories, intake, headers, etc. etc. but i can also buy another car for $10,000 like a older 5.0 notchbody or something like that to play around in and just drive the chevelle as a cruiser or a autocross fun car once in a while. If i was gonna go LS id do a 6.0 combo with a 4l80e OR i could do the 6.0 with the 200R.

    My local group of hot rodders say to go with the 4l80e now bolted up to the 350 buy the stand alone wiring harness to control the trans and adapt my speedo, but these guys are all pro LS and dont agree with the paragraph above.

    So long story short what would you do?

    Keep the chevelle as a nice cruiser that can handle on the autocross track once in a while with a nice OD. Or turn the chevelle into a 6.0L monster 450-500HP with a 4l80e.

    I really only want to spend the money once and buy a transmission that will work for both applications IF i decide to go to a LS in a few years.

    i guess another option is to add EFI to my 350 but thats a whole other topic.
    1970 Chevelle Malibu 350 "70 Hell"
    - UMI - Kore3 - LS1 4 wheel discs - Budnik


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    You don't have to spend $10k for a LS swap, it can be done for way less.

    For your current engine, why not do a 4L60e with a standalone controller?

    Andrew
    1970 GTO Version 2.0
    1967 Cougar build
    GM High-Tech Performance feature
    My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
    Instagram @projectgattago

    "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

  3. #3
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    Apr 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewb70 View Post
    You don't have to spend $10k for a LS swap, it can be done for way less.

    For your current engine, why not do a 4L60e with a standalone controller?

    Andrew
    Not where I am from.

    engine and trans $800-$1000 for a miled our junkyard unit.
    engine mounts $300
    accessories $1000
    gauges $1000
    Oil pan $300
    Intake $300
    wiring $800
    Rad $500
    all the above works our to about $4600 canadian plus the motor so that $5600.

    add tuning $500, $1000 headers, driveshaft mods, fuel tank upgrades.

    So Iím at $8000 with all of above and we all know things donít always work out so the extra $2000 wonít take long to use up.


    Well Iím trying to stay away from the electronic transmissions as they need stand alone controls and then my stock gauges wonít work. Again thereís a chance I wonít do an LS swap so it wouldnít make sense?
    1970 Chevelle Malibu 350 "70 Hell"
    - UMI - Kore3 - LS1 4 wheel discs - Budnik

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Saginaw Mi
    Posts
    86
    Is a manual completely out of the picture? I Have really been wanting to manual swap my Saab 5.3 and when i do that i plan on using a CD09 from a nissan 350Z. Its a close ratio 6 speed that is very strong and are really growing in popularity. I saw a few of them on the jdm facebook pages going for 300-500$.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2013
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    69
    Country Flag: Canada
    I would love a manual, but the car is finished - i did a frame off 4 years ago and i dont really want to start cutting and redoing the interior to suit a transmission.

    I should have done it while it was in the fabrication stage..
    1970 Chevelle Malibu 350 "70 Hell"
    - UMI - Kore3 - LS1 4 wheel discs - Budnik

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70chevellemalibu View Post
    I would love a manual, but the car is finished - i did a frame off 4 years ago and i dont really want to start cutting and redoing the interior to suit a transmission.

    I should have done it while it was in the fabrication stage..
    A 700r or even 200r would work well for you.

    Andrew
    1970 GTO Version 2.0
    1967 Cougar build
    GM High-Tech Performance feature
    My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
    Instagram @projectgattago

    "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

  7. #7
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    Feb 2016
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    Lawrenceville, IL
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    "IF" your local guy is good and can build you a solid 200-4r that would be your easiest option and a good one to get you closer to where you want to be. I also agree with your buddies because I'm all for putting a 4L80E in anything, in my opinion they're one of the best transmissions ever built. I will warn you that the 200-4R is getting harder to find some parts for and it will only get worse as time goes on, and I would also have you really re-think using it behind an LS engine. Unless you're going to run an LS with a "4 barrell" throttle body set up it will be extremely difficult to set up the TV cable properly on that 200-4R and if that cable isn't set up correctly you'll be rebuilding it again right away. But in all reality, I'd keep the sbc engine, add an OD trans like the 200-4R or even 700R-4 and use the extra cash to go buy that Foxbody Mustang!
    visit us on the web at www.bowlertransmissions.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    69
    Country Flag: Canada
    So Ive spent the rest of the week thinking about what i want to do.

    I found a complete van with a 6.0L (LQ4) with 4L80e with 84,000 miles on it at auction, based on past results it should go for around $800. I was really into this but the dam swap and all of the standalone controllers and speedometer controls really just turn me off. Maybe im looking at it all wrong but its a big undertaking not as big as my restoration but in a sense im basically starting from scratch again.

    So I thought about maybe throwing a set of Vortec heads on my current 350, put on a new intake, throw in a 3000 stall into another th350 and be done. Should cost me around $2000 vs. the potential for a $10G LS swap and it could put me in and around 350 HP or so.

    The car will still have a ancient drivetrain but its 8G in my pocket for other projects or another car or another option is to leave the heads and put in a overdrive 700R/200R and be done.

    Any last words?
    1970 Chevelle Malibu 350 "70 Hell"
    - UMI - Kore3 - LS1 4 wheel discs - Budnik

  9. #9
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    Buy the van. It will have many parts that you can use for the swap. Modify the stock harness and leave it stock. It will run circles around your 350, and have a bulletproof overdrive trans. Get the Holley pan, mounts, and cross member. Find 4th Gen Camaro exhaust manifolds. You can do this swap pretty easily, and not spend $10k.

    That's my 2 cents from a guy that doesn't regret for one second swapping a 600hp 502 big block for a 6.2L L92.
    Andrew
    1970 GTO Version 2.0
    1967 Cougar build
    GM High-Tech Performance feature
    My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
    Instagram @projectgattago

    "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    69
    Country Flag: Canada
    I just went through one of your links to the Hooker swap page and a 72 Chevelle LSA swap link. Sounds like i will be able to use the truck accessories? I have Vintage Air Sanden compressor - will that compressor fit in the GM compressor bracket or will i need to buy a new passenger side compressor bracket to fit the Sanden?
    1970 Chevelle Malibu 350 "70 Hell"
    - UMI - Kore3 - LS1 4 wheel discs - Budnik

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70chevellemalibu View Post
    I just went through one of your links to the Hooker swap page and a 72 Chevelle LSA swap link. Sounds like i will be able to use the truck accessories? I have Vintage Air Sanden compressor - will that compressor fit in the GM compressor bracket or will i need to buy a new passenger side compressor bracket to fit the Sanden?
    Is this for me? LOL

    If you have a Sanden now, and choose to use the 1" forward Holley mounts (which is what is recommended for a 4L80e) then I believe Holley makes a low mount AC bracket that should work with the stock truck accessories. I would consult their accessory drive pdf to double check. I can't seem to find the link for it, but if you poke around the Holley website in the accessory drive section, you should be able to find it.

    Andrew
    1970 GTO Version 2.0
    1967 Cougar build
    GM High-Tech Performance feature
    My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
    Instagram @projectgattago

    "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her