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help & info on rear end and trans


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I have put my 76 Delta 88 up on blocks and am going to sterilize the frame and under carraige. I have the tank,exhaust and bumper off. I want to remove the rear end, control arms and all. I want to rebush the control arms. What kind of job is this going to be? Should or can I get new arms all ready bushed?<P>There is a hole on the top of the passenger side axel housing. is there susposed to be a vent cap threaded in it?<P>Now, my transmission is not that great, so I'm thinking this might be the time to change rear ratios and get a 200r4. With my 350 which will most likely never have a lot of hp. What would be a good donor over-drive trans for my Delta? How can I determine my current rear ratio and how to come up with the similar final drive ratio w/overdrive trans? Where is the best place to get ring and pinion for Oldsmobile?<P>Did I forget anything? rolleyes.gif" border="0 <P>Steve

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Limited, sounds like you're missing the axle vent cap. Think it was plastic by then, I'd have to look under the Regency to be sure.<P>The axle ratio code is stamped into the RH axle tube. A wire brush will reveal it, but you may have to scour around the whole tube to find it, I've seen them on top, under the bottom, close to the punkin, next to the brake plate... When you find it, e-mail me and I'll decipher it for you from the 76 chassis manual.<P>Rebushing control arms is hateful work no matter how you do it. <P>The car will probably have either a 2.73 or 2.93 axle. 3.08 and 3.23 are about the deepest gears I've seen for that housing though a 71-73 Riviera unit will bolt in and lotta them had 3.42.<P>I've talked to my trans guy about putting a 2004R in the Regency which is currently a T400. The 200 and 400 are almost exactly the same overall length so easy fit. He recommends an 85-87 core as the early ones had some weak spots. You'll need the TVS cable and carb bracket which can be got from a junkyard 307 OD car and there were millions of those. Also will need to run a switched 12v source and a pressure switch to activate the lockup converter.<P>A good friend has a 64 GP that has a worked 2004R behind its 389 tri-power and it's an excellent fit for that car.

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On the bushings my concern was if there were anything that could go really wrong. Right now I need to locate bushings. NAPA has them except the lower arms to axel end. I want all eight.<P>On the rear axel thanks. I should find that number while sandblasting it off then. It does have pararie gears which is what I like but the benefit of a lower ratio and overdrive sounds better.<P>On the trans, would a 85-87 be strong enough for the massive 165 hp from the 350? wink.gif" border="0 I'm sure I could buy a donor car with 307 cheap, but them would I need to have the trans built some? Whats wrong with mine is it seems to go into a freewheel mode while coasting at low speeds but does not slip under power. Whats up with that?

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On the tranny topic: The 200-4r will handle your power just fine. Here are some tips for locating one. If you find a 200-4r, there will be a metal tag on the passenger side of the output housing. On the tag will be either a painted or stamped code (or both). Look for one of the following codes within a longer string: KZ, CZ, BR, OZ, or TA. Any of the above may have an "F" after this code indicating it was used in an 86-90 application. The number immediately preceeding this code is the last number of the year. For instance, the only number you'll see before the TA code is 9. It was in an 89 Trans Am. 200-4r trannys were used in many applications. Most of them are wimpy and have inferior servos and pump pressures. The "general issue" 200-4r shifted at 3700 rpms, had weak shifts and usually were teamed up with 2.14 gears making a short life for most 200s (hence, their bad reputation.)<P>The above listed codes shift higher, have superior servos, governors, and valve bodies. Here are the specifics:<P>KZ = Olds Cutlass/442, shifts around 4800<BR>CZ = Monte SS, shifts at 4800<BR>BR = T-type regal. 84-85 shifts at 4800, 86 shifts at 5200, 87 shifts at 5000<BR>OZ = Hurst/Olds.<BR>9TA = 89 turbo Trans Am<P>Don't waste your time with other codes. You could add the better valve body, but the governors are impossible to tune or change springs. If they were externally removed, trail and error would work, but you have to drop the pan to get to them. It may take alot of pan drops to get it right. Buy one of the following: any KZ, CZ, OZ, or 4BR/5BR. The 5000-5200 shift on the others will be too high for your lo-po 350.<P>Curtis.

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Oh yeah, you had other questions.. smile.gif" border="0<P>Final drive is calculated by multiplying your rear axle ratio by the high gear in the tranny. GMs three speed autos all have 1:1 third. Let's speculate... lets say your car has a 1:1 third gear and 2.56 rear ratio. This means your final drive is 2.56:1. For every 2.56 revs of the engine, the axles spin once. If you put in an overdrive and want the same final drive, find the axle ratio which (when multiplied by your overdrive ratio) equals the same number. If you add a 200-4r tranny, your overdrive will be 0.67:1. Using 3.42 gears will give you a final drive of 2.29. Using 3.73 gears will net a 2.49 final drive. In this case, the 3.73s will give you very similar cruise rpms, but add one lower gear to the pattern. Using 3.42 gears will slightly lower cruise rpms, but still offer a noticably lower first gear for better launches. Visit this page: <A HREF="http://www.f-body.org/gears/" TARGET=_blank>www.f-body.org/gears/</A> . It allows you to put in several parameters and it will tell you your speed at rpms in each gear. There is a drop down menu with pre-programmed car setups, but you can alter any of the fields. Put 1:1 in for third, 0.67 in for fourth, and calculate with different gear ratios and your tire size. Its fun.<P>As far as finding gears, look no further than you local junkyard. Find a donor axle and swap the whole bloody thing. A ring and pinion swap is a tough thing for a first timer. I'm ASE certified in alot of categories and I don't touch them. Just find a source for axle codes like rocketraider said (RPO codes work, too) and find a donor car with the right numbers. Before committing your cash, do yourself a favor. Pull the cover off and double check. Its always possible someone swapped gears in an axle marked as something else. The ring gear will be marked with two numbers. These two numbers are a ratio of ring teeth : pinion teeth. Divide those two numbers to get the actual ratio. For instance, 41:11 = 3.73. 41:10 = 4.10.<P>I have a nearly complete list of RPO codes and I think I have most of the axle stamping codes as well somewhere if you want it...email me.<P>On the topic of bushings:<P>Check these two vendors: Just Suspension and PST. I know the latter is <A HREF="http://www.p-s-t.com" TARGET=_blank>www.p-s-t.com</A> . They have factory rubber, polyurethane, and maybe even aluminum bushings for these cars. Also check <A HREF="http://www.globalwest.net" TARGET=_blank>www.globalwest.net</A> , <A HREF="http://www.southsidemachine.com" TARGET=_blank>www.southsidemachine.com</A> , and <A HREF="http://www.hotchkistuning.com" TARGET=_blank>www.hotchkistuning.com</A> . They may have just what you seek. I recommend against polyurethane with a factory trailing arm setup: they bind too much and hurt ride without really helping handling or traction too much. Just go with rubber. Most any shop with a press can press them in for labor time cost. I had my axle and trailing arms fitted with 8 new bushings for $40 labor. While the arms are off, do yourself a favor. Box 'em. Use a wire wheel to clean them up, find some 3/16" plate steel and weld the channel into a box, leaving 4-5 inches at each end open for obvious mounting reasons. You'll notice increased traction, less wheel hop, and a slight increase in lateral handling. Not too much of a big deal with a wimpy powerplant, but you'll be glad you did when you drop in that 403 you'll be wishing for some day.<P>Good luck

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Thanks guys! I decided on the rubber a long time ago. I'm sandblasting everything. Wasnt sure if I should box arms. I read that topic on that a month or so ago. I probably will though because they will be a little thinner from the North East Rust. Want to add a sway bar also.<P>Sounds like one of those rusted out Monty SS's no one can sell might be a good donor. If I got a Buick or Olds I'd feel obligated to fix that to. wink.gif" border="0 <P>On these rear axels - what year ranges and models fit that housing? I read a long time ago about how to check gear mesh and it sounds like a lot of putting together and taking apart. Would be fun but I'd prefer a easier way. I's aint scart tho! cool.gif" border="0 <P>On the rear end are the bolts that hold the arms on just bolts or are they "no longer available" shoulder bolts? I've heard and seen all things and I'm concerned that they will be set to the bushing inner sleeve. Then if I torch them and their shoulder bolts will I be in for that "your looking for what" problem? I want to pull that whole thing out Sat.

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On the 200-4r: <BR>I've heard that there were some BOP-only 4r's that were made, but I've never seen one (and I've seen hundreds). The universal ones are easy to spot because they have both bolt patterns. Looking behind a BOP engine, the casting doesn't match up the the block. It almost looks like its not supposed to be there.<P>On the axle housing questions:<BR>I'm not as sure on the older cars. They should all be 8.5" right? any of the same car should swap the axle right over. Sorry I couldn't be more help, but I'm really thick into 78-88 right now. Good luck<P>Curtis Mittong

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Nothing wrong with 77-88. Except get your parts now, their getting crushed like crazy, I guess those guys need to make room for the cars from the 90's because the call for parts from the 80's is way down. Cant find anything from the 70's in most yards.<P>BUMMER!

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