Jump to content

What modern overdrive would you use with either a 400 or 455 ?


Guest

Recommended Posts

Just wondering if anybody has used a modern overdrive for a factory performance level Stage 1 from the standpoint of either a 400 or 455. Has anybody done this with a 430 either by chance ? What would your recommendation be. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too am wondering if anyone has put one in a full size Buick. My impression is that a 200-4R will not be able to handle the weight of a fully loaded Buick under full throttle. I think 6000 lbs. + 450 lbs. of torque would be to much for anything but a th400 or a 4L80E. They have bigger parts internally than the 200-4R. I wouldn't want to worry about my trans, especially an expensive overdrive unit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A good friend of mine has a GMC 1 ton dually with a Turbo 400 and a gear vendor overdrive unit and swears by the gear vendor. If you really build the 200-4R, it will still be marginally reliable in your application. Problems with the gear vendor would be clearance, as it would be with the 4L80-E. I wonder if anyone here has had success with the 200-4R in a 455 application? I had over 12 years at Olds and Caddy dealers as a technician, and saw WAY too many 200-4R smoked behind 4100 cads and 307 Olds V-8's, but I guess the turbo boys can make them live! For what its worth, Tim wink.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand that it would be a direct bolt in, but just wondering if it could truely handle the torque, and if its a common swap. I would probably consider the after maker Gear Vendors overdrive, but the cost is sort of stopping me, as well as the clearance issue which I'm not sure I would know the answer to, until I actually bought one, and put it in. As I understand, they run about $2500, but are rumored to be bullit proof, and do give you 6 forward gears in an automatic configuration. I too have heard about the 200 4R being marginal with their stock applications.

Hey Old Guy - I read what you said, knowing from your rep that you don't just toss out opinion willy nilly.....is this something you have done, or have dirctly come across with some regularity ?

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest John Chapman

In preparing to upgrade my '65, I've done a fair amount of research on the 200R4 and the 700R4. I don't think you'll have a problem with the 200R4 if it properly overhauled using the improved high performance parts that are available.

There are a lot of wive's tales about this transmission and the tendancy it has to fail. Some of them are based in fact and a lot of it is just babble. Yep, a 307 will burn it up, but my hunch is that the many you've seen have been the result of poor maintenance and improper setup. The 200R4 is intolerant of an improperly set trottle value (TV) cable, which will cause severe overheating and quick failure. The early 200R4s had weak stator supports and valves which did cause premature failure. These are easily replaced during rebuild. I suggest you look at:

http://www.paeenterprises.com/index.html

http://www.700r4.com/getpart.asp?cat=Transmissions&id=155

http://www.tpiperformance.com/index.html

A correctly built 200R4 will handle over 450 HP and all the torque you are likely to get out of a mildly tuned BBB.

Cheers,

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 200-4R in my 72 GS convert. It weighs 3990 and has a fairly healthy engine. (13.0s at 106) I lost second gear at Norwalk last year and went into the swap area and found that the GN boys had a cure for my problwm. I gt a wider second band,and a new second servo that applies 30% more pressure on the second band . This seems to have solved the problem. BB Sam is running a 200-4r in his low 12 second GS ,so if you have a COMPETENT tranny builder do it , you should be OK. The problem is there are different parts available for the 200-4R and your builder needs to know which is which. The guy that built mine did a good job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main benefits would be that you would now have an overdrive tranny that would : 1) give you better gas milage 2) lower your effective 1st gear ratio for better quarter times 3) lower your RPM at highway cruising speeds, beating the engine up less.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an '85 LeSabre that was originally a 200 Metric (is that the same as you've been discussing) and a 307 Olds. I Replaced both. The Engine is a 455 Olds and the tranny is a TH-350 with a shift kit. The place that built my TH 350 (that's all they've ever done is transmissions) frowned on the 200 Metric. I'm in the retail auto industry and most tech's I've spoken to are not fans of it. I think Art Carr Transmissions has the improved parts for building one up, but I passed on the cost. The TH 350 is a cheap rebuild. Downside, the mileage. I'm probably averaging about 15-16 MPG. That's about the same as most SUV's. But, in doing the math, I'd have to pick up a lot of MPG to go to the cost of the build up of a 200 and even then, the pay back takes several (or more) years. I don't race, but every once and awhile like to blow the doors of some Mustang of Camaro off the line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Installing the 200-4R in my GS was mainly done because my wife did not like the noise. I have headers, a mandrel bent exhaust system with a crossover pipe and Flowmaster mufflers. The RPM at 70 was 3300, and with the overdrive, it is 2200 and the decibel level has dropped dramatically.That coupled to a 3-4 MPG increase made it worthwhile to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My LeSabre probably has a 2.70 something rear (2.73?) so I don't think I rev quite that high at 70. However, lowering the RPM level is usually a good idea if only to save wear and tear on the engine. I suspect that has a lot to do with today's engines running 150,000 + miles with little in the way of repairs (assuming proper maintenance is done). The fuel savings in term of dollars would be somewhere around $3 to $4 a week maybe $350 in a year +/-. It might be worth doing for those factors. However, how would that 200 stand up to a 455 basically stock engine (8.5:1 CR, Crane Cam close to OEM, Edlebrock intake and carb, Cloyes dbl roller timing chain and spockets). I'm guessing Hp to be around 300 with quite a bit of low end torque. I don't race but every once and awhile, you know. I still have the 200 Metric that came out of it. I used stock exhaust manifolds, but have dual pipes straight back to low restricted mufflers. I have thought about going back to the 200 Metric, but so far everyone sneers at them I talk to. This is the first positive responses I've heard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have a 2.73 axle in your car , an overdrive would be of questionable value to you. I have a 3.31 in my GS,and i leave the convertor unlocked until I have room to run a little. If I lock it up the engine is lugging ,as I have a mild cam and it needs 2,000 RPM to stay clean. I have a 2.56 axle in my 37 Buick street rod, and a TH-400 trans. If I were doing the 37 now, I would have put in a 3.2-3.6 axle, but unless I change rear axle ratios, the TH-400 will stay in place. The 37 does not have the acceleration of the GS but it is fun to downshift to passing gear at 80 MPH and watch people's faces

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How much would a "properly built" 200 R4 cost, and does anybody know of a reputable tranny place around the Detroit area that might do it ? I'm thinking that if I might add a 200 R4, plus a Pertonic unit in the distributor to replace the points, it might add up to a pretty hefty fuel savings, plus wear and tear on the engine. I have problems as my cars can keep up with the traffic, but the RPMs are so high, about 3500-3800, or so, I would prefer not cruising at that for very long. It might not immediately make up for the cost, but I keep my cars for decades, so over the long haul, it MIGHT make sense if its reliable. Any ideas on cost of reputable Detroit place to have it done ?

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Old Guy,

Do you get more exhaust resonance (drone) at 2200rpm than at 3000rpm. I also have flowmasters on my car, but with 2.93 gears. I dread long city streets where I can't go over 40 and I have to listen to that 1800-2200 rpm drone.

BuickNut,

Sounds like if you want to take full advantage of an overdrive than you should drop in some lower gears ($$$) to give you more acceleration. Lower gears will also put less load on the trans. An Art Car built trans lists for $1242 http://www.jegs.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=2306&prmenbr=361

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Dynomax mufflers might be a bit quieter without the low end drone. They offer good flow through and are quieter then Flowmasters. While I have not heard one for myself, they might be worth looking into. Good luck.

Dynomax Mufflers

Paul Urban

BCA#38544

1970 Electra 225

4 Door 455 four barrel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I hate the drone...my gf doesnt like it either. I wonder if there are good exhausts out there that can eliminate this. Anyone got an idea?

Adam </div></div>

Spintech claims that their muffler technology nearly eliminates the drone.

OEM's use resonators but i don't know of any that will fit my 2.5 inch pipes, besides I like the sound at all the other rpms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...