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Thread: Late Model High Perf Automatic Trans

  1. #1
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    Late Model High Perf Automatic Trans

    Ok, for my 471 roots blower motor I am thinking of going automatic. What is my best option for a strong late model trans and where do I get an adapter kit?

    JK

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    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    My 32 #1.jpgFairborne Studebaker for the adapter kit. I put a 200-4R behind the engine in the roadster I built...

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    200 4r's are getting hard to come by and a bit wimpy for a drag car but I will talk to Phil. Thanks for the input.

    JK

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    The 2004R is indeed getting hard to find. Unless it came in a Buick Grand National, it isn't nearly strong enough from the factory to support any kind of brute torque. Most came behind wimpy V6's. However, several builders out there can build you a very stout version; some that will handle 600 + hp and torque. Two problems going that way; 1. Expensive, and 2. Some of the builders won't even build you one unless you can come up with a core. So many of those were discarded over the years. Friend of mine owns a Trans shop, and he junked close to a thousand of them, considering them disposable transmissions.

    700R4 trans is another option. Came in many pickups and suburbans. Drag racers don't like it because first gear is extra low. Not a problem for a street car with 3.55 gears or higher (numerically lower). Biggest problem with them is that if the TV cable isn't adjusted exactly right, you will burn it up. ALSO, and this is a big deal to me, with either the 2004R or 700R4, you have to come up with some way to engage the lock up converter. Always a pain, and you can find thousands of posts asking how someone else did it. There is always some weird compromise. Some guys just mount a toggle switch. If you forget to disengage it, the car will stall when you come to a stop. You can have the trans built with a traditional non locking computer, but IMHO that defeats part of the purpose for having the overdrive. Gas mileage suffers measurably with no lock up.

    When I built my 68 El Camino (modified to tow 8k pounds) I opted for the 4L60E. Same trans as the 700R4, but electronically controlled. Stand alone controller will set you back 600 bucks. Separate throttle position swithch will set you back another 70 bucks, and an electronic motor that takes the electronic speed signal and converts it to motion for your speedo cable is another 300 bucks if you want to keep a mechanical speedo (which I did because I wanted the car to "look" all stock). Some guys opt for a cheaper gps driven speedo.

    So, why would I spend almost $1,000 just for the peripherals to be able to use the electronic four speed? Easy. The transmission are a dime a dozen. I only paid $300 for mine. It was a GM Goodwrench rebuilt unit that was only used for 6 months when the truck was wrecked. If this one ever quits, I know I can find another used one for less than $500. They came in most of the GM pick ups and Suburbans for like 15 years starting around 1994. I can program the controller for firm shifts, program how aggressive you want the shifting to be, program maximum rpm before a shift, and program when the converter locks up. And, even though my speedo was spot on with the first try (according to the local constabulary) I had the option of progaming speedo output had it been off. It has been absolutely seamless for me. Engine is a very mildly built (high torque down low) with a roller cam and a properly tuned Q-jet. With a 3.36 rear gear, unladen, we drove it to Topeka and back (about 300 miles) and averaged 24.6 mpg last summer. Of course, it gets nothing like that when towing. As they say, your mileage may vary. Just my 2 cents.

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    Just a couple of things. The convertor lock up is very easy to deal with. Yes, a toggle switch for the option of decisive on/off but also run the current through a normally closed relay and wire the relay to trigger off the brake light. That way the relay will open and the lock up disengages when the brakes are applied.

    As for the mileage aspect. Yes, typically a top consideration, but this guy wants to run a blower on his engine. I'm guessing mileage isn't one of his top three concerns.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    A strange thing happens when a supercharger is added sometimes. One was installed on a Lincoln Mark with a 460. It added plenty of HP when needed and when just hiway cruising provided an additional 3 MPG from stock. Best of both worlds.
    Quote Originally Posted by wittsend View Post
    Just a couple of things. The convertor lock up is very easy to deal with. Yes, a toggle switch for the option of decisive on/off but also run the current through a normally closed relay and wire the relay to trigger off the brake light. That way the relay will open and the lock up disengages when the brakes are applied.

    As for the mileage aspect. Yes, typically a top consideration, but this guy wants to run a blower on his engine. I'm guessing mileage isn't one of his top three concerns.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
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    President Member Colgate Studebaker's Avatar
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    Jon, Automatic Transmission Design in Germantown (northwest of Milwaukee) does fantastic high performance auto transmissions. Call Charlie McCormick at 262-251-7777 and talk to him about your plans. He is extremely knowledgeable on what to use and how to do it right. He's built transmissions for tons of big name racers and for little guys like us, a real good guy. Hope this helps you out, Bill.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colgate Studebaker View Post
    Jon, Automatic Transmission Design in Germantown (northwest of Milwaukee) does fantastic high performance auto transmissions. Call Charlie McCormick at 262-251-7777 and talk to him about your plans. He is extremely knowledgeable on what to use and how to do it right. He's built transmissions for tons of big name racers and for little guys like us, a real good guy. Hope this helps you out, Bill.
    Excellent advice. The answer certainly depends on how far, fast and often you plan to drive. The OD would be the best for overall but if it's mainly to go fast for short distances, a couple of the folks around here that run built 427's in mid 60's Impalas use race quality TH350's. I was surprised they weren't running 400's but they said the 400's ate up about 15 more horses than the 350.

    Keep posting, I'm looking forward to following this build.

    Bob
    , ,

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    Colgate,

    This is excellent for me as Germantown is a hour away so that is a big deal with, "seeing what you're getting before it ships" and saving the shipping all together.

    Thanks,

    JK

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    Bob,

    Blower motor project is on the Racing site. Keep track there.

    JK

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    One other really good inexpensive option. If you don't care at all about having overdrive, a turbo 400 is bullet proof.

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    Mike V. tuned me in to a shop that builds the 200 any way you want. They got back to me right away and that's cool. I also pinged the
    Automatic Transmission Design in Germantown
    to see what they can offer in the 200, their web site is heavy on the Turbo 400, we'll see what they come back with.

    JK

  13. #13
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    Turbo 400 pretty hard to beat. I would not put a turbo 350 in anything but a daily driver. If it's a light car with lots of power i'd use a powerglide . It all comes down how you want to use the car ...dedicated track car or lots of street driving with the occasional blast down the track. I've done a few with 700r4s and a couple with t400's with gear vendors on them. I prefer the 400 with a GV on it if it's gonna be hammered on. With a small motor and a 471 i'd imagine you will need a pretty steep rear gear.

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    Missing in the advice given in most of this thread is bottom line cost. For some, getting it right doesn't matter how much. For CASOs, how much is all that matters. Either way, how much is a good thing to know when considering.

    jack vines
    PackardV8

  15. #15
    President Member Colgate Studebaker's Avatar
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    ATD's Charlie McCormick will ask you all the right questions as to how you plan to use it and how much you want to invest in it. He will build you the right trans for your specific needs. By the way Jon, I lived in Hubertus, Germantown, Menomonee Falls and Colgate most of my life, brother still lives in Colgate, hence my username Colgate Studebaker. Call Charlie and get it right, Bill.

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