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53 232 with 700 R4 transmssion

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  • Transmission / Overdrive: 53 232 with 700 R4 transmssion

    I've seen articles on 289's and 259's with GM 700 R4 transmission, but how well does it work with the smaller 232?

  • #2
    Even better. The low first gear gets smaller engines going quicker.

    jack vnes
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      Might look into a T-200-4R.
      Much better gear ratios than in the T-700-R4.
      The second gear on a T-700-R4 is gonna drag the little 232 down hard. The T-200-4R's ratios and much better, pull much more evenly at each shift.

      Mike

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      • #4
        2004-4R takes less HP to operate than the 700-R4, too...

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        • #5
          I'd go with whichever you already have on hand, or whichever one is easiest/cheapest to acquire. I doubt you are concerned with racing the 232, and either one will fit the bill nicely, and spark up the 232's performability. As for the 700R v. 200-4R, the debate has been going going on here for at least a decade, with no relief in sight. Every time it pops up, it turns out like your average oil thread, or electric fuel pump thread. Just pick one and go with it. LOL

          Comment


          • #6
            So...when discussing such a project as installing a modern (supposedly more efficient) transmission in one of our old Studebakers...anyone care to offer specifics such as cost estimates, modifications, tools, and sequence of steps for the installation?


            With either of the two transmissions discussed here, what kits/parts are available to purchase, and what must be fabricated? Are engine to bell-housing adapters already available? How ‘bout crankshaft to torque converter flex plates? Then there’s the old individual bell housing to engine “dial-in” procedure? Do you dial-in the adapter or the bell-housing? Once we get the engine to transmission connected...what mounts and drive shaft modifications are required? Can you keep the two piece drive shaft?



            Then, how ‘bout the linkage, and shift pattern? Can we adapt our old stock shifter to work? Is anyone making a correct shift pattern indicator dial? Can a stock backup light switch be used to work with the linkage adapted to a modern transmission?


            Then there’s this thing called a “TV CABLE,” I’ve seen in discussions of these modern transmissions. How do we get these things to work with our old 2 & 4 V carburetors?


            It is fun to have these discussions, but the details can be tedious, and the cost in time/money vs benefits must be considered before diving into such a project. I'm sure I have left out something, but I have never attempted such a project. The closest I have ever come to messing with transmission modifications was mating an old Lincoln/ford three speed top loader manual transmission to a 1957 Olds V8 in my Model A hot rod in 1964. A J.C. Whitney transmission adapter plate and a local machine shop pilot shaft extension adapter was all that was required for that job.

            But, for automatic transmissions, my experience has been mostly checking/adding/and changing fluid. I have changed a couple of rear seals. The best I can offer about those new seals...the new ones leaked less.
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jclary View Post
              So...when discussing such a project as installing a modern (supposedly more efficient) transmission in one of our old Studebakers...anyone care to offer specifics such as cost estimates, modifications, tools, and sequence of steps for the installation?

              With either of the two transmissions discussed here, what kits/parts are available to purchase, and what must be fabricated? Are engine to bell-housing adapters already available? How ‘bout crankshaft to torque converter flex plates? Then there’s the old individual bell housing to engine “dial-in” procedure? Do you dial-in the adapter or the bell-housing? Once we get the engine to transmission connected...what mounts and drive shaft modifications are required? Can you keep the two piece drive shaft?

              Then, how ‘bout the linkage, and shift pattern? Can we adapt our old stock shifter to work? Is anyone making a correct shift pattern indicator dial? Can a stock backup light switch be used to work with the linkage adapted to a modern transmission?

              Then there’s this thing called a “TV CABLE,” I’ve seen in discussions of these modern transmissions. How do we get these things to work with our old 2 & 4 V carburetors?

              It is fun to have these discussions, but the details can be tedious, and the cost in time/money vs benefits must be considered before diving into such a project.
              For true and absolutely, positively correct. This transmission swap is complicated and the details are tedious; but then it's also been done dozens of times by members here of varying degrees of experience and budget.

              Yes, if one has a professional do the swap with a warrantied rebuilt transmission, budget $3,000. About now one of our expert fabricators with a brother-in-law who has access to a NASCAR shop on weekends will truthfully tell us he found a perfect newly rebuilt tranny in the U-Pik and did the complete install for $300 and a case of beer. Your results may vary.

              Yes, all the how-to details have been already covered here several times; just not in the how-to-step-by-step-all-in-one-place.

              And yes, MVV is correct in his advocacy of the 200-4R. Properly built by an expert, it's a better transmission than the 700R4. It's also NLA in wrecking yards and will cost 2X-3X more than the 700R4 from the expert rebuilder. The other costs; adapter, torque converter, driveshaft, TV cable bracket, shifter, are the same regardless of which tranny is chosen.

              jack vines
              PackardV8

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
                ... About now one of our expert fabricators with a brother-in-law who has access to a NASCAR shop on weekends will truthfully tell us he found a perfect newly rebuilt tranny in the U-Pik and did the complete install for $300 and a case of beer. Your results may vary. ...
                jack vines
                Not an expert fabricator (but thank you for the compliment ), no brother in law with shop access, but I did find a decent, rebuilt 700R4 (looked under HUNDREDS of cars during many, many trips) at a U-Pik yard and it cost about $125 (and no beer) including the driveshaft (more crawling under cars), trans cooler, lines, floor mount shifter and console. When you factor in I sold the original A-12 trans for $50 it was about $100.

                But, here are the caveats. I invested a LOT of time rather than money. For me that is OK, I enjoy the process. If I were a billionaire I would not spend the money to have everything pristine and done by others. CASO and self determination are in my blood. I also only drive my car 10 miles at a time and a few hundred miles a year. I'm practical about the application of my dollar.

                And lastly, the main point I want to make my car had a McKinnon 283 and now has a 350 SBC. I did not have to spend significantly on an adapter to connect to an old design, lower powered motor. My point is for the cost of an adapter one can source a decent, used (GM) engine and simplify the trans swap as well as gain power. I paid $171 for a long block Corvette 350 with 66,000 miles and at about $25 each got an Edelbrock Intake/Carb and a rebuilt Delco distributor with a Pertronics module. $250 all in and I sold the McKinnon for $150. The engine swap total was about $100.

                Certainly not for everyone (the time/effort) and while I shouldn't be concern how others spend their money the practical side of me cringes (for them) when a lot of money is spent and the likely gain is minimal. Before I lay down in the road and let the adapter manufacturers and the purist run over my back just remember once you swap the trans - the car is no longer original. So, if you are going to do that why not simplify your life and swap the engine too? I'm just presenting another option. I'm not trying to bastardize every Studebaker out there.
                '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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                • #9
                  Gary Meek I am not sure how all of this Thread works but I finally got back into the system. About my 1953 Stude. It is a coupe , a commander since it has the 232 cu. in. engine with the total of 120 h.p. Rebuilt in 1974, engine, DG200 trans and a new interior(not original style) and new paint. It still looks as good as it did when it won first at the 1975 international meet. Problem is in the DG 200 transmission. I have about $3200 into it now with two different mechanics and Two rebuilds . Both mechanics were referred by club members that had used their shops. Second shop I felt good about the owner and he was the one doing the work, except for sending out the torque converter. While I could put in a DG-250 and get a 1-2-3 shift it would be another 66 year old transmission that no one will be able to fix as it ages. Time to spend the money and change. The question is has any one put a 700R4 in the 1953 with a 232 engine? I thank you all for your suggestions, and concerns but to me the old DG's are junk and I will have to take a chance on something new.

                  Money. About $1500 for a rebuilt trans and converter, $650 starter, adapters, TV cables, misc. This leaves adapting from 6 to 12 volt, transmission cooler and some say new radiator or electric cooling fans, which also need the 12 volts. Drive shaft, one piece or will the two piece be modified. Custom made cross member made out of the existing one or has someone found an aftermarket cross member that can be made to fit easier or better. Some tell me the under floor heater has to go and no I do not plan to install A/C. Transmission mounts? The suggestion of replacing the 232 is out because of cost and it runs great even if it is slow. I have put a lot of thought into this but not being a mechanic myself I have to rely on others and a lot of research. With this new information are there any new suggestions or specific parts you have personally had good service from. Thank You, I will wait for a response tomorrow.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You could also consider the Stude FOM. This is essentially the same transmission used in Ford (and many other) vehicles into the 80s. Should be plentiful and most any transmission shop can repair. Likely less aggravation as far as adapters and other headaches.

                    Then there is also the T86 with or without OD if you are not insisting on auto transmission.
                    78 Avanti RQB 2792
                    64 Avanti R1 R5408
                    63 Avanti R1 R4551
                    63 Avanti R1 R2281
                    62 GT Hawk V15949
                    56 GH 6032504
                    56 GH 6032588
                    55 Speedster 7160047
                    55 Speedster 7165279

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                    • #11
                      Being an engine guy I'd believe Jack when he says it will be fine behind the 232.

                      As to the instalation of the GM trans, I've done it a few times, twice in the last year. I can say there are several makers of trans to engine adapters, which usually come with a modified flexplate. To "dial in" an adapter they usually have a removable spacer to locate the adapter in relation to the crankshaft. I made my own adapter which included rear engine mounts, I don't like the idea of supporting a 700+ pound engine on an aluminum 1/2 belhousing, it puts way more load on the trans case than it was made for. The stock "wing" crossmember works very well and easily for the trans tail mount. The early cars don't have it but its easy to bolt one from a later car into them. The floor heater is not a problem, but it does limit working space. If you have it out of the car put it back in after the trans swap. It's best to use an "in radiator" cooler. If your radiator already has one it's a simple plumbing job, otherwise a radiator or external cooler might be in order. The stock Stude Shifter can be used with a little tweaking of the connecting rod, but you're on your own when it comes to a shift indicator. There are stick on ones available that can work. With "persuasion" the stock reverse light switch can be made to work if using a stock steering column. Aftermarket switches are available to mount at the trans that might be easier though. It can aslo be used as a neutral start switch. The TV cable hookup to the carb just needs an arm on the carb of the correct legnth to pull the cable completely at full throttle and release it completly at idle. The converter lock up, requires some very simple wiring, diagrams are readily available.

                      I paid $699 for a rebuilt trans, $91 for a converter, $125 for a radiator, $200 for an all new drive shaft, $12 for rear trans mount, $31 for Ford starter, $14 for TV cable, $11 for dipstick & tube, $12 for wiring, $14 for cooler lines, $6 for misc bolts and $35 for fluid. For a total of $1250 which includes tax and shipping. I made my adapter from 1/4" steel plate I had scrap from a job, but if I had to buy it It would cost around $30. In my Hawk, I've since replaced the stock steering column with a GM tilt unit which gave me a proper shift indicator and warning flashers at a cost of $182; $159 for stainless steel column and $23 for a stainless U-joint.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gary Meek View Post
                        Gary Meek ...Money. About $1500 for a rebuilt trans and converter, $650 starter, adapters, TV cables, misc. This leaves adapting from 6 to 12 volt, transmission cooler and some say new radiator or electric cooling fans, which also need the 12 volts. Drive shaft, one piece or will the two piece be modified. Custom made cross member made out of the existing one or has someone found an aftermarket cross member that can be made to fit easier or better. Some tell me the under floor heater has to go and no I do not plan to install A/C. Transmission mounts? The suggestion of replacing the 232 is out because of cost and it runs great even if it is slow. I have put a lot of thought into this but not being a mechanic myself I have to rely on others and a lot of research. With this new information are there any new suggestions or specific parts you have personally had good service from. Thank You, I will wait for a response tomorrow.
                        Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                        Being an engine guy I'd believe Jack when he says it will be fine behind the 232.

                        As to the instalation of the GM trans, I've done it a few times...I paid $699 for a rebuilt trans, $91 for a converter, $125 for a radiator, $200 for an all new drive shaft, $12 for rear trans mount, $31 for Ford starter, $14 for TV cable, $11 for dipstick & tube, $12 for wiring, $14 for cooler lines, $6 for misc bolts and $35 for fluid. For a total of $1250 which includes tax and shipping. I made my adapter from 1/4" steel plate I had scrap from a job, but if I had to buy it It would cost around $30. In my Hawk, I've since replaced the stock steering column with a GM tilt unit which gave me a proper shift indicator and warning flashers at a cost of $182; $159 for stainless steel column and $23 for a stainless U-joint.
                        Here, to me, is a great example of how valuable this forum can be to all of us. In one thread (conversation) we get to share some very critical information that would have taken months, if not years, to obtain when we mainly had to depend upon a monthly publication or face to face gatherings. In addition, we see two very different approaches to the hobby that I believe sometimes causes conflicts and unintended misunderstandings. For example, I believe that some of us, kinda look down on fellow members who are not mechanical or have no joy in doing mechanical chores. The flip side of this "mechanic vs non-mechanic" relationship is that some of those with the means to pay others sometimes do the same to us "CASO" mechanically inclined tinkerers for the shortcuts, and fixes we often make and are willing to live with. (and are often very proud of...even to the point of bragging.)

                        While the non-mechanic is always at the mercy of the knowledge of "others," Gary Meek's post is a very sincere and honest example of his approach/experience and pretty much lays out his challenges in participating in the hobby. His passion and dedication to the hobby is revealed in his words and investment.

                        Bensherb's approach, is time, time, skinned knuckles, and money. Either way, as long as the passion for the cars remains, the joy of "the chase," pride of the results...each deserves mutual respect from all of us. No matter what approach...we should respect each other and share in the accomplishment of a completed project whether done by skinned knuckles or a big payout to others. In sales, there is a term called "qualifying." It is where a true salesman is not trying to "slick talk" his way into a sale...but qualifying a customer to find if he is truly serous about his needs.

                        I have had customers call and request a complete powder coating system. During the "qualifying," stage...asking questions like, "what is your largest part size, weight, line size, line density, speed, and dozens of other specs"...you sometimes find that the customer has very little concept of all the factors involved. I have had meetings where very intelligent, but poorly informed, executives did not know that powder coating systems needed ovens, laboratory clean environment, humidity control, micron filtration, and air makeup systems. Thus, no realistic grasp of the required investment. That's when you "qualify" the project by offering a high-scale estimate/quote, that can be pared down later if they continue to show interest. Otherwise, your time is better spent with serious clients.

                        Same here with our hobby. It is easy to blast away with opinions and assumptions based on our personal talents, and knowledge (of lack of)...but the reality of the details is a true "qualifier." This thread should be a real eye opener, regardless of your approach. Thanks to each person who contributes. Be thankful for this forum. It could (and should) help save a few members and cars from becoming caught up in a poorly conceived project, resulting in discouragement, abandonment, and loss of cars & members.
                        John Clary
                        Greer, SC

                        SDC member since 1975

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Interesting observation John. You're correct on my account, I have no money so I shop around a LOT, but do have skills, so anything I can do myself and save money to spend on needed parts is the way I go. I do everything myself, but I may have to pay someone to charge my AC; unless I can learn more about the process.

                          My intent with this previous post was to answer from experiance some of Gary's questions and some points you brought up, as well as offer some relitive idea of parts costs if you shop around. Adapter kits run around $400, add that to my $1250 brings parts to $1650. If I were to pay someone to do the swap, I'd expect to pay another $1650 to $2000 for labor, makeing the total job around $3500.

                          One last $.02 I'll toss in. I shy away from the 200-4R primarily because it's 3 1/16" shorter than the 700R4. If using a one piece drive shaft it's already long with the 700r4, adding 3+ inches to it makes it very long, potentially creating more problems to deal with.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            I have built two adapters for the small 2.8 litre GM 700 transmission that I put behind my ohv six and now my 59 flathead and the rear end ratio was more critical to performance.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 007 View Post
                              I have built two adapters for the small 2.8 litre GM 700 transmission that I put behind my ohv six and now my 59 flathead and the rear end ratio was more critical to performance.
                              What ratio worked best for you?

                              jack vines
                              PackardV8

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