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700 R ?

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  • 700 R ?

    Hello; I'm wondering if anyone has ever put a 700 R trans behind a 259? I know it has been done several times with a 289. There are some torque considerations, as well as h.p. differences between the two engines. I have a '63 full-flow 259 w/4BBl. If anyone has done it, what has been the overall end results? Thank you, Jim

  • #2
    No difference...
    These transmissions were used behind V-6's and V-8' no problem there!

    A better alternative is the 200-4R. It's got a better overall gear ratio design. The shift from first to second is the same as second to third. The 700...first gear is too low for anything....comfort, performance, milage....anything. That's why the design change.
    As for strength, a shift kit and normal rebuild is fine for most 259 / 289 Studes. If you've got a hot rod...they can be built to withstand over 600hp. Just ask the 8 sec. Buick Grand National guys.

    The 200 is lighter, smaller overall diameter than the 700 also. Similar in cost for a normal rebuild.

    Even the overdrive is a little steeper.

    I've got a light duty version ready for my 299 I'm building for my Conestoga and an **"expensive"** one for my 550hp Chevy powered Lark.

    Something to look into.


    • #3
      Thank you, Mike. Thats good info. What rear-end ratio would you recommend? It's going into a 53 coupe. I was thinking about a 2004R as well. Thanks again, Jim


      • #4
        While I agree that the 200R4 is a good choice...I disagree that the 1st gear in the 700 is not good for anything. My 700 R4, 3.73 geared Avanti is economical 19mpg (hot weather and 75 mph) smooth shifting at low speeds and a "hoot" when the pedal is mashed. If you would like to have strong off-line performance and retain an economical rear end ratio the 700 may give you both great around town performance and low highway crusing rpm.

        The 200 wasn't a design change from the 700. The 700 was used primarily in trucks and Corvettes. The relationship of the two is a bit like the TH350 and TH400. The 200 in lighter duty vehicles is lighter and narrower and can be built to handle plenty of power. BUT, if your car could use a little help in the torque department and you wouldn't mind a nice pull from a dead stop...700R4.

        R2 R5388


        • #5
 use more than just first gear....right?

          When the shift to second takes of two things happen...

          1. Around town driving, second gear lugs. The converter has to work overtime to make a smooth transition.

          2. Spirited driving/racing, you have to rev the hell out of first gear so when the shift into second takes don't lug the engine down (was that low torque you mentioned?) out of a good rpm range to "properly" keep the car going/engine in a happy place!

          3. Both the above have a "slight" negitive effect on gas milage.

          I've raced and street driven both. Years ago, I talked a friend into reworking the three speed version of the T-200 for an old dragster he had to replace the tried and true two speed. Not only did it work....but...funny...he's making a living at building the T-200's now. You won't see a T-700-R4 in any divisional race car. Take a look, there are many, many T-200's in divisional Super Stock, Stock and many Comp. Eliminator cars.
          Again, I don't believe there are many (if any) T-700-R4 in the Buick Grand Nationals. If the 700 was better, they'd all have'em.

          After using them both in a coupla different cars....I'll take the T-200-4R every time.
          But...that's just my personal experience in using both.

          As for rear depends on the driving you will be doing.
          It'd be easier if you say what your general driving will be. Not too much on the ends of the driving curve, but mostly what you'll be doing.


          • #6
            The 700R4 is a Chevy bolt pattern and wouldn't mate to the Buick V6.

            And in racing applications the 200 R4 may be a better choice. Some of the fastest cars on the track are running 2 speed Powerglides, that doesn't mean they are the better choice for the street.

            And no, I can't say that I've experienced a 200 R4 in my Avanti to make a direct comparison but from a dead stop it requires only the slightest throttle to pull out nicely, the shift to second certainly doesn't lug the converter, even with a stall speed of 2200 rpm, and at full throttle it must be getting somewhere near the power band because it will break the tires loose.

            My point, was to offer a reason to consider the 700R4 as an alternative in a car that may not have a modified engine and is not running super low gears. It will give a nice 0-40 pull behind an engine that is not a torque monster.

            After about 2,000 miles with my 700R4, I kind of like that short 1st gear. The way it sounds at 1/4 throttle as it wind up to the second gear shift is music.

            And, I still agree the 200 R4 is a good choice...

            R2 R5388


            • #7
              There have been several magazine articles and web discussions on the merits of the two GM overdrive transmissions. Check out this source for their transmissions for street and strip, very interesting:


              Rumor has they did or still do the Art Carr Transmission development work.

              Dan White
              64 R1 GT
              64 R2 GT
              Dan White
              64 R1 GT
              64 R2 GT
              58 C Cab
              57 Broadmoor (Marvin)


              • #8
                Thank you all again for the responses. I live in Redding, Ca, so there are some hills to navigate, but I-5 is right out the back door, too. I want something that will be somewhat economical, but at the same time don't want to be in the right -hand lane all the time. I really would like to travel with this car. But with gas prices as they are, who can go very far, anyway??!! Thanx again, JIm P.S. I have a M-15 that I put a 289 w/5 spd. od in it. Now that thing gets down the road!


                • #9
                  The mention of partially about the strength capability someone mentioned......!!

                  If one can adapt a Ford engine to a Chevy trans., or a Chrysler to a Ford Over Drive trans., OR God forbid a Stude to a Chevy....well you get the situation, now....don't you feel silly!

                  I believe I also mentioned the gas milage situation with the lousy first to second shift.

                  Again, just me experiences.



                  • #10
                    Do I feel silly? Not at all...

                    My opinion still stands, in normal day to day driving with a car that does not have a very low rear axle ratio and is not powered by a high performance engine the 700 R4 is a viable alternative.

                    BTW, anyone interested in driving my Avanti to form their own opinion just let me know.

                    R2 R5388


                    • #11

                      Back to "your" comment about the T-700 "can't" be bolted to a V-6!
                      The silly comment was....that....about anything can be adapted to about anything.

                      A 55 Chevy with an Allison V12...has a T-400 bolted to it.

                      And I'll let most anyone drive my Conestoga with a T-200-4R in it. It should have the 299 in it early next year.
                      Then they can compair....not paying for the plane trip though!


                      • #12
                        I understand your point. And, agree that the 200R4 is a good choice in most applications.

                        Since I did my trans swap myself, on my back, to the point of fabricating the exhaust pipes and adapting a Camaro shifter into the Avanti console, I can certainly appreciate the possibility of a 700 R4 behind the V6. Before the 700 r4 I had installed an Borg Warner AMC unit into the Avanti, to obtain the first gear start. The possibility of mating almost anything to something is not lost on me.

                        The V6 guys would have no good reason to adapt the 700R4 when they can have a strong 200R4. My comment on the "mating" was a reference to my guess as to why the factory didn't choose the 700R4 to begin with. My 25 year association with GM on the retail end has given me lots of insight into their reasoning on certain things.

                        Anyway, I agree with you on all counts...except a properly set-up 700 doeasn't feel any different than any other trans. The 1-2 shift is not harsh, or strange in anyway. My 700 is a level 2 BowTie Overdrives unit so it shifts crisply but in normal driving it is as comfy as my Olds Aurora. I've communicated with a couple of Stude guys who did the swap prior to me and in both cases I was warned about the harsh, prolonged, uncomfortable 1-2 shift. After I ironed out the TV cable adjustment on my car, I supplied them with the measurements and they have rescinded their statements and feel their cars were tranformed in the process.

                        In retrospect, if I did it again I would look closely at the 200 simply because of the potential for a little better 1/4 mile performance. But most of my driving is around town, the longest trip so far about 100 miles each way at a nice 70 mph cruise. I feel no reason to regret my choice, mileage is very good for a modified motor, about 19, I cruise at 1900 -2100 rpm, and it drives like a modern car around town.

                        But, even with all the positives of the 200, I was trying to address the original question as it was posed. Assuming a stock 259 and the opportunity to gain some very crisp "stoplight" acceleration without changing an existing rear end ratio...the 700 is a CHOICE, not the only choice, but one that may have merit because of it's low first gear.(G)

                        R2 R5388


                        • #13

                          Do these Automatic Tranny's (700-R, 200R4) need a computer box to run the transmission? Please advise.


                          • #14
                            There are kits available that eliminate the need for computer control. These transmissions only needed computer assist for the lock up torque converter. The retrofit is fairly simple and if you purchase a transmission from one of the vendors specializing in upgrading older cars the trans will be assembled with the parts necessary to run without any computer.

                            R2 R5388


                            • #15
                              Hello again,

                              I was told that in 1986 ????, chevy. came out with a 700 R4 Trans. That particular tranny did not need computer controls. Also, could anybody tell me if the 200 R4 never used a computer control. If so, what year. Futhermore, the 700 R4 was used more on chevy's.Which car company used the 200R4 tranny. Please advise on this matter.