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To Install 700R Or Keep The T85

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  • #16
    I'll be going to the NHRA finals this weekend (2 days, depending on the rain)....I'll count them..!! How many fingers will I need...?
    They are easy to spot....they'll be the cars that lift the front tires....rev the hell out of the engine...then fall flat cause engine has dropped out of its power band...and that huge oil pan.


    Can you spell Bonneville (per Jack V.)...that's how flat a torqe curve you'd need to make a T-700 work...
    Last edited by Mike Van Veghten; 11-08-2011, 01:39 PM.


    • #17
      I swapped out a TH 400 this summer for a rebuilt 200R4 in my '76 Avanti after having the 400 motor rebuilt and modernized to 360 hp. I have been very happy with the trans swap. The 200R4 gearing was almost identical to the TH400 for the 1st three gears. With the 3:31 rear end, the car cruises around 68 mph @ 2000 rpm's in the overdrive. I drove it to Gettysburg this summer from Chicago and got very good gas mileage(22.5 was the best, cruising around 70 mph). My trans shop guy recommended the 200R4 over the 700R4 because the 200R4's case is a little more narrow than the 700R4. The 200R4 has no problem handling the torque of the 400 motor (dyno test was 360 hp and 460 lbs torque after rebuild). The only thing with the 200R4 is to get a later made one for rebuilding and using. The earlier ones may be the trans some people had problems with. A new rear trans mount was needed for the 200R4, along with the larger yoke being replaced with the smaller yoke on the front end of the drive shaft. I got the trans mount, shift linkage, and shift indicator plate from Nostalgic Motors and everything looks factory installed. I'm very happy with it and consider the $1600 (Chicago area) spent to be well worth it.


      • #18
        They are easy to spot....they'll be the cars that lift the front tires....rev the hell out of the engine...then fall flat cause engine has dropped out of its power band...and that huge oil pan.
        Yes, true, but they're going to be lots of them there. The Camaro/Firebird/Corvette/truck guys run what they've got. Every drag meet I've been to, I see a bunch of late model GM guys going hell-for-quick with the TH700R4.

        Can you spell Sahara Desert...that's how flat a torqe curve you'd need to make a T-700 work...
        FWIW, the Sahara isn't really very flat. Maybe Bonneville? ;>) That's exactly what the GM cars which use the TH700R4 have. It really works pretty well with the R-series Studebaker torque curve also.

        We've long ago agreed given a choice, you and I prefer the ratio spread in the TH200-4R, so we're on the same page there. I did my TH700R4 conversion in my Avanti before I learned better.

        jack vines


        • #19
          If you're beng factual (?)...I'd say probably not, not what I've seen down here.

          Most Stock and Super Stock cars have moved away from the T-400's, then to the T-350's now to the modified T-200's and the highly modified Chrysler 904's.
          The Chrysler transmissions came about from/because of the T-200 GM powered cars. Not sure what the Fords are using for a fast three speed.
          I've got a friend that builds a LOT of T-200's for National Event cars. I don't have much knowledge about weekend racers, but the high dollar National Event type cars...haven't seen a one with the T-700.
          Scott's (Scott McClay Engineering) got Chrysler and Ford (as well as GM) SFI bell housings that bolt to his T-200's (the three speed version) for legal racing.



          • #20
            Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
            I think Tom meant 200R4 ---- ... snip .... Tom is correct in the fact that the 700R4 was built to handle big car and truck V8 power so it is indeed tougher out of the box. But if you are going to the trouble of installing one, you'll want it rebuilt anyway. The 200R4's main advantage is a smaller case size and easier to install in older Studes. In any case, don't go much newer than 91 or so as you will be getting into the E series R4's which use full ECM control. You want the ones with a TV cable.

            Bob, Yes, I meant the "TH200-4R" but I was using what was already stated in Gordr's post above : "200R" to stay
            consistent to the thread. I disagree that its required that one rebuild a trans, if you bought a known good 700, then
            just bolt it in and forget, I dont know about you, but I dont fix what aint broke. 1993 is the last year of the cable
            operated "700" (I dont know on the 200) which by then was beefed up a tad and renamed the "4L60" (thats right
            no "E"). If you get one from behind an LT1, it has the "Corvette" servo and upgrades. The smaller size of the 200
            would be helpful, I recall the 700 was a tight fit in the '60 Hawk. There is a Corvette one in the '56 SkyHawk in my

            Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten View Post
            Um...much like the much miligned Power Glide...the T-200 can be made to withstand over 900hp...!
            And for under.....$2000.00 the T-200-4R can be made to withstand ALL but the most powerfull twin turbo, built for Bonneville Stude engine.
            This...I know for fact.
            And the 4R version is much the same trans. under the skin as the three speed version.
            I'm having my second 200-4R built for my powered 54 wagon. The first one is behind my 550hp Chevy on my 60 Lark wagon. Both have internal trans. brakes for a more like manual trans. start.
            The builder knows that it will be drag raced, should have near 350hp.

            So much for Toms experienced comments.

            And yea...thanks for the catch Gord...!

            So to sum up Mike's post, "for under $2000 you can make a "200" last behind a V8" So then we agree? Good to
            know! Not sure what about my post prompted a direct attack and heavy mocking. Oh! Maybe its the facts, yah ..
            that could be it. I stand by what I typed, its straight up fact.

            Originally posted by Gunslinger View Post
            I've always understood that the 200R4 can be built to be as strong or stronger than a 700R4...GM certainly did it for the Buick Gran Sport. What many techs will tell you is that the 700R4 is already strong without the building up so they feel it's more cost effective.

            The 200R4 supposedly has a better spread of gears for most cars so go with what works best. My '70 Avanti has a 700R4 and my only criticism is first gear is very low and the upshift to 2nd is almost immediate. Maybe a 200R4 might have been a better choice...don't know. I went with the speed shop's recommendation when they installed the crate engine...they don't even want to deal with 200R4's...don't really know why.

            It did take some time to get accustomed to starting off without smoking the tires...that could be as much due to the front weight bias of the Avanti as the transmission.
            My dad's 1969 Avanti II with 327 and BW "Powershift" liked to smoke the tires off the line, I think its a light back end
            condition, though the lower 1st gear would add to it.

            Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
            While most of us know what you mean, the nomenclature is key to technical discussions. Here's what GM named these babies:

            TH200-4R and TH700R4

            And yes, Tom (AKA sbca96) will for the millionth time always advocate for the TH700R4 and denigrate the TH200-4R, while and Mike, gunslinger and I will vote TH200-4R. Some things never change.

            jack vines
            As I mentioned above, I was using the "nomenclature" already used .. and I dont know, seems like Gunslinger is on
            the fence. Just posting facts rather than opinions. If someone has an endless Paris Hilton-style budget, by all
            means build a "better" 200, if your like me and have to count your pennies, find a known good 700 and call it good.
            Simple stuff here.

            Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten View Post
            Gunslinger -

  's most probably the monster first gear in your T-700..!
            And yes, you are correct, the gear ratio spread is much nicer in the T200-4R. Whether you are on the street or drag racing. Many don't seem to realize both the benifit and the "downfall" of the super low gear in drag racing..or even for daily driving for that matter. While it will...get you moving still have to shift into second. The large drop, first to second is why you'll never see a T-700-4R in drag racing, while there are several builders building the T-200's for drag racing (albeit the three speed version..!).


            P.s. - When I had the T-700-4R in my old 67 Chevy II...I had it modified to be a manual shift trans. Saying that, I hardly ever used first gear..!
            I assume you mean TH700-R4 not "T-700-4R"? A TH700 not used at the drag strip? Um, really? As far as a
            "monster" first gear, its 3.08 for the 700 vs 2.74 for the 200. Its significant, but hardly worth "monster". Quite a
            number of vehicles use them with no ill effects. In the half a million miles I have put on this transmission and its
            later electronic version, I have never noticed this exaggerated drop off to 2nd. My Hawk used to break 2nd loose
            so it seemed to have plenty of power, when I had the speedo checked it almost came off the rollers. Maybe if
            you could build a decent engine you might not notice such a sharp drop? Not sure. I used a 3.31:1 axle, if you are
            seeing that much wheel spin, try a lower (numerical) axle ratio? Your info doesnt really jive, if there was such a
            major drop off in power to 2nd gear, how is it you could drag race taking off in 2nd? Seems like you did not do
            enough research on gearing to get your car into its power band. Look to what GM did. I never had that problem
            with my stock 1993 Camaro Z28 with the 275 hp LT1, 4L60 and 2.73:1 ..... for 265,000 miles of lead footed bliss.

            Originally posted by PackardV8 View Post
            C'mon Mike, there are hundreds of 9-sec and 10-sec Camaros running 700R4s every weekend.

            jack vines
            It seems that facts dont fit into Mikes world. As you point out, hundreds, perhaps 1000s of insanely fast vehicles use
            700s : 3rd Gen & 4th Gen Camaros/Firebirds, 4th Gen, 5th Gen, and even 6th Gen Corvettes, 04-06 Pontiac GTOs
            (05/06 with the 400hp LS2, a force to be reckoned with even in stock form) and the 94-96 Impala SS (still seen
            racing). These cars get abused daily, driven 100,000's of miles and keep on plugin along. GM never saw fit to
            replace the 700 (4L60) with a 200, and I trust their engineering staff is more 'in tune' with their design, than Mike.

            Found in a Google search :

            "Install a TH-700R4 with these existing 3.08 rear end gears. This car will launch like a TH-350 or TH-400 with
            3.73:1 rear end ears, so you can now have your stop light fun. When the Th-700R4 goes into fourth gear, your final
            drive ratio will be 2.16:1. (3.08:1 rear end ratio x .70:1 4th gear ratio in the Th-700R4 = 2.16:1 overall final drive
            ratio) With a 26" diameter tire, a 3.08:1 rear end ratio and the Th-700R4 in .70:1 fourth gear, your engine would be
            turning only 1670 RPM at 60 MPH. This is a pretty picture!"

            Chances are the OP will never see a drag strip, just wants a more practical transmission and wants to do the swap
            for as little cost as possible (like most on this forum) and the known good used 700 fits that bill perfectly.

            Last edited by sbca96; 11-08-2011, 11:10 PM.
            '63 Avanti R1, '03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, TKO 5-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves.
            Check out my disc brake adapters to install 1994-2004 Mustang disc brakes on your Studebaker!!
            I have also written many TECH how to articles, do a search for my Forum name to find them