Team Camaro Tech banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,411 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

Thanks for your responses on the earlier post.

I have narrowed down my choices to replace my Super T-10 4 speed in my 1969 Camaro to a 4L80 (with a full manual valve body and no electronics) or a THM 400 full manual valve body w/ a gear vendors unit behind it. It's about $600 to $800 more for the THM 400 w/ Gear Vendors than a 4L80..Three grand vs $3,600 or $3,800... This does not include Torque Converter, trans cooler, shifter, etc. This car will be about 80% street, 20% strip. But I like the features with a full manual valve body. Which one would you choose? THM400 w/ Gear Vendors or 4L80E both w/ full manual valve bodies? :confused:


As far as the 200 4R forget it!! I know alot of you guys like that trans. That thing is garbage behind a toque monster big block.. I've talked to a few guys here in the Chicago area and they laughed. One trans builder said have you seen the input drum on that thing? Do you know how small it is on the 200-4R.. They also said the sprag's on 200 4r's are much smaller than a 700R4/4L60/4l65E Here is a photo of the 200 4R input drum & sprag vs a later model 700R4 http://www.chevyhiperformance.com/techarticles/46278_automatic_transmission_overdrive_install/

One trans builder told me that the 200 4R uses the same rear planetary gear set up as the garbabe turbo 200. I told him why do the Grand National's run 200 4r's? His resposne was to get those things to run in the 10's & 8's they need massive turbo's, & nitrous and it won't have a 200R4 behind it...It wil be a THM400!!.... He also said ask yourself this? Why did the only 3rd or 4th gen Camaro or Firebird that used a 2004R have a Buick V6 in it (the 1989 10th Anniv. T/A)? Answer the 3.8LV6 Buick does not have the torque that even the 1989-2002 5.7L Camaro's had stock vs stock. The 4th Gen Camaro's with LS1's in them had the 4L60E/4L65E, Police cars ran the 700R4/4L60 which became the 4L60E and 4L65E. Yes he said the 1982-1986 700R4's were junk but since 1987 they have been fine. Not for massive BBC's though, but still better than a 2004R... Why did GM put the 700R4 & it's electronic cousins 4L60 & 4L65E behind V8's in Corvette's & Police Cars instead of that junk 2004R. It's because the 2004R is the old THM200 in elctronic version.They further continued that a stock V6 1987 GN or 1987 GNX does not make the torque or power of a 2002 LS1. Yes for along time that aftermarket ignored the 700R4 but in the past 12 months or so they have stepped up big time. The 2004R can be made to withstand lots of horsepower but put it behind a 496BBC, 502, 550, 572 or 640 BBC torque monster and you will have confetti. Even a 454 BBC will roast than thing.

Guys, it's a fact. The 231 Buick V6 will not make the torque those massive BBC Chevy engines do and the guys with GN's in the 8's all run the Turbo 400 behind it. I checked it out for myself at www.turbobuick.com and he's right it was the THM400. He also said why is the Turbo 200 & now the 2004R the lightest & most compact trans of GM. The 700R4, 4L60, 4L60E, 4L65E & 4L80 all are bigger & weigh more because they were meant to withstand more torque. He commented if you spend 2 grand to build a 200 4R or 2 grand to build a later 700R4 or 4L60 he'll take the 700R4 all day and he builds both. Yes the 1982 & 1983 Cross fire Z28's were junk which mean that the early 700R4 was junk. He said all those guys that say the 200 4R can be built cheaper than a 700 R4, well that may be true but you get what you pay for..a Junk electronic version of the turbo 200. His dad was a trans builder before him, so he's been doing it many years. And he wasn't the only one I spoke with. I talked to some guys I know who race competitively and they said forget both the 200-4R and even a built to death 700R4/4L60 and I think the 200-4R is worse!!

Sorry guys, but I agree. I looked at www.turbobuick.com. Those guys run the THM400. The 200 4R $*cks!!. The early 700R4 $*cks!!. He said as far as 700R4 he uses the 1987-I think it was 1992 cores which also were called 4L60 by then. A 700 R4 on www.700raptor can now be made to withstand about 600 HP & 600 lbs of torque and the aftermarket is stepping up more. Looks like it's about the same on bow tie overdrives. The issue is that 3.06 first gear to 2nd gear shift lags the engine. Maybe one day if you see a 2.48 or 2.52 first gear it will be more common

I know I'm going to get hate mail for it, but I agree. The Turbo 200 was the worst trans GM ever made. The 200 4R uses alot of the same internals. It's light and compact, but give me a break that input drum is a joke so ar the sprags compared to a 700R4. I know some of you guys here use the 200R4, but I will choose not to. Real 8 second & 10 second Grand National's on www.turbobuick.com run the Turbo 400.

Right now I am leaning THM 400 w/ gear vendors. The reason is that you don't see too many shifters made for a 1969 Camaro w/ a 4L80E. The trans cooler lines have to be custom made, cross member has to be special ordered, torque converter costs more. The money I save getting the 4L80 over the Turbo 400 w/ GV unit will be spent in the other stuff and in the end it won't be a savings. I'm still confused which way to go:confused: That 4L80 E is a monster. Yea baby!!

I guess arguing about which is better a 200 4R or 700R4 to guys with BBC's is like arguing who's better the 1984 Chicago Cubs, or the 2003 or Chicago Cubs, or even 1969 Cubs. In the end they all choked when it mattered, especially under pressure. The THM 400 by itself, the THM 400 w/ Gear Vendors Over Drive & 4L80E are like the 1985 Chicago Bears, 1996 Chicago Bulls and 2005 Chicago White Sox. All Champions in their own right.

Since I would prefer overdrive because I have 4.10 gears my question is: in full manual valve body reverse pattern version should I use the Turbo 400 w/ gear ven
dors or the 4L80?


All replies and comments are welcomed!!

Thanks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,873 Posts
I still say the 4L80E with a TCU and a laptop is the best way for the street if you are actually going to spend 80% of your time there (torque monster big blocks are hard to hold on the street, I know I have a 582 which blows off just about any tire combo you can think of with my 4.56 gears).

The advantage of the 4L80E over the TH400 is the lock up converter you are complaining about paying more for. That lock up means you have zero trans slippage once it locks up (that point is controlled by the TCU and you set it with your laptop). No slippage means less wasted heat roasting the trans fluid, that heat goes into moving the car which saves you money in gas.

I know gas mileage is the last thing you are thinking about with a torque monster BBC but having built it, it is only fun if you drive it. To drive it you gotta put gas in it and even with OD I get about six miles to the gallon with my car. Mine requires racing gas so those fuel bills add up. Without the locking converter I have no idea what my mileage would be but I figure it will not be going up.


Larger Dave
 

·
Gold Lifetime Member
Joined
·
10,548 Posts
I would also go the 4L80E just for the exact shift tuning it allows. I will say I had a 2004R behind a 838 rwtq (on 7 plugs) big block and I couldn't break it. Then again, it was far from stock.

With all that said, I now prefer the electronic trannies for the above reasons. You can tailor the exact shift points and pressures to whatever you want. But I wouldn't go as far as to say a fully built 2004R can't handle a big block. ;)

I would also disagree, the 4L60/65's haven't quite caught up to the full billet 2004R's, but they're so close to be almost a toss up.

Jody
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,163 Posts
south side, the fact is that you have your mind made up about the 2004r from go...i think its a superior trans to the 700r4, but thats my opinion...if you dont like them, thats ok 2...but then just ask which one is better...the 400 or 4l80...the 4l80 will cost more than the gear vendors...you have it down that the 400 w/vendors is gonna be more, but i believe you`re wrong on this...price out a converter for your torque monster bbc with a lock-up...a 3500 stall w/lu is probably gonna be 650 easy...the crossmember will have to be purchased or fabbed...but given the choice, id do the 4l80...ps, that full manual rev pat vb is gonna get old quik!!!i`d get a really well built vb/ shift kit...this way, you can put it in od and go, but still shift at the track...the gnx makes tons of torque to get a car into the 10`s...torque is a mathematical function of hp and rpm...if you have the hp to get a car into the 10`s, then you`ve got a ton of torque also...turbo motors make better torque than blower motors, believe it or not!!!in stock form, the 2004r is a marginal tranny i agree, but in full out race form that you speak of, it`s lighter, with less parasitic drag than any of the other od`s, and will still take a 600 hp thrashing...we had ours in the blown nova 3 yrs of abuse without the l-u...no problems in site until we turned the boost up and added an intercooler...735 was just too much for the 3 yr old, so we rebuilt it, and shelved it for a tko600...but soon looking to go back...the car was much faster with a juice trans...jmho...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,411 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
kustomwerker,

Thanks for the response. I agree with you!! I wasn't sure on the torque converter, shifter, cross member, cooler lines etc. By the time you add these up, it will cost more for a 4L80 than a THM400 w/ gear vendors. There are more parts available for THM400's as well. The 4L80 is huge and needs big power to move it. A buddy of mine I spoke with the other day wants to sell me his BBC. The problem is he competes in outlaw superstock and that engine is insane. I don't need 14:1 domed pistons for my car. I had 12.5:1 (flap top's I belive in my old engine 15 years ago) and that was more than enough. His cam is insane and the valve springs need to be replaced every spring. Thanks but no thanks I told him. Replacing valve springs is expensive and I don't want to do that every spring. I can get the engine cheap as he's going to an even bigger engine. But it's way too crazy.

I have nothing against the 200 4R. I loved the 1987 Buick GN & GNX. I've driven both many years ago and I loved 'em. I saw a 1969 Camaro with a 200 4R in Super Chevy and from what I read the 200 4R is an easy swap into a first gen as it's about the same size as a THM350 and despite what the trans guy said, it will hold up if built to death. First gear in my car now lasts 15 feet w/ The Super T-10 & 4:10 /4:11 gears...With a 700R4 it will last 10 feet and that's why I actually was thinking of the evenly geared 200 4R over the 700R4/4L60 until I talked to this trans guy. I still think it's a good trans when well built in spite of what he says and I still may use the 200-4R

My car came along nicely over the last 6 months. It still has away to go. The Mustang guys I know said to go w/ a TKO 600 & call it a day. Right now I'm leaning towards THM 400 w/ gear vendors.

I ask a favor, I know what a THM 200 is, how do I tell that apart from a 200 4 if neither have a lock up converter.

P.S. The full manual valve body never got old. I had that w/ reverse pattern in my first 1969 and I drove that car in rush hour traffic one summer to & from work for 8 weeks staright 6 days a week. At least on Saturday's I could go at it on the highway. Engaging a clutch like I do now in heavy traffic gets old.

Thanks for the responses everyone. Keep the comments coming!!! I welcome all replies!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,163 Posts
2004r has a square plug on the drivers side to engaga l-u...200 doesnt...if you go gear vendors, let me know how it is...i`ve heard great things, but dont know anyone actually using it...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
21,341 Posts
Do yourself a favor and anti-up the cash for a 200-4R from the real Art Carr and go!!

I priced one several years ago and Art said 800hp was NO problem!!

Sure, it's pricey, but it's only money, plus it fit's easy and is quite a bit more eff. and lighter than both the 400 w/ OD and the 4L80 jobber, imho...

Again, I said the REAL Art Carr here...

pdq67
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
998 Posts
I have a used gear vendors sitting in my attic since about 1988. I pulled it out of my 71 formula 455 with t 400 trans before I sold it. It has no electronics, I shifted it with a toggle switch.
I would like to sell it, 500$.
Dale
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,873 Posts
I have a used gear vendors sitting in my attic since about 1988. I pulled it out of my 71 formula 455 with t 400 trans before I sold it. It has no electronics, I shifted it with a toggle switch.
I would like to sell it, 500$.
Dale

Sounds like an older Hone-O-Drive instead of a gear venders unit. Hone made electric shift auxiliary transmissions that required special brackets to bolt into the rear drive line; instead of bolting onto the back of your existing transmission in place of the tail shaft.


Larger Dave
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,375 Posts
Sounds like an older Hone-O-Drive instead of a gear venders unit. Hone made electric shift auxiliary transmissions that required special brackets to bolt into the rear drive line; instead of bolting onto the back of your existing transmission in place of the tail shaft.


Larger Dave
I installed a Hone back in '72. It worked OK in Overdrive but direct drive would shake the paint off of the car. Then one day I drove away from a stop sign with a little spirit. Pow. End of Hone. They were out of business. Couldn't find them. I installed GearVenders. That was in '84 or so. I could check the receipt.
But I kept the hole in my tunnel from the Hone. Memories you know,,,,:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Not everyone in the buick world runs a 400, I just switched back over to Chevy(had a TTA and a Buick). With the proper billet pieces it'll hold up all day long. And about the torque any of the 10 second buicks are making around 600lb/ft and doing it most likely many hundred rpm less than a BBC.

Dynotech transmissions(long island now instead of NJ) builds a killer 2004r. CK transmissions and lonnie dyers are common names in the buick world for 200's.

There are a few guys running a modded c4 tranny in gm's too. I haven't had any experience, but IIRC they can handle a lot of abuse.

I personally think you've left one option out and it might be as practical as your other choices. Since the 4l80E only has a .75 4th gear, that's not a huge drop(the 700 has a .70 and the 300 a .67)

Why not get a lockup 400?

Grab the lower gear set 2.75(will help you get into the meat of the curve sooner) instead of the 2.48 and with the converter locked you'll have a decent cruise rpm!

Just some other choices for ya.

HTH!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top