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Old 01-05-2006, 12:33 AM
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200-4R swap for 350

I am daily driving a '79 Firebird with a weak 301 motor, th350, and a 2.42:1 rearend. I plan to swap in a fresh 400 Pontiac putting out about 500 torque with a 3.73 posi rearend, and would like the .67 overdrive from a 200-4r. If a stock 200 4r won't hold the torque, what would I have to do to beef it up? Also, would it be possible to run a non-lockup torque converter? I have never rebuilt a tranny before and any answers would really help me.

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Old 01-05-2006, 01:52 AM
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First, check this website: http://members.aol.com/powerrslid/thm2004r.html

You're looking for any of the transmission codes in bold print. 200-4r's came in two different basic case castings. The lo-po versions that most vehicles got, and the hi-po versions. The main difference is that the ones listed in bold on that site had different governors and different valve bodies. The non-bold cases can't be modified to accept the hi-po goodies, so its best to start with a hi-po case. If you don't, the shift points will be tough to modify with the smaller governor, etc.

The 200-4r is a wise choice in a lot of ways. It has some very hard parts that will take a lot of power. Their weak point is their size. The will take the torque you're planning, but they won't take tons of abuse at that level. If you plan on just flooring the pedal from a stop, go for it, but if you plan on some heavy racing or torture, plan on another tranny. Having said that, there are plenty of Buick GN guys pushing well into the 500 lb-ft range with their turbos with no issues.

Its been a while since I dealt with a 200-4r hands-on, but if my memory serves me correctly, you can use a non-lockup converter with no modifications. I think its fine to let the lockup signal just float in the breeze and use a non-lockup converter. Please confirm that before you dive in, but I think that's how it goes.

The main thing is to start with one of those bold codes on that website. They are a different casting and will serve you well. I only ever went looking for one once, and found several in that one junkyard. The tag is on the bottom of the tranny near the tailshaft.

Happy searching. The 200-4r is a wise choice and I applaud your open thinking.
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Old 01-05-2006, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis73
First, check this website: http://members.aol.com/powerrslid/thm2004r.html

You're looking for any of the transmission codes in bold print. 200-4r's came in two different basic case castings. The lo-po versions that most vehicles got, and the hi-po versions. The main difference is that the ones listed in bold on that site had different governors and different valve bodies. The non-bold cases can't be modified to accept the hi-po goodies, so its best to start with a hi-po case. If you don't, the shift points will be tough to modify with the smaller governor, etc.

The 200-4r is a wise choice in a lot of ways. It has some very hard parts that will take a lot of power. Their weak point is their size. The will take the torque you're planning, but they won't take tons of abuse at that level. If you plan on just flooring the pedal from a stop, go for it, but if you plan on some heavy racing or torture, plan on another tranny. Having said that, there are plenty of Buick GN guys pushing well into the 500 lb-ft range with their turbos with no issues.

Its been a while since I dealt with a 200-4r hands-on, but if my memory serves me correctly, you can use a non-lockup converter with no modifications. I think its fine to let the lockup signal just float in the breeze and use a non-lockup converter. Please confirm that before you dive in, but I think that's how it goes.

The main thing is to start with one of those bold codes on that website. They are a different casting and will serve you well. I only ever went looking for one once, and found several in that one junkyard. The tag is on the bottom of the tranny near the tailshaft.

Happy searching. The 200-4r is a wise choice and I applaud your open thinking.
uve gotta buy a lube kit for the pump and buy a special, non-lockup converter for that trans. otherwise itll burn up overdrive.
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Old 01-05-2006, 09:14 AM
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I've got a 200R4 behind my mild SBC 406 and it's worked well, but I've never raced with it.

One point though, I had a 2.41 in my El Camino and when it hit overdrive and it dragged the engine waaaaay down. I switched to a 3.42 and installed a TCI kit that allows you to switch out of lockup manually if necessary.
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:45 AM
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ALOT of misinformation on this thread...

The 200-4R can be built to take the power.
It is a better choice than most, especially for the Pontiac and replacing a TH350.
Almost a bolt-in, which offsets some of the cost of going with an OD unit.


First of all,
there is no difference in the cases from a Hi-Po unit to a normal unit.
Usually you want a GN or equiv unit for the better governor, valve body, or servo.
However with a Poncho motor, I'd guess it be a lower rpm deal, so a 6000 rpm auto shift from each gear at WOT isn't needed or wanted.
So a generic valve body unit, with a slightly modded governor will get you the 4500-5000 rpm shifts you will probabaly want.

There is no "lube kit" for the pump.
There is a small hole on the back of the pump that sprays lube on the OD unit, you can enlarge it slightly.
You have to drill the drainback hole on older pumps, this is done even on stock rebuilds, and is also a common mod on 700-R4's.

A stock 200-4R will break under your torque. You will need an improved forward drum with a billet shaft. $400 from Ckperformance. You might want a improved input shaft, however the stock ones hold up OK, but start to get iffy at your power level.
I am running a stock input behind a ~425 horse 427 BBC...

A non-lockup converter is not necessary, use the lockup... converters cost more, but why give up one of the reasons to use a more modern trans...
Mods are necessary to run a non-lockup converter...

Size has little to do with the trans ability to handle power. There are some weak points that need to be addressed.
You will need a good servo (billet aftermarket), forward drum, 2nd band, sun shell, pump rings, directs need to be dual fed, as well as use a decent clutch type, added OD clutch, etc..

My recommendation is to call Chris at CkPerformance and buy one from him. He can tell you what all you need and he will treat you right.
I buy parts from him when I build upgraded 200-4R's.
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