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Old 08-31-2013, 09:52 AM
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2004r Cruising around town opinions needed?

Hello everyone,

I have a level 3 2004r bowtie transmission with a lock up converter, when I am cruising around town should I have the tranny in 3rd gear or should I just leave it on overdrive, what are your opinions?

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Old 08-31-2013, 10:20 AM
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Is this a retrofit into an older vehicle or original? If originally equipped I would leave it in od.

If it's a retrofit it kind of depends on how you have the lockup setup. Some guys use a toggle switch in which case I would leave the convertor unlocked. If you are using a vacuum switch I would leave it in od just like a factory installation.
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:40 PM
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I have my 700R4 setup with a rocker switch on the console. I leave it unlocked at any speed under 40 for extended periods.

Vince
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven's 72 View Post
Hello everyone,

I have a level 3 2004r bowtie transmission with a lock up converter, when I am cruising around town should I have the tranny in 3rd gear or should I just leave it on overdrive, what are your opinions?
He didn't ask if he should use lockup or not, he asked if he should use third (1:1) or fourth (0.68:1) around town.

My answer would be, why install the OD trans if you're not going to use it? If the throttle valve cable is adjusted correctly, the trans will downshift out of OD when it needs to.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:44 PM
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I am asking because I was told if I am going to get on the throttle for short distances I should have it in 3rd gear.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:54 PM
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I'm not sure who told you this, but again, GM did not require drivers to drive around in third in cars that came with this trans from the factory. I'm constantly surprised by people who are sure that there's some reason why a 200-4R can't be used in an older car without special handling. I've got three 1980s cars with the 200-4R behind an Olds 307 (with a pavement-ripping 140 HP on a good day) and 2-something rear axles. I do NOT need to drive around in third. I do NOT have a problem pulling OD on the freeway. The trans works like any other trans. Again, adjust the TV cable properly, put the trans in OD, and let it do what it was designed to do.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:39 AM
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I am not a transmission expert in any way but have done a ton of research on installing a 2004r in a vehicle with no ecm computer control. Here is what I found and the results of such a install. The 2004r had no vacuum control directly attached to the transmission but is controled by sensors attached to a very primative ecm computer control. Engine temp, vehicle speed,vacuum where all controled and operated by a series of ground wires making or breaking the circuts through the ecm. Lock up would usally not happen until the vehicle would be warm and traveling 45 mph +. 4th gear will activate normally with trans preasure and gear selection. I'll referance a 2004r in a 85 el camino with a 305 cu v8, installed in a 81 corvette. The overdrive lock up was a fuel economy feature for gm to compete with the others in the 80s mpg war. When a aftermarket company mods these trans to handle more hp the presure in the trans are greatly increased to allow harder more positive shift. The stock 2004r has a preasure switch installed in the valve body that is a normaly closed switch and is activated by the grounding system controled by the ecm. Once the proper grounds are activated the power triggers the lock up soleniod and you get (so to speak ) 5th gear. With all the aftermarket controls to make this happen without a ecm, lock up can be very annoying shifting in an out at low speeds.

What I did is to install a normally open presure switch from a th400 trans. 1 hot wire from the aux contacts at the break pedal to the presure switch and on to the lock up solenoid. Lock up will only accure when the trans is in 4th gear. The trans I have was built by a independant trans teck that speicalized in gm transmissions. Built to handle 400hp (I supose you could call it stage2) I only put the gear selector in 4th when on the highway at cruise speed. Lockup is interupted when the break is applied or the throttle increased for passing. I have had no problems with this set up 2 years and drive the vette pretty darn hard. I found this info on a turbo buick web site.
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by spikebot 81 View Post
I am not a transmission expert in any way but have done a ton of research on installing a 2004r in a vehicle with no ecm computer control. Here is what I found and the results of such a install. The 2004r had no vacuum control directly attached to the transmission but is controled by sensors attached to a very primative ecm computer control. Engine temp, vehicle speed,vacuum where all controled and operated by a series of ground wires making or breaking the circuts through the ecm.
The ONLY thing the computer controls on a 200-4R is when the converter lockup happens. Transmission shift points are controlled by the throttle valve cable and the governor. The TV cable replaces the functions performed by the kickdown cable and the vacuum modulator on a TH350. The vacuum modulator was a mechanical version of a throttle position sensor - manifold vacuum varied with throttle position and engine load. The TV cable essentially does the same thing. No computer or sensors are required to allow the 200-4R to shift normally. Precise adjustment of the TV cable IS mandatory, however.

Converter lockup can be controlled by the ECU, but there are probably millions of GM cars built with th 200-4R and no ECU, such as diesels and Canadian/Mexican cars. In those cases GM used a simple pressure switch in the trans to prevent lockup in any gear other than fourth, and a vacuum switch to disengage the converter when you stepped on the throttle. Of course there is also the brake switch that disengages the converter. That's all there is to it. Many people have run 200-4Rs with a simple manual toggle switch for converter lockup as well.
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