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  #106 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2014, 09:02 AM
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So.... now that I'm pretty much ready to go on the final foray into this trans(for some years I hope), I was thinking, why not go all the way and just get the smart shell too while I'm at it. It's only another $90 +shipping. I'll make most of that on a quick 1hr side job this weekend. The smart shell with the re-machined low/rev roller clutch race that goes with it, will eliminate the last thrust washer from the trans and it's also lighter than the Beast shell, while still being plenty strong. I thought about just getting the race and torrington bearing(that are used with the smart shell) by themselves but I'm afraid of running into clearance issues at the front pump with the thicker beast shell and torringtons at both ends.

Greater Dimensions says that the Torrington they provide for the front pump reduces end play of the reverse input drum down to about .005". That doesn't leave much room. They say that you may need to deburr the lugs of the sun shell to provide enough clearance. I'm a little concerned since they say to use an H gauge and I don't have one. An H gauge is a sort of depth measurement tool for accurately calculating installed depth and clearance between two parts. I'll have to come up with some way of checking for clearance between the pump and the reverse input drum. Maybe if I sample fit the unit together without the output shaft, leaving the pump gasket out, and make sure that the assembly turns freely as I snug down the pump bolts without the pump gasket in place. The pump gasket is .016" thick so this may not work. I'll see what our resident guru says about it. This whole thing was his idea after all.

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  #107 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2014, 07:44 AM
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Maybe using plastagauge? I really think you OCD is really kicking in. Just drive it an enjoy.
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  #108 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2014, 01:36 PM
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find electrical hardness components
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  #109 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2014, 08:28 AM
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LOL! Good call dogwater. OCD definitely in full swing. I am about ready now to go back into the unit. I got the bushing driver set last night. Good set. Still will need to be careful driving the bushings. Crosley says that it's better to install them with an arbor press so not to compress them too much. Especially if the drivers don't fit real snug. These drivers aren't too bad but probably not as good as the factory service tools. I only have 4 bushings to do so that helps.

I know that I'm probably going further with this then I need to but I really want this unit to be as close to perfect as I can get it. Having the clearances just right and all roller thrust bearings is a step in the right direction. Plus, it's only my time and a little money.
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  #110 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2014, 08:06 AM
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I installed the double wide rear sun gear bushing in the extra gear I have on hand. I used the new driver set with the adapter that fit the bushing best and drove it in rather than pressing it. I now know what dogwater was talking about as far as the bushing ending up being tight on the shaft. I have my new reaction shaft to try the sun gear out on for fit. At first the bushing was way too tight on the shaft. I think I probably drove it just a little too far into the gear and maybe deformed it against the machined back stop. Maybe 2 less blows with the hammer would have been good. I ended up having to clean it up with emery cloth and scotch brite to get it to fit well. It's an $8 bushing and I'm thinking of getting another one and trying to install it with the press this time. The fit is really pretty good now but I'm curious to see if I can get it right using the press and not have to mess with sand paper. The service manual doesn't say anything about using emery cloth or lapping compound on a newly installed bushing. I'm sure that I'm over thinking this but I just want to get to where I can do the job right.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:43 AM
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Looks like no one is really following this thread anymore. Can't really blame folks for dropping it. My OCD is kinda hard to follow. I don't even talk about this project to my friends and family anymore. They just wouldn't understand. At any rate, I ordered the last piece of the puzzle on Monday. The Smart Shell from Sonnax will complete my collection of parts and allow me to delete all thrust washers from the unit in favor of roller thrust bearings. I was going to let the thrust washers behind the sun shell and in front of the reverse input drum go for now but once I decided to swap out the front washer, it only makes sense to do the rear washer along with it. I will also be setting end clearances down to the minimum for improved stability at high speeds.

I realize now how important the geartrain created by the rev input drum and sunshell is to the strength and durability of the trans and how overlooked it is by both the OE and ATSG who don't even mention checking endplay of the rev input drum.

I plan to do this last D&A in the next few weeks, once I have all the parts on hand and can schedule a weekend free. Once it's done, I will again post a parts list with all the mods I've done.
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  #112 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2014, 09:48 AM
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I'm still following along. I have a 4l60e to do when over finished with my 2004r.
Keep the updates coming.
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  #113 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2014, 10:18 AM
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on't give up on us. I'm only in to the 200 4r, but i find the information useful. I'm learning right along with you, and it may benefit me by learning how you GOTTER DONE.
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  #114 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2014, 08:11 AM
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I've saved all of this cause I spend hours searching the web for those little tips an tricks for about trans rebuilding. This has almost everything someone would need to build a very strong 700. I'm not up on 200r4's but I think a lot of these applys also. One thing I found not to long ago is the top snap ring that holds down the 3/4 clutches, that same snap ring in a TH350 & a C4 is thinner. Depending on the thickness of the steels & clutches used one might be able to slid in an extra steel & clutch. Another one was using the back half of a 13 vane pump (4l60e) an the front half of a 10 vane, you would have to port match the fliud passages. You'd end up with a 13 vane pump for a 700 r4. It said you get a slight increase in fluid pressure from the pump, I don't think its worth the trouble to do that though. I do have both of those pumps laying around doing nothing an I'm kind of interested if its do able. Once I get do with painting my Camaro I'll look in to it. An yes I check in here a few times a week.
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  #115 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2014, 11:54 AM
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Cool. I am happy to think this might all be useful to others. I am set to go next weekend. Got the Smart Shell Friday and mocked up most of the rear gear train stack from spare parts I have on hand. It all rides on Torrington bearings now, very smooth. The selling point of the Smart Shell is that it takes load off the captured bearing in the rear planet. All the real tranny pros Ive talked to said that's not a real issue. However, what the Smart Shell also does is replaces the nylon washer behind the sun shell with a bearing. It not only smooths up the assembly but it moves the support of the shell further out from the center for better stability and strength. I can see where it really beefs up the gear train.
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  #116 (permalink)  
Old 01-27-2014, 08:08 PM
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I think I mentioned this item before:

If you put a bunch of torque to the OE design sun shell it pulls apart at the holes placed for balancing of the shell

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Old 01-28-2014, 09:05 AM
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Oh oh. That shell in your photo looks an awful lot like the Smart Shell I have sitting in front of me. Does it help that mine doesn't have any balance holes drilled in it?

I was concerned about the strength of the Smart Shell but with the heat treating and all, I thought maybe they had addressed that issue.

How about using the Torrington and the short roller clutch race that come with the Smart Shell, with the Beast Shell I have already? I was planning on test fitting the parts to see if this is possible. Have you tried something like this?
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  #118 (permalink)  
Old 02-01-2014, 10:48 AM
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Today is the day. I'm already into the unit. I've done the reverse input drum bushing swap and installed the front pump Torrington. It went together perfect. One thing is bugging me though. While Ive got it out, I did a quick wet air test of the input housing clutches. I was suprised to see that when I apply air to the 3-4 clutch, alot of air escapes through a hole in the housing. This hole is in towards the center from the 3-4 check ball capsule. It looks like it must be a lube hole for the reverse input clutches because that's where the oil it bleeds would go. I don't remember if the factory housing had this hole. Does anyone have one handy they could look at for me? I'll tear the housing down if I have to to plug this hole or whatever is needed if this is a problem. The clutches in the housing are all brand new and everything tested good except this weird thing with the 3-4.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:06 AM
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Okay, I learned something new. The hole in the input housing that bleeds fluid off of the 3-4 clutch piston is there to provide lube oil to the reverse input clutch and to the Torrington bearing at the front of the input housing. I figured it must be fine since 3rd gear has been engaging great. Especially with the Transgo 2-3 shift kit from Pro Built Automatics. The mods in the kit include deleting the 3rd accumulator to remove the factory cushion from the 3-4 clutch apply. With these mods, the 2-3 shift is instant and tight like flipping a switch. Plus, with the line bias valve blocked and the combination of the .500 Sonnax boost valve and the TCI purple PR spring, I'm getting close to 290psi in 3rd. So, obviously, the lube hole isn't affecting 3-4 apply pressure much. I just wish that the manual would have mentioned this in the air test procedure. They do say that air from the overrun clutch apply will exit through the forward clutch apply, but not that air from the 3-4 apply will blow out though a hole in the housing. Whatever, now I know.

The process this weekend went pretty well. Things started out great. I took Crosley's advice on installing bushings and used many light taps on the driver instead of beating them in. I wasn't able to get the front bushing out of the reverse input drum without damaging the rear bushing so I replaced them both. That went very well. Then, like I had planned, I removed the low reverse clutches and the low reverse roller clutch support and stacked up just the components that support the sun shell and the reverse input drum to check end play of this part of the geartrain. With the pump installed using the old gasket and no o-ring, I had .020 end play. This is more than the .005 claimed by the manufacturer of the bearing, bushing kit but it's still better than the .150 allowed by GM. Once I had verified end clearance on the reverse input and sun shell assembly, I removed them and checked end play of the input housing with the all of its supporting components installed. The Sonnax .015" shims really helped in setting this up. I ended up with about .018 clearance there.

I did end up having to use the Smart Shell as the bearing and race wouldn't work with the Beast shell. If needed later on, I can have some machine work done and find a different bearing to make that set up work. But on Saturday, it wasn't to be.

I did run into one hitch that almost stopped me. I want to warn anyone following this thread who decides to perform these upgrades about the subtle differences between the late style reaction shaft(Torrington) and the early style(thrust washer). On the surface, they look identical but for the machined relief where the Torrington rides. However, the difference comes in where the planet carrier Torrington installs. If I'd had an extra planet carrier on hand I could have test fit the parts before Saturday. I'm sure that a trip or phone call to Standard Bearing in Portland could have solved the whole problem since they have or can get every type size and shape of bearing imaginable. As it was, being stuck with what I had on Saturday, I had to get creative and spent alot of time painstakingly enlarging the inner diameter of the late style bearing to fit the early style carrier. Then several more minutes cleaning the bearing of shavings before I could continue the build. The obvious solution to this whole mess would be to simply switch to a 5 pinion front planet. Then the assembly would have fallen right together. As it is, I ended up with a smooth running assembly with plenty of clearance between the hard parts. It just sucked having to go about it the way I did.

The rest of the job went great. I chose not to replace the other bushings in the unit after carefully checking them for clearance. They all checked out fine. I replaced the 2-4 band since I had damaged the one I started with last winter. It's a $40 part and not a big deal. I also added just a bit of clearance at the 2-4 servo pin, up to .100", as it looked like in the few miles that i put on the unit since I was last in there, the band may have been running just a little tight.

I rewired my TCC controls so that I will have lock up in 4th when the switch(the factory fog light switch) on the dash is turned on. Through my earlier testing, I determined that the ACCEL DFI ECM activates the TCC relay with 12v applied to the TCC input signal circuit. That works well with the factory TCC brake switch. A simple wire connection made it all work.

At the back end of Saturday's work, I have a fully rollerized 700R4. I now have TCC controls that should work fine for me. The issues I came away with include no 4th gear. I probably left a check ball out or it could just be the Dr Tranny's Assembly Goo I used to stick the check balls in place during assembly. It's alot thicker than vasoline and it may just need more time to dissolve. I also still have too much MTV pressure causing the 1-2 shift to come too late. So, I'll need to drop the pan and change spring shims again. I think I'll just try running no shim and see how that works. I'm still runing 120psi line pressure at idle in gear. While I'm in there, unless 4th gear starts working on the way to the shop next weekend, I'll drop the VB and make sure I didn't leave a check ball out.

As far as pictures go, sorry guys. I thought about taking pictures but then I get so focused on the job, I don't want to stop for pictures. Just selfish that way I guess.

Last edited by ASE Doc; 02-03-2014 at 09:12 AM.
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  #120 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2014, 01:22 PM
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Glad to hear that your getting there. I know what that is like to only make little steps, one at a time. When warm weather hits, i'm going into my 200 4r again for a little twieking and i'll be good to go also. I should just leave it alone, but its there and i just can't help myself. I think you'll feel the same way also because you did it yourself.
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