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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2009, 09:09 PM
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Who Makes the Best Transmission?

Hey All,

I am looking to eventually swap out the motor and transmission in my 1950 Mercury.I currently have a Chevy 350 motor, and 350 tranny. I am going to upgrade to a new GM Performance ZZ4 350, 350 hp, and 400ft lbs of torque.

I am pretty sure I'm going to go with a 700R4 transmission, unless one of you great mechanics can change my mind to go with something else.

So my question is who makes the best transmission? Manufacturer.. I ask some pretty dumb questions. I hope this isn't one of them...

I'm not much of a mechanic by any means, so everything I'm putting on my car I'm hoping are the most bullet proof items on the market..

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Old 12-26-2009, 11:45 PM
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Best transmission ever made was probably the rear wheel drive 3-speed JATCO transmission that came behind fours in Datsuns, Mazdas, Isuzus, and a few other vehicles. Out of over a thousand that I have torn apart I have never seen one that was bad nor even had discolored fluid. However, won't bolt and go with GM motors.

Second best is probably the AisenWarner A340 series behind sixes and fours in Jeeps, Isuzus, Toyotas, etc. Pretty much the same story. Behind V8s this series is junk. And won't bolt to GM motors.

Go with a 700 after 1986.
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmerlinn
Best transmission ever made was probably the rear wheel drive 3-speed JATCO transmission that came behind fours in Datsuns, Mazdas, Isuzus, and a few other vehicles. Out of over a thousand that I have torn apart I have never seen one that was bad nor even had discolored fluid. However, won't bolt and go with GM motors.

Second best is probably the AisenWarner A340 series behind sixes and fours in Jeeps, Isuzus, Toyotas, etc. Pretty much the same story. Behind V8s this series is junk. And won't bolt to GM motors.

Go with a 700 after 1986.
Any make? B & M, etc etc.. Or it doesnt matter?
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:44 AM
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The TH200-4R would be a little less work to swap. It's the same length as the TH350 so you wouldn't have to shorten the Driveshaft. The 2004R trans mount is about 5-3/4" farther back tho'. Has a better 1-2 gear spread & slightly taller OD gear.

Trans------- 1st----- 2nd---- 3rd--- 4th-------------------------------
TH200-4R--- 2.74--- 1.57---- 1.00-- 0.67 / 33% OD---------------------
TH700-R4--- 3.06--- 1.62---- 1.00-- 0.70 / 30% OD---------------------

Either trans will work, 700R4 or 2004R. Just make sure to find a good shop/builder. Most of the big name brand Co.'s use the same stock parts as a local builder will unless it's for Hi HP/TQ. Some use stock parts/build and call it a fancy name.
Here's a comparison on several 2004R builders>> http://www.extremeautomatics.com/eavscomp/th2004r.html many of these also build 700R4s.
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Old 12-27-2009, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony79dr
Hey All,

I am looking to eventually swap out the motor and transmission in my 1950 Mercury.I currently have a Chevy 350 motor, and 350 tranny. I am going to upgrade to a new GM Performance ZZ4 350, 350 hp, and 400ft lbs of torque.

I am pretty sure I'm going to go with a 700R4 transmission, unless one of you great mechanics can change my mind to go with something else.

So my question is who makes the best transmission? Manufacturer.. I ask some pretty dumb questions. I hope this isn't one of them...

I'm not much of a mechanic by any means, so everything I'm putting on my car I'm hoping are the most bullet proof items on the market..
Be advised that 'brand' is a name. GM makes the trans. Other 'rebuilders' put their name on it and call it their own with various updates. Looking at the car and engine combo, it looks like you are not wanting to set the world on fire, so an updated TH700R4 or TH2004R would be a good street hotrod trans. Four speeds forward with lockup torque converter.
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:46 PM
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Even though the 200-4R is a good transmission here, I advise against using it. They were only made from 1981 through 1989, came is SOME cars, and came in no trucks.

700-R4 transmissions were made from 1982 through 1994, came in some cars, and came in lots of trucks.

Cores for 200-4Rs are getting hard to find and expensive. 700 cores are easy to find and relatively cheap.

More importantly, GM made NO parts for the 200-4R after 1989 meaning that in a few years finding parts to rebuild a 200-4R are going to be hard to find and very expensive.

700s on the other hand are a different story. GM is still making parts that fit 700s, so MOST INTERNAL parts will be easy to find and cheap even 10 years from now.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmerlinn
Even though the 200-4R is a good transmission here, I advise against using it. They were only made from 1981 through 1989, came is SOME cars, and came in no trucks.

700-R4 transmissions were made from 1982 through 1994, came in some cars, and came in lots of trucks.

Cores for 200-4Rs are getting hard to find and expensive. 700 cores are easy to find and relatively cheap.

More importantly, GM made NO parts for the 200-4R after 1989 meaning that in a few years finding parts to rebuild a 200-4R are going to be hard to find and very expensive.

700s on the other hand are a different story. GM is still making parts that fit 700s, so MOST INTERNAL parts will be easy to find and cheap even 10 years from now.
I build a lot of 200-4Rs and have no issue finding cores, you should only need ONE core anyway...
Gm does still make parts that fit the 200-4R, some of the internals are shared with other units that are still in production. Same deal as the 700-R4 and 4L60/65/70E.

The 200 is an easier retrofit, has a better gear spread for most applications, and can be built stronger.

Either will work fine for the poster's application.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeshoe
Gm does still make parts that fit the 200-4R, some of the internals are shared with other units that are still in production.
Enlighten me on which parts and which subsequent transmissions share parts with the 200-4R.

I know of none, and I have been selling transmission parts for 25 years. If such things exist, I need to know about them to take care of my customers.
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmerlinn
Enlighten me on which parts and which subsequent transmissions share parts with the 200-4R.

I know of none, and I have been selling transmission parts for 25 years. If such things exist, I need to know about them to take care of my customers.
4L30-E shares some internal components with a 200-4R and it's descendant the 5L40 and 5L50.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeshoe
4L30-E shares some internal components with a 200-4R and it's descendant the 5L40 and 5L50.
Unfortunately I do not have a parts list for the 4L30-E showing GM part numbers, so it is going to be hard for me to compare it to the 200-4R.

If possible I would like more info on the 4L30-E connection. Based on the dozens I have had I can't think of any shared parts.

What I know is that the 4L30-E is basically a TH180 with added overdrive and that many parts interchange between the two. Also both were made in Strausbourg, France whereas I believe the 200-4R is North American built.

The 5L40 and 5L50 are too new yet for me to have had any to compare with. And I have yet to get calls for parts for those two.
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:56 AM
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The 4L30 and 200-4r share many of the OD parts.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeshoe
The 4L30 and 200-4r share many of the OD parts.
Thanks. Next time I get one of each on the bench I will compare parts.
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