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Old 02-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!



230,000 miles is plenty on any transmission, especially a 700R4. I agree with you that it has an unnecessarily deserved bad reputation. However, all reputations have their roots in something. The high failure rate of the early 700R4's as well as GM's decision to use them in large diesel powered 1 ton trucks probably is one of the biggest contributions to this reputation. Still, hot rod guys all over the country flock to this transmission because it operates independent of a computer and gives them the overdrive to make their low gearing a little more tolerable on longer trips.

$600 is a smoking deal on a rebuilt 700R4. Heck, a used high miler goes for $400 or so in these parts. This is probably the route I would go. If you were looking to build a wheeler out of the truck there are other options that could be looked at (like that TH-350), but for a weekend warrior I think keeping it as close to stock as possible is important. The Turbo 350 is not without problems either. It just happens to be considered more reliable and the fact that you could repair it in a gravel pit with a set of tools purchased from the discount bin at Harbor Freight earns it a lot of credit.

The TV cable is the most important issue when setting up a 700R4...of course it is the only thing you should have to adjust. It's also extremely easy to do and takes all of 5 minutes. I wouldn't worry much about it. Heck, it's even a relatively easy transmission to change out thanks to the big inspection cover under the torque converter. I like not having to rotate the engine to get to the bolts.

Your mechanic is very intelligent when he tells you that a swap to a 5 speed is not worthwhile. On top of the cost involved with getting the transmission, crossmember, pedal assembly, etc, they can be a real bear on the S-series Blazers. More than once I've had to loosen the body mount bolts and jack the body up to get at that darn upper left bolt on the bellhousing. There is nothing more frustrating than being able to get a wrench on a bolt but not being able to turn it due to space. Or getting 3 feet of extensions on the impact with a swivel socket only to watch it fly apart and send extensions sailing everywhere the first time you hit the trigger...
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:44 PM   #2
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!

cheese i got 2 of those things in my yard one has 4.3 with od and one has 2.8 both have only 75k miles on them and both run fine.both are rusted out.too bad im in bc eh!
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!

The 700R4 is VERY popular in the hot rod world. If I ever give up the four-speed in my '55, I'll put in a 700R4. The three rebuilds in 30 days experience has to be due to something not being done properly, not the design of the trans. I once put three Cadillac 500 motors in my Chevy truck in 30 days... two were just old unknown engines.

In my mind you have two good options: get the cheapest working trans you can and immediately sell the truck, then buy one with a 5-speed, or get a well-built 700R4 even if at a moderately high cost. Then, keep it out of overdrive anytime you have to use much throttle.
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:57 PM   #4
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!

a properly updated and rebuilt 700r4 will easily outlast the rest of that blazer no way I'd spend the money to go to a th350
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!

Damn you, Vanguy! I just drove up to International Falls last night to pick up a new hoopty ('91 C2500 LD) for $600. I drove it all the way home without a problem. I got in it today to go to work and everything seemed fine...1st gear....2nd gear.....neutral....wait?!?!?!? Yep...a 700R4 that burnt up its 3-4 clutch pack. Now we're in the same boat only I'll only be spending $200 on my new-to-me-well-used junkyard tranny because...well...it's a junkyard beater. So...who is next to lose a tranny?
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:54 PM   #6
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanguy67
Just wish I could put some 6-way leather seats with seat warmers in the new Blue Bird!!
go for it! you've got the seats now, I'm sure your wife will understand lol
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:03 AM   #7
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanguy67
It's a 1997 Deville D'Elegance with 93,000 miles on it. I drove it home! ALL the way home! Tranny seems to be good in the Cadillac!
You're lucky. A 4T80E is not a cheap or easy tranny to replace.

I think I have better luck than you. I got the deal on this truck through a good friend that knew the guy who was selling it (and it turns out he was just another middleman in it for another middleman that was in it...like 5 people involved in this $600 truck ). Anyway...my buddy called the guy up and is going to make it right. I didn't ask him to and I'm not at all concerned about it, but my buddy is which is cool. It goes to character for sure. Anyway...all I'm out is the use of the truck until Sunday when I get the new tranny installed along with rear brakes, a block heater, an oil pressure gauge (it's a Canadian truck and I don't like kilopascals or trust the factory gauge), and move the damn pitman arm. You can install the pitman arm 4 ways on those trucks. It would appear that someone did it wrong because the truck goes straight down the road and has the same number of turns lock to lock...but the steering wheel is at 90* to the left. Such is life with used vehicles. I like to just take it all in stride. Of course I don't spend much on my vehicles either.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:22 PM   #8
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!

Slop in the frame mounted bushings can make the transmissions not quite completely shift. What happens if you disconnect the linkage and manually shift the manual valve? Can you get reverse and park? It just *sounds* like your manual valve isn't moving completely from one position to the next and you will notice it most at the extremes of shifting, that is from reverse to park and from second to manual low.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:29 PM   #9
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!

I actually don't mind the little 700R4. It certainly has its issues, but no automatic built has even been without them. It's quite possible the manual valve is toast. That should be a relatively easy fix.

It's interesting that you're having such terrible luck. When I swapped that 700R4 into my pickup after losing the 3-4 clutch I did a very small amount of work on it. Supposedly it already had stacked plates on the clutches, but I never verified this. I did install a Gil Younger kit in the valvebody, have my TV cable one notch tighter than factory (giving me a 3-4 shift at 50-55 mph under light throttle versus 45 to put it in perspective), and I have a switch allowing me to manually drive the TCC or let the ECM drive it. Rarely does the computer get the chance to work it. I couldn't be more happy either. You'd never believe that a 7200lbs GVWR 3/4 Chevy with a TBI 305 (L03, 170 hp at the crank ) and a 700R4 would make much of a tow rig, but it does AMAZINGLY well. It's all in the finer details of tuning.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:54 PM   #10
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Re: ACK! My beater needs a transmission!!!

Tghe TH700/4L60E is an awesome transmission...I prefer the TH-200-4R, but the 700 is pretty good.

Sounds like you got a bad one from the boneyard.
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