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Transmission Choice Question


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I have decided I want to go with a 454 for the engine build plan is about 5-550 at the fly. But now a transmission question. I want to drive my Monte. The rear gears are going to be 355. So I am being pointed to got two ways. 200R4 for ease of install. Or a 4L80E. Cost difference for a well built one looks to be plus 1-1.5 for the 80e. I have a guy at work that happens to have a rebuild-able 80e core. Can't find a 200 core. The price he wants for the core is fair plus it is the newer style with the separated lines. For those who have built thier Monte to drive, should I go 80e or 200?

 

Thanks

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4 years ago I built a '70 El Camino (don't worry, I also have a '71 M/C SS454) with a 9:1 454, mildly warmed up. Lots of fun. Originally stuck a 200 in it with the 3:31 rear end to see if I liked the gear split with the 200R4 ratios. It worked good -- for about a hundred miles. Then the trans grenaded. Now going to do a 4L80E with a 3000 stall, and switch the gears to 4:30. Using a U.S. Shift controller, and paddles if I want to. Not done yet, but it can't help but work better. Won't blow up, and that's what counts. Should just jump off the line.

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And one more thing -- if you choose a 4L80E you'll need much more gear, because you'll be 2.66 in overdrive with the 4L80E. Waaaay too high a gear even in a highway cruiser. The converter will never couple, or even come close to coupling. And I don't think you built 550 hp to be a highway cruiser. 

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With 500+ HP (and obviously plenty torque) you'll wanna use it. Go with a 200 or even a 700/4L60E and you'll find out pretty quickly why GM put nothing less than a TH400 or 4L80E behind a big block.

Work with a performance trans builder and they'll figure out what torque converter stall speed you need to work with your gears.

The later 4L80E cases have the coolant return line in the rear, it shoots fluid returning from the cooler directly into the center support bearing. This is a plus for your power level.

You'll need banjo style cooler adapter fittings to clear the trans tunnel-but you may still need a little floorboard adjustment with a big hammer-nothing major. The banjo fittings are all over ebay. An external plate style cooler is always better than the stock style in radiator tank.

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While your on this subject, am I good to go with a 2004r behind a 350 hp 327 with 3.55's?

I have a 4L60-E by Monster in my 96 Silverado and a 700R4 in my 90 Silverado rebuilt by Transmissions By Bruce that I need to drop and install a pump I purchased from Bowtie Overdrives. I like them both but I never really 'worked' an automatic to the extent of rebuilding. So I'll leave it to the pros.

Maybe some day I'll rebuild one for the experience but probably not. The only reason I'm retaining the auto setup in the Monte is that I'm sure my wife will want to drive it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

here’s my 2 cents worth, I’m in the middle of this right now, 505hp 383 stroker 2004r from a 87 gn.  grenaded it once all ready, TV adjustment issue(experience is the only teacher that gives you the test before the lesson), trying to get the governors straight now, if you go 2004r look for a 2nd gen monte trans the shift points are better but you do lose a little 1st gear ratio, my trans builder thinks I would have been better off starting with a 700r4 (200 parts are getting hard to find and expensive) while 700’s have a great deal of after market support.  I didn’t go 4l**e due to the computer control, tunnel mods, drive shaft adjustments required, trying to keep somewhat old school

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