Mechanics needed - tranny engine build

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cycloneman, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    I am looking to build something around a Buick v6 even fire 231.

    I would like to know if anybody knows of a automatic 4 speed tranny that will work without electrical wires heading into it.

    I am looking to build a 1/2 ton pickup with the technology of the late 70's and early 80's.

    Thanks for suggestions.
  2. cutter

    cutter New Member

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    Smart idea, I would like to do that to.
  3. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    looks like a 700r4 will work.

    Just wondering if a 700r4 will bolt up to a buick v6.
  4. Awtoman

    Awtoman Active Member

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    Gm used two rear wheel drive bolt patterns at the rear of the block for transmission mounting. Buick, Olds, and Pontiac used one style, and Chevy had their own. You need a 200R4 for the Buick engine. 700R4 has a Chevy bolt pattern, although it's possible someone makes an adapter plate. Either trans can be built strongly enough. You're not making a lot of power, but a 1/2 ton truck is heavy, and when those trannys first came out they were a little weak.

    Tom
  5. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    Is the 200r4 comp controled? I swear i have one in my 86 monte carlo that is.

    Anyway the 6 banger will not be totally stock. I have built them before and got decent power out of them.
  6. Mr_Shamrock

    Mr_Shamrock New Member

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    I had a 200R4 in my 1988 Monte SS as well as my Buick Grand National and when right they will handle some horsepower. We had to rebuild the one in the SS once we put a healthy 350 in front of it, but it already had 150K miles on it so we knew it wouldn't last long.
  7. Awtoman

    Awtoman Active Member

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    The 86 Monte should have a 700R4, not a 200R4

    The torque converter lockup funtion on both transmissions is computer controlled, but the shifting is not. I believe you can buy a stand alone controller for the torque converter lockup if you wish. I'm not sure, but IIRC, on some of those transmissions it was detrimental to NOT have the lockup function engaged when traveling any distance on the freeway. I think it had something to do with additional lubrication that was supplied to certain parts when the lockup was engaged not being there, and starving certain parts for oil(trans fluid). I would also suspect there is a fix for that if you want to run without lockup. Talk to an expert or do some research.


    Tom
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  8. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    I found this. It is a selnoid to lock up the converter.

    Found it here.

    http://www.painlessperformance.com/Manuals/60110.pdf

    Getting closer. I think from here i can make it all work.
  9. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    celica 4 speed sports box you'll need to make a plate but they work a treat
  10. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    As you've already found, Painless Wiring makes a controller harness that will run the lockup for either a 2004R or a 700R4. there are a few other companies out there besides Painless too.
    In a truck, I'd go with a 700R4. Basically it's a TH350 with a 4th gear added. A stock 2004R is a weaker tranny than the 350...but you can build it up into a really stout unit if you've got the cash since many internals are the same.


    But back to running a 231 in a 1/2ton? You better build it up....it's a good engine but not a real torquey thing til it gets a few rpms wound up.
    If you can find a 4.1L V6 from a RWD LeSabre you'll get a 4bbl intake and have a bit more bottom end torque. The bottom end of the 4.1 is also the same as the turbo 3.8...you get the same strong crankshaft that Buick used in the turbo engine.

    If you don't already have the Buick laying around, a 250 inline six or a 4.3L V6 would probably serve ya better for truck duty though I think. There's lotsa speed parts available for the 4.3L yet too besides the fact that it's 3/4ths of a 350 V8. You don't have to worry about finding a corporate (B-O-P) or a dual-pattern bellhousing tranny either. Any early 700R4 from any truck will work for ya.
    Don't get me wrong, I love the little Buick V6 but speed parts are really hard to come by anymore...not much available aftermarket anymore. It kinda got forgotten about by the mid-90s.

    I ran an 82 Regal on the strip a few years back.
    I started out with a carbed 4.1L. Switched to a turbo 3.8L (from a T-type) the next year and wound up putting all that turbo stuff onto the 4.1L after I rebuilt it. I ran a mild TH350 behind all of those engines...didn't need the OD on a strip car.
    I ran that one for a year until I couldn't afford the hobby anymore. Once I went turbo, I started sinking too much cash into the stinker. I sold it and decided to stick with my older A-body Mopars and no more drag racing.
  11. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    Allright someone who has been there.

    I had built a 3.8 years ago and planted a holly 450 on it. Looks to me they dont make that carb anymore.

    I liked the little engine and if I choose it again i would drop in an isky 252 cam in and edlebrock intake with one of their 500 cfm carbs on it. I am not looking to haul heavy loads with it. I want something to run around with maily on the highway from job to job. I have a 3/4 ton 4x4 i use for hauling. I am looking for another truck so i stop putting all these miles on the 3/4 ton. I want the truck to be free of most of that electronic crap that is why i am looking into early 80's technology. If I could get around 200 hp out of it and get it geared right i will be happy. It needs to run around 70 mph usually not hauling anything more than tools and a portable generator in the back.

    SO what do you think about my thought?
  12. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    4.3l with a 700r4 would be a great set up.
  13. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    I see. Yup, the Buick V6 is a great little engine. I just don't know for sure how it would stand up in a truck although I still keep kicking the idea around of using one in a little half-ton shortbox 53 IH pickup when I get it on the road. It would probably see the same use that you're thinking...light truck duty. Mostly just driving & not hauling anything big.

    I'm assuming you're using a 70s-80s Chevy 2wd for this project?

    I see you're already thinking of the gear ratio. That'll be the key to making it work. if you're running a 29-30" tire (235-75R15 or so) then I'd definitely use 3.55 or preferably 3.73. If you get the OD worked out then 3.73 isn't a problem on the highway.
    3.42 is too tall for a truck...that's what I ran in that Regal on the street before I turned it into a bracket car. It was barely enough when running 26" tires.

    I'm not a Holley fan, but you can still get the 390 vac sec. That'll be more than enough carb for a 3.8 or 4.1 unless you start getting really wild.
    The 500cfm would work though too.
    Personally, I would use a 500cfm Carter AVS but that's just what I am familiar with and like using.
    A good smaller Quadrajet from a 305 or a 4.1 LeSabre would work too...if you are good at tuning them. Most guys sneer at the "Quadrajunk" and rip em off for something else but it's a great carb if you get it set up right.

    The cam sounds about right for a mileage or mild street grind.


    I do still think the 4.3L Chevy would be a good alternative that would keep you in the Chevy family so you don't need to mess with the B-O-P tranny pattern.
  14. wv hillbilly

    wv hillbilly Well-Known Member

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    i was looking at a 53 chevy sedan this weekend at a car show.
    the poster stated it was a 292 inline 6 that dynoed at 190 hp. it had ofenhauser intake with 2 holleys on top , backed by a turbo 350 transmission and a blazer rear axle of 3:42
    the 190 hp. is impressive, considering the 283 developed 195 hp.
  15. Awtoman

    Awtoman Active Member

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    I think the best suggestion so far is the 4.3 Chevy. Way more plentiful, and they made a 4bbl carb manifold for it.
    Whichever engine you choose, leave the cam alone. There is always a trade-off with cams in the loss of drivability, low end torque, and fuel mileage, unless the whole system is optimized to work together. A cam big enough to make any difference in power needs the proper carb, intake, port work, headers, converter, and gearing to work right. Most of the time, a cam in a combination like you're describing does nothing more than kill off low end torque and drivability, and idle like crap.
    I've had hundreds of those "projects" show up at my shop over the years, and they NEVER run as nice as it would if they had just left the damn thing alone. There is a reason the manufacturers spend millions of dollars to get a combo right, and rarely does some guy in a garage make it better.
    Not trying to burst your bubble here, but what you want won't come in a camshaft. If you want more power for your truck than the 231 makes stock, then you really want a bigger motor. A nice stock 4.3, or 350 will be nicer to drive, and get BETTER fuel mileage than an overcammed, mismatched 231.


    IMNSHO

    Tom
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