There are simple, yet effective ways to build the perfect automatic overdrive (AOD) transmission through the use of off-the-shelf components and aftermarket kits. That may come as a surprise since the AOD was not intended to serve as a performance transmission given that Ford Motor Company had begun fitting them in a bunch of Lincoln Town Cars, and vans. However, then came the AOD-E, an electronically controlled transmission instead of the cable-modulated AOD which car enthusiasts had so many issues with. AOD-E was not the last member in the series because the 4R70W was later launched. Thus, between 1980 and 1991, there were upgrades in the AOD family which makes the AOD today more than ready to be boosted for a higher level of performance. So, whether it's the AOD, AOD-E, or 4R70W, they are all hardy transmissions that could still use some level of improvement in order to attain fuel economy and performance. Let's take a quick look.
200-4R vs. 700R4 transmissions are two four-speed automatics that are always compared side-by-side for their similarities, yet unique differences. They may have been released in the 1980s, but where one fails the other makes up for it. It's also worthy to note that the 200-4R vs 700R4 strength has been improved from what they were a couple of years ago. They have been beefed up in every possible way to be a better replacement to any car that uses the TH350, TH400, or generally, a muscle car. Fuel economy for which they were launched for has been up by 30 percent based on their real-life operation. However, the same level of performance may not be evident if you rely on the stock transmissions of either even though they are not as common as they used to be. Now that's out of the way, let's take a look at either transmission specs, problems, and selling point.
The 200-4R TransmissionThe 200-4R transmission is one among several other transmissions manufactured by General Motors, an American multinational corporation based in Detroit. The transmission was launched in 1981 for the year's model car and it is the lesser of the duo overdrive transmissions that were launched around the same time. So, what cars came with a 200-4R transmission, let's take a quick look:
- CZ Monte SS
- OZ Hurst Olds
- BR Grand Nationa
- CQ Chevy 5.0L H.O.
The 700R4 TransmissionThe Turbo Hydra-Matic 700R4 transmission was also manufactured by General Motors (GM) in 1982. It is also one of the first overdrive automatic transmissions launched by GM. The 700R4 transmission cars at the time were not limited to Corvettes, Camaro, Chevrolet, and pickup trucks.
200-4R vs. 700R4 SimilaritiesThe 200-4R vs 700R4 similarities include the following:
1. Release PeriodThe 200-4R and the 700R4 transmissions were both released in the 1980s. At the time, there was a high need for cars with fuel economy and as such, the duo became the answer to the growing need.
2. TV CableThe 200-4R and 700R4 use a Throttle Valve (TV) Cable or detent cable instead of the kick down cable that controls the TH350 and TH400 transmissions. What a TV Cable does is to serve as a primitive throttle position sensor enabling either transmission to maintain the best RPM (revolutions per minute) possible for fuel economy and peak performance. It also enables them to shift smoother which allows a driver to switch between gear ratios seamlessly. Nonetheless, there is still a 200-4R and 7004R transmission problems which have been pointed out time again. One of such stems from their TV Cable which has been said to be a bit finicky, thereby causing them to shift too hard, early or later than expected.
3. OverdriveAn overdrive is reputably known as a transmission's highest gear. It enables the transmission to operate at a low RPM at any given road speed and as a result, it uses fuel efficiently and operates more quietly on the highway. How does this relate to the 200-4R and 700R4? They also feature overdrive gears and they were notably the first GM automatic transmissions to feature such. Today's 4L60E finds its rooting from the 700R4 and like the latter, it has a .70:1 overdrive gear and basic design. The 200-4R, on the other hand, features a ratio of .67:1 which is known to be more aggressive and allow the engine to move 3 percent slower down a highway.
200-4R vs. 700R4 DifferencesThere are also unique differences between the 200-4R and 700R4 transmissions and some of these include:
1. AppearanceIs there any way of telling the 200-4R transmission from the 700R4 from the outlook? Definitely! You will need to rely on their pan bolt count and pattern. It could be a little tricky in the aspect of the pan bolt count since the 200-4R vs 700R4 have the same number of pan bolts which is 16. However, the pattern or angle of the pan bolts is a dead giveaway as to which is which. First, you need to count all the pan angles and if it is a 6 angled, then its definitely a 200-4R. On the other hand, it is a 700R4 if it has is equivalent to a 4 angled square. It also has a bigger pan and longer tail-shaft length than the 200-4R
2. GearingOne of the most notable differences between either is in their overdrive gear. The 200-4R transmission has a .67:1 which is considerably more aggressive than the 700R4's .70:1 overdrive gear. An overdrive gear of this nature on the 200-4R is equivalent to a low RPM when one is driving down a highway. Here's a more precise breakdown of the overdrive gear ratios of both transmissions:
- 200-4R: 2.74
- 700R4: 3.06
- 200-4R: 1.57
- 700R4: 1.62
- 200-4R: 1.00
- 700R4: 1.00
- 200-4R: 0.67
- 700R4: 0.70
Which Transmission Is Better?Which is the better option between the 200-4R vs the 700R4 transmission can be determined by a number of factors and these are:
1. Purpose of the CarThe first obvious reason is the purpose the car will be put to. Is it for drag racing or street ride? If it's for drag, then you're better off with 200-4R thanks to the closeness of its gear ratios. There are, however, two limitations to the 200-4R in this aspect. You'll have to shift it manually as you race if not the shift points will be low. It is also expensive to find one that has been well-built. On the other hand, street use can be optimized with the 700R4 and as such, you'll need this type for a street-worthy vehicle.
2. Aftermarket SupportConsideration is also to be given to which is more common in order to ensure that you can easily find aftermarket support in case you run into issues with the transmission. That being so, the 700R4 would be a better pick since it meets the criteria above.
3. StrengthA comparison of the 700R4's first and second gear shows that there is a big difference between them. This results in a larger RPM drop in the gears in comparison to the 200-4R. There is also the longer nature of the 700R4 which requires certain modifications in order to cross member and driveshaft. Conversely, the 200-4R can be made to be stronger than the 700R4. It is, however, worthy to note that the 200-4R is popularly known as the weaker of the 200-4R/700R4 pair.
ConclusionThe 200-4R vs the 700R4 transmission comparisons show their strengths and weaknesses as well as their similarities and differences. Despite this, they are still a great choice of transmission if one is looking to increase the MPG (Miles Per Gallon) and reduce the RPM as the vehicle moves down the highway. Your choice of which should be determined by the use you want to put it to. Nonetheless, the 700R4 takes it the extra mile by ensuring that while you have aftermarket support, the transmission's life is also prolonged.
Are you driving a car that uses the W5A580 automatic transmission or do you intend to buy one? Then there are certain things to be conscious of when using a Nag1 (W5A580) transmission. Good knowledge about them will ensure that your transmission stands the test of time and serves you longer than you'd ever expected. In the same vein, there is an optimized level of performance to look forward to and all of this is wrapped around knowing the highlights and limitations of the W5A580 automatic transmission. First off....
What Is an Automatic Transmission?An automatic transmission is also known as a self-shifting transmission, an n-speed automatic or an auto. It is a car whose gear changes automatically on its own. As a result, there is no need for the driver to do so manually as would've been the case if a manual transmission is used. In comparison to other transmission systems, an auto also allows the internal combustion engine which is best suited to run at a high rotational speed. The advantages of an automatic transmission include:
- Improved shift comfort
- Reduce fuel consumption
- Increased reliability and service life
What Does Nag1 Mean?Nag1 stands for "New Automatic Gearbox Generation 1." It is a family of transmissions that makes use of different marketing names such as W5A300, W5A380, and W5A580. The initials for these names in the case of W5A580 can be broken into:
- W: A transmission that takes advantage of a hydraulic converter
- 5: Five forward gears
- A: Automatic transmission
- 580: The maximum input torque capacity represented in Newton Metres
What Is the Nag1 (W5A580) Transmission?The Nag1 (W5A580) is a heavy-duty 5-speed overdrive automatic transmission system with a lockup clutch in the torque converter. It is also known as a 5G-TRONIC transmission thanks to its torque converter lockup, 2-speed for reverse, and ability to support almost 600 lb-ft of torque. The system was designed by Mercedes-Benz, a Germany-based automobile company found in 1926. Mercedes-Benz was once a part of the Chrysler family of companies and as such, the W5A580 was used in a good number of Chrysler products such as the Hemi engine which features a Challenger, Magnum, and Charger. This transmission can also be found in Mercedez V12 engine as well as their AMG high-performance vehicles. The same can be said about supercharged Jaguar applications. Nonetheless, when you compare the W5A580 with some modern transmissions, it may be equivalent to comparing a fax machine to modern-day computers. The big difference is, the former struggles with speed while the latter offers seamless performance.
Things to Be Conscious of With the W5A580 TransmissionLike any transmission, there are pros and cons to it and the same can be said about the W5A580 Transmission. Its advantages and limitations are also some of the things you need to be fully aware of and they include:
1. Potential for water to enter through the dipstick tubeThere is the problem of water entering the W5A580 transmission directly from the dipstick tube. This is the tube that enables you to check your engine oil accurately. On the other hand, the potential for water to enter through the tube is often triggered by a defective O-ring, whose defection can lead to fluid leakage from the transmission. A solution that can combat the problem is to replace the O-ring with a new, upgraded O-ring which can be done by getting the car in the air to work on it, and then actually replacing the O-ring.
2. Sensitivity to the quality of transmission fluid usedThe W5A580 transmission is extremely sensitive to the transmission fluid that is used within it. Even when there are tiny droplets of water (0.005 percent) in the fluid, the possibility for the transmission to shudder is high. Now if you're experiencing this shuddering already, you know that the culprit is the quality of transmission fluid you've used. A possible solution is to change the fluid and replace the internal filter which could help to remove any impurities such as fine debris and water in the near future. For the filter it can use, an aftermarket external transmission filter would do just fine since this type of filter is built to be used alongside the factory internal filter. They are installed in one of the transmissions cooler lines and take advantage of a similar filter element that is comparable to those used in cleaning the engine's oil.
3. Torque converter clutch problemAnother problem of the W5A580 transmission is its torque converter not holding correctly. The issue has been reported severally, and it can either be caused by a faulty clutch within the torque converter, faulty solenoid, or fluid contamination of the transmission. Despite this, it is not a widespread problem that should keep you on your toes.
4. Overheating due to abuseW5A580 are used in high-performance cars which sometimes gives car owners the confidence that nothing can go wrong if they abuse the transmission. On the contrary, this is not always the case since the transmission could overheat, and if it does, it could lead to long term problems. Excessive heat, for instance, can destroy your transmission.
Facts About the W5A580 TransmissionHere are some facts about the W5A580 transmission:
1. Built to last longerThe W5A580 transmission has been built to last longer if it is given proper care. However, if it fails, then you can opt for a re-manufactured transmission which can serve as a better replacement in comparison to a rebuilt one. This is because a re-manufactured transmission will always feature better modifications and upgrades in a bid to make them last longer. There's also the advantage of an extended warranty either of which cannot be found in a rebuilt transmission.
2. Torque management systemThe W5A580 transmission uses a torque management system whose aim is to enable the transmission to shift more smoothly.
3. Drive recognition softwareW5A580's Error Correction Mode (ECM) is programmed with drive recognition software. The purpose of the software is to aid in the customization of shift points depending on how the car braking system is used and how the user engages the gas pedal.
4. Stout transmissionThe W5A580 can shift quickly and its gear ratios are spread out. As such, those who drive 600+ hp cars that are powered with the Nag1 can move swiftly. Even by today standards, it can still be said that this transmission comes with aftermarket programming that enables lightning-fast shifts.
ConclusionThese and many more are some of the things to be conscious of when using the Nag1 (W5A580) transmission. Keeping these things in check can ensure that your car's engine does not break down especially when you need it. It's quite simple when you think about it since it revolves around carrying out the basics such as ensuring that the transmission fluid is of good quality and free from debris or water. Likewise, you need to have a filter that will ensure that there are no traces of either of these because if that happens, it could pose problems in the long run.
Your choice between manual vs automatic transmissions for off-road activity is dependent on a number of factors. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to ascertain if a manual is better and faster than automatic, or if it is the other way round. Let's face it! Stick-shifts may have been decades old, but they are still strong contenders with automatic 4x4s, which does not come as a surprise since they were the first around the block with a promise of beefed up engine. That is why till today, there are still cars being designed with a manual transmission in order to meet the heart desire of car fanatics or off-road enthusiasts who will rather handle their own gears than trust the car to do it for them. Similarly, in the world of off-roaders, there is also a debate as to which is a better option once you’re off the pavement. You'll find performance lovers argue on the side of over shift speeds and lap times. On the contrary, smoothness, traction, and control will be the advantages pointed out by automatic 4x4s lovers. But let's take a look at each transmission and what it offers.
Manual TransmissionsManual transmissions are also known as a stick shift or manual gearbox. It is a type of transmission that relies on a clutch that needs to be engaged or disengaged using the foot pedal or hand lever. The clutch also helps to regulate the transfer of torque from the engine to the transmission. There's also the gear selector that can be used with the hand or foot.
Cars That Use a Manual TransmissionSome of the best cars that use a manual transmission are:
- 2019 Subaru BRZ
- 2019 Fiat 500 Abarth
- 2019 Porsche 911 GT3
- 2019 Ford Mustang GT
- 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata
- 2019 Honda Civic Type R
- 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
- 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Automatic TransmissionsAutomatic transmissions can be called self-shifting transmissions or autos and as its name describes; it changes the gear ratios of a car automatically as it moves. This, therefore, takes away the need for the driver to do so manually.
Cars that Use an Automatic TransmissionSome of the best cars that use an automatic transmission are:
- Tata Nexon
- Toyota Yaris
- Renault Kwid
- Honda Amaze
- Hyundai Verna
- Maruti Suzuki Celerio
- Maruti Suzuki Alto K10
- Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza