Would you like to know how to swap a TH200 4R transmission into early muscle cars for easy overdrive? If that is a yes, let us show you how to go through the whole process. First off, it is worth noting that the TH200 4R transmission is worth the time and effort you will put into swapping it into that ride of your choice.
The reason lies in the ruggedness of this transmission, which can be compared to the 700R4. In line with that, a few modifications to the TH200 4R will see this transmission nicely fitted into almost all Chevy chassis. You will also be spending less to get this transmission since it is the least expensive overdrive automatic.
Advantages of Using a TH200 4R Transmission
There are several advantages of using the TH200 transmission to swap into a muscle car:
1. As Strong as the TH700-R4
The TH200 4R shows the same torque capacity and durability evident on the TH700-R4. And the TH700-R4 is a performance automatic overdrive that has earned a lot of attention.
2. Gear Ratio
The TH200 4R has a better first-gear ratio. Specifically, this transmission uses a 2.74:1 First-gear ratio, and in comparison to the TH350’s ratio, it is more profound. Nonetheless, it is less deep than the TH700-R4’s 3.06:1 ratio. Also, there is a less severe RPM drop of the TH200 4R’s engine between first and second gear, and as such, the car accelerates after the gear change. It may also interest you to know that overdrive ratios between the TH200 4R and the 700-R4 are almost similar. These ratios are 0.67 and 0.70, respectively.
The TH200 4R is also a suitable replacement for powerglide/TH350 transmissions. It has the same basic overall length as the powerglide or Turbo 350 automatics. In line with that, it uses a similar 27-spline slip-yoke as a powerglide or a TH350 transmission. You will also find standard flexplates on this transmission. Accordingly, here is how to swap the TH200 4R transmission into early muscle cars.
How to Swap TH200 4R Transmission into Early Muscle Cars
The TH200 4R can easily be identified from other transmissions, including the TH350 and TH400, thanks to its unique pan design. And when it comes to swapping this unit into muscle cars, you need to choose a well-used TH200 4R. With that in mind, here is what you need to begin:
1. Universal TV Cable and Bracket
You will need to purchase a throttle valve (TV) cable and two different cable brackets. The cable brackets will be used for the Holley or Carter/Quadrajet Carburetor. It is essential to get these dedicated brackets to ensure good positioning of the TV cable to the primary throttle shaft.
2. Throttle Valve (TV) Cable
We’ll like to emphasize the throttle valve (TV) cable, on which the TH200 4R relies on. This cable serves as a replacement for the vacuum modulator valve and the kick-down linkage. It is essential to install and connect this cable properly. The connection between the TV cable and the transmission is made on the passenger side using a small hook. On the other hand, you can run the Turbo 350 or a powerglide without the kick-down cable, unlike the overdrive transmissions like the TH200 4R and 700R4 that need the TV cable adequately connected and adjusted. The TV cable helps to baseload on throttle position, which makes it essential. Not adjusting the cable properly, the clutches may get damaged within a short time due to high load with low trans pressure.
3. TV Cable Adjustment
You may want to carry out a TV cable adjustment to ensure that the cable is tight with the carburetor at wide-open throttle (WOT). What this adjustment does is to create maximum transmission-line pressure at WOT. Nonetheless, harsh part-throttle upshifts may be created if the cable is too tight. As such, you can loosen the cable to reduce inline pressure to soften the harshness slightly. A dimension you should consider is the distance from the throttle shaft to the TV cable connection.
4. Torque Converter
Swapping to a TH200 4R requires that you select the right torque converter. You can opt for a modified converter that is smaller with a higher-stall and lockup-style converter. The latter differs from a stock torque converter that is heavy. There are torque converters that support 2,600-4,000 stalls, and these can lock up under cruise conditions. They are also ideal for hot street cars with a big cam and deep gears. It is entirely possible to interchange TH200 4R converters with some early 700-R4 transmissions. In contrast, you cannot interchange Turbo 350, 400, or powerglide converters with the TH200 4R. On the other hand, it is easy to tell apart lockup converters using the converter’s flat flexplate side.
5. Wiring Kit
There is a universal lockup wiring kit you can use to retrofit TH200 4R and 700R4 automatics. The aim of doing this is to engage the lockup converter in fourth gear and, at the same time, disengage the lockup under the acceleration of downshifting. Over and above that, the kit offers a manual override option, which is beneficial if you opt for a lockup torque converter.
The Bottom Line
The steps above will get you started with swapping a TH200 4R transmission into early muscle cars. You will be working with a durable and robust transmission that comes with other advantages. It will withstand the impact on the road while you race; hence, it is worth using this transmission in the first place. Now try these installation tips above to see how well they work for you.