200-4R durability

"Turbo-T"

V6 on steroids
I've gotten conflicting answers on how much abuse a 200-4R will take. I've heard people talk about they'll last well into the 10 second 1/4 category, while others claim their a grenade waiting to go off.

This post in particular http://www.turbobuick.com/forums/general-turbo-buick-tech/310527-those-you-th400-transbreak.html shows quite a few people like the 400 better. I can understand the 400 being a more rugged unit.

I'm partial to my overdrive but I want to get the car ready for drag strip action once spring rolls in. As far as I know the trans is stock. About where do draw the line on how much abuse a 200-4R will hold?
 

turbofrank

Well-Known Member
There are good trans builders and parts today with that said down to 10sec et is not a big problem for the 200r4 trans.

Remember a trans is only as good as its builder.
 

Grumpy

Thread killer
guess it depends who builds it and what parts are used. we have about 15k on our 9 sec STREET car with a LU converter . I couldn't live without the overdrive. ..

.... Maybe do a search as this has been beatin to death numerous times :cool:
 

SGRIM

Owner/Admin TB.com
Staff member
As Grumpy said. If you get the right parts in the right builder you shouldn't have any problems as long as you dont' go faster than high 9's!

I wouldn't go for the 400 unless you are full time racing or faster than high 9.'s consistently...
 

David Husek

Turbo Buick Performance
It really has nothing to do with the hard parts used; hard parts don’t make the Trans live, but the calibration that is done to the Trans during a proper rebuild does. A stock BR-F trans when they were new, we were taking them into the high 10's for 30-40 passes before they started slipping. After being re-built, that number is a joke for the transmission; my basic rebuilds have gone low tens reliably with no billet hard parts for years with perfect drivability. Now with all the new clutches, bands and billet hard parts all of us builders have available to us today, a 9 seconds E.T. is nothing to fret about, so a ten second ride is standardized...
 

chris718

Active Member
Billet parts are necessary in high powered cars.Once the calibration has been corrected so the clutches dont slip extra load is placed on hard parts.Those who arent using billet parts have non aggressive calibrations that kill friction materials.So you just change out direct clutches instead of breaking parts,but still run the risk of breaking parts because of GMs choice of material on the items that break.The calibrations I have work.This now leaves on with the choice of does he want to roll the dice on a parts failure that will leave the car stuck with no forward and no reverse.Tow truck time.As these cars get more and more mileage the history of the stock parts becomes questionable.The deal is you can now buy a trans standard with billet drum,or full billet for a reasonable price so why take chances?Id rather take a bullet to the chest with a bullet proof vest on than a tshirt.Many have there little saying like this is the age of "billet hypnosis" and other foolish statements that mock the research and development that has put several companies at the forefront of 2004r development.This is a kick in the balls to all of our valuable research and development time.But on the dragstrip is where this battle will be one.Id rather sell someone a billet setup for the same price others get without it because it just isnt right without it in my opinion.
 

bison

Moderator
Staff member
The 200 4-R can be built to run 10 sec passes almost indefintely these days but it is not the best option for a drag race trans by any means. A 400 has better gearing for a high power turbo car and it is a lot less prone to issues as the power is turned up. Not that a gear set cant be put in a 200 but that is extra $. Nothing has to be released in a 400 for an upshift like a 200 4-R on the 2-3. For a couple thousand miles with drag strip use every weekend id go with a 400. I drive my cars alot though and they have full billet 200-4r's in them.
 

Sixxshot87

Member
I would put Len Freeman's built 2004r transmissions against literally any other builder. I paid $1900 bucks to get hit 10.60 build 2004r for my 87 and it doesn't even hiccup. I agree and recognize that there is more than one A grade builder out there no doubt but Len is cream of the crop. I beat the living **** out of the car in more ways than just racing and the transmission has never failed or even heated up after he got ahold of it. Give him a call at Performance Transmission of Las Vegas.
 
I had my 200-4R rebuilt with all the good stuff (billet parts, servo, hardened shafts, hubs, PTC "bat brake", etc...) many years ago by Eric at Dynotech while he still was in Manville, NJ. I remember it did cost a bundle back then, but I wanted to make it as reliable as possible and told Eric put in all the necessary parts he thought were needed to achieve my goal and never regretted it. I've run mid-10's with it, along with an Art Carr torque converter. now I have a new, better engine in my car which should enable me to go in the 9's and I'm pretty confident that the transmission will handle it for a good amount of time (but not indefinitely!...) I understand that when racing, even the best components need to be taken apart once in a while for servicing...
Unfortunately, we all know that Eric isn't there anymore :frown:, so when the time will come to refreshen the transmission I'll have to choose another reputable builder.

Claude. :wink:
 

"Turbo-T"

V6 on steroids
Thanks, just that my trans is I believe stock and I don't want to blow it up when I finally get it to the track....so if it'll hold up to a high 10 sec pass stock...
 

SGRIM

Owner/Admin TB.com
Staff member
Thanks, just that my trans is I believe stock and I don't want to blow it up when I finally get it to the track....so if it'll hold up to a high 10 sec pass stock...
Oh, if it is "STOCK" you will not make a 10 sec pass with it...
 

Ttype6

Well-Known Member
Billet parts are necessary in high powered cars.Those who aren't using billet parts have non aggressive calibrations that kill friction materials.

" He was building Dave Poppe's trans in the early 90's. The only person that we knew of that could build one to stand serious HP. Don't know when people like CK came on the scene. "

This is a quote from Lee Thompson. He's talking about Dave Husek. This is a statement about what he witnessed in the Turbo Buick world in the early 90s. This is his real world experience.
There were no billet parts back then. When lee talks about a transmission that holds up to serious HP,he's talking about a transmission that doesn't burn 3rd gear clutches. After all,this is why most 2004rs fail. Not from broken parts. The one thing for sure is that Dave's transmissions didn't and don't burn 3rd gear clutches. This is what Lee witnessed 17 years ago.
These statements are evidence of how wrong Chris' statements are.
 

Ttype6

Well-Known Member
Once the calibration has been corrected so the clutches dont slip extra load is placed on hard parts.
It sounds like your saying that I'll know my calibration is right when I start breaking parts. Is this what you are saying?
 

Ttype6

Well-Known Member
Before anyone accuses me of saying billet parts are junk,let me say this. Billet parts are better than stock parts in every way.
 

Grumpy

Thread killer
It sounds like your saying that I'll know my calibration is right when I start breaking parts. Is this what you are saying?
It isn't a matter of "IF" it breaks just a matter of WHEN it breaks :p We had a trans here with a good shift kit and an Art Carr hardend drum and a few other things.. NO BILLET parts .. Damm thing worked like a champ !!! 10.0 car that was beat to death on the street and the drags. (did not LU the converter). Winter came and we took the drivetrain out of the car (engine was borrowed:eek:). Trans was sitting on the bench.. Buddy of mine with a 11 sec no nothing of a TTA blew his trans so I told him to just throw my old one in his car till we did his over.. Month later he broke it :rolleyes:... So like I said its all in a matter of time and part of the game.. ya I have all billet parts in ours now :cool:
 

jasjamz

THS Racer
How fast was this car in the early 90s you speak of Ttype6? I mean it could have been an 11.0 car. That was a fast TR back then. Not to take anything away from any of the builders but some are cloudy on the price when it comes to cores and shipping. Some push the billet parts because they see the cars putting out alot of torque break the stock and hardened parts. That way, when the phone rings, the chance of hearing a person on the other end ticked because their car won't move after spending over $2000 is minimal.

So... If can run faster that 10.50 and weigh over 3600lbs the billet parts should be in there. In the 11s...your gambling, without them. In the 9's... you have spent enough money to get there so its a Full Built 200 or a TH400 in there anyway, so I'm not talking to ya:D
 
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