200 4R "whine" at slow speeds

#1
Hi all. I was referred here as y'all are the pre-eminent forum for discussing 200 4R transmissions. I'm looking for some second opinions.

I currently have a well built 200 4R from one of the more reputable builders (name withheld because I'm not bashing anyone and they did a great job) - I'm just looking for a second opinion. Had them build me a whole package (2800 stall converter, non lockup trans, for ~750hp.) It's currently behind a healthy big block Chevy 454 with ~500hp at the flywheel. In a 72 Chevelle.

Purchased and installed the trans about 2 years ago, only have about 500 miles on it (due to fixing/sorting out other things in the car.)

Now, ever since I bought the trans it has had a slight whine, mainly noticeable in reverse and 1st gear when moving from a stop. Once I get it going I don't notice it. Sounds like more on the passenger side than the driver's side, but maybe that's just me. This weekend, I've finally ironed out many of the issues with the car and got to take it for some decent rides and the whine was noticeable which reminded me of it.

I had previously called the builder about this, they said it's normal due to their super-high pressure pump and the way they setup the trans. I did just measure the pressures (below) and he said those are reasonable for what they expect too. TV cable is adjusted properly so that as soon as you flick the throttle, pressures climb. Also has the correct geometry for the TV cable on the carb.

Just wanted to check in and see if anyone else finds this reasonable to be a "normal" noise for a stout 200 4R? Or should I be worried? Fluid is all nice and pink and clean, doesn't smell funny, and I have a trans temp gauge and external cooler and it never goes above 160 or so (sending unit is in return line from trans to cooler.) Seems to run and drive and shift just fine, no weird vibrations or anything.

Thanks!!!

PSI
No TV PSI Full TV
P 110 300
R 175 360
N 110 275
4 110 280
3 110 280 (fluctuates)
2 275 280 (fluctuates)
1 275 280 (fluctuates)
 
#2
The base pressure in reverse, 1 and 2nd is 275? Thats to high and bad for the pump. You will have wear issues. Contact the builder and make a plan for fixing it. make sure the cable isnt hanging up.
 
#3
Reverse is 175, not 275.

1st and 2nd is 275.

Builder says all of these are the expected pressures for their 200 4R builds.

Cable isn't hung up - moving freely and pressures move up (and retreat) as expected.

Whining only happens when it's in gear moving from a stop in 1st or reverse (though it could keep whining after I'm up to speed and I just can't hear it.) Doesn't appear to be whining in Park or Neutral.

The base pressure in reverse, 1 and 2nd is 275? Thats to high and bad for the pump. You will have wear issues. Contact the builder and make a plan for fixing it. make sure the cable isnt hanging up.
 
#4
Sorry misread on the reverse, Thats still to much pressure in first and second with base pressures.You really only need 155 or so in 1st and 2nd. After I built mine I had 160 and I have no whine at all.... Call around
 
#5
Thanks. I guess what your saying is I should worry about the whine. :(

Last time I called, they insisted all the pressures are normal and all their trannies whine some like this, so I let it go and assumed it normal. Plus it's a year out of warranty already (even though only 500 miles.)

I'd love to find a local builder - but haven't been able to. Anyone know a decent trans shop/builder in Massachusetts that does 200 4Rs?

Sorry misread on the reverse, Thats still to much pressure in first and second with base pressures.You really only need 155 or so in 1st and 2nd. After I built mine I had 160 and I have no whine at all.... Call around
 
#7
Thanks. Can you define exactly what you mean by "gear train"? (Yes, I'm a 200 4R internals noob :) ) Also, thanks for the pointer to a builder, once I can afford it, I think I'm going to have a second 200 4R built for this thing - just can't afford a lot right now, but also don't want to grenade a (2 year old) relatively new $3K tranny either over something stupid.

After researching more and looking/listening to the way the car behaves, I'm starting to wonder if it might be the torque converter whining.

It only does it in gear (any gear), not in Park or Neutral, and as soon as the car gets moving, it starts to diminish/go away (as I said, it may still be whining, but maybe I just can't hear it?)

So, if I track it down to the converter, any recommendations for a decent non-lockup, 200 4R converter with about a 26-2800 stall?

Whine in 1st gear is probably the gear train.
http://www.turbobuickperformance.com/contact_us.php
David is on Long Island.
 
#8
I'm no expert but I've experienced the same
Issue with the whining in 1st and reverse but never had any mechanical problems and I've had it WOT and my 200r is set up similar just a lock up convertor so it seems like a common occurance
 

Steve V

Steve V's Automotive 757 560 2782
#9
I like those max pressures. The base at 110 is a little high IMO..but as long as you don't have 2nd gear starts it's just fine. The way the planetary gears are cut do make a low gear whine. I have had a few 200's I built have a similar whine. Some do some don't. Things happen when you jack up the pressures higher than they where designed for. I wouldn't worry about it.
 
#10
Ok, thanks everyone. Since the fluid looks good, pressures look good, it drives fine, shifts fine, I guess I'll just drive it and see how it does and keep an eye on it. :)

The only thing I don't like about this trans is the builder left out the servo cushion spring, so it has the nasty downshift clunk. I didn't know about that before I had it built, and once it was installed and I heard it, I asked and researched and found out it's common as well.

But, if/when I get another built, I will definitely have that rectified. :)

Thanks again...

I'm no expert but I've experienced the same
Issue with the whining in 1st and reverse but never had any mechanical problems and I've had it WOT and my 200r is set up similar just a lock up convertor so it seems like a common occurance
I like those max pressures. The base at 110 is a little high IMO..but as long as you don't have 2nd gear starts it's just fine. The way the planetary gears are cut do make a low gear whine. I have had a few 200's I built have a similar whine. Some do some don't. Things happen when you jack up the pressures higher than they where designed for. I wouldn't worry about it.
 
#11
BTW - not sure if I was clear enough above (or if it matters) - the whine will be there at a dead stop as soon as I put it into gear.

No noise in park or neutral, as soon as it goes into any gear it starts that whine, even at a dead stop. As I make the car move, it will slowly go away (or seems to) as I get up to speed.

Everything I read says this sounds like torque converter? Or still could be a normal noise based on the pressures and build of the tranny?

Also, I've read some torque converters are loud like that sometimes depending how they are built (this one was custom built.)

Just wanted to ask one more time, as I'm paranoid about strange noises. :)

I like those max pressures. The base at 110 is a little high IMO..but as long as you don't have 2nd gear starts it's just fine. The way the planetary gears are cut do make a low gear whine. I have had a few 200's I built have a similar whine. Some do some don't. Things happen when you jack up the pressures higher than they where designed for. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

Ttype6

Well-Known Member
#12
BTW - not sure if I was clear enough above (or if it matters) - the whine will be there at a dead stop as soon as I put it into gear.

No noise in park or neutral, as soon as it goes into any gear it starts that whine, even at a dead stop. As I make the car move, it will slowly go away (or seems to) as I get up to speed.

Everything I read says this sounds like torque converter? Or still could be a normal noise based on the pressures and build of the tranny?

Also, I've read some torque converters are loud like that sometimes depending how they are built (this one was custom built.)

Just wanted to ask one more time, as I'm paranoid about strange noises. :)
If it whines when in gear and the car is stationary,it's not the low planetary gears. The one time I experienced this,it was the converter.
 

INEEDAGN

Seen Your Member
#13
What rpm does the car idle at when in gear? Base pressure is high enough, maybe the pump's not happy trying to make that pressure at too low of rpm. Crank the idle up a bit and see if it goes away.

Just brainstorming...
 
#14
Thanks for the ideas. It idles around 850-900 rpm in park/neutral or in gear - with the converter it has, there is effectively no drop putting into gear.

What was interesting in my fiddling with it was that in any gear position, it would make the same whine at idle when stopped. In park/neutral, there was no whine. That's why I'm thinking torque converter.

But, this was my quick characterizing of the car after taking it for a ride with my wife now that I've finally got it running well and stopping well (brakes and fuel issues are what were really holding me up from being able to drive it since I installed the tranny, and of course time to work on it and sort it out.) I didn't have time before I put it away to really pay attention to *exactly* how it was behaving, just did a quickie test to see it was the same as before.

And, alas, this weekend was a bust as far as working on car time (it was a family fun time weekend without automotive aspects :) ), so this upcoming weekend I plan to get out there and really try to characterize/diagnose exactly what it is doing. I'll report back what I find and exactly how it is behaving.

Thanks again, and any ideas or things to try/look for while diagnosing are more than welcome.

What rpm does the car idle at when in gear? Base pressure is high enough, maybe the pump's not happy trying to make that pressure at too low of rpm. Crank the idle up a bit and see if it goes away.

Just brainstorming...
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
#15
Really not that difficult to pull the servo and install a spring to cushion that down shift. You should look into it.
 
#16
That's a good point since I'm messing with it anyway. I don't really like mucking about with transmission internals myself (again I'm paranoid I'll break something simple) but I'll check this out. Thanks, and any pointers on this are more than appreciated!

Really not that difficult to pull the servo and install a spring to cushion that down shift. You should look into it.
 
#18
That's a good point since I'm messing with it anyway. I don't really like mucking about with transmission internals myself (again I'm paranoid I'll break something simple) but I'll check this out. Thanks, and any pointers on this are more than appreciated!
If you do decide to add the servo cushion spring, make sure the servo piston seals are well lubricated when you reassemble.
 
#19
It's definitely the tranny. It's (from what I've come to learn) the classic 200-4r downshift clunk, it happens when you have the wrong/no cushion spring in the servo mechanism. Always happens same exact speed as the tranny is downshifting at very low speeds when I'm slowing down, and the builder confirmed that yes, their transmissions are built that way and will do that.

Of course, I didn't know enough to ask about that before I bought it, everyone said the 200-4r was great, get one, you'll love it, drop it right in place where that th350 was, easy peasy. And generally I do like it, except that clunk. (And of course the whine I'm trying to diagnose haha.)

Have you checked the rear end? Could be a bad pinion bearing.


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mikestertwo

Well-Known Member
#20
Thanks for the ideas. It idles around 850-900 rpm in park/neutral or in gear - with the converter it has, there is effectively no drop putting into gear.
What was interesting in my fiddling with it was that in any gear position, it would make the same whine at idle when stopped. In park/neutral, there was no whine. That's why I'm thinking torque converter.
It sounds like a bad Torrington bearing in the converter. What you are experiencing is a common symptom.