700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

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700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by redrider on Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:15 pm

Trying to plan ahead, what all am I going to need to do swap from a TH350 to a 700R4?
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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by bitterfitter on Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:33 pm

You will have to shorten the driveshaft. You wil also have to get a TV cable and bracket to control the transmission for lock up. If going with the lockup feature. I can't remember if you have to move the trans crossmember or not. You may have to check your front driveshaft yoke. Make sure it is the same spline as the new transmission.
I opted to go with the 200-4r after some mods to the tranny. It was very similar to the swap you are planning. I just didn't want to cut the driveshaft in case I wanted to go back. The rest was similar and pretty easy. Just make sure you adjust the TV cable correctly. Or you will fry the tranny fast!

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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by DoctorLarry on Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:35 pm

Move the crossmember back, drill new holes, possibly move your exhaust around, shorten your driveshaft, get a carb bracket to handle the throttle valve, get a 4th gear lockup kit and you are done. You might laso need to check the angle of the transmission and shim your mount to keep it at the same level.

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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by DoctorLarry on Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:36 pm

I can measure the correct shaft length tomorrow. I did this about 4 years ago.

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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by JiMi_DRiX on Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:03 pm

bitterfitter wrote:You will have to shorten the driveshaft.  You wil also have to get a TV cable and bracket to control the transmission for lock up.  If going with the lockup feature.  I can't remember if you have to move the trans crossmember or not.  You may have to check your front driveshaft yoke.  Make sure it is the same spline as the new transmission.
 I opted to go with the 200-4r after some mods to the tranny.  It was very similar to the swap you are planning.  I just didn't want to cut the driveshaft in case I wanted to go back.  The rest was similar and pretty easy.  Just make sure you adjust the TV cable correctly.  Or you will fry the tranny fast!

I remember once reading about having the right kickdown piece on the carb, or you can/will burn it up too. Ive always been interested in this swap for my 76 Monte.
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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by pila on Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:11 am

If it's a column shifter, the shift indicator in the dash won't show what's selected. Maybe some one on here knows how to deal with that.
Be sure to remove the little shift indicator cable from the sleeve on the column, ( if you take the steering column loose from the dash,) that the shift lever in mounted in. It's just a clip on the end of the cable, that slides on the housing sleeve.
If you remove it, the needle in the indicator can be adjusted to match the shifter position etc. when it's put back together ......
Can't remember if the column has detents, or if just the transmission has the detents for position of the shifter.
Going from 3 positions on the column to 4, to include the OD position .....don't know how it all works out, even though I have a '74  Question Very Happy 

Of course if a floor shifter is gonna be installed, it's a different set up anyway.... Very Happy 

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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by bitterfitter on Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:52 am

My '74 has the factory floor shifter. The indicator is off when in gears but no big deal. Because off the extra forward gear, I do not think that I can manually shift into 1st but that is not an issue for me. I always figured when I got the time I would grind a custom detent plate for the shifter. Just not high on my list right now.

And yes, to get the correct geometry on the TV cable to the carb, there is a special bracket. It just moves where the TV able attaches to the carb so you get the proper arc and full motion of the cable. After this is hooked up, you can search the web for setting the TV cable adjustment. It is easy but has to be done.

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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by black eyes on Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:05 am

bowler transmission in Il has a 1 step tv cable ajust for the 700r4 call them tell them what carb your running and install rev to the sertan rpm and will ajust in 1 step. part is like $249 just throwing that out there if you wanna look them up? I also have the same set up in my car put have not completed it yet. Waiting for weather to warm up.

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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by thatfnthing on Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:52 am

The TV cable controls the shifts, not the lockup.  The lockup is electric, and can be controlled by any number of aftermarket kits out there, or you can wire a simple switch and control it yourself.  The lockup can happen in any gear except 1st.

As for the TV cable adjustment, it will be critical to get it adjusted right (it should be all the way out at WOT and all the way in at idle) or you will burn out the clutch packs quickly if the tranny uses the stock valve body, as the pressure will be too low.  An alternative would be to get a high pressure valve body (mine runs at about 100 PSI even at idle) -- this will make exact adjustment of the cable less critical.

The 200-4R is a much simpler swap than the 700-R4 -- slide the xmember back to the TH400 mounting holes and re-use your existing driveshaft -- and has slightly better OD (.67 versus .70), though the 1st gear is not quite as tall.  It's also an inch narrower on each side than your old TH350, which gives you more working room.

The detents are in the column or the plate on the floor shifter, not the tranny, and yes they will be off because you have 7 positions now instead of 6.  However, it's not a lot, and it's workable until you can make or purchase a new detent plate.  I made one for my floor shifter, but you can buy them pre-made.  If you use a floor shifter, you will also likely have to have a custom cable made, as the TH350/400 have the adjuster further forward (IIRC) than the 4-speeds.  You may also need different cable brackets at the adjuster and the pan rail, but there are Camaro kits for this kind of swap that will work.

You will also want to make sure you bump up the rear gears accordingly (3.42 or higher), or the car will not drive well in OD.


Last edited by thatfnthing on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by 74Malibu383 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:06 pm

I installed one and ran it for three years in my 74. Definitely have to move the crossmember back as mentioned above. I used Bow Tie Overdrive's TV cable set up. Super simple, but you pay for it being that simple. The Lock Up was controlled by simply installing a new brake switch and running one wire down to the transmission.

I still have the 3" steel driveshaft I had made for the 700R-4, and it's for sale.

One word of advice. They don't like 4th gear burnouts. Makes for one heck of a lot of smoke, but the internals don't hold up very well. Who knew.....
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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by pila on Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:58 pm

One of the high-end trans builders says the 2004R is tougher than the 700R4, but that's a $3600 buck trans !

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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by thatfnthing on Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:46 pm

pila wrote:One of the high-end trans builders says the 2004R is tougher than the 700R4, but that's a $3600 buck trans !

They can both be built to withstand 1000 HP, but obviously that's going to cost gondo bucks. My 200 is good for 400-450HP and cost me $1700.00 from PATC with a 2000 stall lockup converter. I probably spent another $300.00 on miscellaneous stuff like external cooler & filter, Lokar dipstick & TV cable, Aeroquip lines & fittings, pressure & temp gauges, etc. 3.42 rear gears with installation ran another $500.00 or so.
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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

Post by redrider on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:14 pm

Thanks for the input, already had a 84 model but found that it does not have the updates. Trying to pickup an 89 model this weekend.
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Re: 700R4 Swap on 74 Malibu

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