Removing and replacing the 200-4R (DETAILED PICS)


Staff member
Well after bowling green took its toll on the stock trans in my dad's car we we able to pick up a Stage 1 Janis to put in its place. I tried as best I could to document the removal and installation for those that have contemplated removing and replacing their trans but wasn't quite sure the job that may be ahead for them. With that said my dad and I went to Richard Clark to have him help show us how to remove and re-install so we had access to lifts and all the tools that we would ever need to complete the job...

Here is our journey:

The first thing that we made sure was to unhook the TV cable from the throttle body to be sure the pressure on the line was off. Also while there go ahead and remove the trans dip stick. The messy part will be draining the trans fluid since GM never installed a drain plug.
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Also since the car is in the air make sure to put the shifter in neutral in order to be able to rotate the drive shaft to be able to get to the bolts. Take the 2 straps loose (7/16 wrench) and you may have to use a pry bar or large screwdriver to pry the drive shaft forward towards the trans to be able to remove the drive shaft:
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At this point you may have some clearance issues with getting the drive shaft down past the exhaust. The car has a Pypes exhaust system on it so it was fairly easy to remove the drive shaft.
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Once you have the drive shaft out of the way then we started to remove some of the things under the driver side starting with the shifter cable as well as unhooking the linkage that goes up to the steering column. Make sure to unplug the connector and also be careful to take the wiring that is attached to the trans with the clip that keeps the wiring in place.
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Also carefully remove the speed cable. In this instance we have to correct tool to remove the cable. You can use a pair of pliers however it will be more difficult, also be sure to remove the sleeve that protects the speedo cable from kinks.
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This piece will help not to damage the speedo cable to make for a clean removal without marring the threads.
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The next step is to remove the 2 trans cooler lines. This is best accomplished with the correct flare nut wrenches (1/2).
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The top line is a bit more difficult to get to so just take the time not to round off the nuts.
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Now of course the will leak fluid so if you have a way to keep them from leaking you would want to put this in place to save a mess on the ground.
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Now it is time to remove the TV cable where it attaches to the trans (10MM). Just remove the bolt and lift up, there will be a small spring that is attached to the end of the cable. it has a very small hole in the cable. When re-installing you may want to have some pull tension on the TV cable to make sure that it does not slip out while trying to bolt the tube back to the trans
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The next part can be a bit more challenging and that is removing the dipstick tube from the trans. Be sure that you first remove the bolt from the bellhousing that keep the dipstick tube in place, next Richard has found using a pair of hose pliers of a particular size makes removing and installing the dipstick tube much easier. Simply grab the bottom of the tube and using a hammer Richard is able to loosen up the dipstick tube. I would recommend using a new dipstick tube grommet (Dorman #65113)
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Once that is complete then what we did next was move to the torque converter bolts by using a tool to hold the flywheel and remove the bolts. Since using the PTC converter (5/16 is what was sent with the new PTC) you will have to drill the holes in the flywheel out ever so slightly to accommodate the larger bolts.
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Once the bolts are removed from the flywheel the next move toward removing the bell housing bolts. This can be a difficult without the correct tool however a 36 inch extension that is 1/2" drive on the rachet end and 3/8 on the other. Richard made this tool specifically for this task. He was able to take a swivel socket and cut most of it off to help reach all the bolts due to clearance issues.
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Once all the bellhousing bolts are removed then you will need to then remove the trans mount. Be sure to remove the passenger side bolt first as it is the most difficult to get to. If needing to replace the mount we used a new Duralast trans mount (2379)
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You may have some trouble with the part that is attached to the exhaust system so in this case we simply used a bungee cord to help hold the support out of the way. You may want to inspect the condition of the exhaust system and all hangers to see if possible replacement is needed.
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Once you have the 2 bolts and the nut removed then slowly lower the trans from the car. You do not have to take the cross member to do so. Take your time and make sure that you don't catch any lines on the way down.
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Now that the trans is down and out of the way I took the opportunity to see if any wiring needed to be looked at, especially the grounds near the trans and rear of the engine.
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Once you have checked everything and all looks well one thing that will help with the install is actually bending the body seam that hangs down in the tunnel. This will GREATLY help with removal of the trans in the future.
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With the trans out of the way make sure when you remove the converter that you have a catch pan to get the fluid that will be coming out of the snout of the converter and the pump of the tranny.
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Richard uses a 5 gallon bucket and a metal plate with a hole so that the snout of the converter will be able to drain.
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Since the car will see more track time we removed the pan from the new trans in order to be able to get the governor out. The reason is to make sure that the spring is either glued or pinned in place to prevent the spring from coming loose. Because we are using a cork gasket make sure to recheck it after a few heat cycles to be sure that you don't develop a leak. (Notice the use of the angled fitting for the 4th gear pressure switch, This will allow the use of the 700-4R trans filter which picks up from the bottom of the pan, unlike the 200-4R filter). The Fel-Pro trans gasket number is (TOS18662). NAPA part # (ATP17225)
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We found that we needed to pin the governor since the the one that came out of it was not pinned.
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Richard then wanted to make sure that since the trans was upgraded and would see more pressure that in order to keep the shift points where they need to be he measure the spring tension to try to get the correct shift points. A lighter spring will raise shift RPM's, heavier spring will lower the shifting RPM's. In this case with a a stock cam we wanted to keep the shifts in the high 4k, low 5k range. Make sure to use a touch of loc-tite to help make sure that the screw remains in place. Richard also uses a hammer to actually "damage" the threads on purpose to help keep it jammed in place
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Once the correct spring was found then Richard takes a small allen screw to keep the spring in place, keep in mind this allen screw will also add weight to the governor so remember this as you are making spring tension choices. You can see the head of the allen screw below.
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Nice read, Clint. Keep it coming. I just put in a new torque converter yesterday and it looks like I haven't missed a step - yet.
We cleaned the old pan out making sure to remove all the gunk was gone.
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Once the trans was back together we wanted to make sure to be able to check the pressures once installed back in the car. Richard made sure to clean around the plug before removal to prevent trash from getting into the new trans.
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There are 2 fittings that will make checking the pressure a breeze. Make sure to put some sealant around the trans case threads as this fitting will stay in the trans and not be removed.
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The numbers you need for the fittings below is:
(661950 - AN4 flare cap) / (660800 - 4AN flare to 1/8 NPT 90 degree)
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At this point the trans is ready to install so that the pressures can be tested in the car. In our case we used half Dex III and half tractor hydraulic fluid. The tractor fluid being thicker will actually tighten the converter just a bit and I have been using it in my car for years. We are using a PTC 10" lockup in this case.
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Now it is time to put the tranny back in, fill it up, get the car to operating temps and test the pressures.
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Im sure along the way I missed something however I did my best to try and document every step that I could. I wanted to share this with the TB community for someone thinking about removing or upgrading the trans. I can't thank Richard enough for his contribution for this for allowing us to photograph this process from start to finish...

Happy Motoring!!!
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Clint , Please tell me that JD didnt tell you how to break-in the transmission....;)

Anyone who wants to get a 36" extension that's 1/2 on drive and 3/8 on the socket side can get it from Matco. I use a hex 9/16 impact swivel. It's a very compact setup at the point of the socket. This combination allows me to remove all the bellhousing bolts in about 1 minute with the crossmember removed. The top 4 are removed then the trans supported and last 2 removed and it's ready to drop. It's also much easier to access the bolts even if the crossmember is in place using these tools. All bolts can be accessed and checked in a few minutes. Many torque converters can be held at the bolt lugs using a large wrench. The PTC 9.5" takes a 1" wrench and you can easily hold the converter while working the bolts. Another nice tool to have is an evacuation sump. It can be bought through any marine supply store or found online. Reduces oil spills the on the floor since you can suck out 80% of what's in the pan very quickly by inserting the suction tube down the trans fill tube. You can put an old one quart oil container on each trans line and catch the dropping oil. I often blow the outlet line with compressed air to remove as much oil as possible at this point and minimize dripping. Once you have these tools at your access you can remove the transmission in about 15 minutes and not spill much oil at all.
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What do you guys do about flushing lines and coolers?Are they like the oil coolers and need to be replaced?
I hope Richard screwed the Allen head in further on the governor than the picture shows. Looks to be out a tad too far and will lock up causing a no shift issue. Guess how I know this ...

Nice write up Clint as I did the same thing in June to my TB as I remembered all the steps you went through , I got Vince Janis to build my trans also which I am very pleased with , I have your same set up Stage 1 but I went with the larger pan and same converter , its a killer set up for the street and strip . The car made the trip to BG and back and got 22 mpg for the 900 round mile trip that I am very pleased with .

I enjoyed see your Dad ring his TB it out at the Nationals , he looked like he was having a lot of fun . :)
Agree that it should become stickied, so it stays up top and doesn't get buried. Very informative and detailed for sure.
Awesome post, thank you for doing it.

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