Trans Final Tuning Help


New Member
Jun 4, 2001
I wrote to the message board a couple of months ago and was unable to perform the final tune on my 200-r4 until I got the gears in the rear in.

Well, finally after calling my buddy everyday he found some time to put in 4:11's in my 1971 cutlass with a 455(out of a '69 wagon) and a 200-r4 transmission.

There are several problems I'm having. The trans shop that did the job I believe has the experience and the knowledge to finish the job, but they are lacking the desire to deal with a hot rod. It just ins't profitable for them to deal with it. So, I was wondering if anyone can send me in the right direction, If what I need to do is able to be easily done I would appreciate the advice. Otherwise can anyone suggest someone they trust in the central Jersey area? Or is my best bet to abandon the trans and buy one done from Bruce?

Problem number one - When I shift with very little pressure on my gas pedal the car changes gears with authority. It is firm and gives you a little kick, the way I wanted it. I didn't want neck snapping shifts. If you put the gas half way down and allow the trans to shift it shifts normal but with no authority and when it goes into third since I have manual lock-up the lock up comes in at the same time it shifts and it slips a little. If you give it full throttle the car shifts firm and fine. Not as firm as with a little bit of throttle but still firm, I think it could be a little quicker, also all slipping and 2-3 shift problems disappear.

Problem number two - When coming into a turn the car doesn't down shift unless I take the turn like a grandma. Doesn't seem to downshift when slowing down right.

Problem number three - When coming to a stop sometimes the car bangs into first gear as it is downshifting, sounds like the trans is going to drop out.

A suggestion to the problem could be: I think the convertor is staying locked to long after taking my foot off the gas. Since I have the convertor locking up manually could this be the problem. When we first put the trans in the car we tried locking the convertor up manually using a toggle switch. This method did not work. I didn't try the add on kit you can by, the trans builder thought having it lock up manually would be better.

Some other imortant stats: I have a trans cooler, the trans is overfilled one quart, the converter is stock stall, the TP cable is connected to the Holley four Barrel with the conversion kit Holley sells. The trans code on the side says it came out of a '83 caddy. The 455 is basically stock except for machine work, and a mild cam. I have not found out what the pressure readings are, I was unable to locate a pressure guage until now, I read the article on summits availability. Pan and filter are stock. Internals are truely unkown. I tried to get out of the builder what he did but he was apprehensive as to tell me the specifics. All I got was the clutches and discs were upgraded, new TP cable, Hardened input shaft, hardened sun shell, trans kit. I don't believe there were any governer mods or intermediate servo modifications. Also don't believe the TP plunger was upgraded, that might be stock.

Sorry for the long list I wanted to give as much info as possible. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Everyone keeps telling me to get rid of the trans and put a 400 in. I have faith that this website has the answers and I'm not willing to give up, plus with the steep gears I want to still be able to drive the car to work on the highway.
I will reply in awhile. I am going to watch this MNF game if it kills me. I Need to just sit for awhile. You have alot of questions and I will address all of them but not till later. I wanted to drop a note so you would " keep the faith" LOLOL:D
By morning it will be there for you to review or you are more than welcome to call shop tommorrow and talk to me personally.