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  • my 700r4 trouble

    I have a 700r4 in my 69 Pontiac now going on 7-years a whopping 10K-12K miles and the trans has failed. I have first gear and reverse but nothing else. When I accelerate the engine has the power but i'm going nowhere, 20 mph. I did replace the governor and same issues. I'm hoping I will be told it's a simple low cost fix or do you all think a total rebuild? I would have thought this trans would have lasted a lot longer than it did. Got it from Maddog trans. They said they can rebuild for $1400.00 plus I would have to pay shipping....so like $2000.00 after all is said and done. Anybody have thoughts??
    Thanks Jim

  • #2

    Re: my 700r4 trouble

    I got nothin' but hopefully some of the guys will have ideas. I mean, I have IDEAS but they're all bad ones.....

    Dan

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    • #3

      Re: my 700r4 trouble

      I'm hoping I will be told it's a simple low cost fix...…….
      no such thing anytime the words 'transmission failed' are used in the same sentence.
      one of my A.S.E certs is auto trans overhaul, in my personal and professional opinion
      the 700R4 is the about the worst transmission ever made. weak (260ft/lb capacity), bad
      powerflow (theres an internal GM service bulletin to tell customers not to cruise at high
      speed in o/d for extended periods of time...REALLY?!?!?!! in an overdrive transmission!?!!?)

      and for every dude that tells you how their car has gone on ten years with 800hp
      and a 700R4 with no problems, theres a hundred guys with crapped out transmissions.

      ditch it. run a th350, th400, or if you must use an o/d trans, a 200-4R. any of those should last
      a long long time if built properly.

      I will never ever run a 700R4 in any vehicle I own, seen too many fail.
      again, my opinion--and you know what they say about that.... good luck.

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      • #4

        Re: my 700r4 trouble

        What Mad dog told me was the TV cable was improperly adjusted. Return it for a rebuild. We decided to do it ourselves and pistons were all cocked in their bores when they were installed and the snap ring put on. They never had a chance to move.
        Rebuilt it ourselves and it worked ok, but dicking with that governer to get the shift point right, constantly changing TV cables, three different stall converters, we put a muncie in.Now we are shopping for 5 or 6 speeds.

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        • #5

          Re: my 700r4 trouble

          My case broke on my 4L60E which is the computerized version of the 700R4 so then I stuck a another one in . All was fine for awhile then if I 40 mph it will start losing the higher gears . So I just use surface streets going to work while I look for and NV 4500 . Yeah it's a suburban with 35s on it . Had caprices and da Trans Am with 700R4s . They all eventually failed . Put a manual 5 or 6 speed in it .
          Previously HoosierL98GTA

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          • #6

            Re: my 700r4 trouble

            Somehow I've avoided ever having a 700R4 in any of our cars. We have had some of the newer, electronic controlled versions, and they have mostly worked ok--although the trans in the 99 Silverado did some weird things after it got a lot of miles on it. We quit towing with it, and it was still going when I sold the truck a couple years ago with about 275k miles on it.

            I don't know what the answer is...there is no easy solution to the transmission problem.
            Last edited by squirrel; October 30th, 2019, 06:57 AM.
            My fabulous web page

            "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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            • #7

              Re: my 700r4 trouble

              Pull the pan, the 7004r filter is known to fall out of the location it should be fully seated into.
              IIRC only thing holding it in place is an o-ring.
              They are also top feed, so low fluid and the filter feeding the transmission from the top. can cause issues.
              Last edited by Eric; October 30th, 2019, 07:30 AM.
              malc likes this.

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              • #8

                Re: my 700r4 trouble

                if the filter fell out, it probably would not have first or reverse, eh?

                My fabulous web page

                "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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                • #9

                  Re: my 700r4 trouble

                  time for a rebuild - 3rd and 4th use the same clutch pack and they're usually the first to fail. The 700R4 and 4L60e are good transmissions for what they are - high hp? you're asking for trouble but in normal use and following recommended servicing they last 200k. Of course, as GM seems to beta test on their customers - the first of anything is likely to be problematic - the 700r4 is no exception, the early ones 82-85 aren't worth rebuilding, 86-up can be made into a reasonable transmission but they're still hp limited. With all that said, there are also 4L65e and 4L70e which are heavier duty versions of the 4L60e.... and those seem to do okay even in the 400-600 hp range... which I challenge anyone to put through a turbo 350....
                  Doing it all wrong since 1966

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                  • #10

                    Re: my 700r4 trouble

                    time for a rebuild - 3rd and 4th use the same clutch pack and they're usually the first to fail. The 700R4 and 4L60e are good transmissions for what they are - high hp? you're asking for trouble but in normal use and following recommended servicing they last 200k. Of course, as GM seems to beta test on their customers - the first of anything is likely to be problematic - the 700r4 is no exception, the early ones 82-85 aren't worth rebuilding, 86-up can be made into a reasonable transmission but they're still hp limited. With all that said, there are also 4L65e and 4L70e which are heavier duty versions of the 4L60e.... and those seem to do okay even in the 400-600 hp range... which I challenge anyone to put through a turbo 350....

                    with a proper build, I wouldn't worry at even 800hp
                    with a th350-- in a lightweight car. a big heavy 4000lb+
                    ride id stay around 500hp, again with a PROPERLY built
                    th350.

                    billet drums, shaved pistons to fit more clutches, red alto
                    clutches and kolene steels, a 32 element xhd sprag, etc...
                    all for less than the cost of a stock rebuild on a 700R4.
                    and its smaller, lighter, takes 30hp less to turn, AND has
                    better ratios than a th400 to boot.

                    yup. id run it no problem. just make sure you got enough cooler,
                    and don't run more stall than your highway cruise rpm.

                    I have several past and/or present rides with 468"/th350
                    combos ( and yet again properly built...) that have done years
                    with no problem, and although I "normally" drive like a little
                    old lady, when I do hang it out its pretty brutal.

                    ive also seen a truly nasty 62 vette break a Jericho and a
                    liberty bell, than survive for the last 6 yrs on a well built th400--
                    in my book only a ultrabell pglide might take more. a th400 is
                    pretty much the cure all for both high hp AND heavy weight/shock load.

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                    • #11

                      Re: my 700r4 trouble



                      with a proper build, I wouldn't worry at even 800hp
                      with a th350-- in a lightweight car. a big heavy 4000lb+
                      ride id stay around 500hp, again with a PROPERLY built
                      th350.

                      billet drums, shaved pistons to fit more clutches, red alto
                      clutches and kolene steels, a 32 element xhd sprag, etc...
                      all for less than the cost of a stock rebuild on a 700R4.
                      and its smaller, lighter, takes 30hp less to turn, AND has
                      better ratios than a th400 to boot.

                      yup. id run it no problem. just make sure you got enough cooler,
                      and don't run more stall than your highway cruise rpm.

                      I have several past and/or present rides with 468"/th350
                      combos ( and yet again properly built...) that have done years
                      with no problem, and although I "normally" drive like a little
                      old lady, when I do hang it out its pretty brutal.

                      ive also seen a truly nasty 62 vette break a Jericho and a
                      liberty bell, than survive for the last 6 yrs on a well built th400--
                      in my book only a ultrabell pglide might take more. a th400 is
                      pretty much the cure all for both high hp AND heavy weight/shock load.
                      turbo 350s is how I learned how to rebuild transmissions.... hate those things. 33s, V8, S10 Blazer, change clutches every 10k miles... and yes, it had a cooler that was larger then the radiator.... because I had someone like you who was certain that it was a cooler issue....
                      Doing it all wrong since 1966

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                      • #12

                        Re: my 700r4 trouble

                        I thought the Rebestos Blues were more sexy than the Alto Reds these days

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                        • #13

                          Re: my 700r4 trouble

                          if the filter fell out, it probably would not have first or reverse, eh?
                          Might suck enough in to get going but then the air mixed in, the line psi goes sorry, no beano.
                          happens when you don't fully seat the filter, known issue
                          so ya.
                          Last edited by Eric; October 30th, 2019, 07:14 PM.
                          anotheridiot likes this.

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                          • #14

                            Re: my 700r4 trouble


                            Might suck enough in to get going but then the air mixed in, the line psi goes sorry, no beano.
                            happens when you don't fully seat the filter, known issue
                            so ya.
                            yeah, and all the damage gets done is such a small time frame of running dry.

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                            • #15

                              Re: my 700r4 trouble

                              if the filter fell out, it probably would not have first or reverse, eh?
                              My experiences in the arena is reverse is last to go.. First and reverse together.
                              Yes. There are plastic parts that land in the pan as a puddle from heat..
                              No filter. Nothing moves! Yes. Have found filters on the bottom of the pan.

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