Broke ANOTHER 200 4R

Discussion in 'The "Juice Box"' started by carmantx, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. carmantx

    carmantx Never Surrender

    Tyler's GN has now broke it's 3rd tranny in a year. What's up with that? He is thinking about just sticking a th 400 in it.

    Anybody have any thoughts on the 200 4R? Are they a problem for others?

    First tranny was original GN tranny, and broke the front pump.
    2nd tranny lost 3rd gear clutch.
    Current tranny lost 2nd.

    2nd and 3rd built by different people with good reputations to build race ready 200 4R's, and charged dearly for them. Tyler's been trying to save enough money to get the engine back together in the race car, and now his daily driver broke again.

    should we give up on the 200 4R, or try yet another builder? Anybody have luck with these?
  2. 54Rich

    54Rich Silver Level contributor

    What are you doing to that thing:Do No: I'm running Alky and 24 PSI of boost on a used BFR with no troubles at all:Do No:

    Have you talked to Dave Husek? He helped with mine, dirll a couple of holes, remove a couple of ball bearings, and add an upgrade to the pump. That's it:TU: I don't have his number handy right now, but you should talk to him. PM me if you need it.
  3. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP

    What's Tyler, about 20 or so... I imagine he drives like I did when I was that age, even if he won't admit to it.

    While I am sure we all do the ocassional blast, with some healthy equipment these days, we probably are on average a little easier on the equipment, in the mundane day to day driving.. if we even daily drive the hot rods at all, which most of us don't.

    Pound on anything, day after day..and you will hurt it.

    If you already have spent the big bucks on the last couple rebuilds, then switching to a trans that can take the abuse, might be the way to go.

  4. speedtigger

    speedtigger 9 Second Club

  5. carmantx

    carmantx Never Surrender

    Jim, he is 19, and this is/was his daily driver. I would say, he is tough on equipment, but not abusive. The engine in the GN has 100k miles, so he hasn't been too crazy on it. Should he go to a turbo 400 to handle the GN?

    Steven, this current tranny was built by Extreme, the number 1 on the turbo list.

    He has to drive this car on the highway everyday to go to school, and work.

    Now thinking TH 400 or take one of these 200 4's to another guy close that has good reputation.

    Transmission work is the only thing Tyler or I have never done. He will be in transmission class next year at his school, and can learn some. For now we go pay people.
  6. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP


    Ya, that's what I meant.. I was hard on stuff, but not stupid (no neutral drops or crazy stuff like that). I am sure he is the same, and would expect nothing less from a car guy at his age.

    Up to you as to what to do, I guess just because it came from one of the top builders of that trans, doesn't mean it was his strongest unit. In this type of time frame since the last rebuild, I would contact the guy that built it, and see what he can do for you.

    If he values his rep, and just charged you a bunch of money, then he should be willing to fix it at a very low cost. It might be that he built a good stock trans for you, which would be fine for some drivers, but Tyler might need something a bit stronger.

    In my own business here in building transmissions, the only TH 400 that I have ever had a customer have real problems with went overseas (go figure), and on that deal, it worked fine for a year racing, behind a powerful engine, but I didn't tell the guy how I wanted it shifted, so it eventually hurt itself.. I took responsibility for that oversight, and he found a guy over there that could work on it.. so I supplied (and paid for overnight shipping overseas) the parts, at a cost of just under a grand to me...

    But they still had problems with it (different ones this time :Dou: ) and he was upset with it to the point of selling the car.. so I just told him to put it away, and I will build him a whole new trans, and ship it..

    Will this cost me a bunch.. ya, about 3 grand by the time all is said and done, but in my experience, my rep is worth way more than that.

    What goes around, comes around..

    Hope your guy has the same business philosophy.

    Good luck.
  7. speedtigger

    speedtigger 9 Second Club

    If I am not mistaken, Lonnie stands behind them for this kind of breakage. I can't speak for him, but I think he might warranty that repair. Did you ask him about it?
  8. Phil

    Phil It really *is* a 350...

    Between the three broken transmissions you should have enough to break out an assembly manual and make one good one. I'd think it would only take a day tops, depending on the amount of room you have to work with and whether or not you're the type that always ends up with extra parts when you tear something apart and put it back together....


    I'd never rebuilt a trans let alone touched one and I rebuilt the TH350 in my Buick back in the 90's because I figured I'd take a shot at it. I'm still using it today. :TU:
  9. bostongsx

    bostongsx Platinum Level Contributor

    I dont want to start a war or competition about who builds the best 200's out there but my research took me to the company/man that was doing most of the r and d on upgrades for these trannys and also building most of the billet components. His is also the only company to my knowledge that puts the tranny in a car and drives/tests it before shipping it out. That company man is Bruce Toelle at PTS in CA. I paid up to have him build the tranny in my gnx and would go back in a second.
  10. carmantx

    carmantx Never Surrender

    Thanks everybody. very frustrating. we still dont have a lift, so its a pain to pull transmissions at our place. Tyler did this last one with a little help.

    Jim, not many people left with you business integrety.

    I may take the car to a guy in the region that has done 200s for some racing friends and see what he can tell me.
  11. 54Rich

    54Rich Silver Level contributor

    If it's just a stock GN, then they should be holding up better than that? I'm running quite a bit of boost, but nothing like the guys over at turbobuick are. For a daily driver I'd perfer a 4 speed with LU over a 400 anyday. At 70 I'm turing about 2200 rpms. Like suggested, I'd go back to whoever built it, they just don't fail behind a stock GN. I'm sure you know about proper setting of the TV cable? They will stretch.

    I'd verify proper pressures, somthing weird is going on.

    Here's some good reading:
  12. carmantx

    carmantx Never Surrender

    Stock GN? Stock buick? Not around here. haha.

    He's running 23#'s of boost with the alky injection, larger turbo, injectors and other things. Nothing too crazy, but it will generate some power.

    Question for JW and others that know tranny's. Making good power with this turbo car, is it too much to ask a 200 4R to hold up to day to day driving? Not driving like it's grandma's buick?

    Thanks again for the information guys.

    BRUCE ROE Well-Known Member

    If you just want reliable WITHOUT spending big bucks, put in a THM400. It won't be as fast as the 4 speed, and the axle ratio might need to change for the cruise rpm you want. Get a THM375 output on it to match the 200 driveshaft. Even if the 400 ever broke, repairs are cheap.

    Sure the 200 might be guaranteed. I'd be a lot more concerned about it being unreliable, than who pays for the repair. There is no babying the trans here. 400s get removed & inspected every 100K miles or so here, since that is about the only reason to take them out.

    Bruce Roe
  14. Racerx88

    Racerx88 Platinum Level Contributor

    As far as I'm concerned, for our region, I'd either take it to Phoenix in Weatherford, or Jack Laswell in Rowlett. There's no reason that tranny shouldn't live on the street for a longer time than that.
  15. pphil

    pphil Well-Known Member

    just an idea.......

    do you have a trans cooler installed ?

    i once had a freind that lost 3 trans without any idea of why
    he later found his trans cooler was blocked and not letting the fluid flow

    just an idea

  16. Nothingface5384

    Nothingface5384 Detail To Oil - Car Care

  17. Joe65SkylarkGS

    Joe65SkylarkGS 462 ina 65 Lark / GN

    Want to make his trans last? Take the "mild" engine (I use this term loosly) and put in a track car and get that GN back to a normal stock set up. Ok maybe a few little mods.

    If he drives an 11 or 12 second car on the street daily it won't last, not driven by anyone!! Nevermind a 19 year old. No disrespect Tyler. But these GN's are very finicky.

    My best friend is a 400 guy, builds and modifies them. Been doing them for 30 years and makes amazing 400's. So now he's been messing with these 200's and he's been at it hard for a year or two and can't exactly figure out how to do them quite yet. It's not an easy trans to build according to my old skool buddy.
  18. carmantx

    carmantx Never Surrender

    Good idea Joe, and I have suggested that, but it went over like a lead baloon to Tyler. He is addicted.

    Scott, we do have an external transmission cooler in place, and I'll tell Tyler to check it.

    Thanks again everybody for the suggestions and idea. Tyler is working and earning the money, and he is the one that buys all of his parts for his cars. I'll pass on the ideas and we'll keep you informed. I'll probably still have this 200 looked at to make sure it's not something simple or cheap to fix, then my guess would be we go TH 400 for now. time will tell.
  19. Nothingface5384

    Nothingface5384 Detail To Oil - Car Care

    just out of curiousity, didnt some of the gn guys adapt a ford* 4r75w billet guts) aod unit behind the lil lc2s, due to being cheaper to buildup and just as good if not better reliability?
  20. speedtigger

    speedtigger 9 Second Club

    What did you end up doing to fix the GN?

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