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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default 65 Special + big-block V-8 + 700R4 - how? & worth considering??

    Dear V-8 Buick members,

    Thankfully Jim Weise is building the big-block engine for my 1965 Buick Special station wagon - at last I can let someone else worry about those details!!

    Alas, that still leaves the rest of the drive train to resolve. Last time I sought the wisdom of you'all I was trying to settle down on a 2004R transmission. However, a few phone calls and more website searching and . . . . I'm now revisiting the 700R4 (4L60) transmission.

    The 700R4 looks interesting for my particular application because it was used in truck and vans of the 80s, but does not require the complicated electronics of the 4L80e. Given that I'm trying to create a fuel-efficient family wagon and tow vehicle, the 700R4 seems better suited to the task and I seem to be able to find more economical stall converters than for the 2004R.

    Therefore I ask . . . . .

    How much harder is it to install a 700R4 in a 65 Buick A-body? My understanding was that the 2004R required only moving the crossmember back and shortening the drive-shaft. The 700R4 requires an adapter plate to bolt to the big-block engine. Otherwise it appears to be similar (at least according to this summary: http://www.transmissioncenter.net/700R4_Swap_Info.htm). Anyone actually tried to put one of these puppies in their car - if so, what happened?

    What's the trade-offs regarding this?
    I know that the 700R4 gear ratios aren't as nice as the 2004R. First gear of the 700R4 is really extreme 3.06:1 and the over-drive gear is only 0.70:1 instead of 0.67:1 of the 2004R. Can anyone comment on this?

    As best as I could see this combination is very unusual. If anyone can done it - I would be very interested in their experience. Those who decided to do something else - I'm also interested in why you went some other way.

    Thanks in advance for all the automotive wisdom of the Buick variety!

    Cheers, Edouard

    P.S. Apologies if this topic has been covered sometime in the history of V-8 Buick. I sure tried to ferret this info using the search function, but had no luck. If there are some meaty past threads, please point them out!
    Last edited by elagache; 05-27-2011 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Added later GM designation: 4L60
    Caretaker of a 1965 Buick Special "Billy-goat"

    Read more about: The grand adventures of a trusty "billy-goat" wagon
    More photos at Biquette's stall in the V-8 Buick garage

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Framingham, Ma

    Default Re: 65 Special + big-block V-8 + 700R4 - how? & worth considering??

    I've had both and liked the 200 alot more. There's more grunt off the line with first and better cruising rpms in OD. Plus it bolts up without adapters or anything. I may be biased though since I've had a 700/4l60 in 3 different cars and it blew up in 2 of them. The car that had the 200 never had a single problem with the trans.

    Most of the guys who swear by the 700 also seem to think it's worthwhile to have a spare in the garage
    "To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time."
    --Leonard Bernstein



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