Extreme Automatics 2004-r Install

Discussion in 'The "Juice Box"' started by DauntlessSB92, May 20, 2013.

  1. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    To clarify on all this, the miscommunication was not Lonnie's fault. Unfortunately because he is so busy, G-body parts answers the phones. I am sure the messages were forgotten about and never passed along to Lonnie.

    I told him the shift issues I was having and Lonnie told me to try a few things. First there is the possibility that the tv plunger could be stuck so he told me to pull on the cable 10 times to try and unstick it and dislodge any possible debris. Next he said, and there was plenty of caution attached to this statement, to drive the car at minimum throttle with the tv disconnected to see if I still have issues with the 1-2 shift. The problem did go away so the issue can be attributed to too much tv at the idle position, either due to too much cable tension or a longer than required spring.

    My next issue was that the car seemed to be trying to go into 1st gear when above half throttle at highway speeds. This we have attributed to too light flyweights for my particular build. It seems it wants to shift at 5500+rpm which is way too much for me. So Lonnie gave me a measurement he would like to see for tv idle position and he will most likely be sending me a new governor. I hope this works:pray:
  2. 462 Chevelle

    462 Chevelle 462 chevelle

    would that make it downshift to first on the highway though? seems if it was a governor problem ony the upshift would be the problem? im no trans guru though. nor am I implying I know more than your trans builder. just an observation.
  3. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    A 4-1 downshift is a proper shift for a 200-4r but only providied that the rpms are below a certain point. I think that because the governor is too heavy the flyweights are still closed during a downshift at 55 so a 4-1 downshift is attempted when a 4-2 or 4-3 would be more appropriate. With 3.73s and 27" tall tires at 55mph the rpms in 2nd gear are very close to 5000rpm but they are not over it. It doesn't feel like it is coming out of gear or slipping.

    Also asked about my speedometer being off. Lonnie put in a 13 tooth drive gear. With this gear it would be impossible to get the correct driven gear for my application. a 10tooth drive gear is $70 O_O
  4. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    To kind of give an update on this I am at the conclusion that the second gear band glazed over. I drove the car to work one day and noticed that at speeds above 70mph (where a downshift would only be from 4-3) the trans upshifted and downshifted exactly like it should. I also tried shifting into manual 3rd which had full engine braking, then I tried 2nd gear. Nothing happened. It just freewheeled. So that right there told me 2nd was no go. 1st worked fine though.

    So I pulled the transmission out and it will be shipped back this week. I am getting really antsy and just want my car driving again:ball:

    Now I will be replacing $100 in trans fluid, spending $125+ shipping to rebuild my converter and I have to flush my trans cooler and lines. Luckily that I can do at work.

    At least I have my 98 GS to keep me occupied :Brow: Might just have to drop a size on the supercharger pulley haha
  5. paul c

    paul c Well-Known Member

    sounds like too much bs. i have a th400 with a 2.75 first gear set in it with 3.08's out back. i'm happy with that and it's no nonsense. companies seem to try and make that 200r4 strong where they always were a p.o.s. from the factory. good luck and hope yours isn't down too long.
  6. eagleguy

    eagleguy 1971 Skylark Custom

    I'm sorry to hear about the issues with your 200-4R. From my personal experience and as I have posted previously, after swapping my tweaked turbo 350 I was initially less than impressed. However, once I got the TV cable and other issues worked out there is a definite benefit. Performance and gas mileage is MUCH, MUCH better and my car is a blast to drive. It seems that unless things are set just right the 200-4R will not be a happy camper and neither will you. Good luck with getting your issues resolved and keep us posted!
  7. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    I've been happy with the 200-4r since 2011, My first unit had 40,000miles on it of very hard city driving and it was never quite right from the beginning. So when it eventually failed I wasn't too dissappointed, it was a stock unit with only a few modifications.

    This stage 2 unit I am having warrantied is built for much more power than my car is making. I make less than 300whp and the trans is rated for 750.... I know lots of people are happy with these 200-4rs and I feel it was the best upgrade I did to my 72. I am sure Lonnie will sort things out and set it straight but it sure is slow going. I call almost every day on my lunch break and G-body parts seems to be lazy when it comes to making sure messages get across to Lonnie.

    I will feel much better once it is on a pallet to NC.

    I called Revmax today and they said just for a BASIC tear down and cleaning is $125, and any damage found will add to that cost. I asked if it was possible it would cost more than a new converter and they said its not likely but not impossible:Do No:. I payed $300 for it so I won't pay $400 for it to be rebuilt:rant:

    Of course on top of this my 98 Regal GS daily driver seems to have more component failures each week. Just finished doing motor mounts and an axle (for the 3rd time, autozone warranties are nice:grin:) and today the idler pulley decided it was a good time to seize up and throw the supercharger belt. Happened awfully quick. The squeaking started, then a slight burning smell and then no supercharger in less than 10 min of driving:( Replacing every pulley this go around. The accessory drive seems new still.
  8. Gary Farmer

    Gary Farmer "The Paradigm Shifter"

    Wow Jacob, sorry to hear about that. 2 grand is a lot of money!!!

    After you guys sold me on the 200-4r tranny and now i've been reading some horror stories about it. Not just this one, but others too.


    I can't really offer any help here, sorry. Just wanted to offer my condolences on your loss.

    I DID read about those overdrive bolt-ons you can put on just about any trans you want though...it hooks up to the rear of the trans and can be put on ST-300's, TH-350's, TH-400's etc.
    They're expensive as hell though.
  9. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    So how about an update?


    It seems there is my issue:rolleyes: Of course the converter was the last thing I would have suspected simply because I knew 2nd gear was gone. Well, this is what caused it. Lonnie Diers called up telling me to take a peek at my converter and see if anything is missing. It was sitting face down in a drain pan so I never saw the damage. He suspects this caused a direct pressure leak which fried second gear. I sent the transmission down last thursday and it should be back at my door in the next day or two. Lonnie is a stand up guy and still stuck to his offer of repairing the transmission and only having my liable for the return freight.

    He did not have to do that, this failure was no fault of his own and he could have told me to pay up for the repairs.

    I intended to send this converter back to Revmax for a rebuild and cleaning but now it seems it will be getting a little more done. This is a very unusual failure, especially for a low powered car. I want to see if revmax will work with me on this because I certainly didn't do that. Converter was never dropped or forced into place or abused in any way.

    So to reaffirm my stance on 200-4r transmissions, they are not faulty, problem prone units, they are just very sensetive. Proper installation and care and they will last just as they were built. I look forward to getting the transmission and freshly rebuilt converter back in the car and going racing:3gears:
  10. sailbrd

    sailbrd Well-Known Member

    I know you are not doing big power but there is no reason a quality converter should do this. You would have been better off with a stock D5 (gn) converter. There is no way on earth I would trust another converter from this company.
  11. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    I am going to call them up and start asking questions as to what they can do to rectify or explain this. If I am not happy with it I do intend to go with a D5 converter or similar until I can save the $600+ for a reputable unit. I am only considering having this one fixed or replaced because Lonnie agreed that for the power I am making I really shouldn't have issues with a middle of the road (sad that $400 is considered subpar:bla:) 9.5" converter.

    On top of that I spent $400 to buy this converter, to give up and buy a new one is kissing $400 goodbye
  12. sailbrd

    sailbrd Well-Known Member

    Jacob, I feel you pain on the $$$. Spending money twice is so frustrating. I think we have all gone through it.

    It does not surprise me that Lonnie is standing behind his trans even though it was not his fault. I do not use his trans but buy all of the billet parts used in my trans from him. He is one of only three people I would go to if I did not have such a great local builder.

    As far as Revmax goes they would never get another dime of my money to fix their faulty product.
  13. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    Ive done some research and looked over finances and I think I'll go all out on a JW 9.5" converter or go with one of Lonnie's units. JW offers a lifetime warranty but going with the same converter as the trans builder definitely has benefits too.
  14. Bad Buick

    Bad Buick Foe Fiddy Five

  15. duke350

    duke350 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad Lonnie is taking care of you dauntless! I was on the fence about this 2004r purchase because its so pricey. ive shopped around and found cheaper units but none that provided the service or all the upgrades to the tranny for the money. After reading your thread on his customer service has sealed the deal. There's something to be said about a guy that'll stand beside their product even when it breaks due to another components failure. I suppose those sway bars I was looking at will have to wait since I will be kicking up the extra scratch on this tranny!
  16. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

    Lonnie has very competetive pricing for his transmissions, they include a 1 year warranty, lifetime refresh service for a fee (I forget how much) and 30 day guarantee that if there is an issue shipping is covered both ways and you can request money back. I drove down to NC to meet him in person and pick up the transmission. Very nice guy, incredibly busy but still tries his best to help everyone out. Honestly I think the stage 2 is the best deal going. I payed $1995 for a 200-4r rated for 750hp. There is a core charge and shipping charge on top of that.

    Would the 27 spline Coan converter work fine in a 200-4r?
  17. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Sure, just be sure to pick a lockup version if you drive on the street at all... I know that my lockup converter from Hughes for my 4L80E is rated for 1200 HP but they say the lockup should not be engaged when putting down more than 700 HP... My point is that although the aftermarket lockup converters are stronger than the stock type most of them are still not made for full throttle engagement while racing.

    Hard to beat having whatever stall speed you want and still having 100% lockup on the highway...

    What rear end gears are you using?

    Stock 350 engine?
  18. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Hey Duke,doesn't your car have a 2.56:1 rear gear in it? If so,you might want to upgrade that first,to at least a 3.42:1 so it will go into overdrive before 90 mph.(unless you plan on running on the Utah salt flats,LOL)

    The 9.5:1 first gear multiplication rule works very well when chosing a overdrive trans on both ends of the gear selection for a street driven stock rear suspension car.

    First gear times rear gear should be as close to 9.5:1 for a street/strip car as you can get it so you can shift into O/D at a reasonable mph. A 200R4 has a 2.74:1 first gear,and a O/D gear of .67:1,so if you keep the 2.56 rear gear,your final drive rear gear would be 2.56 X .67 = 1.715:1 final gear ratio,which is way to high of o ratio to shift into O/D at a lower mph.(around 45 mph is where you would want it to shift at with cruising RPMs) GL,and enjoy that Skylark.

  19. duke350

    duke350 Well-Known Member

    yes, currently it does have those 2.56:1 gears in it. I have already purchased the 3.42:1 gears to swap them out from monsaz, another member here. Unfortunately, they showed up the day I left for Afghanistan. I will be home in a few weeks though and they're the first thing that's getting done while I wait for the transmission from Lonnie to be built. I'm hoping for a night and day difference in performance than what I have now from the th350 and long gears. I've hopped up the motor a bit and the gears are what's holding me back. I can power brake it from a stop and get a little wheel spin thanks to a converter from JW but its still slow off the line. The tranny coupled with the gear swap SHOULD be an extremely noticeable difference. At least I hope so..I will report in September!
  20. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Oh yeah,it will run like a totally different car,for sure! Just the gear change would be a huge difference.

    Can't wait to hear about the difference when you get back.

    And stay safe over there Duke!


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