1971 Pontiac LeMans Transmission Suggestions? - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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1971 Pontiac LeMans Transmission Suggestions?

Ok folks, I'll start by saying that I have a virtually stock Pontiac Lemans 350 Sport. 1973 rebuilt 350 in a 71 body. I don't know if the rebuild was significant but lets just say I didn't feel anything special from engine swap.

Ok so the other day my automatic transmission went....
Symptoms:
1. Could not accelerate up a hill or barely on flat surfaces.
2. Engine would race
3. I still had reverse
4. Transmission has been leaking a long time and had been refilling accordingly
5. I knew I had a leak at speedo cable nut area.

I was told I was gonna be due for a rebuild/replacement eventually and it looks like now is the time.

From what I know when I purchased the car:

1. The owner told me the car had a manual shift
2. Owner and mechanic confirmed that I had a shift kit installed.
3. Noticed that kickdown cable was disconnected.. i presuem because of the manual shifting but I reconnected it so I could have the kickdown feature back in "D"

So essentially I kind of don't want to rebuild what's in there now because lord only knows what broke in there and I would presume it will need a complete rebuild but not in the mood to drop the transmission just yet.

I was thinking what aftermarket transmissions and torque converter combo out there would essentially give me what I had b4 at a moderate price?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 06:23 PM
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I would expect to get your tranny rebuilt cheaper then a store bought drop in unit.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 08:27 AM
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I would expect to get your tranny rebuilt cheaper then a store bought drop in unit.
If you go that route, be very careful about who you let do the work though. Talk to people - get references - etc.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 10:15 AM
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When you say "manual shift" do you mean a full manual valve body? Do you literally have to start it in 1st gear and then manually shift every gear? If this is what you do have it's completely different than a "shift kit" which is just some springs and stuff to make the tranny shift faster and increase the hydraulic line pressure. A manual valve body is a whole aftermarket valve body, manual shift only. It will not downshift with a kickdown cable.

I would get a quality rebuild from a reputable shop and verify what valve body you have. If you don't have a race car I would'nt do the MVB again, it would be a stocker with a shift kit and have all your junk hooked up properly. Proper torque converter selection will also make a big difference in performance and drivability.

Or..........do a 200R4 conversion and gain an overdrive and lower first gear for more pickup off the line and better cruising RPM on the highway.

Or put a stick in it .
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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I'd be tempted to go with a 200r4 also...



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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 10:32 AM
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This issue sounds to me like a valve body issue. Fluid not circulating through it properly and is restricting it.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 10:34 AM
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I'm no authority on transmissions but ...... if you want to do a lot of highway cruising the 200r would be the ticket cause of OD..... but for shear raw power and bullet proof tranny I'd stay with the TH...... it all depends on what you want out of it.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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Now when you say proper torque converter... what should I be looking for with a rebuilt but apparently close to stock power 1973 350 v8 engine?

Oh and yeah out in CT, I don't trust any of these shops. All of them really come off like scam artists.

One shop without seeing the car said it'll likely be something like $1100-1200 to remove rebuild and reinstall with a trans-go shift kit...
Does that sound about right? I noticed their hourly rate was like $105

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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And does anyone have a particular 200r4 in mind that would work because I do a LOT of highway driving...
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by NorwalkNugget View Post
One shop without seeing the car said it'll likely be something like $1100-1200 to remove rebuild and reinstall with a trans-go shift kit...
Does that sound about right? I noticed their hourly rate was like $105
Not hardly, considering that you can buy a complete TCI Street Fighter transmission for about $1300.

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