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Best years for 700r4?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by randy, May 3, 2013.

  1. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 679


    Planning on snagging one out of a wrecking yard soon for a '57 Chevy Panel truck I'm working on. What years are the best? I've heard, "later is better..."

    Any help appreciated.
  2. Later is better. Most of the early (82-84) transmissions have failed and been either overhauled or replaced with the updated parts by now.

    I was in dealerships when they first introduced the 700R4 for the 82 model year. For historical information around January 82 we had a recall with a stop delivery order on all such equipped vehicles in dealership inventory. We replaced complete transmission assemblies on all affected vehicles, both in stock and previously customer delivered vehicles.

    I forget exactly what the failure was or which parts were affected.

    Also there were some later changes made about 1984 that affected replacement parts, you would replace for example (can't remember exactly what, just for example) a sprag and you would have to replace a drum and other items as the new design had so many changes made the original would not work with the replacement.

    Hope this is some help, unfortunately time dims memory and I don't rebuild automatic transmissions myself.
  3. lomonte
    Joined: Oct 7, 2011
    Posts: 142

    from Indep., MO

    Just did this on the OT '70 c-10. 87,88-92 are the best to use, truck is the simplest mounting, though long. Speedo is an easy changeover, 87 may still have cable, my 89 had a rare gear to electric convertor. Call Bowtie Overdrives for the TV kit. Works good, run a cooler after the rad, esp. if towing! Good luck!
  4. lowelife
    Joined: Aug 30, 2007
    Posts: 400


    Look for one with a CZ code, they are out of the performance vehicles. I have heard they have the better servos and clutches.

  5. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,779

    from Phoenix,AZ

    You will want a 1988-93 these have the lubrication upgrades and are still non-computer.
  6. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 679


    Thanks guys!
  7. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,335

    from Maine

    I believe by 1990 the upgrades to the 700 R4 were made that corrected issues with the earlier unit. I'm running a 91 in my 48 Ford out of a Chevy Caprice that was a Maine State Trooper car. I believe it is the CZ code. I have noticed it has much firmer shift points than other 700's I've driven. Not harsh, just not sloppy.
  8. Tnomoldw
    Joined: Dec 5, 2012
    Posts: 1,563


    These guys are right on !
  9. Bryan G
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 188

    Bryan G
    from Delmarva

    Almost everyone I know who had an early one had constant trouble. My father and a local farmer both had '82 pickups and would get the 700r4 rebuilt/replaced yearly, and I'm not joking. Both traded into Dodges after the 7th transmission.
    Joined: Dec 16, 2011
    Posts: 591

    from Oregon

  11. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    The last ones, 92, 93, were called 4L60 but it's just a name change -- still a 700R4.
  12. Oldbill51
    Joined: Jun 12, 2011
    Posts: 284


    The 700R4 was introduced during the GM transition from Hydro-Matic to GM Powertrain. Hydro-Matic designed the trans and it was a good unit. When the reorganization took place the new engineering team decided that the trans had been way overbuilt, and implemented cost cutting measures using less expensive parts. After a short run and many problems, the original design was returned.
  13. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,172

    from NY

    1987-1992, look for the MD8 case. I normally take them from trans ams and Z28s, I have one from an 87 trans am in my 37 Buick.
  14. poprockcrusher
    Joined: May 17, 2009
    Posts: 123


    but the dodge was good .....hahahaha
  15. What changes were made after 86? as I have an 86 out of an Iroc that is complete with the MD8 case and I have one out of an 89 2 wheel drive truck with the K case but is missing the valve body assy. would I be able to use the valve body from the 86?
  16. aldixie
    Joined: May 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,642


    I have used a couple from 90/91 Camaros. The last one I got was fully rebuilt out of a 90 from classified section.
  17. Probably the best compromise for an older car is to track down 88-89 Suburban and possibly G10-G20 van. Possibly 1990 as well. These are the last ones so far as I know to use a cable drive for the speedometer. Not that it's difficult to change one over necessarily, but it saves you some hassle, and given the beating my '89 trans took unless you plan to drag race every weekend with it you should be fine.

    If you're just going to chuck it in and go, remember, set that TV cable right before you go anywhere or you'll roast it in no short order.
  18. jkski
    Joined: Jan 27, 2009
    Posts: 137


    87 to 92 with CKZ in serial no.and large MD8 on it you can not go wrong
  19. thanks guys.......

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