200-4R Tip Sheet, 200-4R Information, 200-4R Swap, 200-4R Problems, 200-4R Tips, 200-4R Specs

SKU: 200-4R Transmission FREE Advisory Tip Sheet Categories: , Tags: ,


200-4R Transmission


“Advisory Tip Sheet”

This information is provided for the non-transmission mechanic to help them identify the problem, know how much the job should cost and how to have the problem corrected. This information could save you hundreds even a thousand dollars or more.

This transmission has been in use since 1981. It is the overdrive version of the 200-C transmission. This means there are plenty of used, rebuilt and new hard parts available at low prices. The cost of a rebuilt 200-4R transmission and torque converter installed in a car at our shop is $1070.00 as of July 2007. This comes with a 6 month or 6,000 mile warranty. We charge $100.00 extra for a 12 month 12,000 local warranty. The only part that should be extra is the transmission case, if it’s bad. The cost may be higher in your area.

Never allow a repair shop to give you a price on this transmission that isn’t a guaranteed price. This means don’t get a price plus hard parts. They know about what the parts will cost. Remember the parts aren’t high on this transmission. Get the price before the transmission is removed from the car. If they can’t give you a price up front, you’re at the wrong shop.

As a general rule the better the warranty, the higher the price. Most shops have a local warranty, meaning they do their own warranty work. You will pay a lot more for a nation wide warranty.

When you have a problem with your transmission always check the fluid level and condition first. The fluid should be red, not dark brown or black. Smell the fluid to see if it smells like oil or has a burnt smell.

Look in the oil pan for trash (debris) from a clutch or metal part failure. A very small amount of debris could be normal. If the fluid is black, smells burnt or has a large amount of debris in it, you’ve got a problem. The transmission will have to be removed and rebuilt. Always install a new torque converter when the transmission is rebuilt. Never try to save money by reusing a torque converter that is full of debris from a failed transmission. The 200-4R converter also has a clutch in it that could be bad.

Don’t tow a trailer that is too heavy for your car.

Never use a transmission additive that says it will stop leaks. This will turn your seals to mush over a period of time. If you have a problem with the front seal, installing a new seal is a waste of time and money, it will only leak or blow off again. You must install a new seal, torque converter and rebuild the pump all at the same time to correct this front seal leak.

Change your fluid and filter about every 20,000 miles. This is a preventive measure, not a fix for a problem.

If your 200-4R transmission has high mileage, don’t try to do a patch job, if you develop a problem have it rebuilt. Over 100,000 miles is high mileage.

Some problems that can be mistaken as a transmission problem are motor mounts, fuel filter, spark plug wires, catalytic converter, fan clutch, U-joints and others. Never rebuild your transmission without an expert diagnosis first. When it’s done, you may still have the same problem.

Look to see if the throttle valve cable (passing gear cable) is connected to the carburetor or throttle body in the case of fuel injection. The cable must be hooked up and adjusted correctly at all times, because this controls the pressure. When you step on the gas pedal the throttle valve cable turns the transmission pressure up. This is how to make the adjustment on the cable. With the throttle wide open, the cable must be fully pulled out at the exact same time. The adjustment is made at the bracket. You must push a button in or pull a button out to move the cable housing forward or rearward. Moving the cable housing to the rear raises the pressure. Be careful, if you adjust the pressure too low you could burn the clutches.

If your transmission doesn’t shift out of first gear or shifts hard at too high a RPM this doesn’t always mean you have a problem. This could be a stuck throttle valve caused by a small piece of trash. This sometimes happens after a rebuild. Sometimes the throttle valve can be unstuck without removing the valve body. Get up to about 20 to 30 M.P.H. and hit the gas pedal on and off hard with your foot. This might do the job. If that doesn’t work remove the throttle valve cable end from the throttle, with the motor at idle in park, pull the cable in and out very fast, this might work, if not the valve body must be removed by a transmission shop to be unstuck.

If you don’t have a lot of experience installing transmissions, don’t buy the transmission from a re-builder and install it yourself. If a shop rebuilds and installs your transmission, they will only charge you one installation fee, regardless of how many times they have to take it back out. If you do the job, it’s your problem if the transmission is defective.

SUBJECT: Proper installation of the throttle valve cable on after-market carburetors or fuel injections. This information applies to all 700R4, 4L60 and 200-4R transmissions. Throttle valve cable adjustment instructions, numbers 4, 5 and 6.

#1. The button that the cable hooks to at the carburetor or throttle body must have a 1 and 3/32-inch radius from the center of the throttle shaft to the center of the button the cable hooks to.

#2. Looking at the throttle shaft lever from the left side at idle position, 33% of the throttle lever total travel must be to the rear of the throttle shaft centerline. And at wide-open throttle, 67% to the front of the throttle shaft centerline. This will be about 1/2-inch to the rear and 1 inch to the front of the throttle shaft centerline.

#3. The throttle valve cable must be hooked up in this manner so the pressure will rise faster off idle and slow down at heavy throttle. If the pressure cable is pulled in a more even manner the pressure will be too low at light throttle. Failure to hook-up the throttle cable in this way will burn the three-four clutch pack up fast.

#4. The throttle valve cable controls transmission pressure. Adjusting this cable is the most important step when installing a 700R4, 4L60 or 200-4R transmission.

#5. The final step is to adjust the throttle valve cable. The cable must be adjusted so it is pulled fully out at wide-open throttle. To make sure disconnect the cable, hold the throttle wide open with your left hand, pull the cable fully out with your right hand and see if the cable end lines up with the button on the throttle lever.

Full.jpg (175193 bytes)  Idle.jpg (142157 bytes)  Setup.jpg (169963 bytes)

#6. Do not attempt to adjust the shift timing with the throttle valve cable. The shift timing is controlled by the governor springs. For higher shift points at wide-open throttle, install lighter springs. For lower shift points at wide-open throttle, install stronger springs.

#7. You can get a cable button off of a junk GM vehicle and weld it to your throttle valve lever. We sell a cable correction kit for Holly and Edelbrock carburetors.

#8. Sometimes on a newly rebuilt 700R4 or 200-4R transmission, it may not make the 3-4 shift when first installed. A stuck valve, trash in the fluid or an air pocket, usually causes this. Raise the rear wheels off the ground, place the transmission in overdrive position. Run the speedometer as high as 100 miles per hour, pop the throttle on and off and see if you can force a 3-4 shift. Once it makes the first 3-4 shift, work the shift lever back and forth between drive and overdrive until the 3-4 shift works correctly.

#9. If you have a Holley or Edelbrock carburetor, you must install an adapter on the carburetor linkage for the transmission to work correctly.

Type A B C D E
200-4R 27-11/16″ No Tail 20-1/8″ 3¾” 19-1/8″

 Most cars with low geared rear ends will take a 10 teeth drive gear. The drive gear is part of the governor assembly which is located inside the oil pan. The gear can be replaced separately by removing the retainer clip on the governor shaft.

To determine your tires true diameter in relation to determining what speedometer gears you need, measure from the ground up to the center of the axle then multiply by two. The actual run out of the tire can be as much as 2 to 3 inches less than what the circumference of the tire measures. In effect your tire has two diameters. To determine your rear end ratio, raise both tires off of the ground, turn both tires at the same time one complete turn, at the same time count the turns of the drive shaft, this is your ratio.


200-4R Speedometer Gears

Drive Gears

Driven Gears

10 teeth – green

27 teeth – black

11 teeth – orange

28 teeth – yellow

12 teeth – red

29 teeth – green

13 teeth – white

30 teeth – blue

31 teeth – white


With 10 Tooth Drive Gear

Axle Ratio Tire Height Driven Gear Teeth
4.10 26 31 will work, but will read about 2 MPH fast at 50 MPH.
4.10 27 31
4.10 28 30
4.10 29 29
3.73 26 29
3.73 27 28
3.73 28 27

With 11 Tooth Drive Gear

Axle Ratio Tire Height Driven Gear Teeth
3.73 27 31
3.73 28 30
3.42 26 29
3.42 27 28
3.42 28 27

With 12 Tooth Drive Gear

Axle Ratio Tire Height Driven Gear Teeth
3.23 26 30
3.23 27 29
3.23 28 28


Transmission Ratios 1st Gear 2nd Gear 3rd Gear 4th Gear OD
Turbo 350 2.52 1.52 1 N/A
Turbo 400 2.48 1.48 1 N/A
200- 4R 2.74 1.57 1 0.67
700R4 / 4L60 3.06 1.63 1 0.7
4L80E 2.48 1.48 1 0.75


We can build you a high performance 200-4R transmission. This high performance 200-4R comes with a larger than stock intermediate servo which gives a firmer 1-2 shift. It comes with the Mega Valve that raises the fluid pressure and gives a firmer shift and more holding power in all the gears, plus an oversize low / reverse boost valve. These are the valves you’ve heard about. All of our high performance 200-4R transmissions come with a shift kit installed and a Raybestos Kevlar band. Included is an automatic converter lock-up switch. The stock seven-vane pump is replaced with a ten or thirteen-vane high performance pump. Also included in this package deal is a heavy-duty stall converter that has furnace-brazed fins for added strength. This stall converter will stall at 1800 to 2800 RPM (your choice) and gives a faster launch. It also comes with a universal-fit throttle-valve cable and dipstick. The 200-4R transmission will fit all GM motors that have full size bell housings. This is a perfect choice, if you have a non-Chevy motor. You can expect a 30 to 40% increase in gas mileage (over a 3-speed) on the road.