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#1053368 - 09/12/17 09:26 PM 200-4R won't go into 4th  
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JesusCPenney Offline
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Hey y'all, I'm getting mixed answers from Google and Facebook so I figured I'd come see what the experts think. I recently picked up a 1985 SS that the previous owner switched to a non-computer setup. 350 SBC with an Edelbrock carb and the stock TH200-4R transmission. The transmission has never gone into 4th gear since I bought the car. When I first got it, the TV cable was set wrong so it would shift late and run at very high RPM in every gear; I reset the cable and now my 1-2-3 shifts are fine but it never goes into 4. People are talking to me about TPS sensors and the ECM computer and all this stuff and I'm like, wait... I thought the 200-4R ran itself internally and the TV cable was the only control input. The ECM should handle TCC lockup on a stock setup but the transmission should shift fine with or without the computer and with or without a lockup kit, right? So what gives?


#1053385 - 09/13/17 06:59 PM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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Bitflipper Offline
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There is no 4th gear on the 200-4R, it's 1-2-3 and Lockup. The ECM controls the lockup unless you want to build a manual solution. One of the many reasons you should go back to an E4ME Quadrajet and put an ECM back in your car.


#1053388 - 09/13/17 08:08 PM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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Witness86SS Online content
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Hatfield, PA
Are you sure about that?

Everything I've ever read suggests 4 gears plus reverse including the name.

It is an overdrive trans which wouldn't work if you had lockup on 3rd gear. You would be locking it at a 1 to 1 ratio and not achieving overdrive.


Justin
1986 Black SS
350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler
#1053389 - 09/13/17 08:45 PM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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Richie Cat Offline
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That's why it's labeled 200 "four" R There is a forth gear.

Last edited by Richie Cat; 09/13/17 08:46 PM.

83 SC, 355 w/TPI
#1053392 - 09/13/17 10:46 PM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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Bitflipper Offline
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Las Vegas, NV
I guess I stand corrected. What is it that's happening when I hit 42 MPH? Is that forth gear, lockup or both? I think I must have misunderstood this since owning the car.


#1053395 - 09/14/17 01:33 AM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: Bitflipper]  
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Witness86SS Online content
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Hatfield, PA


Justin
1986 Black SS
350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler
#1053402 - 09/15/17 01:02 AM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: Witness86SS]  
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ChasUno Offline
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Bradenton, FL
Originally Posted by Witness86SS


Me too!


1986 Monte Carlo SS

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#1053404 - 09/15/17 01:15 AM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: Bitflipper]  
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ChasUno Offline
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Bradenton, FL
Originally Posted by Bitflipper
I guess I stand corrected. What is it that's happening when I hit 42 MPH? Is that forth gear, lockup or both? I think I must have misunderstood this since owning the car.


4th gear engages first, then once speed is over 45mph (ish) and the engine is up to temp, the ECU will signal the TCC to activate and the lockup engages.

As per the link above from Witness86SS, I got my MC up to temp, then took it out on a highway where I could run the car at approx. 50mph. If you balance the throttle to maintain this speed by holding the throttle with your right foot, and then very lightly push the brake pedal with your left foot, you can just feel and hear a slight downshift (someone described it well as feeling as if the trans makes a half gear shift). This is because the brake pedal switch also signals the TCC to disengage when activated. As soon as you feel the slight downshift and release the brake pedal (still maintaining your foot on the accelerator), you will then feel a slight upshift and rev drop. This is the TCC re-engaging.

The change between 4th and lockup is quite subtle. To tell the difference between that and the trans dropping to 3rd, drive the car at approx. 45mph then manually shift into 3rd. The difference in revs is much more pronounced than between 4th and TCC lockup.

Last edited by ChasUno; 09/15/17 01:37 AM.

1986 Monte Carlo SS

[Linked Image]
#1053405 - 09/15/17 01:35 AM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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ChasUno Offline
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Bradenton, FL
Originally Posted by JesusCPenney
Hey y'all, I'm getting mixed answers from Google and Facebook so I figured I'd come see what the experts think. I recently picked up a 1985 SS that the previous owner switched to a non-computer setup. 350 SBC with an Edelbrock carb and the stock TH200-4R transmission. The transmission has never gone into 4th gear since I bought the car. When I first got it, the TV cable was set wrong so it would shift late and run at very high RPM in every gear; I reset the cable and now my 1-2-3 shifts are fine but it never goes into 4. People are talking to me about TPS sensors and the ECM computer and all this stuff and I'm like, wait... I thought the 200-4R ran itself internally and the TV cable was the only control input. The ECM should handle TCC lockup on a stock setup but the transmission should shift fine with or without the computer and with or without a lockup kit, right? So what gives?


Check the obvious - are you certain that you have a TH200-4R fitted? Many people swap out the 305 for a 350, and when doing so I've seen a number use the older TH350 3 speed transmission. Perhaps the previous owner swapped the trans when they swapped the engine? Though it's an '85 you have that would have come with a TH2004R from new, as someone has been swapping engines who knows if they also swapped the trans too?

Check your shifter - can you select all the 4 speed positions with the lever - 1, 2, D, OD, N, R, P? If you can only select 1, 2, D, N, R, P, then that might be your issue.

Also, I think that there is some adjustment for the shifter cable to trans. If it's not adjusted correctly, maybe that's why 4th won't engage.

Lastly, I agree with Bitflipper - unless you are going for big power and drag strip performance, returning the car to the CCC E4ME Quadrajet and ECM system is a better option (and they'll work absolutely fine with your 350 SBC). So many people pull out the E4ME and computer, and then spend forever dealing with problems similar to that which you are experiencing. The CCC is a very good and reliable set up, and is nowhere near as complicated as some people think. The fact that there are numerous Montes still running fine with this system 3+ decades later shows how good it is.


1986 Monte Carlo SS

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#1053407 - 09/15/17 05:12 AM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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FinallySS Offline
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Nice Sunny Hawaii
Originally Posted by JesusCPenney
previous owner switched to a non-computer setup. 350 SBC with an Edelbrock carb and the stock TH200-4R transmission. The transmission has never gone into 4th gear since I bought the car. When I first got it, the TV cable was set wrong so it would shift late and run at very high RPM in every gear;


x2 on checking the obvious.

Have you check the transmission fluid pan? If your pan looks square-ish, than you don't have 200-4R. If you have odd looking long pan, than it's 200-4R. Also, does the trans have Vacuum Modulator? If it does, than chances are it's TH-350 or 400. If it does not have vacuum modulator and have square pan, it's 200C.

From what you have told us, "TV cable was set wrong so it would shift late and run at very high RPM in every gear", was the cable hooked-up but loose or wasn't hooked-up at all? TH-350 or 400 without vacuum hooked up to the modulator, it does the similar. Adjusting the cable should not make any difference.

But first thing first, check your trans, or post the picture of trans pan here (picture speaks thousand word).


1986 Silver MCSS - Poly bushing and Hotchkis spring w/Bilstein, Posi w/3.73, MSD 6-AL, E-Brock 600cfm, Aluminum 2-row radiator.
1986 Black MCSS - R.I.P............Finally.
#1053411 - 09/15/17 09:07 PM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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JesusCPenney Offline
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Denton, TX
I appreciate the replies y'all, I've verified by the pan shape that it is a 200-4R but I'll try to get a pic in a moment, and when I said the TV cable was set wrong, it was hooked up, just not adjusted. I did the usual procedure of press the button and push the cable all the way back, then release the button and manually rotate the throttle lever to fully open.

I guess the next thing I need to do is look in the book for shift cable adjustments. And I've thought about going back to the CCC setup but I'm not entirely sure what I want to do. I think I have all the components for it except sensors, I know I have a half-assembled E4ME and a distributor laying around but I don't have a wiring diagram anymore. If one of y'all has a link outlining what's involved with building the factory setup sans emissions, I'd appreciate it.


#1053412 - 09/15/17 09:27 PM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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Witness86SS Online content
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Hatfield, PA
I've got a column shifter and i have to put it in D for anything to happen then give it a slight nudge to neutral if I want 4th


Justin
1986 Black SS
350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler
#1053416 - 09/16/17 09:30 AM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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FinallySS Offline
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Nice Sunny Hawaii
Did you check the condition of the fluid? It should be bright red. If not, your trans could be burnt up due to TV cable adjusted wrong. But than again, previous owner could change fluid just to cover the symptom. In any case, did you pull the pan to see if you have any build-up of material or perhaps metal shaving?

It won't take long for our trans to burned up with wrong TV cable adjustment. I'm not sure how long you drove it with wrong adjustment, but my suspect will be that. Others could be such as broken valvebody spring, stuck valve in valvebody, yada yada yada.

I'm not sure if your trans has been rebuid, but if not, this will be a perfect time (and excuse, if you need one like me. I'm married) for a rebuid. Just do us a favor and don't go to "we do trans nationwide" type of store. Our trans is great trans. Just ask Turbo Buick guys. It just need little help. Heck! I used to have TH-350, but even that needed little help when you start making serious HP (and TQ).

BTW, CCC have nothing to do with trans going into 4th. Only lockup if you still have computer hooked up. I have Eddy carb and no problem going into 4th. Just need to hook-up a switch for converter lock-up (I have B&M switch for that).


1986 Silver MCSS - Poly bushing and Hotchkis spring w/Bilstein, Posi w/3.73, MSD 6-AL, E-Brock 600cfm, Aluminum 2-row radiator.
1986 Black MCSS - R.I.P............Finally.
#1053422 - 09/17/17 01:28 AM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: FinallySS]  
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JesusCPenney Offline
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Originally Posted by ChasUno
Check your shifter - can you select all the 4 speed positions with the lever - 1, 2, D, OD, N, R, P? If you can only select 1, 2, D, N, R, P, then that might be your issue.

Also, I think that there is some adjustment for the shifter cable to trans. If it's not adjusted correctly, maybe that's why 4th won't engage.


I tested this today and it turns out I was cruising in 4th. At 60 mph on a level road I'm running about 2800 RPM, then I can pull the shift lever down to the next detent and it goes up to about 4000 RPM, then second gear, then first gear. There are two possibilities I can think of: either this is an intermittent problem, or the shift into OD is so smooth that I couldn't feel it, but I don't think I'm THAT dumb. I guess 2800 RPM at 60 sounds reasonable for a 3.73 rear end and no lockup kit. I'll check in if I start having problems again.


#1053431 - 09/18/17 12:40 AM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: JesusCPenney]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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Here's a very accurate calculator that will give you rpm at mph for each gear..
http://www.wallaceracing.com/calc-gear-tire-rpm-mph.php

Assuming 3.73 gears, a .67 4th gear ratio (200R4), 25.7" tires, and 60 mph, rpm should be 1961. A lockup converter will reduce 4th gear rpm somewhere between 15 and 20% depending on the converter.
2925 rpm at 60 mph would be 3rd gear rpm.

The shift from 3rd to 4th is noticeable. The locking of the converter can be subtle and not easily detectable on some cars. The brake pedal test at highway speed, light engine load , will verify lockup.
Bob

#1053452 - Yesterday at 06:49 AM Re: 200-4R won't go into 4th [Re: mmc427ss]  
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FinallySS Offline
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Nice Sunny Hawaii
Originally Posted by mmc427ss
Assuming 3.73 gears, a .67 4th gear ratio (200R4), 25.7" tires, and 60 mph, rpm should be 1961. A lockup converter will reduce 4th gear rpm somewhere between 15 and 20% depending on the converter.
2925 rpm at 60 mph would be 3rd gear rpm.

Bob


Mine is right around 2000rpm between 55-60mph. So yeah, 2800 is kinda high. When I had to rebuilt my first 200-4R, I had TH-350 in it's place and it was running about 2800-3200rpm, sometimes 3800rpm to keep up with the traffic (speedo was out of whack because I had different trans so I have no idea how fast it was going). Th-350 don't have lock-up, so RPM maybe little high compare to 200-4R with lockup.


1986 Silver MCSS - Poly bushing and Hotchkis spring w/Bilstein, Posi w/3.73, MSD 6-AL, E-Brock 600cfm, Aluminum 2-row radiator.
1986 Black MCSS - R.I.P............Finally.

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