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#1072260 - 10/15/21 07:26 PM Transmission Fluid Dipstick color  
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 36
Ghost Car Offline
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Ghost Car  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 36
Houston, TX
My observation is 83-84 MCSS with Turbo 350 transmissions have a black transmission fluid dipstick and 85-88 MCSS with 200 4R transmissions have red transmission fluid dipsticks. Recently, I have been surfing low mileage 84 MCSS for sale to verify wiring harness placement and factory decals.

I stumbled upon a low mileage 84 MCSS and it had a red transmission fluid dipstick. I took a close look at the engine compartment to access its originality. It still had the factory upper radiator hose with the small GM part number and factory clamp. Over the counter GM hoses have a larger stamping. The AC compressor was an original 198. The AC dryer had the factory dome top. Most aftermarket have a flat top. The air cleaner was factory with original paint, which you can't match repainting. The Electronic Spark Control had the "BLH" decal, which this decal is not currently available. Motor was clean and looked untouched.

The Corvette and Muscle Car world geek out about mid production changes and I am just curious. Are there any unrestored/modified 83-84 MCSS owners who have red transmission dipsticks? If so, do you know the production date?

#1072261 - 10/15/21 07:35 PM Re: Transmission Fluid Dipstick color [Re: Ghost Car]  
Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 12,363
PB86SS/87LS Offline
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20+ Year
PB86SS/87LS  Offline
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20+ Year

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Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 12,363
New Berlin, WI
Maybe it's one of the supposed few made with a 200-4r? I don't think there was ever one confirmed but years ago there is some super low production number floated around with like 3 84' SS's built with the 200-4r. Even if there are some out there, highly unlikely this is one but thought I'd mention it. Some people here geek out over those details too.


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#1072264 - 10/15/21 11:21 PM Re: Transmission Fluid Dipstick color [Re: Ghost Car]  
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 36
Ghost Car Offline
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Ghost Car  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 36
Houston, TX
I have heard about the legend of the three 84 MCSS with 200 4R transmission on this site many years ago. If one is located, it's most likely will be parked next to a 63 slit window Corvette with an experimental aluminum head (with Winters snow flake mark) fuel injected 327 with cast aluminum shorty headers like a "Swiss Cheese" 63 Catalina /421.

My Dad ordered our car in October 1983. In his notes, he had the 200 4R and 3.73 rear gears would be available later in the year. He told the salesman to change to this combo if released prior to production of the car. He was more motivated by the 3.73 gears than the overdrive transmission.

My guess is the red dipstick was a late production change. This car look too original for someone by mistake paint it red when cleaning up/prepping the car for sale. Again, just curious.

#1072272 - 10/17/21 02:00 PM Re: Transmission Fluid Dipstick color [Re: Ghost Car]  
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 57
69hurstolds Offline
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69hurstolds  Offline
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Posts: 57
Aiken, SC
I believe they went to red-headed dipsticks for visibility. It appears TH350s had them too.

Here's a listing for a supposed low-mile 84 dark blue with a red trans dipstick listed as a 3 speed.
https://www.revupmotors.com/inventory/inventory/9808/1984/Chevrolet/1G1AZ37G7ER228989?detail_embedded=true&leadsource=Showroom%7crev_up_motors

And another one with a red dipstick. Window sticker says MX1 (3 speed).
https://classiccars.com/listings/vi...e-carlo-for-sale-in-alsip-illinois-60803

And a 3rd. Dash gage says it's a 3 speed.
https://classiccars.com/listings/vi...e-carlo-for-sale-in-ft-worth-texas-76137

Without engineering documents, it's hard to predict/determine when and where, and mostly why, they would do a mid-year production change. Sometimes they knew a change was coming, but can't pinpoint when it will happen in the production year. Could have been waiting on EPA or some other alphabet group to sign off on, or parts suppliers to ramp up for supply.

I've always tried to figure how they determined there were only (3) 84's made with the 4R, potentially. I could be wrong, but I believe it to be a wives tale. It's like the old "X were made with T-tops", etc. GM didn't keep that detail of records. Closest they keep to drivetrain is V8 with Auto transmission. If there was a designator in the VIN, then they kept records of that, so for example, they can tell you how many blue 84 Monte SS cars were produced with the L69 engine and auto transmission, but that was about it. And even if you found one...so what? It's not like they're a GNX. Starting in 85 it was standard equipment.

It is true that the factory engineering documentation in late 1983 had designated a 200-4R with 3.73 for the L69 as "interim availability" (read- coming later in the production year), with the exception of California. California wasn't slated for getting a Monte SS (or any El Camino in any state for that matter) with a TH200-4R in late 84 model year.

#1072273 - 10/17/21 09:13 PM Re: Transmission Fluid Dipstick color [Re: Ghost Car]  
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 36
Ghost Car Offline
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Ghost Car  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 36
Houston, TX
Thanks for showing other examples of "red" XMSN fluid dipsticks. Agree, it must be a later production change. Agree that the three 84 MCSS with 200 4R are an urban legend and unicorns.


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