Will GM 200r4 work with factory floor shift location?

Transmission and Drivetrain Tech

  1. Trogdoor

    Trogdoor Active Member

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    I was wondering if anyone had used the 200r4 transmission in an A body that had retained the factory floor shift location and tunnel linkage. I have looked at Mopar to ya's installation and saw that he started with a column mount. My car is a 68 Dart convertible that currently is undergoing an engine upgrade to a
    Mopar 360 crate engine and now is the time.
     
  2. Treblig

    Treblig Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the process of putting a 200R4 in my 69 Cuda. The car is all original besides the few (many) updates I have done to it. No rust anywhere with P/S, P/B, AC, 318, 904, 360 magnum & 340 exhaust, '72 charger rotors with 74 b-body spindles, a-body disc brake upper a-arms, front and rear anti-sway, 302 casting heads, 2 1/2 dual exhaust w/crossover, Chevy (yes, I said Chevy) narrowed 10 bolt w/30 spline 12 bolt axles and posi ( An a-body Dana 60 cost a fortune and 10 bolts/12 bolts are super cheap). I also relocated the rear springs. I still have all the original parts so I can put it back to stock, I also have the build sheet.
    I really hate to cut the transmission/body cross member but I have no choice. I'm building a 318 stroker (for the street) and will need overdrive to get a better launch and better gas mileage on the top end. I'm not building anything radical, just a healthy street machine. I currently have a 200R4 and a 904 side by side in my garage, they are clamped together by their front face using a long piece of 1 X 2 box iron so I can get an exact measurement on the trans mount pad distances. The Cuda came with a factory console shifter, I also have an original 69 Cuda service manual. Next week I will get under the Cuda and check the exact location of the shifter downrod. From looking at the two transmissions side by side it looks pretty easy though I will have to make some kind of adapter/lever to hook-up the shifter rod to the 200R4 transmission shifter arm. As soon I figure out how to post pics I will. I'm new to the forum but have been reading it for years. After I read the "200R4 Update" thread I started collecting all the stuff to transform the Cuda.
    Ask any question about my updates to my Cuda and I will post again after I check the downrod location under the car. The only problem I can see is if the down rod is not far enough toward the driver's side but I'm pretty sure it is ( It needs to clear the driver's side of the 200R4 or it will cause a lot more work). Also there is a bracket that secures the shifter downrod to the 904 to give it a point from which to rotate, this bracket is bolted to the 904 so I will have to design a bracket to attach to the 200R4.
    Lucky for me, I'm a machinist and a welder so there isn't much I can't make.

    Treblig in Tex
     
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    • Trogdoor

      Trogdoor Active Member

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      Thanks for the reply. I will be looking forward to your progress and pictures. I am in the process of stripping the Dart of everything before media blasting and
      a re-paint. It currently has a lockup 998 transmission and a 2.76 rear end ratio
      for Interstate cruising, but I am looking for a combination that will restore the
      acceleration. I have installed the body stiffeners from US Car Tool (highly
      recommended) so I think that should provide an easy way to secure a rear
      transmission support. Without having a 200r4 transmission though
      it seems that it will take a good bit of luck for the standard linkage to have the right amount of travel to match up with the GM requirements.
       
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      • Woods74

        Woods74 Broke Senior

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        Give it a shot, worst thing to happen is a cable shift. :banghead:
         
      • RustyRatRod

        RustyRatRod Bla de blizhibliz de blatde blizi bla bla FABO Gold Member

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        I don't know the answer, but you have chosen an excellent transmission.
         
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        • Treblig

          Treblig Well-Known Member

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          The shifter throw distance shouldn't matter. Once the tranny is in all you have to do is make a lever (to attach to the 200R4) that is the correct length. With the tranny installed you can have someone move the shifter handle from park to low as you watch how much the shifter rod moves under the car. The you make a lever and put the hole for the adjuster in a place that makes the 200R4 shift at the same rate as the shifter movement. You probably won't be able to shift into first gear but I won't need it anyway. I'm not planning on pulling a trailer.
          Imagine a lever mounted to the 200R4 shifter shaft that has multiple holes so that the further away you get from the shifter shaft the longer stroke you will need. Eventually you can match the stroke of the mopar shifter almost exactly. I've done this before so it shouldn't be a big deal. The big deal will be if the shifter downrod will clear the 200 R4???
          Can anyone tell me if I can simply copy paste a pic to this thread?? Thanks

          Treblig in Tex
           
        • longarm

          longarm Car sold back to original owners

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        • Treblig

          Treblig Well-Known Member

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          Hope this works. Here's a pic of my Cuda when I bought it. It looks a little different now as I will post a new pic later.

          treblig

          View attachment barracuda.jpg
           
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          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            Here are some newer pics of my Cuda. It was all original with dark green interior but I jazzed it up with killer yellow inserts on the seats and yellow headrests. The back tires are 12 inch thread on 15 X 10 1960's slotted wheels. I also installed a couple of ten inch speakers and a few smaller ones with two amps (500 watts).

            Trans pics are next....

            Treblig
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            Well the pics didn't take that time. Will try again. The website said that the file was too large....I guess I tried to load too many pics.


            Treblig
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            I try one pic at a time.

            Treblig
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            Here we go again.

            Treblig
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            I tried two pics and it wouldn't work then tried one pic and it wouldn't work. First it said file too large then using fewer pics it said "upload failed". Not sure what to do??

            Treblig
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            OK, my pics are in MB and I need KB. I guess the first pic was in KB, taken years ago. Not sure what to do??

            Treblig
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            I took some JPEGS of the Cuda let's see if they are accepted. I think it worked this time. Will have to retake tranny pics using JPEG setting on camera. Old dog new tricks!!

            Treblig
             

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          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            OK, now I know what I have to do to get the pics to show up. Here are the pics of the transmissions clamped together by their front faces (flanges). If you look closely you'll see a 1/4 inch spacer where the 200R4 is clamped, the spacer represents the 1/4 inch TCI adapter I plan to use. It gives me a more accurate measurement of the distance from the front face to the trans mount on both trannys. I looked up the mount locations on line and they're not accurate...or at least they are not specific on whether the measurement is to the center of the bolt holes on the mount or to the front or back of the mount. Either way I know exactly how far it is front the front face now.
            You can also see that the trans shifter pin/lever locations are almost in the same place relative to the front faces (that's nice). You can also see how much I had to hog out of the spare Cuda trans cross member so that I could get it pushed up far enough and high enogh under the 200R4 so as to get it in the same location with respect to the front face of the tranny. You can also see the distance between the 200R4 mount and where the Cuda cross member will be once the 200R4 is installed.
            Thanks to all the hard work (and pics) done by "Mopar to ya" I can set the height of the Cuda cross member and approximate the distance vertically to the 200R4 mount. Is this TMI????
            There is one pic of the hogged out Cuda cross member on top of a red piece of angle iron. If you look close you'll see some silver round marks on the red iron. I traced the cross member hole locations onto this piece of iron because I knew that as I cut up the cross member it would bend and twist into a different shape which would move the holes. Since I plan to use the cross member I need to be able to bend it back into the shape it was before I started cutting. The hole locations on the red angle iron will tell me when I have it correct again.

            Treblig

            Treblig in Texas
             

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          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            Oh I forgot...the last pic is the 318 stroker. You might ask why it's covered in a black plastic bag. Well...it's sleeping. the motor is practicing for when it's in the Cuda!!!!

            Treblig in Texas
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            Here is a pic of the '69 cuda Service Manual trans linkage. The torque rod or down rod must clear the 200R4 trans for it to function like the factory intended (it should be vertical when in use). Since the 200R4 is a little fatter in this area I need to jack up the car and check it. You can also see the bracket that holds the torque rod under the trans. And lastly you can see how the "lower rod" hooks up to the trans control lever. The 200R4 lever rotates in the horizontal plane as opposed to the 904 on the vertical plane. But it's a simple matter of rotating the swivel assy (wording partially cut off) so that it moves in the horizontal plane like the 200r4. I would think that the distance between the 904 trans shifter pin/shaft and the hole for the swivel will be a good starting point for the hole I put in the 200R4 shifter control lever.
            Don't hesitate to tell me if this is too much info.

            Treblig
             

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          • Trogdoor

            Trogdoor Active Member

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            Don't stop with the detail on the install. This is exactly what I am looking for and it looks like you are making great progress.
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            Here's the problem. The shifter torque shaft uses a pivot point ( bracket and plastic bushing under trans) that is basically below the transmission. From all the measurements that I've taken it looks like the rod will clear the 200R4 but there's no way the rod can go down as far as it does with the 904. From the top of both transmissions down to about 3 1/2 inches the body/housings are close to the same size so the rod will clear up to a point. But as you go lower on the 200R4 the housing gets pretty wide. So I'm pretty sure it can be done but it will require manufacturing a good attach point to reposition the bushing/bracket higher on the 200R4. There are two or three ways to do it, I'm trying to decide which is the best, easiest and most reliable. The torque shaft doesn't care where the pivot point is located a long as it is solidly mounted and vertical. Of course if you move the pivot point further up then you'll have to make a new bell crank arm (the arm at the bottom of the torque shaft). This is not a big deal but it will have to be welded to the torque shaft in such a way that it does hit the trans tunnel. This is a critical point because if the arm/weld fails then you can't shift.
            On the bright side, as I was taking pics under the Cuda I noticed something very interesting. I attached more pics showing the rear view of the passenger side tunnel cross member. If you look closely you can clearly see a nice gap (1/16" to 3/16") between the upper cross member/brace and the body/tunnel. Looks like mopar only spot welded the brace to the body at the top of the tunnel and near the bottom where it starts to get horizontal. I'm sure other posters can verify this as many have cut this area out during modifications. You might say what difference does a gap make?? Well I worry about compromising the structural integrity of the upper cross member and body strength. Now that I know there's a nice gap between the cross member/brace and the body I can easily insert a 8 X 8 sheet of 1/8" sheet metal into this gap and weld it directly to the cross member/brace. The brace has a nice wide lip on each side as you can see in the pics. Installing this sheet metal and welding it in place should compensate, if not overcome, the weakness that will be created when I cut the brace like "Mopar to ya" shows in his great 200R4 update post. In fact I would make the sheet metal piece as wide as possible to give the brace as much support as possible. On a side note, I'm actually considering welding a piece of 1 X 1 angle iron to the front side of the sheet metal (in front of the trans brace) so that I can have a solid place to attach the torque shaft bushing/arm.
            Enough for now....back to work!!

            By the way, if somebody reads and has used the TCI small block adapter could you measure the thickness of the adapter. I believe it should be 1/4" but I need to know for sure. Thanks

            Treblig
             

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          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            Oh, I forgot.. In the pics of my engine bay (post number 15) I show some pics of the 92-02 Mag Truck large port exhaust manifold. I read a lot about this alternative to headers (don't like headers). Anyway they fit with no problem at all, I did have to rotate the 90 degree oil filter. I also had to put the most forward bolt into the manifold before you lower the manifold into place. If I remember correctly they're close to 2 1/2" exit port. I also tried (really hard) to get one into the driver's side. I have power steering. It came close to fitting but couldn't do it. I still think I can make it fit but I ran across a driver's side 340 exhaust manifold for $150 and it worked great. Anyway the pics show all the extra clearance. I think I still have two extra large port manifolds.

            Treblig in Texas
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            I mocked up the possible set-up required to use the stock console shifter in mopar a-body with a 200R4. After lots of measuring under the Cuda I'm 99.9 percent sure it will work, the only possible problem relates to Murphy's Law. The vertical shaft (the one clamped to the 1 X 2 box iron) represents the torque shaft in position. The thin sheet metal attached to the rod represents the arm that moves back and forth. The small horizontal rod ( actually a piece of square stock) is the rod that goes to the shifter bracket/arm. I had numerous Chevy shifter arms and picked the one that dog-legs toward the outside. It's best to keep the shifter arm and the arm that comes off the torque shaft on the same plane (vertically and horizontally). This way the load is in a straight line making it easier to shift and putting less load on the pivot points. The arm that comes off the torque shaft is exactly 3 1/2" center to center. With an arm that length the rod that attaches to the shifter moves 1 1/2 inches from "Park" to "low" gear (Cuda). So I selected a spot on the shifter arm that moves 1 1/2" as the shifter arm goes from "Park" to "low" gear. If you look real close you might be able to see the small silver/gray spot on the shifter arm, that's the spot where I would drill a hole for the lower shifter rod to attach. If I keep the torque shaft arm the same length (center to center measuring horizontally) then the stroke will stay the same (1 1/2"). Of course you can make it any length you like but it will change the stroke. Just remember that the longer you make it the more unstable it gets giving you a sloppy feel at the shifter handle.
            I've done this type of stuff before but with a 700R4 and with a three speed shifter (like the Cuda) you have to give up a gear. There are only 6 detents on the Cuda shifter but the 200R4 has 7 detents. On my last build I gave up low gear rather than trying to find a detent plate with sufficient detents that would fit the console. Parts houses sell shifters with all the detents you need but the console won't look stock any more.
            I'm sure it's going to take some more tweeking but if it was easy EVERYONE would be doing it. FYI, the Cuda torque shaft is 1/2 rod so I'm thinking about buying a helm joint and use it as the pivot point just above the arm. On the Cuda the arm is above the pivot point (see previous pics). But there's no way to put the pivot point below the arm because on the Cuda the large bracket that supports the pivot point is attached to the underside of the tranny (see previous pics) allowing the torque shaft to extent below the tranny. The 200R4 is to wide at the bottom so the shortened torque shaft will have to have the pivot point above the arm. Putting the pivot point above the arm shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't extend the torque shaft to far beyond the pivot point. If you extend it too far it will flex and give you that sloppy feel at the shifter handle. I plan to extend the torque shaft about a 1/2 inch below the helm joint, you only need enough below the pivot point to weld/attach the arm. At least that's what I'm going to do unless someone has a better idea??
            Back to work......

            Treblig in Texas
             

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          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            Sorry...I meant "rod end" not HELM joint, not sure what I was thinking???

            Treblig
             
          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            OK...in the pic you can see the torque shaft and you can also see an arrow pointing to the torque shaft. On the Cuda trans tunnel directly to the left of the torque shaft (close to where the arrow is pointing) there is a bulge or semi flat area. If you look inside the car this area is in front of the gear shift handle and around the area where your ankle/calf/knee rests when you're accelerating. In fact if you stick your hand under the console and reach up and forward you can feel the torque shaft. The bulge or semi-flat area is just below the shaft that you feel under the console. If you peel away the carpet it's obvious. I noticed that in the pics that "Mopar to ya" posted there was no bulge in that area so I can only assume that the bulge was put there to make clearance for the shifter linkage on cars with consoles??
            Anyway this semi-flat area is where I might mount the rod end to support the torque shaft under the car. This is the only major problem I see. You have to find a good solid place to attach the pivot point. Of course if your car is disassembled it makes it much easier once you know where exactly the 200R4 will actually rest.

            In the second pic you can kinda see the bulge, it's just below the torque shaft rubber boot. It's easier to see in real life. I can't see an easy way to attach the pivot point to the trans. The only possible place is on that machined ear that sticks out of the driver's side trans area (200R4) but I'm afraid that it might break off with the back and forth torque applied when your're shifting. With no place on the trans you have to look for a place on the body. The upper trans cross member is close by but it will be mostly cut away to install the 200R4. You might be able to mount something to the driver's side cross member bolt but the one closest to the torque shaft will not be there once the 200R4 is installed.
            So I'm looking at putting a 1/8" or 3/16" plate on both sides of the semi-flat area just below the torque shaft boot and install a 1/2" rod end with the rod end shaft and nut protruding inside the car. Once you get the correct distance to keep the torque shaft vertical you can cut off any excess rod end threaded shaft so that all you'll have inside the car is a basically the thickness of the jam nut. I already ordered a 1/2" rod end from Jegs . If you use this method get a rod end that have as much travel as possible (angle of rotation). The one I ordered has 20 degrees of rotation. This is important because there no way you'll be able to mount the rod end perpendicular to the torque shaft unless you hammer and beat the trans tunnel until it has a nice flat vertical surface. I don't want to do that so I'll just buy the rod end with 20 degrees of rotation. Since the torque shaft must be vertical the rod end spherical ball should be able to rotate enough so it doesn't bind. The nut portion of the rod end will be easily hidden by the carpet and no one will know it's there. That's the plan so far. For anyone who has there car already disassembled it's a simple matter of putting the toque shaft in and getting it vertical (in both directions) then you can easily locate the pivot point and mounting surface just under the torque shaft boot. It you go too low you'll run out of torque shaft and you'll have no place to weld on the arm.
            Now some one out there might say that because of motor torque and motor movement during acceleration the torque shaft pivot was deliberately mounted to the trans so that there is no binding??? It might be true but since you have two pivot points on the LOWER shifting rod (one at the trans shift lever and another at the torque shaft) I don't see how it could bind. I think Mopar put the pivot point on the trans for ease of assembly. Besides the majority of motor movement occurs closest to the front and is less and less as you approach the rear of the drive train.

            I'm wore out from writing...back to work.

            Treblig in Tex
             

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          • Treblig

            Treblig Well-Known Member

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            Well I mocked it up so anyone can see what I'm talking about. The pics show a piece of sheet metal (where the rod end mounts) which represents the trans tunnel. The torque shaft is about 1 1/2" away from the semi-flat area on the tunnel where the rod end will mount (actual measurement under the car). I haven't received the 1/2" rod end I ordered yet so I used a 3/4" rod end that I had laying around. So the actual rod end will be a little smaller leaving you more room. As you can see the torque shaft is in pretty close quarters. If you try and mount the pivot point any lower you'll have no torque shaft left for the lever/arm. Also...the lower you go the fatter the 200R4 gets so there aren't a lot of choices. But like I said before you want as little torque shaft below the rod end to reduce deflection.
            I mocked it up as closely as possible to the actual measurements I took off my Cuda. I shouldn't be off by more than 1/8 inch. But with Murphy's Law you'll never know till you actually install everything. The pic from the backside of the sheet metal shows how little will protrude into the car after you cut off the excess threads
            (maybe 1/4") covered by the carpet.

            Treblig
             

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