200-4R inconsistent shifts

Jay 84 H/O

Sep 24, 2021
So I'm getting use to my "new to me" 84' H/O. Just looking for feedback on how everyone else's stock 200-4R's shift. Mine hits 2nd pretty nice (will not bark the tires), but the 2-3 shift is HAAAAARD! The 3-O/D shift also hits hard, but not nearly as hard as the 2-3. Is this normal? I would expect the 1-2 to hit harder than the 2-3. I'm pretty sure this thing would get rubber hitting 3rd if it had the power to do it.

Thanks for any feedback!


Comic Book Super Hero
Oct 22, 2017
check the detent cable before anything else.it's crucial that it's adjusted properly.
  • Agree
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Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2018
+100 on checking the TV cable tension between the cable mounting bracket and the pivot point on the carb. Does sound like it needs to be reset. Having the correct tension is absolutely critical. Your transmission depends on that cable to tell it when to shift. if the cable is not correctly adjusted for tension then what happens is exactly what you are describing and if left uncorrected can kill the box.

You can go online to You-Boob to watch videos on how to set the tension but it is relatively straightforward.

1. Vehicle is turned off and the t-box in park.

2. Open hood and remove the air cleaner, exposing the driver's side of the carb or TBI.

3. On the drivers side of the carb, is throttle lever; a more or less flat plate that supports two pivot points, one for the throttle cable, and the other for the TV cable. The TV cable is the lower one.

4. Where the TV cable attaches to its pivot point, you will notice a small black cap, with the Cable wire attached to it. This has to be gently pulled forward to get it to pop off the pivot pin. NO force should be necessary; it should come off the pin with only a little resistance. Leave it hang limp for now.

5. Moving towards the rear of the motor and the firewall, there is a bracket attached to the intake that possesses two rectangular pockets , one for the throttle cable and the other for the TV Cable . The TV cable will be plugged into the lower pocket.

As you look at the cable in its pocket, you are going to be looking for two things. The first is a "D" shaped button that is embedded in the cable housing and located near the rear of the cable in it's body. If new it might be pretty and clean, otherwise it will likely be dark and scungy looking. It will take a little pressure but that button ought to depress cleanly if you do push on it. If it doesn't. meaning that the D button does not move no matter how much pressure you use to push down on it, then it is frozen and you need to get it unstuck. Stick a rag under the assembly and give it some serious attention with the Rust penetrant of your choice. Deep Creep, PBR, whatever you prefer. Soak it down, let it sit, soak it again, lather rinse repeat for several times before trying to push the D-button again.

At this point, if it still will not move, you now have three choices:

Do nothing more and just re-attach the cable to its pivot on the lever and live with the problem until the t-box grenades (I do NOT recommend this),

Use mechanical force such as a pair of water pump pliers to see if that will move the button, BE CAREFUL with this, the cable housing is plastic and has a limited amount of tolerance to any kind of mechanical intervention,

OR, phone your speed or supply shop and get the price and availability on a new TV cable for your t-mission because, if you can't get the cable button to move, you won't be able to get the tensioning slide to retract and you can't go for a reset. Swapping out the old cable is also fairly straightforward but for the details on how to, I suggest you scare up a service manual and peruse the related text on the low down on the how-to.

Moving On.........

6. So, okay, when you did push the D- button it actually went down and came back up when you released it. COOL.

7. Turning your attention to the exit point where the TV cable comes out of its housing, you are going to see a small black plastic sleeve and if you handle it you will feel "teeth" on one of its surfaces. This is the cable tensioner. And this is what you have to reset first in order to go ahead and re-tension the cable.

8. So, what has to happen is that that black plastic sleeve has to be pushed all the way back into the cable housing. To do that you depress the D button and at the same time push the sleeve towards/into the housing. It should slide easily with the button depressed and won't slide at all unless you do push down on that button. Be Sure that when you move that sleeve back into the housing it goes ALL The Way in. All the way in means that once you have pushed it back it should almost have disappeared back into its shell. Leave it like that.

9. Moving back to your limp noodle of a cable where it is hanging freely by its carb/TBI pivot pin. Re-attach it to the pivot pin by gently pulling on the black cap until it is just ahead of the pin and then pushing the cap back onto the pin. You should feel it "snap" onto the pin. Positive feedback that you have re-attached it.

10. Review what you have done so far and if the sleeve is completely buried in the cable housing and the cable itself is solidly re-attached to its pivot pint then...

11. Grab the throttle lever with your thumb and forefinger and twist the lever until the throttle plates are Wide Open!! The WOT position is critical here. When you open the throttle wide open, it pulls on the TV cable which pulls on the sleeve, which causes the sleeve to slide back out of the Cable housing. Only do the WOT movement once. When you let go of the lever and the throttle goes back to idle, where the cable sleeve stopped when it slid back out ought to be the optimal point for the correct amount of tension on the TV cable If you touch the cable with a finger, it should feel taut but not like a guitar string.

12. Where the sleeve stopped is where it will stay. Remember the teeth that you felt on the sleeve? They index against a stop in the cable housing and the stop is locked in place by the D button. Depressing the button releases the stop so the sleeve can move. Otherwise it stays just where it slid to.

13. Time for a test drive. Put everything you took off to get to the cable, back where it came from, make sure no tools or other fiddly bits got left behind, close the hood, fire the car and go for a drive. If you got it right, the T-mission ought to shift at the proper rpms and fairly smoothly. At that point you're done. However, on the other hand..............

14. If the car still shifts too hard or soft then you will have to go back and go through the reset steps again... (And again and again....on my own 700R4 I ended up getting the sleeve into the position called "close but no cigar" and then manually, one click of a tooth at a time, edged the sleeve out and went for a drive. Total PITA but finally got it right and then Left It Alone)

Back to the cable for just a minute here. If you are still at the point where, despite your best efforts, the D button just will not move, then the whole cable will have to come out and get replaced by a new one. If you are mechanically inclined this can be done in earthworm mode, ie, slithering under the car, locating where the cable enters the transmission case, removing the little metric screw that secures the cable in place, and which is probably going to be a b**** to remove due to age and corrosion, lift the old cable housing out of its boss/pocket, detach the inner cable eye from the actuator rod, set the whole business aside and install the new one, which is basically doing all you just did all over again, only in reverse order. Or you can farm the whole exercise out to a Transmission shop and let them get dirty.

This is one of those "Are we having fun, yet"? moments that epitomize the whole project process. Later.

CopperNick sends
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Oct 14, 2008
It is very possible someone added a shift kit, maybe a B&M? Yeah, double check the TV cable adjustment.
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