Transmissions, automatic or manual, what actually hold up to decent power?

Transmission of choice?

  • 4L80E

    Votes: 6 46.2%
  • 4L60E

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2004R

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • TH350

    Votes: 3 23.1%
  • TH400

    Votes: 5 38.5%
  • T56

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • TKO/X

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • T5

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Muncie

    Votes: 2 15.4%
  • T-10

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    13
Oct 14, 2008
8,815
7,758
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
So basically I am considering tracking down a truck Muncie 330 3 spd with the 3.03/1.75/1.1 and slightly deeper reverse for my 70S. A car tail shaft and input bearing retainer would needed along with a Hurst floor shifter. Good gear ratios to work with my planned 3.08 gears. They are supposed to be extremely strong. Here is my thoughts on GM automatics below.
In cars maybe the 4L60E were fine, although my BIL's 95 Z28 died well under 200,000 km. Even with all the upgrades like the 5 pinion planet gear set, they still failed a lot in trucks, I saw a lot of GM Reman stickers, only a few year out. GM had a TSB for years, they still have, last I checked. GM has a pretty affordable replacement because of it. I got lucky when my 94 Z71 GM reman trans got the weak reverse. To be fair it towed my Inlaws cattle trailer with no auxiliary cooler and probably had quite a few miles. The fluid was not great when I changed it. The replacement was a $500 wrecker replacement that was rebuilt shortly before the truck was wrote off. It shifted great till the truck burnt to the ground. I also cooked the 3/4 clutch pack towing a light trailer with the 5.3 work truck. I think like the 2004R, I would trust a 700R4/4L60E to only specific builders who have a good reputation for building them. Our local trans shop did one behind a stock 6L truck, made it just over the year warranty, as an example. I have 2004R in the 70S, probably won't live a long life, the usual. I haven't had great luck with the TH350 either, weak reverse and total death behind 165HP of raw Olds 350 power. I threw a Transgo shift kit in one that was behind an Olds 403. Fair bit of clutch material in the pan and some on the magnet. It was shifting pretty lazy, see how long it lives with the shift kit, if I have to use it.
 

nycutlass

G-Body Guru
Jul 29, 2008
587
144
43
NY
i only use TH400 and 4L80E in all of my personal vehicles i don't waste my time with any other transmission. i even used a th400 behind a V6 3.8L stock 110hp with amazing results. i have heard for year how th400 consumes a lot of HP blah blah.
 

81cutlass

Comic Book Super Hero
Feb 16, 2009
4,644
13,556
113
Western MN
How much power do you want to make?

If you are considering an electronic trans you need a controller so just get an 80e. You need to spend the money on a driveshaft, crossmember, controller, and BOP to Chev adapter. It's the same price and honestly a 2wd 80e is easier to find than a 60e. If you care about the 12hp or whatever additional you need to power an 80e sure, get a 60e, but otherwise just do the 80e.

I don't recommend a t56 as all used ones are thrashed and over priced.

2004R are expensive to rebuild. I had 2 grand in parts in mine to get a 450hp capable turbo buick setup and I did the work myself. If you have a 442 or Monte SS core you can save some coin, but there are few 2004r builders worth a damn.

TH350 cores allegedly are often thrashed
TH400 BOP cores are easy to find and bolt right up

Honestly, my vote would be
TH400 BOP
TKx/TK500
 
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DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
8,071
14,518
113
*CENSORED*
If your main concern is the first gear ratio with your current 3.08s, that would be the only reason I'd even consider a 700R4/4L60. The rest put 1st in the mid-2s. So why not use an M20? Muncie 4-speeds are more affordable now than ever since lots of resto-mod guys are swapping in overdrives. There's still some sellers with "special" date codes or whatever that asked a premium, but I see Muncies on CL in the $800-1200 range all the time. Not sure what your market looks like up there though. Seems that Muncie 330 would be more trouble than it's worth.

4 or 5 speed manual would be my vote.


Edit: My El Camino has an M20 and 3.08s and it's fine on the street. Your torquey Olds would be even better.
 
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Oct 14, 2008
8,815
7,758
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Melville,Saskatchewan
I want something reliable with 500 HP/500 ft/lbs of torque. I am already going with a Terminator X for SEFI. I will probably splurge for the X Max with the 4L60/80E harness. I am going with Holley 350 LPH drop in pump module for my stock tank.
 
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Oct 14, 2008
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Melville,Saskatchewan
The Muncie 3 spd should be easier to find up here, a lot 6 cyl 3 spd manual trucks from that era. Ironically we had 72 C-10 6cyl 3 spd sit in our yard for years, Dad got it hauled away for scrap. I would love a TKX wide ratio but 6K is a lot to justify. I found the retainer, tail shaft and even 2 NOS Muncie truck 3 spd.
 
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nycutlass

G-Body Guru
Jul 29, 2008
587
144
43
NY
I want something reliable with 500 HP/500 ft/lbs of torque. I am already going with a Terminator X for SEFI. I will probably splurge for the X Max with the 4L60/80E harness. I am going with Holley 350 LPH drop in pump module for my stock tank.
just do the 4L80E now and forget it forever. no matter how much power you want to make, the 4L80E can handle it, and be reliable. with the power levels your saying you can put in a stock transmission and be done with it cheap.
 
Last edited:
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Oct 14, 2008
8,815
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Melville,Saskatchewan
Yeah, it may be the best solution. What do 4L80E truck/van converters stall at factory? I would really like a manual but meh first gear 4L80E may be the cheapest solution. It depends though, I believe both Muncie fit without mods. But with more power the stock drive shaft with the bonded rubber, two piece drive shaft is questionable.
 
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nycutlass

G-Body Guru
Jul 29, 2008
587
144
43
NY
Yeah, it may be the best solution. What do 4L80E truck/van converters stall at factory? I would really like a manual but meh first gear 4L80E may be the cheapest solution. It depends though, I believe both Muncie fit without mods. But with more power the stock drive shaft with the bonded rubber, two piece drive shaft is questionable.
most stock 4L80E converters are around 1700 stall give or take, if you have a good converter guy he can make a 1700 stall around 2100 give or take. after that the stock converter is not for you anymore
 
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nycutlass

G-Body Guru
Jul 29, 2008
587
144
43
NY
if you have to rebuild the transmission for your power level all the way up to 900 torque use the stock tan clutches and steels.
 
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