Retrofitting 440-t4 into 1987 Allante
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  1. #1
    Edahall's Avatar
    Edahall is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 93 & 88 Allante, 88 Eldorado
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    Retrofitting 440-t4 into 1987 Allante

    My 1987 Allante has a bad F-7 transmission. It doesnít engage in any gears and doesnít make any noise. I took it to a transmission place that knows how to rebuild these things and they named some incredible price to rebuild this transmission. I refused to have this done so I towed the car to my place so I could look at some options.

    The first and most attractive option is to find a 440-t4 from an 88/89 Eldorado. The transmission guy told me that this would not work because the Eldorado had a 4.5L engine while mine has the 4.1L. I donít see why it wonít bolt up because both engines use the same block. Am I correct?

    He then told me another problem is that the 440-t4 is non-electronic and the check engine light on the dash would be on all the time. This I agree with him on this although I can always ignore the light. Also, I donít see why I canít fool the computer into thinking that it has the right transmission. The computer just runs several solenoids and that can easily be mimicked. Then I will never have to worry about those solenoids that no longer available.

    I also understand that the 440-t4 is not as strong as the F-7. But there are shift kits sold by either Superior or Transgo that can be installed on the 440-t4 that should make it strong enough to handle the extra 15 hp that the Allante engine puts out.

    The second option is to buy a rebuilt transmission from a place like the following.

    http://www.rebuilt-car-transmissions.com/cadillac-allante-1987-transmissions---20586214.html

    This is a whole lot cheaper than the quote I got. Any comments on this option?

    The third option is to try rebuilding the original transmission myself. I have no problems rebuilding the 440-t4 but Iím afraid there might be enough differences with the F-7 such as hard parts that can no longer be bought.

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  3. #2
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Retrofitting 440-t4 into 1987 Allante

    I usually suggest people do as much as possible themselves but transmissions are the exception. Are you experienced enough to do a trans?
    If so I'd think the parts are available if companies are selling rebuilts. You should check with a local transmission parts supplier. In Phoenix we have Daecco and RPM, probably more. If none local the internet should tell you if parts are available.
    Where are you located?

  4. #3
    Edahall's Avatar
    Edahall is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Retrofitting 440-t4 into 1987 Allante

    I'm located in Southern California. The reason I'm asking about parts availability is that the F-7 transmission from the Allante was kind of an experimental transmission and I don't know if all parts are still available. I've rebuilt 1 440-t4 tranny so I feel confident enough to do a trans.

    If obtaining parts for the F-7 transmission is a problem, I don't see why I can't retrofit the 440-t4 transmission that justs has a TV cable.

    Quote Originally Posted by zonie77
    I usually suggest people do as much as possible themselves but transmissions are the exception. Are you experienced enough to do a trans?
    If so I'd think the parts are available if companies are selling rebuilts. You should check with a local transmission parts supplier. In Phoenix we have Daecco and RPM, probably more. If none local the internet should tell you if parts are available.
    Where are you located?

  5. #4
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 94 ETC,97 STS
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    Re: Retrofitting 440-t4 into 1987 Allante

    Have you called to see if parts are available? If you did one you should be able to do another.
    I'm not a transmission guy but I have rebuilt them in the past (including 700R4 & AXOD).

  6. #5
    ckucia is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Retrofitting 440-t4 into 1987 Allante

    Quote Originally Posted by Edahall
    My 1987 Allante has a bad F-7 transmission. It doesnít engage in any gears and doesnít make any noise. I took it to a transmission place that knows how to rebuild these things and they named some incredible price to rebuild this transmission. I refused to have this done so I towed the car to my place so I could look at some options.

    The first and most attractive option is to find a 440-t4 from an 88/89 Eldorado. The transmission guy told me that this would not work because the Eldorado had a 4.5L engine while mine has the 4.1L. I donít see why it wonít bolt up because both engines use the same block. Am I correct?

    He then told me another problem is that the 440-t4 is non-electronic and the check engine light on the dash would be on all the time. This I agree with him on this although I can always ignore the light. Also, I donít see why I canít fool the computer into thinking that it has the right transmission. The computer just runs several solenoids and that can easily be mimicked. Then I will never have to worry about those solenoids that no longer available.

    I also understand that the 440-t4 is not as strong as the F-7. But there are shift kits sold by either Superior or Transgo that can be installed on the 440-t4 that should make it strong enough to handle the extra 15 hp that the Allante engine puts out.

    The second option is to buy a rebuilt transmission from a place like the following.

    http://www.rebuilt-car-transmissions.com/cadillac-allante-1987-transmissions---20586214.html

    This is a whole lot cheaper than the quote I got. Any comments on this option?

    The third option is to try rebuilding the original transmission myself. I have no problems rebuilding the 440-t4 but Iím afraid there might be enough differences with the F-7 such as hard parts that can no longer be bought.
    Some things to consider:

    There are definitely hard part differences between the F7 and the 440t4. The F7 was used in all Allantes through '92 and the 89-92's had 4.5 engines so that shouldn't be an issue.

    From everything I've heard, there should be no issue with compatibility between the block and the trans.

    There may be subtle electronic differences in the wiring harness, but nothing that should cause an issue with the ECM - I believe the control commands are essentially the same. The schematics should be on the web somewhere. Some wires may need to be swapped around as the pins on the connectors did change a bit, if I recall.

    Torque converters supposedly varied greatly with various installations of the 440t4. May want to use the original F7 converter if you're sure its good.

    I believe there were several final drive ratios offered on these transaxles. You may be able to swap in your chain and sprockets to duplicate the original.

    I'd probably try and go with a later model (the 4t60 is the 440t4, but the 4t60E is a different trans) as there were improvements as with any production run.

    440t4s are pretty inexpensive. Might be worth trying just to see if it would work. The hardest part is installing the darn thing. May be worth finding a running car with a 440t4 so you know it works and then swapping it into your Allante. If I recall, 440t4s were used in everything from Fieros to full-size Caddy's and Buicks.

    May want to give Anthony Cipriano a shout and see what he thinks.

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