: 1988 Brougham needs 2004R transmission...please help!



re_williamp
04-27-07, 03:28 PM
My inexpensive, newly-acquired 1988 Brougham now slo-o-o-o-owly takes off from a standing start after much slipping and revving. From what I've read here so far, I'll assume the craptastic 200-4R is shot. As a guy who is only moderately mechanically inclined and, of course, poor, let me ask some dumb questions:

1) Do I need the multifit case or not? For the edification of all, what the heck is the difference?

2) How tough a job is the swap-out? I can read and turn a wrench, but sometimes descriptions of how to do something are inadequate if you don't know what the heck the manual is talking about.

3) How expensive a job is it? Say I deferred to a shade-tree type to do it...what should I pay/what would they charge? Although prone to occasional lapses of judgment, by the time I was 10 I knew tranny shops were crooked.

4) Any idea where to get a cheap tranny? I'm interested only in getting the car running to sell, 'cause it ain't that great to begin with. Can I recoup the cost? Right now I've got a large pile of useless metal--so anything I could sell it for beyond the cost of the fix would be a plus over getting it towed away. I'm in the Minneapolis, MN area if that matters.

5) For sh*ts and giggles, are there error codes for this old a car? Are they accessible by fiddling trickery, or do I need a code-reader?

6) Is there any remote chance whatsoever it could be anything short of new tranny time?

7) Any other hints/tips/tricks/things to fear I should know about?

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and for your replies.

jayoldschool
04-27-07, 04:05 PM
Check the fluid level. A low level will produce the symptoms you are having.

Trannies are easy to swap on these cars. A few hours in the driveway if you have the right tools, jacks, jackstands. Shorter if you have access to a lift.

re_williamp
04-27-07, 04:16 PM
Thanks, jayoldschool,

I've checked the fluid, and it is quite full.

Let me ask one more question: Is the Haynes manual description decent enough to do the job? It DOES seem pretty straightforward...

90Brougham350
04-27-07, 06:03 PM
Hello to another Minnesotan! Pulling codes is quite easy. Search for it, it's been covered many times. The Haynes manual falls far short of a GM service manual but should be thorough enough to help you change a transmission. If you just want to get it running and sell it, call the junkyards and see if they have any 200-4R cars with bad engines, that way you can guess it's not in the junkyard because of the transmission.

Pckstude
04-27-07, 11:19 PM
I just had the transmission in my '84 Deville swapped out and a tuirbo 350 put in its place because the tranny man said that the 2004r trannies won't last. He said that the 350 will handle anything that my hearse will dish out. Oh sorry, forgot to say that my Deville is actually a hearse.
The 350 and the 2004R are the same length, so there is no worry of having to redo the driveshaft. However, a simple plate must be made to extend off the origingal rear support to give the 350 a rear mount. Very simple. I will take pics if you're interested in doing this swap.
The other modification he did was to change the shift indicator in the dash board.

Destroyer
04-28-07, 01:18 PM
I just had the transmission in my '84 Deville swapped out and a tuirbo 350 put in its place because the tranny man said that the 2004r trannies won't last. He said that the 350 will handle anything that my hearse will dish out. Oh sorry, forgot to say that my Deville is actually a hearse.
The 350 and the 2004R are the same length, so there is no worry of having to redo the driveshaft. However, a simple plate must be made to extend off the origingal rear support to give the 350 a rear mount. Very simple. I will take pics if you're interested in doing this swap.
The other modification he did was to change the shift indicator in the dash board.I dont agree with your mechanic that the 200r4 wont last. I do agree the th350 is a bit beefier but the 200r4 is just fine with a stock motor. Also you must have noticed that your car is now even slower as the gearing is different in the th350 plus you no longer have overdrive which means you mpg is worse.

Pckstude
04-28-07, 01:32 PM
I dont agree with your mechanic that the 200r4 wont last. I do agree the th350 is a bit beefier but the 200r4 is just fine with a stock motor. Also you must have noticed that your car is now even slower as the gearing is different in the th350 plus you no longer have overdrive which means you mpg is worse.

Well, I hate to admit it, but your right destroyer. I wasn't really concerned about the lower gearing because the 4100 V8 isn't the most powerful thing in the world, so I actually thought that the lower gearing might help.
However, I'm not impressed with what he did. He also replaced the bell housing which doesn't match up with the oil drain plug, and the filter. The filter is right tight against the bell housing and I can't remove the drain plug.
Silly me, when will I learn to just keep things original. It's one of those "sounded like a good idea at the time" things. It's been said to live and learn, but this time I didn't learn from the last mistake I made in keeping something original.
Well, now I have to approach the man and see what it would take to make it right again. If he had modified the bell housing to accomadate the oil plug and clearance for the filter I would've gone along with it. But he didn't say a word about it. I hate surprises like that. Ain't this just another fine mess I've gotten myself into.

re_williamp
04-29-07, 10:44 PM
First, thanks for all your advice, everybody.

There is an update, update, update!!! And another question.

From the good news/bad news department. The good news is, the tranny was swapped out by an energetic gentleman who also had the part, for a reasonable fee.

The bad news is, he used the old torque converter because "it looked brand new" compared to the one on his replacement tranny. Now the car exhibits EXACTLY the same symptoms as it did before the swap.

(The other good news is, I didn't pay him yet, and he is determined and said he'll do some digging and we'll revisit the problem shortly.)

The question: Can a bad torque converter cause the slipping/high-revving/slow-to-get-going effects I've experienced? It seems like too much of a coincidence that my bad tranny would be swapped for an identically bad tranny which was acquired from a reputable yard, and had been checked and found good. Or does every tranny get the "checked and found good" grease pencil? As you can imagine, he'd like to only have to do the re-swap one more time.

As always, thanks for your help.

cadillac_al
04-30-07, 07:48 PM
If I'm reading it right, he put the 200r4 converter in the th350? I didn't realize it would work that way. I haven't had a torque converter ever go bad on me but I think it may act as you described. If this is the case then maybe you can put in the old trans with a new converter. Good luck.

PS Those 200r4 trans held up pretty good in those Buick Grand Nationals and they can easily be rebuilt to handle more power.

re_williamp
04-30-07, 10:05 PM
No, Cadillac Al, it was a straight swap of 200-4R for 200-4R--except the OLD torque converter was used. That's why I thought it was more than coincidental that the car's behavior didn't change one iota, and wondered if perhaps the torque converter could be at fault.

ChiTDI
05-01-07, 09:41 AM
Did he use the same solenoids or replace with new ones?

90Brougham350
05-01-07, 04:44 PM
When I had my tranny rebuilt, the shop manager said they rebuilt the torque converter as well. He told me that with lockup converters, it's necessary, unlike non-lockup converters. He told me all they'd do with those is flush them out, and fill them with good new fluid.

Oh crap, I gotta renew my supporting membership! No signature!

re_williamp
05-01-07, 07:25 PM
ChiTDI, I'm not sure. He didn't say he did specifically. Since I don't know much about trannies, can you enlighten me? Would the solenoids be part of the torque converter, or the tranny in general?

(And thanks for that info, 90Brougham350.)

ChiTDI
05-02-07, 10:50 AM
They address some of the issues you're having. There's a torque converter clutch solenoid specifically that you can change out when you are doing a fluid change. When the filter is removed the TCC is accessible. There is a final drive solenoid in the same area. Other posters have had their "issues" fixed with this replacement.
This URL has all the photos and data.
http://www.montecarloss.com/TCC_Sole...tml#Definition
If you can't open it (which I wasn't able to), search under TCC solenoid in the forums here and you'll get more reading than you can imagine.
Hope this is the problem and the solution for you!

turbocaddy
05-05-07, 05:02 PM
the problem is in the torque converter, 2004-r's are known with the 27 spline input shafts to strip out, if u remove the convert and look inside real good, u will see the splines worn out wide at the top and middle but then get smaller at the bottom where the splines never touch, i run a grand national turbo motor with my 2004r and the converter went and went right into neutral..the first time was the plines...then i had a place build one for me with a hardened spline...that lasted 6 months and the car goes in all gears but feels like it slips when u give it gas...the trans was taken apart and nothing was found, the converter was taken back to the place and i told him i need to have it sliced open...he did and found the weld broken that attaches the spline to the converter plate...when this happens there is no fluid muiltiplation and the trans feels like it slips in all gears.....

re_williamp
05-10-07, 10:37 AM
Update! Tranny fixed...it was the torque converter.

My better-looking-but-we-didn't-know-nonworking torque converter, which was re-installed ONLY because it looked better than the junkyard one, was removed and replaced with the junkyard torque converter (which was originally mated to the replacement junkyard transmission which was swapped into the car. In other words, the car now has in it what was intended to be the complete swap-out transmission--with me so far?).

After this was done, the car now drives fine.

You can put this in your archives: GOOD torque converters DO die. You CAN sometimes blame the TC.

I'm thankful nothing bad happened after installing the bad TC the first time with the junkyard tranny. Uh, that is, if it's possible for a chunk of metal to fly off and damage the good junkyard tranny. Cue the Discovery Channel guy: "When Torque Converters Attack, Sunday night at eight..."

I believe there's a lesson here as well. Looks can be deceiving. When you get a junkyard transmission from a reputable yard, and it has "Checked OK" written on it, INSTALL THE WHOLE DANG THING.

A thousand thanks to all who have replied. Believe me, it's a heck of a lot easier when people have blazed the trail before you. I hope my results have imparted some small measure of wisdom for future souls facing a similar problem.