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Opinions- 205, 208, or 241

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by rjfguitar, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I currently have a 208 transfer case in my 85K5 and can't deside if I wan't or need a big heavy 205 case or if my 208 with a longer than stock driveshaft to push the slip yoke on as far as I can get it without limiting slip will be strong enough. My last option would be a 241, which I don't know much about these cases besides that they are a little bit stronger than the 208. I have 3/4 ton running gear on 35x16 boggers and 16.5x14 welds. My 406 has some serious guts to it also.I do some heavy towing and constantly pull things. What case or modification to my current case would you guys go with? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    85k5,3/4ton,14boltFF,10bolt,9"lift,35"boggers,16.5x14welds, big horse 406SBC/700R4 /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  2. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    In my personal opinion, the NP-205 is the strongest. So it's my first choice. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  3. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    With a 700R4, your options are limited if you don't want to spend money. Your 208 is fine, the 241 is an upgrade but not much better. The 205 is great, but never came behind a 700R4 stock so it will require adapters and driveshaft modifications.

    No matter what, you're going to destroy your 700R4 before long if you tow with it and your 406 hits on all 8 cylinders. It doesn't really matter what transfer case you have, no matter what, that 700 is going to continue to be the weak link in your drivetrain.

    I don't know what you're pulling with all that suspension lift but I hope you've got a good setup in the rear as far as springs are concerned.

    I already know you're going to rattle off about how great your 700R4 is and how it's so tough and whoever rebuilt it. Others have done the same in the past as well (remember the long threads about that so called Raptor 700R4?) Give it a year or less and you'll be complaining about what a piece of crap it was and how it was a total waste of money and you wish that you'd listened to someone with some sense earlier.

    They can be built to withstand 600 HP in a Racing application but I've yet to see one that can withstand the torque of a 3.75"+ motor, towing, and the weight of a truck. A lot of people say it can be done, but I've yet to see it hold up to that so I'm not impressed.

    If it were me and I was hell bent on having an automatic, I'd have a TH 400/NP 205 combo, though one with a 208 or 241 would probably be fine for what you're doing.
     
  4. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    np205 hands down if you can afford to do it then that would be your best option /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. 4GUNZ4X4Z

    4GUNZ4X4Z 1/2 ton status

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    205 is definitly the strongest out of your 3 choices period. The low gear in the 205 blows 1.96:1, not as low as the 208 2.61:1 or 241 2.72:1, but at least the 205 won't crumble like a tin can. 208 and 241's are aluminum.
     
  6. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]

    A lot of people say it can be done, but I've yet to see it hold up to that so I'm not impressed.



    [/ QUOTE ] Why don't we get together and play a little game of tug of war, you'll be impressed, Oh and I've had my 700R4 for about 2 years now with no problems. They are great for towing, thats why chevy designed it with such a low 1st gear. I have 1/2 ton springs with my add a leaf that helps make them a little stiffer. I also use an 8" drop reciever.

    85k5,3/4ton,14boltFF,10bolt,9"lift,35"boggers,16.5x14welds, big horse 406SBC/700R4 /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  7. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Tug of war? I've got a lifetime warranty clutch so I wouldn't really care, but I doubt it'd go out that fast. That doesn't prove anything anyway.

    I'll just give it time. I'd love to see one hold up, but it just doesn't happen. The 700R4 isn't strong enough for a truck. It works great for my girlfriend's mom's Astro van, or a Camaro, but it's just not up to the weight of a fullsize rig and fourwheeling, period.
     
  8. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    A 400/205 would be a good setup. tough as nails and nearly bullit proof.
    Personaly I wouldn't have a 700 in anything.
    And I am not realy concerned about overdrive, if I wanted great milage I would drive a Geo.
     
  9. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Most 700's simply are strong enough for full size rigs and 4 wheeling. That is a fact because many of the Ck5 members have 700's.The updated 700 is a good reliable transmission. GM seems to think so, they installed them in many full size 1/2ton AND 3/4tons. It is designed for towing and gas mileage in full size rigs. Thats why they originally came in diesels. No auto can handle a fullsize rig on 44"s with big horsepower through mud, rocks, and any other hardcore wheeling no matter if it's got a 700 or 400. Have you even owned a 700R4? Making a decision on how strong a part is from what you've heard is not right. You have to test it in your own environment to make a conclusion. I have owned a TH400, SM465(for sale), and my 700 which is my favorite. I have tested all three and made my decision.

    85k5,3/4ton,14boltFF,10bolt,9"lift,35"boggers,16.5x14welds, big horse 406SBC/700R4 /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  10. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    ...it's just not up to the weight of a fullsize rig and fourwheeling, period.

    [/ QUOTE ]


    I am ALWAYS suspicious of any comment that expresses "absolute" answers to a multi-faceted question.


    Oooops....I should have said I am USUALLY suspicious! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif



    In all seriousness....blanket statements about the suitability of a particular part are tough to make. For every person that has had a BAD experience with a 700R4, there is probably also someone who thinks they work just fine. For every person who thinks there are NO effective updates to add strength and longevity to a 700R4, there are going to be people who have done it with great personal success.....



    And unfortunately, for those who have had a reputable shop rebuild their tranny....there are an equal number of "Raptor" stories. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  11. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Thank you Greg, for the most part that is the point that I have been trying to make.

    85k5,3/4ton,14boltFF,10bolt,9"lift,35"boggers,16.5x14welds, big horse 406SBC/700R4 /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  12. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    I guess I am just buying time these days with my 700. After all, I have only had my truck for 10 years with the 700. I have only been hardcore wheeling with big HP and big tires for a few years now. I only run it whenever I would like these days with 420 HP and 42" tires around town, on the highway, or on the trails. Guess I just don't know what I am doing and am just buying time. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif But anyway...

    The 208 is a solid tcase internally. You will hear just as many stories about how bad they are from people, but you will be hard pressed to ever find anyone that has ever broken an internal component. The weakness on these units is (a) the slip yoke and (b) the aluminum tail. The slip yoke is weak from the standpoint that if you break a driveshaft or u-joint or whatever and your rear driveshaft comes apart, it will come out of the tcase and you will be dumping fluid. You can duct tape the bottom of a 2-liter bottle to it as a temporary cap while driving out in front wheel drive, but that is a weakness. The second is the aluminum case. Sit your rig down on a good rock and it will split open. I have personally seen this done before, so that is direct experience talking (not hearsay as so much on this board is).

    The 205 is a very solid unit. They internally are all gears (heavy ones too), so it is going to be even more solid than a 208. And the case is solid to boot. These never came behind a 700 stock, but can be adapted to fit for under $75 fairly easily, but will require driveshaft mods as well which means more $$.

    My recommendation would be a 205. When I did my 1-ton conversion, I swapped in a 205 behind my 700. I did so mainly due to the advantage of the fixed yoke. I also did it in order to use a driveshaft mounted ebrake (from High Angle) with my disc brakes. This eliminated the issue of the caddy calipers as well as another cable running to the rear axle waiting to get snagged on a rock.

    If you have any more questions on the 700/205 setup, don't hesitate. I have lots of pictures and will someday update my website with a write-up on it.!

    Guess I should quit rambking and go outside and hurry and swap out that piece of crap 700. I mean, it only has 170k miles on it with one rebuild at around 100k. Must be getting ready to blow at any time! /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  13. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Yeah, I'm with ya on gettin' rid of that 700, better hurry It might break tommorrow backing out the driveway /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif Some people that haven't even owned a 700 can be so ignorant because of hearsay evidence.
     
  14. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Uh, ring ring, no '84 K10 ever came from the factory with an SM 465/NP 205. My truck started life with a 700 and a 208. The only thing I found wrong with the 208 was the slip yoke and if I'd found a 465/208 setup, I'd have gone for it. A 208 or 241 is fine, just not as strong as a 203 or 205.

    Oh yeah, but I, "Haven't even owned a 700". My truck was an automatic a lot longer than it has been a manual.

    You asked for opinions. You got them. No matter what, your 700 is the weak link. Don't worry about your case. All of them are pretty good. In my opinion, the slip yoke sucks, but is livable.

    Just wait til your 700 goes out and get a TH 400/NP 205 combo. You won't miss your overdrive a bit.

    Brian, if you don't think you're on borrowed time, you're smoking crack. I am sorry, but no matter what gears you've got, a stock rebuilt 700R4 with 70k on it and a hot 383 are a recipe for disaster. GM never put 700R4s behind big blocks for a reason, and your 383 probably makes more torque than most of the smogged peanut port BBCs did! I don't know what would make you think that yours is just special and is going to hold up to that kind of abuse, but you'll learn just like the others.

    I'm sorry, but this isn't like saying, "Hey, I've got herpes and I tried this certain treatment and it worked out great!!" If you had a 700R4 that was built by a certain person/shop that could really hold up to abuse, you'd brag about it. I've yet to see someone in real lifeor on here come say, "I've got a big block and 39.5 boggers and I bog every weekend with no problems with my 700". All I ever have heard is, "My truck is on 33s and I have no issues with mine" or, "I have had nothing but problems no matter who rebuilds mine."

    I just wish the 4L80E had ever come in an overdrive version. Nobody would try messing with 700s then. When I had my TH 400 rebuilt, I talked to my tranny guy about doing mine because it'd started slipping when going into 3rd gear on a cold morning. He told me straight up, "They're junk, every one of them. The parts are expensive, the pumps are junk, and no matter what you do, they really won't hold up in a plow truck, much less that truck you use for 4 wheeling. Get yourself a TH 400 kid like you've got right here for your 1 ton. See that K5 out there? That's my plow truck and I've got my TH 400 for it right there in the corner. The 700 is out of that and even though I have no problems rebuilding them, I won't even waste my time." And of course I chimed in just like above, "But they make all these parts for them, everyone raves how great they are and that they'll hold up..." And of course Mike said they still won't hold up and at the time, I didn't believe him.

    Ever since the whole Raptor horror story, I'm convinced. Nobody can build a 700R4 to hold up to what we do to them, and thats really sad. Other than that it has too much OD in my opinion, I loved mine.

    Losing overdrive was just an excuse to get the 38s instead of rolling on tiny 35s.

    I suppose if you're rolling on any 16.5" tire you're not that hardcore anyway. Well, either that, or you're so hardcore you can 'wheel with your tires off the rim!
     
  15. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I just wish the 4L80E had ever come in an overdrive version.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    They are /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif
     
  16. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I suppose if you're rolling on any 16.5" tire you're not that hardcore anyway. Well, either that, or you're so hardcore you can 'wheel with your tires off the rim!

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Or you've got bead locks
     
  17. fourwheelerjeff

    fourwheelerjeff 1/2 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    I suppose if you're rolling on any 16.5" tire you're not that hardcore anyway. Well, either that, or you're so hardcore you can 'wheel with your tires off the rim!

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Or you've got bead locks

    [/ QUOTE ]

    to quote from above "ring ring" /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  18. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I've yet to see someone in real lifeor on here come say, "I've got a big block and 39.5 boggers and I bog every weekend with no problems with my 700".

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hmmmmm....Steve Watson runs a 700R4 in the ORD Jimmy behind a 468BBC, though he's not on 39.5" Boggers....he's on 42's. Seems to me that TTC is a pretty good way to demonstrate that a vehicle has "the right stuff" /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

    [ QUOTE ]
    I suppose if you're rolling on any 16.5" tire you're not that hardcore anyway. Well, either that, or you're so hardcore you can 'wheel with your tires off the rim!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    ....and unless I'm mistaken, Watson also runs 16.5" wheels.






    I ran 3 psi at the last Hollister event with my 16.5" wheels, just to make people confused....

    [​IMG]


    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  19. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    From t-cases to tranny's to what wheel makes ya a hardcore wheeler. It's all in good fun .. right?
    AS fer my opinion on the 700r4..
    I have worked in truck and auto repair shops for most of my working life.
    From what I have seen, worked on, owned the only tranny I have seen worse is in the Ford Taurus.
    Consistant failures, the insane prices shops want to rebuild them, short life span,
    Even if you paid me $10 a day to have one in my rig I would not have one.
    As for 16.5's I have had mine down to 10 lbs and with a locked rear screwing around on the dunes I have yet to break a bead.
    They felt lumpy one day and I swung into les schwab to get em balanced and they said they had a shload of sand in em.
    Anyways... back to::: As CK5 turns... /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  20. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    AS fer my opinion on the 700r4...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Funny thing... this post was never actually about the tranny at all! Rather the tcase!

    This is all in good spirit as far as I am concerned. I know I would never say a 700 is the strongest tranny. I do not have personal experience with either the 350 or 400 and I am not a tranny mechanic. I can only speak from my personal experience. And others should only speak of their personal experience unless they are a tranny mechanic.

    As with any component on our rigs, the biggest and best can still fail and the smallest and weakest can still last. I defied logic by running locked 10 bolts front and rear with 330HP and 35s for over a year and never broke as little as a u-joint. Just goes to show that nothing is absolute in our world.

    But, I think we should ne'er present hearsay, as it is otherwise known as gossip and rumors. And the life of a component (any component) can have as much to do with how the right foot is regulated as it does to how strong the part is in general.

    Now, back to tcases!
     

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