Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

rebuilding my 700R4 soon, which kit should I use?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BayouBlazer88, May 14, 2004.

  1. BayouBlazer88

    BayouBlazer88 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Posts:
    353
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    Sometime this summer I'll be tackling my 700R4 rebuild. I still need to buy one special tool (clutch spring compressor) in order to do the job but I've gotten everything else I'll need. Now I don't do much offroading in the blazer (more like none) and the only thing I ever haul is my 17ft boat. TCI sells a complete rebuild kit specially designed for trucks for about $230 as well as a truck towing converter for about $270. I can also get a complete rebuild kit from Oreilly for about $130 and a converter for about $100 which is half of what TCI would cost. So my question is: Do I really need the TCI kit and converter or would I be just as good using the Oreilly kit? Anybody use either of these kits? How do you like them? Thanks.
     
  2. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2002
    Posts:
    19,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Everywhere
    I personally would get the TCI kit. TCI is one of the best for automadic transmission. I've gone the rought of cheap parts, and I always ended up having to do it again later with the quality parts because the cheap parts don't hold up.
     
  3. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,975
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    pro-built

    I purchased stuff for my 200-4R from them, and I know quite a few others who have had dealings with them, and were pleased as well, both with 700's and 200's.

    Definitely knew their stuff.
     
  4. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2001
    Posts:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bucks co pa
    bttt...

    i'd like a few more opinions on this.
    i choked on my coffee when i saw the price of the pro-built setup... /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif

    is that high, or am i crazy.... /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    i could pay to have the tranny done for that price.

    the tci pro super kit is only 226

    i think for what i do, (offroad only) maybe 50 miles a year, that the tci kit should befine.. opinions?
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,975
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    Compare that price to rebuilding your 700 twice.

    Look at that parts list closely. There are NUMEROUS parts you don't get in a "rebuild kit" when you go buy one from TCI or whoever.

    You have an '88, you probably don't NEED all of the "upgrades" in that kit, but call and ask.

    Also, why don't you ask some of the folks on here that had their 700's built with "performance" in mind, and how much it cost, and what parts went into it. You can't build a strong 700R4 by just replacing the clutches and steels.

    FWIW, I rebuilt a 200-4R a few years back for my car. Original engine it was up against was a 305HO. New motor is a 415. The 415 would quickly ruin just about every piece in that tranny. To upgrade the parts that needed it, and the normal rebuild stuff (clutches, steels, seals) I spent about $500. And that was assembling it myself. The only hard part "upgrade" I didn't do was (IIR the terminology correctly) buy the laser welded drum, which was over $400 by itself.

    I'm sure pro-built will sell you just a clutch/steel/seal kit if thats all you think you need, but IMO, the 700's need all the help they can get, and everything in that kit I see, is geared towards making it as "bulletproof" as possible.

    From what I've seen (and I talked with "Dana" there) they don't screw around with parts. If it's needed to be reliable, you'll get it, or they will suggest it.

    I would almost guarantee if you can have the tranny done for the $468 I see on the site,(and I doubt anyone will do a 700 with parts for that much) in two years you will be paying again. Don't for a second think that a "stock" rebuild will get you any of the hard parts shown in that kit. So you'll pay $500 for JUST clutches/steels/seals, and labor. Thats it, no upgraded parts.
     
  6. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Posts:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ann Arbor Mi
  7. lason

    lason 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Posts:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Arlington TX
    [ QUOTE ]
    bttt...

    i'd like a few more opinions on this.
    i choked on my coffee when i saw the price of the pro-built setup... /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif

    is that high, or am i crazy.... /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    i could pay to have the tranny done for that price.

    the tci pro super kit is only 226

    i think for what i do, (offroad only) maybe 50 miles a year, that the tci kit should befine.. opinions?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If you can get my 700R4 built with all those parts for $550 I will be VERY happy with you /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    Actually Im about to do the same thing and Im going with this place because they specialize in 700R4's and they are down the street from me which is nice. I dont know what kind of service to expect but the guys sound liek they know their stuff and are really helpfull. They also sell the manual and video to walk you through the rebuild.

    www.kdsperformance.com

    also the kit Im going with is this one.... http://www.kdsperformance.com/hoscomkitwke.html
     
  8. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2001
    Posts:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bucks co pa
    i cant justify paying to build a tranny better than stock, when stock ran fine for so many thousand miles, to be now driven 50 miles a year.

    it'll also be behind a stock 400... and how do you know what year the tranny is... even i dont know that ywt. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif (or are you post stalking, and reading my searches for a 241 /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif)

    i realize i just asked for your opinion, and am now arguing... sorry, just thinking out loud
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,975
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    No, my mistake, I went back and checked the original posters profile, not yours. (his is an '88 which is why I mentioned all the upgrades may not be necessary)

    It is my opinion, and my opinion only, (but I strongly believe it) that a rebuilt 700R4 is a ticking time bomb. For whatever reason, rebuilt 700R4's seem to be about 100% more likely to fail than a STOCK 700, as it came from GM. I don't intend to enrage those that have a rebuilt 700 that works great, and has for a long time, under hard use. I'm just pointing out the fact that you seem to be in the minority. Sheer numbers doom the 700 to this condemnation as well, I understand this. But the amount of rebuilds that fail is still disproportionate to other rebuilt items and their failure rate, even other auto trannies.

    We can probably search this board and find 100 people that got over 100K on a bone stock, as it came from GM 700R4, that finally died. Of those 100 people, I wouldn't be surprised if 25-50 of them that had it rebuilt, had follow-on problems with the rebuild.

    I don't know what the problem is with the rebuilds on the 700R4's, but I will tell you this. If an engine rebuilder had as many failures (or at least mistakes that are noticeable while driving) as the 700R4 rebuilders do, they would be out of business. However, on the 700R4, putting it back on the lift 2-3 times after the initial rebuild seems to be the norm. This has just come from observation on a few boards, and experience from a few people I know.

    This is not a condemnation of the 700R4. (there are other things I dislike about them lol) My *theory* is that the 700R4 is more critical of tolerance than the "other" GM trannies (TH350/400) and when being rebuilt, the time just isn't taken like GM did when they were new. Especially since many of the hard parts WILL change (size, shape, etc) after 20 years of use. With the 700 tending to run hot, the problem of tolerance will be exacerbated.

    50 miles a year, well, thats not much for sure. For the original poster, reliability daily seemed to be important, and thus I would certainly recommend not just throwing in new clutches and steels and hoping for the best every day.

    For 50 miles a year, if they are easy miles, then no problem I guess. (any rebuild is still gambling obviously) But if it's hard use, (even if very infrequent) just like re-using an old camshaft, you have no idea when it's going to fail you. I wouldn't use the term "cheap insurance", but I might use "insurance". /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Again 50 miles isn't a big issue. But if you are 1000 miles away from home and your tranny lets loose on you, how much is THAT going to cost you? (mine was $1500)
     
  10. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2001
    Posts:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bucks co pa
    thanks for the opinion, if it's 1,000 miles away from home, and the tranny goes i:

    A. winch it back up the trailer.
    or
    B. laugh at the dumb sh|t who stole it and drove 1,000 miles /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    thanks and maybe ill talk to my tranny guy about it.
    he's a bit hardcore... "i can only build that to take no more than 400 hp."
     
  11. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

    Joined:
    May 31, 2000
    Posts:
    10,384
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    I think Dorian is on the right track. Most "rebuilds" just net you some new clutches, steels, and gaskets. However, there are a lot of other hard parts inside a 700R4 that took a lot of abuse before the rebuild. NOT changing or upgrading those parts is just pulling the pin on the grenade... A fatigued reaction shell, planetary gear, etc. that was nearing total failure before the rebuild is almost sure to die soon after the new clutches have been installed and now shift firmly enough to finish those parts off. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  12. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Posts:
    6,587
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sheridan, Michigan
    ive rebuilt plenty of 700r4 and never had any problems with them, well one i broke the case but that doesn't count. i think the problem with rebuilt trannys comming back is the rebuilder. you need to have someone who knows a 700r4, its not as tollerent as the other trannys.

    i get ~$800 to rebuild a 700r4 with ALL the upgrades, shift kit, and a new converter. i do a few things that others ive seen don't do. you can put a lot of money into hard parts like 5 gear planetarys and billet stator, billet converter hub, etc. that are not needed. but there are ungrades that are required to keep it from comming back. just my .02
     
  13. BAJA_BLAZER

    BAJA_BLAZER 1/2 ton status Author

    Joined:
    May 17, 2001
    Posts:
    517
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    How could anyone argue with someone who writes so well, and is so articulate? Well said, Dorian!
     
  14. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2001
    Posts:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bucks co pa
    by your rules we'd all be building our rigs as per the english teachers' standards.... /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif

    big 83, is there anything that doesnt come in the TCI kit that is worth doing on a low mileage rig?
    THanks
     
  15. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Posts:
    6,587
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sheridan, Michigan
    im not sure what exactly comes with a tci kit. ive never used one,

    but you need
    a kit
    converter
    band
    pump rebuild kit
    sprag
    sun shell
    corvette servo
    governer gear
    shift kit, or drilled spacer plate
    added clutches in certain spots
    and a few very small things depending on the year of the core.
     
  16. BayouBlazer88

    BayouBlazer88 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Posts:
    353
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    damn, my little post got pretty popular all of a sudden.

    Anyway, now that I know what kit to buy (the $468 heavy duty kit from pro-built), what do I need to do about my torque converter? How do I know if it needs to be replaced? Also, as of now, I have a pump alignment tool, bushing removal/installation set, and a front pump removal tool. In the near future I'll be buying a clutch spring compressor as well as a teflon seal sizer/installer both from Transtar (about $200 total). So to all you guys who are at least somewhat familiar with a 700R4 rebuild, are there any other tools that you recommend using? Are am I good?

    By the way, I doubt I'll have my blazer for much longer than about 2 years. I bought it 3 years ago just to restore and as a daily driver (I know you guys will hate me for this but it's never seen the mud). And the restoration will be pretty much complete by next summer. So is it absolutely necessary to use the ProBuilt kit rather than the TCI truck master kit? I definitely dont drive hard and the only towing she ever sees is a 17ft ski boat (maybe 10 times a year) and for the same price as the probuilt kit, I could get a tci rebuild kit and a new converter. but then again I dont want the tranny burning up within a year either. so what do you suggest?
     
  17. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,975
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    Not to come off like a jerk, but if you are planning on selling it in 2 years or so, why the tools?

    I rebuilt all of my trannies without any purchased tools, but I did have access to some stuff like a shop press that helped out. If I was to build one and could select one tool to have, the clutch spring compressor would be it.

    Perhaps the teflon seal thingy is necessary, but I'll let someone qualified answer that...some tools make a job easier and quicker, but if doing it only one time, may not be worth the investment.

    In any case, I think if you pay attention to how you re-assemble the thing, measuring every clearance that is supposed to be checked, easy driving will let just about any well assembled 700 (regardless of parts installed) run for two years +.
     
  18. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Posts:
    6,587
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sheridan, Michigan
    the only tool you really need is the spring compressor. all the other one just make it easier/quicker. for a long time the only tool i had was a spring compressor, then i bought some more tools, i kinda wish i didn't, cause they cost money and i new how to do it with out the tools. another tool that is very nice is the stand. i couldn't work with out one of those, makes is soooooo nice to hold it in one place.
     
  19. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Posts:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ann Arbor Mi
    i did not buy any of the tools i just took it to a tranny shop and they did the teflon rings low reverse clutch and compressed the springs.I was able to uncomress the springs with two valve spring compressors. but i did look around at tools and the cheapest place to buy the tool for the teflon rings was snap on belive it or not.
     
  20. bigcountryk5

    bigcountryk5 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Posts:
    931
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    G-vegas(Greenville) South Carolina
    just asked my dad what it cost to get the 700-R4 in his 87 Monte Carlo SS Aero coupe rebuilt. Said he paid nearly 900 bones to have it rebuilt to stock specs nothing special no upgrades.
     

Share This Page