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360Rocket's 1970 GTO

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Following the blood trail

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following what looked for all the world like a blood trail through the work parking lot, I found my car bleeding to death at the end of it. Looks like a tranny seal has let go. Given that it's 25 years old and with winter closing in fast, I had the decision to make ... just try and replace the seal, or yank it and rebuilt it before the snow flies. Given that I've never seen the inside of a tranny, I thought I'd give Craig's list a try and see if I couldn't pick up a half dead th350 to rebuilt .. that way I'd not be taking my car off the road for long. And if I screwed up the rebuild .. I'd still have the old one to pop back in while I try to figure out what went wrong.

a brief look over netted me three options. One th350 .. without lock up (mine has supposedly) for $75 ... no promises. One th350 without lockup $300 ... looks to be a mild performance build less that 5000km on it. Both have their torque converters with them. The third option is a 700r4 from an s-10. says it has 57000km on it, but it looks clean as a whistle and has the TC with it. $250. That gives me the desired overdrive that my car lacks .. but more work is involved than a straight swap ... might even have to change drive shafts .. I don't have the lengths yet to confirm that . She says she's selling it with a 3 month warranty. no details on how that's going to work either. So those are my options. $75, and still have to do a full rebuild and lose the lockup. $300 no rebuild needed (unless he trashed it and is lying) and lose the lockup. Or $250, lose the lockup for a 4th gear ... but have to make it work.

whatever i do, it has to be done quick. The last 2 weeks have seen sub zero C temps and scraping windows every morning.

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Get the 700r4 and source another driveshaft from another b body that came with a 700r4. I think they are all the same length transmission but being wrong is a part of my world.

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Some times you get lucky and my buddy Bruce was driving between Michigan and Trois-Rivières for a while and I was going to see if he could take it. I called him and he was pulled off one of the run a few weeks ago when another driver had an accident. Unfortunately the wreckers did not have one in Sarnia. I was hoping to get one and get it close to you for a real good price.

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FML!!! Well, the question of rebuild or replace just became moot. I need to make driveway space to get the Parisienne up on stands to get a good look about, and unfortunately the guy that was supposed to take the camper that's taking up my driveway blew out the tranny on his towtruck last week and hasn't got it sorted just yet. (I feel his pain) So I took out the digital camera and stuck my arm in as far as I could to take some photos ... hoping for a lucky shot that would tell me where the leak was. What I got ruined my day.


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  • 11 months later...

Well .. updates are in order. I drove it until I lost second gear. Then parked her for a while. Bought a 4sp 200-4r out of a GN, only to check the numbers and find that it wasn't original (didn't really expect it to be) but had originally backed an olds or caddy. That's OK, it's better for the weight of the beast anyhow, right? Well .... as I was searching for a shorter drive shaft, or a place to cut down this one, I happened to check the RPO codes and discover ... the rear end is a 2.41. That's good for fuel economy, right? Behind a 3sp, it sure is. Behind an overdrive .... I'd need to be doing 80mph just to get into 4th. So ...rebuilding the th200C Metric just became required reading.

The tear down was fairly easy, actually requiring not one special tool at all, even for the pump. Cleaning 25 years of grit inside, however ... next time, just take it to be hot tanked. If you're interested in seeing it ...http://s231.photobucket.com/albums/ee312/Professur/TH200C/

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