200-4R Rebuild

First of all I love this magazine; there’s so much good info and tips. I am in the process of making my ’87 Chevy Monte Carlo live once more. This car has been in my family since new, when my mother rolled it off the lot. Being a Canadian car, the stock 305 is being replaced with a 383 with Vortec heads, COMP cam, and an Edelbrock intake and carb. The tranny is where the fun begins, as it’s a 200-4R. I’m having a real hard time finding parts. I have narrowed it down to a few parts to finish, but they don’t seem to be found anywhere. To compound it, if I do find parts they can’t be shipped to Canada. The last parts I need (with original GM part numbers) are 8634853 3/4 pressure two-prong pressure switch, 25524921 and 25524923 speedo gears with 28/27 teeth (I’m still unsure of tire size). Thanks for your help.

Rod Cooper
Via email

Rod, we’re glad to here that your mom’s Monte is still in the family and about to embark on a new chapter in its life. It’s sad to hear that you’re having difficulty finding components for the 200-4R. Many of our cool performance parts are becoming extinct. These transmissions were discounted for years as mundane underperforming transmissions. The Buick Grand National Turbos took care of that. The performance builders got their hands on them, and they are an outstanding transmission. In many cases they are stronger than the 700-R4. The gear ratios are also more desirable than the 700s. The First gear comes in at 2.74, Second 1.57, Third 1.00, and a steep 0.67 overdrive. The 700-R4’s ratios come in at 3.06, 1.63, 1.00, and 0.78 overdrive. The First gear ratio of the 200 is much more manageable from a traction perspective, and the 0.67 overdrive gives you the ability to run whatever gear you wish and bring the engine speed in line while cruising.

Give our good friend Ken Casey a call at John Elway Chevrolet. If they don’t have the pieces in stock he will find the pieces for you. Also, they will ship into Canada to get your Monte on the road. When you talk to him, ask how his ’67 RS/Z28 is doing. It’s powered by a LT4 383 that is backed up by a T56 six-speed. He only brings it out when the weather is nice, and he wants to scare little old ladies. He’ll get a kick out of you asking. Good luck with your project

Source: elwaydealers.com

Final Wishes

I’m hoping you can answer a question that has had me stumped for many years. Back in the early ’70s, I purchased a stock crate 454/450hp engine from a local speed shop. I drove it on the street for a couple of years. I had to pull the heads off after I dropped a nut down the carb. I found the intakes to be 2.3 inch with closed-chamber square-port heads. I added an 800 Holley double pump, Edelbrock Torker, Engle solid lifter 0.600-inch lift 320-330 duration cam, Accel dual-point distributor, and S&S 2-inch primary headers. This was put in a ’70 SS Nova M21 four-speed with 4.56 12-bolt posi. I got a pair of 28x9 slicks but then my world caved in—with a baby on the way, I lost my job so I had to sell the car. I’ve always been curious as to the horsepower I was making and approximately what my e.t. and speed would have been. I’ve been dwelling on this ever since, as I was never able to build another one. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Gary Hurd
Via email

Gary, this must have been bugging you all these years. The second-gen Novas were real sleepers. Many people went for these cars over the Camaros for dragstrip duty because of the light weight and the rear overhang of the body that helped the weight transfer.