4-Speed Auto transmission swap?
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Thread: 4-Speed Auto transmission swap?

  1. #1
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    Overdrive Automatic?

    While I would love to install a 5-speed into my Kadett, the facts are that my wife still needs to be able to drive it and she can´t drive a manual. A friend from Australia said the Commodores with CIH motors did have an overdrive 4-speed automatic trans available near the end of their production. I was wondering if anyone has seen such a creature, and what kind of car exactly it was on so I could begin a more detailed part search.

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    Hey, I think it would be easier to teach the Mrs. how to drive the stick shift!!

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    Opelguy, What year Kadett do you own? I had a 1967 Kadett Rallye I really enjoyed, and later a 1968 which had a 1.5 liter in it. That was a good solid car too.Gordy

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    Actually, it would be very difficult to teach the Mrs. to drive a stick, she hasn´t even figured out her 10-speed yet.
    I own a 1970 Kadett wagon, which is the topic of this thread, as well as a at least 23 other parts Opels back home ranging from a ´65 Kadett 1.1L to a ´75 1900 wagon.
    The wagon is waiting in the wings to be the topic of a grand motor swap shoot-out I have planned for the summer. I would love to make the playing field a little more level for the 1.9L by giving it overdrive, as two of the swap motors will already have them.
    GM uses a new overdrive auto with the new Catera and some other cars sold in the states that has a removable bell housing, like the Fiat Trimatic my Opels all came with. I may just find one and see if it can be adapted to the Opel bell housing. I may even try to use the Opel 3800 out of the Catera as another contestant....

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    QuestionAuto transmission swap

    Hi Everyone,
    In a few weeks I will be pulling the engine and auto transmission from my 73 Manta to replace seals and gaskets which are leaking quite badly. I have done a search of past postings to see if anyone had swapped out the 3-speed stock auto tranny for a newer overdrive model but had no luck. Has anyone out there done this? Figured this would be the time to look at gaining some better fuel economy and maybe some performance. So, what are my options, if any exist?
    Opelerjeff

    "Nice guys finish last; always have, always will."

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    I will be beginning an Auto to Manual swap on my 73 GT in three weeks

    If you'd like me to document it with pictures and such, I'm willing to do that. If you want to stick with another automatic, then I may not be able to help

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    Member Jeff Pozorski's Avatar
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    I plan on keeping the automatic tranny to keep the car as stock as possible. I am just looking for a possible overdrive option as long as I have everything out of the car. (yes I know car won't be stock then, but for appearance sake it will be) I have my 4sp 69GT for those days when I feel the need for speed! By the way, the GT has the Weber 40 carb on it and it gets up and goes!
    Opelerjeff

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    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    I have heard of several folks doing the swap from an auto to a manual (either stock 4 speed and Getrag 5 speed), and even know of one locally. John Warga just got his Getrag today via the Kathryn McCoy OGTS express (but that is another story, for later this evening).

    But I have never heard of a conversion to an overdrive auto. Is there such a transmission available that would fit a CIH engine? The stock auto is a TH-180 GM transmission, identical internally to many other smaller GM automatics. But did GM (or Opel) ever make an auto 4 speed w/ OD to fit the CIH engine, such as the Kadett C or Manta B?
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

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    a cautious "no"

    I've been looking for a while, say the last 10 years or so, for this type of swap, and it would seam that the demise of the CIH motor was pretty much the same time as the introduction of the OD automatic. The only options I haven't been able to research would be the late 80's Holdens in Australia with the CIH inline-6, mostly because I was stationed on the east coast. They might have had a CIH-OD combo at one point that I don't know about.

    The new 4L30-E automatic in the Opel Omega (Caddy Catera, in the US) and Isuzu Rodeo and Axiom trucks might be an option. It also has a removable bell housing that looks the same as the one on the front of the Opel 3 speed automatics. (Most GM transmissions do not.) Maybe the Opel bell could be mated to the newer transmission and the new torque converter bolted-up to the Opel flywheel?

    Someone want to spring for a $1400 Catera transmission for me to play with and give it a shot? While you're at it, how about the whole drivetrain? An Opel V-6 an OD trans. in my Kadett sure would be cool........

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    what about a volvo 240 auto overdrive tranny?

    These are everywhere and cheap...dont know if it would work or not....anyone? I'd love to get overdrive into my Sportwagon with the broken leg clutching gets painful after few hours...I want that mpg I'm driving it everyday...
    Last edited by hrcollinsjr; 11-21-2010 at 10:15 PM.
    i will come up with something that shocks the naysayers...

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    Questionok ive read other threads on this here is list of all vehicles with th180 or th180c

    3L30 - 3 SPEED - 69-Up
    Buick Opel 77-87
    Chevette 77-87
    GEO Tracker 90-Up
    Pontiac T-1000 77-87
    Jaguar XJS, XJ12 80-92
    Holden - Australia
    Ranger - S. Africa
    Post Office Vehicles LLV - 87-Up
    Alpine
    Fiat Some
    77-82
    Peugeot 604 77-87
    Straussburg - Germany
    Vauzhaul - Many
    Zimmer Motor Home
    Suzuki Sidekick
    4L30E - 4 SPEED - 90-Up
    Cadillac Catera 3.0L
    Isuzu Amigo
    Impulse
    Pickups, Rodeo 91-98
    Trooper 90-98
    Trooper II
    BMW 325i, 318i, 323i, 328i,
    525i, 528i, Z3 Roadster 91-Up
    Honda Passport 94-Up
    Acura SLX 98-98
    NOTE: Some Isuzu
    models (88-90) use
    Toyota A43 Series
    IM GOING TO LOOK FOR ONE OF THESE PROB A CHEVETTE
    WHAT WHOULD I HAVE TO DO TO INSTALL IN ASCONA? IM GUESSING CHANGE BELLHOUSING AND USE CHEVETTE DRIVESHAFT ECT? ILL PROB BUY A DONAR CAR BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE CHEVETTE MOTOR AND ALSO MY REAREND HAS Pretty GOOD MURMOR WHEN U LET OFF THE GAS is it possible to use the chevette rear axle in my car? im just thinking ahead prob not going to do this soon... oh sorry about the caps lol..http://www.amtrans.nl/180-_180C.pdf also here is great pdf on th180c
    i will come up with something that shocks the naysayers...

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    I think, and I'm sure others who know more will chime in, that the O/D version of the TH180 we use in the Opels, is O/D part of the trans is electronically controlled. Which means sensors to pick up speed and such to tell the trans when to shift. They are not strictly vacuum controlled.
    "Yes, I do have a rifle rack in my Sportwagon"

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    Chevette

    So this is why I want a Chevette donor...I can take speed sensors etc. and use them..I am not intimidated by that in the least,, I'm sure I can make it work ..it worked in the Chevette...Hell I could swap whole drivetrain into my Ascona and use the other engine for spare for the 74....I'm just wondering if anyone else has tried this....



    Looks like it's just a TH180 with a lockup in the Chevette all you need to control that is a button locked or unlocked...no computer only the later ones were electronic..Geo Tracker etc...

    I want my 30 mpg
    Last edited by hrcollinsjr; 11-21-2010 at 10:16 PM.
    i will come up with something that shocks the naysayers...

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    I haven't tried it yet, but someday I'll fit this TH-700R4 4-speed auto to one of my Opels. It's from a Chevy S-10 with the 2.8 V6.

    The bellhousing is close enough in overall diameter that it will allow me to mill off about 2" from the front edge and then graft on a piece of bellhousing from a spare 4-speed Opel tranny.

    I'll have to have a custom torque converter made, but the local racing tranny shop told me that's no big deal for them to do. I'll use a custom 8" converter which bolts to the Opel flexplate and fits into the TH-700R4 pump spline.

    The 'new' tranny is exactly 4" longer than the TH-180. It's a bit thicker in section, and certainly heavier, but the gearing should be awesome. I'll run 3.89's in the rear axle, and with the .70 OD that'll leave me with a 2.72 final drive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevyz View Post

    Looks like it's just a TH180 with a lockup in the Chevette all you need to control that is a button locked or unlocked...no computer only the later ones were electronic..Geo Tracker etc...
    I do believe that transpac,TCI and many other supplier's makes a simple controller for both the lockup and overdrives.

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    Not sure what type of tranny it was , but there was a Gt on display at the GT meet in Stuttgart Germany with a 4speed auto mated to a 2.4L. Dennis from OGTS looked under it and made a comment on how short the driveshaft was. It caught my eye because we have an Auto GT and I have always thought it would be a neat conversion. With hood closed this one looked very stock. Inside of GT also very stock. Only change to shifter was small button low on right side. Dennis may have a guess at what it came out of.

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    4 speed automatic transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by RallyBob View Post
    I haven't tried it yet, but someday I'll fit this TH-700R4 4-speed auto to one of my Opels. It's from a Chevy S-10 with the 2.8 V6.

    The bellhousing is close enough in overall diameter that it will allow me to mill off about 2" from the front edge and then graft on a piece of bellhousing from a spare 4-speed Opel tranny.

    I'll have to have a custom torque converter made, but the local racing tranny shop told me that's no big deal for them to do. I'll use a custom 8" converter which bolts to the Opel flexplate and fits into the TH-700R4 pump spline.

    The 'new' tranny is exactly 4" longer than the TH-180. It's a bit thicker in section, and certainly heavier, but the gearing should be awesome. I'll run 3.89's in the rear axle, and with the .70 OD that'll leave me with a 2.72 final drive.
    Neat idea, and you have the skills and equipment to get it done. Two problems come to mind though, the first is an easy fix with an after market shifter and cable. The other is a little more sticky, you have to run a detent cable on a 700R4 (unless it is modified by the racing tranny shop) or it will melt down in short order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by opelnut10 View Post
    Neat idea, and you have the skills and equipment to get it done. Two problems come to mind though, the first is an easy fix with an after market shifter and cable. The other is a little more sticky, you have to run a detent cable on a 700R4 (unless it is modified by the racing tranny shop) or it will melt down in short order.
    Thanks for the info Lloyd. I knew I need a new shifter for the extra gear, wasn't aware about the detent cable. And since I will be attempting the overhaul myself (although I haven't rebuilt an auto tranny in 20+ years!), the tranny shop wasn't going to touch anything other than the converter.
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    OD Auto Trans

    Opels used the Aisin-Warner 4-speed auto trans (the similar one was also used in Volvos) for some years in the 1980's then changed to a GM trans which looks like it was based upon the TH200-R4. The flexplate from the earlier version can be used to mount the Aisin-Warner torque convertor to the Opel crankshaft so that Volvo (or Isuzu and Toyota who also used that similar Aisin-Warner family of auto trans) can be adapted.

    As for the detent (kick-down) cable the original TH180 already runs one so the auto throttle setup on a GT has provision for it. The Aisin-Warners also use a detent cable and have electrically opertated ODs - no computer just a switch on the shift lever or dashboard.

    I have not checked if the later GM trans used in Opels after about 1983/84 allows the same sort of adaption of GM torque convertors.

    A search for 'Aisin-Warner' turns up several earlier threads.
    Last edited by GTJIM; 12-24-2010 at 11:19 AM. Reason: added info
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