The 700r4 transmission is certainly fine to use in performance applications. They don’t have the best reputation for durability, and that is a shame. The TH700R4 really only had reliability issues in its first few years. If you are looking for what year to go after, checkAfter that the kinks really were worked out.
Build Your Own High Performance 700R4
If you are looking to do much more than a 300hp build, it would be wise to consider putting a high performance kit into the transmission, or having a shop put a shift kit into it for you. The issue with the 700R4 these days is that they have been out of factory production for over twenty years, so it’s really difficult to tell whether the core that you would be using to build out your high performance 700R4 is good or not. If you are going to try and take a look at the salvage yard, you may be better off looking for something like an old Caprice ( as long as it wasn’t a police car or taxi cab) than a Camaro. It’s really more about what kind of life the donor car lived, and how many miles did it have on it.
Buy a High Performance 700R4 Outright
This route is certainly an easier one to take. There are all sorts of vendors on Ebay that can get you a 700R4 that’ll handle anything from mild to wild for a great price. Although there can really be savings by looking at Craigslist. Many projects that start with the best of intentions end up fizzling out. This is your opportunity to come in and get any part for pennies on the dollar. You’ll find the guy who’s wife has had enough, or maybe the divorce special. It’s the kind of endeavor that really rewards both patience and persistence.
How to Pick a Performance 700R4 Torque Converter
The way to go about picking out a torque converter for not just a 700R4, but any automatic transmission follows the same guidelines and principals. It really comes down to how radical the motor is. If it is built to have all the power come in at the top end, it would be necessary to convert to a converter with a higher stall speed. If it’s a stock motor the factory converter will work just fine.
The real question to ask with a 700R4 is whether or not to retain the services of a locking torque converter. Unless it’s going to be used almost exclusively for drag racing (which by the way you may wish to look at transmissions other than overdrive if that is the case) you may wish to go without a locking converter. Otherwise, just get one that locks again. Here is a great writeup on the subject from the good folks at Super Chevy.