Average Th400 Rebuild Cost

Discussion in 'The "Juice Box"' started by Christopher Spouse Drew, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, im getting some pretty crazy quotes down here in South Florida for rebuilding my th400 and thats not removal and installation of the transmission. They want 800-1000 dollars to rebuild this sucker without even ripping it apart and seeing whats going on in the transmission. Im rebuilding the engine and the carb myself, but a transmission has a lot more parts and I dont think I want to even try. So just tell me what you guys paid, I was thinking no more than 500 bucks. Thanks guys!
  2. TrunkMonkey

    TrunkMonkey Well-Known Member

    The "complete kits" are $300-$700 depending on the quality and components.
    Figure most "consumer" shops are going to put about $300-$400 materials, and about $200-$400 labor. "Performance" shops will likely add about $200-$500 on top of that, depending on level of work done.

    I looked into the options, and after dicking around with a couple of folks who just did not pass the test as far as willingness/attitude to do the work, I contacted Jim Weise and sent it to him. (He had already done my ST300 Switch Pitch TC that will go into the ST400).

    And he has Buick experience, which is a very important factor.

    (I am well north of a grand, but I want a specific goal with the parts and build)

    If you have found someone that is reliable and has good track record/feedback from other people for under a grand, I would say go for it.

    The other side of this is age, I don't have time to do things over, nor make the money and have the car down while I play Groundhog Day. So, I will spend a little more to get it done the best I can the first time. (And, yes, I have looked back and shake my head at some of the things where I have overspent.)

    I do understand some folks have neither the luxury of that, with family and other commitments, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    No shame in not being able to toss money at a problem.

    That said, I done this stuff my whole life and hate to see people spend good money, cut corners or not do the "important" things, and then when it breaks, they have lost more than they should have.

    Do the best you can with what you have, be content and enjoy the journey. :)

    They're is all sorts of things in life that want to "steal" that from you.
  3. cjeboyle

    cjeboyle Gold Level Contributor

    I recently had mine rebuild with many upgraded parts. My tranny guy dropped it, rebuilt it and reinstalled it and it was around 12 to $1400. I’m getting old and can’t recall exactly at 5e moment. He did a great job and I thought it was a fair price. I’m not sure what he would charge for just the rebuild. I am not sure how far south you are in south Florida but I am up in Sarasota and would be happy to give you his shop info. I do recommend him.
    docgsx likes this.

    BRUCE ROE Well-Known Member

    What year is the TH400? A lot of shops will take your 65-67 and
    throw away the switch pitch function, VERY BAD. Long ago I had
    a lot more bad experiences with trans shops than good, the early 60s
    tranmissions were not so good anyway. I learned to rebuild my TH400s
    which is the only thing I have used for a long time. No more being held
    hostage by the trans shop. good luck, Bruce Roe
  5. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    I would rebuild it myself, but Im not sure what to look for in relation to wear and what to replace. Im very big into dyi for anything on my car so maybe ill start learning and watching videos? Can you give me a link or a company that has good rebuild kits. And I'm not sure what the year is, I'm gonna have to go to my storage unit to check.
  6. sriley531

    sriley531 Buckle up, this could get rough....

  7. hvramesq

    hvramesq Silver Level contributor

    Christopher, you may want to try Gold coast Transmission. there is one in Davie on SR 84 and another I believe in Hollywood/ft. Lauderdale.
  8. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Have you gone there Hector? Reasonably priced?
  9. hvramesq

    hvramesq Silver Level contributor

    I had my th400 there for a tune up and if I recall, it was less than 150.
  10. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP

    $500 bucks???.. :eek:

    To do a quality HP rebuild, with HD sprag, a professionally installed Transgo 400 1-2 kit good quality Rabestos or Borg Warner clutches AND NEW STEELS, New bands, new bearings and thrust washers (all metal) along with all the seals and gaskets, detent solenoid and vacuum modulator, your looking at just shy of $400 in parts.

    That is about twice what the same parts cost when I started building transmissions in the late 80's. Back then, I did a very stout TH 400 for about $800.

    I spend about 10 hours building a TH 400, which is what it takes if you take the time to do it right, take your time adjusting the clutch clearances, completely disassemble and re-assemble the valve body, blast and detail paint the hardware and pans/pump cover, and bead blast the case.

    My HP 400 is a hard value at $1295, you won't find anything better for that money, and very few painted case transmissions for less.

    The average trans shop that is just cooking it, and maybe spraybombing the case, is going to have at the very least 6-7 hours in it.

    Most shop rates now are in excess of $100/hr..

    Do the math, even a simple overhaul with new rubber, paper and frictions is going to be 900 bucks plus..
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  11. sriley531

    sriley531 Buckle up, this could get rough....

    Yeah, $500....not for any kinda quality, proper done job. Buy once cry once homie, do it right. I've learned the hard way that going the cheapest route to save a buck costs you a lot of money in the long run.
  12. scubasteve455

    scubasteve455 Well-Known Member

    I got $700. In rebuild Maybe $600. Parts I got . $ under $400. ATI treemaster $700.
    These are Big Boy Toys
  13. scubasteve455

    scubasteve455 Well-Known Member

    Never Ends
  14. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Alright. I guess I heard how easy it is to rebuild this transmission and assumed the prices wouldn't be that high. But I hear you guys.
  15. scubasteve455

    scubasteve455 Well-Known Member

    Don’t cut corners. It will catch up to you
  16. scubasteve455

    scubasteve455 Well-Known Member

    Yep and if Jim was close to me. He would have done mine.
  17. 1969RIVI

    1969RIVI Well-Known Member

    Hey Chris I'm going to be rebuilding my TH400 this spring myself. I will be ordering this book, a good quality rebuid kit and also I have the chassis manual for my car which has a whole section on rebuilding the trans in it. From what I've read on here and other sites along with countless videos I've watched it isn't really that difficult to do just seems intimidating due to all the parts involved. Trans shops up around me want $1200-1500 (Canadian$$)just to drop it and open it up to SEE what is wrong then +++$$$$ from there. I said no way, I work too hard for my money lol. Best of luck to you!

  18. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the book suggestion. Since I posted this, I've began to work with my old teacher at his transmission shop. We're gonna start tearing into mine soon.
  19. 1969RIVI

    1969RIVI Well-Known Member

    Oh ok keep me posted on the rebuild progress!
  20. BuickV8Mike

    BuickV8Mike SD Buick Fan

    Chris, Excellent decision. Who knows where it could lead. Keep us posted.;)

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