3. GM 700R4 & 4L60

GM 700R4 & 4L60 Transmissions  

The 700R4 Automatic Overdrive Transmission was GM’s answer to the American consumer’s desire for better fuel economy. First introduced in 1982, the 700R4 was met with wide fanfare as the ideal transmission. The transmission featured an impressive 30% overdrive while also offering a low first gear of 3.06. The improved fuel economy added with a low off-road first gear made this transmission an immediately popular choice for conversions. 

The 700R4 was basically designed to replace the retired TH350 transmission. The 700R4 was used in rear wheel drive passenger vehicles, S-series trucks, Blazers, ½ ton pickups and even a few ¾ ton trucks. The transmission was offered with the standard V8 90° bolt pattern which also included the 4.3 V6. A smaller 60° bolt pattern was also available for some smaller V6. Engines like the 2.8. The bolt pattern on the rear of the transmission was the same 4-bolt pattern as the TH350 but used metric bolts. The transmission always used a 27 spline output shaft. The 4wd output shaft protruded out of the transmission with a stick out length of 2.75". This stick out was approximately 2" longer than the TH350. 700R STOCK 4X4     700R-4L60 shafts

 Another unique feature to the 700R4 was the lock up torque converter. This feature essentially locked up the torque converter to create a direct mechanical connection similar to a manual clutch transmission. By locking the converter at highway speeds the slip of the converter was eliminated. The results were lower RPMs and significant loss of generated heat. Although the 700R4 is not an "electronically" controlled transmission, this feature was controlled by a PCM. We offer a lock up kit under Part # 23-700R which can be used with carbureted engines or applications outside of the GM engine family. The 700R4 also uses a TV cable (or Throttle Valve) to control the shift points and line pressure. It is critical that special attention be used during the adjustment of the T.V. cable. Although GM should be credited with the introduction of such a revolutionary transmission, the transmission did suffer from a few glitches. GM persevered with the development of the 700R4, and to their credit, the transmission received all of the necessary upgrades by 1987. Something else to consider in researching and selecting a 700R4 is the wide aftermarket support available. Automotive aftermarket manufacturers have had over 25 years to master and perfect this transmission. The availability of better clutch packs, shafts and building techniques has allowed this transmission to reach several strength levels. The 700R4 can now be built around the consumer’s needs, which spread a wide spectrum from conservative highway vehicles to extreme completive racing and rock crawling vehicles. 

In 1990, GM decided to code and rename their transmissions, the 700R4 is best described as a 4 speed, longitude transmission rated for vehicles around 6000 lbs. It was this information that was used to change its name to 4L60; therefore, a 700R4 and 4L60 are the same transmission. Later the transmission would become electronically controlled and the name was changed to 4L60E.

 In 1990, GM decided to code and renamed their transmissions, the 700R4 is best described as a 4 speed, longitude transmission rated for vehicles around 6000 lbs. It was this information that was used to change its name to 4L60; therefore, a 700R4 and 4L60 are the same transmission. Later the transmission would become electronically controlled and the name was changed to 4L60E.

Forward Speeds .... 4 

Dates Produced .... 1982 - 1990

Manufacturer .... General Motors        

Case Length .... 23.375 

Bellhousing Length ... Integral

Over All Length .... 23.375

Case Material ... Aluminum   

Output Shaft Spline .... 27   

1st Gear Ratio .... 3.06 

2nd Gear Ratio .... 1.63

3rd Gear Ratio .... 1.00

4th Gear Ratio .... .690

Reverse Gear Ratio .... 2.29       

Transmission Weight .... 175lbs  

 

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