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700-R4 And 4L60-E Automatic Transmissions Has Been The Staple Of General Motors…

700 R-4 Chevy Transmission

700 R-4 Chevy Transmission

The 700-R4 transmission is most likely the most popular transmission used by General Motors. The factory names are 4L60 for the early hydraulic models and the later computerized model is called the 4L60-E, (4-speeds, Longitudinally positioned, 6000 lbs. GVW).. After being a transmission mechanic for 35 years and owning a transmission repair and rebuild shop for 25 years(sold 3 years ago)I think I’m qualified to say that the 700R-4 and it’s newer partner the 4L60-E are two of the best transmissions ever made.

Understanding that there are more of these units in use than probably any other transmission made means there are more failures due to popularity. Because of this popularity and the versatility of this transmission, this will be a multi post article.

The Turbo-Hydramatic (TH) 700R4 automatic overdrive transmission was introduced to Chevrolet vehicles in 1981 for the 1982 model year vehicles.

It was introduced to the larger car (B-body and similar) and truck lines. The 700-R4 came in two bell-housing bolt patterns…the standard “Chevy” which includes all small-block engines from 262 to 454 cubic engines (and the later “Vortec” series engines and their derivatives), the big blocks from the truck only 366 to the 502, and the new ZZ572.

And then there was the smaller bell-housing bolt pattern used on the 2.5 liter (151″) 4-cylinder, the 2.8 liter (173″) V-6, and the 3.1 liter (189″) V-6 engines.

As many new products are introduced, the first few years can be mildly troublesome in some ways, by 1985 General Motors had the bugs worked out, turning it into a reliable and heavy duty transmission used in trucks and hi-performance cars, except for a few performance cars GM built in the mid ’80’s with the 2004R trans, which is another story.

One of the biggest problems the 700 had was that it was a staple in the GM pickup line and was subject to hard use-age in the work vehicles, which caused many transmission overheating problems. Overheating is probably the worse thing that can happen to an automatic transmission other than fluid loss or lack of maintenance.

These overheating problems are not limited to the 700 series transmissions or GM products exclusively. To avoid overheating problems with this transmission (or any automatic transmission), which may cause failure and the need for a used transmission there are a variety of easy to do updates well worth the price in terms of reliability. One of the cures or preventions is an external transmission cooler and the use of synthetic automatic transmission fluid.

With the poor economy and the fact that people are fixing and keeping their cars longer the demand for good used, quality-rebuilt and new transmissions is increasing at an alarming rate. GotTransmissions.com has a growing reputation for supplying pre-tested and certified good 700R4 transmissions and all brands of transmissions in this country. Used by repair shops, dealers, and extended service warranty companies because of the service, quality and warranty they provide for each transmission.

As I said this is a series on the 700-R4/4L60-E transmission. So much more to say about this unit and it’s upgrades and versatility for use-age in hot rods and heavy use trucks. Join our free GotTransmissions.com Blog to get exclusive and use-able transmission information delivered to your e-box every other day.

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