4L60E Information Thread (Includes 4L65/70/75)

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NickTransmissions

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Hey Everyone,

Starting a similar thread to the one available for the 700R4 but dedicated to the 4L60E as countless GM cars, trucks and SUVs were fitted w/them from 1993-2013/14 and often retro-swapped into Squarebodies. Posted below is my teardown and inspection video that covers everything you need to check for as well as a link to my 4L60E playlist that covers valve body disassembly and reassembly, full rebuild, and related topical videos. I included a complete parts and machining procedures list as well so folks have a comprehensive view of everything that needs to go into these transmissions for a proper overhaul. Lastly, I have included some tech resources and information for those that want to rebuild their own 4L60/65/70E transmission. Most of the 4L60E parts (apart from valve body, pump and electrical components) also apply to the 700R4, for those that have an older vehicle so equipped.

I'll edit to add and update content as I go; will bump the thread if a whole bunch of updates are made.

Production Run: 1993-2014
Variants, Years and Applications:
- 4L60E (1993-2014) - Non HD/HP makes/models
- 4L65E (2001-2006) - HD-HP makes/models including Escalades, Corvettes, GTOs, Denalis, some Pick-ups
- 4L70E (2007-2013) - HD-HP makes/models including Escalades, Corvettes, GTOs, Denalis, some Pick-ups
Predecessor Transmission: 700R4, 4L60 (4L60=700R4 using GM's updated naming convention which was introduced in 1990)
Follow-on Transmission: 6L45, 6L50, 6L80

Fluid Capacities (Factory and B&M Deep Pan)
Factory shallow pan (93-97): 11-12 quarts
Factory deep pan (1998+): 12-13 quarts
Corvette:

Gear Ratios
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Identifying Year of Production

Identifying the year of production is important for a variety of reasons including fitment and compatibility for swaps, internal hard part replacement, computer calibration and programming and others. GM provides two methods for determining what year and application a given 4L60E was manufactured. The first is the large date stamp sticker on the raised rectangular embossment on the passenger side of the case, below the cooler line area. It contains a 4-character alpha-numeric code that informs the year and application of the vehicle. The second method is looking on the bottom, rear of the case at the extension housing/case mating area for the same 4-character alpha-numeric code laser-engraved onto the bottom. Note that some 4L60Es do not have this engraving as it may not have been a standardized practice until later model years.
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Retro-Swap Information
  • Driveline and cross member alterations are almost always required; exhaust mods may be required
  • Any 4L60E dipstick and tube will work - DO NOT use pre-existing dipstick and tube or inaccurate readings may result
  • Command and control can be via factory ECM/Harness retro or aftermarket stand-alone controller, including:
Application Chart
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4L60E Teardown and Inspection
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4L60E Rebuild Step by Step
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High Performance Build-Up
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Valve Body Tips and Mods for Performance
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4L60E Playlist

Tech Resources
GM Technician's Guide (mostly diagrams)
4L60E Limp Mode Diagnostics
DTC P1870 TSB
TSB for Harsh 3-2 downshift (note: this condition is normal in the 4L60E and 700R4)

Electrical/Electronic Troubleshooting
The diagram below contains continuity and voltage specs as well as pin designations for troubleshooting limp mode and other electrical conditions via a DVOM (Multimeter)
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How to Buy a Used 4L60E
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Vintages, Changes and Interchange Information
VintageComponentsInterchange InformationAdditional Context
1992-1994
  • Valve Body
  • Pump Assembly
  • Separator Plate
  • Wiring harness
  • 3-2 Solenoid
1992-1994 units will interchange as an assembly into any vehicles manufactured during these years

1995 and 1996-1997: Components at left will have to be swapped for compatible components for those years/vintages if needing to convert to a 95 or 96-97 application
  • Separator plates not provisioned for PWM TCC apply strategies
  • 3-2 Solenoid Resistance: 9-11 ohms
  • Replacement part: 96+ PWM solenoid

Valve body castings have provision for PWM solenoid however no PWM solenoid is installed for 1992-1994
1995
  • Valve Body
  • Pump Assembly
  • Separator Plate
  • Wiring harness
  • 3-2 Solenoid
Not interchangeable with any other year without swapping the following parts w/year-applicable ones:
  • Pump
  • Valve body
  • Separator Plate
  • Wiring Harness
  • PWM Solenoid
*** 1992-1995 Cases will not swap to 1996+ vehicles as they lack provisions for mounting the MLPS - see next row for details
Pulse Width Modulation was introduced as a new TCC apply strategy for all 4L60E transmissions starting in 1995. In 1996, key changes to the PWM were made and further changes were made in 2001+ and in both cases, updates were made to the valve body, separator plate and separator plate gaskets.
1996-1997
  • Case
  • Valve Body
  • Separator Plate
  • Wiring Harness
  • 3-2 Solenoid
  • Manual lever position sensor
Will not interchange with any prior years without swapping components listed at left with counterparts that are compatible with the target vintage (i.e. 92-94 or 95)

May swap in place of a two-piece case so long as the engine is a 1st or 2nd generation small block or big block - WILL NOT swap in behind a Generation 3 small block (LS1, 5.3, 6.0, etc)
In 1996, GM introduced the manual lever position sensor and changed the impedance of the 3-2 control solenoid to 18-21 ohms, which mirrors that of shift solenoids A and B

PWM Solenoid remained unchanged (9-11 ohms)

Threaded ports were added on either side of the selector to accommodate the manual lever position sensor - these threaded ports ARE NOT found on 1992-1995 cases

** It’s recommended to mechanically convert the PWM regulated apply circuit in the valve body to an ‘on-off’ circuit - this is accomplished by blocking the inboard valve from moving **

DTC P1870 will store if/when this valve wears sufficiently and late, harsh 1-2 shifts will often be observed
1993-2000Separator plate gasketsInterchangeable between all years at left

Identified by the lack of striping on both gaskets
PWM-specific ports and orifices on the separator plate changed starting in 2001 to coincide with some other minor PWM-related hardware changes (see below for details)
1996-2003Manual Lever Position Sensor (first design)Will interchange between all years at leftFirst design uses two connectors to communicate range position - one for Park and one for Neutral.

Use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt the dielectric grease so that the MLPS can be removed from the pig-tail connectors w/out damaging the connectors or sensor

If this sensors fails, vehicle will not crank or start - try shifting into Neutral if in Park - it may start if only the ‘Park’ channel has failed
2004-L2008Manual Lever Position Sensor (second design)Will interchange between all years at left but WILL NOT interchange with vehicles manufactured for model years 1992-2003Second design uses one electrical connector instead of two, integrating Park and Neutral into one channel for data comms w/the PCM
2001-2006Separator plate gasketsInterchangeable between all years at left

Identified by white striping on both gaskets
GM updated the separator plate with new ports/orifice designs starting in 2001 - this coincided with a redesigned valve train in the TCC regulator valve (valve body)
1998-2006
  • Case
  • Bell Housing
  • Torque Converter
  • Input Shaft
Interchangeable across all years with the caveat that F-body or Corvette specific parts will need to be installed on transmissions that did not already have them if installing into an F Body (Camaro or Firebird) or a Corvette300mm pump stator and redesigned input shaft introduced in 1998 to support migration to LS/Gen 3 small block in Corvettes and F-bodies

All other 4L60E equipped vehicles followed suit in late 2000
2006-2008
  • Pump Assy
  • Input Shaft
  • Input Speed sensor
  • Valve Body
  • Separator plate
  • Separator plate gaskets
  • Wiring Harness
WILL NOT retro or prospectively install into any other model year vehicles

First years of separator plates w/bonded gaskets

Some units will have a traditional separator plate where gaskets can be replaced separately

Use orange-striped separator plate gaskets
GM introduced the turbine shaft speed sensor in mid-2006 which resulted in design changes to the input shaft, pump stator and pump cover.

** Failure to install a pump with a matching input shaft or pump not compatible with a turbine speed sensor into a 4L60E-equipped vehicle that originally came w/one will result in no upshift from first gear

CAUTION! - A limited amount of input shaft/drum assemblies were manufactured as provisioned for the reluctor gear however no gear was cast into these shafts and mated to pumps with stators provisioned for the input shaft reluctor gear - DO NOT install these into transmissions that originally did not come w/turbine speed sensors as the feed holes between the stator and input shaft will be mis-aligned (mostly applies to L2006)
L2008+
  • Valve body
  • Separator plate
  • Pressure Switch Manifold Assembly
  • Internal Mode Switch
  • Wiring Harness
  • Manual Lever Position Sensor
Will interchange with any subsequent year however not backwards-compatible with 2008-1992

*** 2008 4L60/65/70E transmissions not updated to take the internal mode switch (e.g. still have the older pressure switch manifold assembly and external MLPS installed) are compatible with any year vehicle L2006-2008 regardless if that vehicle’s original transmission came with a turbine speed sensor
In 2009, GM introduced the Internal Mode Switch to take the place of the pressure switch manifold assembly and manual lever position sensor.

The IMS is installed onto the selector shaft between the case wall and rooster comb - pan must be removed to access and R/R the IMS.

If IMS fails, vehicle will not crank or start

Parts and Machining Services for Overhaul
4L60E PartsGM Part Number (If applicable)Notes
Paper and rubber kitThis kit is also referred to as an 'overhaul kit'
Clutch moduleRaybestos or Borg Warner - factory level module comes with high energy 3-4 frictions
Alto High Energy w/Power Pack 8-clutch 3-4 stack
Raybestos Stage One with Power Pack 8 clutch 3-4 stack
Alto Red Eagle module with 8-clutch 3-4 stack; with or without Kolene steels
3-4 clutch steel moduleKolene steels recommended for very heavy duty or high performance/race
Borg Warner high energy 2-4 bandAlto wide band is a good upgrade - reverse input drum must be new or resurfaced
Kevlar band should be used for serious heavy duty or high performance/race
Corvette 2nd gear servo (093)Good upgrade for all GM medium duty cars, trucks and SUVs
Complete bushing kitUse Sonnax pump body bushing in the pump body and rear direct drum bushing location in HD/HP builds; Use Sonnax coated rear pump stator bushing in same
Sonnax wide rear sun gear bushingRecommended for all rebuilds as the factory rear sun gear bushing likes to walk out on higher mileage units; mandatory for high performance
Hardened and heat treated sun gear reaction shellStandard heat treated shell is fine for factory or mild performance; anything beyond that should receive the Sonnax Smart Shell
Forward thrust bearingReplace if end play is excessive when trans comes in for overhaul
3-4 clutch apply plate and backing plateNot mandatory but often required due to severe 3-4 clutch burn up; GM 4L65 apply and backing plate can be used with the 4L65-spec clutch stack - custom thicknesses are available in the aftermarket as well
Borg Warner input sprag clutch (29 element)Use 400 grit sand paper to reintroduce cross-hatching on outer race-sprag surface; retro to all 700R4s
Aluminum 3-4 accumulator pistonAll years take a large hole piston
Aluminum 1-2 accumulator pistonSome very early 4L60Es have a large hole piston; most have small hole
Borg Warner low roller one way clutch assemblyThis one-way clutch is only holding in first gear thus doesn't fail often
All solenoids (EPC, shift solenoids A&B, 3-2 control solenoid (93-08), pressure switch manifold assembly (93-08), wiring harnessUse OEM or Rostra only!
Manual lever position sensor: Dual connector: 1996-2003 | single connector: 2004-2008GM/AC Delco or Rostra

Good time to replace this as if it fails, you won't be able to start your vehicle
Internal mode switch (2009+)GM/AC Delco only!

Good time to replace this as if it fails, you won't be able to start your vehicle
Turbine (input) speed sensor (L2006+)GM/AC Delco only!; consult dealership parts dept to confirm if yours has a turbine speed sensor

Must replace this on all overhauls when equipped - you cannot replace this sensor when the trans in the vehicle!
Sonnax LB4L60E boost valve kitInstall in place of worn out factory boost valve and sleeve
Machining Services
Pump body and cover resurfacing and milling (pump body only)Provide machinist your pump rotor and slide - these are selective and clearance must be as follows:
- Rotor to pump body deck: .0015-.0025
- Slide to pump body deck: .002-.003
Reverse Input DrumCheck for warped surface (most are warped when they come in) - resurface to restore to as-new condition
Fitzall separator plate repair kitWill service multiple separator plates (1-2 check ball usually wears and needs a repair sleeve from the kit)
Sonnax TCC Regulator valve kit (oversized)Requires tool, base and support fixture to hold valve body as well as Sonnax bore reamer kit

Use either Fitzall drop in valve for applicable year range (95-2000, 2001-2006); this valve converts the TCC apply strategy to an on-off from a PWM (pulse width modulation)

Cannot be done for any vehicles with VVT or active cylinder management as the PWM must be working properly
Sonnax oversized actuator feed limit (AFL) valve kitRequires tool, base and support fixture to hold valve body as well as Sonnax bore reamer kit

Worn AFL valves / valve bores will cause a myrid of symptoms and failures thus all valve bodies must be tested
Corrective & Performance Upgrade Options (list not exhaustive)
Shift Kit (basic)Transgo SK4L60E | Superior Technologies 4L60E
Shift Kit (performance)Transgo HD2 | Sonnax Surecure Kit (preferred)
Transgo unbreakable pump rings (5500 RPM+)
Transgo high rate forward drum return spring kit
GM OEM five pinion front and rear planetary carrier assembliescan be good used or rebuilt by a competent machinist
Sonnax Smart ShellBest sun gear reaction shell on the market
Sonnax Hi Performance Pack
HP-4L60E-01
Contains all 4L60E upgrades including valves, pinless accumulators, shims, Torlon check balls and more.
4L65E Input drum assemblyInduction hardened input shaft
4L65E 3-4 clutch pack kit (7 frictions and six steels, apply plate and HD backing plate)High energy clutch material
4L70E Reaction shaftInduction hardened splines
Sonnax Smart Tech Input DrumExpensive but as close to bulletproof as you can get for these transmissions
Sonnax input drum reinforcement kitReinforces factory input drum for high RPM and power levels below 550 HP
Raybestos Blue Plate friction moduleFull race only
Alto High Energy or Raybestos ZPG or Stage One friction moduleGreat all around street/strip
Sonnax Super hold servo assemblies (2nd and/or 4th gear)A must for heavy towing and/or hauling as well as street/strip - race
CK Performance Billet pump rotorGreat for racing and other 5500+ RPM uses
 
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Blackbeard44

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whats the optimum temp for the 4L60?
I have an external cooler, my truck empty at 60MPH in 30° weather will only get up to 115ish, with a trailer on a hot day it will get up to 175ish, I am curious if I am running it to cold
 

NickTransmissions

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whats the optimum temp for the 4L60?
I have an external cooler, my truck empty at 60MPH in 30° weather will only get up to 115ish, with a trailer on a hot day it will get up to 175ish, I am curious if I am running it to cold
115 is fine, basically as long as it's functioning as it should, your temp is good, as far as the low side is concerned...I don't like to see anything higher than 175-185 on the high side for the Powerglides, three and four speeds...The six speeds can be as high as 200* or so as they were engineered to run at a bit higher temp. Dex 6 is full synthetic which helps manage through that temp regime.
 

89Suburban

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Thanks Nick!
 

macr0w

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Hey guys, I put a 4l60e with the 2 piece case in my 1984 C10 a while back with no real issues.
It's mated to a mid 90's vortec gen 1 350. No spacers or adapters necessary. Although, I do wish there was a dustcover for the torque converter in this specific application.
I use an external cooler and a US Shift Quick4 controller.
No driveline modifications on mine.
I did use the dipstick from my 700r4 as recommended by the shop I bought the transmission from.
Is there any reason that this is not the correct dipstick for this transmission?

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NickTransmissions

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Hey guys, I put a 4l60e with the 2 piece case in my 1984 C10 a while back with no real issues.
It's mated to a mid 90's vortec gen 1 350. No spacers or adapters necessary. Although, I do wish there was a dustcover for the torque converter in this specific application.
I use an external cooler and a US Shift Quick4 controller.
No driveline modifications on mine.
I did use the dipstick from my 700r4 as recommended by the shop I bought the transmission from.
Is there any reason that this is not the correct dipstick for this transmission?

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Just curious, do you not trust the trans shop?

To your question: It should work, as the case architecture in the area of the distick tube location is the same through all years 700R4 and 4L60E.
 

macr0w

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In your write up you said:
Any 4L60E dipstick and tube will work - DO NOT use pre-existing dipstick and tube or inaccurate readings may result
I was just curious what you meant by that.
Am I reading it wrong?
 

NickTransmissions

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In your write up you said:

I was just curious what you meant by that.
Am I reading it wrong?
Yes - I'm referring to any dipstick/dipstick tube that may have been in whatever transmission was already in the vehicle prior to the 4L60E swap...In other words, discard the former transmission's dipstick/tube and install a 4L60E dipstick tube in the 4L60E that you or whomever swapped into the Squarebody.
 

macr0w

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Yes - I'm referring to any dipstick/dipstick tube that may have been in whatever transmission was already in the vehicle prior to the 4L60E swap...In other words, discard the former transmission's dipstick/tube and install a 4L60E dipstick tube in the 4L60E that you or whomever swapped into the Squarebody.
Well, that's exactly why I was asking.
My transmission shop said the stick and tube from my 700r4 would work fine.
It appears to me that you are saying to:
discard the former transmission's dipstick/tube and install a 4L60E dipstick tube in the 4L60E that you or whomever swapped into the Squarebody
 

NickTransmissions

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Well, that's exactly why I was asking.
My transmission shop said the stick and tube from my 700r4 would work fine.
It appears to me that you are saying to:
See post 6.
 

kkgp81

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What is needed to drop a 4L60E in behind a later TBI style 5.7?
This is the transmission I have

Currently thinking just the trans spacer but cannot find the right flex plate. I have the TCI controller already.
 

NickTransmissions

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What is needed to drop a 4L60E in behind a later TBI style 5.7?
This is the transmission I have

Currently thinking just the trans spacer but cannot find the right flex plate. I have the TCI controller already.
No idea until you provide more information like what transmission you have and why you think you need some sort of adaptor or spacer.
 

kkgp81

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I have the trans that was on the link in the prev post. It appears to be one for an LS with the 300mm torque converter interface. I put it back in yesterday using a normal SBc flex plate (bolts don’t line up but it’s ok as she isn’t close to running yet) but also back ordered the Chevy performance kit.

Trans I have

Chevy performance kit I have on backorder

Currently it looks like a SBC flex plate would work if I had the proper holes drilled in it though.
 

AuroraGirl

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What is needed to drop a 4L60E in behind a later TBI style 5.7?
This is the transmission I have

Currently thinking just the trans spacer but cannot find the right flex plate. I have the TCI controller already.
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Just took a screenshot of the link you posted so its clear what you are referring to
 

NickTransmissions

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I have the trans that was on the link in the prev post. It appears to be one for an LS with the 300mm torque converter interface. I put it back in yesterday using a normal SBc flex plate (bolts don’t line up but it’s ok as she isn’t close to running yet) but also back ordered the Chevy performance kit.

Trans I have

Chevy performance kit I have on backorder

Currently it looks like a SBC flex plate would work if I had the proper holes drilled in it though.
All that should work as long as you use the adaptor kit. The bells are deeper on the LSx Gen3 SBCs than they are on the 4L60Es that went in behind a Gen1 small block.

You need a TMBX converter as well.

Why did you buy a 4L60E for a gen3 small block? You could have saved a lot of money and hassle with a built 98-2000 gen1 sbc unit...
 

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