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700R4 Transmission Spotlight

700R4 level 2 transmission

General Motors/HydraMatic introduced the 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission in 1982 (as a replacement to the TH350 3-speed automatic transmission) and used it in many of their popular vehicles with models beginning in the years through today. The 700R4 was one of the first overdrive transmissions used in General Motors vehicles from the Blazer to pickup trucks, and even the Corvette platform. The transmission is sometimes also referred by as the 4L60 (1990) or 4L60E (1993) for improved electronically-controlled models introduced later on. The 700R4 overdrive transmission platform is considered one of the best ever made.

The 700R4 automatic transmission is constructed of a single piece of cast aluminum. The part is 23.4 inches long, weighs 155 pounds, and holds approximately 11 quarts of transmission fluid. It is distinguished from the TH350 and TH400 in that it has a square oil pan, lacking the distinctive cut-off corner of the TH350 and the “Texas” shaped oil pan under the TH400. The transmission was primarily developed to improve fuel economy, which was achieved by the 30% overdrive capability, as well as the improved 3.06:1 gear ratio in 1st gear.

The first 700R4 had an input shaft with 27 splines, though this transmission design was prone to failure because it was unable to handle the load properly. In 1984, they introduced a 30 spline input shaft that was much stronger and reliable. The transmission typically has 1/4” pipe fittings on the passenger side for an improved cooling circuit. Later versions also use a pinned flare and o-ring design for the fluid cooling circuits. The 1987 and newer produced transmissions are considered to be refined and very reliable when performance is compared in 350 V8s in sports cars and trucks.

The physical swaps in the 700R4 transmission are straightforward to install, but the one component that confuses many owners and mechanics is the throttle-valve (T.V.) cable setup. If the T.V. cable is not set correctly, the transmission will underperform and cause its lifetime to be greatly shortened. Each time you adjust this component, you will need to reset the cable slider correctly while using the pressure gauge. This will ensure instantaneous pressure response with the new setup – this is critically important! If you operate the transmission with low hydraulic pressures, it can cause a transmission failure very quickly.

The front-facing TH700 unit is natively compatible with either the Chevrolet 90-degree “Small Block” & “Big Block”-patterned engines, including the V6, V8, I6 & Iron Duke I4 varieties. The General Motors 60-degree pattern engine can be mated to 60-degree style engines like those in the 3800, 3.4, and other engine families. These other transmission types are fairly rare since they were only produced for a few years for the Chevy S10 and Camaro with the 2.8L V6, prior to GM’s upgrade to the 4.3L V6 engine.

We offer 700R4 Transmissions with Torque Converter – Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, & Level 5 as well as 700R4 Transmissions with Torque Converter – Level 2 for 4×4 vehicles on our website. Call us today or order directly through our website!

The transmission has the following dimensions and gear ratios:

Case to External HousingOverall LengthBell Housing to Mount
23 3/8″30 3/4″22 3/8″

 

Transmission1st Gear2nd Gear3rd Gear4th Gear Overdrive
Turbo 3502.521.521N/A
Turbo 4002.481.481N/A
2004R2.741.5710.67
700R4 /4L603.061.6310.7
4L80E2.481.4810.75

General Motors Vehicle Models Using the 700R4 or 4L60E Transmissions:

1982-1992 Chevrolet Blazer/GMC Jimmy

1982-2005 Chevrolet Corvette

1983-1996 Chevrolet Impala and Caprice police specials equipped with 350 engines.

1983-1985 Oldsmobile 350 Diesel equipped models.

1983-2002 Chevrolet Camaro/Pontiac Firebird

1985-2005 Chevrolet Astro/GMC Safari

1991-1992 GMC Syclone

1991-1992 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser

1989-2003 Chevrolet S-10/GMC S-15/Sonoma

1989-2005 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

1989-2001 GMC S-15 Jimmy

1990-1996 RWD Cadillac Fleetwood/Cadillac Brougham/Cadillac Limo

2002-2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer/GMC Envoy

1992-1993 GMC Typhoon

1984-2010 Chevrolet Suburban

1982-2012 Chevrolet Van

1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala

1994-1996 Buick Roadmaster

1982-2010 Chevrolet C/K

1993-2010 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon

1999-2006 Cadillac Escalade

2002-2008 Chevrolet Avalanche

2003-2007 Hummer H2

2004-2007 Buick Rainier

2004-2012 Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon

1988-2006 Holden Commodore

2004-2006 Pontiac GTO

2005-2009 Saab 9-7X