Before you buy a 700R4 / 4L60E transmission read this.
Thin blue, red, high energy or brown clutches used with thin steels in the 700R4 / 4L60E 3-4 clutch pack will not hold up in a performance / heavy duty 700R4 transmission with over 400 horse power. The reason being the thin steel plates warp up from the extreme heat then the thin clutches burn up. The thin steel plates will not dissipate the heat fast enough. The problem is a combination of thin and narrow design of the steel plates. Thin red clutches used with thin steels work well in all transmissions, but not in the 700R4 transmission 3-4 clutch pack with high horse power. For these reasons we only use the more expensive Raybestos Blue Plate Special clutches with full thickness steels or Alto Red Eagle clutches with full thickness Kolene steels in our level 3 and 4, 700 Raptor transmission 3-4 clutch packs. Eight clutches are the maximum number you can use in the 3-4 clutch pack with full thickness steels. Nine clutches used with thin steels will not work with over 400 horse power.
Wide bands will not work in a performance / heavy duty 700R4 / 4L60E transmission unless used with a new reverse input drum because they burn on the two outer edges. For this reason we only use the Alto Carbonite PowerBand in the standard width on our level 2, 3 and 4, 700 Raptor transmissions or the Alto wide Power Bands with a new drum. The Alto Carbonite PowerBand in the standard width is custom made for PATC with thick anchors on both ends. Even a used drum that looks perfect will not work. Some have machined the drum in an effort to give the wide band a flat surface to ride on. This only weakens the drum and makes it cup worse the next time. The extra wide Alto Power Bands are the best and work great if used with a new drum.
We use OEM (new) 5 pinion 700R4 / 4L60E rear planet gears that cost us five times as much as the weak off brand 5 pinion rear planet gears. What’s the reason we do this, you say. The off brand planet gears are made of weak steel and crack like glass. The OEM gears are made of powdered metal, which GM claims allows for a higher overall strength. After market 5 pinion planet gears aren’t as strong as OEM 4 pinion planet gears. We use two new OEM 5 pinion planet gears in our top of the line level 4, 700 Mega Raptor transmissions. If you didn’t pay over $250.00 for your 5 pinion rear planet gear it’s not the real OEM 5 pinion planet gear.
Accumulator Springs: There are companies out there building performance 700R4 / 4L60E transmissions without accumulator springs in an effort to get crash bang shifts. An accumulator is a shock absorber to keep from breaking parts and makes for a better shift feel. It’s possible to get firm fast shifts without removing the shock absorbers and drilling the separator plate holes out too big. Anybody can build a transmission with hard shifts without any more holding power than a stock transmission. Beware of homemade shift kits! What you want is firm / fast shifts not hard / harsh shifts. Hard shifts don’t equal holding power. Holding power and firm fast shifts come from using the proper combination of clutches, bands, hard parts and pressures.
Conclusion: Don’t buy a 700R4 / 4L60E transmission with any of the above parts that have been proven not to work over time. If the above parts wont work for us how could they possibly work for you? Some of the above parts might work in light duty use with a stock motor. You want the good parts that have been proven to last.
You be the judge. We sell the total package, not something that will cost more in the long run or cost more after you buy everything you need one part at a time. We have been building performance / heavy duty 700R4 transmissions for 27 years and have tried and tested every performance 700R4 / 4L60E part and combination of parts that there ever was. We have shipped these transmissions all over the world. We know what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been in the transmission business since 1958 and the people in this company have a combined transmission experience of 160 years. Regardless if you believe what you read on this page or not this knowledge comes from my over 62 years of experience working on cars. We don’t just use the good parts, we’re an Authorized Distributor for them, Sonnax, Alto, Superior, Fairbanks, PML, TCS, Delco, Raybestos and many others. Most of the performance 700R4 companies out there have no idea what works and what will not. It takes many years and thousands of 700R4 performance rebuilds to get this knowledge.
We are the original, not a copy cat. Many others try to copy us. We use the better 700R4 parts in the correct combination that will work together. If you see someone selling performance / heavy duty 700R4 transmissions with Corvette servos, counterfeit Raptor Drive kits, 9 count 3-4 clutch sets, home made wiz bang shift kits, performance 700R4 torque converters with a Kevlar clutch, after market 5 pinion planet gears, 3-4 up-shift sleeves or using wide bands on used / redone drums, run don’t walk in the other direction. All of the above is a no-no don’t do list of things that will not work. Maybe I shouldn’t have written this, it gives away too many hard learned secrets. If you think these things will work in a 700R4 performance application maybe I can interest you in some snake oil or a game of three card Monte. Some of this junk will work with a stock motor in light duty use. A 700R4 performance transmission is the hardest transmission in the world to get the correct combination of parts that will work together and last. It has taken us many years to find the correct combinations. We don’t sell transmissions on Ebay, we don’t need to. The people who buy our 700R4 transmissions want the real 700 Raptor transmission, the original not a cheap copy.
Some have made things appear hard to do, such as cooling lines and throttle valve cable adjustments in an effort to sell you their expensive package to do these things. Wake up! It’s even been reported to us that several 700R4 performance transmission companies are making counterfeit Raptor Drive input drums, billet 40% oversize overdrive servos and other parts. These 700R4 counterfeit parts are inferior to the real patented parts and there’re several law suits pending at this time.
In an effort to make the price appear low such things as torque converters, core charges, freight fees, throttle valve cable, dip stick and tube, coolers, deep pans, T-shirts and others are usually an extra charge. Ask yourself this question. Why pay extra for everything when the transmission doesn’t even have the correct combination of parts that work together in the first place? We only use a Corvette intermediate servo in our stock 700R4 transmissions. The performance intermediate servo we use in all of our level 2, 3 and 4, 700 Raptor transmissions cost us 6 times as much as a Corvette servo. We use a 50% oversize overdrive servo in all of our level 2, 3 and 4, 700 Raptor transmissions that cost 2 times as much as a 30% oversize overdrive servo. Get your moneys worth, you want the good parts.
Transmission Cooling: You must have a transmission cooler in your radiator regardless of what someone has told you for the transmission to last. Auxiliary coolers are just that, in addition to. Water cools 32 times better (faster) than air always, period. In the case of air vs. water, there is no contest – water is way better. The transmission fluid comes directly from the torque converter at a much higher temperature than the water in your radiator and is cooled to the water temperature fast. Then it goes to the auxiliary cooler to be cooled far below the water temperature. If you don’t need a cooler in your radiator why does GM spend all that money doing so? If you wanted to cool a red hot piece of steel fast would you stick it in water or air, see the point. Your transmission will run cooler with a lock-up converter. This is more important with stall speeds of 2000 RPM or higher. For the best cooling you need both water and air cooling for the transmission to be cooler than the motor (water).
When comparing transmission prices, know what you’re actually getting. Some companies don’t list what parts are in their performance transmissions at all and other companies have a long list of parts for their performance transmissions that should be included in a stock rebuilt transmission anyway. They leave most of the high dollar parts out. There’s even a new Florida performance 700R4 transmission company out there that has a chart comparing the price of our level 4, 700R4 transmission to their performance 700R4 transmission that might be equal to our level 1 or 2 transmission on a good day. Oh, and they forgot to add the core charge to their price on the chart. This is the old apples and oranges trick. We got a quote from them and by the time they added all of the upgrades the price was higher than our level 4 700 Mega Raptor transmission. They claim to be an Authorized Distributor for many parts manufactures, they aren’t. They may use some of these parts in their transmissions, but they aren’t an Authorized Distributor. They claim to be able to buy parts for less than other performance 700R4 companies, this is pure bull. They now say on their site that their transmission is infamous. I looked this up and the definitions are: (1) Having a reputation of the worst kind. (2) Convicted of an offence bringing infamy. They claim to scare the competition, it’s you the buyer that should be scared about these low ball tactics without the good parts. This same company says on their website not to use a transmission cooler in the radiator, showing a complete misunderstanding of how transmission cooling works. They have now changed their name to look more like our name. We researched their phone number and got the address, then went to Google to see a picture of that address from space and it’s a house, go figure.