4L60E Transmission Details
The 4L60E transmission was first introduced in 1992 as an upgrade or replacement to the 700R4 transmission, also known as the 4L60 transmission. The two transmissions were mostly similar, with a major difference being the upgrade from hydraulically to electronically controlled transmissions.
This transmission was developed and produced by General Motors/Hydramatic.
The 4L60E transmission was widely available in a large number of GM truck, van, and SUV applications, as well as in rear-wheel drive car applications. Some of the most popular car applications were the Chevrolet Corvette, Camaro, Caprice, and Impala, just to name a few.
For truck, van, and SUV applications, this transmission is available in virtually all GMC and Chevrolet applications that had 6 lug nuts on the wheel. The number of lug nuts indicates the rating of the truck, and 6 lug nuts generally indicate a light-duty truck.
Pros and Cons
As mentioned, the 4L60E was first introduced in 1992. The 4L60E is differentiated into an early version and a late version. This differentiation occurred in 1996. While a number of differences exist, the easiest to recognize externally is the fact that the bell-housing is removable for the Late 4L60E transmissions.
The replacement began in 1996 but was not fully phased in until 1998. Although this transmission is certainly not in production as widespread as it once was, there are still some applications that utilize this transmission. This transmission can still be found in light-duty van applications as well as in the overseas market in the Holden Commodore.
The popularity was based on many of the carryover features, such as the low speed performance capability and strong fuel economy performance, while the addition of electronic control also significantly improved the performance of this transmission.
One of the most common problems with this transmission is losing the ability to use the reverse gear, commonly caused by debris buildup.
4L60E Performance Specs
The 4L60E transmission is designed to handle a max engine torque of 360 lb-ft.
The 4L60E naming also indicates a lot about the transmission. The 4 indicates that this is a 4 speed transmission, with it being an automatic transmission in this case. The L indicates that the engine is longitudinally positioned. The 60 indicates 6000 pounds of GVW, although the transmission is in trucks up to 8600 pounds GVW, so this part of the name is likely legacy carryover.
The 4 gears available in this transmission are 3.06, 1.63, 1, and 0.7, with the reverse gear being 2.29. The 3.06 low gear provides strong performance at low vehicle speed, while the 0.7 top gear provides significant overdrive fuel economy benefits.
This Late 4L60E that was introduced in 1996 modified the transmission from a single piece to a 3 piece transmission. The 3 pieces are the bellhousing, the main case, and the tailhousing, all 3 are made from cast aluminum alloy.
The transmission is 21.9 inches in length. The transmission weighs 146 pounds dry and 162 pounds with the fluids installed. The amount of fluid required depends on the torque converter that it is paired with. With the 9.64” torque converter, 8.4 quarts of transmission fluid is required, while the 11.81” torque converter needs 11.4 quarts of fluid.
The 4L60E is a 4 speed automatic electronically controlled transmission that is used widely across GM platforms, particularly on virtually all rear wheel drive applications. Due to its widespread use, this transmission is likely one of the most common transmission on the highways today.
This replaced the 4L60 transmission, previously known as the 700R4, beginning in 1992 and used technology to improve on what was already a very popular transmission. This transmission is still used in a small number of applications, but has been replaced for the most part.
Vehicles with 4L60E Transmission: