Background and Identification
The General Motors 700R4 transmission was manufactured by Chevrolet in 1981 to run with 1982 model year vehicles. It is a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and was introduced as a way to make V8-powered cars and trucks more efficient. The transmission was designed for trucks and large cars but is compatible with a variety of Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Buick, and Holden vehicles between 1982 and 1993.
The 700R4 was GM's overdrive four-speed replacement for the three-speed Turbo350. It also became a popular upgrade for older rear-wheel-drive General Motors vehicles. The transmission has several common problems, including a broken 27-spline input shaft in early versions of the 700R4 (after 1987, 30-spline shafts were developed to improve the reliability of the gearbox). Overheating is another common issue, though it can be avoided by installing an auxiliary transmission cooler. Slipping between 3rd-and 4th gears can occur when overheating weakens the metal of the clutch-pack disks, causing a problem with the clutch-pack that engages those gears. Overheating can also cause a warped valve body, which can be problematic when changing gears.
In 1990, General Motors changed the name of the 700R4 to 4L60, which represented 4-speed, longitudinal, 6,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating. In 1993, the transmission’s hydraulic shifting system was replaced with electronic controls for the 4L60E version. There are several versions of the 700R4 transmission, including heavy-duty, super-duty, and Xtreme SS models. Each model has a higher horsepower and torque rating.
Heavy-Duty 700R4: rated up to 500-horsepower and 450-torque
SuperSport Super-Duty 700R4: rated up to 650-horsepower and 600-torque
Xtreme SS 700R4: rated up to 1,000-horsepower and 1,000-torque