GM 4L60E Transmission Teardown pt. 1

i am going to begin disassembly of my 4L60E.  many of the same internal parts of this line of transmission apply to the 700R4 with the exception of the valve body components. so i am going to deal with the removal and inspection of these separate. first off the biggest difference is that we have an aluminum valve body instead of cast iron like the older trannys. so use caution when handling it as the edges are like a knife if you get careless!


S3700015So the ATSG book said to start with the 2-4 servo cover here-the book i got from summit racing said to start with the tail housing. personally to save you a headache start with the valve body. after busting some components trying to follow the atsg manual, i would say start by removing the oil pan, filter, and wiring harness.i didn’t get a picture of it complete with the wiring harness but here it is after the harness is removed to give you an idea.




when removing the wiring harness, the solenoid right above the torque converter clutch solenoid must be removed. i believe this is the 3-2 solenoid to the front of the valve body. it is simply held in by a spring  clip just above the solenoid….and will fly off across the shop. these solenoids were pulse motors early on and later were a more simple on/off style solenoid.



 hereS3700006 we have removed the torque converter clutch solenoid, or rather TCC. this MUST be removed prior to pulling the pump out otherwise you will break the damn thing off. as you can see that’s what i did cause i was following the wrong manual. it is wired in one piece to the harness and comes off with it rather than just a connector like everything else. these are prone to cracking causing converter failure. you can check these with air pressure if you are careful, but if you have an older one and are unsure- spend some money.


hereS3700009 i have removed the pulse width modulator (PWM)solenoid so you can get a good viel of the connector going through the case. there is a special tool to remove the connector via pressing the fingers on the top of the case and pushing it through the bottom. you can also use a buddy with small screwdrivers while wiggling it- or a large socket. the prongs will break if you just yank it out. you can leave the pwm in and remove the valve body first to remove this connector a lot easier.


NowS3700045 at this point you can turn either turn you attention to everything else and remove the valve body last, or remove the valve body and stuff now and set it aside for later service and inspection. i am going to go the route of getting the valve body the rest of the way off. next out after the harness remove the pressure switch manifold and set it aside. you can also see it’s location in the first picture above. i would also remove the selector tension spring at this point as well just to make life easier later on.


nextS3700073 remove you valve body bolts and your valve body assembly. there are check balls located on both sides of the transmission  separator plate and can vary with the years, so have the tranny inverted and pull the valve body straight off. usually the check balls will remain in place…if not be stuck in the mid plate.  remove your check balls. the 1-2 accumulator is in the upper left hand corner holding everything in still as well as the plate to the rear.



hereS3700071 is when you can take note of your valve body gaskets and what mid plate you have. the mid plate is stamped with a letter designation and the orientation of the gaskets is also marked. if you are investigating a failure this is a place to stop and take notes to see if someone else didn’t screw it up at some point during a prior build….or you need a different mid plate. my fingers are pointed to a “V” and a “C” as the gaskets are marked.



 you can then removeS3700049 the 1-2 accumulator, rear coverS3700052 plate, and mid plate/gaskets. the bottom half of the 1-2 accumulator is below the mid plate and can also be removed. the pin  at the center of the piston pulls from the case. these accumulator pistons can be a high wear item so inspect them closely before re-installation. note the locations of the rest of your check balls at this time as well. here i am pointing to an encapsulated check ball to the rear of the case. this is suppose to stay in place but can fall out due to wear. this needs to also be checked out before re-assembly. also note the check ball near my thumb in the case that is loose. this one is easy to overlook during re-assembly so take note not to forget.


last thing inS3700051 this part of the tranny is the 2-4 band anchor pin. now depending on where you started this may just fall out of it may have to be pushed out after you remove the front pump and/or the 2-4 servo.  at this point you can also remove your selector shaft and parking lever engagements. you can now turn your attention to the rest of the tranny for disassembly.                                                             



GM 4L60E Transmission

well in this second section i will be going through some of the background of the 4L60E transmissions. somewhere between 1992 and 1993 the 700R4 became a computer controlled tranny and was/is redesignated the 4L60E/4L65E. It did not have a governor or throttle valve cable(TV cable) as the earlier models did. the 4L60E uses electrically fired solenoids for shift and what is call a pulse width modulator(PWM valve) in place of  where a governor and modulator valve would be on an older tranny. this is also referred to as a force motor by some people. The on- board computer then dictates shift points,  TCC operation, and overall function of the valve body. most of the mainline internal components are similar(if not interchangeable) with the 700R4. the main difference between the two is the valve body on the 4L65E is made of aluminum instead of cast iron and is fully computer controlled.

The 4L60E also received upgrades throughout the years as well. the 93-94 models had their own valve body set up/1995 was unique unto itself/and the 96 and later models also were different yet. in 1998 them made the housing a 2 piece design with a removable bell housing.

one thing with this line of transmissions over a th350 or good old th400, there were A LOT of different kits and what not. just looking through my book there are 3 different rebuild  kits for the older 700R4 and 3 or 4 different kits for the 4L60E, so getting the right kit for the right tranny and application is somewhat critical. you must also correct things on these trannys that aren’t even defective because they are common fail points. as a rule a thum- the older the tranny the more updates you are going to need. 

S3700001So, i got  this bastard 95 vintage core in on trade. unless i plan on sticking it into another 95 conversion van from connecticut that died out here… was a heavy metal band on tour by the way……….it was more cost effective to play with the older 700R4 and put this in the core archive for future use.  These things are all over the place….and i get probably 4 calls a month during the winter of these trannys going out in GM trucks moving snow.  i bet you pass at least 5 of em going to work everyday on the highway in operation. there are shift kits available and like the 4L80, there is performance software out on the market to adjust your shift firmness and timing via the laptop computer or aftermarket programmable module that plugs into your OBD diagnostic connector. i haven’t dealt with these systems first hand yet.

Rochester Carburetor Number Decoding

Did you ever wonder what in the hell the numbers on your carburetor meant? when it comes to Rochester carburetors, In this day and age it is damn near impossible to take a carburetor into your local part’s store and find a clerk that can even recognize a carburetor let alone try and find you a rebuild kit! so in a nutshell you need to know what your carb came from to begin with so you have an idea not only to determine what carburetor kit to get ,but what it may have been calibrated for. Remember when chosing a carb…yeah you can always drill/swap out some jets but with these older rochesters, the passages-air bleeds-main jet-cfm rating-etc are hard set for certain size engines.SO, unless you know for a fact where the carb came from always check the number to see what you are dealing with.

Example: # 7028219
DG 1938

On most Rochesters you can find these numbers covered in shit on the main body. on the q-jets it can be found near the rear corner face of the main body secondaries going up the side of it. on a 2G carb it is on the side of the float bowl. you can sometimes be lucky enough to get one with a tag on it still but that is somewhat rare…..and the numbers are usually covered in corrosion and shit and by mistake-you scrub the numbers off trying to read them. rebuilders may or may not tag the core after the build.



Prefix code. “70” will appear on all late ’60’s Rochester Carburetors.
76 and later will start with “170”
2 – Decade produced.
702 – 1960’s
703 – 1060’s with A.I.R.
704 – 1970-1975
1705 – 1976-1979
1708 – 1980’s


Year produced.
8 = 1968
If the number was 7045219 then
5 = 1975
7028219 Model
0 – Monojet (1 bbl) Federal standards
1 – Two jet (2 bbl) Federal standards
2 – Quadrajet (4 bbl) Federal standards
3 – Monojet (1 bbl) California standards
4 – Two jet (2 bbl) California standards
5 – Quadrajet (4 bbl) California standards
6 – VariJet (2 bbl) Fed
7028219 – Division.
0, 1, and 2 all indicate Chevrolet.
4 – Buick
5 – Olds
6,7 – Pontiac
7028219 – Transmission most cases
Even numbers – Automatic Transmission
Odd numbers – Manual Transmission
DG Production Code.
1938 Rochester produced carburetor Date Code
193 = 193 rd Day of the year
1938 8 = Year 1968
A8 o MM Carter Produced carburetor Date Codes
A= Jan
B= Feb
C= March
A8 o MM 8 = year 1968
MM Production Code.

TH350/converter service article

this is an article i ran across of a th350 tranny and converter service. now the refresh is nothing special but it is an excellent pictorial and brief  description of how a converter is serviced and how easily a lousy converter can screw up a transmission.

Ford 4R70W Transmission: Part 1

Well since i decided to keep my 01 mercury grand marquis AND have a few issues i need to address with the transmission, i decided to do a bit of research here this morning on what tranny i got and what i need to do. i would like to just get another tranny to make an all out unit i can swap in at some point.

 i quickly learned that i made a wise decision in keeping this car. the Ford AOD trannys sometime in 1992 was redesigned and designated the 4R70w. this redesign was tyo complement the then new modular engines like the 4.6Liter engines most derby guys throw in the car for the scrap yard. the 4R70W like many transmissions throughout the 90’s had updates to resolve longevity issues. 98 and newer trannys seem to be the ones to start out with as far as better tranny cores. unfortunately, it looks like the squad cars and town cars had a different length tailshaft and ironically a lousy output shaft compared to what i got. SO, i may have a bit more of a bitch of a time finding an appropriate swap in core for my 01 mercury.

i ran across a copyrighted article on the thunderbird and cougar enthusiast’s website that to be honest is 11 pages of stuff that is so well written and comprehensive- i didn’t thing there was any point in expanding on it. this guy knows his stuff. so if you guys would like to read and learn from the same articles i read on these trannys please click on the link below!

i WILL however be doing a write up on how i did a tear down and rebuild of my tranny….like i need more projects to do…LMAO!! this one should be fun cause most derby guys throw this stuff out the window without thinking twice.

GM 4L80E layout of components

well, i have also been doing some research into the 4L80E, which is the later 4 speed computer controlled version of the TH400 starting around 1992 to present. i ran across a forum where another gentleman had done a disassembly and pictoral layout of the internals on one of these trannys. i copied it to help me during disassembly and to be honest thought it was pretty good cause it’s an actual picture not a drawing.  i copied it and posted it to my blog. due to the format of my blog, you may have to copy the pictures to your computer and blow them up to read the numbers.   i give credit to whoever put this on an open mechanic’s forum i ran across on the internet.  BTW, i did check my service manuals and the labelling on the components is correct. 



Number listing for rotating assembly 4l80e

4: complete pump body assembly
504: 502: housing assembly overrunning clutch and turbine shaft
529: 4th clutch housing
529: 4th clutch
602: forward clutch housing assembly
623:628 direct clutch & forward band
632: intermediate clutch
640: center support
651: reaction drum and carrier assembly
657: rear brake band assembly
661: 662: 668:671:ect:
Carrier output assembly, main shaft, rear rear internal gear, output shaft assembly , ect


Number listing for valve body assembly 4l80e

301: valve body
302: force motor feed filter screen
303: coiled spring pin
304: check ball plug
305: .375 diameter check ball
306: 3rd reverse check ball bushing
307: o-ring seal
308: 3>4 shift valve
309: 2>3 & 3>4 shift valve return spring
310: solenoid bolt
311: 2>3 shift solenoid
312: 2>3 shift valve
313: 1>2 shift solenoid
314: 2>3 shift valve
315: 1>2 shift valve return spring
316: shift solenoid feed plug
317: shift solenoid feed filter
318: low/reverse check ball sleeve
319: manual selector valve
320: variable force motor (can)
321: force motor retaining clamp

322: PWM solenoid retaining clip
323: PWM solenoid assembly
324: TCC regulator apply valve
325: TCC regulator apply valve spring
326: actuator feed valve bore plug
327: actuator feed valve limit spring
328: actuator feed limit valve
329: accumulator valve bore plug
330: accumulator valve spring
331: accumulator valve


Number listing for Accumulator housing assembly 4l80e

49: 4th clutch accumulator piston spring
50: 3rd clutch accumulator piston spring
52: accumulator housing to valve body bolt (Long)
53: accumulator housing to valve body bolt (short)
402: snap ring
404: 1.615 square cut seal
405: 3rd clutch accumulator piston
406: .859 square cut seal


Number listing for pump assembly 4l80e

202: 4L80E pump Body
203: 4L80E Oil Pump
204: Driven pump gear
205: pump drive gear
206: Pump cover
211: coiled spring pins (3 total)
212: converter limit valve bore plug
213: converter limit valve spring
214: converter limit valve
215: spring retainer sleeve
216: TCC enable valve spring
217: TCC enable valve
218: thrust selective washer
220: M8 x 1.25 x 40 mm bolts (5 total)
221: snap ring
222: TCC valve bore plug
223: TCC valve
224: TCC valve spring
225: TCC valve bore plug
226: retaining ring for boost reverse valve bushing
227: reverse boost valve bushing
228: reverse boost valve
229: pressure regulator spring retainer
230: pressure regulator spring
231: pressure regulator valve
232: pressure regulator plug

GM 700R4/4L60 Transmission

well, i tore down a 4L60E and am building a non lockup 700R4. since these transmissions overlap so damn much both in design, upgrades and parts interchange since 1982, i am going to combine both into a general knowledge source to help you out with whatever transmission from this family you may be working on. in my parts books they even list all of them in the same section. so as i add articles, i may seem to be bouncing between the two styles of transmissions….that’s cause i am.

First, i am going to hit on a few basics and some history of this line of light duty overdrive transmissions. Although these are definitely a different breed of transmission than the non lock up th350’s most of us talk about from old iron cars, they are ancestors. you can see a lot of similarities in how they have evolved over the years. To me it all started in the late 60’s when buick and chevy divisions had a demand for a light duty cost effective transmission over the 400 but not a two speed like a power glide. this is where the th350 came into being. during it’s run primarily in the 70’s it underwent several updates, changes, and variations, including a lock up torque converter clutch….or for short a TCC…to add to fuel mileage.

 in the early 80’s with emissions and fuel mileage becomming a major deal GM had a simply approach to it….2.6:1 rear axle gears, more gears in the tranny, and make a smaller engine idle most of the time with a q-jet. in essence robbing peter to pay paul. This is where the 700R4 came into being, as well as the 200R4 (which was a spin off of the th200 metric trannys). where the th350 had a 2.52:1 ratio in first gear the 700r4 had a 3.06:1 in first gear/1.61 in 2nd, 1:1 in 3rd, and an overdrive of 1:.70,  or 4th gear. they also incorporate a TCC, as do pretty much all modern transmissions to date.

I may have blogged about this previously, but the TCC is basically an internal clutch that is applied by fluid pressure in the torque converter to lock the converter solid so there is no give in the converter.  on the 700R trannys some units would start hitting this as early as 2nd gear but most of the time it was programmed to hit it in either third or 4th gear to improve mileage. When a tcc gets fouled up….it will give you that tell tale jerking sensation at cruising speed going down the road. or better yet when you pull up to the stoplight it kills the engine cause it locks the engine solid to the trannys. when that happens you basically start it in neutral and drop it into gear like an idiot teenager trying to get out of the intersection or you abandon it at the light in the turn lane pissing everyone off within a 1/4 mile and call the wrecker.  yeah….been there done that…..towing the old man’s boat to boot!

if you hear about a 700R4 and or a 4L60, they are actually the same thing. 4L60 is the modern designation of the 700R4 the same way a th400 is referred to as a 3L80. where an older tranny like a 400 or 350 would have both a modulator valve and a governor to control shift points, the 700R’s used a cable in place of a modulator valve. now this is not to be confused with the cable used on a th350- on the th350 the cable was simply used for forced downshift(passing gear). on the 700R4 and 200R4…..and most overdrive trannys through the 80’s…..the cable controlled a throttle valve and was used to regulate low speed pressure and timing to the shift valves directly off the throttle position rather than using engine vacuum. although this is more accurate and in a sense kills 2 birds with one stone, it now makes it much more interesting to change a carburetor from one brand to another. the position of the cable to the center of the throttle shaft is critical so the pressure and timing of shift at cruising and part throttle speed is accurate otherwise it can be an unpleasant experience outside of wide open throttle. 

The older style 700R4/4L60 trannys underwent  several upgrades during the 80’s to resolv7004casee several problems including faulty throttle valves and weak input shafts. there were numerous upgrades and i will detail them in more detail in later articles as i get further into my build. starting in 1987 they had most of the bugs worked out of them. in the picture here to the left is an example of how to identify one of these 700R cores. on the passenger side, the casting has what pretty much looks like a camshaft lobe casting mark over the servo boss. in the picture,i circled it and put a red arrow to it. when you are starting out to rebuild a unit and don’t have a core, this is what you shop for at the yard, and an easy way to spot the right one.

 you time and money purchasing and chasing down upgraded components by going with the newer one, however if you can’t find one or the one you got already is not a newer one: don’t worry- it’s not that big of a deal!  upgraded later 700R4 parts  and numerous update parts and kits are available aftermarket and are a must for any serious built you want to last.

TH700-R4_1now after you find the model you want and the generation you got- you need to know the exact year too. yeapers- numerous valve body mid plates-accumulators-springs- yeah you get the point. it can get down to different models for the same year. if you are lucky you may still have the tag on the top of the housing with a bar code- otherwise above the oil pan to the right rear is a number you need. here is a chart i found that explains it pretty simple on how to figure out what you got.

For me i ended up with a 1988 vintage unit-2 wheel drive. i have already torn it down and will be doing a full pictoral and description of the upgrades i will be doing in future articles. these  are a very popular choice for street rods these days not only for mileage of having an overdrive gear, but the higher first gear ratio.  i will also be converting this to a non-lockup transmission and omitting the lock up clutch. i plan on using this in a non-computer controlled engine application: this leaves me with two options- i would either have to buy an extra kit to control the clutch lock up or literally wire up a toggle switch to lock up the converter.  i elected to just omit it during the build using an aftermarket kit and save a big pain in the ass at the sacrifice of a bit of mileage.

Chrysler A618/torqueflite

So one of my friends here in town decided to go truck pulling and hit me up for some transmission advise and service. sounded like fun so i am game. well, the first thing anyone should do when getting into new projects is to do some research so you have some fucking clue what the hell to look for and what you are working with upon innitial disassembly.

Back in trade school, we had to disassemble/reassemble a chrysler 777 tranny as part of a rebuild class. to be honest that was about the only time i spend on a chrysler production tranny for several years. hell i am an oldsmobile guy . back 8 years ago i teamed with my friends at bottom bulb racing to chassis and fab up a 71 duster for bracket racing that is still running today. this is where i got into the chrysler stuff again and along with it: the torqueflite 727. these are a very popular drag race and motor sports tranny. i have gotten into a few of these in recent years but there simply isn’t the demand for them like the GM transmissions.

Unlike the gm transmissions that have two or 3 major lines/designs of transmissions that changed over the years, chrysler pretty much based all their trannys off the same initial concept torqueflite tranny that debuted in 1956. to look at all the variations would be like looking at the family tree of my great great grandfather from sweden who had 14 kids-who all had 14 kids-who had…..well you get the point. inherantly all the chrysler trannys from the one in my dodge dakota-to the one behind the cummins-to a 904 from the late 70’s-to a 727 from 1969 all share some similar characteristics: and all of em have undergone numerous design improvements and changes.

The A618, later 47RH (hydraulic controlled governor pressure) and 47RE (electronic controlled governor pressure), is a heavier-duty version of A518. It was used in trucks and vans starting in the mid-1990s. While currently used with some internal changes when coupled to the 5.9 L Cummins Turbo-Diesel and the 8.0 L V-10 applications, it’s still a 727 with overdrive and stronger internal parts. It has an input torque rating of 450 lb·ft (610 N·m).

Gear ratios:

1 2 3 4 R
2.45 1.45 1.00 0.69 2.21


95 and earlier trannies (designated –rh)

The earliest version of the RH trans did not have a lockup converter. In 94 a lockup converter was introduced to the RH. Even though the RH is designated H, overdrive (and when present TC lockup) use solenoid(s) to turn on and off hydraulic fluid pressure to actuate these functions. These functions are controlled in an on-off electrical manner in a RH tranny.

The 94 up trans with lock-up has a place in the trans for the lockup solenoid and has fluid passages that do not exist in the earlier non-locking 74RH. A problem with these on the diesel applications is the converter clutches in the 47RH will not handle high throttle or engine braking.

96-up trannies (designated –re)

Were also not true electronic trannies, in that 1-2-3- shifts are still hydraulic controlled. They DID however – rather than use a cable to set throttle position control like they did in the –rh trannies – decide to use a PWM (pulse width modulated – a sort of digital control signal) to operate a pressure control solenoid in the valve body. This is not simply an on-off solenoid, it controls a variable pressure and REQUIRES a PWM driver to control it.

So at this point we are dealing with a 95 year truck with a modified 5.9L cummins…..with a shitload of boost. so i next need to establish if i have the original tranny or not in this truck, then find the appropriate core to begin with to make life A LOT easier for the rebuilder-yours truly. this should be a fun side project so stay tuned!

Performance Transmission:Full Manual Valve Body Th400

Sorry it took me so long to get back to this section i was writing on in my Blog. The last little bit of information i have to share with everyone on the th400 is the full manual valve body. in fact i have had other builders on wecrash asking me about how i do this. well, it is remarkably simply. this is for a forward pattern full manual valve body modification. if you want a reverse pattern valve body you are better off buying an aftermarket kit. reverse pattern requires some bridgeport machining and cross tubes installed into the casting of the valve body and it just isn’t worth the hassle for the cost savings.

First off, if you have been reading along you have read into how i design the 1st/reverse only. well for full manual, rather than plug one side of the ports leading to the governor we are going to plug both channels to the rear of the valve body that both supply and return oil to the valve body. again i use set screws but some builders also use check balls stacked in place with a small punch. 400v-body-7400v-body6 we are than going to bridge the supply and return oil within the valve body. show here in these pisctures is where the modification needs to take place. the pick is pointing to the supply line to the governor, just above it in the same passage is the return oil line from the governor to the 1-2 and 2-3 shift valves. drill a hole right there. i use a cut off wheel in the groove. basically any way to cut the casting just above the pick in the groove to bridge oil directly to the shift valves. so whenever the car is running, there is full psi holding both shift valves open.

This maked D range or drive full time 3rd gear. you then manually pull it back to low 2 to force downshift to full time 2nd gear. However if you pull to low 1 you will not get low 1 you will still have low 2 due to that little design gm put in there from the factory, so you must also do you hold 1st gear modification to the spool valve for the 1-2 shift as i described in a previous blog. you will now have full manual operation.

now although it is not necessary critical, it is a good idea to modify your boost valve to have consistant psi in all gears, and obviously you don’t need a  modulator valve any longer. you basically have a full manual valve body transmission. now for street or drag racing full manual, i omit the center seal out of the direct drum block the reverse port for added apply psi at the 3rd gear shift. i also block the port on the 3rd gear accumulator as well for the same reason. this creates a hesitation on the reverse shift though so for derby application leave the direct drum seal set up stock to prevent the hesitation.

Billet Derby Tail Housing Project

S3700067 When i built the original warlord, one of the biggest problems i had with it is that officials with several different promotions claimed the tail housing was illegal, with claim “it wasn’t made of stock material”. so, my machinist Bob and i decided on billet aluminum and a short shaft design. at the very least i could use the housing on my buddy’s drag car! although it doesn’t have the advantage of steel in that you have the option of welding braces to it, it has easy machining capability, lightweight, and damn near as strong as a steel counterpart, at equal or less cost.

SinceS3700062 i did a longshaft last time, i went with a 4″ short shaft so it would fit into the newer body style cars easier. the 6 bolts were allen headed and went all the way through and there was a full inch of aluminum to drill and tap as you please for custom bracing. at one time i even had it fitted to the mauler brace i built for display purposes. but like most everything else even though i tried to build around the rules…..they changed the rules…..therefore abandoning the project and all components were disposed of. neat concept, kind of like the olds Hemi motor. with the billet roller bearing tail housings already on the aftermarket, there is really no point in having this piece other than bracing for extreme abuse like demo derby.