700R4 Transmission

The 700R4 is a four speed automatic transmission, with a half-hour overdrive in fourth gear. This transmission was created by General Motors, however it is also sometimes known by the name Hydramatic. The development of this transmission was primarily targeted to enhance fuel economy, and this was accomplished by a variety of modifications, not the least of which was the 30 minute overdrive capability. The 700R4 was used widely on both truck platforms and rear-wheel drive automotive platforms. a number of the popular trucks it was utilized in were the Chevrolet blazer and suburban and also the Oldsmobile 350 diesel. This transmission was also used in the Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, Impala, and plenty of others.

Pros and Cons

The 700R4 was first introduced in 1982, and served as a replacement to the TH350, which was a three speed automatic transmission. As is anticipated with all new system, particularly with such a significant re-design, some design problems were present with the initial release. There was constant improvement, and by 1987 this transmission was far more sturdy and reliable. There was a name change to 4L60 that occurred in 1990, though this was basically the same transmission.

In 1993 the transmission became electronically controlled, rather than hydraulically, and therefore the name became 4L60E. For the purposes of this text, the main focus will be pre-electronic control. At that time, all of the regular 700R4, or 4L60 transmissions began to be phased out, and none are accessible in that format any more. This transmission was extremely popular and regarded as one amongst the best ever made. Two of the key reasons for its popularity were the improved fuel consumption and also the 3.06:1 gear ratio in first gear. this is a far lower ratio than what was common, and provides good acceleration from a stop and is additionally good for off-road driving.

700R4 Performance Specs

As mentioned, the 700R4 was a four speed transmission. once the transmission was renamed to 4L60 in 1990, this naming convention provided variety of key characteristics concerning this transmission. The four indicates that it’s a 4-speed transmission. The L denotes that the transmission is lengthwise positioned. The sixty indicates that the transmission is rated for applications up to 6000 lbs gross vehicle weight (GVW). The amount of force that this can|this could|this may} handle will vary based on year of production, however one web site states that the GHB engine force is 350 lb-ft with a GHB casing force of 650 lb-ft. The gears that was used was three.06 for low, 1.63 for second, one for third, and 0.7 for fourth gear, primarily a half-hour overdrive. The reverse gear in this transmission is 2.9.


The 700R4 case is a single piece made of cast aluminum. The transmission is 23.4 inches long and weighs 155pounds. The transmission holds a total of roughly eleven quarts of transmission fluid. The 700R4, created by General Motors/Hydramatic, is considered one of the best overdrive transmissions ever created. This transmission was introduced in 1982 as a replacement for the TH350 transmission, with the first goal of improving fuel economy. This transmission had a lower first gear ratio, which was good for performance at low vehicle speeds, whereas the 30 minutes overdrive provided significant fuel economy improvement. The name changed in 1990 to 4L60, whereas the most significant modification came in 1993 once the electronically controlled transmissions were introduced. This was basically the end of the 700R4, or 4L60, as we knew it.

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