You may have taken the route of providing more horsepower to see that the car accelerates better. The 4L60E is an electronically controlled four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. As an electronic version, this transmission may be a bit expensive to retrofit into an older car, but this version is easier to manipulate compared to dealing with TV cables and mechanical governors.
On the other hand, the right performance parts can make the Chevy 4L60E trans a solid street overdrive automatic. Rebuilding the 4L60E can significantly improve its performance and this upgrade can be carried out using modern parts. Accordingly, the performance upgrades that can be implemented to modernize the 4L60E transmission include:.
For starters, a pump that is underperforming can lead to low line pressure which can cause further problems. This is because automatic transmissions apply clutches and servos with the help of hydraulic pressure.
Hydraulic pressure is also essential for any performance-built automatic. But how do you begin? Disassemble the unit and clean it before checking the clearances of the front pump.
An elevated pressure regulator spring and boost valve may also help to improve the performance of the transmission.
A simple shift valve modification can bring about an improvement in durability, which is useful in performance driving.
Larger Second and Fourth gear servos can help to increase the piston apply area. The Second gear kit can offer as much as 18 percent more apply area compared to the OE Corvette servo. As such, it could lead to a reduction in band slippage during upshifts and at the same time increase hold pressure.
It can also offer better and shifts. Car rebuilders have noted time and again that a tight clutch pack clearance 0. This drag may occur in cases where the clutches are not applied in the first and second gears. What happens here is the drum spins but insufficient clearance can cause the clutches to glaze and fail prematurely.
Accordingly, a better approach is to set the clutch clearance dry at 0. These springs help the clutches to release fully. And for more increased stability, rear stator support, and wider sun gear bushings can also be used.
A wider reverse-input drum band that is used with a new drum instead of an old one can also be beneficial. A new reverse-input drum is useful to ensure that the band does not fail quickly. Clutches may be susceptible to certain problems and notable among this is an excessive backing plate flex once the clutches are applied.
On the other hand, an Ultimate Smart-Tech housing can be used with a stronger input shaft to increase the housing depth with a 0.If you are ready to take the transmission out and do the whole thing only once, the parts we typically recommend consist of the following:.
If you are only interested in tackling what can be done with the transmission still in the vehicle, you can still accomplish quite a bit with the following items:. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at salesdesk optsales.
ATSG is the leading manufacturer of technical rebuild manuals for automatic transmissions.
PerformaBuilt Shows How They Upgrade a 4L60E Transmission
Their manuals are excellent resources for DIY-ers and professional shops alike. If you are planning to rebuild your transmission on your own and do not already have a good resource manual, we highly recommend this product from ATSG. We offer two versions of a 4L60E rebuild kit: a standard better-than-stock package, or the high performance rebuild kit. Please note you will need to select your year from the drop down menu. If your year is and newer, the kit will include the molded piston kit as well so it does cost a little more than the others.
The HP kit comes with everything you see in the second photograph above, including Red Raybestos Stage 1 clutches, Kolene steel plates which includes the 8 clutch pack, new filter, a Kevlar band and full bushing kit, as well as a Transtec full gasket set. Either kit will give you terrific performance and noticeable strength.
It also fixes harmonic bounce that wears out pump and valves and causes shuttle shifts. This kit has a new design isolator valve that works perfect in worn bore without requiring special tools or machining. It is probably one of our most popular shift kits.
It puts the driver in command as it will holds 1st, 2nd, 3rd to any speed. This is a strong shift kit that will deliver impressive performance.The Ultimate 4L60E Reaction Shaft Upgrade for Big Power Transmissions
With any 4L60E rebuild we always recommend replacing the stock accumulator pistons as they tend to break often and can ruin your transmission. It is typically always a good idea to change your separator plate at the time of rebuild. The checkballs produce a lot of wear and tear on the plate which can lead to poor shift quality and shorter transmission life.
Depending on your year, we have several different plates available. We always recommend changing your converter at the time of rebuild since you will not want to use the old, contaminated fluid that is in your current converter and circulate that through your brand new ransmission.
Depending on your year however, you may need to provide the 4-letter code from your existing converter. We may also need to know your engine in order to match you with the right replacement.Sure, this is the golden age of horsepower but all that power does little good if the transmission fails to deliver the power to the tires.
We decided the best compromise between old and new for our mild street car called for building an electronically controlled 4L60E four-speed automatic overdrive. For this story, we will concentrate on the electronic version 4L60E. While more expensive to retrofit into an older car, the electronic versions are much simpler to tune compared to messing with TV cables and mechanical governors.
This decision was shaped by the knowledge there are lots of performance upgrade parts from Sonnax and TCI Automotive. This story is not a step-by-step rebuild. Frankly, just rebuilding one of these transmissions is beyond the backyard builder. Once Galante disassembled our Craigslist refugee, we discovered the front pump was scored heavily and the bearing that rides on the back of the stator shaft and on top of the input drum came apart, which created excessive endplay.
The clutches were toasted and a broken downshift spring in the valvebody was among the other maladies. On the plus side, the main wiring connector was not damaged and all the plastic lock tabs on the main interior harness did not break off from excessive heat exposure, which saved us from the cost of a new harness.
Galante says that budget rebuilders replace the pump only if it is bad. But an under-performing pump can cause low line pressure that is the cause of multiple problems because automatics rely on hydraulic pressure to apply clutches and servos. After a complete disassembly and cleaning, Galante started by checking the clearances of our rebuilt front pump—even a slight change from 0.
Sonnax offers an input housing reinforcement kit that prevents the housing from cracking where the input shaft presses in place. There are several potential problem areas associated with the clutches.
A big issue is excessive backing plate flex when the clutches are applied. This drum increases the housing depth with 0. We elected to remain within our budget and go with the Sonnax Input Reinforcement kit instead, which is an improvement over stock.
Galante says that his experience with the 4L60E has taught him that a tight clutch pack clearance results in excessive drag when the clutches are not applied in First and Second gears. In the first two gears, the drum spins but insufficient clearance can cause the clutches to glaze and prematurely fail.
Ready to Modernize Your Chevy 4L60E Trans?
He sets his clutch clearance dry at 0.For example, if you are upgrading your suspension, the wheels and tires had better be able to handle the new g-forces the car will exhibit in the corners. Planning on adding a supercharger, turbo system, or just upping the ante in cubic inches? All of their transmissions are dyno-tested at their production facility and delivered to your door ready to install with a rock-solid warranty with no exceptions for racing or mileage.
On a recent visit, the team was preparing one of their Level 3 Invincible 4L60E units, which is one of their strongest models designed for extreme performance.
Packed with upgrades, it features a bevy of modifications making it capable of handling up to rwhp rear-wheel horsepowerwhich is far more than the capabilities of a stock 4L60E, which is around hp.
We Upgrade a 4L60E Transmission to Handle up to 500 Horsepower
Each unit is methodically re-engineered to overcome many of the inherent factory weaknesses by adding strength and durability. From front to rear, upgrades include a BorgWarner element dual-cage sprag assembly, Sonnax Smart Shell to eliminate the stripping of splines and breakage, a set of Raybestos carbon composite performance clutches with new Raybestos steels, and two Sonnax Super Hold billet servos for Second and Fourth gears for maximum hold to name but a few.
Follow along and check out just what it takes to bring a stock 4L60E to the highest level of performance. With all the high-performance parts laid out on the assembly bench, you get an idea of just what it takes to bring your 4L60E to the next level. Once the transmission core has been thoroughly cleaned, inspected, and painted the build gets started with the installation of the rear ring gear. The original four-pinion rear planetary in the 4L60E right is replaced with an OEM five-pinion rear planetary leftwhich is considerably stronger.
Here you can see the thickness and strength differences between the two. The OEM five-pinion planetary, with a grooved sun gear for improved lubrication, is then set in place. The sun gear is a critical part, which after inspection gets four slots machined into its bottom face. This improves lubrication to the rear planetary gear assembly by allowing the oil to escape from between the bearing and the gear it rests against, protecting the area from failure due to a lack of proper lubrication.
This is followed by the low-reverse clutches and a heavy-duty, low-roller assembly. It corrects a historically weak point of stripping splines and breakage in the transmission with extra strength engineered into the unit as well as being balanced to eliminate any potential for vibration.
Replacing the original four-pinion front planetary set, a new OEM five-pinion unit is prepared for installation. Another problematic OEM area pertains to the input drum that houses the clutches that get damaged under abuse. They add a reinforcement collar along with eight Raybestos carbon composite performance clutches with new Raybestos steels for better drum clearance combined with boosted pressure for quicker and more efficient shifts with more hold once the clutches are engaged.
A billet steel collar pictured is pressed into place to reinforce the weak point where the aluminum drum typically cracks around the steel input shaft. Here you can see the new collar pressed into place. It will effectively take the stress off the aluminum drum and in effect allows the aluminum to act as a bushing instead of a structural component. In building the improved unit, the next performance part installed is a Sonnax input drum reinforcement kit.
Next, the Sonnax billet overrun piston from the input drum reinforcement kit is set in place. This is followed by the clutch return springs and overrun clutches being carefully lowered into place. Another upgrade is the installation of a BorgWarner element dual cage input sprag, which is the strongest available on the market today.
The clutch set is then updated with eight Raybestos carbon composite performance clutches with new Raybestos steels allowing for high-impact durability, heat resistance, and super hold on the shift.
Here you can see the new reverse-input drum and all new clutches to which an ultra-wide carbon composite performance band with reinforced pin area to prevent tear-through will be added.
This band will be able to take the major abuse and heat.These transmissions are tough and built to handle whatever you dish out. It's rated at RWHP We incorporate all the updates and modifications to compensate for the problems and issues they were born with from the factory.
We believe you will not find a better performance transmission anywhere! First, each core transmission is disassembled and carefully inspected. The case and hard parts are cleaned thoroughly and re-inspected for cracks, wear, or other damage before we begin. The case is specially prepared and a coating of and heavy duty, heat resistant, oil based enamel is baked on, creating a hard and durable glossy finish.
The seals in the case are then replaced and assembly begins. The rear planetary assembly and bearings are meticulously inspected, then assembled into the case along with heavy duty reverse friction and steel plates. At this time the center support and sprag one way roller are installed after being inspected for stress cracks and damage. In addition, dual bushings are installed in the rear sun gear to handle the extra weight of the beast sun shell.
Next, the sun gear is inspected and modified to improve lubrication to the rear planetary assembly. This allows oil to escape from between the bearing and the gear it rests against, feeding additional lube to the planetary gears. This is a huge improvement and virtually eliminates one of the most common points of failure for this type of transmission. In fact, contrary to common opinion, the rear planetary assembly in these transmissions is not, in any way, weak by design.
Their failure is almost exclusively due to a lack of lubrication. When you see one of these with a damaged rear planetary, it will almost always be accompanied by the blue-black signs of excessive heat. Next, we re-inspect the front planetary assembles — measuring clearances and making sure everything is within our own rigid specifications before installing it and inserting the output shaft. The front sun gear, like the rear sun gear, is then modified for improved lubrication and installed.
Then the output shaft is set for the proper end-play. We re-inspect the input drum before installing new rubber seals and a neoprene lubrication seal. These forward friction plates have a superior holding capability as well as improved ability to withstand extreme heat; when compared with the OEM friction plates.
Since these friction plates must hold the power of your vehicle in every forward gear, they have to be tough enough for the job. This band has approximately 20 percent more surface area for holding in both second and fourth gears. This stronger band will hold the torque during that tire chirping shift into second at full throttle in your performance machine.
Now we move on to the pump. It is inspected and modified to provide maximum lube to the planetary sets. We install a large boost valve suitable for the application. The vanes in the pump are carefully inspected for wear and replaced as needed. Steel pump rings are installed. The pump bushing is replaced with a Teflon bushing, and notches are made in pump surface to prevent its movement in even the most demanding high RPM or towing situations. This effectively eliminates front seal blow out.
In addition, the front seal is installed with a special adhesive and seal retainer to eliminate any possibility of ever having a problem. Max line pressure to between and PSI; which is dyno verified, of course. The last section is the valve body. For this we use all we have learned over the years. We took the best parts of each, and utilizing our own experience, created a set of modifications that is superior to all the others.
We do not block accumulatorssince the reason they exist is to prevent excessive shock to the transmission and drive train. With our transmissions, you will always have a solid, firm shift that will be linearly progressive.Castagne (4) Scratched 10. Subutai (7) PENTHOUSE PLAYBOY comes back to race at a country level and placed when fresh, leading hope.
CASTAGNE has two placings from five runs this prep and known to be strong late, quinella. PEPPINO racing back from metro track and draws to do no work, place claims. SUBUTAI has shown early speed in races to date, place hope. Red Liberty (6) 1. City of Pearls (7) 14. Misscino (11) ScratchedThis looks like a one act affair. GRUNT resumes after a 29 week spell and placed at only start at long odds at Flemington, standout top pick. RED LIBERTY disappointed when placing as favourite last start at Geelong but known to be strong late and should run fitter for past attempts, needs the breaks.
MISSCINO placed last start at Cranbourne and has three placings from five runs this prep, place best. Onehundred Percent (1) 1. Last Request (7) 4.
LAST REQUEST resumes from a long 44 week spell and winner when on debut at Benalla, could threaten. MAGNORUM coming off a win at only start at Mornington, in with a chance. FUTURIST has won at Bendigo and placed three times this prep, looks threatening. Ransom Money (4) 1. Dangle Lad (2) 4. RANSOM MONEY has three placings from six runs this prep and racing back from metro track, could threaten.
DANGLE LAD 3 from four wins have been in the dry and capable of finising strongly, capable of getting into the money. MORTIFIED won last start at Moe and draws to do no work, place claims. Night's Watch (4) 5. Dodging Bullets (15) 11. Eschiele (13) Trying to find the quinella here with a dominant top pick.
NIGHT'S WATCH chased strongly to win last start at Sandown and won two of six when faced with a good track, leading hope. AERATUS a winner at first outing this prep and has good early speed, not the worst.
DODGING BULLETS has the speed to overcome a very wide draw and in strong form with two wins from seven attempts this campaign, place chance. ESCHIELE on a seven day back-up and goes down in weight, chance to place. Gin Atomic (4) Scratched 8. Royal Disguise (7) 3. Fromparis Withlove (5) 4.
Shamar (10) ScratchedLooks a toss up between the top two selections. GIN ATOMIC last start winner to break maiden at Donald and has won or placed in all races to date, should go well. ROYAL DISGUISE back from nine week let-up and likely to race on the speed, should be thereabouts. FROMPARIS WITHLOVE comes back to race at a country level and rates highly with Stephen Baster aboard, don't dismiss. SHAMAR racing back from the city and won once this prep at Kilmore three runs back, dangerous.
Dam Ready (8) 3.Promotions work on a 'who you know' basisfast paced and dynamic company to work for, recently improved benefits packages available to all levels within IT, plenty of internal or self paced web based learning. Teams took part in a Christmas Jumper Day - along with a bake-off and raffle - for the Staffordshire-based charity.
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