4L60E vs. R4 Transmission
From a visual standpoint, the R4 has a case connector on the driver side of the unit for lockup along with a governor cover. These units feature a hookup to a TV cable on the passenger side, which controls the transmission. R4 transmissions were produced from Early R4 transmissions had mechanical speedometer gears versus the later VSS. Between and , the R4 had a 27 spline input shaft. From this was replaced by a 30 spline input shaft.
A 4L60E has a case connector on the passenger side of the vehicle where the wiring harness will hookup. This connector is located next to the servo cover. As opposed to the R4, there is no governor cover. The 4L60E 1 piece case was produced between and These units were the same shape as the R4 but were controlled by a computer. The 1 piece case and R4 both feature a 4 bolt pattern on the rear.
From the year and up, 4L60E transmissions had a 2 piece case with a removable bellhousing and a 6 bolt pattern on the rear. Starting in , LS engines had a 4L65E, indicated by having a top bolt hole at the 12 o'clock position. Units produced in and later are 4L70E's indicated by a 15 pin connector versus the old 13 pin connector.
The transmissions produced in and are interchangeable for any 4L60E 1 pc cases. transmissions, however, are vehicle specific because the OHMs have different readings.
GM THR4 / 4L60 & Early 4LE Automatic Transmission
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The Novak Guide to the
The THR4 is an automatic shift, four-speed overdrive, longitudinally positioned transmission. It is now considered to be one of the finest overdrive automatic transmissions ever produced.
The Turbo was introduced in as a response to fuel economy pressures, and to be phased in as the replacement for the TH The transmission was available for both car (RWD) and truck platforms. The transmission's principal new feature was its 30% overdrive. It also sported a lower-than-usual first gear, popular for off-the-line acceleration as well as off-road torque.
There were some initial bugs in the earlier versions. A feather in GM / Hydramatic's cap was the fact that they stuck with the R and followed through with improvements and upgrades. and newer transmissions are considered to be refined and very reliable, as indicated by their OEM installations against performance V8s in sports cars and trucks. Earlier transmissions are affordably given all these upgrades to put them at the same high level of durable service and performance. Aftermarket building techniques and parts upgrades make this transmission very capable of Big Block power in race, street and off-road applications.
In , the R4 was redesignated as the 4L60 (4-speeds, Longitudinally positioned, 6000 lbs. GVW). This was a change in name only with no significant mechanical changes associated.
The R4 and Mileage Benefits
A good part of GM's reasoning in developing the R was to allow more of their vehicles to meet ever stricter mileage and emissions requirements. It was an effective strategy.
By converting to the R, your Jeep may realize significant mileage benefits as well. It is not uncommon for swappers of this transmission to see a 30% drop in fuel consumption if the Jeep sees highway use.
Additionally, the transmission features a lock-up torque converter to allow a direct, non-slip connection through the transmission. This has the benefit of further fuel savings and cooler transmission operating temperatures. However, it is crucial that this lockup mechanism be properly connected to the ECM and brake lamp circuit. Stand-alone computers are available on the aftermarket for its control. Some control units even allow for the lockup to occur at a given speed. Lock-up converters in automatic transmissions give the advantage of direct engine lockup through the otherwise fluid-coupled transmission. This function works either by the ECM or a vacuum switch. Earlier versions without ECM use a vacuum switch connected to ported vacuum. The transmission receives the signal and applies fluid pressure to the clutches in the lock-up converter. The system switches off due to a signal from the brake pedal.
If you run the transmission with the converter unlocked all the time it will run a little hotter. Keeping it cool is important. The advantage of this lock-up converter is increased fuel economy and decreased heat at cruising speeds.
If you would like to simplify the stock setups, torque converter controls are available through racing supply retailers in a variety of styles. These facilitate the proper installation of the TH and R4. The on-road advantages are obvious. For the off-roader, the ability to manually switch the torque converter on is excellent in that it allows for compression braking.
In , an important change did occur and that was the conversion of the hydraulic logic shifting system over to an electronic one. Mechanically, the transmission's power transmitting core remained the same, but the valve body and actuation system for the clutches, bands, etc. became controlled by electronic actuators and solenoids. A Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) was used as the primary feedback sensor, which fed the PCM or ECM (vehicle powertrain computer) the data to make shift decisions. The engineering of this system is not regarded as a complication, but an elegant simplification and further improvement to this transmission. This version is called the 4LE (or Early 4LE for our purposes).
In , the 4LE began to be released having received a redesigned case. This is the Later 4LE, discussed here.
The transmission has a main case of cast aluminum alloy with a length of /8" long. It is distinguished from the TH and TH in that it has a square oil pan, lacking the distinctive cut-off corner of the TH and the "Texas" shaped oil pan under the TH
Versions of the transmission prior to had a 27 spline input shaft, changing later for a 30 spline input shaft. The transmission typically has a 1/4" pipe fittings on the passenger side for a cooling circuit. Later versions use a pinned flare and o-ring design for these fluid circuits.
The key distinction of the R4 / 4L60 / Early 4LE (from the Later 4LE) is the four bolt rear output or tailhousing / adapter pattern. The Later 4LE has a six bolt "hex" rear bolt pattern and a removable bellhousing.
There are three main castings of the R case. One is the standard car version. Another is cast slightly thicker, designated as the "K" case, as purposed for many trucks. The occurance of case breakage is very uncommon and most individuals swapping the R-4 into a Jeep probably will not be benefitted by one over the other. A third, rarer version was the "60 degree" version, as discussed below.
Two-wheel-drive versions have a tailhousing and typically a longer output shaft. Four-wheel-drive versions have various adapter assemblies and a shorter output shaft. If the tailhousing is removed, electronic versions can be distinguished by the absence of a worm drive.
Transfer Case Adaptability
This transmission makes an excellent conversion transmission due to its adaptability into most Jeeps. Both 2wd and 4wd versions of the R can be used equally well, and there are no inherent advantages to either one once you have installed our adapter assembly.
2wd transmissions feature conical shaped tailhousings and an output yoke, which are replaced with a typically shorter 4wd style output shaft (most often included with our adapter assemblies) of varying lengths and spline counts, depending on the application. The HydraMatic can be adapted to the popular Jeep (and many IH) transfer cases, including the:
The R-4 or 4L60 as adapted to a Jeep transfer case.
Essentially all factory GM 4wd applications available with an OEM configured R have adapters and transfer cases that are prohibitively long for a Jeep, and transfer cases whose sizes, strength and gearing fall short of desirable for most Jeep applications. R transmissions that are mated to the Chevy NP (C) transfer case use an adapter with a different bolt pattern and spline count than the Jeep NP (J).
Engine Compatibility and Adaptability
The front face TH is natively compatible with either the Chevrolet 90 degree “Small Block” & “Big Block” patterned engines (image, left), including the V6, V8, I6 & Iron Duke I4. Another version, the GM 60 degree pattern version, can be mated to 60 degree style engines, such as those in the , , and other engine families. These transmissions are fairly rare as they were only produced for a few years in the Chevy S10 and Camaro with the L V6, prior to GM's upgrade to the L V6.
These differences only affect the front bell of the case, and all Turbo cases are similar from that point back.
A turn-key R-4, professionally built, OEM style or adapted and delivered to your door - ready for a variety of engines and Jeep transfer cases. Read more
The R-4 can be made compatible with AMC I6 & V8 engines. See ourKit #AMC for details. This conversion can help make for an improved Jeep powertrain.
Novak does carry a full line of parts for the R transmission, including OEM grade and upgrade components for individuals working on their transmissions. If interested, we welcome you to contact us.
GM's commitment to the R4 is apparent in its strength, quality and broad usability. It is hands-down one of the most respectable transmissions of our era, and a very compelling Jeep conversion transmission. The R is a very attractive swap option for all Jeeps, with the exception of the CJ5 and other short wheelbased Jeeps - due to powertrain length and driveshaft angle issues. Adaptability to nearly all Jeeps is exceptional.
So you are looking for information and specifications of the r4 transmission?
The r4 transmission is a widespread transmission on GM/Chevy cars, used in millions of cars for decades.
In this article, you will find everything you have to know about the r4 transmission. We will begin with the specifications of this transmission.
r4 Transmission Specifications
So what is exactly a r4 transmission? Well. The r4 Transmission came in the year The r4 and the R4 transmission replaced the TH transmission in that year. The TH was a 3 geared transmission without the last overdrive gear. The r4 was a big upgrade with an additional gear (Overdrive), the 1st and 2nd gear became longer, and the transmission case itself became a bit longer.
You usually find the r4 transmission in GM cars like the Chevy Blazer, Suburban, Camaro, Corvette, Impala, and even in Oldsmobile Cars with a lot more. To mention all cars, this transmission was fitted in; the list would be very long.
A lot of people like the r4 because of its excellent durability. It is also effortless to find replacement parts for this transmission. The r4 transmission was not electronically controlled yet; it was hydraulic pressure controlled with a TV cable, which acted as a throttle position sensor to control the gear shifting. In ~ the r4 transmission was replaced by the popular transmission 4L
The transmission then became electronically controlled instead of the TV cable, with some other changes that I will go through further down in the article.
In summary, the r4 transmission was a 4-geared hydraulic automatic transmission with the 4th gear, an overdrive gear (30% increase). The transmission was made between It had a case length of ″~ and a weight of lbs~ without fluid inside it.
The recommended transmission fluid is Dextron VI, with a capacity of 11 Quarts. The transmission case had 16 bolts and a transfer case of aluminum. The transmission is pretty reliable and can handle torque up to around nm~; remember that there are only reported numbers, and it can differ a bit.
RELATED: 4L60E vs 4L80E Differences: Swap & Information
A lot of you reported that you wondered what the differences are between a k-case and the typical case for the r4 transmission.
The name “K-case” came because the transmission case was stamped with a “K”. The K-case r4 transmission had a thicker transfer case and was stronger because it was made for the heavier 4×4 trucks. You would find these in the ’s trucks, and this transmission was very coveted because of the strength of the 4×4 offroad-community.
How To Identify a r4 Transmission?
Most of the GM automatic transmission looks almost identical and is difficult to identify for an untrained eye.
However, there are some ways to determine if you have a r, r4, TH, or a 4L60 transmission.
1. Transfer Case Gasket Bolt Pattern
The easiest way to identify if you have a r4 is to raise your car and check the bolts around the transfer case. The r4 and the 4L60 transmission uses a bolt pattern of 16 bolts, so if the transmission looks like one of the pictures above and you can see 16 bolts, you most likely have a r4 or a 4L60 transmission. So how can you know which one of these you have?
Well, the r4 uses a TV cable as the speedometer, and the 4L60 is an electronically controlled transmission, so if you see wires coming to the transmission on the rear of the transmission on the passenger side, you have a 4L
2. Identification Tag
The safest way of checking your transmission is to look at the identification tag on the transmission. You will find it on the rear side of the transmission on the passenger side. It can be pretty tough to see on older cars, so you may have to clean up your transmission to find it.
If you can see it correctly, you will find an identification number of letters and numbers.
The 1st number is the year model of the transmission. For example, if the number is 0, the transmission is from But it’s not that easy, because the transmission was made in the s also. So you have to check the next letters too.
The next 2 or 3 letters identify the model of the transmission. These numbers tell us the application, engine size, wiring type, and solenoids.
If you find 2 letters, the transmission is made between
If you find 3 letters, the transmission is made between
The last way to identify if it’s a 4L60 or a r4 is to look at the rear of the transmission for the Aux TV Cable or wirings, as discussed before.
Wirings = 4L60
Aux TV Cable = r4
The last numbers and letters indicate the manufacturer date, rebuild date, manufacturing place, and serial number.
This is everything you should need to identify your transmission correctly. If you still have questions about it, you are welcome to comment in the comment section at the bottom of your article and ask your questions.
r4 Troubleshooting Guide
Even if the r4 transmission is pretty durable and reliable, they do sometimes fail. We have to remember that these transmissions are old and old things do fail sometimes. I work as a diagnostic technician, and I’m solving problems with cars all day long.
Here I will give some common symptoms of the r4 transmission and add a short line underneath it to explain where you should start looking.
1. Torque Converter won’t lock and slipping
When your r4 transmission is slipping or won’t lock, it’s most likely a problem with the converter inside the transmission. However, the first thing you should always do when your transmission is slipping is to replace the transmission fluid and flush it. So the first thing I would recommend is to check the transmission fluid level.
r4 Transmission Fluid Level Checking
Let the transmission fluid become hot and let your car idle at position park while checking the dipstick. If the fluid level is low, try to fill it up to see if it solves the problem.
If you find out that the transmission fluid looks dark red, brown, or even black, it’s time to replace it and flush your transmission. However, if the transmission fluid seems good and the converter is slipping, I still recommend that you replace the fluid and do a transmission flush.
There could be a problem with the converter itself, which may need a replacement. Other causes could be due to the TV cable’s adjustment, which I will discuss further down.
2. Revs up but won’t move
If your car revs up, but it will barely move, you should start by checking the transmission fluid, as discussed before. Check the level and the color of the transmission fluid.
Red = Okay
Brown = Worn out
Black = Burned
If the fluid seems okay, it’s time to check your TV cable’s adjustment between the transmission and the throttle body. I have included a movie to simplify the procedure of the TV cable adjustment. You should also make sure that the switch on the brake panel is working properly.
r4 TV/Aux Cable Adjustment
3. The speedometer is not working properly
If your speedometer is not working, there are two different variants you have to know about before starting the troubleshooting. There are both mechanical and electronic controlled speedometers on the r4 transmissions. First, you have to check if you have a mechanical or electronic speedometer.
If you raise the car and take a look at the area around the rear of the transmission, if the cable coming out of it is pretty thick with a big circle that screws into it, you have a mechanical speedometer. If you find a speedometer sensor, you have an electronic speedometer.
If you have a mechanical speedometer – Check if you can see any problems with the speedometer wire, replace it if you can see any signs of wear or other damage. These wires can jump out from the dashboard cluster sometimes, so make sure it’s installed correctly.
If you have an electronic speedometer – Check the wirings between the cluster/control unit and the transmission and make sure there is no corrosion inside the connector. If the wires are okay, it’s time to replace the sensor on the transmission. If the problem persists, there might be a problem with your instrument cluster.
4. Vibrations on acceleration
If you feel vibrations while you are accelerating your car, there is most likely a problem with the driveshafts, prop shaft, or torque converter. If you feel vibrations all the time and not only on acceleration, you may have unbalanced tires.
5. Not shifting properly
If your transmission is not shifting correctly, you might want to check the TV cable adjustment, as discussed before. Also, check the transmission fluid level and replace it if it’s worn.
Common r4 transmission Problems
There are some common problems that you should always check first when you are troubleshooting your r4 transmission.
1. The switch at the brake pedal
There is a switch on the brake pedal, which you should check the function to make sure it works correctly. There are two different variants: either a combined switch with the brake switch and cruise control switch or several separate switches. Check the wirings diagram, make sure the switch is working correctly, and get voltage to the switch.
2. Worn out TV cable/adjustment
A worn-out TV cable or a faulty adjustment is another common problem on the r4 transmission. Make sure to adjust the TV cable with the video’s help a bit higher up in this article. If you can see any signs of wear or damage on the TV cable, replace it!
3. Low fluid level/burned fluid
The r4 transmissions sometimes leak, which can cause low transmission fluid levels, so you should always check to make sure they are okay. Some transmission has gone many years without a transmission fluid change, which can cause damage to the transmission. Check the fluid level and replace and flush the transmission fluid if it looks dirty.
4. Faulty Torque Converter
Sometimes the torque converter can fail on the r4 transmission, unfortunately. These are often pretty expensive, and you need some skills to replace these. If you have done everything above and the transmission is still slipping, you might have to replace it. There are some videos on Youtube on how to replace the r4 converter.
r4 Transmissions for Sale
If you have found a severe problem with your r4 transmission, you might want to replace the whole transmission. Because it’s a popular transmission, the transmission parts are pretty cheap, both new and used, and you can find both used and new transmissions for a reasonable price.
However, if you are going to replace parts for your transmission, I always recommend installing new components and never installing used parts if possible. Remember that most of these transmissions are old and start to get worn out, and the price for new parts is not very high.
1. Brand New Transmissions & Parts
If you are looking for just any parts for your r4 transmission or looking for a brand new transmission, I can recommend that you check it out on Amazon if you live in the USA or Europe. There are many new parts there for this transmission, and most of them are pretty high quality.
Check the recent customer reviews of the part to get an idea of the quality of the product. To see the parts, you can go to Amazon by clicking Here or checking the ad down below.
2. Used Parts
If you are looking for used transmissions, you can either find them online, or because they are pretty standard, you can probably find them in any junkyard near you. Remember to check the transmission closely before you make your purchase. Try to get as much information as possible about it, like the mileage, how many transmission fluid replacements were done, etc.
To the untrained eye, nearly all GM automatic transmissions look the same. They are all made out of aluminum (with the exception of the very early Powerglide), they have the same bellhousing bolt patterns, and all have very similar case designs.
There are some things that you can do to make sure that you are properly identifying the R4. Itll look most similar to the R at first glance. If you need to start from scratch, try this old article from Hot Rod.
An early 4L60 is the same as a late R4. They are the exact same transmission. However, the 4L60E is physically similar, but not easily substituted for its earlier counterpart. If you see the term MD8 stamped on the passenger side of the case, right by the bellhousing.
R4 Identification- The Easy Way
The easiest way to identify a R4 underneath of the car is to look at the bolts. If you have a clear view of the transmission count the bolts. Did you count 16? If you did you have found a R4 or a 4L Remember, 4L60 was just another moniker for GM’s popular overdrive.
You want to make sure that you don’t have a 4L60E on your hands though. In most cases if someone has told you that you are looking at a R4 and you count 16 bolts you can be reasonably sure that you have found what you were looking for. But to be sure check to see if the long “TV-Cable” is attached to the Transmission. If there is none look at the tail shaft.
If the speedometer cable is mechanical than you have a R4. If it has wiring coming from it you are looking at a 4L60E. Sometimes when people dont really know what they are looking for, they will search for MD8 transmission. MD8 is stamped on the passenger side of most R4 cases.
R4 Identification- With the Identification Tag:
Lets say that you have found a transmission at a swap meet, on Craigslist, or at the salvage yard. Many people want to know exactly what year the transmission came from, and what vehicle it was in.
The first digit of the Identification Tag will be the model number. It is not intuitive. The first units were for the model year. So you would expect the first model year ID number to be either 2(for 82) or 1, right? It’s not. It starts with a 9 and then jumps to 3.
The model years are as follows:
- The second group of digits is the Model indicator. Its two letters.
- After the model the next area of the tag is the transmission type. It is one letter. In this case M is letter code for R4. are missing this entirely. Try using the method above to figure it out.
- The fourth area is the plant that the transmission was manufactured in. It is one letter.
- The fifth line in the code is the serial number of the transmission. If the serial number is ground off its likely that it was rebuilt by GM at some point.
- The sixth line is the date of manufacture.
- The seventh line is the shift in which the R4 was built.
There was a R4 with a thicker case built for 44 trucks. It is known as the K case version because of the rather large K stamped on the bellhousing area. This is certainly the easiest way to identify it. It was made exclusively for four wheel drive vehicles. They are commonly found on on 80s 44 pickup trucks. They are very desirable in the off road community. This forum has good info on K cases.
As a footnote here, if you are going to buy a rebuilt unit from a reputable transmission shop, or an aftermarket supplier such as TCI it really should not matter what year it originally came from, as it will be totally gutted and rebuilt with the much stronger components. You should be able to find a reasonable one for around $ that should handle at least horsepower. It would certainly be in your best interest to ask what components were replaced. Many people feel that the input drum is the point of weakness for the R4.
If you feel like you could improve this post in any way, please feel free to comment.
You may also find these articles useful:
R4 Transmission Troubleshooting
r4 vs 4l60e differences
R4 General Information
Identification 700r4 vs 4l60e
If you find 2 letters, The transmission is made between If you find 3 letters, the transmission is made between The last way to identify if it's a 4L60 or a r4 is to look at the rear of the transmission for the Aux TV Cable or wirings as discussed before.
Click to see full answer
Then, how can I tell if I have a r4 or 4l60e?
You can't tell the difference between a R4 and a 4L60E by the oil pan as they are nearly the same. If the transmission has a large pin electronic connector above the passenger side pan rail, it's a 4L60E, as seen here. If it has a cable connection near the cooler lines on the passenger's side, that's a R4.
Beside above, what years did Chevy use the r4 transmission? The four-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic R4 was introduced for the model year for use in Chevrolet/GMC vehicles. In , the Turbo Hydra-Matic R4 was renamed the 4L
Similarly, you may ask, how do I identify my GM transmission?
Automatic transmission on a Chevy can be identified in one of two ways: You can look at the size of the pan on the transmission or you can search for the identification number that has been stamped somewhere on the casing. To undertake either method will require you to look under the vehicle.
Will a r4 work without a computer?
Yes, the computer has no control over the transmission. It will shift just fine without a computer.
The R4 and 4L60E transmission are not siblings. It is better to think of them as the continuation of the same design. From the early eighties until quite recently it has been in service in GM passenger vehicles and light trucks. Throughout that whole period, they have constantly improved.
When the 4L60E made it into production, it went to electronic control. This makes these transmissions incompatible with one another when looking to replace your transmission. There are solutions to get around this, but they arent very cost effective. Remember this, the biggest difference between these transmissions is computer control.
Here is the complete evolution of this transmission design through many names.
R4 This is the original design that made its debut in
4L Same transmission as the R4. Its still not computer controlled, but it is more desirable. This is due to the fact that it is newer and all the bugs were worked out.
4L60E- The 4L60E was almost identical to the R4 at first, but gradually began to look different as improvements were made.
4L65E Many Upgrades were made for reliability and power handling. If you want to know more about what they were, just click the article. Its short.
4L70E Even more improvements over the 4L65E.
Both transmissions use the same exact gear ratios with a final overdrive of , which is a 30% overdrive. This makes either of them a fantastic replacement for the TH and TH transmissions.
r4 and 4L60E Gear Ratios:
R4 and 4L60E Differences
The biggest difference between these two transmissions is going to be the way that they are controlled. They identical in terms of length and where they bolt to the crossmember. The problem is that the R4 is controlled by the TV cable, which is basically just a basic throttle position sensor. The 4L60E, on the other hand, is controlled by computer. If you bolt it to a vehicle that is not computer controlled, it wont know when to shift.
While they are physically similar, the 4L60 and 4L60E have many design improvements over the R4. The original 4L60E that GM started using in the early nineties looked exactly like the R4. They both used a one piece case. The 4L60E eventually adopted a two piece case. This let GM add different bellhousings to it easily, creating a more adaptable transmission.
It is possible to confuse an early 4L60E with a R4, since they use the same transmission pan and are virtually identical on the outside. By though, GM began moving to the two piece case that they use for their transmissions to this day. So realistically, if you are looking to tell if its a 4L60E or R4 itll only be difficult for the extremely early ones. There are two in depth articles on this site that can help you identify these transmissions down to the year.
Here they are:
If the only thing you are looking for is to tell them apart, use the info below. There are two primary ways of telling them apart:
- RPO Codes The R4 will be stamped with the code MD8, while the 4L60E will have the code M30 on it. If the transmission is still in the vehicle, check for the code label and youll find the stamp on there to tell you what transmission is actually in the car. Youll just look for one of these two codes on it.
- Plug The 4L60E will have this nice and large plug for the vehicles wiring harness above it. This makes it nice and easy to identify. If it doesnt have it, than its not a computer controlled transmission. Be aware that other GM transmissions use this plug. Thats why its good to use the RPO code too.
4L60E vs R4 Length
Both transmissions are 27 3/4 long overall, and both mount to the crossmember in the same location. This makes swapping them for one another physically no problem at all. Since they are the same length, you can even reuse the driveshaft. You should still try and find the transmission that was originally intended for your vehicle, since some are made to handle more power or different engines. Of course you could just go aftermarket and not have to worry about that at all.
When swapping one of these transmission for each other, far and away the most difficult obstacle that you are going to face is how the transmission itself is controlled. With that in mind, from a cost perspective the R4 is cheaper to put in place of the 4L60E than vice versa. Theres a lot of good info about it in the LS swap transmission guide.
Really, its better if you have a motor that already has a 4L60E to keep it, or vice versa. The only time that it might be worth doing is when you are doing a motor swap, and the transmission is still in the car. Youll need adapters to make any of this work. For more see the LS swap guide.
R4 to 4L60E Swap
Swapping a R4 out for a 4L60E is going to require an independent transmission control unit. They cost a couple hundred bucks. You than program some information about your vehicle into the unit, add a throttle position sensor, and you are off to the races with your 4L60E.
4L60E to R4 Swaping
Putting a R4 behind an LS series motor is a popular swap option. Youll find that you need to find a bracket to bolt the tv cable to. Some people put it on the gas pedal. There are some aftermarket kits available depending on the vehicle. After that the ECM will need to be tuned to not care about the transmission, or Ive heard there can be stalling issues. If you are going to put a R4 where an LS engine was, youll need to buy a spacer so that the torque converter will engage properly.
R4 versus 4L60E strength
These transmissions had a 25 year production life between the two of them. As far as which one is stronger from the factory, the 4L60E is stronger. They improved as time went on. So, its better to get a later 4L60E than an early one. The same holds true for the R4. Examples from the early nineties are much stronger than ones from the 80s. If you end up buying either one from the aftermarket, it wont matter at all. They will be plenty strong. All of the kinks have been worked out for quite some time.
The naming of these transmission causes quite a bit of the confusion people have with these transmissions. A lot of people are confused by the 4L60 name. The 4L60 is the R4, just a later model. GM switched the transmission naming nomenclature to a more standardized format during the R4s life.
So the 4L60 means:
- 4 forward gears
- Longitudinal drive (rear wheel)
- 60 is a representation of the torque its supposed to handle
The E in 4L60E is for electronic, which signifies the transmissions need to speak with a computer to work.
You may also like:
4L60E VS 4L80E Differences
4L60E Transmission Problems
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