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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, hoping I could get a bit of insight into my auto trans.

A couple months ago, I installed a rebuilt 4L60E in my car, and it drove, and technically still does, very well. Very happy with the transmission, minus the fact that it appears that I cracked my transmission case on at the thread bosses for the transmission cooler lines. So, I finally went a head and tried to get a hold of a transmission place to see how much I would be looking at for a repair, or worst case scenario, transferring it all into a new case. Well, it seems that I am having a bit of trouble getting this shop to get back to me. I am a bit disappointed, because I hear that their work is very good and they come highly recommended. With the lack of communication, I have started thinking about transferring everything myself.

Now, I know that transmissions are usually best left to the experts, but I am the kind of person to try things myself when I can. I do have some familiarity with the internals of a 700R4. I tore one apart a few years, but got in over my head when I went ahead and disassembled it to the point of it being fully exploded. Now, I seem to remember that the clutch packs on a 700R4 came out like modules, and that I would need to remove a snap ring to fully disassemble them. If I were to keep them as units, and kept track of the valve body, check balls, and the bands, how likely would it be to get the internals transferred into a new case?

Another question and concern I have is the need for specialty tools. Are there that are needed for this operation, or would standard hand tools be able to tackle this particular task? Also, in a worst case scenario, I figure I would need to do another rebuilt unit. If so, would a cracked case disqualify a transmission from being used as a core?

I appreciate any and all insight into this. I am not an expert by any means, but I am not afraid to do a bit of research and see what is or is not within my abilities. My main thought process is that if I can save a bit of cash by doing this myself, maybe that can be put towards a higher stall TC, or some tuning, or something else fun!
 

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I hope your not thinking of using the 700r4 internal parts in a 4l60e case or the 4l60e parts in a 700r4 case. GM made too many changes in the transmission over the years for mix & match to work.

As an example, the 700r4 master rebuild kit has 3 different variants depending on year of the trans. There's no swapping of parts.

Next, specialized tools are needed to do the work of disassembling & assembling the clutch packs, installing seals, etc. These tools can be made by an imaginative person. I suggest buying the atsg service manuals for the 700r4 & the 4l60e transmission. Also the 700r4 & 4l60e upgrade books.

The atsg manuals have step by step tear down, inspection, & reassembly instructions. Let me warn you that installing the input drum into case is a hellish task for the newbee. It involves getting 3 different parts groups to mate together correctly. This can be a frustrating process. And the drum must install correctly for the oil pump assembly to fit correctly into the case.

It would be helpful to know what year 4l60e trans is, what make, model, year, engine your vehicle is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the input, Coco! The information on the tools, and the process were exactly what I was looking for. In this case, I am thinking that this may be a bit above my hands ability to preform, so I will be seeking out an expert, most likely the shop I originally got this transmission from.

As for the 700R4, I was not hoping to reuse parts. I got rid of that mess years ago, but I know that the evolution of the 4L60E started with the 700, so it gave me a bit of a frame of reference into what I would be getting myself into. If this was something that I was going to do, all my parts would be designed specifically for the 4L60E.

As for the year of the transmission, I am not quite sure. The one that I got with the car didn't appear to be original, and I used that as the core when I picked up the rebuilt one I have now. I do know that they were both single piece bellhousings. I am guessing it is a 95-97, because it was exactly like the unit I removed, and slid right in with minimal effort, and no modification. The vehicle its self is my 97 LT1 Formula I have in the signature.

Once again, thanks for the insight. I think what I am going to do now is call the builder I got my trans from, and start with him, and who HE would recommend if he couldn't or didn't want to accept the work!
 

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While I pointed out the difficulty in rebuilding a 4l60e trans, it's not impossible for a mechanically minded person. The atsg service manual gives you step by step instructions. The placement of the input drum is frustrating but with patience can be done.

You have to know the year of your trans. There's a serial number on trans flange that will tell you what you need to know. Do a google search on 4l60e serial number information.

I say you need to know year of trans because 94 has differences from 95 that make them need to have a pcm of the same year. 96 & 97 are compatible with each other but not older or newer 4l60e.

You should buy the 4l60e update book from atsg. It will show you the changes GM made to trans over the years. And this makes it vital that different year internal parts not be mixed or matched.

If you study the special tool list, you can make many of the tools using galvanized pipe and pieces of scrape. As an example, clutch compressors can be made from the arms of small to medium sized gear pullers. And other scrap parts. An imagination is all it takes and some mechanical ability.

For practice, I recommend finding a broken 700r4 or 4l60e and taking it apart and reassembling.

If you decide not to attempt a rebuild, you can save money, if in your area, there is someone who rebuilds auto transmissions out of their shop at home. I have such a fellow who is retired and will do a trans for about half of what a regular shop will charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will take a look into that. While I am a bit mechanically minded, my hands are not always able to match my thoughts, and execution of the idea ends up much differently than it does in my head. I very well may look into those guides, as they really could help me out with sourcing transmissions for other friends or family members.

My main worry simply comes from an honest assessment of what I am reasonable able to do, and what I am not. With what you described for the input drum needing to mate with three groups made me think of my attempts to learn how to rebuild Quadrajets for my 1977. I bought the recommended, Cliff Ruggles guide. Tried to follow it, and I could understand what I needed to do, and could not get my hands and my brain to work together in sync enough to line up the metering rods, brass tubes, and still connect the choke lever. Drove me crazy, and made me a VERY big fan of EFI!

With that thought in mind, it would be much cheaper for me not to mess it up twice, and simply earn the extra cash to have a professional do it. I did call my original transmission shop, and he gave me a pretty fair quote for what I am asking. I think what I may do this time, do prevent some issues with the cooler lines is to maybe use a AN conversion fitting to make the connection to the line and cooler easier to access, provided I can still keep them protected. The idea would be to have an AN fitting on the transmission that I can tighten properly outside of the car, and then screw in a transmission line to that fitting, to avoid another cracked case. I also plan to run my auxiliary trans cooler as well this time, that way I am as set up as I can be for the next steps I take with this car.

Once again, I appreciate the input! Having a voice who can realistically counter my optimism and confidence with the facts and experience helps me spend the money only 1 time, and build it better the first time!
 
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