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  #1  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:53 PM
dogma dogma is offline
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Default 4L60E transmission is junk

Cannot believe mine failed at 140k. What a shock and an expensive one at that.

Had a 1993 Caprice, made it to 186k with no sign of engine or transmission trouble. (Other than valve noise from L05 motor). Must have been a better design.

I will never get anything with automatic tranny again. Stick-shift from now on. Clutch wears out but never leaves you stranded like a broken auto.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:14 PM
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The 93 trans is the exact same design, minus the electronic controls. 4L60. You made is 140 000 miles. For most, that would be adequate service, and certainly not junk.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:39 PM
dogma dogma is offline
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That is the point, if life expectancy of tranny is 140k, that is a big problem.

I got a used one for 300, with 80k miles. Plus 500-700 cor the install. *sigh*

This problem is not limited to GM. Seems to affect everything from every age group and price point. Chrysler and Ford/Mazda were a particular disaster. I had a bimmer that lost tranny. Volvo crossover does not make it to 100k, think 5-7k for a new tranny.
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1996 Buick Roadmaster Grand Sport wagon
LT1, Comp Cam, Comp Cams Pro Mag Full Rockers 1.6, custom headers, Bee Hive valve springs, LT4 valve covers, 3.73 Motive gears, Eaton Posi, 2400 stall, Front F-Body sway bar, Rear Hotchkis sway bar, Moog 5552 springs, Monroe HD shocks, 9C1 gear box, Z28 cluster, high-output alternator, 160F Thermostat, Bonnies, PCMForLess 93 Octane tune.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:33 PM
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100 to 150k is a fairly normal life for an automatic. Even when they built real transmissions like the TH400, C6 and 727. That new trans, designed with weight considerations first and everything else somewhere down the list, survive that long is a testament to better alloys.Ford has been the worst offender for decades bu even they usually survive 100k.

Never had a stick make it to 100k without needing clutch, plate, bearing, some such crap.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:13 PM
dogma dogma is offline
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I had a 70s Chrysler with the 3 speed 727, bulletproof. And a Ford truck with the 3 speed C6, equally strong. When Ford moded C6 to have overdrive, they messed it up. They still dont know how to build a reliable and long-lasting auto, including even high end brands.

Somehow I suspect the old 700r4 was more reliable, or same thing but better quality.
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1996 Buick Roadmaster Grand Sport wagon
LT1, Comp Cam, Comp Cams Pro Mag Full Rockers 1.6, custom headers, Bee Hive valve springs, LT4 valve covers, 3.73 Motive gears, Eaton Posi, 2400 stall, Front F-Body sway bar, Rear Hotchkis sway bar, Moog 5552 springs, Monroe HD shocks, 9C1 gear box, Z28 cluster, high-output alternator, 160F Thermostat, Bonnies, PCMForLess 93 Octane tune.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:45 PM
B'klyn9c1 B'klyn9c1 is offline
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Hey Dogma,

If you got 140k miles out of your 4L60e with those mild power bolt ons your should considered yourself very fortunate indeed!!

The 4L60e and it's 700R4 predecessor was always considered a glass jaw of automatic transmissions. It was designed to go behind weak SBC's like the old 305 and the smog motor era 350's of the 70's and 80's . That it why it has that extremely steep first gear to help those weak motors get the car moving. Only since the last ten and fifteens years has the aftermarket has some really good pieces like the Z-Pak, the Alto Reds(steels) and the Beast Sunshell, etc to make the 700R4/4L60e take some serious horsepower and torque.

Mine went out soon after Bryan Herter put in a mild power tuine at one of my club's Mod Days. The 3-4 clutch pack went out, a common occurance with these transmissions.

So count your blessings
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:20 PM
dogma dogma is offline
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Makes sense. I suspected that the bolt-ons accelerated its demise.
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1996 Buick Roadmaster Grand Sport wagon
LT1, Comp Cam, Comp Cams Pro Mag Full Rockers 1.6, custom headers, Bee Hive valve springs, LT4 valve covers, 3.73 Motive gears, Eaton Posi, 2400 stall, Front F-Body sway bar, Rear Hotchkis sway bar, Moog 5552 springs, Monroe HD shocks, 9C1 gear box, Z28 cluster, high-output alternator, 160F Thermostat, Bonnies, PCMForLess 93 Octane tune.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:48 PM
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140k is pretty good. MOST people don't even keep their car that long. They don't take care of it so its junk by then.

To save cash, I still want to attempt to rebuild a 700r4/4L60E home garage style. I have taken apart transmissions before, It seems to be pretty straight forward as long as you only open and service ONE sub assembly at a time and lay out and label everything in the order it came apart. I honestly think the biggest PITA is the removal and install. $1500-2k is crazy for a rebuild. The 700R4 or 4l60, went out in the wagon at only 70k years ago with a L03 in front of it. $1800. One problem with the TV cable transmissions was that the cable gets old and worn out over time. Even a proper adjustment still makes its opperation not right. Years ago I changed it on the wagon and it shifts much better! The old cable was some what corroded.

The key to long transmission life is fluid and filter changes if equipped. I got in the schedule of changing fluid when when it still looks perfect and has 20-30k on it. Fluid is cheap!

The newer FWD cars seem to have premature transmission problems as the manufacture recommends fluid changes at long intervals. That and the transmission does not get as much wind to keep the pan cooler as it did in a RWD platform, nevermind lacking a good transmission cooler. I think the transmissions in FWD platforms overall run hotter, especially how the whole car is closed off for aerodynamics these days. Close off the air, make them run hotter for cleaner emissions. At the dealer, It was common to replace transmissions on FWD cars with LOW miles. Well, engines too . Yota QC, #1
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Last edited by ghetto wagon; 11-25-2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:22 PM
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Google Volkswagon automatic problems and you will see how bad things can get...
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:18 PM
cadillac kevin cadillac kevin is offline
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140k is not bad for a 4L60E especially behind a modded motor.

As for automatics in general not being reliable, the one in my dads E350SD work van made it to 262k miles- and that was behind the 7.3 TD (engine seized at 262k so van was junked) hauling about an extra 1k lbs day in and out.
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