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700R4 verses 4L60E

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Sparky87k5, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    When did GM stop using the 700R4 behind 350's and start using the 4L60 trans? How much electronic control does the 700R4 have as compared with the 4L60? Looking at a swap replacing the T350 in an earlier K5? Trying to figure out what my options are in a 4 speed OD trans.
     
  2. sapper

    sapper 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    * The 700R4 was re-named to 4L60 in 1991

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I pulled this from spec page, hope it helps.
     
  3. RATAH

    RATAH 1/2 ton status

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    Keep the 350
    you will never save enought in gas to justify the cost
    i just went from a 700r4 to a 350,
    there is a big difference
    in IMO the 700 steals your power
     
  4. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    in IMO the 700 steals your power

    [/ QUOTE ]

    What did you base your opinion on? You said in a previous post you've gone through 6(?????) 700s in a year- WHY? If I went through two trannies in a year, the tranny shop would be getting an earful from me.

    IMHO, the 700 is a great tranny. Both my trucks are equipped with them. The key to their survival(and this has been said over and over and over) is to keep them cool and clean.

    Sparky, I know that you do lots of towing but I'm not aware of how much offroading you do. As far as towing goes, I wouldn't worry about installing a 700. My 84 has a tired old 305 and 3.73s and I have towed thousands of miles through the Rockies with absolutely no tranny problems. just make sure you install a good quality shift kit and a heavy duty tranny cooler......but you knew that already /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif!!!
     
  5. trailblazer87

    trailblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    The 4L80-E has electronic controlled shifts, the 700R4 just uses an electronically locked torque converter.
     
  6. Sparky87k5

    Sparky87k5 1/2 ton status

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    Actually this swap would be in a friends K5. He bought an 85 body in great condition, and is looking for the right pieces to build the perfect K5. Already has an engine, a 350 300hp crate engine I sold him. Looking to use my D44 front and a FF D60 rear with 4.10's I've been saving for a future project. I thought that the 700R4 would be a good setup for the money and light towing/off road use. Like the idea of a lower 1st gear and also the Overdrive.
     
  7. chrisnjj

    chrisnjj Registered Member

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    Go with the 700. If you get a shop to build it the right way there is no way you can hurt it. I had a 69 chevy with a built 350 and towed with it all I could. I worked next to the tranny shop and he dared me to see if I could hurt it. He put them in all of the plow trucks around here after the stock ones blew up and never saw any problems.
     
  8. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    Canmore K5, A question on towing with a 700 - do you tow in third or OD?

    If I understand correctly the problem with towing in OD is twofold: First the locking and unlocking of the torque convertor creating excess heat in the fluid as it hunts for the right gear under load, on hills, etc, and secondly, the transmission pump also running 30% slower wgile in 4th, also contributing to cooling problems.

    I bought my 700 from a guy who used to use it to pull his sleds out to Vailmont every weekend. He worked in a 4wd shop in Edmonton and rebuilt it yearly himself with the good stuff, including a brazed torque convertor. He finally went to a NV4500 when he started towing a 5th wheel, so I got the 700.

    Now here's the question part:

    The way my trans is wired/plumbed is that the torque convertor only locks up in 4th and doesn't unlock (constant power). It's switched, so if I want to unlock it on a short hill, I can unlock the convertor for a minute or two to keep the revs a little higher to the top of the hill and then lock it back up. With 4.56 gears and 35's highway revs seem high enough to keep the pump happy enough and it has a motorhome-sized tranny cooler on it and a temp sensor in the pan to keep an eye on it.

    That all being said, I can't see towing in OD being a problem, can you? I towed all the way from Edmonton in my '94 pickup in 3rd and I'm planning on getting the Blazer back over Christmas and driving it down, probably with a trailer full of junk I didn't move before. Gas was bad enough in the 94, I don't want to know what it'll cost to drive the Blazer from Alberta to Missouri without that OD, not to mention revs with the 4.56 gears
     
  9. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    First of all, your explanation of why the 700 builds up heat is bang on. It looks like you've done your research, and that's half the battle. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Your setup is a little different than mine. My converter locks up in D and not in OD. I assume your rig has an aftermarket lockup kit....

    I NEVER tow in OD because the tranny shop that rebuilt my 700 7 years ago told me not to do it. I've also seen many older company trucks blow their trannies(700s as well) because green guys would tow in OD. I run a huge cooler but I don't have a tranny gauge so I can't really tell what my temps are. Let's just say that my 700 has survived many a pull up some of the worst passes in North America- I guess I'm doing something right!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    Since your truck is equipped with an ATF temp gauge, I would recommend trying towing in OD and keeping a close eye on your gauge. You'll be able to tell right away if the tranny likes it or not. I agree that 35s and 4.56s will probably help you out a bit.

    Just out of curiousity, how much weight are you planning on pulling behind the K5? The general concensus around here is no more than 5500 lbs, and that's if you are using a weight distribution/anti-sway hitch setup, along with a good quality brake controller. If you need any info on any of those, feel free to PM me, brother.

    One last thing, depending on the route you take up to Edmonton, I may be less than an hour away from you at some time. You had better plan on making a pit stop at my place if that's the case. I promise to have a cold beer in the fridge for you!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. RATAH

    RATAH 1/2 ton status

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    My luck with the 700R4 was very bad,
    i didnt have a tranny shop build it
    but the guy that did supposely worked for
    a tranny shop for 18 yrs and is a friend of my buddies,
    here is my story with the 700R4
    BTW i dont doubt there good if build right,
    i bought the K5 knowing the Tranny leaked fluid
    i was told it was the front seal
    so me being new to this and trannies
    i had a buddy help me pull it the 1st time
    we changed the seal put it back in, it still leaked
    so that when buddy told me about a guy that rented a
    house from him who rebiuld trannies for 18 yrs,
    ( after what i went thru i doubt he did)
    so i meet the guy he told me to pull it and he would
    put a new front bushing in the pump now the 2nd time ive pulled it,
    ok so he fixed the leak but it only lasted 1 1/2 days
    on my way to work it started leaking, i drive 15 miles 1 way to work,
    so i drive it home with it leaking stopped and added fluid along the way and it shifted great all the way,
    have the so called tranny guy look at it,
    he said pull it it the front pump bushing
    so i pull it for the 3 rd time
    he taskes it to the shop he used to work and get me a new
    front pump body ,, now no leaks but i guess on the drive home it burnerd up 3rd and 4gear,
    damn now im fed up, but pull it again for the 4th time
    the guy rebuilds it and it last for about 5weeks,
    now 3rd gear goes out,
    he pulls the valve body and checks it out
    and finds nothing but metal,
    so i pull it again for the 5th time
    and he rebuilds it again
    and it lasted about 1 mile
    i think it might have been the new tourqe conveter
    but i get pissed andgoto as juck yard and but another 700r4
    now 6 times pulling it
    it only lasted about 45days
    so im now running a 350 trans and 205 case,
    and cant be happier,
    im only glad the guy didnt rape me on rebuiling the 700's
    if i had the cash i would have bought a RAPTOR 700R4
    Thats my stroy with the 700's
    i feel like ive been thru hell and back with em, /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  11. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know about an aftermarket lock-up kit and I know next to nothing about the internals except how they look from the underside of the rig, but see if this makes sense:

    If I understand correctly there are ports somewhere in that maze that can be plugged or unpluggedthat will allow/not allow the torque convertor to lock up each gear, or at least 3rd and OD. Lets say both are "on" - it locks up in 3rd and 4th - one plugged and one open - locks up in 3rd or 4th - whichever one is "on". Mine is plumbed so it only locks up in 4th gear. I have a constant 12V power lead that is switched and if I turn it off in OD I unlock the convertor.

    Now this was told to me a long time ago by someone who may or may not know what they're talking about. I'd love someone intimately versed in slushbox internals to explain it better to me (No, not THAT intimately - that's just wrong), because I've always had this question:

    The one thing I dislike most about having an automatic is the lack of compression braking down an incline. IF the transmission could be plumbed to allow the convertor to engage or disengage in every gear and have it wired like I do now, couldn't I have the benefit of compression braking in 1st gear? it could even be streetable - drive it unlocked til you hit 3rd or OD and then flip a switch to lock it up? Could be very unpractical though if you had to remember to unlock every time you slowed down to keep from stalling though.

    Does this make sense to anyone or am I just dreaming?

    Going to be home for a couple weeks over the holidays and for a few years Sunshine was my second home. If I'm down in Calgary visiting relatives I may have to make it out that way to do a little skiing and have a few real beers - I miss Big Rock down here. I'll probably only tow a dinky little U-haul or something, but I was setting it up to tow my 17 foot camping trailer.

    Chris
     
  12. trailblazer87

    trailblazer87 1/2 ton status

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    The problem with manually locking the converter is that you could forget to unlock it at a stop light. KERCHUNK!!! Auto trannies don't like stopping that hard. The other thing is you will burn up your clutches with the motor trying to keep turning. Might be okay in 4-lo but not in the high gears.
     
  13. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    My thoughts exactly, but if it was switched like mine, it would be kinda cool. Only ever lock it up on the highway in OD or on the trail in first. Maybe it's just the cool factor of having the torque multiplication and throttle control of a slushbox with the compression braking of a manual. Not something I'm likely to do though. My question though - does ant one know if it could be done, regardless of whether or not it should be done.
     

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