4l60e Transmission Guide & Information

4l60e Transmission - Transmission Cooler Guide

4l60e Transmission Information

What Vehicles Did The 4l60e Come In?

 

The 4l60e transmission was found in a many light  and medium duty GM cars, trucks, and SUV’s from the mid-1990’s all the way up to the early 2010’s. Here is the complete list of 4l60e equipped cars and trucks.

  • Buick Rainier 2004-2007
  • Buick Roadmaster 1994–1996
  • Cadillac Escalade 1999-2000, 2002-2005 (models with LM7/5.3L V8 Also with 6.0 LQ9)
  • Cadillac Fleetwood 1994–1996
  • Chevrolet Astro 1993-2005
  • Chevrolet Avalanche 2002-2008
  • Chevrolet S-10 Blazer 1994-2005
  • Chevrolet Camaro 1994–2002
  • Chevrolet Caprice 1994-96
  • Chevrolet Colorado 2004-2012
  • Chevrolet Corvette 1994–2004
  • Chevrolet Express 2003-2012
  • Chevrolet Impala SS 1994–1996
  • Chevrolet S-10 1994-2005
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500-2500 (2500 with 6 bolt axle pattern)
  • Chevrolet C/K SUV,Truck 1993-2000
  • Chevrolet SSR 2003-2006
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Chevrolet TrailBlazer 2003-2009
  • GMC Canyon 2004-2012
  • GMC Envoy 2003-2009
  • GMC Jimmy 1993-2005
  • GMC Safari 1993-2005
  • GMC Savana 2003-2013
  • GMC Sierra 1500-2500 (2500 with 6 bolt axle pattern)
  • GMC Sonoma 1994-2005
  • GMC Yukon
  • GMC Yukon XL Denali
  • GMC Vandura 1993-1996
  • Holden Commodore 1993–2012
  • Holden Monaro 2001-2006
  • Holden Caprice 1994–2008
  • Hummer H3
  • Oldsmobile Bravada
  • Pontiac Firebird 1994–2002
  • Pontiac GTO 2004
  • Saab 9-7X 2005-2009
  • Isuzu Ascender 2007

4l60e Transmission Specs 

Case Material: Aluminum 

Torque Rating: 360 ft lbs

Weight: 146 pounds (Dry)

Fluid Capacity: 11.5 quarts (Dry)

Gear Ratios:

  • 1st Gear: 3.059:1
  • 2nd Gear: 1.625:1
  • 3rd Gear: 1.00:1
  • 4th Gear: 0.696:1
  • Reverse: 2.29:1

4l60e Transmission Fluid Type & Specs

Dexron 6 Transmission Fluid - Transmission Fluid GuideThe 4l60e recommended transmission fluid is  Dex / Merc aka Dexron 3 (Dex III), which is backwards compatible with the modern Dexron 6 (Dex VI), and has a fill capacity of about 11.5 quarts of transmission fluid (dry, including torque converter).  When dropping the transmission pan to perform a standard drain and fill transmission fluid change, you can expect to replace around anywhere from 4-5 quarts of fluid depending on what transmission pan is being used.

If you have a deeper aftermarket transmission pan on your 4l60e, then this quart estimate will likely be more and require you to check fluid levels as you fill and run the transmission through the gears.

Get The Best Price On Dexron 6 Transmission Fluid

4l60e Transmission Fluid Temperature

The 4l60e runs in the 165-200 range when fully warmed up,

Transmission Fluid Temperature Chart

To combat transmission temp issues, installing an aftermarket transmission cooler is certainly helpful along with a deeper, higher capacity transmission pan if you have the space to do so, and thermostat bypass.  

4l60e Transmission Filter

4l60e Transmission Filter - Transmission Cooler Guide

Transmission filters for the 4l60e are very inexpensive and simple.  Most  4l60e transmission filters and kits (including pan gasket and filter seal) cost around $20 – $30.  The filters we recommend for your 4l60e are:

4l60e Tansmission Maintenance

The 4l60e requires recommended maintenance of changing the fluid, and filter every 30,000 miles depending on usage.  If you have a truck that you use to tow or haul often, it’s best to check your fluid and make a determination as to how frequent you should change out your fluid.

When checking your transmission fluid, be sure to not only look at the fluid level, but the color and smell. Good transmission fluid will have a reddish color to it, but if it looks dark, almost brown and has a slight burnt smell to it, then you are very past due on your maintenance.  The chart below shows how transmission fluid looks at various stages.

Transmission Fluid Color Comparison - Transmission Cooler Guide

4l60e Transmission Fluid Change

Changing transmission fluid in your4l60e is a very simple and straight forward DIY project if you are handy.   Below is a detailed video of performing a transmission fluid change on a 4l60e in a Chevy Suburban.

How many quarts does it take to do a fluid and filter change on a 4l60e trans?  For a typical pan drop and fluid change, you will need about 5-7 quarts to do the job. 

As always, start with adding a few quarts of atf when you have the new filter and pan back on and shift through the gears to get fluid moving and warm, then keep checking and added until you have the right level.

4l60e Transmission Pan Torque Specs

When reinstalling the transmission pan on your 4l60e, be sure to not over tighten the pan bolts.  The correct torque spec for the 4l60e transmission pan bolts is 100 – 120 inch pounds.

4l60e Upgrades

When it comes to upgrading your 4l60e, besides adding better internals and hard parts, there are a few simple upgrades that you can make to keep transmission temps down.  The most common simple DIY 4l60e upgrades that can be done with simple hand tools in your driveway without removing the transmission to tear apart are definitely transmission coolers, pans, and thermostat bypass.

4l60e Transmission Pans

Best 4l60e Transmission Coolers

Transmission Cooler Direct Fit Price
Tru Cool 40k transmission cooler LPD47391Tru Cool Max LPD47391 No Shop Now
B&M 70274 transmission cooler - Transmission Cooler GuideB&M 70274 No Shop Now
Hayden Automotive 679 transmission cooler - Transmission Cooler GuideHayden 679 No Shop Now

Tru Cool 40k 

Tru Cool 40k Transmission Cooler With Installation Kit - Transmission Cooler Guide

The Tru Cool 40k is a favorite of ours when it comes to universal transmission coolers used on trucks or SUV’s. There are certainly other transmission coolers that might be larger or include a fan, but for the cost consistent performance, and simplicity, it’s hard to go against the Tru Cool 40k for the money.

Cooler Dimensions: 8 1/2″ x 22″ x 1 1/4″

GVW: 40,000 pounds

BTU Rating: 45,000

Fitting Size: 3/8″ inverted flare hex with 5/8″ thread size –  This is great for those looking to install custom transmission lines

Installation Kit:  Yes – Includes universal installation kit with rubber transmission line, various fittings, clamps, and mounting hardware

Get The Best Price on Tru Cool 40k Transmission Cooler

B&M 70274

B&M 70274 transmission cooler - Transmission Cooler Guide

Like many B&M SuperCooler transmission coolers, the 70274 is designed to handle high abuse situations and disperses of heat extremely efficiently. In our more in depth product review of the B&M 70274, we cover how the  cooler is a direct fit application that requires little effort installing.  

Overall, if you have a 4l60e equipped truck, SUV, or swapped into a fun streetcar, this cooler can’t be beat for the performance it provides.  Because of this, we recommend it in our Best Sierra & Silverado Transmission Coolers write up.

Cooler Dimensions: 11″ x 11″ x 1 1/2″

Cooler Type: Stacked Plate

Cooling Rows: 48

GVW:  29,200 (BTU)

Fitting Size: 1/2″ NPT

Get The Best Price on B&M 70274 Transmission Coolers

Installing a transmission cooler such as the Tru Cool 40k, or B&M 70274 will drastically lower transmission temperatures and help with the longevity of your transmission and fluid. 

Hayden 679 Hayden Automotive 679 transmission cooler - Transmission Cooler Guide

For the budget minded individual, there might be no better low cost transmission cooler that has the capabilities as the Hayden 679. This cooler utilizes an 11 5/8″ x 11 3/4″ x 3/4″ aluminum design that is not only large enough to efficiently cool your 4l60e, but is only 3/4″ thin which allows for installation in tighter spaces on a car. 

The Hayden 679 offers a GVW rating of up to 30,000 pounds which provides the ability to help tow up to 10,000 pounds (if your vehicle is rated to do so).  Its 30,000 GVW rating makes it a great cooler for any 4l60e equipped vehicle whether it’s your daily driven car or on a truck that you tow with on the weekends. 

For the cost, like most Hayden transmission coolers, the 679 pack a mighty punch in terms of capabilities.  Not only is it not too large where it can cause mounting issues, but it has the ability to help keep fluid cooler without a high price tag.  

Hayden 679 Specs

Cooler Type: Plate & Fin

Cooler Dimensions: 11 5/8″ x 11 3/4″ x 3/4″

GVW: 30,000 pounds

Fitting Size: 3/8″ barb 

Get The Best Price on Hayden 679 Transmission Cooler

4l60e Common Problems