4l80e Transmission Guide & Information

4l80e Transmission - Transmission Cooler Guide


4l80e Transmission Information

What Vehicles Did The 4l80e Come In?

2006 GMC Sierra 2500 - Transmission Cooler Guide

The 4l80e transmission was found in a many heavy duty GM and high end luxury vehicles, such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Jaguar ranging from model years 1991 – 2013.  Here is the complete list of 4l80e equipped cars and trucks.

  • 1991–2013 Chevrolet C/K/Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500 & 3500
  • 1991–2013 Chevrolet/GMC Suburban/GMC Yukon 2500 & 3500
  • 1991–2009 Chevrolet Van/Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana 2500 & 3500
  • 2002–2006 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500 General Motors LS engine only
  • 1992-2006 Hummer H1
  • 1992–1998 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit/Spur II, III, IV
  • 1991–1992 Bentley Eight
  • 1991–1997 Bentley Turbo R
  • 1991–2002 Bentley Continental R/S/T
  • 1999–2006 Bentley Arnage Red Label / Bentley Arnage R/RL/T
  • 1993–1996 Jaguar XJS
  • 1994–1997 Jaguar XJR
  • 1993–1997 Jaguar XJ12 / Daimler Double Six
  • 1996–1999 Aston Martin DB7
  • 2000- 2006 Chevrolet HD trucks

4l80e Transmission Specs 

Case Material: Aluminum 

Torque Rating: 440 ft lbs

Weight: 236 pounds (Dry)

Gear Ratios:

  • 1st Gear: 2.48:1
  • 2nd Gear: 1.48:1
  • 3rd Gear: 1.00:1
  • 4th Gear: 0.75:1
  • Reverse: 2.07:1

4l80e Transmission Fluid Type & Specs

Dexron 6 Transmission Fluid - Transmission Fluid GuideThe 4l80e recommended transmission fluid if  Dex / Merc aka Dexron 3 (Dex III), or is backwards compatible with the modern Dexron 6 (Dex VI), and has a fill capacity of about 13.5 quarts of transmission fluid.  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 assuming the stock transmission pan is being used.

If you have a deeper aftermarket transmission pan on your 4l80e, 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

4l80e Transmission Fluid Temperature

The 4l80 runs in the 180-200 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.  

4l80e Transmission Filter

6l80e Transmission Pan & Gasket - Transmission Cooler Guide

Transmission filters for the 4l80e are very inexpensive and simple.  Most  4l80e transmission filters and kits (including pan gasket and filter seal) cost around $20 – $30.  The filters we recommend for your 4l80e are:

4l80e Transmission Maintenance

The 4l80e 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

4l80e Transmission Fluid Change

Changing transmission fluid in your4l80e 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 4l80e in a Chevy Silverado.

How many quarts does it take to do a fluid and filter change on a 4l80e trans?  For a typical pan drop and fluid change, you will need about 4-5 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.

4l80e Upgrades

When it comes to upgrading your 4l80e, 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 4l80e 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.

4l80e Transmission Pans

Best 4l80e 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

Tru Cool 40k Specs

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 Specs

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 4l80e 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. 

4l80e Common Problems