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The Complete 4L60 Rebuild Guide

 
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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:31 pm    Post subject: The Complete 4L60 Rebuild Guide Reply with quote

Bear with me as this will be extensive. ill post up as much as i can when i can. it will take a few days.

I decided to start another thread to keep this as technical as possible. If there are any professionals or experts reading this, please note any mistakes or inaccuracies
I have made. The intent is not to show how smart I am but to help those in the same position as myself. It's not always feasible or desirable to just have someone rebuild
your transmission. When you do that, you are at the mercy of your builder. Maybe they know what they are doing, maybe not. It's really a matter of trust. I don't have
anyone locally that I can trust. I've seen the work some of these shops put out and I'm definitely better off doing this on my own. Some of the parts I have came from a
"freshly rebuilt" transmission. It never had fluid in it. I tore it down and was horrified at the mess inside. Worn out bushings and hard parts, dry clutches. Everything
stuck together with that red crap. It had new seals and cheap frictions along with a few decent hard parts. Most were garbage. This is all too typical of your average
rebuild. Remember, shops only warranty for one year or 12K miles. That's how long they build the trans to last.

I started with a core i bought on craigslist and a few salvageable parts from a "fresh" unit. The first thing i recommend is to pick up the ATSG manuals and research,
research, research. I have included all of the info i have in this thread. There should be enough info here for even the first timer.


I did not include any teardown pics. the GM Rebuild Procedures PDF illustrates how to tear the unit down.

*GM Rebuild Procedures PDF*
http://www.smokemup.com/tech/4L60ETechGuide.pdf
http://www.smokemup.com/tech/sonnax_rebuild_info.pdf

Here are some pretty good videos on the assembly and shift correction kit....

assembly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkyPoeAcxOI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PENDQr9u-UQ

Shift Correction Kit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldjFHf026iM


this is my list of parts for the complete build...

REVERSE BAND DRUM $68
case saver $104
5 pinion AC Delco rear planet $130
5 pinion AC Delco front planet $85 (used)
sonnax pinless forward accumulator piston $11
(2) sonnax pinless accumulator kits $12ea
sonnax smart shell $97
sonnax input drum reinforcement sleeve kit $60
Sonnax PTFE Rear Stator Support Bushing $7
Sonnax 77722-01K SPRING PUMP SLIDE $7
torlon check balls $7
Superior Performance 3-4 Clutch Rapid Relief Valve $29
1993 to 1996, 4L60E Combo Kit w/wide band $375
wide sun gear bushing $3
thrust washer kit $10
drain plug kit $8
thrust bearing kit $27
bushing kit $27
97 stamped steel Bonded Piston Kit $30
shift correction kit (orange box) $50
13v pump rotor kit $40
3rd accumulator checkball capsule $7
sonnax fwd/rev abuse bore plug $10 (x2)
sonnax stator support 77918SK $62
3-4 apply plate (OEM AC Delco only) $16
3-4 backing plate $16

trans internals (from rebuilt trans)- borg warner 29 element dual cage forward input sprag ($52)
TransGo performance valve body plate ($25)
heavy duty low reverse roller sprag ($20)


suppliers i purchased from....

Cascade Transmissions
Wellington Parts Corp
PATC
Transmission Parts USA
PTP (local trans supplier)


starting with reassembly....

i bought a combo kit from PATC that had all the frictions, steels, gaskets and seals along with some performance parts such as superior/fairbanks servos, a wide carbon band and a Sonnax boost valve. im very happy with that kit and highly recommend it. heres a link to their website. its a bit of a clumsy site. you will have to hunt for what you want but they have some quality stuff.
http://www.transmissioncenter.net/4l60e.htm#Performance%20Parts








wide band next to stock band




My core has some wear in the case so i picked up a case saver. the max on the case is 1/16 on the wear. this one was borderline. I found at least one place that said not to
use the case saver on a 4l60. I did run into an issue here with clearance on the sunshell. I made a shim and put it between the rear planet and the lo reverse roller race.
after doing this, i found out that Sonnax makes shims for the rear unit (see Sonnax Rebuild Info PDF). the spec is .000 to .010. i got lucky and ended up at .000. it took a
tap on the output shaft, with a screwdriver handle, to get the yellow snapring to pop into place.

sonnax shim http://www.sonnax.com/parts/2426




the instructions say to discard the anti-clunk spring but i trimmed off about a 1/4" and reinstalled it. the case saver will not fit if you dont trim the spring.









i chose factory AC Delco 5 lug planetaries over the 4 lug. i found a NOS rear planet and a used front planet at a good price. Now, theres a lot of controversy over these.
The extra pinion is supposed to make it stronger. It also makes it heavier. the oiling to the rear planets isnt all that great to begin with so thats also a consideration
when using the 5 lug planets. High rpm will kill these. My car will be getting a high torque, low rpm 383. Its also a daily driver. It wont see much north of 5500 rpm.

The main issue with the oiling is the planets dont have direct oiling to the pinions. its splash oiled. high rpm slings all the oil off. Sonnax makes hollow pins with oiling
holes if you want to custom build something. actually, they have everything to overhaul the planets. I didnt have much interest in all that. Just stick with the 4 lug planets
if youre going to see 6000+ rpm.

if you want to improve rear planet oiling you can put some grooves in the rear sun gear



the 3-4 accumulator exhausts directly to the rear planet. for that reason, i dont believe in completely blocking the 3-4 accumulator passage. just flip the spring and piston
as shown in the Shift Correction Kit video. i also opened up this exhaust from .020 to .028. thats 40%. i wasnt comfortable making a bigger "leak" than that. ive heard of
some builders opening it up to .040-.060




i didnt do anything special with the lo and reverse clutches. just used a good set of Alto clutches and new steels that came in the kit. the stackup came out to .046 clearance.


I had a "beast" sunshell from the rebuilt trans but i liked the Sonnax Smart Shell better. http://www.sonnax.com/landing_pages/smartshell







i dont have a pic but i sanded the bronze thrust washer, that goes inside the sun shell, flat. it was surprisingly uneven. i started with 320 and ended up with 600 grit.


next was the mods to the input clutch housing. i installed the Sonnax drum reinforcement sleeve kit. it came with a special piston to replace the factory overrun piston. http://www.sonnax.com/parts/2448




i also installed the Superior Performance 3-4 Clutch Rapid Relief Valve. i did this mainly because i am running a tight 3-4 clutch pack (.026) and i didnt want any centrifugal apply. some builders will drill a small (approx .030) bleed hole in the drum but i dont really like adding holes. i was more comfortable with this spring loaded valve.



the Rapid Release Valve goes in the bottom of the drum




assembling the input drum:
other than new steels and alto frictions, nothing special on the overrun and forward clutches. assemble unit as per ATSG manual or PDF files above. now, the 3-4 clutches do need a bit of special attention. i used the original 3-4 backing and apply plates for measuring purposes ONLY. once you figure out what thickness you need, throw them away and buy new AC Delco plates. chances are better than good that the old ones are coned or warped. i set mine up with tight clearances (.026). stay away from the Z Pack. those thin steels will warp and kill your 3-4 clutch pack. my 3-4 pack had 8 frictions with Kolene steels. the ATSG manual says to throw away your booster springs. dont do that! you need to put them back with a tight setup.

the teflon seals.... i didnt have any problems with them and i didnt use special tools. just carefully installed them with a pick...



i squeezed them down by hand, after installing them, then, one at a time, carefully sized them with an old stator support.





i removed the check ball from the TCC capsule. this firms up the lockup and makes it feel more like a shift rather than a slow change in rpm.




reverse input drum:
i bought a new one because i wanted to use the wide carbon band. if you try to use the wide band on a used drum, the uneven surface will burn the outer edges of the band. i dont really trust trying to true up the old drum. it wasnt that expensive to just buy a new one and know its good. avoid kevlar bands. i hear bad things about them in a street car. apparently, thats a racing only thing.

once the drum assemblies were together, i sat them down into the case then the band. it was easier this way. once its all the way down, you have to check the end play. i did this with half the pump to make it a bit easier with multiple times removing the pump to swap shims.




if you do it this way, keep in mind you have to subtract about .003 for gasket compression. i did have the gasket installed when checking. mine was .016 as you see it. .013 after final assembly. spec is .005-.035.
sonnax shim kit: http://www.sonnax.com/parts/2427




next is the pump....
i bought a new stator support because both of mine had wear on the splines from the converter. i had two. one 13 vane and a 10 vane. i was originally going to build the 13v but broke it pressing in the stator support. a bit of advise... use heavy pipe or something of that nature to support the aluminum housing directly under the bore for the stator. dont try to use those flat steel pieces on both sides that most presses have. second, dont grab the red loctite because you cant find the proper anaerobic sealer that the instructions call for. it will gall up halfway in. kiss of death! Embarassed

i bought the Sonnax stator support. its a well made part and only $12 more than the taiwan piece.

Sonnax stator support in 10v pump



i used some 3/16 brake line to make my guides. it fits the bolt holes perfectly but its small in the holes on the stator. you have to eyeball it to get it just right so the big dowel pin lines up when you press it together.

PTFE bushing is installed also.



pump assembly is pretty straight forward. the videos and PDF guides do a pretty good job of explaining so there's no need to be redundant. only thing special i did was install the Sonnax boost valve, Sonnax stator support and add the Sonnax slide spring along with the rebuild kit. i cleaned up the surfaces with 320-600 grit wet/dry paper and some ATF. be careful not to cut valleys in the surfaces. use a flat block and whatever you do, DO NOT use a angle grinder with those little brown Roloc discs. you will need a big clamp or put two smaller ones together to align the pump halves bafore bolting together. also covered in the video.


servos:
i didnt take any pics of that other than the pics above. the instructions with the S/F servos and the PDF files explain the assembly pretty well. besides, there are several different combinations and manufacturers so follow the instructions for whatever servo you purchase.
i was a bit concerned about using the billet servos but after driving the car, i wouldnt hesitate to use them again. i did have to grind the pin down. i used the 1/2 of a 3/8 washer method to get the radius correct on the tip. it doesnt take much. grind carefully then polish. the specs i followed are .075-.115 travel on the servo. mine came out to .095. assemble the servo, with the cover and snap ring, without the seals. set up your dial indicator on the cover and press it in to check travel. if you put a light spring in for the servo return spring, it will make this process much easier. just dont forget to put the correct spring in for final assembly.


Accumulators:
i bought the pinless. mine all had wear at the pins. they are a simple install. follow the instructions that come with them. i flipped the 3-4 spring and piston as shown in the video and used the springs in the kit except for 1-2 accum.


Valve Body:
this is where the magic happens. lots of ways to screw up here. i didnt do any tricks here other than the shift correction kit. i did it just like the video except that i reused the stock 1-2 accumulator springs. my reasoning behind that was, my car is a daily driver and i didnt want it hitting hard on that shift. it pisses me off when i spill my coffee. under light throttle, it shifts like stock. heavy throttle and it will most definitely chirp the tires on shift. even on concrete. the shifts can be tuned by drilling the plate and, if you have the shift correction kit, you can change springs in the 1-2 accumulator bushing. i drilled all the holes (those required) to .093. the drill for the special pin to change the spring in the accumulator bushing is a bit big. its a #25. i used a #29 for a better fit.

pin installed in the bottom of valve body. i had to trim off about 1/8" for clearance under the filter.




notice how filter rests on pin





now, there are different valve bodies that will only work on certain years. information is a bit sketchy. supposedly, 96 had this rectangle port where 95 and earlier did not. however, one of my VB had 95 cast into it and had the port. AFAIK, if you have this type, it will work on 96 up to about 04. mine that i am currently using, in my 96, is a 99. i found a new NOS AC Delco valvebody.


port for later model valvebody



cast year model in valvebody




it is my understanding that a 95 is a 95 and only a 95. its not recommended to try to interchange parts with different year transmissions. there are different solenoids here as well. the ATSG manuals cover this pretty well.

that should be it. i probably left out a few details. ill add them as i think of them. the trans now has a few hundred miles on it and its shifting great. i wouldn't change anything. i have been back inside after about 60 miles, to fix a leak, and everything looked perfect.

one last thing, be careful with the used wire harness. mine didn't clip back into the case real well. the retaining tabs were weak. it worked its way down and started leaking the next day.

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af2 wrote:
It seems we can look at our magical Balls and come up with a fix?

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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 3473
Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, im pretty much done. if there are any questions, don't hesitate to ask. the only thing that i know is missing is one PDF. i need Smoke to help with that. i couldn't get the link to work. if anyone sees anything stupid, let me know. constructive criticism is always welcome.
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Paul P
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Location: Townsend, Mass.
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1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Lot more stuff available to fix the issues with the 700R4 than when I last built one. Back then it was upgrade the pump, boost valve, servo and band. Looks good! Not to be negative but it still isn't one of my favorite GM transmissions because of the extreme difference between 1st and 2nd gear ratios which still can't be addressed as far as I know when building one of these for performance.
Paul

_________________
2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec
stock cams, bolt-ons and tune
15.63@87 MPH 1/4mi

1971 - Chevelle 408 SBC N/A
6.86@102.5 MPH 1/8mi
10.78@122 MPH 1/4mi
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10sec.et
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Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PATC is supposed to have a close ratio gear setup. i copied/pasted this from their website

"700R4 / 4L60E "Power Gear"

"The Next Big Thing". PATC has developed a new 6 pinion planet gear set for 700R4 / 4L60E transmissions. This will be the biggest thing in 700R4 advancements in years. These will have a 2.84 to 1 first gear, 1.56 to 1 second gear, 1 to 1 third gear and .70 to 1 overdrive ratio. This close ratio 700R4 gear set will have a 11.72% less RPM drop between 1st and 2nd than the wide (stock) ratio gear set. In other words the close ratio gear set will only have 88.28% as much RPM drop as the wide ratio gear set. This is what people have been asking for, for years. These will work on any 4L60E type transmission without a gear ratio error code, if the PCM is modified. The sun gear is made from 4340 billet steel and the pinion gears are 4130 steel. This gear set is used to reduce torque multiplication / rotating speed in the transmission in first gear. This improves track applications that overpower the rear tires upon launch. This is common with numerically high final drive ratios. Now you will have a choice between the wide ratio or the new close ratio gear sets. In first gear this close ratio gear set has a 7.2% numerically lower final drive ratio. It has been reported that the 2.84 gear set could lower your quarter mile time as much as 4/10 of a second over the 3.06 gear set. This gear set has been in research and development for over one year. You might ask why 6 pinion gears. The answer is because high horse power motors can eat the small needle bearings up in the pinion gears. The solution is to spread the load over 50% more needle bearings and at the same time building the planet gear set out of a higher grade steel. The first 50 are in production now and the approximate release date is May 2009. We have finished the testing in our test truck with the following findings. The gear noise in manual low is reduced by at least 50% compared to a stock OEM planet gear and at full throttle there was no noticeable power drop on the 1st to 2nd shift. Testing will begin later this week in an 1100 horse power C5 Corvette. The car runs 9.56 seconds now. Nothing will be changed but the front planet gear then tested to see the difference. Testing should be completed by 5-18-2009. "



http://www.transmissioncenter.com/PATC_Performance_4L60E_Transmission_Parts_Performance_4L60E_Transmissions_PATC.htm#Performance%20Parts

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af2 wrote:
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Paul P
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Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Posts: 2404
Location: Townsend, Mass.
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1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. Looks to be better. Too bad the 200r set wouldn't drop in there. Still interesting that there is an answer to that issue.
_________________
2001 Focus 2.0 Zetec
stock cams, bolt-ons and tune
15.63@87 MPH 1/4mi

1971 - Chevelle 408 SBC N/A
6.86@102.5 MPH 1/8mi
10.78@122 MPH 1/4mi
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10sec.et
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Posts: 3473
Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i honestly dont know anyone that races these. i hear they are out there and working well with the right builder. i guess someone has them figured out but, like everything else, its top secret.
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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theres something in one of the videos where Hiram mentions a mod to compensate for a low idle/stalling condition. i have/had that issue. i couldnt find it in the videos so, if someone sees it, let me know where he covers that. i just took care of it in the tune but now i wish i had paid closer attention.
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