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Randy
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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have seen a lot of talk about the differences between the 4L60E and the 4L65E.


This information from is from GM, ATRA (Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association) and ATSG (Automatic Transmission Service Group) and having been building them since the beginning of the 700R4 in 1982.


Forgive me if some of my year data is incorrect, I'm shooting from memory. Please keep in mind that all model years were a transition from one to another and model years usually start in September of the previous year.


Let’s start this with something from the manufacturer itself. Here is a copy and paste quote directly from the 2019 GM Performance catalog that includes the newest 4L75E transmission. It rivals the 4L80E for torque capacity.

HYDRA-MATIC TRANSMISSION FAMILY TREES
4L60-E Series
The Hydra-Matic 4L60/4L65/4L70/4L75 family of transmissions is differentiated primarily by gearset
design. Each planetary gearset in the 4L60 has four pinion gears. There are five pinion gears in the 4L65
and 4L70, but the 4L70 has a higher torque rating. The external dimensions and mounting provisions
are identical for each transmission in the 4L60 family. The maximum torque capacity for each includes:
4L60-E – 380 lb.-frt. | 4L65-E – 430 lb.-ft.
4L70-E – 495 lb.-ft. | 4L75-E – 650 lb.-ft.
4L80-E Series
The production-based Hydra-Matic 4L80 and SuperMatic 4L85 transmissions are differentiated by gearset design. Each planetary gearset in the 4L80 has four pinion gears, while the 4L85 has five pinion gears. The external dimensions and mounting provisions are identical for each. The maximum torque capacity for each includes:
4L80-E – 440 lb.-ft. | 4L85-E – 685 lb.-ft.



All 4L60E’s were given the M30 designation for the RPO code. It came out in 1993 and ran until 2012(very limited with Colorado's/Canyon/Hummer). All 4L60E's had a 4-pinion planetary gear train. Part of the confusion is in the change from the 1-piece case design and the transition to the 2-piece case. The gear ratios: 1st: 3.06, 2nd: 1.62, 3rd: 1.00, 4th: 0.70


To identify all 4L60E’s GM put a code on a white sticker. The sticker was placed on the bell-housing or the case, depending on the design. For a fail-safe way to identify them, there is also a stamped code or etched code on the case. For the 1-piece case it is on the right rear corner of the case on the flat surface just above the pan rail. For the 2-piece case it is on a flat surface of the case just behind the rear of the pan. Both contain the code for the what the transmission was made for. It also contained the Julian date for time of day and the shift it was built on. The 1st digit being the year, the 2nd digit being the body code, the 3rd being the internal gear-train.


Basically the 1993 and 1994 are the same. They are a one-piece case and had a short manual shaft. They shared internal electrical.


Many people are confused over the changes made to the 4L60E from 1995-2001. I hope this clears some of it up.


1995 was a year all on its own. It has the long manual shaft for the externally mounted neutral safety switch. It also was changed to a PWM (pulse width modulated) TCC apply. Internal electrical is different from that of 1993/1994 and 1996 and up.


1996 started the 2-piece case or bolt on bell-housing and came in the S and T bodies. The bolts used to retain the bell-housing are Torx-plus 50-IP design. This design change came from GM to service foreign areas (Jaguar/Holden) with only a bellhousing change instead of the full case needing to be cast.



1996-1997 full size trucks still got the 1-piece cases.


1998 started all 4L60E's with the 2-piece case.


The LS/LT Gen III engine family started in 1997 and was a clean slate design. It was given a center top bolt to retain 6 motor attachment bolts, it had 7 bolt holes in the bell-housing altogether. It also had provisions for the cast aluminum oil pans. The bolt at 2 o'clock would interfere with the water-jacket of the LS family. They used the same bell-housing configuration as the 1999 and up LS engines, but retained the smaller tipped end input shaft.

In 1999 the LS based truck engine was introduced and it was given a Longer input shaft with splined end with the TCC o-ring behind the splines. This set up was shared with the 4.3L engine in full sized trucks and vans from 2001.



In 2001 GM introduced a 6.0L LS engine and felt the 4L60E as designed could not withstand the torque & horsepower of that engine. The transmission was redesigned internally and given a 5-pinion planetary set for both front and rear gear train and a 7 friction 3-4 clutch. They gave it the 4L65E name and the M32 RPO code. To my knowledge all 4L65E’s have a “Z” for the 3rd digit of the transmission code.



The internal wiring is the same on all 4L60E & 4L65E transmissions from 1996 to 2006 and have a grey case pass through connector with 13-pins. There was a change to the EPC solenoid in 2003, but operation remained the same. (I have interchanged EPC solenoids/wiring harnesses many times) 1996 to 2000 the TCC operation and function was the same. For 2001 the valve body was redesigned for a different TCC Handling/operation.
I have interchanged valve bodies from 1996 to 2006 as well with the proper TCC regulator valve change and separator plate. Most re-builders get rid of the PWM (pulse width modulation) operation and change it to an on/off operation.


For 2005-2006 GM transitioned toward an added input speed sensor, which required the input rings to moved .190 rearward on the input shaft. In late 2006 the input sensor was fully incorporated and got a blue case pass through connector with 15-pins.


The 2006 and up 4L60E V-8 has been called 4L70E, because of the ISS that made it differ from the 2005 and older units.


The 4L70E was given the RPO code of M70 and was made for the Chevrolet Silverado SS or Silverado with the Vortec Max, Trailblazer SS & GMC Sierra versions. It was set up exactly like a 4L65E with the addition of a hardened stator spline, hardened output shaft, wide input sprag & a different 1-2 servo assembly with casting #24230441. This servo is slightly larger than the Corvette servo but is smaller than the standard V-8 #553 servo.


GM’s product announcement for the 4L70E #05-07-30-026 - (Oct 7, 2005) gives the transmission codes.

“Below are the 2006 4L70-E applications and models:
• Sport Utility 4L70-E models with ISS: SKD/TKD
• Full-Size Pickup 4L70-E models: CMD, CWD & KMD”


In 2009 the 4L60E was changed again and removed the 3-2 downshift solenoid, PSM (pressure switch manifold) and the external neutral safety back up switch. It was given an internal mode switch to replace it. It has a 17-pin Black case pass through connector. The bell-housing retaining bolt were changed to a Mortorq MTS-4 bit.


The 4L75E never made it in a production vehicle and is a GM Performance item only. Based on the 4L65-E/4L70-E. Features five-pinion gear-sets, heat-treated stator shaft splines, induction-hardened turbine shaft, 8-friction-plate 3-4 clutch and specific valve-body calibration, unique high-strength input housing, higher-capacity servo, wider 2–4 band.
 

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Old Fart
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2,821 Posts
Thanks for the education, very informative. Now the question is which one do I want to put behind a 400+ hp L33 when I put it in my Xtreme?
 

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Randy
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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the education, very informative. Now the question is which one do I want to put behind a 400+ hp L33 when I put it in my Xtreme?
I already built mine for my L33 swap. I started with a 2002 2WD Silverado core. Basic rebuild with hyper-blue input pistons. 7)Raybestos GPZ 3-4 frictions, Raybestos 2-4 pro band. TransGo orange box SK, .500 boost valve. 29 element input sprag. 2200-2500 stall converter. I plan on a 5600 red line.
I started with 2003 LM4 shortblock, found a 2007 LS4 for the flat top pistons/gen IV rods and 799/243 heads. I'm using an elgin E1839P cam. My nephew figures 375-400 hp.
 

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Randy
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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
This is to address the dreaded but all too common P1870 code?
Yes, there are several ways to do it. I believe the superior tow haul kit addresses it too.
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
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1,671 Posts
Interesting that the 4L65E is just 10 ftlbs less, and the 4L70E actually surpasses the 4L80E in torque capacity from the factory and that the 75E is just 35 ft lbs less than the 85E. I would have thought the big brothers 80/85E would have been a fair bit higher in torque capacity. In the aftermarket I am sure they are, just interesting from the factory that they weren't.

Also didn't know GMPP had a 4L75E, that is interesting! Thanks for the info Tranzman!
 

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Thanks for the education, very informative. Now the question is which one do I want to put behind a 400+ hp L33 when I put it in my Xtreme?
Sounds like the 4L65E should do the job and has ease of installation. I'm looking for one or a core to have rebuilt.
 

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Hardhead
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775 Posts
I have a 2016 Silverado. What kind of changes did they make for towing? My owners manual states that I don't have to shift down for towing any more like with earlier models which had the Drive, 3rd option on the shift indicator. I'd hate to burn up a trans towing, so what did they do???
 

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I have a 2016 Silverado. What kind of changes did they make for towing? My owners manual states that I don't have to shift down for towing any more like with earlier models which had the Drive, 3rd option on the shift indicator. I'd hate to burn up a trans towing, so what did they do???

You will have a 6L80E which is the 6 speed and the predecessor to the 4 speed 4L series. Completely different beast.
 

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Any little differences from year to year in the 4L65E that make one year more desirable for an LS swap?
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
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Any little differences from year to year in the 4L65E that make one year more desirable for an LS swap?
Yes, starting in MY 06' the 4L65E came with an ISS sensor and the VSS sensor was removed. It is unlikely that you'll want the ISS sensor since ISS signal isn't compatible with LS1B series PCM's, or with the S10 BCM's.

You will want a 4L65E from 01' to early 05' checking for connector type.

That said, those parts can be retrofitted and converted one way or the other depending on your application, but its an added cost. If you intend to rebuild the core regardless it won't really factor into the equation and any year would work.

Note that the later 4L65E and 4L70E are indistinguishable from the 4L60E, they even use the same cases erroneously stamped 4L60E still. You have to check for the M32 RPO... though at this point I am honestly just basically restating Tranzman's first post, so you should probably go read it again because it really does contain everything you need to know.
 

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Yeah, I'm thinking of getting a core (cheap) and having it rebuilt. The 4L65E are selling for $500 up around here but its a gamble, rather put my money into a rebuild.
 

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Randy
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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, I'm thinking of getting a core (cheap) and having it rebuilt. The 4L65E are selling for $500 up around here but its a gamble, rather put my money into a rebuild.

$500.00 for a genuine 4L65E core is on the cheap. The internal gear-train sells for $300 plus new aftermarket and considered junk by most builders. $500 plus new GM front and rear carriers only. When I get a good used one I sell them for $200.00
Some great re-builders out there feel the 5 pinion planets are a step backwards in performance applications. They believe the quality of the metal in the actual housing has been compromised. Of course I don't build them above the 500HP level much. But I do have two builds running low 10's (they say) on the street. 1 has 4 pinions the other a 5 pinion rear only. Both are over 2 years old and they do get back to me on occasion. I give a freshen up deal if you bring it back to me.
 

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"I do have two builds running low 10's (they say) on the street"
Well, I definitely won't be running tens or making 500 hp. I saw a 2005 4L65e asking $550, he said it had 3-4 repaired. I know a rebuilder that my brother in law has used for years, I'm going to check and see what he's got or recommends.
 

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Old Fart
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$500.00 for a genuine 4L65E core is on the cheap. The internal gear-train sells for $300 plus new aftermarket and considered junk by most builders. $500 plus new GM front and rear carriers only. When I get a good used one I sell them for $200.00
Some great re-builders out there feel the 5 pinion planets are a step backwards in performance applications. They believe the quality of the metal in the actual housing has been compromised. Of course I don't build them above the 500HP level much. But I do have two builds running low 10's (they say) on the street. 1 has 4 pinions the other a 5 pinion rear only. Both are over 2 years old and they do get back to me on occasion. I give a freshen up deal if you bring it back to me.
What would it cost for you to build one and ship to me?
 

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Randy
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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #17

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Randy
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166 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Ive got an 06 behind a 5.3. Now you have my curiosity as to if its a 4L70 or not.
Find the code etched behind the rear of the pan on the flat surface and post it. I'll try to decipher it for you. or you can look at the codes in my original post for the 4L70E that GM gave them...
 

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Yea when I read the codes I was thinking that.
But I got wind that last weekend quite few transmissions were put deep in storage in the basement.
 
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