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July 2020

Rebuilt vs. Remanufactured Transmissions: What’s the Difference?

Rebuilt vs. Remanufactured Transmissions: What's the Difference? - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

Replacing your transmission (after the old one has failed) can be a bit confusing. Should you choose a rebuilt model, a used model, or a remanufactured (reman) model? The differences between rebuilds vs. remans are quite apparent, however, this article will compare rebuilt transmissions against Gearstar’s remanufactured transmissions.

Before continuing with this article, you may want to understand the terms “rebuilt” and “remanufactured”. Basically, these two words can appear as synonyms and can be used interchangeably. But in some cases (ex. explaining transmissions), they have different meanings:

    • Rebuilt transmissions: Called “rebuilt” when the mechanic only fixed or replaced the worn-out (problematic) components of the system.
    • Remanufactured transmissions: Commonly referred to as a “reman”, remanufactured transmissions are considered as “new” because all the original equipment and components were worked on (replaced).

Rebuilt vs. Remanufactured Transmissions

Here, we compare these two common types of transmissions based on different factors: warranties, quality, turnaround time, etc.


When we talk about the difference in quality regarding rebuilt and reman transmissions, one must consider the components used. Rebuilt transmissions are typically patched with old components; however, they work as you would expect, but the parts are not new ones.

In contrast, remanufactured components are re-created, or somewhat refurbished with new parts, which makes them seemingly new systems. Also, reman transmissions are coupled in authorized (verified) shops, while rebuilt transmissions can be from any shop (verified or unverified).

While both rebuilt and remanufactured transmissions may be compatible with your vehicle, reman systems are more reliable and higher in quality. Additionally, remanufactured transmissions pass through a dyno testing process before leaving the workshop.


Reman Transmissions

Typically, a remanufactured transmission is backed by a factory warranty that spans three years (3 years). The warranty period can be longer and not limited to a specific mileage. Interestingly, some manufacturers allow sellers/suppliers to work on systems at any transmission shop of choice.

Thus, this does not void the nationwide warranty for parts and labor coverage. When an owner sells the vehicle in which the reman transmission is being used in, it can transfer to the new owner if warranty coverage is still active.

Rebuilt Transmissions

Unlike reman transmissions, a rebuilt transmission typically comes with a 12-month/12,000 mile warranty. If you hit 12,000 miles (even if it has not been 12 months since you fixed the transmission), the warranty expires. In contrast, if the car is driven for 12 months (even if you have not hit 12,000 miles), the warranty expires.

This warranty is quite basic, but transmission repair costs are covered for up to 12 months. Nevertheless, you may not be allowed to fix the transmission (if it fails) in your repair shop of choice. Be sure to thoroughly read the warranty terms and conditions, as labor charges are not always inclusive in rebuilt transmissions.

Turnaround Time

Reman transmissions are ready from the factory – you have to place an order, and it gets shipped to your identified location. However, depending on your location and other related factors, it may take a few days before your reman transmission is delivered. Installation won’t take the whole day; you just need to hire a verified mechanic.

Hence, the estimated turnaround time for remanufactured transmissions is arguably 48 hours (2 days). In contrast, rebuilt transmissions go through a time-consuming rebuild process. The faulty transmission is removed, gets disassembled, and then compatible parts are used to “rebuild” the system.

Once the parts are readied, the mechanic reassembles the transmission and reinstalls it to the car. The entire process takes about 3-5 days, depending on all the parts/components needed to rebuild the transmission. If the needed transmission parts are scare, the turnaround time may take longer than 5 days.


The estimated cost of remanufactured transmissions ranges from $1300 – $3400, depending on the car model. Also, there are no surprise charges as pre-assembled components are built into the final pricing. In contrast, the cost for a rebuilt transmission can range from $1500 – $3500.

The mechanic/technician would estimate the cost of rebuilding your car’s transmission before disassembling the system. However, there may cases when you will be asked for payment on surprise charges for reasons the technician gives.

Final Takeaways

    • Reman transmissions are more reliable than rebuilt systems.
    • The actual cost for a reman or rebuilt transmission differs by manufacturers/workshops.
    • It takes longer to rebuild and reinstall a transmission into a vehicle, but reman systems are readied and shipped from the factory.
    • Reman transmissions arguably go through severe technical tests in the lab, while rebuilt transmissions are not tested with high-tech machines.
    • The components/parts used on rebuilt transmissions aren’t always new. In contrast, all components used on reman transmissions are arguably the same as what is available on brand new systems.
    • Verifying the quality of a reman transmission is challenging. All manufacturers will tell you they’ve got the best quality products, and it’s not always easy to confirm this claim. For this reason, it is advisable to go with known manufacturers known for making the highest quality transmissions for your car model.

A used or preowned transmission is not advisable – you do not want to end up with someone else’s transmission problems.

Gearstar’s Remanufactured Transmissions

If you have a Ford, GM or Mopar transmission, Gearstar has got you covered. Gearstar reman transmissions are high-performance, custom-built, and optimized with precision by expert master technicians. Arguably the finest transmissions on the market, Gearstar transmissions are dyno-tested for 100 miles before being shipped out, and backed with 3 years or 36,000 miles warranty (whichever occurs first from shipment date).

With over 19 years of experience as a leader in remanufacturing automatic transmissions, Gearstar has your covered. When considering choosing between a rebuilt vs. a remanufactured transmission, choose the latter of the two. For questions or requests, contact Gearstar today.

4L65E Transmission Specs and Updates

4L65E Transmission Specs and Updates - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

Here’s an overview of the 4L65E transmission specs and updates to keep you informed of what this unit offers and subsequent upgrades to it. It’s worth having these tips at the back of your hand, especially if you’re looking to get a ride that uses this transmission.

The same can be said if you already own a 4L65E transmission, but want a good idea of what it features before working on the unit. Therefore, walk with us and we’ll show you what this transmission offers.

About the 4L65E Transmission

The Hydra-Matic 4L65E automatic transmission was designed by General Motors. This transmission is an upgrade to the 4L60E and as such, it comes with heavy-duty components, which makes for better strength and performance.

What’s more, the 4L65E and 4L60E are automatic transmissions and they were designed for rear-wheel-drive vehicles as a result of their longitudinal alignment. The history of the 4L65E can also be tied to the 700R4 transmission that was designed in 1982.

Vehicles That Used the 4L65E Transmission

Some vehicles that featured the 4L65E transmission include:

    • Hummer H2
    • 2005 C6 Corvette
    • Cadillac Escalade
    • 2002 Isuzu Axiom
    • GMC Sierra Denali
    • GMC Yukon Denali
    • Cadillac Escalade EXT
    • Chevrolet Silverado SS
    • Holden Crewman 2004 Only
    • Holden One Tonner 2004 Only
    • 2005–2006 Pontiac GTO (M32, 3.46:1 final drive)

Specifications of the 4L65E Transmission

The specifications of the 4L65E transmission include:


The naming of the 4L65E transmission reveals its basic features. In this case, its naming refers to a four-speed transmission that is longitudinally positioned and electronically controlled.

This transmission may sometimes be called the 4L65 given that all the 4L65-type transmissions from General Motors are electronically controlled. Hence, there are none that are non-electronically controlled.

And being electronically controlled makes for more precise shifting cues. There are also cases where this unit is called the M32 transmission option. This M32 naming makes reference to an older version of the 4L60E transmission.

Over and above that, the 65 in this naming represents the rating of the vehicle’s torque; at 65. This rating is about 360 foot-pounds and as the torque goes higher, the stronger is the transmission.


The 4L65E transmission has a weight of 194.6 pounds. It’s gear ratios for the first gear, second gear, third gear, and fourth gear are 3.059-to-1, 1.625-to-1, 1-to-1, and 0.0696-to-1, respectively. What’s more, the 4L65E features five-pinion planetary carriers.

This transmission comes with large sun-shell gears, created from powdered metal. This manufacturing process helps to increase the strength of its components. Additionally, the torque converter is fully converted by the bell housing which minimizes vibration.

Another notable feature of the 4L65E is its induction-hardened turbine shaft and heat-treated stator shaft splines. Despite this, there are parts of this transmission that have been revamped with heavier-duty components.


GM trucks were the major users of the 4L65E transmission. Today, this unit is also used in performance cars including GM Australia’s Holden Monaro and the Chevrolet Corvette.

Also, the 2005-2006 Pontiac GTO relies on the 4L65E transmission and it was inspired by the Holden Monaro. There’s also the usage of this transmission in GM trucks that rely on a 6.0-liter eight-cylinder gasoline engine.

These cars are not limited to the Chevrolet SSR, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, GMC Yukon XL Denali, GMC Sierra Denali, Hummer H2 and Hummer H3. And if you’re willing to install this unit in your car, you should know that there are aftermarket sales of the transmission.

Power Ratings

The power rating for a truck version is around 380 pound-feet of torque, which is almost 400 pound-feet of torque found in the car version. Also, the maximum gearbox torque for the 4L65E is 670 pound-feet. Analysts have also revealed that the 4L65E transmission can support about 20% more torque compared to the 4L60E.

On the other hand, there maximum shift speeds from the first to the second gear are 6,400 rpm. Whereas the maximum shift speeds from second to third gear are  6,200 rpm, and that from third to fourth gear is 5,600 rpm.

Place of Manufacture

There are different regions in the U.S. where the Hydra-Matic 4L65E is manufactured. For instance, it is made at the Romulus transmission in Romulus, Mich, as well as, Toledo Transmission in Toledo, Ohio. The Romulus Transmission also creates the 4L65E in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

4L65E Transmission Upgrades

The following are some 4L65E transmission upgrades over the course of the years. They include:

    • Reduction of the gear slipping with the use of a new kit.
    • The use of bigger PR valves to provide a full hydraulic seal of fluid.
    • The recalibration of the machining for stators with machine process and Tru-Flat system stator qualification.
    • Replacement of the TCC control valve, actuator feed valve, and the TCC regulator valve in a bid to combat wear issues.
    • The replacement of the plastic 1-2 accumulator pistons with aluminum pistons to combat the early failure of the clutch.
    • The addition of an updated 2-4 band to improve transmission durability and torque.
    • A test of transmission for functionality through the use of a road simulation program and a dynamometer. Tests were carried out in idle and operational modes.
    • Replacing the line bore bushing evident in the pump to upgrade the flow of the transmission fluid and also improve the working life of the pump.
    • The use of new bushings to improve fluid control to reduce vibration.
    • Installation of recalibration kit to improve the valve’s servomotors and accumulator.
    • Upgrades to the valve body accumulators, servos, and the PR system.
    • The replacement of the outdated sun shell design with a new model to eliminate a good number of points of failure.

The Bottom Line

These are the 4L65E transmission specifications and updates made to the unit to improve its performance. The upgrades have made this transmission one of the best from GM and a unit that is impressive to performance transmission lovers. On the other hand, you are now in a better position to determine if the 4L65E transmission and features are right for you and your car.

4L60E vs 4L80E Performance Transmission Differences

4L60E vs 4L80E Performance Transmission Differences - Gearstar Performance Transmissions

A comparison of the 4L60E vs 4L80E performance transmission shows that there are clear differences between both units. Although they may have similarities, such as being designed by General Motors Company and having a 4-speed automatic overdrive, these transmissions have unique features that set them apart.

Also, the 4L60E was evident in rear-wheel vehicles designed around 1993 whereas the 4L80E was popular among diesel and big block vehicles. The 4L80E is also the more powerful transmission of the duo. Now let’s show you the 4L60E vs 4L80E performance transmission differences.

Differences Between the 4L60E vs 4L80E Performance Transmission

The 4L60E vs 4L80E performance transmission differences are notable in their origin, appearance, size and weight, power, gear ratios, price, etc.. However, it may be worth noting that the 4 in either name represents four gears whereas the L stands for oriented longitudinally.

And the 80 in the 4L80E says the unit can support 8000 pounds of GVWR, whereas the 60 in 4L60E means the transmission can handle 6000 pounds of GVW. Over and above, the E in both names stands for a transmission that is electronically controlled. Now here’s a breakdown of the differences between both units:


The 4L60E and 4L80E have model numbers that are similar. However, these transmissions differ in the way they were manufactured. The 4L80E is an electronic overdrive successor to the Turbo 400, and the latter is a transmission that was used for drag racing and hot rodding applications.

On the other hand, the 4L60E is an electronic transmission that is a successor to the 700R4. And the 700R4 was the standard transmission used in Chevrolet and GMC vehicles starting from 1982.


The 4L80E  can be told apart from the 4L60E by looking at their transmission fluid pan. This is because the 4L80E has a pan that is oval in shape whereas a rectangular pan is featured by the 4L60E.

Another disparity between both devices is the number of bolts used to secure the transmission to the engine. Here, there are more number of bolts on the 4L80E due to its larger size. Specifically, there is a gasket of 17 bolts on the 4L80E, while the 4L60E’s pan has 16 bolts.

Size and Weight

Another notable difference between both units lies in their size and weight. The 4L80E is larger and heavier than the 4L60E. Its more hefty build can be tied to its 236 lbs and a length of 26.4″. Alternatively, the 4L60E weighs 150 lbs (without fluid) and it has a length of 23.5″.

A comparison between the size and weight shows that the 4L80E is significantly larger and heavier. On the other hand, the amount of fluid these units will support is dependent on the torque converter that will be used with the transmission.


It goes without saying that the 4L80E  is more powerful than the 4L60E. To that effect, cars that have powerful engines are often paired with this transmission. These are vehicles used in demanding applications such as towing or racing.

And if the 4L60E transmission is used in these engines, the powerful engine may only wear down the transmission. There are, however, occasions where a stock 4L60E transmission may be able to support the engine.


Given that the 4L80E is the more powerful of the duo and is able to support more demanding applications, it’s pricier than the 4L60E. It’s more expensive price can be tied to its larger size and its use in engines with more horsepower.

And if you’re looking for a resilient transmission that can support heavy trucks and high-speed vehicles, then the 4L80E is the better choice. Opting for the 4L60E for an engine with high horsepower could result in its breakage.

Another factor that determines the more expensive price of the 4L80E is because it is not as common as the 4L60E. You’ll also find it easier to find parts and whole transmissions when it comes to the 4L60E compared to the 4L80E. Whichever is the case, parts for you 4L60E can be sourced online or from a junkyard.

Gear Ratios

There is a major disparity in the gear ratios of the 4L80E and 4L60E transmission. The gear ratios for the 4L80E  are:

      • 1: 2.482
      • 2: 1.482
      • 3: 1.00
      • 4: 0.750
      • R: 2.077

The gear ratios for the 4L60E are:

      • 1: 3.059
      • 2: 1.625
      • 3: 1.00
      • 4: 0.696
      • R: 2.294

Knowing these gear ratios informs you if it is ideal to swap one of these transmissions for the other. You’ll need to consider their first gear ratio and could support the gear ratio with a rear axle differential.

Max Torque

How long each transmission lasts also sets a difference between each. Their durability in terms of performance can be tied to their size given the large internal components that are within the transmission.

That being said, the maximum torque that can be handled by the 4L80E and 4L60E is 450nm and 350nm respectively. Nonetheless, these torque figures are not fixed and may vary slightly. Coupled with that, new transmission will tend to last longer compared to one that has been around 30 years.

Wiring Harness, Controller and Sensors

The electronics of the 4L80E and 4L60E also shows a major difference. In this case, there is a disparity in the transmissions’ wiring harness and the transmission control unit. These components are incompatible when interchanged in the other transmission.

Another difference is in the sensors given that there are 2-speed sensors on the 4L80E that differ from the speed sensor on the 4L60E. It’ll be useful to buy a harness and control unit when carrying out a swap of one transmission in the other.

The Bottom Line

The 4L60E vs 4L80E performance transmission differences are numerous. And these differences show that the 4L80E is the better transmission of the duo. However, it’ll cost you more to acquire this unit compared to the 4L60E and the latter is also easier to find.

At the end of the day, you need to settle for the 4L80E if your car is used in demanding applications that may tend to wear down the transmission. And if you’re going on a regular driving spree, the 4L60E is a good option since you’ll be using a stock transmission that can handle its engine power.

GM 4L80E Transmission – A Solid Performer

When it comes to vehicles, these days, we all want maximum horsepower. The more the horsepower, the better the engine performs. However, it also has a drawback. Though having more power is good, the problem with it is it puts additional pressure on the rest of the driveline. You need a better transmission to handle the pressure. If we talk about General Motors, in particular, fortunately, there are multiple options available to drivers to enhance the performance of their vehicles. In this blog, we shed light on GM 4L80E built transmissions.

Now, this might raise a few eyebrows! GM 4L80E? Great transmissions? Though often overlooked, GM 4L80E automatic trans have had a reputation of being some of the best options on the market. The high-performance automatic transmission is known for its power and reliability. First introduced in 1991, they were initially used in GM trucks, such as the Sierra, Silverado, Suburban, and Hummer H1. A great feature of these four-speed overdrive trans is they are capable of working with just about any power level and engine combination.

4L80E vs. TH400

Though 4L80E race transmissions are quite similar to TH400 in terms of strength and parts used, however, there are differences, such as the added overdrive gear, advanced electronic controls, and a lock-up torque converter. 4L80E transmissions have nearly 25% overdrive and are 4 inches longer than the TH400. The trans mount has been moved rearward by an inch-and-a-half. If we talk about the weight, the 4L80E is nearly 50 pounds heavier compared to the TH400 due to the electronic control.

Issues Resolved in GM 4L80E Transmissions

Although there were some minor issues with the automatic GM 4L80E transmissions that were introduced in 1991, over the years, significant improvements have been made to enhance its performance. As compared to the older ones, the newer boxes are more attractive, and virtually all models can be made to fit performance applications, including in luxury vehicles, such as Bentley, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, and Aston Martin. Not to forget, the trans are also used in less appealing vehicles, such as motorhomes and school buses!

GM 4L80E transmissions have the die-cast aluminum frame and are mostly compatible with Chevrolet- style GM engines. Shift points, shift pressures, torque converter lockup, and overdrive can all be easily controlled by the driver, allowing endless possibilities and full control.

If you’re in the market for 4L80E performance transmissions, get in touch with Gearstar today! We can build a custom transmission that suits your requirement!

3 Signs of a Failing Turbo 400 Torque Converter to Beware Of

You may not know this, but when you drive an automatic transmission car, you have the upper hand over your car’s torque converter. The reason? The reason is simple: torque converters transfer your engine power output to the car’s transmission, which means that every time you shift gears, you are commanding the torque converter for more power. However, if it starts causing problems, you may no longer be in the driver’s seat, which is why being aware of its common failing signs is vital to extending its lifeline and enjoying uninterrupted rides now and again. As soon as you notice problems in its working, visit your auto mechanic to get it fixed or replaced, either with a turbo 400 torque converter or any other.

3 Signs That Indicate a Failing Turbo 400 Torque Converter


If your car shudders when you start it and put it in gear, the chances are that your torque converter is damaged. The slipping happens when you are driving or changing gears and may accompany odd noise. Since the primary role of a turbo 400 torque converter is to efficiently convert engine power into hydraulic pressure for the transmission to use for shifting gear, if it is malfunctioning, you may experience slipping in overdrive.


Many sports cars and high-end models come with a transmission temperature indicator that informs you when the car’s transmission is overheating. When the transmission starts to overheat, it also performs differently and often does not change or engage gears at all. It usually overheats because of a failing torque converter that does not smoothly transfer power output to the transmission. If your car keeps overheating, visit your auto mechanic to get the issue resolved. In case it’s damaged beyond repair, choose an appropriate converter, be it a turbo 400 torque converter or any other.

Damaged Torque Converter Seal

The best way to find a broken torque converter seal is to observe fluid leaks. If you notice fluid leaks in your car, make sure to get it inspected by a skills auto mechanic as it can permanently damage both the converter and transmission, putting a dent in your pocket. It’s also a good idea to get the seals replaced regularly, as they wear out over time because of many reasons.

In a Nutshell

While you are the master over your car’s torque converter when driving, a failing converter can take a toll on the transmission as well as your driving experience, which is why repairing it soon after you notice the failing signs is vital. If you are looking for high-performance transmissions and/or a turbo 400 torque converter for your sports car, no matter the make and model, get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.