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March 2022

Overachieving Overdrive With a 700R4 Transmission Rebuild

Powerful performance with a 700R4 transmission rebuild

A good 700R4 transmission rebuild will leave you with a ride that is more powerful, durable, and with firmer shifts.

In terms of power, you can get over 450 lb-ft of engine torque output than what the stock transmission offers.

But first, you may want to dyno test your current 700-R4 transmission to know if it is in dire need of a rebuild, especially if it has been subjected to severe usage.

If it needs a rebuild, you may notice a decline in Second, Third, and Fourth gears.

The transmission may also start releasing fluid from the breather.

Therefore, you need the right parts to get a 700R4 that is more than impressive instead of switching to a new unit.

Now walk with us as we show you how to rebuild the 700R4 transmission to overachieve overdrive.

Why Rebuild the 700R4 Transmission Instead of a Replacement?

You may be wondering if it is entirely needful to rebuild the 700R4 transmission instead of upgrading to another transmission such as the three-speed automatic, Turbo 400.

If that’s the case, here are some reasons why the 700R4 transmission rebuild is more ideal in a street-strip car.

First Gear:

The 700R4 transmission’s first gear is 3.06:1, which means a car that features a 700R4 and 3.55:1 rearend gearing would move like a car with a Turbo-400 transmission and 4.38:1 rearend.

On the other hand, the Turbo-400 has a first gear of 2.48:1.

Fourth Gear:

A look at the 0.70 overdrive gear of the 700-R4 shows that it provides a cruise rpm, which is the same as the Turbo 400’s 1:1 third gear with 2.48:1 rearend gearing.

Lockup Converter:

A lockup converter is evident on the 700-R4 and this component helps to lock the drive and driven sections of the converter with a clutch above 38 mph.

Consequently, overheating and slippage are totally eliminated.

Fewer Components:

The 700-R4 transmission has fewer components compared to electronically controlled 4L60 or 4L80.

As such, you have fewer electronics to deal with. You do not have to spend more to acquire a transmission controller and wiring harness.

How to Rebuild the 700R4 Transmission

Although the 700R4 transmission is reputably known to be a reliable trans, a rebuild can enhance its performance.

Accordingly, you can rebuild the 700R4 transmission using these tips.


The first thing you’re going to do is to carefully disassemble the 700-R4 to see if there are possible areas that are in dire need of repair.

You may notice a brownish fluid and varnish on the internal components of the transmission due to overheating.

The heat is often produced by the torque converter and at higher converter stall speed, more heat is created before lockup.

Overheating, on the other hand, can cause transmission failure, which is why you should consider using an external trans fluid cooler and a temperature gauge.

The temperature gauge will tell you if your transmission is overheating.

In this case, if the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) has a temperature above 185 degrees F, it may prevent proper fluid flow and component lubrication.

Replacement of Internal Components:

Certain components in the transmission can prevent it from shifting between gears properly.

For instance, if there’s a sticking governor with coated trans-fluid varnish, there may be shifting issues.

Accordingly, proceed to replace the internal parts of the transmission.

You may also want to link the trans cooling lines and radiator heat exchanger to a cleaning machine.

Increased Line Pressure:

Take a look at the hydraulic system in a bid to increase line pressure quickly when power is applied.

The goal is also to eliminate high-rpm pressure drop-off and slippage.

In this aspect, you’ll be looking to improve the transmission pump using a new, hardened stator.

There’s a need to CNC-machine flat both sides of the pump halves to ensure that the stator is perpendicular.

It’ll also provide precision mating of the pump halves thereby eliminating internal pressure leakage.


Hardened-steel pump-guide rings can be installed to disallow pressure drop above 5,500 rpm.

Likewise, it’ll enable the driver to manually control shift points without negative effects.

Another important installation is with a 10-vane pump rotor and an upgrade to an oversized 0.500 low-boost and 0.290 reverse-boost valves.

Also, consider the use of Teflon-coated front bushings and heavy-duty stator support bushings.

An enhancement to the pump-regulator valve and installation with a stiffer pressure-regulator spring can improve flow.

Decrease Internal Slippage:

Focus has to be given to the 2-4 gear band assembly by stepping it up to a wider 3/8-inch Kevlar band with a reinforced anchor.

This upgrade will eliminate slippage on shifts under full power and enhance the transmission’s durability.

There’s a need for an improved governor to increase automatic WOT shift points to the 5,200 to 5,600 rpm range.

Also, a heavy-duty, 29-element input sprag clutch is needed to withstand the solid shifts.

Other upgrades include the improvement of the 3-4-gear clutch pack to nine friction and nine steel plates.


Improved shifting is also brought about by recalibrating the part-throttle, throttle-valve accumulator circuits in the valve body, and the spacer plate passages.

This will also provide more precise pressure regulation and firmness.

The line-bias system is upgraded in a bid to improve shifting.

Road Testing:

It is important to road test the transmission after the rebuild to see how well it works before its final use.


It is entirely possible to overachieve overdrive with a 700R4 transmission rebuild, especially if you do it the right way following the steps we’ve outlined.

You’ll be dealing with more power and firmer shifts after this upgrade.

The best part is, you’ll be spending less on a rebuild compared to getting an entirely new transmission.

On the other hand, it’s better to work with a car repair shop if you have little knowledge about fixing cars to ensure you don’t cause more harm than good to your unit.

It’ll save you money in the long run and help you avoid transmission failure.

5 Vehicles with Ford 4R70w Transmissions

Ford 4R70W Transmissions in a red mustang

Today, you are going to learn more about the magnificent Ford 4R70W transmissions, why they may be the ideal fit for your car, and also get to know the top 5 Ford vehicles that used the 4R70W transmission for better performance.

The 4R70W is no doubt one of the highly patronized and popular transmissions made by Ford. This transmission is a reviewed version of Ford’s AODE that was launched in 1993.

And ever since then, it has been widely used in a number of vehicles manufactured by Ford. That being said, the customized and revised version of this celebrated transmission is now commonly offered by different transmission manufacturers.

Historically, the first 4-speed Ford automatic transmission with AOD overdrive was launched in 1980, and another AODE transmission with electronic control features was released in 1992.

Subsequently, AODE was redesigned again in 1993, and this gave birth to the Ford 4R70W transmission with its enhanced strength, heavy-duty performance, take-off acceleration, powerful gear set as well as lower (first and second) gear ratios.

Without further ado, Ford used this powerful transmission in some of its cars before the company again revised the transmission design in 2004.

The Top 5 Vehicles That Used the Ford 4R70W Transmissions

Below are, however, the top five and the most popular Ford vehicles that used the 4R70w transmission for better acceleration and more:

  • Lincoln Mark VIII
  • Ford Expedition
  • Ford Mustang
  • Ford Crown Victoria
  • Lincoln Town Car

1. Lincoln Mark VIII

The Lincoln Mark VIII is arguably one of the first set of Ford cars to use the magnificent auto 4R70W transmission. And such is the reason why the car’s engine is one to beat till today.

This vehicle was first launched as Lincoln Mark VIII, and the name lasted for years as one of the fantastic vehicles in the automobile industry.

In addition, the 2-door coupe of Lincoln Mark VIII was initially launched in 1992 before it received a facelift a few years after. If there’s anything that would surprise you in this car, it is its gas mileage and standard engine performance.

More so, the recent version of this Lincoln Mark VIII Ford car has had an improved 4R70w transmission which enhanced its reliability and durability.

However, the company, in 1998, had discontinued producing Lincoln Mark VIII, with Lincoln LS enjoying all of its attributes now.

2. Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition is another vehicle using the auto 4R70W transmission for its accelerated enhancement, gear ratio, strength, and general performance.

This Ford Expedition model was launched in 1996, and it is an SUV brand from the Ford company. This powerful car is designed similar to the Ford F-150 pickup, and it has several components that are alike.

In the same vein, the Ford Expedition underwent a major facelift sometime around 2003, and its auto 4R70W transmission component gained an improved version with control software.

This control software was specifically designed to ensure that the 4R70W transmission can have an automatic and better understanding of the towing requirements.

And last, the vehicle also makes use of an innovative device or computer logic designed in a manner to understand certain changes in road conditions.

3. Ford Mustang

Talking about the most popular vehicles manufactured by Ford, Mustang cannot be left unmentioned. It’s one of the grand touring luxury vehicles in those days.

The Ford Mustang came into lime-light in 1965, and it has since then witnessed several versions. The 6th generation of this Mustang, being a sports car for racing, is widely known for drag racing and stock car racing all over the world.

However, it was the 3rd and 4th versions of the Ford Mustang that came with the 4R70W transmission before it was subsequently replaced with Ford’s Tremec (T5) transmission in 2005 during the 5th generation production.

By and large, the present and available version, which is the 6th generation of the Ford Mustang, uses either the automatic Gretratag transmission or Ford’s 6-speed manual. 

4. Ford Crown Victoria

The Ford Crown Victoria was launched as a Sedan in 1992 by the Ford company, and the model was introduced as a luxury trim with a specific version of the half-vinyl roof.

When readers of certain ages hear Ford Crown Victoria, the first thing to come to mind is the mid-50s Cop cars. This vehicle is no doubt one of the most popular cars in those days.

The sedan made use of the Ford Panther platform, and almost all of its powertrain components and suspension were similar to Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis.

Specifically, this Sedan Victoria Crown was one of Ford’s first set of cars to use the AOD transmission prior to the launching of AODE transmission in the year 1993.

The Ford Victoria Crown of 1995 models had the AODE transmission too before it was subsequently replaced by the powerful 4R70W for better performance.

5. Lincoln Town Car

Last on the list of the top Ford vehicles that used the 4R70W transmission for better performance is the Lincoln Town car.

The car was manufactured and marketed by the Lincoln branch of Ford in 1981, and the production was ongoing not until 2011. Before its production was discontinued, Lincoln Town vehicle was one of Ford’s best-selling in the U.S. and Canada.

During the early stage of its production, the Lincoln Town car used the Ford’s AODE transmission before it was later replaced with 4R70W transmission for heavy-duty in 1998.

In 2002, the car also underwent a facelift when it graduated from the low gear 4R70W transmission to the latest and updated version of the 4R75W transmission.


At this juncture, you must know that the 4R70W transmission has over the years gained a positive reputation for itself as a result of its low gear ratios, heavy-duty performance, user-friendly budget price point, and more.

Several numbers of transmission manufacturing companies now offer the 4R70W to their prospective buyers that are willing to handle huge amounts of horsepower and torque manufactured by Ford engines.

Though not limited to the mentioned 5, the above discussed are the top 5 Ford vehicles that used the 4R70W transmission for better acceleration and heavy-duty performance.

How to Choose the Right Chevy Torque Converter

Chevy Torque Converter for Chevy GM

It’s important to know how to choose the right torque converter for your chevy GM to ensure it is the rugged ride you expect it to be.

Admittedly, torque converters are a great component in your automatic car due to the wide functions they provide.

For starters, these units help to transmit the power of the engine to the transmission and rear wheels.

It’s even more interesting to note that although torque converters may seem complex, their mode of operation is a simple one.

Now walk with us as we throw more light on this component and how you too can select the right torque converter for your chevy GM.

What is a Torque Converter?

A component that sends the engine’s power to the transmission and rear wheels is called the torque converter.

This component adopts the principle of fluid coupling while at the same time supporting the hydromechanical connection.

Also, fluid is used to aid the operation of the torque converter components including the impeller, stator, and turbine.

Fluid tends to move a turbine, which is a component that drives a series of machines.

Transmission fluid is set in motion within the shell as the crankshaft of the engine spins the finned impeller inside the shell.

The moving fluid goes through the stator before it enters the turbine that is linked to the input shaft and forward clutch assembly of the transmission.

Coupled with that, you’ll find a roller clutch where the stator is mounted and this clutch enables the one-way rotation of the stator.

Torque Converter Multiplication

Torque multiplication occurs when fluid is passed from the impeller through the stator to the turbine’s center at the transmission’s input shaft.

Here, the transmission fluid is spurned around the perimeter of the shell leading to the creation of velocity and fluid in motion.

The fluid is then passed through the finned stator and its movement is rigorous given that it gains more velocity as it moves through the turbine.

As a result, you get an interaction that is two and half times the torque that your engine would’ve provided.

It also follows that 300 lb-ft of torque at the crankshaft can be translated into two to two and a half times the number under acceleration.

The engine drives the torque converter shell, as well as, the hollow output shaft that is linked to the transmission’s front pump.

The pump provides the hydraulic pressure that is required to control shift function and aid in lubrication within the transmission.

What the hydraulic pump does is engage clutches and bands during shifting.

Further, the front pump drive shaft is hollow and its design provides access for the transmission input shaft within the middle.

Fluid passes through this hollow shaft to and from the torque converter.

Complexity in Torque Converters

The complexity in torque converters increases with the presence of a lockup feature with a clutch within the converter.

This lockup feature helps to enhance efficiency and remove slippage that is often evident when using a torque converter.

The torque multiplication ends as the clutch engages and there’s also a direct link between the crankshaft of the engine and the input shaft of the transmission.

Accordingly, this is an aspect where an automatic transmission operates like a manual transmission.

Locking torque converters often feature three-speed automatics and overdrive automatics.

While the majority of overdrive automatics enter a converter lockup in overdrive, the three-speed automatics tend to lock up in any gear range.

Stall Speed and Flash

Stall speed and flash are other terms used in relation to torque converters.

The stall speed can be defined as the RPM range once the engine moves the car.

In this case, the converter tends to stall or load and it also applies torque to the input shaft of the transmission once it attains a certain rpm range.

Flash, on the other hand, is associated with engine size and type, vehicle type and weight, and the kind of driving you intend to do.

Checking Stall Speed

To check stall speed, ensure that your car is in gear at a crawl before the throttle is hit.

On the other hand, it is often advised that you do not experiment with your car using a hard power braking at a wide-open-throttle that is not in motion.

The test may be in a bid to determine the stall speed but this may lead to damage to the engine and transmission.

Over and above that, there are stock torque converters that have a stall speed between 1,800-2,000 rpm.

The need for higher stall speeds may present itself in cases where the horsepower and torque occur at higher rpm ranges.

In a scenario of this nature, you may have a need for the stall speed and maximum engine torque to occur around the same rpm range.

Hence, if the maximum torque is 3,500 rpm the stall speed will be around there.


Good knowledge of torque converters will help you choose the right torque converter for your chevy GM.

This is an important component in your car since it impacts the vehicle’s torque and horsepower.

There’s also the stall speed to consider, flash, as with other terms.

Each of these has been covered above to help you make the most of your ride.

Shifting Your 4L60E Transmission From Weak to Wicked

4L60E Transmission inside a white and blue muscle car driving on the highway

Rebuilding your 4L60E transmission can transform it into a tougher performance transmission.

It’ll have more durable components, increased torque and horsepower, and be more rugged for the road.

A rebuild of this nature allows you to gain the full benefits evident on higher transmission models.

On the other hand, the 4L60E denotes a “4” four-speed, “L” longitudinal installation, “60” light-to-medium-duty use, and 6,000-pounds gross vehicle weight that is “E” electronically controlled.

This transmission is based on the 700-R4, which was launched to handle fuel economy.

The 4L60E as a computer-control system features a powertrain control module (PCM) that aids in control using sensors like the throttle position sensor (TPS) and vehicle speed sensor (VSS).

A rebuild of the 4L60E will make it a more reliable, solid transmission.

How to Improve the Performance of Your 4L60E Transmission

The goal is to give your 4L60E transmission a greater torque capacity and horsepower to improve its performance.

Accordingly, here’s what you need to begin:

1. Disassemble Parts:

Rebuilding your 4L60E transmission requires that you disassemble its hard parts and lay them neatly on a bench.

You’ll notice that this transmission has a close resemblance to the 700-R4, 4L60, 4L65E, and even 4L75E transmissions.

Nevertheless, there are still slight differences between the 4L60E and the aforementioned transmissions.

2. Sun Reaction Shell:

The 4L60E has its factory sun reaction shell, which is less durable than a customized sun shell.

The factory shell may fail easily and end break around its hub.

To that effect, opt for a thicker sun shell whose center hub is stronger to ensure that the component stands the test of time.

Your shell also needs to have a radiused spline area and Torrington bearing. The latter helps to reduce friction in the area, as well, as heat.

3. Front Planet and Ring Gear:

Increasing the torque and horsepower capacity of the 4L60E transmission by 20% requires that you upgrade to a five-pinion front planet and ring gear.

This means you won’t be relying on the four pinions front planet.

The result is evident in a spread of torque across a larger mechanical surface area.

An increased torque can also be tied to the 400-500 horsepower support you’ll be getting from using a five-pinion front planet.

This torque capacity is comparable to that of the 4L65E/4L75E transmission.

A 29-element sprag for 700-R4, 4L60, and 4L60E is another useful component that will offer you more torque capacity.

4. Clutch Apply Piston:

A more enhanced hydraulic holding power and stability can be derived from the use of a larger 3-4 clutch overrun clutch apply piston coupled with an input drum reinforcement sleeve.

There’s also the need to use a Teflon-impregnated stator support bushing which offers more stability and smoothness.

Over and above that, opting for forward clutch apply pistons should be of the best quality (steel) to reduce the potential for failure.

5. Second and Fourth-gear Band Servo Pistons:

There are Second and Fourth-gear band servo pistons that are larger, which you can opt for.

These ones will give your transmission around 18 percent more band-apply capacity.

Other components to consider include Raybestos forward, overrun, and reverse input clutches and steels.

Raybestos clutches come with friction materials which reduce heat faster.

6. Input shafts:

Rebuilding your 4L60E requires the use of multiple-input shafts.

These are a hardened 4L60E input shaft, heavy-duty late-model 4L60E input shaft (4L75E), and stock 4L60E input shaft.

With these shafts in place, make an upgrade to a high-volume 13-element (vane) pump to support the pressure and volume.

7. New Soft Components:

There’s a need to get new soft parts including seals, bushings, and clutches.

The hard parts of the transmission can be inspected and then upgrades made to it.

Also, give consideration to the anti-chatter spring since it can impact the performance of the 4L60E.

8. Clutch Drum:

Clutch drums need to be resurfaced to support better band engagement.

If the clutch drum is beyond resurfacing, then it should be left aside.

The reverse input clutch drum consists of Raybestos high-performance clutch frictions to reduce friction and heat.

These Raybestos high-performance frictions offer more without slippage, while also supporting better power transfer.

On the other hand, heat can impact negatively on your transmission’s life.

9. Teflon Sealing Rings:

Teflon sealing rings are a better option to iron sealing rings.

The reason lies in the fact that iron sealing rings are not durable and break easily while those made of teflon last longer.

Nonetheless, you’ll need a bit of knowledge to properly install the teflon sealing rings since they are harder to install compared to iron sealing rings.

10. Reverse Input Drum:

You can load the reverse input drum onto the input drum.

The input drum should be fitted with a hardened input shaft to ensure it is durable and can support the 400-500-horse capacity of this transmission.

There’s a teflon sealing ring installation tool that can make your installation even easier

11. Installation:

Proceed to install the Raybestos Pro Series band and tie it to the servo while also adjusting it properly.

And even before the torque converter is installed, proceed to install the 13-element high-capacity front pump.

While choosing your torque converter, give great consideration to the stall speed, your engine’s torque curve, and your car’s usage most time.


These are the components and list of steps you need to make your 4L60E a more rugged transmission.

It’ll have durable components that can better dissipate heat while at the same time offering more torque and horsepower.

The result is improved performance while you hit the road.

It also follows that you do not have to upgrade this transmission to a more modern one since a simple rebuild of this nature will improve its torque.

Nevertheless, resort to the car repair shop if you’re unable to handle this rebuild yourself to ensure you don’t damage the transmission’s components.