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GM Transmissions

If you're in the market for a GM performance transmission, you're in the right place. We are dedicated to engineering and building the finest GM and Chevy Performance transmissions in the world. Our custom, hand-built transmissions can handle up to 1200 horse power and 1000 ft-lbs of torque and are built with the highest quality parts available.

Our high performance GM transmissions are built to the horsepower, torque, and rear gear ratio specs of the engine that it will be matched to. Unlike other performance transmissions builders, each individual transmission is built by one technician from start to finish. Before a transmission and torque converter leaves the facility, it is dyno tested for the equivalent of 100 miles to insure that it is in proper working condition.

Our lineup of Chevy performance and racing transmissions includes TH 350, TH 400, 700R4, 2004R, 4L60E, 4L65E, 4L70E, 4L80E, and 4L85E transmissions.

700R4 Performance Transmissions

The 700R4 is a four-speed automatic transmission that features a 30 percent overdrive in the fourth gear. The transmission was launched by General Motors and is sometimes referred to as Hydramatic.

GM developed the transmission in 1992 as a replacement to the TH350. The main reason for the new design was to create a transmission that was better on fuel economy. At the time, the 700R4 was used on trucks and rear-wheel drive vehicles such as the Chevrolet Blazer, Suburban, Corvette, Camaro and Impala.

700R4: One of the Best Transmissions Around

When the 700R4 was first released, it did have minor problems. Just five years later, the transmission had undergone several improvements and gained a more favorable reputation. In 1990, there was a name change to the 700R4 - the 4L60. It was essentially the same transmission, and in 1993, the 4L60 became electronically controlled instead of hydraulically controlled, which is where the name 4L60“E” comes from.

Even though 700R4 transmissions aren’t made new these days, the transmissions are still considered to be some of the best ever produced. The improved fuel economy and gear ratio in first gear were the hottest selling points, providing drivers with good acceleration when stopped at a stop sign or stoplight. Also, the gear ratio was good for off-roading.

Benefits of the 700R4 Trans

Let’s look at a few facts about the 700R4 and why this may be the transmission you need for your hot rod.

  • Constructed of cast aluminum
  • One of best overdrive transmissions
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Lower first gear ratio
  • 30 percent overdrive
  • 23.4 inches long; 155 pounds in weight
  • Holds 11 quarts of trans fluid

Custom Building a 700R4 with the Latest Technology

By choosing Gearstar to build a custom 700R4 transmission for your needs, we will discuss some of the ways to make the trans work for you. This transmission is easily overheated because it is used in heavy-duty pickup trucks as well as cars that are driven hard such as the Corvette or Camaro. Overheating is one of the main causes of transmission failure, and we don’t want this to happen to you.

If you plan on taking your car out with the 700R4, we may recommend a cooler that can be installed with the transmission. Even if you purchase a car with an old 700R4, the trans can be rebuilt with the latest upgrades to make it stronger and more durable. Gearstar builds everything by hand, and we only use premium products and one technician from start to finish.

2004R Performance Transmissions

Interested in the 2004R overdrive transmission? It’s definitely one of the transmissions that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but don’t be discouraged by what this trans can do in terms of performance. It’s nearly as strong as a 700R4 and can bolt into most Chevy’s without needing much modification. The 2004R was introduced in 1980 to be used in the Chevy Corvette and Buick Grand National until it was phased out in 1990. Today, many vehicles still use the 2004R to give older cars an overdrive gear and more horsepower.

Features of the 2004R Transmission

If you are considering putting a 2004R transmission into your older vehicle, here are a few things to know.

  • Improved Performance. Because the 2004R is an overdrive transmission, you can significantly improve performance in your vehicle. Take your car to the next level by upgrading your current TH350 or TH400 to the 2004R.
  • Reduced Fuel Consumption. Overdrive transmissions make better use of fuel because the car’s engine speed decreases when using overdrive gearing. In addition to having improved fuel efficiency, there is less wear and tear on the vehicle.
  • Easy Installation. Another benefit to the 2004R is that it has easy installation and is surprisingly affordable. They can handle around 250-400 horsepower and is the same length as Powerglide and TH350 transmissions.

2004R: Easy Install and Great Price

2004Rs are getting harder to find, but they remain a great replacement for an older two-speed Powerglide or a three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic. The reason for this is because you don’t have to make major adjustments. Plus, the fourth gear lets the engine rotate at a lower RPM, reducing fuel consumption and wear and tear on the drivetrain. You can also change the larger rear axle ratios without affecting streetability.

Gearstar builds high performance transmissions, and we highly recommend the 2004R because of its straightforward installation and reasonable price tag. Because this transmission is an analog model, it doesn’t rely on a computer to tell it what to do like its “E” siblings. This is part of the reason why the price tag is smaller than other transmissions. Give Gearstar a call and have one of our expert technicians build you an analog transmission with reliable overdrive. You won’t regret it!

4L60E Performance Transmission

4L60E transmissions refer to a series of automatic transmissions from General Motors. They are designed for longitudinal engine configurations and include 4 forward gears and 1 reverse gear. This particular transmission is rated up to 450 horsepower and 425 ft/lb torque and can be custom built by Gearstar. We take great pride in our superior parts, attention to detail and seasoned technicians. Only one person will build your transmission - this is how perfection is achieved.

4L60E: One of the Best Automatic Trans on the Market

The 4L60E is an automatic shift, four-speed overdrive transmission that has the reputation of being one of the best automatic transmissions ever made. Before the 4L60E was produced, there was another trans called the Turbo 700R4. This transmission was introduced in 1982, and the 4L60E is a branch off this model. The “E” stands for the “E”lectronically shift controlled version.

When talking about the 4L60E, there is the “Early” version and the “Late” version. The Early version is from 1982-1989, while the Late model is from 1996-2010. You can easily identify the later version of the 4L60E based on its removeable bellhousing. Another determining factor is the six-bolt hex rear output.

The strength of the transmission is very impressive and can be used in both trucks and cars. In fact, the 4L60E can be found in just about every GM rear-wheel drive such as the Sonoma, Taho, Safari, Astro, Yukon, Firebird, Camaro and Corvette. While there are some concerns over the automatic transmission, the 4L60E is a solid product that continues to be strengthened and improved.

Advantages to a 4L60E Transmission

If you are considering the 4L60E, there are many benefits to think about.

  • Strength
  • Durability
  • Broad usability
  • Great for Jeeps
  • Modular design
  • New versions coming out
  • Impressive power

In short, the 4L60E is an excellent transmission that continues to be improved. It’s one of the most popular automatic transmissions in America, and there are still millions of them in use. Gearstar builds high performance transmissions that are handbuilt in our shop. Each transmission is built to your exact specifications using the best parts possible. If you are interested in having a 4L60E built for your truck or car, contact us today.

4L65E Performance Transmissions

The 4L65E transmission, among others, was designed to replace the TH350. It’s a solid transmission that is similar to the 4L60E but with far more strength. The 4L65E was designed to handle more torque but has an identical looking case to its predecessor. However, the transmission is not compatible with the 4L60E because it uses a different torque converter and input shaft. If you plan on upgrading to the 4L65E, you will need a converter.

How the 4L65E Trans Has Evolved

The 4L65E was born because structural improvements needed to be made off older transmissions such as the 4L60E. The 4L65E is stronger, has better performance, a hardened sun shell and input shaft and a five-pinion rear planetary. Hot rodders appreciate having more pinion gears because the load is spread out and the transmission can handle more torque. Additionally, the 4L65E features a deeper pan for more fluid and a 3-4 clutch.

If you are in the market for a new transmission, you’re definitely doing yourself a favor by going with the 4L65E. Keep in mind that the older 60E is not compatible with the 65E, so you will need a converter. With the custom built transmissions from Gearstar, this is an easy issue to work around.

The only complaint that some drivers have had about the 4L65E is the jump from first to second gear. Some feel that the leap is too big. Yet for every person who doesn’t like the big jump, others love it. It’s all about preference, we suppose. There are some mods available to help with this wide ratio, but in actuality, there’s not much that can be done.

Custom Built 4L65E Transmission

The areas where four-speed automatics shine is their strength, abundance and opportunities for upgrade. Whether you’re interested in upgrading your current 4L60E transmission or are starting from scratch, Gearstar is happy to help! We custom build high performance transmissions using American-made parts. When you place your order, only one highly qualified technician will work on your transmission, ensuring that everything is given the appropriate attention.

4L80E Performance Transmissions

Horsepower is everything these days. The more horsepower a vehicle has, the better performance you will see from the engine. The problem with adding more horsepower is that it places additional pressure on the rest of the driveline. Fortunately, GM fans have multiple options when it comes to automatic transmissions.

One transmission that is often overlooked is the 4L80E. This four-speed overdrive trans works with just about any power level and engine combination. It is based largely on the TH400 in strength and parts. The difference is the added overdrive gear, advanced electronic controls and a lock-up torque converter.

How the 4L80E Has Evolved Over the Years

4L80E transmissions were first introduced in 1991. They were placed in GM trucks, such as the Sierra, Silverado, Suburban and the Hummer H1. There were some minor issues with the automatic transmissions, but improvements have been made over the years.

For one, the newer boxes are more attractive and all models can be made to fit performance applications. This is one of the reasons why 4L80Es find their way into luxury vehicles such as Bentleys, Jaguars, Rolls Royces and Aston Martins. Of course, we can’t forget that the transmissions can also be found in less appealing vehicles such as motorhomes and school buses!

A Chip Off the Old Block: TH400 vs 4L80E

As stated before, the 4L80E is similar to the TH400. It has a 25 percent overdrive and is 4 inches longer than the TH400, but the trans mount is moved rearward by an inch-and-a-half. Also, the 4L80E is roughly 50 pounds heavier compared to the TH400 because of the electronic control.

Speaking of, the need for electronic control is a concern surrounding this transmission. The 4L80E requires a controller, but some drivers appreciate that they can easily reprogram and adjust the display to their liking. Shift points, shift pressures, torque converter lockup and overdrive can all be controlled by the user, offering endless possibilities and full control.

Today, the 4L80E keeps its die-cast aluminum frame and is mostly compatible with Chevrolet style GM engines. The high performance automatic transmission is widely recognized for its reliability and power. If you’re looking to swap in a 4L80E, Gearstar is happy to build a custom transmission that fits your needs.

4L85E Performance Transmissions

The 4L85E transmissions are a series of automatic transmissions that were introduced by General Motors. The 4L85E is exceptionally strong and versatile and can be used for off-road racing, drag racing or custom street driving. In other words, these automatic transmissions mean serious business. If this is what you want for your vehicle, you’ve come to the right place. Gearstar will build you the most reliable and high-performing trans possible.

Why the 4L85E is a Great Pick for Off-Roading

What makes the 4L85E a great transmission upgrade? First, it’s from the 4L80E family, which is known for being strong. The trans can handle 460 lb-ft of torque, which is slightly higher than what the 4L80E can handle. It’s also based off the original TH400 three-speed transmission, which was heavy-duty in itself. You can find 4L85Es in a number of vehicles, including the Chevrolet Avalanche, GMC Savana, Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon.

As you can see, the 4L85E is a great transmission for larger vehicles. One of the biggest issues with large vehicles like Suburbans and Yukons is that they end up carrying a lot of weight because of the number of people they hold and the adequate space for luggage. These full-sized SUVs are also used for off-roading. It’s not uncommon to see them in snow, desert terrain or country roads.

Off-roading is hard on transmissions, especially with the buildup of heat. That’s why vehicles that are being used for heavy duty transporting or off-roading should be equipped with a transmission like the 4L85E. This transmission should operate at the max temperature. Every 20 degrees over that you go, you run the risk of cutting your transmission’s lifespan short.

Improving the 4L85E for Off-Roading

Gearstar builds custom transmissions to your exact specifications. If you use your SUV for off-roading, let us know and there's a few things we can do. For example, we can add a transmission cooler with its own electric fan or a large cooler that is installed in an area with good airflow.

We can also talk about improving the 4L85E with a shift improver kit. The benefits to this include modifications for the transmission's internal line pressure, more physical control of your automatic transmission and a decrease in the time it takes for the clutch and bands to engage. This reduces wear and heat while off-roading.

If this sounds good to you, then give Gearstar a call and let’s talk about building you a customized 4L85E.