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Old 08-26-2015, 02:56 PM   #1
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Transmission swap question

So the trans clutches in my '96 LT1 wagon seem to be fried (won't shift 1-2, 2-3). I'd like to replace the 4l60e tranny with a cheap one off craigslist. I found this seemingly very informative fitment guide on another forum: http://www.impalassforum.com/vBullet...d.php?t=232098

It indicates that a 2WD 4l60e from a '94-97 C1500 should do the ticket. Anybody know if there are any modifications necessary? (I assume I'll need to swap the tailhousing).

Thanks,

Alex
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:40 PM   #2
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Re: Transmission swap question

You may not need to change the tail housing or anything else so long at it is a '96-97 from a Vortec V8 truck. All the V8 trucks should have had the full compliment 3-4 (direct) clutch stack and full width 2-4 band with the appropriate band servo piston. The only question may be the rear mount on the tail housing, but I believe the housings were all machined with all the necessary holes.

The main reasons to go with a '96+ are that the some solenoid resistances changed after the '95 model year from 10Ω to something closer to 35Ω. Your vehicle PCM will be expecting that. The 3-2 downshift solenoid and valve were changed so earlier 4L60s are incompatible with your PCM. The VSS also changed sides in '96.

You'll also want to use the converter designed for your car and not a (probably) higher stall truck converter.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:36 AM   #3
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Re: Transmission swap question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Bowtie View Post
You may not need to change the tail housing or anything else so long at it is a '96-97 from a Vortec V8 truck. All the V8 trucks should have had the full compliment 3-4 (direct) clutch stack and full width 2-4 band with the appropriate band servo piston. The only question may be the rear mount on the tail housing, but I believe the housings were all machined with all the necessary holes.

The main reasons to go with a '96+ are that the some solenoid resistances changed after the '95 model year from 10Ω to something closer to 35Ω. Your vehicle PCM will be expecting that. The 3-2 downshift solenoid and valve were changed so earlier 4L60s are incompatible with your PCM. The VSS also changed sides in '96.

You'll also want to use the converter designed for your car and not a (probably) higher stall truck converter.
Great info, thanks! I'll probably just reuse the torque converter from my car.

Out of curiosity, why can't I use the 2WD 4l60e from 98-99 Vortecs, or from the 00-07 GMT800s?
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:41 PM   #4
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Re: Transmission swap question

A '98-99 would also work, but from the Vortec engine only. The bellhousing on some '98+ units is the bolt-on type and may have the starter mounting slightly altered. It can work, but may present a couple of minor complexities.

The later series used a different input shaft to mate to the Gen III engines and converters.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:58 AM   #5
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Re: Transmission swap question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Bowtie View Post
A '98-99 would also work, but from the Vortec engine only. The bellhousing on some '98+ units is the bolt-on type and may have the starter mounting slightly altered. It can work, but may present a couple of minor complexities.

The later series used a different input shaft to mate to the Gen III engines and converters.
Cool thanks! Off to the junkyard sometime soon then.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:38 AM   #6
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Re: Transmission swap question

Of course, you other option is to repair the original trans, like this:

http://www.wwdsltd.com/4L60/4L60ERepairs.html
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:32 PM   #7
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Re: Transmission swap question

Just keep in mind ... some of the early 4L60E uses a different torque converter than the later, PWM controlled TCC units. These are not interchangeable.

I believe that so long as your transmission is a 1995+, you should have no problems however if you have a '94, you MIGHT run into this issue. I believe this changeover also coincided with the change in the resistance/impedance of the solenoids that BB stated above.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:30 PM   #8
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Re: Transmission swap question

Excellent point. That coincides with the overall change in the actuation scheme of the TCC in 1995, from a straight solenoid valve and hydraulic cushioning to a PWM valve electrically/hydraulically cushioning the application of the TCC.

Regarding torque converters, if the transmission has suffered damage the chance of residual contamination contained within the TC is higher. Installing a TC from a damaged trans onto a rebuilt or "good" trans risks putting all the metal, friction material, and debris into the good trans. If the donor transmission was operating correctly and the TC is compatible, it might be best to install the used trans with its original (donor vehicle) TC. If the TC is not compatible with the vehicle getting the replacement trans, a new or remanufactured converter is really not that costly, and might be cheap insurance against early failure. Your local Chevy store can probably get you a NEW/reman TC with a guaranty for as little as $200. Local trans shops can probably do as well or better.

If you MUST use the old converter, spend a few extra dollars in trans oil to fill, flush, dump (lather-rinse-repeat) the old converter to clear out as much contamination as possible before installing it on the new/replacement trans.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:31 AM   #9
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Re: Transmission swap question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Bowtie View Post
Excellent point. That coincides with the overall change in the actuation scheme of the TCC in 1995, from a straight solenoid valve and hydraulic cushioning to a PWM valve electrically/hydraulically cushioning the application of the TCC.

Regarding torque converters, if the transmission has suffered damage the chance of residual contamination contained within the TC is higher. Installing a TC from a damaged trans onto a rebuilt or "good" trans risks putting all the metal, friction material, and debris into the good trans. If the donor transmission was operating correctly and the TC is compatible, it might be best to install the used trans with its original (donor vehicle) TC. If the TC is not compatible with the vehicle getting the replacement trans, a new or remanufactured converter is really not that costly, and might be cheap insurance against early failure. Your local Chevy store can probably get you a NEW/reman TC with a guaranty for as little as $200. Local trans shops can probably do as well or better.

If you MUST use the old converter, spend a few extra dollars in trans oil to fill, flush, dump (lather-rinse-repeat) the old converter to clear out as much contamination as possible before installing it on the new/replacement trans.
Thanks for all the pointers fellas. Bowtie, I considered rebuilding and have watched several videos on the subject. However, the time investment is a little more than I want to get into right now, plus I'd have to clear space in my parent's garage which will probably be like opening a can of worms.

If I had the time and space I would love to tackle that job, but I think that right now going with a used assembled trans will be the quicker route (assuming the one I pull from the junkyard is not torched also).
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:53 PM   #10
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Re: Transmission swap question

I ended up finding a good deal on craigslist, a guy with a burnt out 96 caprice was selling his tranny and engine. I pulled the trans from his, then from my car, then installed his. This sure was an awful lot of work - took 3.5hrs for each removal and 4.5 to install. A second set of hands probably would have helped. Hardest part was lining up the new trans onto the engine.

Thanks for the advice!
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