4L60E questions

Maverickxeo

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Jan 25, 2021
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Alberta, Canada
I have a few questions regarding the 4L60E in my 04 Envoy 4.2L.

First of all, my shift times from an OBDII scanner - how do I use this data? For example, what are 'factory' shift times? In doing a short drive, I had a 0.40 1-2 shift; a 0.38 2-3 shift; and a 0.38 3-4 shift. Alongside those times, I have 'error' times: 0.03 error on 1-2 shift; -0.13 error on 2-3 shift; and -0.38 error on 3-4 shift.

I'm assuming that the shift time is the shift time and error added together?

Also, my torque converter slip is around the same RPM as the engine in park - that is normal, right?

My final question is probably the easiest - I checked the temp of the fluid via the OBDII scanner and I am sitting at 87C (188F) cruising at 65MPH on the highway with an ambient temp of around 45F; engine temp at 194F. Should I get an aux cooler? I am leaning toward doing so, but I was wondering the best way to do it - I can find a cooler very easily - but I do NOT want to cut the steel lines. Can I buy fittings that will 'bolt in' to the existing hardline fittings? I know the PCM of NC cooler does, but that is totally out of my price range for a few fittings and hoses...
 

Reprise

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First of all, my shift times from an OBDII scanner - how do I use this data? For example, what are 'factory' shift times? In doing a short drive, I had a 0.40 1-2 shift; a 0.38 2-3 shift; and a 0.38 3-4 shift. Alongside those times, I have 'error' times: 0.03 error on 1-2 shift; -0.13 error on 2-3 shift; and -0.38 error on 3-4 shift.

I'm assuming that the shift time is the shift time and error added together?
Not sure, but that would seem logical to me. Those shift times look way normal, so I wouldn't worry too much about this, at all.


Also, my torque converter slip is around the same RPM as the engine in park - that is normal, right?
Pretty much. If you're really wanting to 'do right' by the trans, consider a corrective shift kit, to convert the Torque Converter Clutch (TCC) from PWM modulation (it's programmed to constantly slip) to a straight on / off function, along with some other preventative fixes. The constant slip that's programmed in moves the valve back and forth in the soft aluminum valve body, and eventually wears the bore oversize, creating pressurization issues, slippage, error codes, etc. Putting the kit in eliminates the slip, and when the valve engages, it feels kinda like a 5th gear (and stays there, once the trans is in lockup.

There are a ton of threads here by many of us who installed the TransGo kits ourselves, trans in vehicle. If you can follow instructions, it's doable in 1-2 days, depending on how fast you work. Definitely read and understand the steps before you dig in. And we're a good resource for questions, as are our 'how-to' threads.


My final question is probably the easiest - I checked the temp of the fluid via the OBDII scanner and I am sitting at 87C (188F) cruising at 65MPH on the highway with an ambient temp of around 45F; engine temp at 194F. Should I get an aux cooler? I am leaning toward doing so, but I was wondering the best way to do it - I can find a cooler very easily - but I do NOT want to cut the steel lines. Can I buy fittings that will 'bolt in' to the existing hardline fittings?

You can. Derale makes adapters; I have one (unused), and can go get the part #, if you need it. Others do, too. The fittings are held to the radiator with retaining clips (wire). Be careful when taking them out -- they fly easily (although I never have this issue -- lucky me). A pick tool comes in very handy for prying out the clip. There's a plastic cover you pry off, and then you can get to the clip. The tube pulls straight out, and you'll notice it has a flared end. You can get replacement clips at your local parts store, in the carded stock (Dorman, 'Help' brand, etc.) Might not be a bad idea to pick up a package before you start, just in case one of the clips goes flying and you can't find it.

Oh, and when you're reassembling, the lines & clips were made to allow installation of the clip around the orifice first, then just push the line past the clip and seat it in the orifice. Done. You can put the line in first, and then fiddle with the clip, but it's a lot easier to do clip, then line. Keep the little plastic cover on the line, past the flared end, then push it back in place once the line is seated back in past the clip.

Almost everyone who sells a cooler includes 3/8" I.D. pressurized hose with the cooler. You can plumb everything without cutting the existing cooler lines. Just make sure you use good quality clamps (and use two in-line with one another). Coolers will flow either way you hook them up, so don't worry about which side is the 'inlet' vs. the 'outlet' -- makes no difference, unless they're marked as such (and I don't know of any that are, myself)

Dexron VI for fluid. I like Valvoline's 'full synthetic'; blue bottle, about $8/qt. I also use single-application Dexron (not the 'multi-type' fluid that can be used in different makers (Castrol 'TransMax' is an example of this). My preference; YMMV.

I like the Wix filter (again, my preference; they have a good rep). The OEM gasket is considered reusable, btw, and is better than a rubber-only (and certainly a cork) gasket. You need the 'deep pan' filter, unless someone gave you the wrong pan at the factory (it's a joke; afaik, everyone got the deep pan (it's about 3" high). The drain plug is a 14 or 15mm, IIRC -- and don't be surprised if you can't get it off. They were overtightened at the factory. Six point socket only, with a 1/2" drive wrench.

Dexron is stable until about 235F. The old adage for transmissions was "must keep under 200F", and while cooler is always better (you can't 'overcool' a transmission), you'll hit 200F during the hot summer, especially if you're in stop / go traffic, or if you're towing. As long as you don't go past 205-210F under the harshest conditions you'll see (and not on a constant basis), you'll be OK. Although I might change the fluid a little more often, if your trans sees these conditions regularly.

If you're not towing, a 10,000 BTU cooler would work fine. If you do plan on towing, I'd go a little larger -- maybe 20,000 BTU. The stacked plate type are the most efficient (so you can use a smaller form factor with these). Next are the fin & plate, and the plain fin type are the least efficient (& cheapest, & largest form factor, relative to their capacity). Mount it in front of the A/C condenser for best results, where the air can hit it, first.
You can choose to plumb it in line with the stock cooler, or bypass the stocker. Mine bypasses the stock cooler, and I used to tow with mine (10,000 BTU), till I got a HD full-size pickup.
 

Maverickxeo

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Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Posts
38
Location
Alberta, Canada
Hey, so I forgot to respond to this post. Thanks for the information, there is a LOT to take in.

That said, I have actually just finished a transmission cooler. I went with a 24,000GVW which is overkill, but it was actually physically only slightly larger than a 10,000GVW and the same price. The hottest I got it is now 60C (140F) at around 15C (60F). It was very easy to install - there are no leaks and I didn't cut any lines.

I'll definitely look into a Transgo kit - I hate automatics - but it is what it is, haha.
 

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