Transmission is done!

DarkBlazer02

Original poster
Member
Sep 1, 2012
29
Hi everyone this is my first post on I was on the other site and I'm glad this site is up and going!!!!! Well my tranny is toasted and was wanting to know if a 08 trailblazer's tranny would work in my 02? Someone told me probably not because it my not communicate right because of the year's being different even tho them both being a 4L60E....... So that's my question if anyone can chime in I'd appreciate it!!!!! Thanks
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
DarkBlazer02 said:
Hi everyone this is my first post on I was on the other site and I'm glad this site is up and going!!!!! Well my tranny is toasted and was wanting to know if a 08 trailblazer's tranny would work in my 02? Someone told me probably not because it my not communicate right because of the year's being different even tho them both being a 4L60E....... So that's my question if anyone can chime in I'd appreciate it!!!!! Thanks

I think it would work, I know it would bolt up, as long as they didnt change the electrical connectors you will be fine.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
The 4L60 seems to currently be a popular topic. Just curious, how is it toasted, symptoms?


Are you getting a fair price for the 08? Just curious because FWIW, a heavily built unit runs about $2K and will handle lots of power. Assuming you have probed some boneyards sometimes they will ask a steep price for one.

Not sure of the compatibility since our 02's have the cooler PCM then they broke the mold I suppose. :biggrin:
 

dfc739

Member
Jul 29, 2012
170
Des Moines, IA
DarkBlazer02 said:
Hi everyone this is my first post on I was on the other site and I'm glad this site is up and going!!!!! Well my tranny is toasted and was wanting to know if a 08 trailblazer's tranny would work in my 02? Someone told me probably not because it my not communicate right because of the year's being different even tho them both being a 4L60E....... So that's my question if anyone can chime in I'd appreciate it!!!!! Thanks

McGMT said:
I think it would work, I know it would bolt up, as long as they didnt change the electrical connectors you will be fine.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but no. Leave it up to GM to change stuff every so often: they changed the manual lever position switch between 2003 and 2004. If you want to put a 2008 tranny in your 2002, then you'll need to either buy the old MLPS or swap your old one. It really wouldn't be hard to swap the old MLPS. Here are links to the two different switches. You'll see the older has two electrical connectors and the newer has one electrical connector. I'm not sure other than that.

4L60E 4L80E Neutral start switch 4L60E transmission MLP

4L60E 4L80E transmission (MLP) manual lever position switch 24229422 neutral start switch

I'd also like to know the symptoms.
 

DarkBlazer02

Original poster
Member
Sep 1, 2012
29
Thank for the reply's!!! Ok here it goes...... one day it decided not to engage into reverse after coming outta drive I messed with it and it went in... Now on my way to work came from a stop sign pulled off from stop about a half mile to a mile I hear BANG then HORRIBLE GRINDING I am like oh **** so I pulled over and got to check for anything and nothing no fluid anywhere so I got back in and reengaged it in drive and it did till I hit 10MPH then it would grind and slip as long as I kept it below 10mph and it would stay engaged limped it home got it home and started checking everything the grinding sounded like it was coming from the rear end pulled the cover and found out that the spider gears were getting bad so I thought ik heres the problem..... got a new rear carrier and put it in and low and be hold not it!!!!!!:hissyfit: Now that wasn't it so I found that the noise was right at the transfer case so here we go again got a used transfer case that only had 16,000 miles on and put it in..... guess what not the problem!!!!!!! UGH!!!!! Pulled it the transfer case down again and started the truck up and low and be hold the loud grinding noise was coming from the rear section of the tranny at the tail shaft area while it was in park and now all gears!!!!! Thus why i say its gotta be done!!! The 08 tranny i found is used with only 42,000 miles on it for about $700 so this is why I am asking! Thanks DFC739 i'll check out those links!
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Sounds like the sunshell in the trans. Common weak link and has been upgraded but based on the symptoms that's the likely culprit.
 

DarkBlazer02

Original poster
Member
Sep 1, 2012
29
Ok well thanks everyone for all the info guess I need to find out more on this to see if there is any other differences other then the MLPS because I really want my truck back! LOL
 

dfc739

Member
Jul 29, 2012
170
Des Moines, IA
gmcman said:
Sounds like the sunshell in the trans. Common weak link and has been upgraded but based on the symptoms that's the likely culprit.

Agreed. Very common problem. Search google for "4l60e sun reaction shell break" and you'll find many people in the same situation as yourself. It's to the point that a company specifically makes what's called "the beast" sunshell just because of this problem. It's pretty easy to replace it if you are mechanically competent and can follow the manual. The beast sunshell is usually around $50. But you will have to open up the transmission to remove some of the internals.
 

Pittdawg

Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
gmcman said:
Sounds like the sunshell in the trans. Common weak link and has been upgraded but based on the symptoms that's the likely culprit.

What year was it upgraded?
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
Pittdawg said:
What year was it upgraded?

AFAIK, the GM bulletin lists the weaker shell from 1993-2005, so safe bet it started in 2006 and possibly very late 2005.

Not 100% on 93 but early to mid 90's was the start.

If you upgrade I would go with the GM shell since I hear there have been balance issues with the "Beast" version.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
I thought there was some other electrical change in the 08 transmission/PCM vs earlier ones.
 

DarkBlazer02

Original poster
Member
Sep 1, 2012
29
Gotta another question would the stealership be able to tell me for sure what is all different from my 02 tranny and the 08 tranny?
 

dfc739

Member
Jul 29, 2012
170
Des Moines, IA
DarkBlazer02 said:
Gotta another question would the stealership be able to tell me for sure what is all different from my 02 tranny and the 08 tranny?

I think that might be your best bet. Or find a transmission shop.
 

DarkBlazer02

Original poster
Member
Sep 1, 2012
29
Well called the stealership today and I was told they really no way of telling the difference between the 02 and 08 trannys just that they wouldn't put it in if they were the ones doing it they would put another 02 in..... I was like duh re re for a couple grand I bet you would!!!!! GRRRR:mad: So I called a transmission shop and they told me that the 08 tranny isnt a 4l60 but 4l65E and would not work!!!! So my search is still woooohooo!!!!:crazy:
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
DarkBlazer02 said:
Well called the stealership today and I was told they really no way of telling the difference between the 02 and 08 trannys just that they wouldn't put it in if they were the ones doing it they would put another 02 in..... I was like duh re re for a couple grand I bet you would!!!!! GRRRR:mad: So I called a transmission shop and they told me that the 08 tranny isnt a 4l60 but 4l65E and would not work!!!! So my search is still woooohooo!!!!:crazy:

The only difference mechanically between those two trannys is some hardened parts and an extra clutch in the 3-4 pack... And the shift linkage in the wrong spot..

4 = Number of gears
L = Longitudinal
XX = More or less the strength of the tranny.. Higher number means heavier duty/ can handle more grunt
E = Electronic
 

DarkBlazer02

Original poster
Member
Sep 1, 2012
29
Question why can't I post a link on here...... I tried and it said I have to wait for it to be approved by a administer?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
DarkBlazer02 said:
Question why can't I post a link on here...... I tried and it said I have to wait for it to be approved by a administer?
I just approved it. It's an anti-spam filter for low post count members. Nothing personal. Links make the software suspicious.
 

DarkBlazer02

Original poster
Member
Sep 1, 2012
29
If anyone could take a look at the posted if its any good or not I'd really appreciate it cuz if it is I'll be making a drive to go get it and get my TB back on the road where it belongs!!! LOL :wootwoot:
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
They seem to use good parts but building a tranny is an art and if theu miss details...parts dont matter.

The description seems good...prolly worth a shot.
 

Pittdawg

Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
DarkBlazer02 said:
So I called a transmission shop and they told me that the 08 tranny isnt a 4l60 but 4l65E and would not work!!!! So my search is still woooohooo!!!!:crazy:

Can anyone verify 08's have the 4l65e?
 

Pittdawg

Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
Pittdawg said:
Can anyone verify 08's have the 4l65e?

According to wikipedia:
"The two transmissions are differentiated mainly by the number of pinion gears in their planetary gearsets: The 4L60-E has four, while the heavy-duty 4L65-E has five. Other elements of the 4L60-E design were strengthened when the 4L65-E was introduced, but these were incorporated into the 4L60-E in 2002."

Still interested if anyone has definitive knowledge on our specific platform...
 

dfc739

Member
Jul 29, 2012
170
Des Moines, IA
Pittdawg said:
Still interested if anyone has definitive knowledge on our specific platform...

AFAIK, only the SS models got the 4L65-E. Everyone else got the regular 4L60-E, which can put up with quite a bit of abuse (it's also used in the regular duty full size Silverado trucks, Suburbans, Tahoes, etc.) I would think they would be swappable. The transmission does not know how many pinion gears it has, just that they work! Also, it looks like the manual lever position switch is the same except for the change at 2003 to the single connector. I know McGMT said earlier that the shift linkage is in the wrong spot, but this website sells the lever position switch and claims it fits 4L60E, 4L65E, and 4L80E models for the correct years:

Gm Neutral Safety Switch D74410B - New

Sorry, but I can't say with any certainty whether it will work or not. Maybe if you can post a picture of the bar code someone might be able to find something that indicates whether it's a 4L60 or 65.
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
dfc739 said:
AFAIK, only the SS models got the 4L65-E. Everyone else got the regular 4L60-E...

No GMT360 got a 4L65E. All 4.2 and 5.3s got the 4L60E regardless of year, the SS/Aero got the 4L70E. The 70E is a slightly upgraded 65E which is a better unit than the 60E. I dont think the 60Es ever got the 5 planetary gears, but I could be wrong.

If you dont want to buy a used 60E for like $500 shipped of eBay or Craigslist and want a new one, might as well buy a built unit from a reputable trans builder like RPM Transmissions, Phoenix Transmission, or FLT. Be much cheaper than a factory new unit and have better parts. If your core is still good, usually you can either have it rebuilt or send it to one of the aforementioned shops for a core charge.

FLT has a stage 3 Street Performance 4L60E for $1595 after core exchange, pretty good deal for a mildly built 60E that has some 65E upgrades, Vette servo, and set to FLT specs. http://www.finishlinetrans.com/transmissions/streetPerformance4L60.htm
 

Pittdawg

Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
ScarabEpic22 said:
No GMT360 got a 4L65E. All 4.2 and 5.3s got the 4L60E regardless of year, the SS/Aero got the 4L70E. The 70E is a slightly upgraded 65E which is a better unit than the 60E. I dont think the 60Es ever got the 5 planetary gears, but I could be wrong.

If you dont want to buy a used 60E for like $500 shipped of eBay or Craigslist and want a new one, might as well buy a built unit from a reputable trans builder like RPM Transmissions, Phoenix Transmission, or FLT. Be much cheaper than a factory new unit and have better parts. If your core is still good, usually you can either have it rebuilt or send it to one of the aforementioned shops for a core charge.

FLT has a stage 3 Street Performance 4L60E for $1595 after core exchange, pretty good deal for a mildly built 60E that has some 65E upgrades, Vette servo, and set to FLT specs. Finish Line Transmissions | Performance Transmissions | Torque Converters | Transmission Parts | Transmission Service

At what power range should I worry about the 4L60E giving out? I'm roughly estimating about 350hp/350tq at the crank after my head swap.
 

dfc739

Member
Jul 29, 2012
170
Des Moines, IA
ScarabEpic22 said:
No GMT360 got a 4L65E. All 4.2 and 5.3s got the 4L60E regardless of year, the SS/Aero got the 4L70E. The 70E is a slightly upgraded 65E which is a better unit than the 60E. I dont think the 60Es ever got the 5 planetary gears, but I could be wrong.[/URL]

I guess I was looking at GM 4L60-E transmission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"An updated 4L60-E, the 4L65-E (RPO M32), was phased in the 2001 model year when coupled behind the 6.0 Vortec. Five-pinion front and rear planetaries, along with a additional 3/4 clutch allowing 7 clutches in the input housing and induction hardened input shaft assembly, were improved to withstand up to 380 ft·lbf (515 N·m) of torque."

There is a list of models that received it, but the Trailblazer SS is not on it so, I stand corrected. Any thoughts why they would put it in the Silverado SS but not the TBSS?
 

Pittdawg

Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
dfc739 said:
I guess I was looking at GM 4L60-E transmission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"An updated 4L60-E, the 4L65-E (RPO M32), was phased in the 2001 model year when coupled behind the 6.0 Vortec. Five-pinion front and rear planetaries, along with a additional 3/4 clutch allowing 7 clutches in the input housing and induction hardened input shaft assembly, were improved to withstand up to 380 ft·lbf (515 N·m) of torque."

There is a list of models that received it, but the Trailblazer SS is not on it so, I stand corrected. Any thoughts why they would put it in the Silverado SS but not the TBSS?

I suspect b/c the 6.0 in the Silverado SS was only rated at 345hp/380tq while the Trailblazer SS was rated at 395hp/400tq. Boom.
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
You have to understand the 70E is a variant of the 60E and 65E, it is NOT an 80E variant like the 85E. Think of a 70E as a 65E + ISS + whatever else GM thought was necessary to handle more power. All NBS fullsize trucks use a 70E as their base trans, no more 60E/65E.

The reason the SSS used the 65E is because GM hadnt made the 70E yet and at the time was GMs most robust 60E series trans. Also, the difference in power has nothing to do with the trans and everything to do with the engine, GM used the LQ9 in the SSS and the LS2 in the TBSS. Iron block/aluminum heads vs all aluminum, different cams, heads, etc.

And believe me, a 70E isnt really that much of an upgrade over a 65E. Every TBSS/Aero owner WISHES it was, Im frankly amazed Ive gotten 40k out of my stock trans. The extra power + AWD + strong rear diff = trans as the weak link and first to go BOOM. Which they do, frequently even in all stock trucks.
 

Pittdawg

Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
ScarabEpic22 said:
You have to understand the 70E is a variant of the 60E and 65E, it is NOT an 80E variant like the 85E. Think of a 70E as a 65E + ISS + whatever else GM thought was necessary to handle more power. All NBS fullsize trucks use a 70E as their base trans, no more 60E/65E.

The reason the SSS used the 65E is because GM hadnt made the 70E yet and at the time was GMs most robust 60E series trans. Also, the difference in power has nothing to do with the trans and everything to do with the engine, GM used the LQ9 in the SSS and the LS2 in the TBSS. Iron block/aluminum heads vs all aluminum, different cams, heads, etc.

And believe me, a 70E isnt really that much of an upgrade over a 65E. Every TBSS/Aero owner WISHES it was, Im frankly amazed Ive gotten 40k out of my stock trans. The extra power + AWD + strong rear diff = trans as the weak link and first to go BOOM. Which they do, frequently even in all stock trucks.

So I have done a bunch of research now on the 4L60e. It's good up to 360lbs of torque so hopefully it holds up to my engine power :undecided:

Interestingly, it has a very low first gear. Hear are all the ratios:
1 2 3 4 R
3.059 1.625 1.000 0.696 2.29

To me, a low first gear seems like a great idea in a truck or SUV but there are complaints in a lot of forums (mostly f-bodies) that there is too steep of a drop off of power from 1st to 2nd due to the wide difference between 1st and 2nd ratios. I just don't experience this myself. Do any of you? They even make an aftermarket planetary gear that raises the first gear and claims to keep you in the power band better. This seems rather counterproductive to me as all it does is reduce torque multiplication in first. I can't understand why they don't make a planetary gear to lower 4th/overdrive. Now that would be awesome...25 mpgs on the highway with 4.10s sporting a 0.620 or so overdrive :crazy:
 

Pittdawg

Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
Not sure if OP or anyone else still interested, but for the sake of "posterity" I learned that 2002+ model 4L60es incorporated certain upgraded bearings and bushings and a strengthened sunshell, all from the 4L65es and then in 2008+ upgraded "sprags" from the 4L65es were also added. That's the best description I could find after hours and hours of research. An 08+ 4L60e should be no different from a 4L65e other than having 4 rather than 5 planetary gears.

To the OP, there are enough differences between 02 and 08 that an 08 will not just mate up to your 02 without a good deal of tinkering. I'd buy a built aftermarket 02 version in your case.
 

DarkBlazer02

Original poster
Member
Sep 1, 2012
29
Well I went with the rebuilt tranny and it works great! It's firm and got nice little kick to it!!!! LOL Thanks to everyone who replied with all this great info!!!!!! :thumbsup:
 

Black LT

Member
Dec 4, 2011
211
DarkBlazer02 said:
Well I went with the rebuilt tranny and it works great! It's firm and got nice little kick to it!!!! LOL Thanks to everyone who replied with all this great info!!!!!! :thumbsup:

A rebuild from a local shop or one of the aforementioned?
Just curious for future reference.
 

DarkBlazer02

Original poster
Member
Sep 1, 2012
29
I went with a somewhat local shop..... I posted a link to the transmission I found with all the details of what all was done to it..... It's on the first page!
 

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