An Overview Of The GM 700R4 Transmission

700r4 Transmission

Are you a proud owner of a 700r4 transmission? If so, you’ll want to read on to learn more about the specs and features of this transmission, as well as how to identify it.

Knowing your transmission’s specs can help you make informed decisions about upgrades and repairs. Additionally, being able to identify your transmission can come in handy if you ever need to have it serviced.

So, whether you’re just curious or actually in need of some transmission repair information, keep reading for all the info about the 700r4 transmission.

700r4 Transmission Specifications

Type4 Speed Automatic
ApplicationsGM Cars - GMC, Chevy/Chevrolet, Buick 1982-1990
Blazer, Suburban, Camaro, Corvette, Impala, Oldsmobile 350 and more
Gears3 + 1 Overdrive 30%
Weight170 lbs dry~
Gear Ratios1: 3.059 2: 1.625 3: 1.00 4: 0.696 R: 2.294
Case MaterialAluminum
Input Spline-1984 27 splines
1984- 30 splines
Name Before-1982 TH350
Name After1990- 4L60
Fluid Capacity11 Quarts
Max Torque350nm +/-
Image700r4 transmission
Gasket/Bolt Pattern16 bolt
700r4 gasket

What is a 700r4 Transmission?

The 700R4 transmission is a 4-speed automatic transmission that was introduced by General Motors in 1982. It is based on the TH350 3-speed automatic transmission, and features an overdrive fourth gear that provides a 30 percent fuel economy improvement over the TH350.

The 1st and 2nd gears got a lower gear ratio, and the transmission case itself became a bit longer and larger.

You usually find the 700r4 transmission in GM cars like the Chevy Blazer, Suburban, Camaro, Corvette, Impala, and even in Oldsmobile Cars and many more. If we mentioned all car models this transmission was installed in, the list would be very long.

A lot of people like the 700r4 because of its excellent durability. Due to its popularity, it is also quite effortless to find replacement parts for this transmission.

The 700r4 transmission is not electronically controlled; it uses hydraulic pressure with a TV cable, which acts as a throttle position sensor to control the gear shifting. In 1991, the 700r4 transmission was replaced by the popular 4L60 transmission.

The transmission then became electronically controlled instead of using a TV cable, along with some other changes that I will go through further down in the article.

In conclusion, the 700r4 transmission is a 4-geared hydraulic automatic transmission with the 4th gear, an overdrive gear (30% increase). The transmission was made between 1982–1992. It had a case length of 23.5″~ and a weight of 170 lbs~ without fluid inside it. The transmission case has 16 bolts and a transfer case of aluminum.

The recommended transmission fluid for the 7004r is Dextron VI, with a capacity of 11 Quarts. The transmission is pretty reliable and can handle torque up to around 350nm~; remember that these are only the reported numbers, and it can be higher or lower depending on the age and maintenance.

RELATED: 4L60E vs 4L80E Differences: Swap & Information

K-Case Differences


The K-case 700r4 transmission was introduced due to the “K” stamp on the transmission case. The K-case 700r4 transmission was designed to work with heavy-duty 4×4 trucks, and it is known as one of the best offroad transmissions. The K-case is more robust and has a thicker transfer case.

How To Identify a 700r4 Transmission?

Most GM automatic transmissions look almost identical. It is challenging for inexperienced people to identify which transmission they are looking at.

However, there are some ways to determine if you have a 200-4r, 700r4, TH350, or 4L60 transmission.

1. Transfer Case Gasket Bolt Pattern

700r4 gasket

The easiest way to identify if you have a 700r4 is to raise your car and check the bolts around the transfer case.

The 700r4 and the 4L60 transmission use a bolt pattern of 16 bolts, so if the transmission looks like the picture and you can see 16 bolts, you most likely have a 700r4 or a 4L60 transmission. So how can you know which one of these you have?

Well, the 700r4 uses a TV cable as the speedometer, and the 4L60 is an electronically controlled transmission, so if you see wires coming to the transmission on the rear of the transmission on the passenger side, you have a 4L60.

2. Identification Tag

700r4 identification tag

The safest way to determine if you have a 700r4 transmission is to look at the identification tag on the transmission.

You will find it on the rear side of the transmission on the passenger side. It can be pretty tough to see on older cars, so you may have to clean up your transmission to find it.

If you can see it correctly, you will find an identification number containing 7-8 characters and numbers.

The 1st number is the year model of the transmission. For example, if the number is 0, the transmission is from 1990. But it’s not that easy, because the transmission was made in the 1980s also. You will have to check the next few letters, as well.

2 letters 80's3 letters 80's3 letters 90's
9 = 19826 = 19860 = 1990
3 = 19837 = 19871 = 1991
4 = 19848 = 19882 = 1992
5 = 19859 = 19993 = 1993
  • The next 2 or 3 letters identify the model of the transmission. These numbers tell us the application, engine size, wiring type, and solenoids.
  • If you find two letters, the transmission was made between 1982-1985.
  • If you find three letters, the transmission was made between 1986-1993.

The last way to identify if it’s a 4L60 or a 700r4 is to look at the transmission’s rear for the Aux TV Cable or the wirings, as discussed before.

  • Wirings = 4L60
  • Aux TV Cable = 700r4

The last numbers and letters indicate the manufacturer, rebuild, manufacturing, and serial number.

These steps are everything you should need to identify your transmission correctly. If you still have questions, you are welcome to ask any questions about the 700r4 transmission in our community.

700r4 Troubleshooting Guide

400r transmission

Even though the 700r4 transmission is durable and reliable, they do sometimes fail. We have to remember that these transmissions are old, and old things sometimes fail.

Here I will give some common symptoms of a bad 700r4 transmission, and add a short line underneath it to explain where you should start looking for the issue.

1. Torque Converter won’t lock and slipping

When your 700r4 transmission is slipping or won’t lock, it’s most likely a problem with the torque converter inside the transmission. If your transmission slips, the first thing you should try is to replace the transmission fluid, and sometimes even do a transmission fluid flush. You should do this before going into any more specific repairs

700r4 Transmission Fluid Level Checking

Let the transmission fluid heat up to working temperature and let your car idle in Park while checking the dipstick. If the fluid level is low, try to fill it up to see if it solves the problem.

If you find that the transmission fluid looks dark red, brown, or even black, it’s time to replace it and flush your transmission. Even if the transmission fluid seems good, if the converter is slipping, I still recommend that you replace the fluid and do a transmission flush as a matter of course.

RELATED: Transmission Fluid Color Chart (5 Different Colors)

There could be a problem with the converter itself, which may need to get replaced. Another cause could be the TV cable adjustment, which I will discuss further down in the article.

2. Revs up but won’t move

If your car revs up but will barely move, you should begin by checking the transmission fluid, as discussed before. Check the level and the color of the transmission fluid.

  • Red = Okay
  • Brown = Worn out
  • Black = Burned

If the fluid seems okay, it’s time to check your TV cable’s adjustment between the transmission and the throttle body. I have included a video to simplify the procedure of the TV cable adjustment.

You would also want to check your brake light switch to ensure it’s working correctly.

3. The speedometer is not working properly

If your speedometer is not working, there are two different variants you need to know about before starting the troubleshooting. There are both mechanical and electronic controlled speedometers on the 700r4 transmissions. You must first check if you have a mechanical or electronic speedometer.

Raise the car and look at the transmission’s rear. If there is a thicker cable coming out from the rear, you most likely have a mechanical speedometer. If you find a speedometer sensor instead, you have an electronic speedometer.

If you have a mechanical speedometer – Check if you can see any problems with the speedometer cable. Replace it if you can see any signs of wear or other damage. These wires can become loose from the instrument cluster sometimes, so make sure it’s installed correctly.

If you have an electronic speedometer – Check the wirings between the cluster/control unit and the transmission and make sure there is no corrosion inside the connector. If the wires are okay, it’s time to replace the sensor on the transmission. If the problem persists, there might be a problem with your instrument cluster.

4. Vibrations during acceleration

If you feel vibrations while accelerating your car, there is most likely a problem with the driveshafts, prop shaft, or torque converter. If you feel vibrations all the time and not only during acceleration, you may have unbalanced tires.

RELATED: Why is My Car Shaking? (8 Common Causes & How to Fix it)

5. Not shifting properly

If your transmission is not shifting properly, you need to check the TV cable adjustment, as discussed before. Also, check the transmission fluid level and replace it if it’s worn.

Common 700r4 transmission Problems

THM 200R4

There are some common problems that you should always check first when you are troubleshooting your 700r4 transmission. These issues include:

1. The Brake Light Switch

There is a switch on the brake pedal, and you should check to make sure it is functioning properly. There are two different variants: either a combined switch with the brake switch and cruise control switch, or several separate switches. Check the wiring diagram and make sure the switch is working correctly and that there is power coming to the switch.

2. Worn-out TV cable/adjustment

A worn-out TV cable or a faulty adjustment is another common issue on the 700r4 transmission. Make sure to adjust the TV cable with the video’s help. If you can see any signs of wear or damage on the TV cable, replace it!

3. Low fluid level/burned fluid

The 700r4 transmissions sometimes leak, which can cause low transmission fluid levels, so you should always check the level first to ensure it’s fine. Sometimes people let their transmission go many years without a transmission fluid change, and this lack of maintenance can cause damage to the transmission. Check the fluid level. Replace and flush the transmission fluid if it looks dirty.

4. Faulty Torque Converter

Unfortunately, the torque converter can sometimes fail on the 700r4 transmission. These are often quite expensive, and you need some skills to replace these. If you have done everything above and the transmission is still slipping, you might have to replace it. There are some videos on Youtube on how to replace the 700r4 converter.

700r4 Transmissions for Sale

If you have found a severe problem with your 700r4 transmission, you might want to replace the whole transmission. Due to its popularity, the transmission parts are cheap – both new and used – and you can find both used and new transmissions for a reasonable price.

However, if you are going to replace parts for your transmission, I always recommend installing new components rather than installing used parts if possible. Remember that most of these transmissions are already old and worn, so it’s worth getting new parts in most cases.

1. Brand New Transmissions & Parts

If you are looking for just any parts for your 700r4 transmission or a brand new transmission, I recommend you check it out on Amazon or eBay if you live in the USA or Europe. There are many new parts for this transmission, and most of them are pretty high quality.

Check the recent customer reviews of the part to get an idea of the quality of the product. To see the parts, you can go to Amazon by clicking Here.

2. Used Parts

If you are looking for a used transmission, you can find it online. You can probably also find one at any nearby junkyard. Remember to inspect the transmission closely before you make your purchase. Try to get as much information as possible about it, like the mileage, how many transmission fluid replacements were done, etc.

Categories: Transmission

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