So you are looking for information and specs of the 700r4 transmission on the web?
So was I, and I couldn’t find any useful or relevant information about this common transmission.
That’s why I decided to write this guide for you about the 700r4 transmission. This is a widespread transmission on GM/Chevy cars, and I’m shocked about the lack of information out there, so I went through a lot of websites and books to collect all the information you will need about this transmission in a single blog post.
I hope you like the information and if you have any other questions, leave a question in the comment field at the bottom of the article, and I will answer your questions as soon as possible.
700r4 Transmission Specifications Chart
|Type||4 Speed Automatic
|Applications||GM Cars - GMC, Chevy/Chevrolet, Buick 1982-1990
Blazer, Suburban, Camaro, Corvette, Impala, Oldsmobile 350 and more
|Gears||3 + 1 Overdrive 30%|
|Weight||170 lbs dry~|
|Input Spline||-1984 27 splines
1984- 30 splines
|Fluid Capacity||11 Quarts|
|Fluid Type||DEXRON VI|
|Max Torque||350nm +/-|
|Gasket/Bolt Pattern||16 bolt
|Name Before||-1982 TH350|
|Name After||1990- 4L60|
700r4 General Information
So what is exactly a 700r4 transmission? Well. The 700r4 Transmission came in the year of 1982. The 700r4 and the 200-R4 transmission replaced the TH350 transmission in that year. The TH350 was a 3 geared transmission without the last overdrive gear. The 700r4 was a big upgrade with an additional gear (Overdrive), the 1st and 2nd gear became longer, and the transmission case itself became a bit longer.
You usually find the 700r4 transmission in GM cars like the Chevy Blazer, Suburban, Camaro, Corvette, Impala and even in Oldsmobile Cars with a lot more. To mention all cars this transmission was fitted in; the list would be very long.
A lot of people like the 700r4 because of its excellent durability. It is also very easy to find replacement parts for this transmission. The 700r4 transmission was not electronically controlled yet; it was hydraulic pressure controlled with a TV cable which acted as a throttle position sensor to control the gear shifting. In 1991~ the 700r4 transmission was replaced by the popular transmission 4L60.
The transmission then became electronically controlled instead of the TV cable, with some other changes which I will go through further down in the article.
So, in summary, the 700r4 transmission was a 4-geared hydraulic automatic transmission with the 4th gear which was an overdrive gear (30% increase). The transmission was made between 1982-1992. It had a case length of 23.5″~ and a weight of a 170 lbs~ without fluid inside it.
The recommended transmission fluid is Dextron VI with a capacity of 11 Quarts. The transmission case had 16 bolts and a transfer case of aluminum. The transmission is pretty reliable and can handle torque up to around 350nm~, remember that this is only reported numbers and it can differ a bit.
A lot of you reported that you wondered what the differences are between a k-case and the typical case for the 700r4 transmission. The name “K-case”, came because the transmission case was stamped with a “K”. The K-case 700r4 transmission had a thicker transfer case and wwas stronger because it was made for the heavier 4×4 trucks. You would find these in the 1980’s trucks, and this transmission was very coveted because of the strength of the 4×4 offroad-community.
How To Identify a 700r4 Transmission?
Most of the GM automatic transmission looks almost identical and are difficult to identify for an untrained eye. However, there are some ways to determine if you have a 200-4r, 700r4, TH350 or a 4L60 transmission.
Transfer Case Gasket Bolt Pattern
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 uses a bolt pattern of 16 bolts, so if the transmission looks like one of the pictures above 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.
The safest way of checking your 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. On older cars, it can be pretty tough to see so you may have to clean up your transmission to find it.
If you can see it correctly, you will find an identification number of 7-8 letters 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. So you have to check the next letters too.
|2 letters 80's||3 letters 80's||3 letters 90's|
|9 = 1982||6 = 1986||= 1990|
|3 = 1983||7 = 1987||1 = 1991|
|4 = 1984||8 = 1988||2 = 1992|
|5 = 1985||9 = 1999||3 = 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 2 letters, the transmission is made between 1982-1985.
If you find 3 letters, the transmission is made between 1986-1993.
The last way to identify if it’s a 4L60 or a 700r4 is to look at the rear of the transmission for the Aux TV Cable or wirings as discussed before.
Wirings = 4L60
Aux TV Cable = 700r4
The last numbers and letters indicate the manufacturer date, rebuild date, plant of manufacturing and serial number.
This is everything you should need to identify your transmission correctly. If you still have questions about it, you are welcome to comment in the comment section at the bottom of your article and ask your questions.
700r4 Troubleshooting Guide
Even if the 700r4 transmission is pretty durable and reliable, they do sometimes fail. We have to remember that these transmissions are old and old things do fail sometimes. I work as a diagnostic technician, and I’m solving problems with cars all days long.
Here I will give some common symptoms of the 700r4 transmission and will add a short line underneath it to explain where you should start looking.
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 converter inside the transmission. However, the first thing you should always do when your transmission is slipping is to replace the transmission fluid and to flush the transmission. So the first thing I would recommend is to check the transmission fluid level.
700r4 Transmission Fluid Level Checking
Let the transmission fluid become hot and let your car idle at park while you are checking the dipstick. If the fluid level is low, try to fill it up to see if it solves the problem.
If you find out that the transmission fluid looks dark red, brown or even black, it’s time to replace the transmission fluid and flush your transmission. However, if the transmission fluid seems good, and the converter is slipping, I still recommend that you replace the fluid and do a transmission flush.
There could be a problem with the converter itself which may need a replacement. Other causes could be due to the adjustment of the TV cable, which I will discuss further down.
2. Revs up but won’t move
If your car revs up, but it will barely move, you should start 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 the adjustment of your TV cable between the transmission and the throttle body. I have included a movie to simplify the procedure of the TV cable adjustment. You should also make sure that the switch on the brake panel is working properly.
700r4 TV/Aux Cable Adjustment
3. The speedometer is not working properly
If your speedometer is not working, there are two different variants you have to know about before starting the troubleshooting. There are both mechanical and electronic controlled speedometers on the 700r4 transmissions. First, you have to check if you have a mechanical or electronic speedometer.
If you raise the car and take a look at the area around the rear of the transmission if the cable coming out of it is pretty thick with a big circle that screws into it, you have a mechanical speedometer, and if you find a speedometer sensor, you have an electronic speedometer.
If you have a mechanical speedometer – Check if you can see any problems with the speedometer wire, replace it if you can see any signs of wear or other damage. These wires can jump out from the dashboard cluster sometimes, so make sure its 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 still persists, there might be a problem with your instrument cluster.
4. Vibrations on acceleration
If you are feeling vibrations while you are accelerating your car, there is most likely a problem with the driveshafts, prop shaft or the torque converter. If you are feeling vibrations at all the time and not only on acceleration, you may have unbalanced tires.
5. Not shifting properly
If your transmission is not shifting correctly, you might want to check the TV cable adjustment as discussed before. Also, check the transmission fluid level and replace it if it’s worn.
Common 700r4 Problems
There are some common problems that you should always check first when you are troubleshooting your 700r4 transmission.
The switch at the brake pedal: There is a switch on the brake pedal which you should check the function of to make sure it works correctly. There are two different variants of these, either a combined switch with the brake switch and cruise control switch, or there are several separate switches. Check the wirings diagram and make sure the switch is working correctly and make sure you get voltage to the switch.
Worn out TV cable/adjustment. A worn out TV cable or a faulty adjustment is another common problem on the 700r4 transmission. Make sure to adjust the TV cable with the help of the video a bit higher up in this article. If you can see any signs of wear or damage on the TV cable, replace it!
Low fluid level/burned fluid. The 700r4 transmissions sometimes leak which can cause low transmission fluid levels so you should always check to make sure they are okay. Some transmission has gone a lot of years without a transmission fluid change, which can cause damage inside the transmission. Check the fluid level and replace and flush the transmission fluid if it looks dirty.
Faulty Converter. Sometimes the torque converter can fail on the 700r4 transmission, unfortunately. These are often pretty 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 Teardown Film
To understand a bit more about the function of the 700r4 transmission to make your troubleshooting simpler, I have included a teardown film of the 700r4 transmission which might give you a clue about how the things are working inside the transmission.
700r4 Transmissions for Sale
If you have found a severe problem with your 700r4 transmission, you might want to replace the whole transmission. Because it’s a popular transmission, the parts for the transmission are pretty 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 that you install new components and never install used parts if possible. Remember that most of these transmissions are old and are starting to get worn out and the price for new parts are not very high.
Brand New Transmissions & Parts
If you are looking either for just any parts for your 700r4 transmission or are looking for a brand new transmission, I can recommend that you check it out on Amazon if you live in the USA or Europe. There are a lot of new parts there 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 either by clicking Here or checking the ad down below.
If you are looking for used transmissions, you can either find them online or because they are pretty standard, you can probably find them in any junkyard near you. Remember to check 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.
I guess you now have got a good idea about what the 700r4 transmission is and how it works. If you still have any questions about the transmissions, you are welcome to write your questions in the comment field down below and I will answer it as soon as possible.
I’m going to write more reviews about different swaps and conversions between these transmissions, but feel free to write your question, and I will try to write an article about the topic. I hope you enjoyed the information, see you in the next article!
Hello I’m Magnus, the owner and the writer of this website. I have been working with cars since I was 16 and I’m specialized with in-depth Automotive diagnostics. Also been driving drifting for the last 6 years. I’m here to give you answers to all your automotive questions and I hope that you enjoy our content.