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how strong is s STOCK a4?

This is a discussion on how strong is s STOCK a4? within the Automatic Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; Ok so now i have to save up to buy a 12 bolt, so im curious. How much HP can ...

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    The red dragon bpopham22's Avatar
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    how strong is s STOCK a4?

    Ok so now i have to save up to buy a 12 bolt, so im curious. How much HP can a stock tranny take, ive already looked into the performabuilts and would love to get one but it seems that the rear end is the weak link and id like to take care of that b4 beefing up transmission. I only want between 400-450 to the rear wheels. Think a stocker can handle it?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    There are plenty of auto's running around making 400 HP with the stock trannies. On the same token there are also plenty that have broken.
    It's a crap shoot. It's really up to you and what you want out of the car.

    If you race more often than not, it might be a wise investment. Primarily a street car I would let it be until something happens.

    Personally I'd go for a rearend upgrade, and enjoy the car with 400 HP and see how long the tranny lasts. It might go for years, or break next week.

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    The red dragon bpopham22's Avatar
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    yea it might see the track once a year, but lots of spirited driving on the weekends,hard accelerating from 30-75

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    Just me Y2KPewterSS's Avatar
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    Like FBJ said, its rolling the dice. I have seen them break at stock HP and seen them hold up to 400 RWHP. The biggest killer of 4l60Es is heat. Even if you are running a stock converter, its a good idea to spend $50 and get a tranny cooler to help keep the temps down on the tranny. That should prolong the life of the tranny for a while.

    You are right about the 10 bolt being the weak area. I would definitely address the rear first since you have an option of which one you want to address first.

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    Member c5z28's Avatar
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    Eventually it will break. Quickest I had heard of one break was a local put in a 228 cam and 3600 stall and a month afterward it broke. He was "spirited" also seen them last on 100k plus cars.
    My last tranny fluid change had lots of "sludge" on the bottom, I wouldn't really trust my transmission stock but when you change yours and you only see oil come out I would think yours would last longer.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y2KPewterSS View Post
    You are right about the 10 bolt being the weak area. I would definitely address the rear first since you have an option of which one you want to address first.
    And that is my thinking too. Since you have the option I'd go for a new rear first.
    If the trans is in good working order right now, I'd just go with it and see how long it lasts, it might go for years.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Yup as others have said it's pretty much hit or miss. I've popped a few behind v6's b4. V6 can break the rear we have too.
    But @ the same time GM does make some other pretty beefy units too trany wise.
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    Likes twisty roads bene's Avatar
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    Put a good cooler in line for the tranny and it should last you for a little while. 10bolt should last you a little longer w/ the automatic.

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    there are a few killers for the 4l60e ...heat, fluid level and the sun shell. The fluid level is incredibly important on the 4l60e..just a little to much or little and you will be getting damage ...we are talking 1/4 of a quart difference here if not less. the big one is the sun shell ..the sun shell is incredibly weak/thin ..and are known to have the splined' ring thingy (sorry i dont know the name) to shear off ...that is when you start to loose gears and such....this is mostly to blame for the poor fluid circulation throughout that assembly.

    so really with the proper fluid level, and a aftermarket cooler ...you improve your chances ...but the true weak point is still the sun shell ..(especially the 97-2000 ones so i have herd)

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    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Crap shoot. Hell I just broke my 2nd damn preformance built trans and it only had 2000 miles on it. First one broke after 50 miles. I am on street tires and the 1st was stock engine with bolt-ons and now it's a 383 with LE2 head and cam and it lasted all of 500 of the 2k miles on the 383. Was suposed to handle 500 hp. I not at 500 so I say STAY AWAY FROM MONSTERTRANSMISSIONS!!!!! The monster in a box build kit is sweet but they have no F'n clue what they are doing when they build the damn things as far as I am concerned. I think I broke my second HD sunshell in a year. lol

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaycenK View Post
    Crap shoot. Hell I just broke my 2nd damn preformance built trans and it only had 2000 miles on it. First one broke after 50 miles. I am on street tires and the 1st was stock engine with bolt-ons and now it's a 383 with LE2 head and cam and it lasted all of 500 of the 2k miles on the 383. Was suposed to handle 500 hp. I not at 500 so I say STAY AWAY FROM MONSTERTRANSMISSIONS!!!!! The monster in a box build kit is sweet but they have no F'n clue what they are doing when they build the damn things as far as I am concerned. I think I broke my second HD sunshell in a year. lol
    Wow, I'd say ya you've got something going on. There are plenty of built 4L60's out there in some pretty quick cars and high HP applications that are working. Hope you get it ironed out.

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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    While I agree they can be a crap shoot. But IMO a 4l60E well maintained with a tranny cooler and up to a 3500 stall can last a long time in a A4. Mine with a 3500 stall lasted 3 years with hard racing on it. My 10 bolt broke and took the tranny out also. If the 10 bolt had not broke that tranny had YEARS left in it...
    Last edited by Z28Thunder; 04-17-2010 at 08:41 PM.

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    deep pan and change the trans fluid alot ,it breaks down and wrecks the seals .

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    Slow'er'Ass Mr. Luos's Avatar
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    Short answer....
    Not very.

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    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Wow, I'd say ya you've got something going on. There are plenty of built 4L60's out there in some pretty quick cars and high HP applications that are working. Hope you get it ironed out.
    yea I have something going on and I am eliminating it from the equation, It's called MONSTERTRANSMISSIONS lol. I'm ruthless but they suck ass. I have tried to keep these things running and it's pissing me off. I found a new trans guy who seems to know what he is doing so I am giving him a shot at this thing this time.

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    If I remember right from the literature, the stock 4L60E is rated for 350 h.p. The PCM's in our cars utilize a torque management scheme to help keep the transmission alive and well. This can be tuned out or modified for performance, but I am unsure of the details and the overall effect on longevity.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    I don't know why you guys just don't use the 4l80e instead of messing with 60e..
    Seems a better way to go imho. But I'm no expert by any stretch..

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    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    I don't know why you guys just don't use the 4l80e instead of messing with 60e..
    Seems a better way to go imho. But I'm no expert by any stretch..
    the 4l80e is heavier and requires some harness modifications(90% sure) and tunnel modifications.

    however you are right..a 4l80e built is solid as hell.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    I don't know why you guys just don't use the 4l80e instead of messing with 60e..
    Seems a better way to go imho. But I'm no expert by any stretch..
    You are right. For a serious track car the 4L60 sucks. First gear is way too steep for anything serious, and the 1-2 gear spread causes RPM drop that is not condusive to quick quarter mile times.

    The 400 turbo is a better choice, or if you need the overdrive for occasional street use the 4L80 is the way to go. The 2.48 first gear is much better suited for drag racing with a closer gear spread 1 through 3.

    But there are swap problems as Shady mentioned though. I know the swap has been done many times but as to what is involved I'm not certain.
    I'm guessing you could run a 6 speed tune, and just use a seperate controller and harness for the 4L80, since they are available for retro swaps.

    For a serious track car with mild street use, I'd scrap the overdrive anyway and just go straight for the 400 turbo, keeps things simple, less weight, and much much cheaper. Still just as strong.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    the 4l80e is heavier and requires some harness modifications(90% sure) and tunnel modifications.

    however you are right..a 4l80e built is solid as hell.
    Sounds like the story with 4T80e Caddy,gpx tranys. Built real well but it's a monster. But I still may use it for my z34 project since the Muncie Getrag 5spd is so hard to find.
    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    You are right. For a serious track car the 4L60 sucks. First gear is way too steep for anything serious, and the 1-2 gear spread causes RPM drop that is not condusive to quick quarter mile times.

    The 400 turbo is a better choice, or if you need the overdrive for occasional street use the 4L80 is the way to go. The 2.48 first gear is much better suited for drag racing with a closer gear spread 1 through 3.

    But there are swap problems as Shady mentioned though. I know the swap has been done many times but as to what is involved I'm not certain.
    I'm guessing you could run a 6 speed tune, and just use a seperate controller and harness for the 4L80, since they are available for retro swaps.

    For a serious track car with mild street use, I'd scrap the overdrive anyway and just go straight for the 400 turbo, keeps things simple, less weight, and much much cheaper. Still just as strong.
    Yes the turbo hydro 400 is imho a near bullet proof unit factory. I did'nt mention it because of the lack of overdrive. But the 4l80e to my knowledge contains some internals same as the th400 which prolly is'nt a bad thing either..
    Last edited by Smittro; 04-19-2010 at 05:24 AM. Reason: spelling

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