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Newbie with 4L80e questions

This is a discussion on Newbie with 4L80e questions within the Automatic Transmission forums, part of the Drivetrain category; I'm new here and new to 4L80e transmissions so be patient. I'm going to ask a lot of newbie questions. ...

  1. #1
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    Newbie with 4L80e questions

    I'm new here and new to 4L80e transmissions so be patient. I'm going to ask a lot of newbie questions.

    I bought a used 4L80e, TCI controller, harness and TPS recently. I'm certain that this is an earlier style transmission due to the location of the cooling lines. I've searched high and low and have not turned up a way to decipher this transmission tag I have.

    The story was that this guy's friend had a Suburban. They put this transmission in it and it was then wrecked after 10,000 miles. I pulled the pan and didn't find a lot of crud and the fluid does not smell burned. There was a slight amount of water in there. I don't know if it was condensation or if he tried to clean it up with that water hose that was in his hand the day I showed up to look at it.

    Anyway, do these numbers mean anything to you guys?

    I'm beginning to think this is a Goodwrench service replacement transmission. The numbers on the tag are:

    13TRP
    97-346 193123

    I see a cast number of:

    24204250 and 7

  2. #2
    Junior Member 900HPBIRD's Avatar
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    97 should be the year,but the '97 should have the widely spaced cooler line fittings and you talk like they are right next to one another?

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    Yes, they are right next to each other but this also has a GM Goodwrench sticker on the bell housing and the guy I bought it from said it was a remanufactured unit they bought and put in a Suburban. It was wrecked 10,000 miles later and they pulled the trans to save it.

    This one has the cooler line holes together and no hole for the extra bolt at the top of the case. I also went to the parts store today and got a new filter for an early style 4l80e and it was identical to the one I removed from this unit.

    So I have to figure it got re-tagged when they rebuilt it in 1997 as a service replacement but is probably an early core with whatever internal updates were available at the time of the rebuild.

    Does that make sense?

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    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Anything is possible when these thing are rebuilt. They are not going to take the time to reprint an I.D tag and apply it when they rebuild them. If there is one that is the one from the plant were they built it. They do rebuilds locally, most of the time in house or local dealer equipped to take care of it. Even if it was a unit bought as stock to a dealer to replace a bad unit in a truck it was built at the same plant and those numbers are specific to the production plants records and not the car or truck. My 97 4l60-e has numbers like that and has Toledo on it. You might find someone who has posted info on how to decode it but I have a feeling it is nothing more than a serial code that is useful to them for what application it is to be used in and what torque converter to put on it. Then the unit can be shipped to the right assembly plant.
    Last edited by JaycenK; 03-27-2009 at 08:56 PM.

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    I see your point. I am confused on one thing. I thought they changed over in 1997 to the later style case. Was this a mid-year change or did that not happen until 1998?

    Regardless, it appears to be a good transmission for my use. It will go in a 1974 Trans Am with a 455 Pontiac motor making about 425 hp and 500 ft. lb. of torque.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    I don't know that much about an 4l80e but can it hold that power stock? or is it a stock rebuild?

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    I guess we will find out, huh?

    Seriously, all the reading I've done says yes, it will. This is basically the modern version of the TH400 with the electronics and OD. Most builders say it will hold 500hp/500 torque in stock form.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Yep thats right,,,but how are you going to bolt that to a pontiac motor??

    The bolt pattern is different from chevy to pontiac,,,,and I'm only aware of these 4L80E's coming in the chevy pattern.
    Didn't think they made anything with the old Uni-bolt patterns anymore.

    You have an adaptor plate or something???

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    Senior Member JaycenK's Avatar
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    Thats cool, Yea I just didn't know what they could handle. As for the bolt patern, if there's a will there's a way even if they dont make anything thats boltin. lol. Plus the od will be nice for cruzin.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaycenK View Post
    Thats cool, Yea I just didn't know what they could handle. As for the bolt patern, if there's a will there's a way even if they dont make anything thats boltin. lol. Plus the od will be nice for cruzin.
    Where there's and will there's a way????

    Are you going to make an adaptor or something???

    I'm willing to bet there are adaptors to be bought and save alot of work.

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    There are adapter plates from several vendors. I have one from TCI. I'd rather not use a plate but no one makes an adaptive bolt on bell housing for the traditional Pontiac motor. I can't say that I blame them since the Pontiac engine died in 1979. That's 30 years ago. Not much market there.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I figured someone made an adaptor plate. I've always had BOP tranny's laying around but ya you do run into a problem when you want to adapt these newer auto overdrives.
    An easier solution would have been to stick the 2004R in there since they already have the BOP style bellhousing,,,they drop right in.

    Aftermarket isn't too bad for the traditional Pontiacs now,,,,as a matter of fact it's booming. With people like Kauffman and Butler recasting blocks, timing covers, aluminum cylinder heads, intake manifolds, etc...
    With the new IA blocks out now along with 4.5 inch stroker cranks you can build close to 600 ci traditional pontiac motors now. Eagle, Scat and a few others make stroker rotating assemblies.
    Not to mention Edelbrock has been making aluminum heads for the pontiac for several years now. MSD makes distributors for it, Meziere makes electric water pumps for it, there are mini starters, etc...
    Ram Air Restorations is recasting all the hard to find factory ram air manifolds now as well as the ram air IV aluminum intakes etc....

    Shucks you can build a traditional pontiac motor now with all brand new parts if you wanted to.

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    Sorry, but I have no faith in the 200-4r. And before everyone starts, yes, I know all about the Turbo Buicks and the builders. I just don't trust them to hold up for long with big torque. Thus the 4L80e.

    The after market for Pontiac is at an all time high. I am not complaining. You don't mess with Pontiac stuff unless you're willing to bear the pain. It's always going to cost more than the other guys. But if I wanted a Chevy I'd have a Chevy. It's personal preference, that's all.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I'm a pontiac person myself with a 70 ramair formula, grew up around that stuff so I completely understand.
    The 2004R is a very compitent trans,,,I trust it more than the 700 and 4L60E's for that matter.
    Friend of mine that works on turbo buicks builds these tranny's to live behind 8 second cars making more than 1,000 HP so it's more than capable to sit behind a mild 455 pontiac.
    I recently built my fathers 455 that just topped the 600 HP mark and running low 11's in his 3,800 lbs. 69 GTO. Although he still runs the original 400 turbo that I built,,,I wouldn't have any second thoughts at all sticking a 2004R behind that one. He just has no interest in the overdrive,,,with mild 3.73 gears it's very friendly to drive as is.

  15. #15
    Junior Member 900HPBIRD's Avatar
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    The shafts and gear train in a 2004R are ALOT smaller than a 4L60-E. There is no way it is stronger than a 4L60-E. The 200 THM is GM's lightest duty 3 speed auto (it came in Chevette's,Monza's and stuff) G.M. even lost a law suite when they tried to put it in some full size sedan's and people were having failures. There used to be a toll free number to call when you had your transmission repaired at a trans shop,they mailed you forms,you filled them out and returned them and G.M. reinbursed for you for a portion of the repair.
    The 2004R has the same drums and gear train as the 200 THM.

    Sure you can make one live,but you better put some aftermarket stuff in it!

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