What’s The Difference Between 4L60e and 4L80e

Although both the 4L60e and 4L80e are automotive transmissions designed by General Motors, there is still a ton of difference between the two. The 4L60e is the standard transmission found in rear-wheel vehicles, but the 4L80e found in diesel and big cars. Regarding the difference between 4l60e and 4l80e, they differ based on origin, pricing, appearance, and performance. More likely, the 4l80e might be a bit better of the two transmissions.

Difference between 4l60e and 4l80e

Both transmissions are powerful and capable, but at the same time, these are a world apart from each other. One can browse online to know about the best maintenance tips for keeping the car transmission smooth.

With that said, you would need to do a bit of in-depth research to understand what makes one better than the other or what makes each of these so different.

1. Origin

Despite having similar model numbers, there is a vast difference between 4l60e and 4l80e on how each of these made. On the one hand, the 4l80e is an electronic overdrive successor to the Turbo 400, which is an earlier transmission model preferred by drag racers and hot rod fans. The 4l60e based on the 700-R4, which has been the standard transmission for both Chevrolet and General Motors vehicles during 1982.


2. Size and Weight

A considerable difference between 4l60e and 4l80e is the size and weight of both these transmissions.

On the one hand, the 4l80e is larger and heavier than 4l60e. Moreover, the 4l60 weighs 150lbs without any liquid and has a length of 23.5. On the other hand, the 4l80e weighs 236lbs with a range of 26.4.

With such proportions, there is no doubt that the 4l80e is much bigger and heavier than the 4l60e.

3. Gear Ratios

Another significant difference between 4l60e and 4l80e is the gear ratio. For example, during the first gear, the 4l60e has a gear ratio of 3.059:1, whereas the 4l80e has a gear ratio of 2.48:1. Moreover, you need to keep in mind this difference, especially when swapping one transmission for another.

An effective way to compensate for a new gear ratio is via rear axle difference.

4. Pan & Pan Gasket

In case you are searching for the transmission fluid pan under the transmission, there is a big difference between these two transmissions. Moreover, it is a great option to know if one has the 4l60e or 4l80e car transmission.

Also, the 4l60e contains a rectangular pan & gasket of 16 bolts. However, the 4l80e comes with an oval-shaped transmission pan with 16 bolts gasket.

Difference between the 4l60e and 4l80e
The 4l80e is larger and heavier than the 4l60e. (Photo Source: superchevy)

5. Wiring Harness, Controller & Sensors

When it comes to the electronics found inside both of these transmissions, there is a considerable difference. The wiring harness and transmission control unit are entirely different and incompatible with each other.

There is a considerable difference between the sensors, with the 4l80e having a 2-speed sensor, which is entirely different from that found on the 4l60e. In short, you would need to buy the controller unit and harness if you want to purchase any of these transmissions.

6. Maximum Torque

Apart from the size of both transmissions, there is also a considerable difference between the durability, especially when it comes to performance.

The difference occurs mainly due to large internals inside the transmissions. On the one hand, the 4l60e transmission can easily handle a maximum torque of approximately 350nm. On the other hand, the 4l80e can handle 450nm and above of torque. However, there is a vast difference between these two.

At the same time, you should understand that there will be considerable differences in the performance of a transmission, which is three decades old and a new one. Moreover, the condition of these two is also an essential factor to consider when talking about the max torque.

7. Pricing

Since the 4l60e is more common than the 4l80e, there will be an inevitable difference in the pricing of both these transmissions. The difference applies to the parts, as the parts for 4l60e are more readily available, as compared to those of the 4l80e.

Moreover, if you are looking for parts, we recommend checking it online. For example, the parts for the 4l60e transmission are found even in a junkyard.

Difference between the 4l60e and 4l80e
Performance is another major difference between 4l60e and 4l80e. (Photo Source: monstertransmission)


Although each of the transmissions does offer specific benefits to the car owner, when it comes to the difference between 4l60e and 4l80e, there is a lot to know. However, this difference is what will help a fellow car driver to choose the best transmission. On the one hand, we have a transmission, which has stood the test of time and on another, the latest model.