4L80E Transmission

The 4L80E transmission is another General Motors transmission that was designed for longitudinal engine configurations. This particular series included four forward gears and is an evolution of the turbo-hydramatic 400. This transmission was optioned only in vans, commercial vehicles, the Hummer H1, and Chevrolet or GMC pickups. The 4L80E was later adopted by Rolls Royce and then modified, first used in the Bentley Continental R and then in other Rolls Royce and Bentley cars.

This transmission is rated to handle engines that have no more than 440 lb-ft of torque and a max gross vehicle weight rating of 18,000.

4L80E vs. 4L60E

When choosing between the 4L80E and the 4L60E transmissions, the biggest thing you’ll need to consider is how much power you require from your transmission. The 4L80E has a lot more potential for power capacity as well as better power flow, more clutch capacity, and apply area. If you need more power in your transmission, the 4L80E just might be the transmission you’ve been looking for.

The 4L80E transmission does consume more horsepower than another lighter duty transmission such as the 4L60E. It weighs more, has more rotating mass, more clutch drag, and has a positive displacement pump rather than a variable displacement pump. One would assume that the biggest loss of horsepower is due to the heavier rotating mass, however, that on its own does not cause significant power loss. It doesn’t require more horsepower to maintain its speed once it gets going. It does, however, require more horsepower to get up to speed or slow down and this is something that applies to all transmissions

When it comes to weight, the 4L80E is a bit heavier in typical configuration at approximately 178 pounds while the 4L60E weighs in at about 135 to 140 pounds. These weights are at base stock configuration without a converter.

4L80E Common Problems

  • Fluid Leaks: transmission fluid is vital to the health of your vehicle and leaks are not something to be taken lightly. If you notice a reddish fluid under your car after parking for a while, you may have a transmission fluid leak. It’s important that you bring your car to Eagle Transmission as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
  • RPM Flare: this term refers to when there is a slip or an increase in RPM between gears. Any mushy feelings while shifting are a sign of impending further damage and needs to be assessed by a qualified transmission technician.
  • Limp Mode: this is a feature for your engine and transmission that limits the power and RPM of the engine in order to prevent further damage. This mode initiates when a problem within either your transmission or your engine has been detected. If this is happening to your vehicle, you need to get your car to the nearest Eagle Transmission shop as soon as possible to avoid damaging your car further.
  • Locking Torque Converter Problems: a locking torque converter improves fuel economy by allowing for a true 1:1 connection between the engine and the rear wheels when traveling at high speeds. If it appears that the engine is turning faster than usual at highway speeds, you may have an issue with your torque converter.