DIY Guide To Properly Maintaining Your 700R4 Automatic Transmission

Posted by on Friday, August 16th, 2013

The 700R4 is one of the first automatic overdrive transmissions produced by General Motors. It was used extensively throughout the GM brands, including Buicks, Cadillac’s, Chevrolets, GMC’s, Holden’s, Oldsmobile’s and Pontiacs. Millions were produced in total and there are still many in use today.

Maintaining your 700R4 for a maximum lifespan is not difficult. For those DIY’s out there, here is a brief guide to properly taking care of your transmission. If you’re not a DIY’er this info is still good knowledge to have. You can have any qualified repair shop handle this for you.

This is the 700R4 automatic transmission


Change the fluid: The service intervals for the 700R4 transmission vary from year to year. If you want to maximize the life of your transmission, change the fluid ever 20,000 miles. Yes, I know that sounds excessive but it will help remove debris from the transmission and the shorter intervals will prevent the transmission fluid from breaking down before you get a chance to install new fluid. For an extra once of insurance, swap out the oil based organic fluid for synthetic fluid.

To drain the fluid:

1)  Put a very large pan under the transmission pan. The pan should have a minimum of a ten quart capacity.

2)  Slowly loosen the bolts that hold the pan to the transmission – about one turn at a time.

3)  Eventually the pan will drop from the transmission allowing the used oil to exit the transmission.

4)  Totally remove the pan.

5)  Replace the filter (see below).

6)  Clean the pan thoroughly with a solvent such as Brake clean.

7)  Install a new pan gasket.

8)  Install the pan bolts and torque to factory specs (see shop manual for specs)

9)  Install new fluid through the dip stick tub. Refer to the shop manual for the proper volume of fluid.

10)  Check the dip stick for the proper fluid level.

11)  Start engine and let idle for 20 seconds.

12)  Check the fluid level again and add oil as necessary. Do NOT over fill the transmission!

Change the filter:

1)  Drop the pan and fluid as outlined above.

2)  Gently pull straight down on the filter. It is only held in place by pressure. Dispose of the old filter properly.

3)  Lubricate O-ring on new filter with petroleum jelly or fresh transmission fluid.

4)  Gently push new filter in place until it bottoms out. Take care not to damage O-ring.

Change the filter on your 700R4 transmission every time you change the oil


Adjust the TV cable:

1)  Turn off the motor

2)  Push down on the adjusting tab and move the slider back through the fitting, away from the carburetor until it comes to a stop.

3)  Let go of the adjustment tab.

4)  Move the accelerator linkage until it reaches the full throttle stop. Now release it.

5)  That’s it! Double check to make sure cable is not binding or getting stuck

this is how you adjust the TV cable on your 700R4 transmission

Doing it yourself feels good! That’s why entrepreneurs want to start their own business. There is a lot of satisfaction in doing something successfully.

Eventually, no matter how well you take care of your 700R4, you will be faced with a decision to replace it. I highly recommend you choose a re-manufactured transmission over one that was simply rebuilt. A re-manufactured transmission will include major alterations and upgrades designed to make it both stronger and more durable. A rebuilt transmission will not include these. A re-manufactured transmission also comes with a much better warranty: three years compared to an average 90 days for a rebuilt transmission. Re-manufactured transmissions also come with industry best customer service and support, and are a quick phone call or email away from helping you if the need arises!

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