One of the great features of the 4l60e transmission is that it has the ability to provide a nice smooth ride because it has overdrive. With overdrive comes a lockup torque converter which helps keep RPMs down along with transmission fluid temps.
Converter lockup on a 4l60e makes for driving on the highway or even at consistent cruising speeds much better than older, non-lockup style converters.
4l60e Converter Lockup Explained
Torque converter lock up in a 4l60e transmission is a rather simple process in which the torque converter clutch is commanded by the computer to engage and thus locks up.
Does a 4l60e Have A Lock Up Torque Converter?
Yes, all 4l60e transmissions have a lock up torque converter from the factory. In fact, nearly every factory style or aftermarket high performance, high stall converters are designed to lock up.
If you wanted to not have a lockup converter in a high performance, track only type of application, you can have one custom built. However, since the 4l60e isn’t commonly used in this manner, it’s very rare to find a non-lockup converter.
What Speed Does 4l60e Lock Up Occur?
Converter lockup with a 4l60e can happen at any speed that you designate it to. Most converters are set to lock up at least after reaching 25 mph and are in 3rd gear.
On our project 98 Camaro, we have tuned the car to lock the converter at 42 mph in 4th gear only, and will lock at higher speeds depending on the throttle percentage.
What Gear Should A 4l60e Converter Lock Up?
Depending on your vehicle’s factory settings, converter lockup happens typically in 3rd and 4th gear, or in many applications, just 4th. If you drag race a vehicle with a 4l60e, such as a Corvette or Fbody, you can lock up your converter in 3rd gear at full throttle.
Note: It is HIGHLY recommended that if you plan on locking a 4l60e converter at full throttle that you need to have a triple disk converter. While you can get by doing full throttle lock up with a billet cover aftermarket converter because they have a larger clutch surface area, it typically wont last long.
4l60e Converter Lock Up Tuning and Programming
Since the 4l60e is computer controlled, you can change your lockup settings with the help of tuning software, or can have a professional do it for you. This is often done in vehicles with modifications such as a higher stall torque converter.
Below you will see a screenshot from HP Tuners for our 98 Camaro. This is an aftermarket tune and has changed the factory settings with regards to to converter lockup and behavior.