4L60E Deep vs Shallow Pan Styles
Does Your 4L60E Have a Deep or a Shallow Style Oil Pan?
You may be asking yourself, "Why does it matter what type of filter my 4L60E uses? I thought they were all the same." This is an easy thing to be confused about. Shallow style and deep style 4L60E oil filters look very similar, but a casual inspection of your transmissions oil pan will let you know which filter style to order.
Shallow & Deep Pan Style Similarities
Shallow and Deep GM 4L60E transmission oil pans have a few common charactersitcs. For instance, both shallow style and deep style 4L60E oil pans have 16 bolt holes. Both shallow and deep pans installed in vehicles might be painted or unpainted. And, both styles may or may not contain drain plugs. So, how do you know which style 4L60E oil pan you have installed on your car or truck?
Here's the Difference Between Shallow & Deep Pan Styles
Shallow 4L60E oil pans are all one depth. The bottom of a deep 4L60E transmission oil pan has a step down that covers 3/4 of the bottom of the pan.
Why Does the Oil Pan Depth Matter?
This change was instituted to all OEM 4L60E transmissions in eary 1997. It is possible to have a 1997 with either a shallow or deep oil pan on an OEM transmission! So, it is best to inspect your oil pan before ordering the oil filter.
The change in depth allowed the transmission to hold more fluid therefore allowing it to dissipate more heat. Due to the drop in depth of the pan, the pump intake (by way of the filter) had to reach deeper in the pan. The difference was made up by changing the filter.
Differences Between Deep & Shallow 4L60E Oil Filters
In additon to having a thicker filter medium, the deep filter also has a plastic spacer molded into the plastic portion of the filter.
These 2 filters look very similar from the bottom side. However, from the top side, once you get the filter removed from the vehicle, you'll be able to notice the differences in depth.
What Are Performance No-Leak Filters?
The standard OEM two-piece body design allows for a percentage of transmission oil to leak through the filter housing. To counteract that many manufactures have made one-peice deep filters that have virtually no housing leaks. Due to the design and special construction 4L60E no-leak filters are almost twice the cost of a new 4L60E OEM repalcement filter, and are best suited for a high-performance application.