Turbo Hydramatic

Super Turbine 400 / THM400 / THM375 / 3L80 / 3L80HD

The THM400 can be visually identified by an oil pan number four shown at Transmission Pans. It was first introduced for the 1964 model year under the name 'Turbo Hydra-Matic' in Cadillacs. and 'Super Turbine' in Buicks. The following year, application expanded to Oldsmobile and Pontiac and to some full-sized Chevrolets. Many of the Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile THM400s produced between 1964-67 were equipped with a Switch-Pitch torque converter variable-pitch stator, which is sought after by collectors and drag racers. These can be identified outside the vehicle (with the torque converter removed) by a narrow front pump spline. Externally the switch pitch version has two electrical connections, where the non-switch pitch THM400 has only one. GM used a Switch Pitch torque converter in the Buick twin turbine Dynaflow transmission between 1955–1963 and the Super Turbine 300 two speed transmissions used by Oldsmobile Pontiac, and Buick divisions between 1964-1967. Skill up twitter.

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A variant of the THM400 known as a THM375 is a THM400 with a long output shaft that mates to the smaller THM350 drive shaft yoke. It can be identified by '375-THM' cast into the tailhousing. Internally the clutch packs originally had fewer friction plates. Some 'Heavy Duty' THM350s were also designated THM375-B. Another variant is the 3L80HD, often referred to as a Turbo 475. The 3L80HD has a straight-cut planetary gear set. There is no externally visible way to determine whether the transmission contains the straight-cut planetary gear set. The THM425 front wheel drive transmission shares almost all its internal parts with the THM400.

By 1980, the relatively heavy THM400 was being phased out of usage in passenger cars in response to demand for improved fuel economy. The Presidential Limousine used during the Reagan Administration, a modified 1984 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, was the last known GM passenger vehicle to use the THM400, alongside the C- and K-series (full size) Chevrolet/GMC pickups and G-series (full size) vans ending in 1986 thereafter it was renamed to the 3L80. Today, the United States Army HMMWV is the only vehicle using the THM400. The civilian Hummer H1 originally had the 3L80s, but the current model has had a 4L80E since the mid-1990s.

Through the end of the '70s substantially more CBOP (Cadillac/Buick/Oldsmobile/Pontiac) bellhousing THM400s were produced than any other THM400. Chevrolet bellhousing THM400s, while not rare, can be hard to find and are, as a result, usually more expensive to buy. Other bellhousing patterns are, accordingly, rarer. The THM400 was never produced with a multicase bell housing.

Other auto manufacturers have used the THM400 and its 4L80E successor, including Ferrari (in the 400/412); Jaguar/Daimler (in pre-1994 XJ12 and XJ-S coupes) and their Daimler stable mates; Rolls-Royce (in 1965–1980 Silver Shadow and 1980-1992 Silver Spirit series cars, along with their Bentley stable mates); the Nissan Prince Royal; AM General; and Jeep (usually found in the FSJ pickups and SUVs. Early Jeep THM400s used an adapter between the engine and transmission bell housing while later models had an AMC specific housing. Though identical except for the bell housing pattern used through the '60s and ending in 1979 the THM400 was mated to the Dana model 18,20 and was the only transmission used with the Borg-Warner 1305/1339 all-wheel-drive transfer case used only in Jeeps, It has been known to adapt a THM400 to other engines using adapters.

THM400 transmissions are very popular in automotive competition due to their great strength. Much of this strength comes from the use of a cast iron center support to suspend the transmission's concentric shafts that join the clutch assemblies to the gear train. The center support, which is splined to the interior of the transmission's case, also provides a robust reaction point for first gear (the gear train's reaction carrier is restrained from counter-rotating the engine in first gear by a roller clutch whose inner race is part of the center support). Since the first gear reactive force is evenly distributed around the periphery of the case, the types of mechanical (and some times violent) failures that have plagued other competition transmissions are rare.

Turbo Hydramatic 400 Identification

The THM400 was the first three-speed, Simpson-geared automatic to use overrunning clutches for both first and second gear reaction, a feature that eliminated the need to coordinate the simultaneous release of a band and application of a clutch to make the 2-3 gear change. Owing to this feature, as well as the use of a large, multi-plate clutch to provide second gear reaction, the THM400 is able to withstand very high input torque and an enormous number of shifting cycles, as would be encountered in frequent stop-and-go driving. As a result, it has met with considerable success in commercial vehicle applications.

Turbo Hydramatic

For 1987, GM changed the nomenclature of their Turbo Hydramatic transmissions — the THM400 was renamed to the '3L80' (three forward speeds, longitudinal positioning, and an arbitrary 'strength' of 80, the second highest such rating assigned). The 3L80HD was introduced in 1987 as the HD unit used in passenger trucks. In 1991, a four-speed overdrive version, the 4L80-E, replaced the THM400 in Chevrolet/GMC pickups, vans, SUVs, and commercial vehicles. The 4L80E (and its successor 4L85E) was the first Hydramatic to incorporate electronic controls — almost all of the THM400/3L80/3L80HD's components are interchangeable.

Transmission fluid cooler line connections are found on the right hand side of the THM400. The lower connection is the cooler feed, and the upper connection is the return. The case is tapped for either self-sealing 1/4'NPT fittings, or 1/2'UNF fittings with a washer seal. 5/16' or 3/8' rigid coolant lines are generally connected via appropriate double-flared adapters.

4-Wheel drive truck applications used a shorter output shaft that coupled with a female transfer case input shaft.Early transfer cases mated directly to the THM400 with an cast-iron adapter,usually a vertical oval shape.Later models used a circular style iron adapter which is generally considered the stronger of the two.

Turbo Hydramatic Thm-200

Gear Ratios are:

Turbo Hydramatic 400 Parts

  • First Gear - 2.48:1
  • Second Gear - 1.48:1
  • Third Gear - 1.00:1
  • Reverse - 2.07:1