History of the AB60 Transmission
The Aisin-Warner AB60 is a six-speed automatic electronically controlled transmission released in 2007. Aisin Corporation is headquartered in Japan. Approximately 38% of the automatic transmission units made by Aisin AW go to the Toyota group, the rest are delivered to more than 50 automobile manufacturers across 15 different countries.
The AB60, a 6-speed automatic transmission, is known to be a highly reliable and efficient transmission, capable of handling high torque and horsepower. On the drivability front, it is known for its smooth operation and good fuel economy.
Since it was released, the AB60 has been proven to work so well in all the vehicles it came in that to this day it still comes in new Toyota vehicles. In 2019, the Toyota Sequoia which uses the AB60, was rated as the top vehicle in the US that is likely to last longer than 200,000 miles.
Specifications of the AB60 Transmission
The AB60 comes in two main variants, the AB60E and AB60F. The AB60F is used in 4x4 wheel drive vehicles, whereas the AB60E is used in only rear-wheel drive vehicles.
The AB60 is rated to be a heavy-duty transmission and is capable of handling serious amounts of high torque and horsepower, allowing it to be bolted to powerful engines like the 5.7L V8 Toyota 3UR-FE, 4.6L V8 Toyota 1UR-FE and the 4.5L V8 Toyota 1VD-FTV Turbo Diesel.
A 2nd Generation Toyota Tundra which features the AB60E/F transmissions
A 2nd Gen Toyota Sequoia which features the AB60E/F transmissions
In stock vehicles, the transmission may receive a maximum input torque of 550 Nm. However, in custom builds the AB60 is tested and proven to handle up to 900 Nm of input torque. This high torque capacity allows vehicles it is fitted into to have a GVWR of up to 3500 kg (7700 lbs.), and a towing capacity of over 4600 kg (10100 lbs.)
In terms of horsepower, the AB60 transmission has been proven to be able to handle up to 800-1000 hp (600 – 745 kW) in custom builds, although in regular use you’d almost never send more than 400 hp through it.
Strengths of the AB60 Transmission
The AB60 came along to replace the 5-speed A750 transmission and it improves on its predecessor in quite a few ways.
First, it is a lot stronger transmission and this allows vehicles it is fitted into to be fitted with larger, more powerful engines. For this reason, having six gear ratios instead of five, allows the engine RPM to be in the optimum power band throughout a wider range of speeds. Also, when 6th gear is engaged at cruising speeds, the longer ratio drops engine revs even further.
The lockup torque converter clutch which can be activated in 4th to 6th gear, provides a direct drive from the engine when locked up, eliminating slippage and lowering the RPM for a given speed. This helps save fuel and engine wear over the long run.
Having electronic controls allows the AB60’s shift timing and feel to be controlled precisely and in sync with the engine. This happens through controlling the line pressure by analyzing the engine torque output, speed, throttle position and ATF temperature.
Weaknesses of AB60 Transmission
While the AB60 transmission is generally very reliable under certain uses and circumstances, you could end up with various problems, most of which is caused by excess heat.
Engine modifications, towing, driving up slopes under heavy load, and long time spent in stop-and-go traffic tend to increase the transmission’s operating temperature. In certain circumstances, the stock transmission cooler and fluid pan might not be sufficient to handle the elevated temperatures. A bigger cooler and deeper pan might be needed.
Gear Ratios of the AB60
Custom Vehicles which use the AB60 transmission
Toyota and Lexus vehicles are the only vehicles the Aisin AB60 transmission came in. As Lexus is a luxury vehicle and almost never modified, custom vehicles that use the AB60 are almost only custom-built Toyotas. Toyota Tundras, Sequoias, and 200 series Land Cruisers are examples of custom-builds that feature the AB60 transmission.
Manual to automatic conversions are the most common cases where the AB60 transmission is used in a custom build. Doing a manual to automatic transmission swap can even make financial sense, as the automatic transmission can run at 1000 rpm less at highway speeds, leading to much better fuel economy especially for those planning to drive long distances regularly.
Controlling AB60 with the COMPUSHIFT transmission controller
If you’re planning on doing a manual to automatic conversion, and thinking about using an electronically controlled transmission like the AB60 you absolutely need a transmission controller to tell the transmission when and how to shift gears and when to activate the torque converter clutch lock-up.
The COMPUSHIFT Pro transmission controller is a comprehensive solution which is able to communicate with a wide variety of custom engine management units and it is a whole lot more customizable than almost any other controller on the market. No complicated modifications are needed as the COMPUSHIFT can work with various different range switches and types of ECUs.
Once the COMPUSHIFT is installed, you almost never have to touch it anymore. Pretty much every controllable aspect of the transmission can be adjusted and monitored via the accompanying mobile app, which connects to the COMPUSHIFT via Bluetooth.
The COMPUSHIFT’s advanced settings and control options tends to give better fuel economy than the original transmission controller. It can also hugely improve your driving experience as you can adjust the transmission’s shift strategy to suit your driving style.
The COMPUSHIFT Pro comes with reliable pre-loaded configurations for the Aisin AB60, so you need not worry about tinkering with any settings if you’re not an expert.