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Discussion Starter #1
is changing the trans fluid something i can do at home, or should
i take it to a trans shop? i've heard you can't get all the fluid out,
but what if even i drop the pan and change filter? I'm wondering
if it will help this slight slippage i have w/duratec - @ 75K miles.
thanks, dave
 

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Totally within the ordinary shade tree mechanics ability to do. You might want to read my article on this topic on August 19th. First, jack up car and place on jack stands or use car ramps. Second, undo the 8mm hex-head bolts securing transmission pan (19 of them). Third, drain ATF into large pan. Fourth, remove old filter and carefully pry out old "O" ring with a screwdriver, being careful not to score the transmission housing. Fifth, install new filter. Sixth, thoroughly clean transmission pan and gasket, which should be reusable. Seven, reinstall pan and torque bolts to 106 in-lbs. Eight, add approximately 7 quarts of Mercon V. Don't worry too much about not being able to drain the converter. Install a B&M drain plug while you have the pan off and you can easily drain the transmission any time you want with no trouble. Come back, in say a year, and drain pan and refill with 7 more quarts at that time to accomplish almost as much good. Otherwise, follow Amsoil's approach to draining the converter now.
 

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If you want to take the lazy route and get it over with at one time, you should be able to find a good shop that will do a BG flush of the whole thing (tranny, torque converter, cooling lines) for around $100 - which is a lot of $ or a little $ - just depends on how heavy a wallet you have...

HOWEVER - if the fluid in this car is the original and it has that many miles on it and you're noticing slippage, you need to be careful about whether or not to flush this thing. If the original fluid smells funky, like varnish, and/or is severely discolored, I wouldn't recommend flushing it as flushing may push the transmission into a grave. The transmission's dead and doesn't know it yet...If the fluid is still reddish/pink and smells good, like normal transmission fluid, you might be okay to flush it...One guy in this forum works at a shop (can't remember who) and I think makes customers sign waivers before flushing a transmission that hasn't been maintained regularly so that the shop isn't responsible for any failure that results...
 

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Here's something else that not a lot of people are aware of about quick change outfits that change transmission fluid. They connect their ATF fluid changing equipment to your transmission cooling line upfront. Then, they remove all of the old ATF, including what's in the converter, and replace it with fresh fluid. So far, everything sounds good. However, in the process, they stir up all of the crud in the bottom of the pan, which ends up clogging the filter and results in transmission failure not too far down the road. A Mercury dealer, near where I live, told me he gets a lot of business from people who go this route. Their approach would be great, if the transmission pan was dropped, cleaned, and the filter replaced first. With a little work, you can do the same thing, at a fraction of the cost, and use better fluids to boot.
 

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Originally posted by topgunovrtx@Aug 31 2004, 08:10 PM
Here's something else that not a lot of people are aware of about quick change outfits that change transmission fluid. They connect their ATF fluid changing equipment to your transmission cooling line upfront. Then, they remove all of the old ATF, including what's in the converter, and replace it with fresh fluid. So far, everything sounds good. However, in the process, they stir up all of the crud in the bottom of the pan, which ends up clogging the filter and results in transmission failure not too far down the road. A Mercury dealer, near where I live, told me he gets a lot of business from people who go this route. Their approach would be great, if the transmission pan was dropped, cleaned, and the filter replaced first. With a little work, you can do the same thing, at a fraction of the cost, and use better fluids to boot.
This is true of the flush machines that are connected via the transmission fluid cooling lines...

However, there are flush machines (I believe the BG machines are this type) that connect via the transmission filter port - pan is dropped and filter removed, flushing machine connected to the filter port, old fluid flushed out with new fluid, new filter installed, pan bolted back up and fluid added through dipstick tube to finish the fill. Flushing with this method is definitely superior to draining the fluid repeatedly cause it physically flushes out the whole system at one time and all the fluid is new. That said, most of us can't afford one of these machines.

Whatever method you use, there all better than not servicing the transmission at all which too many people decide to do (or actually not due)...
 

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You can flush your entire system at home in the driveway with out too much of a mess.

Items needed....
jack and stands, tools to remove the pan, 5 gallon bucket, 2' piece of 3/8" hose, filter and ~5 gallons of fluid.

Jack the car up, remove the plastic splash shield, disconnect the 3/8" line on the drivers side form the AUX tranny cooler, connect the short piece of hose to the tranny cooler and put both lines in the five gallon bucket.

Start car and run at idle until the lessens and just about flow stops. Turn off motor and take off the tranny pan. it will still have about 4 quarts of fluid in it.

Remove all the bolts but keep two on the passenger end tight. Then put a pan under the pan and slowly loosen the two remaining bolts. (Be sure to break the pan loose before you loosen the two bolts very much.) This will allow the pan to slowly drop and drain the remaining fluid.

As stated pull out the filter. The old gasket and aluminum ring will stick up in the tranny body. Bend the aluminum ring in and pull out using a needle nose pliers.

Put in new filter. Reinstall pan using the original gasket. Be careful to lightly tighten the bolts and go around three times skipping a bolt to get them snug. These will strip easily. Pour in 10 quarts of new fluid. Start car again and wait till the fluid coming out is clean. Connect hoses and add 4 more more quarts. Check level after cycling through all the gears while the car is running. Check again after driving and the fluid is hot.
 

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5 gallons of Mercon 5 is expensive...I paid $2.79 a qt for Castrol Mercon V last weekend, so at that price, it's greater than $55, plus the trans filter. It's still cheaper than a shop though. If you decide you want to go the cheaper (and easier) route, you'll need 7-8 qts. It took me all of about an hour to do this, start to finish last weekend. Not too hard a procedure. Just make sure you clean to pan out really well. I mean REALLY well! Remove the magnet and clean off all the metallic particles (powdered metal has an amazing feel to it). Use a no-lint rag to clean the pan and make sure there is NO dirt in the pan.

JR
 

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I started to do this last weekend. I went to my local Royal Purple supplier to pick up their transmission fluid and it was $7.50 a quart!!! And then, it does not state that it is rated for Mercon V although it is full synthetic.

How much is the Amsoil per quart?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
WOW! thanks for all the great tips, i think i'll do it the easy way like
5-7 qts ata time, but how cool is that, you can install a drain plug?
why does'nt ford do that, they always have a better idea!
aren't the filters kinda expensive? they look big in the pictures.
also is that gods punk or god spunk?
thanks for the tips, i wish i could fix cars like i can fix people.
regrds, dave
 

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Seeing as how you have to drop the pan in order to change the filter and clean out the magnet and all those little metal particles on the bottom of the pan, putting in a drain plug doesn't make too much sense. It would make it too easy to just skip those other steps. Plus how many times would you really use it, changing it every 30k means only 3 or 4 times for the life of the car or less. It would be nice to get all the old fluid out when you do a change, but that doesn't seem to matter that much. I think if you change it at normal intervals you should be ok.
 

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It has been my experience that regular fluid is only good for 15K. This means if you are only changing half the fluid at a time you should be dropping the pan every 7500 miles.

I use Amsoil which I believe to be the best ATX fluid. I change it at 30K doing the full flush method. The cost is ~$125 for 5 gallons.

Dropping the pan is the hardest and messiest part. You might as well do the job right and do the entire flush. Doesn't take anything to unhook a hose and watch the engine pump out the old fluid.
 

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Ford doesn't do that because they recommend that the dealer or a certified technician with a flush machine be working on your transmission, not you.

The filters are actually pretty small...about 7"x7". They're about 15 bucks with the correct gasket, although i'm pretty sure that the original gasket is reusable...it's think and plastic.

Just make sure you clean the pan out...I've already said it, but it's incredibly important.

BTW...it's God's Punk...32 is my old baseball/soccer/basketball number.

JR
 

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I just changed the fluid on my father's '99 SE over the weekend...45,xxx miles and never serviced...I was surprised at how clean the pan was inside, with only a little metallic sludge on the magnet (he must have gotten a good one :lol2: ). I did find that it only took about 5½ quarts to bring it into the crosshatch area on the dipstick, after driving it for a while to warm the new fluid.

healthcoach dave, it really is as simple as everyone above^^^ is saying. Just do it yourself...it makes for that nice feeling of satisfaction in a job well done and saved a few bucks, too!
 

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A good Tip: use 1/2" diameter hose (6' length)- you can get it at home depot or Lowes. Cut off about a foot and stick it down the trans filler tube all the way to the bottom of the pan with the car on jack stands or ramps. Siphon out as much as you can- about 2 gallons. Then you can drop the pan and not worry about turning red and smelling funny for two days.
 

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I had red marks all over my hands for two days. No matter what I used or how much I scrubbed, I couldn't get it out of the cracks of my hands...it sucked big time.

JR
 

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Discussion Starter #17
that's a great idea by jth, a siphon hose, too bad i didn't think of that.
all were gerat ideas, i did it, but wouldn't have had the confidence w/o
this great web site. but it took me about 3 hrs, i'm not real swift, but
i do it right. i used rubber gloves, so i didn't get any on me at all,
so iam very health concious so i know about chemicals on the body,
goes right in thru the skin into blood, bad news. but i forgot to add
the drain plug, well next time i will. it took 7 qts of valvoline reg
merc V, but it really runs much better, and already shifting much
smoother. about 1/2 tspn metals on magnet.

the fluid was really very dark brown, not good huh? but it didn't
smell bad, probobly the first change ever w/75K miles.
thanks for all your help and encouragement.
HC dave B)
 

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Just did mine today, too. Dropped the pan, replaced the filter & gasket, put in a drain plug, degreased & washed the pan, wiped off the magnet, put on new pan gasket on & tightened her up. I put in a bottle of Lucas no-slip treatment and 5 quarts of ATF.

I can definitely tell a difference - the car used to slip or "surge" into 2nd & 3rd gear a little at part throttle. That is gone now.

I figure I'll drain the pan at the same time I change the oil for the next 3 times. Or maybe do a "home flush" of all the fluid. Depends on how much $$ I have when the time comes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
about the no-slip stuff, what has been your
experience w/it, also where did you get the drain plug?
my trans guy says it causes more harm than good. i'd like to
try it but need more info on it.
dave
 

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As for the Lucas no-slip additive this is the first time I've used it but I've seen it recommended on a couple forums so I thought I'd give it a try. I drove the car for about 10 miles tonight and it shifted a LOT better. Whether or not this is from the partial fluid change & filter or the Lucas stuff I can't tell you.

All I know is the car was kind of surging when shifting at part-throttle, both from 2-3 and 3-4. This no longer happens.

I got the drain plug for $4.95 at Advance Auto Parts.
 
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