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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For a while, Ford has been recommending Mercon V even for older Taurus transmissions, which they originally didn't when Mercon V was first introduced--they warned it would damage transmissions made before about 1996. My Taurus is a 1994, with an AX4S, and I'll be replacing its ATF when I do some work on its valve body. Is the Mercon V sold these days, a different formulation from the original Mercon V, and thus the different recommendation from Ford? Or did Ford find, or just decide, some time after the introduction of Mercon V, that it actually doesn't damage the older transmissions?
 

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I can say 100% for sure that the Motorcraft brand Mercon V is the new replacement for regular Motorcraft Mercon. I would do it, just stick with the Motorcraft brand. My brother changed the Mercon out of his 94 E4OD and added a full fill of Mercon V. There have been no problems over a year later, plus the fluid doesnt burn up nearly as fast. A few years ago mercon V in an E4OD was a big no no.
 

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^+1. Mercon v is backspecd for use anywhere mercon/dexron lll was required, including power steering. Not to be subbed in type F applications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks. I'm finding posts elsewhere that seem to confirm Ford did change the Mercon V formula some time after it was first introduced (I should probably just call Ford and confirm this), and it's only this newer Mercon V formula which Ford back-specs for older transmissions that couldn't take the original Mercon V. Also, I haven't read of anyone with an older Taurus transmission like mine, having problems when they switched from Dexron III/Mercon, to this "second generation" version of Mercon V, so I think that's what I'll do too, and see what happens (I've decided my car is one big experiment and learning experience, as well as transportation). I've found only a couple reports of trouble with using the newer Mercon V formula in some older, non-Taurus, Mercon-spec'd transmissions.

But I may first try just two or three quarts, before I do the valve body work, instead of replacing all the ATF that's currently in the transmission at the same time as I do the valve body work, so that if for some reason my AX4S shows symptoms indicating it doesn't like Mercon V, I won't have to wonder if it was the valve body work that was causing those symptoms. There's nothing like changing two or more factors in an experiment at the same time, to make you wonder which change caused the results you get.

I should also explain that what's currently in my transmission, that I'll be replacing, is mostly Eneos ECO-ATF, a fully synthetic Dexron III/Mercon spec, which I put in March 9 2011 (via a TCCA full pumpout) to replace my old, smelly conventional Dexron III/Mercon, which hadn't been fully changed in more than five years (I'm not the car's original owner). Before I put in the Eneos, I inquired here at TCCA (http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/82-...625-advice-atf-1994-ax4s-w-147-000-miles.html) whether to use it (it was the only synthetic Dexron III/Mercon I could find locally), or just use synthetic Mercon V (also hard to find locally, but I finally found some after I'd bought the Eneos), because Mercon V is supposed to be a better spec. Though people here recommended Mercon V, I still wasn't sure whether it was safe in my transmission, so I went with the Eneos. Though the Eneos has been in my transmission for only about a month and a half, and it worked well (some smoother shifts, etc. compared to the old fluid--no surprise), I want to replace it, because after a couple weeks of driving around with it, I poured in a bottle of Lucas Transmission Fix, because I found the transmission was still exhibiting some problems it's had for a while: clunks when pulling away from a stop, and when I shift from Neutral to Overdrive. I didn't really expect the Eneos to fix these, but I was hoping. When the old ATF was still in the transmission, I'd had success with Lubegard red suppressing this clunking from about Nov 2009 to Nov 2010, until the Lubegard was no longer able to suppress the clunks, which is what led me to change the ATF in March this year. Once I had the Eneos in the transmission, and I found I still had the clunks, I wanted to compare Lucas to Lubegard. But the Lucas (very thick stuff) didn't suppress the clunks, and instead caused a new problem: when accelerating from a stop, the transmission is slower than usual to shift up, and each shift up while accelerating from speeds below about 30-35 MPH is preceded by higher-than-normal RPMs that don't get me much extra forward movement until the gear shifts up, and the transmission now often has a "turbine-like" sound that makes it sound like a miniature Batmobile. Though this sounds cool, I'm sure it's not. I'm sure Lucas Transmission Fix is good for some transmissions, but not mine.

I'm hoping the valve body work I have planned, will fix one or both of the clunks, but I'm prepared if it doesn't--the clunks are more likely to be due to something outside the valve body, which I'll fix if I have to, like the neutral to drive accumulator, and/or the forward clutch piston and/or its seals. At least, the valve body work gives me a logical point at which to replace the Lucas-exposed Eneos, because at least some of the ATF has to be drained prior to removing the valve body.
 

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The posts you have been reading are wrong. The Mercon V may have several generations, but all of them are backspeced to replace the older Mercon. This was one of the original design goals when the fluid was first created.

The reports of those having problems are also botched. These were transmissions that had not been properly maintained, and were being serviced because of issues. When the fluid was changed, the transmission may have failed afterwards, which could be due to many other factors. The fluid is a convenient scrap goat. In reality, the transmission was worn out anyway, and a power flush may have been the last straw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The posts you have been reading are wrong. The Mercon V may have several generations, but all of them are backspeced to replace the older Mercon. This was one of the original design goals when the fluid was first created.


Though when Mercon V was first introduced, didn't Ford advise against using it in transmissions older than about 1996? I've read several mentions of this, including (I think) an original Ford advisory. They rescinded that advisory only later, and I thought the most likely reason was due to a change in the formula. Or were the formula changes irrelevant to this issue, and Ford just changed their advice because they found people using Mercon V in older transmissions anyway, weren't seeing damage caused by it?
The reports of those having problems are also botched. These were transmissions that had not been properly maintained, and were being serviced because of issues. When the fluid was changed, the transmission may have failed afterwards, which could be due to many other factors. The fluid is a convenient scrap goat. In reality, the transmission was worn out anyway, and a power flush may have been the last straw.
Sounds like that would have been the case in most instances (maybe all), since as you know, many of those failures after a power flush/replace have happened even though the original spec'd Dexron III/Mercon was the replacement fluid, instead of Mercon V. The flush I did in March just used the transmission's fluid pump, so I haven't messed up things with a power flush.

I'm feeling comfortable at this point, with replacing the Eneos with Mercon V. Now I just have to choose a brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If and when you switch to mercon v, i believe lubegard green is specd for it if you choose to use it.
Thanks Shiela. In Nov 2009, when I was trying to figure out whether to use Lubegard red or platinum, I called the company to ask. They said the red was fine, and that the platinum, for my 94 AX4S, wouldn't do anything the red wouldn't do, but the platinum cost a couple dollars more, so I went with the red.

With Lubegard green, though, they describe it as making Dexron III/Mercon work like Mercon V. Would that be the right thing to add to a transmission full of actual Mercon V, which is what I'm now planning to replace the Eneos with?
 

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I'm feeling comfortable at this point, with replacing the Eneos with Mercon V. Now I just have to choose a brand.
Just so you know, I am only comfortable with the Motorcraft brand Mercon V, since it it the only one that says it is formulated to replace the regular Motorcraft Mercon. I would be scared to chance trying another brand (possibly not "reformulated") in a transmission that is a no no for mercon V (ie the E4OD). I have only used other brand mercon V in applications that actually call for mercon V.
 

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JohnSawyer, ive always used lubegard red with mercon/dexron lll applications and the green bottle with mercon v apps.? Til 4-27-11 adv. auto parts has castrol atf (including mercon v) on sale for $3.99/qt. Wal-mart has their supertech brand for $3.97/qt. Ive used both in the past with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Just so you know, I am only comfortable with the Motorcraft brand Mercon V, since it it the only one that says it is formulated to replace the regular Motorcraft Mercon.
Thanks. I forgot to mention that I probably will play it safe, and use Motorcraft Mercon V, but only if they have a fully synthetic version. Including Khan's recommendation above, I've read recommendations for other manufacturer's synthetic Mercon V (including the higher-end Redline, etc.), from people who have tried these with success in their Tauruses, so if there isn't a synthetic Motorcraft, I'll probably go with one of these others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ive always used lubegard red with mercon/dexron lll applications and the green bottle with mercon v apps
That has me thinking about doing this: until I get the valve body removed (I'd like to think a week or two, but it'll probably be longer), I may pump out two or three quarts of the Lucas-exposed Eneos (I'd like to say "contaminated", but I don't want to ruffle any feathers), and replace it with synthetic Mercon V, and if there's no reduction in clunks, I may try Lubegard green unless I get to the valve body sooner. I really don't like those clunks, and what damage it may mean is being done in the transmission. The Lubegard website says their green version, in addition to containing Mercon V additives, has all the same stuff as their red, so theoretically I'd get the benefits of both.

I've also decided, before removing the valve body, to take out the low/intermediate servo to see if anything's wrong there that might be causing the clunks. It's a lot easier to remove that servo than the valve body, and the ATSG manual states it's a part that's sometimes implicated in harsh Neutral to Drive shifts, which is what my clunks may be.
 

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For a while, Ford has been recommending Mercon V even for older Taurus transmissions, which they originally didn't when Mercon V was first introduced--they warned it would damage transmissions made before about 1996. My Taurus is a 1994, with an AX4S, and I'll be replacing its ATF when I do some work on its valve body. Is the Mercon V sold these days, a different formulation from the original Mercon V, and thus the different recommendation from Ford? Or did Ford find, or just decide, some time after the introduction of Mercon V, that it actually doesn't damage the older transmissions?
I don't know if you considered it, but you might be better off with a
rebuilt trannie out of a junked car with lower miles if you can find one.
Buying a rebuilt or new valve body is not going to be cheap either.
At 150K, your going to have internal wear beside the valve body.
And the 3.8 as i recall were more prone to abuse the trannie
(more low end torque?).

If you lucky, you can find a nice lower miles rebuilt trannie out of a
wrecked car, or one that the head gaskets blew on.

Good luck if you do the valve body job. That might be more of a challenge
than i would try. There is a company called sonax that makes parts for
valve body's. You might Google them.
 

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Valvoline.com > Products > Automatic Transmission Products > Automatic Transmission Fluid > MaxLife® DEX/MERC ATF Onthe dex merc bottle it does not state it is a replacement for merc v, but in the tech data from the valvoline website it does state it is a sub for dex merc v
FWIW, The other related page on the Val site is:
Valvoline.com > Products > Automatic Transmission Products > Automatic Transmission Fluid > Valvoline® ATF for MERCON® V applications

and note on the spec sheet where it pretty much says that if you have a concern for the "non-tested" fluid, use the specific non-MaxLife instead.
 
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