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Yeah, so I decided to change my transmission fluid and filter today by dropping the pan. It's the first time i'd ever done it and i believe it had never been done on my car. I bought it used last summer and it had 48,000 on it then, now has 69,000. The work went smooth until i'm on my 8th bolt on the pan. I go to loosen it and the socket jumps off the bolt. I try again and it rounds the edges off this time. I think "oh crap, this is bad." I tried for 45 min to get that thing off using vice grips and a 7mm socket, but it never came off. Well, I decide that since I can't get it out, I'll have to put the other bolts back in until I can get it out. While I'm tightening up the other bolts, the socket jumps again. I look at the socket and there is a crack running 2/3 of the length of it. Wow, never seen that happen before. That's why it rounded off my bolt. So, with the use of a dremel and a new 8mm socket i got the stubborn bolt out along with the rest. I drain the pan, clean off the magnet (which was totally covered in metallic shavings, hope that's not too bad), and remove the filter. Of course, when i remove the filter the seal does not come with it so i have to get creative with a screwdriver to pry the metal ring out. After the new filter is in and the pan is back on (btw, i love ford for giving us that reusable gasket), I put 6 qt. in and start the car up. No leaks. I back the car out and shift into drive. The car starts to move then stutters. I stop, try reverse again, and then drive. It goes, but is a little shakey. When I got back home I checked the dipstick again and it's dry. In the end it took a total of 9 qt. to get the fluid to show up on the dipstick in the middle of the crosshatch area. I'm def glad this doesn't have to be done nearly as often as an oil change, but at least I know what i'm getting into now. Anyone else had as much trouble doing this job in the past?

P.S. After the fluid change my car shifts under moderate acceleration much smoother and downshifts are much better.
 

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It is a long and messy job, but worth it. Basically everything was the same for me except the trouble you were having with the bolts. Now that your magnet is clean and you have a new filter, you can change out the fluid on a more-or-less regular basis using the trans cooler method. You should enjoy a nice long life for your transmission. Make sure you recheck your fluid level when the transmission is good and hot. I was low a quart when i thought I was full.
 

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yeah, i had the same fun experiences, be careful when you scrape the gasket off, you don't want to damage the pan. and yes, i put in the 6 qts, and the dipstick was dry. i didn't have the nut snap on me, mine just got stuck. when it finally came out it decided that it would dump all the fluid. tranny fluid makes great hair conditioner, mine was silky smooth for about a week. :lol2:
also, you have probally herd this before, but install a tranny cooler in there, help your tranny last longer.
 

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I'm not trying to start a pissing contest, but I can top that. I went to change to the fluid and filter in my 97 taurus, and everything went relatively smooth until I had to bolt the pan back up. Some screws would just spin and spin and spin without tightening. Well, I took a closer look at those screws and it there was shiny stuff in the threads. I put the threads between my fingers and twisted the bolt counterclockwise and to my surprise I found a little spring shaped piece of metal. No idea what the hell happened, I'm guessing it was the metal from the bolt holes in the transmission. I don't know it the last guy to work on my car had overtightened them or used epoxy or something, but that shop closed down so I had no one to b**** at. So I towed it to a trans shop recommended by a friend and they had to do 8 heli-coils to get my pan bolted up.

8 heli-coils plus a fluid flush for $125.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I'm gonna get a transmission cooler soon. Just have to figure out everything I need to do to install it, where it's goin, etc. I also noticed the great hair control properties of transmission fluid. The car was pretty hot when i last checked it. I had it running in the garage for about 20-30 min while i cleaned up/added more fluid, but yeah, I'll check it again. Is it normal after ~70k miles for the magnet to be completely covered like that? I am thinking about installing a magnefine filter because it was so covered.
 

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Originally posted by mikehawk@Jun 10 2004, 08:56 AM
I'm not trying to start a pissing contest, but I can top that. I went to change to the fluid and filter in my 97 taurus, and everything went relatively smooth until I had to bolt the pan back up. Some screws would just spin and spin and spin without tightening. Well, I took a closer look at those screws and it there was shiny stuff in the threads. I put the threads between my fingers and twisted the bolt counterclockwise and to my surprise I found a little spring shaped piece of metal. No idea what the hell happened, I'm guessing it was the metal from the bolt holes in the transmission. I don't know it the last guy to work on my car had overtightened them or used epoxy or something, but that shop closed down so I had no one to b**** at. So I towed it to a trans shop recommended by a friend and they had to do 8 heli-coils to get my pan bolted up.

8 heli-coils plus a fluid flush for $125.
I had this happened to me too!! Just not as many. I don't know what the hell happened, but one bolt was a little more stubborn to get out, and it was completely stripped when I put it back in. I had to find another bolt that was slightly bigger to replace that one. I had 2 more that felt like they wanted to strip, so I tightened them until they felt like they wanted to let loose and left them there. They were plenty tight and I haven't lost them yet, so I'm golden. Gotta be real careful with those pan bolts, the aluminum on these trannys seems to be really soft.
 
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