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Discussion Starter #1
Just a follow-up on previous post I made:

In the past, I took my car to the dealership to drop the pan and change the filter:

$150 for labor, filter and 6 qts Mercon V.

I just did it with a small pump thru the dipstick. Got 6 qts out. Replaced with 6qts of Mercon V. Very clean and easy. $18.50.

Plan to do it once a year regardless of miles. Give it a try!
 

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Next year, I would definitely drop the pan and change the filter. If you don't, you are probably going to have a very expensive repair bill down the road. The greatest amount of crud in the pan is usually found on the first change. It's amazing how coated the pan and magnet become with fine clutch and metallic particles. The first scheduled filter change is also the most important. Besides fine clutch and metallic particles, you will not be removing silicon particles that are always left behind from casting the transmission. Undoubtedly, these are already partially plugging the filter. Furthermore, you are only replacing 45% of the transmission fluid; i.e., 6 out of 13.4 quarts. This is definitely not a recommended approach to maintaining a very sophisticated and expensive electro-mechanical piece of equipment. In the long run, this could be a very costly maintenance program.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the feedback.

Note, first maintenance was done at the dealer where they dropped the pan and replaced filter.
 

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I didn't realize that you previously dropped the pan and changed the filter. I installed a B&M drain plug the first time I dropped the pan. In essence, I have done what you are doing, on occassion, by draining my transmission pan between regularly scheduled maintenance dates.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not 100% clear on how flushing works and why it is better. I know the thought is it replaces all fluid. But how? Do they pump out all old and contiue to pump in fresh for a while? Seem expensive, or do they stop "flushing" after they have pumped out approx. 13 qts? Or does the machine somehow filter old and pump it back in?
 

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Items needed to flush an ATX tranny.

1’ piece of 3/8” hose, 5 gallon bucket, socket and wrench to get the pan off, small screwdriver, jack stands and jack.

1. Jack up the front of the car and place jack stands under the floor pan rails.
2. Locate OEM tranny cooler and disconnect the drivers side hose.
3. Place unhooked hose in 5 gallon bucket and short piece of hose on cooler, place this in bucket too.
4. Start car and let idle, watch the flow, when it lessens and almost stops turn off the engine.
5. Drop the pan and change the filter. Be sure to get the old filter neck gasket out of the opening. Use the small screw driver to bend in the old aluminum band on the gasket and then pull out the old gasket. Do not gouge the tranny aluminum opening.
6. Put new filter in and replace the pan reusing the old gasket. Do not overtighten the bolts. Go around three times and gradually tighten the bolts skipping every other one.
7. Add 10 quarts of tranny fluid.
8. Start car again and run until the flow lessens or almost stops and new fluid is coming out.
9. Reconnect hose, lower the car, add 4 quarts, shift the car through all the gears and check level. Be sure to recheck the level after the fluid has heated up. Do not overfill.
 

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But what DrMurdoc is asking is: abt the flushing m/c.

How does it actually work? So it fdrains al old first then puts in new or doest keep pumping new fluid till it sees new fluid coming out?

How does it differentiate between new & old fluid?
 

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The new fluid will push the old fluid out. There is very little mixing and you will definitely see when the new fluid is coming out at the end.
 

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Use the small screw driver to bend in the old aluminum band on the gasket and then pull out the old gasket.

Transmission Filter Seal (Green), Ford Part No. F6DZ-7Z302-AA, is steel, not aluminum. Be very careful prying this out, so as not to damage the housing. This could adversely affect the flow of ATF through the filter to the transmission.

Opinion: Ford, and other auto manufacturers, need to stop using transmission filters where the seal comes off the filter when it's being removed. Engineering-wise, this would be easy to do.
 

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yes topgun, i don't see the sense in having a seal that comes off
when removing filter,that seems easy to correct.
also, shoz123, won't that damage the trans running w/no fluid in it?
dave
 

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The seal is what is on the tranny filter neck, don't know if that is the part the number refers to.

The flushing as described is from the Ford CD with a few modifications and is an approved Ford method.



Section 07-01B: Transaxle, Automatic—AX4N 1997 Taurus, Sable—3.0L (2V), 3.0L (4V), 3.4L SHO Workshop Manual

IN-VEHICLE SERVICE

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Transaxle Fluid Drain and Refill
SPECIAL SERVICE TOOL(S) REQUIRED Description Tool Number
Disconnect Tool T82L-9500-AH


Place the transaxle range selector lever in PARK and set the parking brake.

NOTE: The amount of fluid (fluid level) in the transaxle will affect the time it takes to drain the transaxle. Make sure to check the transaxle fluid level before proceeding.



Start engine and check transaxle fluid level. Refer to Check Fluid Level and Condition as described.

Turn engine off.

NOTE: If the vehicle is equipped with an air suspension system, the switch must be placed in the off position before raising the vehicle.



Raise and suitably support vehicle. Refer to Section 00-02 .

Remove the retainer clip from the lower transaxle fluid cooler tube and fitting.

NOTE: On vehicles equipped with 5/16 inch cooler lines, use Disconnect Tool T82L-9500-AH to disconnect the transaxle cooler tube. Place the tool on the cooler tube and push the tool into the cooler tube fitting. This action releases the plastic retaining tabs which holds the cooler in place. Then, pull the cooler tube from the transaxle cooler line fitting at the transaxle fluid cooler. On vehicle with 3/8 inch cooler tubes, pinch the plastic retaining tabs of the push connect fitting and pull the cooler tube to separate it from the cooler tube fitting.



Disconnect the lower transaxle cooler tube from the transaxle cooler tube fitting at the transaxle.

Attach a flexible hose approximately 0.9 meters (3.0 feet) in length to the end of the transaxle cooler tube and gently fasten the hose with a hose clamp.

Place the opposite end of the flexible hose into a suitable 14.2 liter (15 quart) container.

NOTE: When plugging the transaxle cooler tube fitting, make sure the plug is made of soft material to prevent damage to the internal seal of the cooler tube fitting.



Insert a plug into the transaxle cooler tube fitting at the transaxle to prevent any residual fluid leakage.

Lower vehicle.

NOTE: When the steady stream of transaxle fluid stops flowing the engine should be turned off to prevent damage to the transaxle. Engine rpm should not exceed curb idle speed while draining transaxle fluid.



Place the transaxle range selector lever in PARK and start the engine. Run the engine at idle while observing the flexible hose attached to the transaxle cooler tube. Run the engine at idle speed for approximately 40-60 seconds until the steady stream of transaxle fluid stops flowing. This step will drain approximately 1.9-2.8 liters (2-3 quarts).

Fill the transaxle with 9.5 liters (10 quarts of Motorcraft MERCON® (ATF) Transmission Fluid XT-2-QDX or equivalent meeting MERCON® specification.

NOTE: When the steady stream of fluid stops flowing the engine should be turned off to prevent damage to the transaxle. Engine rpm should not exceed curb idle speed while draining fluid.



Place the transaxle range selector lever in PARK and start the engine. Run the engine at idle while observing the flexible hose attached to the fluid cooler tube. Run the engine at idle speed for approximately 2-3 minutes until the steady stream of transmission fluid stops flowing. This step will drain approximately 9.5 liters (10 quarts).

Raise and suitably support vehicle. Refer to Section 00-02 .

Remove the plug from the transaxle cooler tube fitting at the transaxle.

Remove the flexible hose from the cooler tube.

NOTE: Carefully clean the cooler tube before installing it to ensure a good connection and to prevent fluid leaks.



Install the cooler line into the transaxle cooler fitting by pushing straight into the cooler tube fitting until a click is heard. Then, gently pull on the cooler tube to make sure the line is locked in place in the cooler tube fitting.

Install the retaining clip over the cooler tube and fitting.

Lower vehicle.

Add 1.9 liters (2 quarts) of Motorcraft MERCON® (ATF) Transmission Fluid XT-2-QDX or equivalent meeting MERCON® specification.

Place the transaxle range selector lever in park, apply the parking brake and start the engine. Move the transaxle range selector lever through all ranges allowing the transaxle to engage in each position and return transaxle range selector lever to PARK.

Check the transaxle fluid level. The fluid level at normal operating temperature should read within the crosshatched area of the fluid level indicator (7A020). If the fluid level reads below the crosshatched area of the fluid level indicator, adjust the fluid level by adding fluid in 0.2 liter (1/2 pint) increments until the correct fluid level is obtained.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
All,

Thanks for the many replies. It helps to understand what Ford recommends:

Just a thought, (and I'm not trying to be smart).

If I followed one of the procedures above, I'm thinking I'm bound to screw something up:

My procedure is:

1. Take out dipstick (not me..)
2. Insert hose down dispstick
3. Turn on pump until no more fluid comes out
4. Measure how much fluid came out (typically 6 qts). I can by it at approx. $3.00 a qt.
5. Pour 6 qts through dipstick using funel.
6. Insert dipstick - Done!

If you did this twice a year since new, that would cost approx. $38 a year (I paid, approx $150 for once). Yes, and I would likely have the filter done once around 50K.

I own three different cars (Ford, GM, Chrysler) and if I followed similar procedures written above for each, I would likely break, strip, etc. something. I can do this every other oil change for peanuts. I did my GM car yesterday (piece of cake). I am doing my Chrysler today.

Thoughts?
 

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Since you are not a real "hands on" mechanic type, I think what you are doing is much better than what most people do, if you drop the pan and change the filter every 30,000 miles.
 

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I think a better and cheaper program is to drop the pan, change the filter, and get a mechanic to completely flush the system using Amsoil ATF, like SHOZ123 recommends. If you pay a mechanic to do this at 30,000 miles, you probably wouldn't have to do it again until you had 120,000 to 150,000 miles on the car. My son, who puts incredible mileage on his car in Los Angeles, did just this on his 1997 Buick Century. He's a lawyer, without a lot of mechanical aptitude, and really puts his car through the paces. Fortunately, he listens and has had great success using Amsoil engine oil and automatic transmission fluid. I think you are a good candidate for a program like this.
 

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If I had a used tranny installed on my 94 GL wagon 4 months ago should I have my mechanic consider dropping the pan? Is it smart maintenance or overkill. I know a local tranny shop likes to drop the pan and find 'millions of clutch pieces"...justifying a new trans...
 

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I think it would be overkill. I'd drop the pan and change the filter and fluid in, say, 25,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first.
 
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