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Discussion Starter #1
First of all I'm an idiot! We will just take care of that right now before I start.


I have a gen 3 1997 3.0 Vulcan AX4N Tranny.

Here's the situation. My family and I took a long trip during Christmas and when we got to our destination The transmission started shuttering when shifting from 2nd to 3rd and when shifting into overdrive at higher speeds. When I punch it the car shifts smooth. It remains the same since we returned home.

I checked the dipstick (car warm, running, and level) and the level is right at the bottom of the crosshatched area.

I have not changed the transmission fluid in 93,000 miles. Refer to the opening statement.

I'm considering a fluid change. However, the local Ford garage stated up front that they will not be held responsible if the tranny decides to die after they change it at this milage. (They've been burned and had to buy a new one for somebody)

Should I change the fluid or not?

Should I just let the tranny go until it dies if it's going to die?

Should I add a little fluid to get it into the crosshatching?

Could the problem be something else?

What do the Taurus gods and goddesses of this most excellent Club think?

Besides sentence number 1.

Thanks ahead of time.

Monte
 

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wont hurt it too do so. make sure to do a T-tech as well as a tranny pan splash and it will get 100% of the tarnish and other crap out. May fix but it is way cheaper then 1300 dollars
 

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If it is still driving pretty well besides a little shudder, you might want to leave well enough alone. I've heard many stories of neglected, high mileage trannies that have their fluid changed and then crap out a week later. Your old fluid, full of friction material particles from the clutches' wearing out could be all that's keeping the tranny going at all.
 

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Woops, forget to add this. If your fluid level is a little low, I would simply top it off first and see if that helps. That shouldn't hurt anything.
 

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Ok well the old skool thing to do would be to top it off and keep it toped off til it dropps dead. The old rule of thumb is if its been 100k and it hasnt been changed leave it alone, just keep toping it off if it leak or burns or whatever.

Now i got my car with 130k miles on it and the fluid was nasty, I flushed it and it worked much better, had the car for almost 3 years since then.

This is something that you need to deside on, play it safe or take a gamble?

I suspect that people will go 50% pro and 50% againt on this but we'll see.

Also yes what does it look like what (color), what does it smell like?
 

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Get it flushed completely, and fill it with fresh Mercon V fluid, which contains anti-shudder agents.

Yes I know, technically the AX4N tranny does not call for Mercon V to be used until the 1998 version, but IMHO yours is a perfect example of when a '97 AX4N tranny should be filled with a good Mercon V fluid. Refer to my comments in this recent thread.

 

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first of all what ever you do or ot do,
add the damm ATF fluid (mercon 3) so that you have the level mid way in the cross hatch area. THEN DRIVE!!!!!!
 

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Originally posted by rockledge@Jan 29 2004, 05:27 AM
Get it flushed completely, and fill it with fresh Mercon V fluid, which contains anti-shudder agents.

Yes I know, technically the AX4N tranny does not call for Mercon V to be used until the 1998 version, but IMHO yours is a perfect example of when a '97 AX4N tranny should be filled with a good Mercon V fluid. Refer to my comments in this recent thread.

Then refer to everyone elses comments and the TSB's posted and keep the regular Mercon in there (does MerconV have something in it that makes people want it so bad?)

MerconV may help the stutter, but it will probably hurt more than help in the long run. Using MerconV doesn't seem to make a transmission any less susceptible to transmission failure if it's designed for it, but it is known to harm transmissions that arn't designed for it; and assuming that his transmission is maybe one of the few designed for it is a bad way to find out if it isn't. (check your manual to see if it says anywhere that you should use MerconV instead of Mercon)
 

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Originally posted by biteableniles@Jan 29 2004, 03:53 PM
...does Mercon V have something in it that makes people want it so bad?
Yes, it does.

As I stated in my previous post, Mercon V contains anti-shudder agents which can help alleviate the harmful effects of torque convertor shudder, the kind of shudder that generates excessive heat and destroys transmissions. In fact, that is why Ford now recommends that Mercon V fluid be used in all AODE/4R70W trannies, even those built prior to 1998 (you don't see that anywhere in the posted TSB, do you?). Moreover, the specs of Mercon V require that it be at least a semi-synthetic fluid, which IMO is a good thing for hot-running automatic transmissions and 25K mile intervals in between ATF changes.

Now, I've never read about or heard about Mercon V harming a 1997 AX4N tranny, but if anyone cares to point something like that out to me, I would be very interested in taking a look.
 

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QUOTE
Now, I've never read about or heard about Mercon V harming a 1997 AX4N tranny, but if anyone cares to point something like that out to me, I would be very interested in taking a look.[/b]
Just because you can't find any documentated cases doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Where's your documented prove that it's safe to use MerconV in any ol 97 AX4N? I have a TSB saying that it ISN'T safe.

If you put it in yours and you didn't have a horrible problem, good. I'm proud of you. I've known people who do some crazy stuff to their cars and never have problems. Doesn't make it good, eh?

For the heat, get a transmission cooler.
 

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It's funny, I'm usually the one banging the drum and warning people not to stray from the specs that Ford sets forth in its Owner's Manuals, TSBs, etc., and now here I am on the other side of the fence!
But I have come to realize too that not every single bit of good information can be found in those sources...

My tranny is the AX4S and I use Mobil1 ATF in there, so it's not like you can say I'm promoting Mercon V just because I use it in my own Taurus. I'm simply passing along some information concerning the appropriatness of using Mercon V in a 1997 AX4N tranny that is exhibiting signs of torque convertor shudder. People are free to do what they want with this information, as is always the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm going to buy what is called for in the owners manual and fill it up to half way on the crosshatch on the dipstick.

The fluid in it right now is a tan to reddish tan color and smells like tarnish to me and it's clear.

Does this sway anybody to change or not change?

Thanks very much for the info so far.

Monte
 

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Originally posted by fanofelliottmjb@Jan 29 2004, 07:00 PM
I'm going to buy what is called for in the owners manual and fill it up to half way on the crosshatch on the dipstick.

The fluid in it right now is a tan to reddish tan color and smells like tarnish to me and it's clear.

Does this sway anybody to change or not change?

Thanks very much for the info so far.

Monte
It should be bright pink, and have a sweetish smell. I have no idea what tarnish smells like, but if it doesn't smell sweet, it's probably a little burnt
Safer to change than not. If your fluid was a dark, dark color and wasn't clear, I'm sure it would actually be smarter to leave it in (who knows,) but that sounds like you might as well just change it out. Of course, add some fluid first, and if that solves the problem, cool! Completely change the fluid some time in the future when it is both financially convenient and when you have time to, and start a 30 thousand mile routine from there.

And rockledge, I would recommend someone putting Mercon V in there as a last resort before giving up and getting the tranny serviced. If flushing and replacing or some other solution doesn't help, why not try it out?
 

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Originally posted by fanofelliottmjb@Jan 29 2004, 07:00 PM
I'm going to buy what is called for in the owners manual and fill it up to half way on the crosshatch on the dipstick.

The fluid in it right now is a tan to reddish tan color and smells like tarnish to me and it's clear.

Does this sway anybody to change or not change?

Thanks very much for the info so far.

Monte
Are there metal shavings on the dipstick?

BTW, you really should top it off to see if that alleviates the problem.
 

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You don't just fill it up. Don't you have to shift it through the gears as you are adding it lil by lil to make sure you don't over fill it?
 

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Good point, I was assuming he knew "the procedure". Well, in order to get a proper reading, the transmission should be warmed up and the car should still be running. So before you top it off, make sure you drive it around for like 10-20 minutes, then leave it running, hold you foot on the brake and slowly go through the gears(P-R-N-D...), then when it's in park and still running check the level.
 
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