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How many quarts of ATF fluid?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by jseabolt, October 22, 2009.

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    1. jseabolt

      jseabolt Active Member

      July 12, 2009
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      City, State:
      Kingsport, Tennessee
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2006 Explorer Limted V8
      1996 5.0 liter all wheel drive:

      I'm going to change the transmission fluid and filter on my Explorer and even change the fluid in the transfer case while I'm at it. The owner's manual and Chilton's manual both say the transmission holds 13.9 quarts. However the Chilton's manual says to add three quarts after installing a new filter? 6 quarts if the torque conveter was drained.

      That doesn't sound like much of a fluid change. Is that correct? For an all wheel drive?

      If I do drain the torque converter, what precautions should I use afterwards?

      The reason I ask is the torque conveter went out on my dad's 94 Plymouth minvan and it crapped out the transmission. Or so the dealer said. 60K miles was the life of these transmissions anyway.

      So if the torque converter is dry on my Explorer, do I just need to let the engine idle for a while in park before putting it in gear to allow fluid to pump into the torque conveter?

      The manual says if desired to drain the TC to remove the torque converter shield and rotate the torque converter (by hand?) until the drain plug appears. Is that it? Do I need to put the vehicle in neutral or anything?

      Sorry for being ignorant but I have pulled a many of stick shift transmissions in my life because that's all I've ever owned but have almost no experience with automatics. Never pulled any automatic in my life. And have only done three filter changes. Once on my C4 68 Fairlane, dad's 76 Chevy truck and my 80 Fiat Brava GM with a TH-180.
      Last edited: October 22, 2009
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    3. dogfriend

      dogfriend Human-Animal Hybrid

      July 22, 2002
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      City, State:
      Carmichael, CA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '97 Sport 4x4
      A lot of the fluid will be inside the valve body and servos which you can't drain unless you pull the trans apart. The 13.9 quart spec is for a dry transmission.

      Make sure to add fluid until you see it on the dipstick before starting, then add more fluid as the level drops (because the TC will have to get refilled).

      But that was a Chrysler product. :p:
      Pretty much. I have heard about some transmissions which can be damaged because you can't fill them fast enough without using special equipment, but that isn't the case with any of the Ford transmissions, that I know of.
      I haven't changed fluid on a 4R70W (your trans) but my GF has a motorhome with a 4R100 which has a plug in the TC to allow it to be changed. What I did:

      Drain the pan first. Remove the pan and replace the filter.

      Remove the rubber plug to access the TC plug. If you have lived a good, clean life the plug will line up and you can remove it. Otherwise -

      Use a socket and breaker bar to rotate the engine using the bolt on the harmonic dampener (the big pulley attached to the crankshaft). Rotate clockwise from front of engine, just a little at a time until the plug in the TC is lined up with the access hole in the bellhousing. A helper will make this easier, but I was able to do it by myself. I did not have to put the trans in N; the park pawl is in the tailshaft so the TC can rotate (at least the engine side can).

      Remove the plug and drain the TC. Replace the plug.

      Replace the pan if you haven't already.

      Fill with ATF until you see it on the dipstick. Then start the engine and continue filling with ATF while in P. Once the level comes up into the normal range, with your foot on the brake, shift though all gear positions to fill any fluid which drained from valve body or servos. Check level and add if necessary. You might need to repeat a few times. Then go drive around to warm up transmission. One last check with trans at normal operating temp and you should be good to go.

      There is a first time for everything. ;)

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