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How much transmission fluid?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Kovalchuk, September 11, 2008.

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    1. Kovalchuk

      Kovalchuk Active Member

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      I want to change the transmission fluid on my 2003 v8.

      I read in a post on this site that I will need about 15 quarts... can anyone confirm this?

      More/Less?
       
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    3. shadowless127

      shadowless127 Well-Known Member

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      idk, the dealer did a flush when they serviced my trans. iirc 15 quarts sounds VERY familiar. I'd go check my haynes manual but I havent put it back in the mounty since I got it back from service.....two months ago lol.
       
    4. rrgone

      rrgone Active Member

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      I had mine flushed at the local Ford dealer late last year when they were running a special for $99. The invoice says QTY - 12, but I'm pretty sure that's 12 liters of Mercon V. However, you'll never get 12 liters out by just removing the drain plug or dropping the pan. How are you gonna do it?
       
    5. whitestang04gt

      whitestang04gt Active Member

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      Definately make sure you have them put it on a flush machine, its 16 to fill machine about 4 gallons. & make sure it is mercon V.
       
    6. Kovalchuk

      Kovalchuk Active Member

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      I have heard that tranny flushes are terrible?!

      They force gunk and metal chips back through the tranny etc... I am no expert though.

      I was planning on taking it to a shop (not dealer) but he has experience changing the fluid on tranny's without a dip stick. Said it wouldn't be a problem... He didn't say anything about a flush.
       
    7. rrgone

      rrgone Active Member

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      I don't wanna get into the discussion about flush vr no flush. I have my opinion and that's all it is.

      I was just pointing out that there is no real way to drain out all the fluids in the system. There are ways to add new fluid while pumping out the old even without a fill tube. I'm sure your mechanic knows about it. Let us know how he does it. OK?

      BTW - the second to last page of my Owners Guide lists the capacity of the 5R55W tranny as 12.0 Liters (12.7 Qt).
       
    8. Kovalchuk

      Kovalchuk Active Member

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      Thanks a bunch man.

      12L of Amsoil Synthetic might cost me a pretty penny!
       
    9. whitestang04gt

      whitestang04gt Active Member

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      nothing but a flush machine will get all the crappy fluid out, you can pull the converter plug, drop the pan, even take the lines loose from the cooler & blow them out, fill it back up with fluid & it will still be discolored, in a few mile sit almost looks like it did before. I can tell you that from experience we do them weekly, the machine is the only thing that will get it all, well most 95-99% of it out & replace it with fresh fluid. As long as its done professionally with the right machine, we pour a cleaning agent in & drive it 5-10 miles or have the customer run Seafoam Transtune in it on the way to the shop, theres a clear sight glass on the machine, you can watch it as it flows from dirty to clean, its flushed until it runs clean through the glass. There is no substitute for what you can obviously see, thats one reason it takes about 4 gallons in the machine to flush it fully when its really dirty, the machine doesn't clean it, it pulls the old fluid out & replaces it going back in with fresh fluid. Done 100's of them, never once had an issue, as a matter a fact its probably saved atleast 35% of the people from rebuilding a transmission thats not shifting properly for 1-2 years or more, I've even had them towed in, done a flush & have customers still driving the same transmission with no problem. Fords don't like fluid that is much over 60K miles, we recommend 40-50K miles changes & only use Mercon V as ford TSB most trannies since 96 to use that specifically. But do as you wish...
       
    10. whitestang04gt

      whitestang04gt Active Member

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      It also works off the trans pressure, so nothing is pressurized to force anything like gunk & metal, as mentioned in some previous posts. If you have metal in you tranny you got major problems.
       
    11. whitestang04gt

      whitestang04gt Active Member

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      Mercon V is synthetic
       
    12. rumpledoll

      rumpledoll Active Member

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      A bit of controversy as to if Mercon V is synthetic, semi-synthetic or dino oil. A Google search yields all sorts of differing opinions on the matter. Let's dig a bit.

      The Motorcraft site lists this tibit:

      "Motorcraft® MERCON® V is manufactured with high-viscosity index, premium-quality, hydroprocessed base oils and specially designed performance additives..."

      What is a "hydroprocessed" oil? Typicaly it means a Group II or Group II+ oil which is not a synthetic. However, the term "severe hydroprocessed" means group III oils which are termed synthetics in the USA. But Ford does not use this term. Not looking great for a synthetic stock for Mercon V, but it's by no means clear.

      What can we infer about the properties of Mercon V? Let's look at some flashpoints:

      Motorcraft Mercon V (taken from MSDS): flashpoint Min 157C

      Castrol Multi-vehicle flashpoint 177C

      Mobil Multi-vehicle ATF - A Synthetic blend meeting Mercon V standards flashpoint 180C

      Valvoline Synthetic Mercon V flashpoint 210C

      Mobil 1 synthetic ATF flashpoint 200C

      Reline D4 Synthetic ATF flashpoint 225C

      Looks like the Motorcraft Mercon V has a flashpoint well below that of the known synthetics and below the synthetic blend Mercon V from Mobil. I would say that in all likelihood Motorcraft Mercon V is not a full synthetic oil and is at best a synthetic blend with a low flashpoint.

      When I do a pan drop and complete fluid replacement via the cooler lines, I'm going to use either Redline D4 or Mobil 1 Synthic ATF for my 2002 Explorer, although I'm tempted by the Valvoline Synthetic Mercon V.

      Rumple


       
    13. Kovalchuk

      Kovalchuk Active Member

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      Well thanks for all the help guys...

      I got the flush done and the fluid replaced with Motorcraft Mercon V at the dealership.

      I can already notice a huge difference in shifting... I get to much higher speeds without feeling like I am straining the engine. Speeding tickets here I come!

      The dealer pretty much refused to replace the filter saying it was 100% unnecessary and that the fluid was the only thing needed to be changed. I pressed on the issue but he stood his ground... so I took his word in the end as I am definitely not an expert in the area.
       
    14. whitestang04gt

      whitestang04gt Active Member

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      True, facts are facts, but they are just flashpoints. We have run synthetics in auto & manuals alike in many DD & high 750+ hp cars over the years, some people forget that yes the transmission needs alot of lubrication, but at the same time there are clutches & torque plates that need friction in order to work, I've seen a few autos with synthetic have alittle more slip, thus we stick with the mercon V, as i say, we haven't had a single problem since switching to mercon V. just because its "Full" synthetic & costs more doesn't necessarily automatically make it better. We deal with alot of high performance transmission makes & performance shops, "most" everyone in the business that has years of experience uses mercon v, with some of the raybestos red devil clutches, kevlar bands, & power friction wafers in TC, they do recommend fully synthetic. But stock or mild applications mercon v is the way to go In My Own Professionally Experienced Opinion IMOPEO.
       
    15. whitestang04gt

      whitestang04gt Active Member

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      You did the right thing & should get alot more performance & life out of your tranny...We usually only change the filter after 75K miles or after the flush is complete, ford filters are very good.
       
    16. bb56

      bb56 New Member

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      Geez...Here I'm thinking I can do the fluid change on my 96 in the garage. There is no drain plug, and even dropping the pan leaves the bulk of the fluid in there. Since I do nearly all repairs myself, I don't trust a dealer or a jiffylube. How do I turn the engine so the converter plug shows in the hole? I don't want to start it - right?

      My flywheel cracked at around 70K mi and that had to go to the dealer. While they had it open, they replaced the rear seal - it's been leaking ever since when it was bone dry before. Funny how things go wrong when the dealer service gets involved (IMHO)

      Any advice is appreciated to help me decide how to approach this - I don't have $200 for the dealer either.
       
    17. whitestang04gt

      whitestang04gt Active Member

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      A $200 professional flush is worth the longevity of having to spend $1500-$2500 for a tranny rebuild..the machine is really the only way to do it, most of the cost is the fluid, Mercon V is expensive, call ford your like almost $5 a quart, do the math...The machine typicall uses 4 gallons (16.5quarts) to flush the system, you can look for a BG Product service center, they can put a flush cleaner in, let you drive it for awhile & really get it cleaned good then flush it, or you can put some seafoam trans tune in drive it around then just keep draining & refilling, most of it would be out by the 5th or 6th drain, but cheaper & quicker to just have it done on a machine..good luck
       
    18. bb56

      bb56 New Member

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      Thanks Whitestang.
      I appreciate the straightforward advice.

      bb
       
    19. themons

      themons New Member

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      I got scared away from doing a flush after talking to a few shops and dealers.

      When I dropped the pan, I couldn't believe all of the metallic dust that was attached to the magnet at the bottom of the pan. I would not have discovered this without dropping the pan. All of the places that I talked to were not going drop the pan when changing the fluid.

      What I ended up doing was draining as much fluid as possible and then replacing it. I came up with a technique to do this on another post. I will probably do this a couple more times. While this does not completely change the fluid, it does dilute the old fluid with new.

      For me, this was the least invasive way of changing the fluid.
       
    20. CALDWELL

      CALDWELL Well-Known Member

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      at how many miles should the trans fluid be replaced ???? im curious to know cause i want my 2003 to perform at its best - im nuts about up keep lol

      im at 63,400 right now

      Danny
       
    21. tower

      tower Active Member

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    22. bb56

      bb56 New Member

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      My '96 Explorer 4.0 has the tranny cooler lines goint into the radiator. Driver's side facing the engine. I think (looking at the Ford Service Manual) the top one is the return back to the tranny. I'm trying to find a fitting for it but it looks like it may be metric. 3/" brass coupler is close but odes not fit in. Has anyone flushed their tranny using the top port of the radiator? How did you connect a piece of tubing?

      Thanks all.
      BB
       
    23. Fox Fader

      Fox Fader Active Member

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      Yeah that's great... if you have dip stick to check and a way to add if needed.
       

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