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'Flushing' transmission

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Old 08-17-2013, 10:55 PM   #1
skpyle
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'Flushing' transmission

Hello All!

I have a question on specifically just what is meant by 'flushing' the transmission.
Is it:

A) hooking up the fluid cooler lines to a dedicated automatic transmission flushing machine that drains the old fluid, runs solvent through it, then refills with new fluid

Or

B) draining as much fluid out of the transmission as possible via the pan and torque converter drain plug, replacing the filter, then refilling with new fluid


I ask because I have seen numerous references to flushing the transmission as a preventaitive measure. My 1999 5.0 AWD has the 4R70W, with 118,xxx miles on it. 3 1/2 years ago, at 89,xxx miles, the dealer serviced and flushed the transmission(wording is exactly how it was on the service work order).

I have a new filter and 13 quarts of Mobil Mercon V ready to be changed.

I come from the land of GM hydraulic (not solenoid controlled) automatic transmissions. Every 2 years, change the filter, add 5-7 quarts of good Dexron III and have a nice day.

The solenoid controlled 4R70W is a new animal to me. I understand it is a durable, reliable unit. However, reading between the lines, I get the impression that it is susceptible to problems from dirty oil.

So...will changing the fluid and filter suffice, or should I schedule a flush on the machine at the dealer?

Thanks for your time!

Seth K. Pyle




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Old 08-18-2013, 11:33 AM   #2
jremington59
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People can argue this one all day. I think with me I look at the fluid that's in it and the condition. Is it good and red and does it smell like fresh tranny fluid? If so, I would just drain it, install a new filter and add fluid along with a bottle of Lucas. Yea, I'm a Lucas freak.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
skpyle
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Yep, fluid is in good condition, transmission shifts and acts just fine.
I figured 29,000 miles was enough to warrant a filter and fluid change.

Not trying to be dense with my questions. I am a multi-craft repair technician at a heavy stamping facility. Over the years, I have learned that its the things you don't know that can cause problems.
So, if I don't know, I ask. I am new to Fords, I don't know about them. So I ask.


Thanks!

Seth K. Pyle




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Old 08-18-2013, 12:21 PM   #4
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Here is my opinion, flushing is bad and never to be done unless your trans is already not working and at that point it falls under the "its worth a shot" , my personal experience and that of the two shops I work out of is change your fluids and filters earlyer than the books say and use only the best you can afford.




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Old 08-18-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by skpyle View Post
Yep, fluid is in good condition, transmission shifts and acts just fine.
I figured 29,000 miles was enough to warrant a filter and fluid change.

Not trying to be dense with my questions. I am a multi-craft repair technician at a heavy stamping facility. Over the years, I have learned that its the things you don't know that can cause problems.
So, if I don't know, I ask. I am new to Fords, I don't know about them. So I ask.


Thanks!

Seth K. Pyle
FWIW, I'm certain all the major manufacturers now use electronic controls in their transmissions. And, while I have access to your "eyes", I'm wondering if by "heavy stamping facility", you mean something similar to automobile body panels? Years ago, my Dad took me to an "open house" at the Fisher Body Plant (GM), in McCook, Illinois. He being a Tool & Die Maker, he understood much of what we saw there, including "Keller Profiling Mills", forming the curved surfaces of body panel die sets. Do they still use that old technology, or has something new replaced it? Thanks foir reading! imp
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
AP9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skpyle View Post
Hello All!

I have a question on specifically just what is meant by 'flushing' the transmission.
Is it:

A) hooking up the fluid cooler lines to a dedicated automatic transmission flushing machine that drains the old fluid, runs solvent through it, then refills with new fluid

Or

B) draining as much fluid out of the transmission as possible via the pan and torque converter drain plug, replacing the filter, then refilling with new fluid
A) refers to a "fluid exchange" -- B) to "dropping the pan"

The term "transmission flush" doesn't seem to have a universally-accepted definition, but a "transmission flush" that uses solvents and/or reverse flow very well could cause problems as it dislodges sludge, varnish, and other buildup in the transmission so that it could now potentially cause problems being loose in the fluid.

I see nothing wrong with simply doing a fluid exchange, as long as the pan is dropped also (to be cleaned and the filter changed).
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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I traded in my '98 Eddie on a 2011 F150. ( I've still got the two others ) I'm coming up on 30,000 miles on the F150 and I've got to get the tranny flushed to maintain the warranty. They told me that they add solvent, drive the truck for a while, and then hook it up to a machine that purges all the old fluid and solvent and puts in new fluid. When I asked them about a new filter they said it wasn't necessary because the solvent and flush cleans the filter. They want to charge me $280.00 for the service and if I want a new filter, it'll be extra. That's a dealer for 'ya
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Old 08-18-2013, 04:24 PM   #8
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drain and fill will only get 3/4 of the fluid out. trans flush gets out all the contaminated fluid and fills it with new. flush > drain and fill. id leave the fluid alone if the mileage is 150k-175k. certain service shops use the BG Fluids. BG actually has a lifetime warranty protection. if services start at 30k trans and kept up every 30k they will give money towards trans if ever breaks. same goes with differentials, engine, Power steering service, brake service, coolant. pretty amazing stuff




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Old 08-18-2013, 04:52 PM   #9
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Local Ford dealer did a complete service including 20 quarts of Motorcraft Mercon V, filter, and gasket for $199.

Used a BG PF5 machine that has no power and uses the trucks own transmission pump to flush. Very cool device.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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duel exploder, I have always been of that mentality "change your fluids and filters earlyer than the books say." Makes sense to me!

AP9, that's about as clear and concise as I have seen.
Thanks!

imp, the transmissions I am used to are the venerable TH400, with recent forays into TH2004R and the TH700-R4. The newest transmission I have dealt with is the TH700-R4 out of a 1990 Camaro 305 TBI that I put in my project 1966 C-10. Old technology.

Yes, you are correct. I work for an independent stamping facility, who stamps body panels for Honda, BMW, CVG, and Kubota, as well as deck shells and such for Honda and John Deere lawn care equipment. These presses are some big muthas! 2000 ton compound action deep draw mechanical presses to start the stamping to 600 ton finishing presses.

I am not a T&D man, so I don't really understand how the dies intrinsically work.
To my knowledge, it's still 'whack the metal with a helluva lotta force and a die to make the metal go where you want it to.'

I keep the presses themselves running, both the ancient mechanicals and the modern PLC controls and Ethernet communications.


TOMANDPAT, does your F150 transmission have a fluid level dipstick?

ninety9sport and swshawaii, good to know, Thanks!


Thanks, gentlemen!

Seth K. Pyle




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