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Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers Questions related to non-modified 1995-2001 Explorer, Mountaineer, Ranger and '02+ Sports and Sport Trac. Problem solving, maintenance, TSB, service bulletins, owner reviews, specifications.

trans flush/ rebuild/ or leave it alone?

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Old 01-24-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
jrowe6
Columbus, OH
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trans flush/ rebuild/ or leave it alone?

so my x has over 200,000 on it now. ive had it for about 4 years now and it had 174,xxx on it when i got it. i have no service records for it. it shifts into 2nd a bit slow sometimes, by that i mean it will take an extra second or so to fully engage 2nd so the rpms will go up for a bit bc its slipping then it will fully engage 2nd and be fine. that rarely happens. but i dont want it to happen at the wrong moment when i need to get up and go so i want to try to fix it.

so, do i first try to flush the crap out of the trans? i have 4x4 so i was also wondering if the transfer case used the same fluid or is it seperate? i would like the flush that too.

i dont intend to get rid of this truck for a good while so a trans rebuild is on the table. i would probably replace the torque converter along with it. i have never dropped a trans or rebuilt one so i was wondering 2 things:
how hard is it?
how much would it cost me in parts?

3rd option....screw it leave it alone till it stops working

opinions?

ps.... i tried some of that trans fix stuff you put in the trans fluid to help it shift smoother and rejuvinate the fluid....that didnt do anything at all. thats been in it for atleast a year.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:34 PM   #2
jrowe6
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also my gear indicator is not lined up right. it shows a different gear than what the trans is actually in. if i have the trans in park the gear indicator is on reverse........wtf. how do i fix that? when it shifts funny into 2nd if u put it in neutral then back into drive and move the gear selector around a bit to make sure its as in gear as i can be that seems to fix the problem. could the gear linage be too tight and not letting it shift properly? or is that just coincidence?

i dont know anything about auto transmissions.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
BrianDye
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The shift indicator is a simple tightening procedure, takes a matter of 20 minutes, you gotta remove those panels under the steering wheel, and theres a white knob style thing with wire going through it, you just twist it and it will like the arrow back up...

As for the trans, if it hasnt been touched for 200k, then I would leave it be...
Like they say, the gunk thats built up in there could be all thats holding it together, so if you drained it/and or flushed it and got that gunk out you could be looking at serious problems and needing it to be rebuilt/replaced...

I have 140k on mine, bought it with 138 and im debating on wether or not to change the fluid still.

Its all in the fact of do you wanna take the risk....or better yet, CAN you take the risk? As in if it does "F" your transmission, do you have another vehicle to drive temporarily, while getting your transmission replaced or rebuilt...


...Just my .02 cents




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Old 01-24-2010, 08:51 PM   #4
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which trans do you have?

I've heard a few guys have good results with a 3 stage flush, empty the pan and change the filter then refill, later empty and refill the pan again, the empty the pan change the filter and refill.

if that dont work then and only then would I consider a rebuild, and I might try my hand at it as it really isnt that hard if you get the right kit




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Old 01-24-2010, 08:52 PM   #5
BrianDye
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Heres the thread, theres a post somewhere in there and pictures so you will know how to adjust it (And get to it)

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=198087

*And I said it was a white wheel, its actually a black wheel with white brackets or something lol




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Old 01-24-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
jrowe6
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well i just fixed the gear indicator. the top side of the bracket was broken. 2 zip ties fixed that. now its back where it should be. thanks brian
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:36 PM   #7
Gus Gorilla
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As for a flush F-ing" your trans. If it already has problems, then that's the bottom line, it already has problems. The whole thing about "don't flush a high mileage trans" seems to me to be a wives tale. I've done fluid/filters and flushes on multiple trans in multiple makes/models and like I said, if it has problems it has problems. The superstition comes from people with a hesitant or slipping trans, so they try the flush, then it lets go. I always want to say "Look pal, it was already going to let go, the flush didn't cause that. The lack of maintenance caused that." But that tends to turn off a customer, so... If it has no problems, change the fluid/filter. If it has problems, you could go ahead and do it, but brace for future problems.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:16 PM   #8
jrowe6
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hmm well let me explain how i had planned to do this and you guys feel free to chime in and tell me if im doing it wrong.

step 1, drain the fluid and remove the panel on the bottom of the trans. this is where all the fluid channels should be right?

step 2, clean that bottom panel off so that any setiment that has built up on it will come out right there by hand and wont get flushed through the trans during the system flush.

step 3, replace the filter(which is where?) refil with some cheap trans fluid and some trans flush.

step 4, the actual flush. what do i do for this part? drive the car around?

step 5, drain, remove that bottom panel again to make sure it stayed clean. replace filter refill fluid and flush one more time.

step 6, drain, check bottom panel once more! then replace the filter with a good one, refill with some good trans fluid(suggestions?)



optional step 7, rebuild the trans bc all this work ended up ruining it
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:50 PM   #9
Gus Gorilla
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That's not wrong at all. It's thorough. Once you drop the pan you will see the filter. I don't know about your model, but you might think about installing a magnet in the pan if it doesn't already have one. It catches small metallic pieces in the fluid. Also consider the following.
That flush will get you some new fluid throughout but when you drain and drop the pan you're still holding a lot of fluid in the converter. If you fill with a cheap fluid, then drive around to flush, you will get fresh (cheap) fluid to mingle into the system. But on the second drain and pan drop you will still have a lot of cheap fluid in the converter. If you're cool with leaving all that cheap fluid in the trans then proceed. Otherwise you would want to use something good. It's expensive, and given the fact that your trans is having problems I don't know if I would try to flush with Amsoil at $11 a quart just for grins. Doing this procedure using a cheaper fluid would probably be fine as long as it's what you want.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:56 PM   #10
pinstripefan90
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Exploder Trans

I bought my Explorer over three years ago w/ 75,000 miles on it, right when I got it I checked out the condition of the fluid and saw it was just turning brown so I flushed it at work w/ our BG Flush Machine (I am a mechanic at a Chrysler Dealership). I had no problems w/ the trans, i then dropped the pan, drained the fluid and changed the filter at around 110,000 miles and then this summer at around 120,000 miles i started getting a torque converter slip under light load at about 50 mph. I flushed the trans again w/ the BG Flush Machine at work and it straightened out my slip, now from time to time I have the late/hesitant shift into 2nd like you describe but w/ 125,000 miles on my trans I don't complain. I really don't have the time to overhaul my trans let alone the money for a new one at this point in my life, so I will just let it be until something lets go and the old girl gets pissed off, now w/ your trans fluid what does the fluid look like? Pull your dipstick out and touch it to a white label on your radiator support to see how dark it is, if your not sure just post a picture of it up, also try and see if it seems burned (you'll smell it). If it is really dark or burned I would say #### it and leave it alone until she blows, then either overhaul or start new but like i said, if the fluid is ####ed just let it be unless you have the money for a new trans and you want to see what will happen if you flush it...


- Jake

P.S. As far as you dropping the pan and changing the filter on yours, the filters on these are basically screen doors and serve little to no purpose, feel free to drop the pan and change it but if the trans stays the same after I would then take it to a shop that does BG Trans Flush's and if you have the money see if it works out, anyway good luck.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:02 AM   #11
jrowe6
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is there no way to drain all the fluid all at once?

are you talking about the torque converter?
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:05 AM   #12
Gus Gorilla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinstripefan90 View Post
, the filters on these are basically screen doors and serve little to no purpose, feel free to drop the pan and change it but if the trans stays the same after I would then take it to a shop that does BG Trans Flush's and if you have the money see if it works out, anyway good luck.
Truth.

Yeah, the torque converter holds a ton of fluid and without either removing it or using a machine there's not a good way to get it out. Long long ago in a land far far away the ole' timers used to drill a hole to let it drain then tap and plug the hole with a flush faced or recessed head hex bolt. Now, not so much. I wouldn't do it.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:13 AM   #13
Electrohacker
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I have a good question... how do you refill a transmission? do you funnel it into the tube the dip stick is in? that's the only way I can figure




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Old 01-25-2010, 12:21 AM   #14
Gus Gorilla
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Yup, down the dipstick tube. Be glad we have a dipstick tube. New vehicles don't have dipsticks at all. You check them similar to rear differentials. Remove a plug and measure. But I digress.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:54 AM   #15
jrowe6
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well crud. if i do it im going to use a BG machine. ive got a buddy who is a mechanic so im going to ask him if his shop has one, if not im going to see if i can rent one somewhere. i would really rather do it myself that way i can use the fluid i want, the flush i want and take my sweet ol' time and do it super thorough. i think i will put that off till i have enough money to do a whole rebuild if things go downhill.

instead, im going to flush my transfer case and both differentials!
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:07 AM   #16
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i had the same problem, did a tranny flush, and added 2 bottles of lucas oil transmission fix in when they were re filling, and it works perfectly now. (may take a few days to fully work itself in)

also, a lot of lube shops have a warranty on their service. so if you flush it, and it dies, they may repair it. also, a lot of the nicer lube shops don't actually just "drain and fill", they have a machine that hooks up to your tranny cooler and while the truck is running it cycles the old fluid out and the new in. (ProOilChange)

id say if its still red, flush and add Lucas
if its brown get it rebuilt.

Goodluck drop me a line if you got questions.

-Andy




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Old 01-25-2010, 08:25 AM   #17
pinstripefan90
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Like I said judge flushing it by the fluid color, also there really is no renting a BG machine, shops get them through the BG company, plus if by some change you were able to borrow one, you need shop air and a place to put about 15qts of waste trans fluid, seeing if you buddy has one is your best bet but other than that if you are gonna flush the trans have a shop do it. Plus w/ these wonderful trannies our trucks have they are low pressure so in order for the flush to flow and take less than three hours I have always had to put my truck in the air and have it in gear and running to build up pressure. I do believe in the BG Flush just there are some times when if the fluid is blacker than shit, you are better leaving it alone. Oh and also for Equnoxe, the way the BG Flush is suppost to be done is the mechanic does things right and isn't an ####### is you put cleaner in the trans, drive it so it gets piping hot (opp temp) then hook up the machine flush it and as the new fluid goes in you put BG's ATF Plus treatment in and that helps the trannies w/ the really baby problems like slight hard shift. Anyway, I gotta go back to work...good luck.


- Jake
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:24 PM   #18
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not all shops use BG's products/methods nor does it mean one is right or wrong.

all i know is i had the same problems he did and i solved mine by doing what i said, and it should work for him. assuming he doesn't have mechanical damage. i have 4 close friends who work at lube shops (not auto-shops...) and they told me that's how it works, i also was standing there while they were doing it.

Anyways...

i would recommend changing your transfer case fluid if your haven't done it before. (just take a bit out and check the color) uses tranny fluid.




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Old 02-01-2010, 04:02 AM   #19
jrowe6
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i checked the trans fluid yesterday. its a little dirty but it is still red and smells normal. it looks pretty good really. so i do think im going to have it flushed. that being said, im trying to get a part time job at a lube shop so im going to wait on that and see if i can do it for free, that would also mean i could do the work myself and i would know exactly what is going on. and i could use whatever kind of trans fluid i wanted to use.

on a side note. it appears my front differntial is leaking at the seal where the driveshaft goes in. the truck sat a ton this winter, i've driven it maybe 500 miles in the past 3 months. any chance those seals will rejuvinate with the warmer weather and more drive time? i didnt check the fluid level so i dont know just how bad the leak is but the bottom of the diff is pretty soaked and it looks like it drips, looks like probably a few drops per day, im going to set something under it today to catch the drops to try to estimate the leak rate.

im going to be moving to colorado by the end of 2010 so part of my preparation this year is getting my truck 100% ready to go. seeing this leak i am at some point going to replace that seal so for now i just need advice on the best "quick fix" to be sure to prevent damage to the diff. so if anyone knows of some good conditioner that might help that seal tighten up a bit or if i should just keep adding oil every so often thats really all im going to do for now. once its nice and warm outside im going to start diving into the more serious work and thats when i will do the diff. so i need it to survive the next 4-6 months. suggestions?
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:43 AM   #20
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just a spoon full of brake fluid makes the axle seals swell up, in the most delightful wayyyyyy. LOL




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