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5R55W Fluid Fill

Discussion in 'Transmissions & Transfer Cases' started by FordSploderXLT, October 9, 2004.

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    1. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Using a low cost hand siphoning pump is about the next best way to remove some ATF, versus dropping the pan. But remember that there is a bunch of fluid in the system, a good 12 quarts or more. Siphoning will only remove a small amount, maybe 4-5 quarts, depending on how patient you are to wait a long time and siphon a little more.

      The pan area of a trans will only let out a few quarts, the torque converter will hold about four and not let it go without a drain plug in it, or half if you drop the valve body.

      Dropping the VB will allow several more quarts out of the case and TC, fluid which will not come out without dropping the VB.

      So if the fluid looks perfect you can be okay with just removing a few quarts every so often. But if the fluid seems poor or you want it all out, the pan has to come off and you hope to also find a drain plug in the torque converter.
       
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    3. Harpua216

      Harpua216 Active Member

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      thanks for this answer but i am wondering if the pump is enough to get ATF INTO the system, which i believe after reviewing valvolines pumpers as well as other products, i will be pumping about 1 to 1.5 oz a pump, so at 32 oz a quart i may just splurge for a bigger one.

      fluid is clean. front seal and/or pump may be leaking unless it just puked through the bell housing. ran a scan. fluid temp at 158F standing still and 162F at 30MPH. everything electrical looks good. hmmpf.. front seal and TC troubles I am feeling.
       
    4. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      That pump you mentioned should work fine for that usage, for a little amount like 1-3 quarts. It would get very tiring to do a lot more.

      Once you get comfortable with being able to check and set the fluid level, you might consider changing more of the fluid or doing the filter, or more serious dropping the VB to replace the solenoids and/or EPC. I gather that model requires doing all solenoids as one unit(more expensive), but at higher mileage it's good maintenance.

      Consider too, an additive like Lubegard. You want to be able to just deal with fluids and filters, but even the solenoids/EPC, instead of being forced to spend big money on rebuilding. Regards,
       
    5. Harpua216

      Harpua216 Active Member

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      just saw this and funny, after a few hours of research last night I came to the same conclusion and couldve just taken your advice. lol

      I am going to check the level, throw some Mercon V and some Lubegard red or platinum and drive it for a while before taking it on a 2 hour ride to my friends shop and having him throw her around and find out whats going on while pulling both pans and VC's to check out the cassettes on the chains and a VB job, but..

      I think my rattle was part lashes, part TC rattle? Rislone took away the lash noise in 60 miles, and the rattle seems to be come from the TC.. I am guessing the seal or someone put a junkyard TC in there, or its just time. I do see signs of someone being up in there, but is very minimal. just the bolts for the tranny and oil drain pan. thats why it has me thinking.

      if this was not transmission puke from the vent through the bellhousing (i am trying to get up there but even just with my hand I cant tell whats going on.), could it be possible its from the TC dripping through? or inertia seeping it out ?

      anyway this Mounty somehow infected my 99 Mounty V8 and now I have a rear main seal leakage issue... i think... i hope...lol.. this old girl has been great to me. I will show her more love if she can hang on!
       
    6. mrnextel

      mrnextel Member

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      Watch for 2-3 shift flares, if that's happening it's the 3rd gear band servo, not the solenoids. The servo goes in through the side of the case, i believe the trans has to come out to drill and sleeve the servo bore and replace the servo
       
    7. Harpua216

      Harpua216 Active Member

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      would this cause fluid to find its way out of the bellhousing somewhere? I do think there was some flare, but i also think they overfilled it too. the wife says it drives nice i think it does too but i do think the RPM's are a bit high and idle a little rough but there are still Motorcraft plugs and wires on it. previous owner had it for only 3000K miles and changed the oil once. is motorcraft plugs OEM on these?

      I am letting the wife put some city driving stress on the car right now to ascertain if there is residual ATF or new leakage. Right now I cannot tell but have been keeping my eye on it.

      thing is, the car doesnt get a bunch of driving on it daily so i need it for the day. I will grab it cold at 630AM tomorrow morning and check out the levels and add lubegard. I am also scared whoever had this before the guy i bought it from used cheap ATF, hence my real reason for the lubegard, any other benefit I will take until the real problem rears its head more. thanks
       
    8. mrnextel

      mrnextel Member

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      Yeah oem plugs only please. Check your coil boots over the plugs too, a Lil dielectric grease on the boots at the plug helps a lot. I have a couple sets of coils if you need some. I would take the positive battery terminal off, jump the positive cable to ground to reset the pcm and take it for a nice steady drive. See this for pcm reset https://youtu.be/hZAsoqmqhdM
       
    9. Harpua216

      Harpua216 Active Member

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      I have an ELM327 that can reset codes, now I want to get rid of the P1000-FF to see what kind of codes will get thrown. strange, but none. none before i reset it, and none now or after.

      when i got the car the ABS light was on and it threw a code for it until i went to the junk and got a 10$ sensor as the drivers side was sliced from a bad brake job i would imagine.

      no codes for anything.. whats a good why to check the overflow vent at the top of the tranny?
       
    10. mrnextel

      mrnextel Member

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      Yes I clean my vents with brakekleen, I would completely reset the pcm, see the video link I posted. The P1000 is a drive cycle readiness monitor being set situation, not a big deal. Once all readiness monitors are set, that will go away. Try a pcm reset, clearing codes won't force the pcm to relearn
       
    11. Harpua216

      Harpua216 Active Member

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      i already hard reset the pcm (before i had reader) for the abs before realizing the slice in the abs sensor which is why it is the 1000 is there so i dont want to reset the clock. it should go away.

      more interested in the 3rd gear servo et al.. gonna so poke around. thanks
       
    12. Cashcrazy

      Cashcrazy Active Member

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      This thread was very helpful to get me up to speed on these sealed transmissions. I am going to do a change soon on my 03. I am big on using torque specs and wanted to add them for others who also like using the torque wrench. I picked two up from reading the thread. Let me know if anyone has the others to add or even the service manual page to add for these. Thanks

      Drain Plug - 19 ft. lbs.
      Drain Plug Torx Bolt - 89 in. lbs.
      Trans Pan Bolts - ??
      Trans Filter Bolts - ??
       
    13. Harpua216

      Harpua216 Active Member

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      bumping this old thread. anyone know how to get ATF in these things with a stripped plug? on the 55R5S is there a drain plug on the side like the W's? - can i disconnect the cooler it through there? if so, how?
       
    14. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    15. Harpua216

      Harpua216 Active Member

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      Thank you @BrooklynBay I know thats the real fix, but i dont want to get into it again with this thing. just replaced the trans, should have topped it off when i had her out or paid more attention to the drain plug. but i didnt. it needs about 1.5 qts. is there a plug with an allen-key by the tag on the the S's or just the W's?
       
    16. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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    17. Harpua216

      Harpua216 Active Member

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      i broke the main hex bolt holding the torx bolt, flipped the old trans over and stole that one. done and done. for now.... thanks
       
    18. MrPulldown

      MrPulldown Active Member

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      Hi All, I just joined this forum but have been reading for a couple of months. Last night I performed a quick drain and fill on a 04, 4.6l, 4wd, 120K. Not knowing the condition the vehicle and of the fluid I wanted to check the level. The service manual was never filled out, so who knows what was done in the past. Unknown condition so I'ss assume that it is the OE ATF with 120K on it. Tranny shift fine, but a little rough. Since I was going through the trouble I might as well change some of the fluid. Brought the truck into the shop hot. GOt it on ramps/stands so that it was level. Pulled the torx "level checker bolt" and hot dark ATF poured out. This was GOOD. From my reading the ATF level should be checked warm NOT HOT. Thus because it was hot I should have seen ATF drain out the level check tube. If I did n't I would have problems. Pulled the hex bolt and drained 2.75 quarts. THe ATF was dark but not too smelly or sludgy. Pumped in 3 quarts (minus all the spilling), with an air compressor. A little trick I learned years ago. Drill a hole in the cap of the bottle. Push a hose through. Pierce a 2nd hole at the top of the bottle/or cap and put a air nozzle through. turn the air pressure to about 10 psi and pump. Make sure the hose is at the bottom of the bottle. Here is a picture of a slightly different set up for when I did a ATF change job for my dad.
      [​IMG]

      Here is my question. I let the tranny cool down for a little while longer so it was not hot. Started it up and shifted through the gears and pulled the torx level checker. ATF dribbled out I watched it dripple for a couple of minutes and buttoned it back up. Now what is the temp that I should check it at. Warm but not hot is a wide range. I suspect that if I just let the engine run ATF would continue to dripple out as the fluid heats up and expands. Is there a "standard". I feel that what I did was ok. ANy reason to say otherwise?

      I went out for a test drive and boy does the tranny shift buttery smooth. NICE!

      While I was under the truck I swapped out the transfer case fluid (used non merc V ATF as it was cheaper). The auto 4wd was very clunky on engagement before. Well now it is smooth too. Tested by doing some hard launches on ice.

      Thanks again guys for providing all this good info. I'll try to do my part in contribution to the best Explorer forum out there!!
       
    19. mrnextel

      mrnextel Member

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      The proper transfer case fluid is Motorcraft XL-12, I would not leave trans fluid in there.

      Always check the trans fluid level hot. It should flow out slowly when full.
       
    20. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Thanks for the XL-12 reference, I looked that up from your post. It seems that Mercon I, the original Mercon was intended for Ford transfer cases, and Ford did away with Mercon. After many years of recommending Mercon V as a replacement for all Mercon applications, Ford changed their recommendation. Now they call for the XL-12 fluid to be used in most Ford transfer cases, those that called for Mercon I at least.

      I also noticed that many people stated they think the XL-12 fluid is just a match to the Mercon I, so as the same fluid they call it a TC fluid, for $12+ a quart.

      Well, the Mercon I may not be available on it's own now, but it is still available everywhere, as Dexron III/Mercon fluid. The same fluid is still made, the labels just state it meets the old Mercon standards, even though it's not licensed to be made any longer.

      Blah blah blah, use the Dexron III in place of Mercon as needed, including transfer cases that called for Mercon. I use Amsoil any way, they have fluids to meet or exceed all fluid requirements.
       
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    21. mrnextel

      mrnextel Member

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      You may want to watch this Brian has bled Ford blue most of his career. PS: the fluid is much cheaper at the dealer vs Amazon. Your choice, transfer cases are not cheap and a pita to swap
       
    22. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I saw that video, which is fine but doesn't take into account that the "special" XL-12 fluid may really be the Mercon I, which is a big markup to $12+ for something that used to be $2 a quart. That video also doesn't point out that the "special" XL-12 fluid cannot be used in later transfer case, I think it was 2014+ models. That video is from before more knowledge came out. Things do change, the trick is to learn what is actually new, and what saves money, what is most feasible.

      I love Amsoil products, even given higher costs than most other regular brands. Their gear oils are cheap versus Ford though, Ford wants close to $25 a quart, and Amsoil is from $10-$13 each, and it's better fluid. I love Ford parts too, but Ford is well known for raising prices for huge profit, not for the customers or increased cost of production. I pay attention and shop around for the best products, at the best prices.

      Thank you for pointing out that there is an issue with TC fluids, and Ford owners need to be careful about what they put in their vehicles.
       
    23. mrnextel

      mrnextel Member

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      I paid less than $20 for 3 quarts at the ford dealer
       
    24. MrPulldown

      MrPulldown Active Member

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      Not too concerned about the T-case fluid. My manual says merc ATF and that is what I put in it. I read a bunch of post about T-case fluid change and ALL of them say to use essentially any ATF. In fact this is the first time I have read about this xl-12 stuff.
       
    25. mrnextel

      mrnextel Member

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      What I think makes the biggest difference to me was the PCM reflash. I had a ton of updates. It feels much better .
       
    26. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      IMO the auto trans fluids have been updated over the years primarily because of only a few factors: reduction in size of certain components (clutches), different friction materials being developed, and changes made to apply and release speeds, seeking more "smoothness" of shift perception. Original, old, "ATF" was 100% mineral oil, and was great stuff for lubricating almost anything, especially my guns! It had detergent qualities which cleansed also. Greasy, grimy hands and fingers cleaned up well using ATF. It seemed pretty non-allergenic.

      Then came Dexron, followed by a few more Dexron improvements, and also Ford ATF, which was a bit different from all the others. It was used for a mighty long time, followed by Mercon and its successors. The more "sophisticated" these juices became, the more objectionable they were for skin contact, and they stink!

      In reality, from my point of view, a transfer case having no clutch devices in it, only gears, and possibly a chain, all metal parts mainly, could not care less what kind of oil it contained. The types containing clutches obviously would require fluid specific to such use. Years back, I reduced my 1/4 mile times by using ATF in my 4-speeds with no problem at all. Drove cross-country with the stuff. Figured gear oil was like churning jelly, took lots of power.

      I would today no way condone using any fluid in an automatic transmission, or T-Case having a clutch, not specified by the mfr. imp
       

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