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Changing transmission fluid

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by ucluglee, March 29, 2013.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. ucluglee

    ucluglee Member

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    Hello all. I searched about 8 pages of searched posts and did not find this specific question, so I thought I would go ahead and ask.

    I have a '00 Explorer XLT, 4.0 SHOC, 217k miles, automatic transmission (don't know the exact model of the transmission but can get if needed). During the last oil change they recommended the transmission be flushed as the fluid was brown. I told them I'd get it done later. In reality, I've heard horror stories of transmissions failing after being flushed.

    My question is, what about only changing the fluid without a complete flush? Or is it going to be the same gamble regardless?

    Thanks.
     
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  3. AP9

    AP9 Active Member

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    One must consider: how many of those transmissions were already doomed by the time the operator decided to have it flushed? In other words, for at least some of them it may have already been too late for a flush to have really made a difference.

    Now if whoever is doing the flush doesn't do a thorough enough job (for example, doesn't use enough ATF to pump through), then I suppose it could be possible for gunk to get dislodged but then not drained out, just to get lodged somewhere else where it can cause further problems.
     
  4. mikepier

    mikepier Active Member

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    My opinion is you need to change the filter anyway, and clean whatever else is at the bottom of the pan. so do a pan drop.
    If the truck is fine after doing the pan drop, then you can consider a flush down the road.
     
  5. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Be careful. Your trans is not the most reliable one Ford ever made and you've got a s**tload of miles on it. if you do a full flush you may be flushing away what's keeping it alive (suspended clutch material) and end up with slipping and transmission failure in a 2 weeks to a month. With 217K on it, I'd change the trans filter, clean the pan and refill without flushing, or just leave it be.
     
  6. ucluglee

    ucluglee Member

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    Thanks for the info mikepier and koda2000. I didn't even think about dropping the pan and replacing the filter, but it does make sense, and I agree about the full flush. The only reason I'm considering it is because the fluid is dark brown and I'm trying to get my Explorer to last at lease another two years until my wife's car is paid off.
     
  7. AP9

    AP9 Active Member

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    http://www.explorerforum.com/Singleton/web/pages/at1.html

    Just found that, and it sounds safer than a regular transmission flush since the fluid will be at normal operating pressure. My only concern is the flow restriction on the transmission's output hose, such as whether that would cause excessive back-pressure. Anyone else know?
     
  8. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    I agree with koda, skip the flush, just do the filter, and absolutely make sure you use the right fluid: motorcraft mercon V. Not multi vehicle that claims to meet specs. And not some whiz bang full synthetic, just plain old Mercon V. I would not be surprised if some of the horror stories weren't caused by wrong fluid or additives. If you care to stack the deck slightly more in your favor, install a drain plug and an in-line filter. Pop the plug and drain the pan again in 5000 miles. Best wishes.
     
  9. nugrapeman2

    nugrapeman2 Member

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    That happened to me back a few years back on my 91 explorer eddie bauer. I had taken it to one of those quick lube places. Less than 3 weeks later the tranny broke on me..Didn't know anything at the time but looking back now. I guessed they ruined it slowly for me..
     
    Last edited: March 30, 2013
  10. don-ohio

    don-ohio Active Member

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    Here's how I did it:
    THIS is for Aerostar....but you can modify the deal to fit most trannies.
    Okay......unfortunately the Aerostar doesn't have a torque converter drain as you well know so THIS is how I got around it àn did a good flush.WARNING! It's messy! Wear old no-good clothes or an old raincoat.LOL!
    (1) Put the van SECURELY up on staads or better yet,blocks high enough that you can slide a 2.5 gallon or bigger bucket under there àn have 4" of clearance above it to the trans pan.Set it aside for later.
    (2) You'll need one of those large flat drain pans from Auto-Zone about two feet by 3 feet to center under the tranny pan also.
    (3) Okay, now you drain the fluid the regular old way àn get the pan out of the way.
    (4) You now have a filter you're looking up at which has a suction hole there àn THAT is what you'll either clamp a hose to or you'll have to hold it in place later(I have a perfect hose that's flexible,about 1"diameter that I think I cut off a washing machine drain hose).
    (5)This hose will need to be proper length to reach ALMOST to the bottom of the bucket from the filter attachment.
    (6)NOW you're gong to fill that bucket up with nice clean fluid àn slide it into position under that filter hole.
    (7) Okay,if you're in a garage,open the door for fumes.
    (8) Either clamp your hose or hold it up TIGHTLY to the intake hole of the filter,the bottom of that hose extending into the fluid ALMOST touching the bucket's bottom
    (9) Have someone start the van àn prepare to get fluid on you. Tell them in advance to have their window down so they can hear you yell to shut it off when the fluid goes empty in the bucket.
    (10) This will suck the fluid up,propel it thru the torque converter àn do a great,quick flush of the system.
    (11) Now you only have to install your new filter,install your pan,àn add about 4 qts. or so thru the dipstick hole, àn CLEAN UP! LOL!
    This is worth the trouble!You'll necessarily waste several qts. of fluid,but that's what it takes to do it completely,àn get that nice clean red fluid back again. don-ohio :)^)
     
    Last edited: April 1, 2013
  11. 4X4 Explorer

    4X4 Explorer New Member

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    Concur with all above. SKIP THE FLUSH. Chances are high it would cause more problems.I would add to change transmission fluid and filter. Be sure to clean pan and wipe any accumulation of grit from magnets. Above issues disappeared from my 96 Explorer after change. Drives like new, no hard shifting, much quieter,Does not hurt to add magnet to inside of pan, Transmissions hate grit/metal filings.
     

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