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PML 6R80 trans pan installed

Discussion in '2007 - 2010 Explorer Sport Trac' started by 06bluez, August 9, 2013.

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  1. 06bluez

    06bluez Active Member

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    Just installed an oversized trans pan from PML.

    PML 6R80 pan

    This is a prototype pan that they have developed, and I got in touch with them and volunteered to test fit it to my truck. It's close, but it fits! The pan is cast aluminum, cooling fins, has a magnetic drain plug, and holds 3 more quarts than the oem pan.

    Here is the factory pan, no drain plug, stamped steel, no cooling fins, gets the job done but nothing special.

    [​IMG]

    I originally purchased the Performance Automatics pan, but turns out it doesn't fit. Some have made it work by grinding a few of the fins to clear the frame brace, but i wasn't happy with the quality of the casting, the drain plug was not at the lowest point in the pan, and i didn't feel like modifying a part that was sold and supposed to fit our trucks. So I worked out a return of the Performance Automatic pan, minus the dipstick kit. I wanted to keep the dipstick kit to have an easy way to fill the trans after replacing the pan. here is a shot of the dipstick kit, made it much easier to refill and check the level:

    [​IMG]

    Swapping out the OEM pan with the PML pan is pretty straight forward. The oem pan gasket is reusable which is nice. Everyone likes pictures so here are a few of the install.
    draining, i was surprised how 'dirty' the Mercon LV looked after 54k... not so sure about that 'filled for life' business...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    New PML pan:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Clearance at the tightest part, near the front drivers side cross member:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    clearance on the other side:

    [​IMG]

    While i was in there, I installed a new filter, part FT171, and used 10.5 quarts of the case of mercon LV I bought, (~$70 from the dealer):

    [​IMG]

    I'm hoping this pan will help to keep the fluid temps at a reasonable level. Daily driving I never saw any temperature problems, but last years vacation into the rockies saw temps near 225 - 230, which from what I have read is within specs, but its still higher than I'd like to see. Time will tell if it helps!
     
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  3. UKPONY

    UKPONY Member

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    Looks like a nice piece. When will it become a production piece?

    Also, when did the change from 6R60 to 6R80 occur? I.e. does my '08 have the 6R80 or the 6R60?
     
    Last edited: August 10, 2013
  4. eppd00

    eppd00 Active Member

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    Is there any issue with the general movement of the drivetrain (under torque,side to side etc.)getting too close to the crossmember? Also ref. the 08 model, from what I understand some of the later models may be the 6R80. Mine has a Jan08 build date and is a 6R60. Also, from what the Ford Parts man was telling me, the 6R60 and 6R80 share the same pan.
     
  5. MustangP51

    MustangP51 Well-Known Member

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    Want this! when will they be available?! Also what are you using to get your temps?
     
  6. UKPONY

    UKPONY Member

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    Mine has a mid June 2008 production date. Guess a trip to the dealer with the VIN is in order to figure out which I have - red that the torque converter is the key difference.
     
  7. 06bluez

    06bluez Active Member

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    I'd get in touch with PML to check pricing and when they will be available. They may be ready to sell them now, but im not sure.
    I'm not sure when the change happened, it may be a certain manufacture date or it might have changed with the model year. I know all 09-10's have the 6R80, but i don't know about the 08's. either way, the trans pan is the same. The last 2 digits (60 vs. 80) indicates the torque capacity. 60 = 600 and 80 = 800 lbft. I think the differences are in the torque converter, clutches and other internals, externally they are the same.

    I don't think there will be enough vertical movement for the pan to contact the frame crossmember. from a few test drives I don't see any sign of them touching. If they do start hitting, it would be pretty easy to notch the boxed frame brace i think. I will keep an eye on it but i don't expect any problems.

    I use a bluetooth OBD2 reader and an app called Torque for my phone. it can read anything that there is a sensor for and display it.
     
  8. calahan#2211

    calahan#2211 Member

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    Couple things to comment about here. I was the first to install the P/A performance pan on our vehicle design. P/A said it would not fit but couldn't say why other than a clearance issue. I found that the fins were cast all the way forward to the edge of the pan and only six needed trimming to clear. Easy to cure. The PML design ends the fins before the edge of the pan, nice detail. The P/A pan has the plug in the absolutely lowest point of the sump not in the side wall. The P/A pan uses a 1/4 NPT as a drain plug. I simply retapped it for a 1/2-20 thread and a standard magnet oil drain plug works quite well. The PML casting seems to be nicer detailed casting as opposed to the P/A pan. Lastly, all 6r60 and 6r80 transmissions use the same pan pattern. However the filters have changed. The P/A pan works best with the FT-171 early 6r80 filter. You can use it on the 6r60 trans also. I have it in my 6r60 in my 07 Rac. It has more area at the inlet port of the filter helping to save the pump and keep more consistent pressure in the system. One other item of note; the P/A pan hast columns cast into it to support the filter. Does the PML have them also? I made a filter extension and submerged my filter lower in the sump and milled down the columns some. I then removed the pressed in "tube" at the inlet of the FT-171 filter. This allowed an even larger inlet area that had a nice curve to allowing more fluid flow. A good transmission shop should be able to do the work if some one wanted it done. Sorry, no pictures to show. I forgot to take any when I was doing the project. Oh, the PML design may give a bit more clearance to front bolts also. Because of the squared off design of the P/A pan it can be tricky to get to the front bolts of the pan rail above the cross member. :usa:
     
  9. 06bluez

    06bluez Active Member

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    thanks for the input calahan, yes the PML pan has the filter support posts cast in, similar to the PA pan.

    The front bolts were tough, but a ball head t handle hex was a big help on a few.
     
  10. UKPONY

    UKPONY Member

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    Verified today that my June '08 has the 6R60.
     
  11. Ronin8002

    Ronin8002 Well-Known Member

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    Just ordered a PML 6r80 pan today under their prototype program for my 2008 Explorer 4.6. I'm also going to get a dipstick from PA to replace the OEM one.
     
  12. 06bluez

    06bluez Active Member

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    :thumbsup:

    It may have been in my head, but I even noticed a little better shifting with some fresher fluid in the trans. Throw in a new filter and expect to use almost a whole case to refill the larger pan.
     
  13. eppd00

    eppd00 Active Member

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    P/A lists 2 dipstick tube kits. It looks like you used the braided steel tube unit # PA68401 for the Mustang. Their website advises firewall attached. Did you bolt it to the firewall or were you able to attach the tube to the engine or trans bellhousing?
     
  14. 06bluez

    06bluez Active Member

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    I'll try to post a picture of it, but the tube was part of the pan and dipstick kit, part PA68405. I returned the pan and kept the dipstick (worked out a deal with Summit to do this since I didn't want the PA pan) so Im not sure of the part number of the dipstick that comes in this kit. PA might be able to help? I see that they have a rigid tube kit that is $$$, but the one I have seems longer than the mustang braided kit. The tube came with an adaptor plate for mounting to an F150 firewall. I wasn't able to use the bracket, but it is fastened to the AC condensor line with a ziptie right now.
     
  15. Ronin8002

    Ronin8002 Well-Known Member

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    I got the following from the "pan, dipstick and fill tube" section of P/A's site, under "application chart": http://www.performanceautomatic.com/product_images/installation_51.pdf

    Here's what it says for pans:

    6R80 PA68400 2011-12 Mustang Deep Aluminum Pan- extra 2qts

    6R80 PA68402 2011-12 Mustang Deep Aluminum Pan- extra 2 qts with Dipstick & Filler Tube

    6R80 PA68403 09-11 F150,08-10 Expedition,Navigator,Explorer&Mountaineer Deep Aluminum Pan- extra 2 qt

    And for Dipsticks/fill tubes:

    6R80 PA68401 Fits 11-2012 Mustang

    6R80 PA68404 Fits Truck & SUV PA68403

    So I am guessing that PA68405 is a package deal made up of PA68404 (dipstick/fill tube) and PA68403 (pan). Based on that, I'm going to order a PA68404.

    Summit has it for $177. Kinda pricey but considering the PML prototype pan is only $150 I guess it's OK. Still cheaper than the PA's setup.
     
  16. calahan#2211

    calahan#2211 Member

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    I used the Mustang pan and dipstick kit. They didn't have the F150 kit available at that time. I mounted mine to a small ( 6mm I think ) bolt already existing on the fire wall. What I bought was a coupling nut, bolt and washer. The coupling nut threads right on install bolt and washer through bracket and thread into open end of coupling nut. It is solid and works great. You may have the bend the bracket to an acute angle to allow the handle to clear the fire wall a bit... :usa:
     
  17. calahan#2211

    calahan#2211 Member

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    Oh, by the way. I used some heat insulator on the dip stick also. It runs pretty close to the exhaust and is only a Teflon hose assembly. You may want to get some to help protect it from radiated heat... :usa:
     
  18. Ronin8002

    Ronin8002 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tip :thumbsup: Pan came in yesterday, and the dipstick should be in next week. I'll post up how it goes.
     
  19. Ronin8002

    Ronin8002 Well-Known Member

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    Never followed up on this. Installed the pan and dipstick about 4 weeks ago. Fitment was fine, I had the same challenges as 06bluez with the bolt heads but like he said, those ball head hex keys are great...I bought a set for my 3/8" ratchet.

    Didn't know what to do with the magnet from the original drain pan, so I slipped it over one of the pedestals in the pan that support the transmission filter. The PML folks told me later that they thought this might be a bad idea...if the magnet were to crack or fall apart then bad things could happen. I wasn't about to drain the whole pan to take it out though. I figure if the magnet falls apart then it's going to get caught in the filter.

    Threadlocker is really important....the tube of it I had on hand had gone bad and I just thought "oh, I'll just put the bolts in without it for now and pick some threadlocker up in a day or two." Well two of the bolts ended up working loose and falling out after driving it about 20 miles, glad I didn't wait longer.

    The PA dipstick is decent. installed fine but I didn't like how the dipstick tube doesn't seem to seat all the way into the adaptor piece. No fluid leaks, but I was more worried about water and crap getting in, so I smeared hi temp RTV in the gap between the tube and adaptor and all seems fine. It does make filling the transmission easier for sure.

    With that said, it took 10 quarts of fluid to fill the transmission (I changed the filter when I did the pan install). The old fluid was a little brownish and there was some gunk in the pan and on the magnet. It seems to shift better now and I don't get the transmission bump on decel as much anymore.
     
  20. 06bluez

    06bluez Active Member

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    thanks for the follow up! good point on the thread locker, I didn't use any so I will check the bolts soon.

    I had the same thoughts on the dipstick, its ok for what it is but the simple slip in fit is not ideal. I think that I will re-install the oem plug now that I have refilled the trans, and checked it a few times. It's full and not leaking so I'm planning on setting the dipstick aside until I need to drain/fill or check it in another 50k miles.
     
  21. Ronin8002

    Ronin8002 Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking the same thing on the dipstick. The OEM setup isn't really ideal for filling/checking but it is definitely more air/watertight.

    Now I just need to go get a couple of replacement hex screws from fastenal to replace the ones that fell out.
     

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