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Tbars A4LD Temp Guage and Drain Plug

Discussion in 'Transmissions & Transfer Cases' started by Tbars4, September 26, 2008.

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    1. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      ...I hope this will help those of you out who do your own maintenance and are tired of taking the tranny fluid bath in order to change your tranny filter every 15,000 miles...:salute:

      ...The temp guage is an item I wanted to add in order to help prolong the life of my A4LD...;)

      This is what I did...If you choose to do the same or similar, you do so at your own risk......And please excuse the bad pics...:(

      ...I just installed these on my '91 Project "X" while replacing a front pump seal...

      The first pic shows the standard 1/2" drain plug which seems to be at every parts store I went to and the cost was $3.99-$4.99, depending on the store...Included in that pic is the copper sealant I used for both of the installations...
      The second pic shows the Sunpro water/oil temp, mechanical guage, also found at all the stores for $16.99...
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      ...The first thing I wanted to do was find the lowest point of the pan for the drain plug... The idea may be simple but, you need to look at your tranny with the pan off and the filter still on for installing both of these items...

      On my A4LD and using this low profile drain plug it was simple...(If you look back at the first pic you can see that only the thin nut and nylon washer will be in the pan)...
      After locating the placement I wanted for the drain plug, I then drilled from the inside of the pan, out...This will leave the main burrs on the outside of the pan...You will notice in the pic I also left some tranny fluid in the pan...This helps in keeping the bit cool, moves the debris away, but also keeps the debris mainly contained in the fluid...;)
      [​IMG]

      The next item was a lot more difficult...Trying to locate a place in the pan that was deep enough to insert the 1 1/2" long probe into, while also not interfering with the operation of the tranny's parts as in the shifter inside, shifter outside, and the linkage...
      ...At the same time, I was also concerned that I definately didn't want the return line of the guage near the exhaust at all, but I still needed the return line as close to the front as possible due to wanting to put the guage itself up in the dash area...This lead me to put it on the drivers side...I had to dry drill this from the outside in...

      This pic shows the placement in the pan of these to items before the pan was installed...
      [​IMG]

      This pic is from the drivers side looking at the tranny...The red circle reflects the area of placement of the probe...The yellow area shows the inner shifter all the way to the rear position...From where it is shown, it moves toward the red circle....I found placement of this item to be very critical...
      [​IMG]

      These following pics are just for the basic installation and will be updated when I final set the guage...;)

      These pics are looking from the rear forward, to show the placent of these items with the pan installed...
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      This pic is viewing from the front left tire, back to the tranny pan...
      [​IMG]

      ...This is showing how the guage return line came up and thru the clutch pedal cover plate...If I ever change this I can easily get another plate..This return line will be covered by corrugated tubing...;)
      [​IMG]

      ...These pics show the temporary placement until I final set the guage...
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      ...So far so good...On the brief first 7 mile trip in stop and go city traffic my temp went up to 180*-182*...I have confirmed that this is the proper tranny operating temp reading for an A4LD ...I also know that the best place to get a true tranny temp reading is from the pan...

      Final setting of the temp guage...

      I wanted to get this guage installed in the pan and see where the return line would let me place the guage...The guage I chose gives me exactly enough room to mount it on the A pillar...
      ...I have shopped 1-3 guage, pillar pods and they are the same price for 1 or 3...$20-$30 and they seem to only come in black...I can get an Autometer guage pod that is exclusive to the Ford A Pillar for $10-$20 more...

      My concern is visibilty thru the windshield while wheeling but I also want to easily be able to read the guage at the same time, so I am looking for a 1-guage pillar pod....
      I am thinking of getting a 3-guage pillar pod and cutting it...This would give me 1 guage for now and if I wanted to add another guage, I will have a 2-quage pillar pod for free...;)

      ...My Temp Reading Updates = per driving situations and outside temps...

      1)....First drive about 7 miles, in town afternoon traffic (about 90* outside)...182* max

      2)...Test drive, 27 miles thru carbon canyon uphill 50 mph max, 6p.m. afternoon traffic (A cool 70*) 192* max

      3)...Freeway test, 9 am at 65 for 15 miles (A cool 70*max)... 140*-150* max

      4)...Same drive as 2), 6 p.m., (100* outside) 185*-190* max
      5)...Return trip at 9 a.m. 50 mph max (75* outside) ...140*-150*
      6)...30 freeway mi. each way to 4wheelparts warehouse in Compton(70*outside)...140*-142*

      ...Installed corrugated tubing...
      7)...Same drive as 2), 1:30p.m., (85* outside) 168*-178* max
      8)...Return trip at 8 a.m. 50 mph max (65* outside) ...130*-140*
      9)...Same drive as 2), 5:30p.m., (75* outside) 160*-168* max
      10)...Return trip at 8 a.m. 50 mph max (59* outside) ...130*-138*
       
      Last edited: November 19, 2009
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    3. mounty71

      mounty71 It's green, not gray. Elite Explorer

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      I've been wanting to get a temp gauge for a while, but thinking i needed to do some wiring i never went with it. But that particular gauge you got is pretty much like a thermometer, all it takes is the probe in the pan connected to a gauge in cab? Sounds too easy :shifty_ey

      Also, will the drain plug be vulnerable to rocks in that place?
       
    4. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      ...When I final set the guage, it does come with a light bulb I need to wire up...I have a cross piece to land on but it doesn't show in these pics...

      ...After dribbling the rock on show's hill, there were no marks in that area...All things are possible but once you drain a tranny pan without a drain plug, some things take precedence...
       
    5. BrooklynBay

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

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      Nice write up! They make a pod cover if you ever decide to mount the gauge into one. This would cover the rear of it so that you don't see the connections in the rear of the gauge. I have a write up on mounting a magnetic drain plug into a pan: http://explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=206353. It's # 75 in my list of useful threads.
       
    6. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      I used that same drainplug! I wish the plug was a taper plug - I would rather a jam-fit instead of squishing the o-ring. But, it has not leaked yet.

      I ended up putting mine in the flat area of the pan, near the corner of the pan.

      BTW, it looks like you need new front shock upper bushings.
       
    7. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      ...BB, do you have a link for the pod cover??

      ...Scott, anything rubber, nylon, or plastic, don't survive long in the desert states...I was going to try to get some work done on revamping my front end before the tranny blew it's seal...:rolleyes:

      ...The location I put my plug in was decided not only because it is at the lowest point but, I can easily swap 3 quarts of tranny fluid after the really dusty trails...kind of a transfusion set up...:dunno:
       
    8. BrooklynBay

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

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    9. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      www.egauges.com is where I buy my gauges and they have pods there (some a-pilar and some on dash)..

      I have a 3 gauge pod on the top of the dash.. Its been on there at least a year and I put 303 aerospace protectant on it.. and so far so good... that 303 stuff seems to work really well at protecting plastic, vinyl, and plastic.

      The only thing I don't like is the glare.. Putting the gauges on the top of the dash makes them reflect on the winshield. Its because the dash isn't flat and the front of the gauges are facing up a little... I've made little visors for them (think brim of a baseball cap) and that keeps them from showing on the winshield..

      ~Mark
       
    10. BrooklynBay

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

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    11. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      ...The next question would be, what paint color would I use to make it match the grey interior and how well will the paint hold up??...I know this is a high heat, very dusty location...

      ...I thought about getting the black guages (about $10 more), but not only was the crown black, so was the dial...My thought was the white dial w/lite would show up both daytime and really well for the night runs...I can always rough up the chrome outer and paint it the same as the interior or black...:dunno:

      ...Maniak, do you have a pic of your setup???

      ...BB, thanks as always for your great links...:D
       
    12. BrooklynBay

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

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      Some of the pods come in gray. Not all of them are black. You could get out of painting it this way.
       
    13. Scott B.

      Scott B. Well-Known Member

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      I'm using the Autometer 2-gauge pod. I left it black, and after 8 years or so, it still looks good. I use 303 on my interior and exterior plastic, too - that stuff works great.

      I never thought about changing tranny fluid after a really dusty run - probably a really good idea.
       
    14. Turdle

      Turdle Freelance Stuntman Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Nice-
      Good instructions also. Thanks Ted!!
       
    15. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      ....Thanks Jon ...:salute:

      ...and Scott, post some pics...:D
       
    16. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I looked around for a pictuer that shows the visors and where it sits on the dash and I don't have any.. I need to remake the visors as they are currently just pieces of sheetmetal (thin) with electrical tape on it to make them black and hold them on.. I have a friend that can bend metal so I'm going to see if he can bend them correctly so they don't need to be taped on..

      Here is the only pic I can really find of it.. The gauge on the left measures line pressure in the trans and the one on the right is the pan temp.. I'm still averaging 70F above ambient when running through the radiator and other coolers..

      ~Mark
       

      Attached Files:

    17. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      ....I really like the idea of the pressure guage now that I am getting regular temp readings, and was just thinking about this last night while I was driving the X...I will talk with you more about the pressure guage at truckhaven...

      ...I wouldn't mind one of those single pods where my guage sits now...Maybe that would be better than a single pillar pod...:dunno:...I was also thinking about installing in other areas without a pod but everything else is limited on the viewing...Stic-o's setup I don't think would work on a first gen, especially with a mechanical guage...

      ...Also, I am going to start updating the first post with temps pertaining to different driving situations...;)
       
    18. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      ...I just noticed the Sticky...Thank you to the powers that be...:salute:

      ...First temps have been updated in post #1...;)
       
    19. mounty71

      mounty71 It's green, not gray. Elite Explorer

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      I think i remember JTsmith has a single pod on top of his steering column.
       
    20. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      ...Thanks for the heads up...;)

      ...I am actually trying to locate it a little higher and on it's own...So far I think the spots I have chosen will work great for night time use but I'm worried about the glare too of daytime use. I might wait to check out everyones placement at truckhaven...

      ...For now, I need to find my duct tape...:D
       
    21. Tbars4

      Tbars4 Moderator Emeritus Elite In Memoriam

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      ...I am going to shop locally for the A pillar pods...I looked at the links and they only showed 95 and newer for the Explorers...:dunno:
       

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