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tranny fluid change - any special instructions

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by Explorerchick, December 28, 2004.

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    1. Explorerchick

      Explorerchick New Member

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      Hi, this is Mr. explorerchick, so to speak. At 45K miles it's time to change the tranny fluid and filter on my wifes 2002 4.6L EB Explorer with the A5. It's 2WD. Are there any special instructions or tricks that I need to know? Where is the fill plug on that thing? Is there an online service manul or web site with this sort of info. I chose not to spend the $100+ for the service manual. Thanks. Mike
       
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    3. JGAMBLE

      JGAMBLE B

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      if it has a tranny cooler it's very easy. Just disconnect the output line and pump out one gallon and put in 4 qts until the fluid comes out fresh and pink. You simply pour the fluid in the dipstick tube in the engine compartment. I changed the filter in mine at 75k and it wasn't even dirty, I wouldn't change it unless you're having problems. A tranny doesn't make bi-products like an engine, so the filter's usually good for a long time.

      :chug: :chug:
       
    4. Bill Kemp

      Bill Kemp Elite Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      Does the 02 X have a dipstick? Sometime they went to sealed units that are filled from a fill hole in the trans. I have read something about that here but dont know where. A search may be in order.
       
    5. Explorerchick

      Explorerchick New Member

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      Yes, the 2002 model w/ the 5 speed auto is a sealed unit with no dipstick. So it can't be filled from the engine compartment. There has to be a fill plug on the tranny somewhere. I thought I might try to find out where it is before I crwal under and look. It does not have a cooler. Thanks.
       
    6. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      there is a special plug that you screw unto the pan... if I get a chance I can post a pic of it... PITA.
       
    7. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Wait, I did a search and found this thread... I knew I had posted this before. Hope this helps. I came up with a LOT of posts on this issue as well in my search, you might want to read those if you have time.

      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118495


      Search terms: fluid change 2002 transmission
       
    8. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I bet I have read that thread, Glacier. Do change the fluid and filter, including the torque converter, if it has a plug.

      I don't know if that 5R55W has issues which TransGo has addressed yet. I'd call TransGo, and ask if they have a correction kit for it yet. I am assuming you aren't planning any hard use, racing or towing? If they have a correction kit, I'd have it installed by a competent trans mechanic. If it exists, it would greatly improve the transmission functioning. Good luck,
      DonW
       
    9. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      I'm all for people working on their own trannies. If you can't get the vehicle perfectly level and follow the factory procedure exactly, you will do a lot more damage than good. I recommend not doing this if all you have is some sketchy information from a message board.
       
    10. Explorerchick

      Explorerchick New Member

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      Thanks for all the info guys. Those links above are very interesting and helpful. Opera house, I appreciate the caution. I do all of my own work including rebuilding (I had help on the rebuild portion only) and retrofitting a 700R4 into my '79 Camaro including torque converter lock up, rebuilding the engine, installing edlebrock 64 cc / 2.02 valve heads, edelbrock intake and carb, installing a 3.42 posi rear end, complete front end suspension and steering linkage rebuild, brakes, coil and leaf springs, ect, so I am fully competent to do this work. I'm not trying to be a smart ass. Just want to point out that I am competent at this sort of thing. I do agree with your cautious approach because with a tranny fluid change, 1 speck of dirt can shut down a valve body right now.

      I must say, I'm disappointed with Ford's approach to this transmission. I do believe I understand now how the tranny is filled. I assume this fill hole in the botton of the pan must have a tube (i.e. a "quill" ) that protrudes upward establishing the proper fill level. I do have a gear lube fill gun/tool as described in the links. Are there any other tricks that I need to know about the filter replacement? Is this special fitting nothing other than an adapter with threads (NPT or SAE) on one end and barbed on the other? If so, does anyone know the thread type and diameter? Thanks. Mike
       
    11. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      While the concept is simple, I have seen posted variations in the procedure that can cause fluid level differences. My point is do you want to drive around with a half quart high or low for 30K or more. I have supplied a procedure to a few on other boards that have pulled the plug before looking to see if they can fill it. I believe it is correct, but have never seen Ford documentation to support it. For this reason I won't encourage the procedure. Just seen a lot of misleading threads on this subject.
       
    12. Explorerchick

      Explorerchick New Member

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      If you have a procedure, I would appreciate a copy of it. My email address is mmugnier@gt.rr.com. I have a 2000 Corvette and the tranny and differential must be filled from a plug in the side in a similar fashion. Yes, it is foolish to drain the fluid before you verify that the fill plug can be removed or accessed. I'm not sure if you are speaking in generalities or have specific knowledge of this transmission. Because if you read the referenced links, you would see that they are saying that the only fill plug is on the top of the transmission and is only used at the factory. There is no fill plug that can be used, other than the one in the bottom of the pan. The links are actual copies of the procedure from the service manual. I don't know how I can better explain my mechanical abilities without listing more things I have done on my vehicles and therfore sound like a pompous ass, and I don't want to come across that way. As stated above, I helped to rebuild my 700R4 before I retrofitted it to an older vehicle without any assistance. I have removed and disassembled, cleaned, and reinstalled valvebodies from 700R4s. I have installed many automatic transmissions. I know how to raise and level a vehicle. I can properly fill the transmission just as well as a Ford mechanic, uhm, I mean technician. The Ford dealer charges $149 for a fluid change and I don't want to pay that much and I won't take it to an Aamco or other outside shop. Thanks, Mike
       
      Last edited: December 29, 2004
    13. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      FORD in it's infinite wisdom decided this was a "lifetime" trannie I guess. The "add a pint" bs is clearly for topping up, not changing. IF you are going to change the fluid it seems like you are almost destined to have a flush machine hooked up at the cooler lines.

      I'll be interested to know how you make out.
       
    14. Explorerchick

      Explorerchick New Member

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      Thanks Glacier. I am curious about the recommended fluid change interval. The posts that were linked above referred to the 5R55W transmission. The order confirmation form lists our tranny as a 44R 5 speed automatic overdrive which is probably the same transmission but I'm not positive. It could be that at 45,000 miles, I don't need to change the fluid and filter. All of the literature I've seen is ambiguous on the recommended fluid change interval. WTF ??
       
    15. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Some people believe that the trans fluid should never be changed. I don't care where they got the idea, I just know they are idiots, and I don't care to discuss them further.(Some people you just ignore)

      The most wear in an engine or transmission will be upon initial startup(normal conditions). Therefore, the filter is not going to be perfectly clean at 45,00 miles, nor at 10,000 miles. I would like the fluids and filters to be as clean as reasonably possible. I don't change treans fluid every 10,000 miles like some, but a reasonable mileage is about 25,000 miles(more with light use, less under heavy use).

      Let common sense be your guide. I buy used vehicles, not new ones, and I like to change all of the fluids when I first buy a vehicle.

      I believe that you can handle the job well, good luck.
      DonW
       
    16. Explorerchick

      Explorerchick New Member

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      Thanks Don. Yes, tranny fluid changes seem to be vodoo science depending on who you talk to. A friend of mine used to work at a dealership and he had a few stories. According to the theory, after many miles, the fiber backing on the "fibers" (clutch plates) accumulates on the inside of the transmission. If you wait too long (i.e. 100,000 miles) when you do change the fluid, you cause the fiber dust to break loose and it winds up clogging the valve body. Another theory was that the majic friction material that was in the clutchplates gets into the fluid and when you replace the fluid, you loose the majic dust and the tranny slips. :rolleyes: Both of those theoeries are likely bullshit. Another coworker of mine who used to work in a tranny shop said the biggest benefit is getting the old filter out. The new filter allows the pump to peform better. This makes sense to me. Mike
       
    17. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Bingo, with a trans fluid and filter job, all you are doing is getting the debris(accumulated material) out of the filter and pan. Night,
      Don
       
    18. lonestar

      lonestar Well-Known Member

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    19. jayhawkexplorer

      jayhawkexplorer Well-Known Member

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      If you want some cheaper help, Haynes/Chilton have repair manuals for the 3rd Gen Explorers.
       

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