2003 SportTrac Transmission Fluid Change | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2003 SportTrac Transmission Fluid Change


New Member
October 15, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Church Hill, TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XLT
Any help would be appreciated. About a month ago my wife informed me her 2003 SportTrac was starting to slip. About 300k miles and 5R55E transmission. This vehicle was inherited from her father who passed away so this is a must repair vehicle for sentimental reasons.

There is no dipstick to check the tranny fluid. Ok so now I go to the all powerful YouTube to find any oddities for this vehicle.

Sure enough, it says no dipstick that it is a sealed transmission that is never supposed to require maintenance. What idiot thought that up???
Everything I read and watched says there is a plug in the pan that serves to both drain and fill.

So off to the parts store I go. Buy 6 quarts of fluid and a filter. Jack the truck up and crawl up under it. Yep, you guessed it.... no plug in the transmission pan.

I have the factory service manual for this vehicle so I looked it up and all it tells the tech is to drain and fill using a machine. No information whatsoever about changing the filter then doing a fill.

I am certain I can get the pan off and change the filter.

How do I refill the transmission? My only thought is to remove the cooler line and pump it in. Is that possible?

My second concern is getting air in the transmission cooler. How would I burp the system to get the air out if I go that route?

My last concern is how much to put in. I have never been able to change transmission fluid without a mess. That added with the loss from the cooler when it comes out. Getting an exact measurement will be extremely difficult.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Check this thread, it may apply to your situation:


Check this thread, it may apply to your situation:

Thanks, that applies to everything I found online, but not to mine. This transmission does not have a plug in the pan. I ordered a new pan today that will have the plug. I will try and do plenty of measurements prior to removing the original pan to ensure it will bolt up.