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2005 Explorer Transmission Fluid Level

Robert H

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My 2005 Explorer does not have a dipstick for the transmission. I have read the articles to check/add fluid articles. I got it up to operating temp and went thru all gears and left it running. Removed the small inner plug on the pan, however, the fluid just keeps coming out. Well I replaced the plug when about a quart came out, didn't want to drain the whole transmission. Does this mean that my transmission has too much fluid or did I just not wait long enough. Desperate please help, if you have any suggestions it would greatly be appreciated.
 
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BarryCarey

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This video explains the fluid level setting pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOgs_zbzA5I

From my understanding, if nothing comes out the plug it's low, if it's a dribble it's good, if it's a solid stream it's over filled.

If you drop the pan you will see the center plug is not at the bottom of the pan. It's a tube that extends up almost 1 inch. If the fluid is above the tube it will come out in a solid stream. If it's at the right level fluid will dribble out from the sloshing of fluid being returned to the pan.
 
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scottfab

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Important detail about ATF and temp

Concerning this horse %*) way of designing way to check the ATF level.....
wouldn't you just love to know the actual name of the decision maker for this
at Ford?

While most all videos out there address the issue of checking the level (amount of drip) when the tranny is up to temp many are suggesting 80 - 120deg.
Well pick one because the amount that drains out will be more the higher temp you pick. I use 80deg as optimal. Something to keep in mind.
:D
 
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Number Twelve

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In Florida, 80F to 90F is a normal summer day. I just jack it up so I can get under it, start the engine and run it through the gears, then take out the center plug and let it pee until it just dribbles. The Ford manual says to use a Teflon bearing pipe thread sealant. It works. Teflon tape doesn't work.:mad:
 
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scottfab

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In Florida, 80F to 90F is a normal summer day. I just jack it up so I can get under it, start the engine and run it through the gears, then take out the center plug and let it pee until it just dribbles. The Ford manual says to use a Teflon bearing pipe thread sealant. It works. Teflon tape doesn't work.:mad:

I prefer 65 - 75deg and 40% humidity. No AC needed but must warm up
the tranny :(
I use no sealant just a brass 1/8in NPT with a square 1/4in (correction 3/8in) head on it. Got it at Home Depot. I dumped the T30 drive brass plug. It leaked and then if you tighten it you run the risk of stripping the T30 when trying to back it out.
 
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Number Twelve

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I prefer 65 - 75deg and 40% humidity. No AC needed but must warm up the tranny :(
I use no sealant just a brass 1/8in NPT with a square 1/4in head on it.
I prefer 65F to 75F, too.:D
Meanwhile, the brass thing makes sense. A standard MPT has a taper. The Ford plug doesn't.
 
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scottfab

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Meanwhile, the brass thing makes sense. A standard MPT has a taper. The Ford plug doesn't.

That would be correct NPT is National Pipe Thread so it tightens as it goes in.
No sealant needed. Sometimes after market parts are BETTER than what Ford selects.
 
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john cris

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I've been wondering about this ridiculous set up as well. 80-120 is the recommended check range. Checking at 80 sounds right as fluid level will increase as temp increases. Getting to 80 degree temp doesn't take very long though. Only a few minutes by my reckoning. Again I say ridiculous!
Thanks for the post
John
 
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Number Twelve

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Number Twelve

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Again I say ridiculous! John
Some people have added a dipstick to their transmission. Maybe they don't agree with the Ford Service Schedule which consists of being oblivious to your transmission fluid until it leaks a bit, you spin a clutch pack, and you buy a new transmission.:mad:

I chose to try different thread helpers until I achieved zero leakage at the drain plug. (That constantly hanging drop of Mercon V irritated me severely!) As long as I don't see spots on the driveway, I will only check it once a year.
 
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john cris

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Thread helpers?
Yeah I like the 1/8 th brass plug idea also.
john
 
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Number Twelve

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Thread helpers?
I work on a lot of stuff, so I have thread sealing goop for everything from flammable gas to kitchen faucets. I just call all of them, "thread helpers".;)
 
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imp

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5R55S (2004) Dipstick Make-up

Here's what I did to mine:

5r55s_10.jpg


5r55s_11.jpg


Below, a view under the car, installed:
oil_pa14.jpg


Under the hood:
oil_pa12.jpg


The dipstick is a cut-off 5.0L HO Mustang engine dipstick, length determined and marked for "full". Seamless steel tubing 3/4" OD, Steel crimp fitting on bottom, brazed bushing in pan. Trick was to ben the tubing to clear everything. You can see it's not straight, but not too twisty either. This was done 5 years ago, is still absolutely leak-tight, not a drop seen.

Not yet installed in the last pic is a bracket around the top of the tube, securing it to the head. I did not think it necessary, but my nephew, a certified welder, warned me vibration embrittles brazed joints, so I took his advice. In this case, I hated Ford's "better idea" enough to circumvent it. imp
 
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Number Twelve

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Thread Helpers:
Light brown stuff (in a can with a brush) for threaded iron pipe and large plastic fittings
White creme with Teflon (in a squeeze tube) for potable water
Blue stuff (in a squeeze tube) for flammable gas pipes
Teflon tape
Grey stuff with zinc (in a can with a brush) for anti-seize
Orange stuff with copper (in a plastic jar with a brush) for high temperature anti-seize
Loc-tite Blue for a little-seize
Loc-tite Red for a lotta-seize
 
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scottfab

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Thread Helpers:
Light brown stuff (in a can with a brush) for threaded iron pipe and large plastic fittings
White creme with Teflon (in a squeeze tube) for potable water
Blue stuff (in a squeeze tube) for flammable gas pipes
Teflon tape
Grey stuff with zinc (in a can with a brush) for anti-seize
Orange stuff with copper (in a plastic jar with a brush) for high temperature anti-seize
Loc-tite Blue for a little-seize
Loc-tite Red for a lotta-seize

I don't trust any "sealant" when it has to be applied in a soaking wet ATF environment. I mean it's already a big mess and then having to stick a plug up
in there with goop on the threads. Nah, a NPT plug just get good and tight then
you're done. This adding a dip stick idea sure has my attention!
Talk about a permanent solution!
 
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scottfab

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Here's what I did to mine:
<snip>
In this case, I hated Ford's "better idea" enough to circumvent it. imp

I like your solution.
I like it a LOT!
Well done.

It gives me an idea for a slightly altered version.
Instead of brazing I'll use a few of those end caps that come
with the elbow to fashion two nuts that will pinch a rubber washer
onto the side of the pan. Of course it will be a very clean pan so
I can use "sealant" on all threads :)
Probably the loctite RED stuff. (high strength but stays flexible)
 
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john cris

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Thanks for the great pic's.
Always great to "see" exactly what others have done. How did you determine the correct level and necessarily where to drill the hole? Considering trans fluid expansion that seems problematic. Then too the dipstick length? Is that a 1/2" brass elbow you used in the pan? So you brazed it using a wire feed? I'm obviously considering it as I want to make this trans last.
Thanks,
John
 
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imp

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Thanks for the great pic's.
Always great to "see" exactly what others have done. How did you determine the correct level and necessarily where to drill the hole? Considering trans fluid expansion that seems problematic. Then too the dipstick length? Is that a 1/2" brass elbow you used in the pan? So you brazed it using a wire feed? I'm obviously considering it as I want to make this trans last.
Thanks,
John

Thank you for making my time spent fooling with images feel worthwhile; thanks to Scott also! I used all steel parts, the bushing brazed into the pan is a 3/4" X 1" Threaded Reducing Bushing, the tube fitting is a 3/4" male Ell X 3/4" Compression, the tubing 3/4" OD X 0.060" wall seamless steel. Easy enough when assembled to determine "Full" height of fluid level in horizontal pan based on the "overflow" tube Ford provided, use that to determine location on the inserted dipstick. I located the thing on the pan wall where, by inspecting inside of transmission, where there was plenty of vacant room. Dipstick length was made such that the O-ring seal in it's cap would grip the tube OD, IOW, cut end off stick to match fully inserted on top. The heavy steel bushing would be too much for my small wire-feed welder, thus the brazed joint using oxy-acetylene torch. For my degree of welding ability, better certainty of leak-proof joint using torch!

The hole in the pan was punched using a chassis punch. I have a set of inch size punches, as well as electrical fitting sizes, don't recall which punch matched the busing, but likely a 1-inch electrical conduit size. I am very fortunate to have a raft of specialized tools like those punches. It took nearly a lifetime of doing specialized work to acquire all the stuff. Scott: I think I would feel uncomfortable with a removable gasketed type fitting. If you do it, and experience difficulty getting it to seal properly, you could always epoxy a cover plate over the hole. Lacking the equipment, I believe some welding shop would braze or weld a threaded fitting for you for a couple of bucks. Send me your oil pan, and I'll do it for you free. imp

EDIT: FWIW, in 5 years now, I think I pulled that stick out only once or twice, as everything underneath is always dry. Where it comes in most handy is filling with fluid!
 
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scottfab

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<snip>
Scott: I think I would feel uncomfortable with a removable gasketed type fitting. If you do it, and experience difficulty getting it to seal properly, you could always epoxy a cover plate over the hole. Lacking the equipment, I believe some welding shop would braze or weld a threaded fitting for you for a couple of bucks. Send me your oil pan, and I'll do it for you free. imp

<snip>

Thanks for the offer. I have a full shop with a Mig, arc and brazing capability.
My 40+ experience doing fabrication and car work tells me that compressing
a gasket here will work just fine. Right now the problem is I just finished
servicing the tranny (filter and fluid) so not likely to jump on this right away.:(
My 1/8 id NPT plug is fine for now. Wish I'd seen this when I had the pan off.
 
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imp

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Thanks for the offer. I have a full shop with a Mig, arc and brazing capability.
My 40+ experience doing fabrication and car work tells me that compressing
a gasket here will work just fine. Right now the problem is I just finished
servicing the tranny (filter and fluid) so not likely to jump on this right away.:(
My 1/8 id NPT plug is fine for now. Wish I'd seen this when I had the pan off.

I hope you did not take my post as being demeaning in any way. It's of course impossible to know the degree of posters' experience or what equipment they may have available to them.

I simply thought about the first automatic pan I dropped, my Dad's '55 Merc., and it used a fill-tube almost identical to what I dreamed up. imp
 
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