ATF Fluid Change - HOW TO?? | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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ATF Fluid Change - HOW TO??

pugsy

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I'm looking to change the automatic tranny fluid in my Explorer. It's a '92 4x4. Nothing wrong with it, just don't know the last time she was changed. Runs fine, shifts fine, OD works good. My only problem is a small lagging leak. I need to top up with about a 1/2 quart of ATF every month or so. Not sure if it's a seal or not. I tried tightening up the pan bolts, but didn't really make a difference. I've tried added a some "stop leak" stuff, seemed to slow it down a bit, but still dripping slowly.
So...my question. Is it hard to change the tranny fliud in the driveway? Is it messy? How many quarts of ATF will come out/need to go back in? I've From what I understand, basically you need to drop the pan, change the filter, and replace the gasket - right? Is this a hard job? Never done it before, and would rather save the $80+ they charge at the transmission shop. How much would it cost me to do this at home (how many quarts of ATF, how much is the filter & gasket).
Does anyone have pics of how to change the filter and replace the gasket?
Thanks for the tips!
 
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Blee1099

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Depends on what you wanna do.. If you wanna just do a partial change by dropping the pan & filter it'll take about 3-4 quarts, If you wanna do a flush, you can disconnect the return cooler line and attach a hose to it to a bucket and continually put tranny fluid in until the fluid is nice and red.. It takes about 10 quarts to fill the tranny so I'd suggest getting a few more than 10 and stop at 9 quarts and re-attach the line and check the fluid to make sure there isn't any excess fluid in the tranny.
 
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pugsy

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Is a partial change and changing the filter good enough? How do you do it? I'd like to put synthetic ATF in, but then I'd have to drain the whole system eh?
 
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BrooklynBay

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It's best to use a torque wrench when tightening the bolts. You wouldn't want to over tighten the bolts, and strip the aluminum case. Your A4LD uses a deep pan, and filter for 4X4 compared to the one used on the 4X2. Mercon III is the fluid that you would use, but you could use a Synthetic like Mobile 1, or Amsoil. Get the gasket which doesn't use silicone. It will save you time, and is reusable if it's not too old.
Where is the leak? Do you see ATF on the ground? If not, then you might have a bad modulator. You could check the vacuum line going to the octopus connector on the engine for ATF contamination.
 
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Stevo92z28

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I just droped the pan this past weekend to change the filter and gasket. I beilive it held 4 qts. I bought the kit from Advanced auto it wasnt more then like $15-20. I had a leak all around the pan, and i could unscrew the bolts with my fingers thats how loose they were. Great 3 in 1 knock out and my fluid is pretty red now.

Gasket, Filter, with 4 new qts of ATF for like $25 and an hour of my time not bad.
 
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aldive

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Is a partial change and changing the filter good enough? How do you do it? I'd like to put synthetic ATF in, but then I'd have to drain the whole system eh?

In my opinion, no. I highly recommend the complete flush; simple and quick.

Good luck ....
 
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pugsy

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Well, my fluid isn't severly burnt or brown (as I've said, I have to add a bit every so often, so the fluid stays somewhat fresh!). My concern is that the filter is dirty and and I want to clean the magnet on the pan. Also want a new gasket to see if that the culprit of my slow lagging leak (I get a few drips on the ground every day).
My question is HOW TO DO THIS. Do I just unbolt the pan and let it drop? Does the fluid gush out or will a bucket under the pan catch it all. Then what? How do you change the filter and put the new gasket on?
Thanks for the help!
 
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surf

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It is not hard but can be messy if you just drop the pan. You should disconnect the transmission line that goes from the transmission to the tranny cooler and start the engine and let it pump out the fluid that is collected in the pan. Do not let the pump run dry as this only takes a few seconds to pump out the 3-4 quarts in the pan and the line. Then drop the pan. At least when you drop the pan there is a lot less fluid to spill all over. You may want to consider adding a drain plug to the pan when you do this to make the change easier and cleaner next time.
 
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pugsy

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Cool...thanks for the tip. Where's the filter located? How do you change it?
 
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Stevo92z28

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Once the pan is droped, the filter is right there. Held on by 1 10mm bolt i believe. Make sure both the rubber o rings come out when you pull the filter off. Youll see what i mean when you do it. What i did to not make too much of a mess was start at 1 side and loosen all the bolts zig zaging till you get to the back. Then the pan drops forward and all the fluid goes out 1 side.
 
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LXNavajo_94

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When changing my tranny fluid I use a large old galvanized wash tub preferably a number 10. That way you have a rather large opening in which to catch the fluid. Yes it will gush out. Best way for me has to put the truck on ramps loosen the bolts on the end closest to the drive shaft end about 1/2 way. The the ones on the motor end about a 1/4 of the way. That way the lower side has a bit more gap for the fluid to drain out of. Some times you might have to persuade it with a small screw driver to get the gasket to let go. Then let it drain till the fluid slows down to a trickle. then remove the bolts a little at a time till the pan is off. there will still be some fluid left in the pan so carefully lower it into the drain tub.
 
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EMG7895

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Has anybody had bad expierances with the rubber gaskets? I prefer cork but the parts store only had rubber so that is what I went with. I completely cleaned the pan and case sealing surface and tightened it with a torque wrench in the correct sequence but I still have a small leak.
 
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BrooklynBay

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1IronMike

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Has anybody had bad expierances with the rubber gaskets? I prefer cork but the parts store only had rubber so that is what I went with. I completely cleaned the pan and case sealing surface and tightened it with a torque wrench in the correct sequence but I still have a small leak.

Sometimes while trying to stop a leak, the bolts get over tightened and distort the sealing serface where the bolt goes through. Flatten out that serface again and it should seal up fine, rubber or cork and remember, its INCH POUNDS not foot pounds, go soft.
 
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ma96782

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108-132 inch pounds....since no one mentioned it.

Aloha, Mark
 
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