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How to fill 4r55e automatic transmission?

isodine

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Hi guys My question is do I have to have my 1996 v6 automatic Ford Explorer xlt with the engine running and in neutral to fill the transmission? The mechanic told me to add nine quarts but after six quarts it was overfilled and my vehicle was off and in park. The mechanic rebuilt the transmission.
 
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koda2000

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The trans holds about 4.5 qts after a pan drop and filter change. 9 qts maybe if the torque converter is also emptied (I don't even know if it has a drain plug, like the V8's do).

Note: If the torque converter was emptied/replaced by the mechanic, he should have refilled it after rebuilding the trans. If it's empty, the trans pump will refill it when the engine is started, then maybe round 9 qts total would be about right. I prefer to fill the torque converter with at least a couple of quarts before reinstalling it. That way you're not running it dry until the trans pump refills it. There's no magic number as to the number of qts you put in as long as when you're done the correct level is achieved on the dip stick. Your owners manual will give you the capacity.

If you've put in 6 qts and the t/c is full, you could drain out about a qt and 1/2 (with a piece of plastic tubing you should be able to siphon/suck it out through the dip stick tube, but it will take you a while. If the torque converter was empty, run the engine for a minute, then recheck the fluid level. Then add or remove fluid as necessary.

It is not normally necessary to have the engine running when you fill the trans, it may even be harmful.

To check the trans fluid level: Vehicle on level ground, start engine and put the trans through all the gears, then check the level in PARK. If the fluid is already warm it should be at the near MAX mark, if it's cold it can be around the middle or MIN mark on the dip stick.

As I recall, when I did mine last summer, it took between 4.5-5 qts of Mercon V ATF to fill it after a pan drop and filter change. Before I started my dip stick registered as FULL. After draining I measured how much came out and that's what I put back in.
 
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SWIGIN

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It most certainly should be running to fill.

Run it in park with the drain plug out and fill it till it runs out the drain.

Install the drain plug and shift it through the gears and maybe a little test run if it seems to go into gear like it should.

Then while running in park remove the drain again and refill till it comes out.

I just went through this with my daughters 5r55 tranny.
 
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koda2000

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It most certainly should be running to fill.

Run it in park with the drain plug out and fill it till it runs out the drain.

Install the drain plug and shift it through the gears and maybe a little test run if it seems to go into gear like it should.

Then while running in park remove the drain again and refill till it comes out.

I just went through this with my daughters 5r55 tranny.

What drain plug are you talking about? One for the T/C? My '97 and '01 don't have a drain plug for the T/C and automatic transmissions haven't had pan drain plugs in decades, though I usually add them. All my V8's have T/C drain plugs.
 
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SWIGIN

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I have rebuilt or installed many auto trannys and when they are bone dry most will hold 12-15 quarts.

The pan will only hold like 4-6 depending on the tranny. So after you get 4-6 quarts in you start the engine to run the tranny pump so the pan will empty. Then shut it off and dump the next 4-6 quarts in, repeat till you are close to full. This is easier if you have dip stick. If you don't have dip stick then do like I posted above.

When the stick is just showing some fluid on it let it run and top it off.
 
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SWIGIN

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Koda

I was referring to pan drain/fill plug in the trannys without a dip stick. This is the only way to fill them
 
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koda2000

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I have rebuilt or installed many auto trannys and when they are bone dry most will hold 12-15 quarts.

The pan will only hold like 4-6 depending on the tranny. So after you get 4-6 quarts in you start the engine to run the tranny pump so the pan will empty. Then shut it off and dump the next 4-6 quarts in, repeat till you are close to full. This is easier if you have dip stick. If you don't have dip stick then do like I posted above.

When the stick is just showing some fluid on it let it run and top it off.

The OP's truck is a '96 so I'm pretty sure it has no drains and has a dip stick. I also asked if the T/C was empty (OP hasn't said) and if so to do the same thing you suggested above in red.
 
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