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Solved Mityvac transmission fluid extraction ATF

FordJimbo

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I have 3 Fords (no ATF drain plugs). Rather than trying to drop the pan, and deal with that hassle and mess, I opted to buy and try a Mityvac fluid extractor. Here's my report. The $100 extractor was an incredible value. It extracted 4.1 liters from each of my Ford Crown Vic cars and 2.6L from my 1998 Explorer 4.0 SOHC. I think I can probably get more out of the Explorer if I park it differently, maybe with either the front on a slight downslope or upslope. I'll be experimenting tying to get maximum fluid out.

The learning curve on the Mityvac takes about 15-30 minutes. After that, you shove the tube in the dipstick hole, pump the MV 20 times, and the fluid is sucked right out of the pan. You observe the amount removed, and replace with fresh Mercon V. You can flip a switch and reverse the system and drain the MV into a empty container and that is nearly effortless. If you are careful this is almost mess free. The first drain and fill replaces the most, about 1/4 to 1/3rd. Successive attempts replace less and less of course.

If you drive it for a distance after each fluid change, you can do this successive to try to remove/replace maximum fluids. Each time you do that it replaces about 20% to 35% of the fluid, but consecutive replacements removes a corresponding amount of the "new" fluids, so to ballpark the math it takes about 5 or 6 drain and fill attempts to replace about 50-70% of the fluid. There are sophisticated algorithms online if you're obcessive about knowing the amount replaced.

While I realize the pan should be dropped, magnet cleaned, and filter should at some point be replaced, that's probably a 1/2 day job for a shade-tree mechanic. It's messy. My local transmission shop wants $200 to do it. So, doing this on a regular basis at least keeps fresh fluids in the transmission and it's incredibly easy. It takes about 30 minutes per vehicle once you learn how it works. Another advantage is doing this BEFORE a pan drop to make it a lot less messy under the vehicle.

Also, I plan to do oil changes, power steering, coolant changes, etc. with it. An excellent $100 tool.
 


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Pete Deering

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I have 3 Fords (no ATF drain plugs). Rather than trying to drop the pan, and deal with that hassle and mess, I opted to buy and try a Mityvac fluid extractor. Here's my report. The $100 extractor was an incredible value. It extracted 4.1 liters from each of my Ford Crown Vic cars and 2.6L from my 1998 Explorer 4.0 SOHC. I think I can probably get more out of the Explorer if I park it differently, maybe with either the front on a slight downslope or upslope. I'll be experimenting tying to get maximum fluid out.

The learning curve on the Mityvac takes about 15-30 minutes. After that, you shove the tube in the dipstick hole, pump the MV 20 times, and the fluid is sucked right out of the pan. You observe the amount removed, and replace with fresh Mercon V. You can flip a switch and reverse the system and drain the MV into a empty container and that is nearly effortless. If you are careful this is almost mess free. The first drain and fill replaces the most, about 1/4 to 1/3rd. Successive attempts replace less and less of course.

If you drive it for a distance after each fluid change, you can do this successive to try to remove/replace maximum fluids. Each time you do that it replaces about 20% to 35% of the fluid, but consecutive replacements removes a corresponding amount of the "new" fluids, so to ballpark the math it takes about 5 or 6 drain and fill attempts to replace about 50-70% of the fluid. There are sophisticated algorithms online if you're obcessive about knowing the amount replaced.

While I realize the pan should be dropped, magnet cleaned, and filter should at some point be replaced, that's probably a 1/2 day job for a shade-tree mechanic. It's messy. My local transmission shop wants $200 to do it. So, doing this on a regular basis at least keeps fresh fluids in the transmission and it's incredibly easy. It takes about 30 minutes per vehicle once you learn how it works. Another advantage is doing this BEFORE a pan drop to make it a lot less messy under the vehicle.

Also, I plan to do oil changes, power steering, coolant changes, etc. with it. An excellent $100 tool.
What model?
 












RickOTR

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Why not just disconnect the rubber hose from the cooler line and empty it into a 1 gallon jug. Make sure you plug the other end of the hose or else you'll have one heck of a mess to clean up, don't ask me how I know. Took me just 2 minutes before I installed the Dorman Trans pan with plug. Now fluid changes are a snap.
 




Rick

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Why not just disconnect the rubber hose from the cooler line and empty it into a 1 gallon jug. Make sure you plug the other end of the hose or else you'll have one heck of a mess to clean up, don't ask me how I know. Took me just 2 minutes before I installed the Dorman Trans pan with plug. Now fluid changes are a snap.

For one, that would take two people, one to start and turn off the vehicle the other to monitor, and ensure the hose doesn't pop out of the container it is pumping into. The vacuum is a one man job.
 




RickOTR

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Never had a problem with it. Been doing it this way for years. All I do is secure the hose in place with vise grips and place the jug into a small ATV tire so it doesn't tip over. It takes 70 seconds to empty the pan. I use 15 quarts of Mobile 1 ATF to flush the fluid followed by dropping the pan and replacing the filter. I do have a external filter that I change as well. 380k miles on this trans with no problems.
 




Rick

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I'll still choose the vacuum. I've made enough messes doing similar things. :laugh:
 




FordJimbo

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Why not just disconnect the rubber hose from the cooler line and empty it into a 1 gallon jug. Make sure you plug the other end of the hose or else you'll have one heck of a mess to clean up, don't ask me how I know. Took me just 2 minutes before I installed the Dorman Trans pan with plug. Now fluid changes are a snap.

I considered that, but opted to get the Mityvac because your suggested method is 1) more difficult, 2) requires 2 people, 3) risks damage if done incorrectly, 4) can make a huge mess if done incorrectly, and 5) extracts roughly the same amount of fluid.

The Mityvac is extremely easy and mess free. No risk of damage. One person job.
 




RickOTR

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I considered that, but opted to get the Mityvac because your suggested method is 1) more difficult, 2) requires 2 people, 3) risks damage if done incorrectly, 4) can make a huge mess if done incorrectly, and 5) extracts roughly the same amount of fluid.

The Mityvac is extremely easy and mess free. No risk of damage. One person job.
My procedure only requires one person... me. Since I have the Dorman pan, I don't need a pump. I have the fumoto valve installed so all I need to do is install a rubber hose and drain it into a drain pan. Draining the pan only removes 4-5 quarts of fluid not all 12.5 per Ford specs so basically you're just mixing clean fluid with dirty fluid. Doesn't make sense.

The way I do it is to place the out going hose into a catch pan then place the suction hose into a container filed with clean fluid. Once the clean fluid is all taken up except for five quarts, I remove the pan and change the filter. I then add the rest of the fluid thru the filler tube, check the fluid level, reconnect everything, and I'm done.

here's the dorman pan.

 




sehaare

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My procedure only requires one person... me. Since I have the Dorman pan, I don't need a pump. I have the fumoto valve installed so all I need to do is install a rubber hose and drain it into a drain pan. Draining the pan only removes 4-5 quarts of fluid not all 12.5 per Ford specs so basically you're just mixing clean fluid with dirty fluid. Doesn't make sense.

The way I do it is to place the out going hose into a catch pan then place the suction hose into a container filed with clean fluid. Once the clean fluid is all taken up except for five quarts, I remove the pan and change the filter. I then add the rest of the fluid thru the filler tube, check the fluid level, reconnect everything, and I'm done.

here's the dorman pan.

for what it is worth, I did it the same way the Dr. Bob suggest on this page. Before I bought the 98 new, I had bought a 94 new. So I've had explorers for a really long time. Dr. Bob had a lot of advice that went onto the Jeff Singleton maintenance pages and really new his stuff back in the early days of the internet and Explores.

 




FordJimbo

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Did a 2nd ATF drain and fill with the Mityvac. Reporting results.

I was first going to try an oil change thru the dipstick on level ground. It would be fantastic if that would work. Alas I could only extract 2 liters (2 qts). So on the Explorer this will not do an oil change. So I filled it back up, and moved it to ramps and dropped the drain plug. Changed the oil.

On the ramps, I tried the MV on the ATF. I could only extract 2L (versus 2.6L on flat ground). I next moved the Explorer off the ramp and had a slight nose down attitude, hoping to extract more. I could only get 2.4L out total. It seems flat ground is the best result here.

The ATF came out looking cherry red, so in excellent visual condition. I replaced with new ATF. The math works out to 2 replacements of 2.5 each average to about 50% new fluid.

[For those with 2000+ era Crown Vic platforms, on flat ground I drained 4.1 to 4.2 liters of ATF and 6.1 liters (6.4 qts) of motor oil thru the dipsticks. I did a 2nd ATF drain and fill today. This makes those changes quite simple if you don't want to get under the car. ]
 




FordJimbo

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for what it is worth, I did it the same way the Dr. Bob suggest on this page. Before I bought the 98 new, I had bought a 94 new. So I've had explorers for a really long time. Dr. Bob had a lot of advice that went onto the Jeff Singleton maintenance pages and really new his stuff back in the early days of the internet and Explores.


Useful info, thanks for posting.

But, again, this process requires a HELPER. If you don't have a helper, it may not work.
 




CDW6212R

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Any ATF is very expensive now, given the cost, I don't want to pay to replace 3-4 times the volume of the system to do it with the convenience of a tool that doesn't get it all out. I'll stick with draining the fluid the old normal way, and replace as much as possible in one step.

Older vehicles all had drain plugs in the torque converter, which drained the trapped 2+ quarts there, four if you didn't let the fluid drain fully with the pan and filter off. Loosening the valve body will allow air to get up inside and displace most of the rest of trapped ATF, usually another 2-3 quarts. I replaced close to 15 quarts of ATF from my black 98 a few years ago. So I had all new fluid in that transmission with the new deep pan and filter. The cost was fairly high, but it was a single project for one cost, not multiple regular servicing that ends up costing a bunch more in the end.
 




C420sailor

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I put both hoses in a bucket that is marked in 1qt increments. I’ve found that you can pump 5qt out without running the pump dry. I’ve heard you can do 8, but I don’t have the balls to go that far without someone at the controls. I shut the truck off at 5qts in the bucket, add 5, and repeat until I get to about 12-13qts. Pump never goes dry, much more pumped out at a time (which means less mixing). This is for the 5R55E.

One of these days I’ll have a buddy help, figure out exactly where flow begins to ‘sputter’ and pump out one quart less. For now, I use 5qts...and doing it every 30k, that’s enough.

For my 4R70 truck, I drain the torque converter and pan via drain bolts.
 




FordJimbo

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Any ATF is very expensive now, given the cost, I don't want to pay to replace 3-4 times the volume of the system to do it with the convenience of a tool that doesn't get it all out. I'll stick with draining the fluid the old normal way, and replace as much as possible in one step.

Older vehicles all had drain plugs in the torque converter, which drained the trapped 2+ quarts there, four if you didn't let the fluid drain fully with the pan and filter off. Loosening the valve body will allow air to get up inside and displace most of the rest of trapped ATF, usually another 2-3 quarts. I replaced close to 15 quarts of ATF from my black 98 a few years ago. So I had all new fluid in that transmission with the new deep pan and filter. The cost was fairly high, but it was a single project for one cost, not multiple regular servicing that ends up costing a bunch more in the end.

And if you know what you're doing this seems reasonable. But some people talk about shocking the system with too much new fluid, which may be counterproductive and cause damage. I am not sure, I really don't know enough.

For my needs, I don't yet feel comfortable doing this. And the cost of ATF < the cost of a new transmission. I feel comfortable replacing 1/2 or so of the fluids, and then getting on a regular system of changing it every oil change interval. In a few OCIs ending up with mostly new fluids. And again, the MV machine is super easy to use and seems to extract 25% at a time.

In just two cycles, the math works out to my having replaced abut 50% of the ATF. What came out the 2nd time draining it was cherry red. After the 2nd time, the math goes to about 65%, then 75%, then 83% new, etc. on successive changes. No need for helper, no risk of damage, and a gradual change so no risk of shocking system...
 




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And if you know what you're doing this seems reasonable. But some people talk about shocking the system with too much new fluid, which may be counterproductive and cause damage. I am not sure, I really don't know enough.

For my needs, I don't yet feel comfortable doing this. And the cost of ATF < the cost of a new transmission. I feel comfortable replacing 1/2 or so of the fluids, and then getting on a regular system of changing it every oil change interval. In a few OCIs ending up with mostly new fluids. And again, the MV machine is super easy to use and seems to extract 25% at a time.

In just two cycles, the math works out to my having replaced abut 50% of the ATF. What came out the 2nd time draining it was cherry red. After the 2nd time, the math goes to about 65%, then 75%, then 83% new, etc. on successive changes. No need for helper, no risk of damage, and a gradual change so no risk of shocking system...

I want everyone's vehicle to run great forever, and I hope each method works well for them. Keep doing it as you are, maybe later with more experience you will do some other things, to stretch your experience etc. I learned myself over decades now, it takes time to be comfortable with so many car things.
 




94Eddie

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Us 3rd and 4th gen guys are jealous of you 2nd gen owners flaunting your fancy transmission dipsticks. That is a luxury we will never know. ☹️

That said, the next pan drop on my Mountaineer will be when a pan with a drain plug gets installed. I will still have to live with that stubby little poor excuse for a dipstick located right next to a catalytic convertor.
 




Rick

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Us 3rd and 4th gen guys are jealous of you 2nd gen owners flaunting your fancy transmission dipsticks. That is a luxury we will never know. ☹️

:( Sometimes "progress" is pretty darn sad.
 


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FordJimbo

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I get really annoyed when "progress" means less options for the consumer. One example is the removal of the dipstick and drain plug. Really aggravates me. I'm fortunate in that some of my vehicles have both a transmission drain plug AND dipstick! Spoiled, I know!

Another example is removal of a CD player from the car stereo. Grrr....
 




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