Pan Drop & Filter Change | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Pan Drop & Filter Change


Well-Known Member
September 30, 2012
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2007 Sport Trac LTD
Did a pan drop/filter change today. Saw some bad stuff in there. Also ran a scan tool and found P0735 - Incorrect Fifth Gear Ratio. I erased to code, fingers crossed it stays gone. I called the dealer I bought the ST from and they had records of the previous owner having the trans flushed, but never a filter change. I never liked the idea of flushes without a filter change.

ST has 83K. Mercon SP $7, Ford Filter $15, stupid pump tool $7. Next time I'd buy a long hose and use a funnel.




Good video if you want to do this yourself

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I searched around youtube and I guess the ATF wasn't as bad as I thought. It was discolored, but not contaminated. I saw some really coffee looking ATF coming out of 6R80 transmissions with the same mileage. The metal on the magnet and pan was just really disappointing to me, but like I said the pan had never been dropped before today.

Good job on the change. I need to find the time to do mine shortly. Did you put the ST on a lift or did you place the car on jack stands? Also, the metal in your one photo looks to be very fine shavings. From what I recall, I dont think that's too alarming. Now if they were larger and more solid, then you'd have issues. BTW, how long did the drop and fluid change take you? Was it pretty messy? I know from experience, ATF fluid smells very strong.

I had access to a lift. I'd hate to do this on jack stands. The shavings were very fine, but more than I was hoping to see. I'd prefer to do a pan drop at 30K to get rid of the "break in" shavings and then every 50K after that, but I bought the thing with 70k so I didn't have that option. It took about 2hrs because I was going super slow to avoid making a mess. The garage I was at doesnt usually let customers do their own pan drops because of messes in the past, but I assured them I would work clean so I took my time. The messiest part was adding the fluid with this cheapo pump I bought. Next time i'm going to use a long hose and funnel and fill it from the top. I didnt think the ATF smelt too strong. Smelt sweet to me actually. But i'm weird like that. I like the smell of diesel fuel too!

Did a pan drop/filter change today. Saw some bad stuff in there.

Looks fine to me. SP is a little darker red than most also.

Looks fine to me. That magnet isnt bad at all. The fine stuff is nothing to worry about. its when you start seeing pebbles and christmas trees that you have to start pricing out a rebuild.

What about that code though? That didn't leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling. The light came back on but I haven't hooked up the scanner to see if it was 5th gear or the lean bank codes if been getting since I installed the K&N FIPK intake.

I don't mess with air or spark unless I have a custom tune anymore. If I am changing out my intake, it will be for a supercharger. ;)

I am curious to see what error you find this time. These transmissions will do strange things when your tune is not right. Changing the spark plugs did wonders for mine. No strangeness with the transmission now. Amazing how sensitive all this stuff is.

Ditch the POS intake and K&N garbage and your codes will go away. All they do is suck warm air and fill your MAF sensor with oil. The factory set up is as cold as she gets.

I wish i had the cash for a SC, that would really wake up the 4.6L I was thinking of swapping out the gear ratio to 3.73 or 4.10 but with 4x4 thats twice the cash. Im not sold on custom tunes, thats a lot of money just to change shift points for 'perceived' gains. I replaced the plugs a while back and threw on some Accel coils. That got rid of the gitters I had been experiancing while cruising at 45-50mph.

Pff after I blew that cash? That garbage is staying right where it is. I dont think its any hotter than stock, and I dont over oil the filter. The ONE good thing Ill say about the FIPK is the throatiness of the engine when I get on it.

If you start having problems with the coils, go back to stock. I read the other day of people having problems after a friend of mine ran into problems with his. I thought he may have blown his engine, but he sent me a picture of his coils and as soon as I saw they were yellow I told him he had a 70% chance that the coils were his problem. Sure enough...

Changing shift points keeps you in the torque curve and can improve driveability. I had a couple of tunes for my automatic Mustang that I tried and didn't like them. I would need to do it on my own to be happy, but getting shift points right, especially at normal throttle, makes a huge difference to me. I am not talking WOT either as I rarely drive at WOT. I am lucky to get to the speed limit where I live now. :)

I know what you mean about the sound with the K&N. Made a big difference in sound on my Mustang with a JLT CAI and K&N.