How to change the fluid in your ATX

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Guides (For How-to guides, NOT how-to ' started by SHOZ123, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. SHOZ123

    SHOZ123 SHO Member

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    Here is how I do it.

    1. You may still spill some fluid when dropping the pan. Best just spread out the oil dry before starting.

    2. Jack up the car and place on jack stands.

    3. Next disconnect the line on the drivers side of the aux ATX cooler. Put the tranny side line in a five gallon bucket. Attach a piece of 3/8" hose to the cooler where you just disconnected the line and place it in the bucket.

    4. Start the engine and wait until the fluid almost stops. There will be a definite difference in the amount flowing out.

    5. Stop the engine.

    6. Start loosening the bolts on the pan. There is still 3-4 quarts in the pan. Position a drain pan under the tranny pan and on the drivers side. Loosen and remove all the bolts but two on the passenger side. This will let the drivers side tip down as you then slowly loosen the remaining two. After the pan is mostly down and the fluid is in the drain pan remove the pan completely and replace the filter. Be sure to remove the rubber ring that will stick up in the tranny filter mount. Just bend it in with a screwdriver and pull it out with a needle nose. Do not scratch the aluminum tranny filter holding housing.

    7. Reusing the OEM gasket and in a three pass sequence progressively tighten every other bolt until all are tightened. Do not over tighten as they really just need to be snug. Use a 1/4" ratchet drive socket.

    8. Then add 10 quarts. Start the motor and wait until it almost stops pumping fluid out or until you see new fluid coming out. Better to waste a quart or two of new fluid to insure all the old stuff is out.

    9. When the flow has almost stopped, shut off the engine and reconnect the hoses.

    10. Add 5 quarts, idle motor and check level keeping it on the low side on the dipstick.

    11. Then drive the car for a while to heat up the tranny fluid and recheck and top off the fluid.


    The pan gasket is reusable if it is the OEM rubber one. Total system capacity is around 14-15 quarts. Buy a couple of extra quarts to get all the old stuff out.

    I've since put in a drain plug. They are cheap and all you need is a 1/2" drill bit to install them.
     
  2. HighSpeed

    HighSpeed Low Drag

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    I noticed on ur sig, u have an mtx. This is how one will do it for an atx, correct? Where did u install the drain plug for an atx? The atx tranny pan is too thin, no? I have an mtx.
     
  3. Tommy's SHO

    Tommy's SHO SHO Member #535

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    When you get a chance, may you post a pic of the tranny pan with the location of the drain plug. Thanks.
     
  4. SHOZ123

    SHOZ123 SHO Member

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    This procedure is out of the Ford CD and has been streamlined by me. It is for the '97 but the procedure will be the same for the Gen 2 ATX.

    The drain plug I used is easy to install and is a two piece one. Drill a 1/2" hole and insert plug. On the inside put on the gasket and tighten the nut. Nothing too it and no threading needed.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. DavidT

    DavidT SHO Member

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    Hmmm. I failed to follow this one Sunday afternoon :oogle: There really was NO way not to scratch and mar the housing trying to pry/tap a flathead screwdriver up in there. It was STUCK...
    Figures... I shoulda known to leave this to the "experts", of course, what would they care if they scratched it up too? :rolleyes:
    What are the drawbacks of scratching the surface? (the scratch, or should I say, "gash"), is about 1/4 inch below where the top of the gasket is.
     
  6. SHOZ123

    SHOZ123 SHO Member

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    Well if the scratch is deep and long enough the tranny will pull air past the new aluminum ring.

    If you truly have a deep gash use some JB Weld to fill it in.
     
  7. TimboSHO

    TimboSHO Novice

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    You do not need to replace the filter when you change/flush the fluid unless you are having drivability issues or there is noticable damage to it. You can simply clean them out with mineral spirits, let air dry (or use and air gun to blow them out) and reuse. I work at a transmissioin shop, and we only replace filters on vehicles that have metal flakes in the tranny or ones that are broken. If you want to replace your filter, you are more than welcome to, but it's an extra $40 you don't need to spend. Other than that, THIS IS THE PROPER WAY to completely flush your automatic transmission. Thank you SHOZ123, and good work.
     
  8. SHOtimer

    SHOtimer #2910

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    Why would you not want to do a complete job and not change the filter? IMHO, that is not doing a complete job....

    Doug
     
  9. TimboSHO

    TimboSHO Novice

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    You are still doing a complete job, it's just if you don't have major chunks of internals floating around in your transmission, the filter is still good. Just picture the transmission filter as a K&N air filter; you never have to change those things, you just clean them out every once in awhile. :thumb:
     
  10. SHOZ123

    SHOZ123 SHO Member

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    For a $15 filter I change every 30k miles I can't see re-using them.
     
  11. SHOGrabber

    SHOGrabber SHO Member

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    Paul
    When you disconect the return line to go into a bucket. What about rigging up a 5 gallon bucket up in the air on a stand, with a fitting to connect to the line going back to the trans and then fill with about 17 qt and start the car. Then shut it off right before the bucket goes dry. :corn:
     
  12. SHOZ123

    SHOZ123 SHO Member

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    How are you going to take off the pan and change the filter?
     
  13. SHOGrabber

    SHOGrabber SHO Member

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    Not sure what you mean. But I'm not talkin about changing the filter. I'm talkin about being like the so called power flush they do at the oil change places. Fluid going in as it comes out. :biggrin:
     
  14. TimboSHO

    TimboSHO Novice

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    Even before you do the flush, you'd still want to drop the pan and clean the filter (or change it if you so please). You just want to make sure there's no debris in the bottom of your pan that you should be worrying about. And instead of rigging the fitting to go back into your trans, you could just put the fluid back in the dipstick hole. At out shop, we put about 5 quarts in, start the car up, wait for the fluid coming out of the return line to sputter, then put another 5 in. Then wait until the fluid coming out is the same color as the fluid going in (if it sputters, keep putting more in) and then shut off the car. It usually takes around 14 qts. to flush, then hook the return line back up and fill up the trans.
     
  15. SHOZ123

    SHOZ123 SHO Member

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    If you are just going to replace the fluid you can put the suction hose directly into a container of new fluid. As the old goes out the new will be sucked in.

    But this doesn't change the filter or clean out the pan. Don't know why people do this. The dealers do it to make the most money they can with the least amount of labor. Would you do this to you engine oil?
     
  16. SHOGrabber

    SHOGrabber SHO Member

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    O.K. let me explain myself a little more because I failed to mention it twice I guess. I already changed my filter the last time and then went and had it flushed. So I know the filter is clean. Only the magnet may have some stuff on it. I have changed filters in many different trans and still yet to find anything in the filters. More than just the SHO's. Rear wheel and front wheel cars and trucks. As far as finding anything in the pan. Like I said, I have never found anything in a trans filter, only stuff on a magnet. If you found big enough particals of something,(a few) and the trans was moveing the car and not slipping when you dropped the pan. Are you really going to stop and take the trans out? Not me. I'm going to drive it till it goes out.
    Just like I said in a form of a question more or less, and then you saying the same thing that I did. Was to rig up a clean bucket with enough fluid already in it and rig it to the suction line and put the other line to a bucket or pan to catch the other 17 qt of old fluid or whatever. It would be just like the so called power flush at the oil change places. Right? That was my statement slash question before. Not anything about a filter. Sorry for the confusion. :salute:
    I think this is the way to go instead of letting the trans go somewhat empty with air and filling in the tube.
    So if you know you got a clean filter. You could do this every 5,000, 10,000 or 15,000 mi or even every spring. Whatever a person would prefer. You wouldn't have the mess(fluid all over) with the filter everytime.
    This all sound good?
     
  17. SHOZ123

    SHOZ123 SHO Member

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    I use synthetic that cost ~$110 for a flush. Do it every 30k. Change the filter and I'm done till the next 30k.

    BTW the flush method described is from the Ford CD and I don't worry about the lack of fluid when doing this. You never run the tranny completely dry.
     
  18. 38SHO

    38SHO #1 Oil Abuser

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    except stock taurus transmissions have lubrication issues and letting mother nature weld up your planetaries is not so cool.

    Drop the pan, change the filter, and be done with it. I would recromend starting to take the bolts off on the passenger side first though then working to the driver's side. The transmission pan is smaller there and lets the fluid out in a more precise manner, almost like a funnel.

    I have seen many dirty nasty filters before and its good to change... who here doesn't change their oil filter ever oil change you do? For something so cheap and easy it is nice to keep it maintained.
     
  19. SHOZ123

    SHOZ123 SHO Member

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    Like I have said many times this is the Ford recommended procedure.
     
  20. SHOZ123

    SHOZ123 SHO Member

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    This is from the '95 Ford service manual for the AX4S and AX4N.


    Procedures for drain and refill, due to in-vehicle service operation, are as follows:


    Drain

    1. Raise vehicle on hoist or jackstands.

    2. Disconnect cooler inlet line from radiator fitting or top auxiliary cooler fitting. Install 5/16 or 3/8 inch ID hose over end of cooler line and put opposite end into drain pan. Lower vehicle.

    3. CAUTION: Shut engine off as soon as the fluid has stopped being pumped out to prevent damage to the transaxle.

    Start engine with transaxle in PARK. Run engine between idle and 1500 rpm for approximately 4 minutes or until transaxle fluid is no longer being pumped out of hose. Shut off engine.

    4. Add 8.5 liters (10 quarts) of MERCON® fluid into transaxle through fill tube.

    5. CAUTION: Shut engine off as soon as the fluid has stopped being pumped out to prevent damage to the transaxle.

    Start engine with transaxle in PARK. Run engine between idle and 1500 rpm for approximately 4 minutes or until transaxle fluid is no longer being pumped out of hose. Shut off engine.


    Refill

    1. Reattach cooler line to fitting and tighten to proper specification. Lower vehicle.

    2. CAUTION: Add in 0.25 liter (1/2 pint) increments after adding the 2.1 liters (2 1/2 quarts). DO NOT OVERFILL! If fluid is above crosshatched area of dipstick, fluid must be removed.

    Add 2.1 liters (2 1/2 quarts) of MERCON® fluid to the transaxle through the fill tube. Start engine. Move transaxle range selector lever through all gear ranges.
     

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