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Old 11-12-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
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a safer way 2 chg AT fluid w/175K ?

OUESTION:a safer way 2 chg AT fluid w/175K ?
I assume this question may apply to all or most A/T's regardless of make. My application is for the following:1989 E250 w/od .
I ve made a dozen queries to service departments around southern california.
Most said
"if I havent serviced the AT regularly(?miles) ,they said this :
"Whether a drain or flush ,there is a RISK of the new fluid(4-14 qts+-) dislodging particle buildup in the A/T and possibly allowing some particles to lodge somewhere new and really screwing the AT up.
I have only drained the AT once in 175K.
They all suggested I do nothing and wait (and see what happens).

Even the addition of as little as 4 quarts with the pan/filter change is enough to break crud loose and could make things worse.

So..To keep the new fluid from releasing so much crud in a short interval of time,how about reducing the shock effect that even 4 qts may have by adding smaller amounts of fluid along the way?

Here's my idea:
Slowly, over some mileage interval, remove a small amount ATF (1qt for example)through the dip stick tube and introduce 1 new qt ?

It would seem that by doing it this way it would be less likely to dislodge too much crud all at once .

This is the only way I can figure out how to change the fluid and avoid or reduce the sudden release of crud buildup which MAY ruin the AT.

Any experts on this?

.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:55 PM   #2
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What are your thoughts about the filter? Your filter will/should pick up the dislodge particles and shortly block the filter. Instead gravity drain how about sucking the oil out. I find this interesting so please keep us updated on this.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:34 PM   #3
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I'm just not buying that, and have no idea why anyone would say such a thing.
Auto transmissions are well sealed, they don't atract a lot of crud, and they typically have very long change intervals.

Change the fluid and filter, by dropping the pan. clean the pan replace the filter, check the magnet for stuff and clean it off, put it back together fill it up and be done. No worries unless the fuid is discolored or smells burned.
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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i heard the same thing many years ago. was it true then? dont know. is it true now? still dont know. pull the dipstick and smell the fluid. if burned, change it and the filter. if not, its a crap shoot.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:56 PM   #5
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I think the way I would approach this problem is to first have the transmission flushed. After this work, drop the pan ans change the filter. If anything breaks loos during the flush, the filter should catch it. By changing the filter last, you have a better chance of catching the crud. Of course, more could turn loos later.

The E4OD and 4R100 are both decent transmissions if you keep them serviced on regular intervals and also keep the transmission oil cool.

Ken
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
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Many old timers will say that a trans service on an older vehicle with little or no service history will cause premature trans failure. It's not because crud gets into the trans, actually it's just the opposite. The cleaning additives in old trans fluid break down over time and cause varnish build up to develop on the clutches. When new fluid is introduced, the cleaning additives cut through the varnish buildup and cause the clutches to literally fall apart. IMHO a trans flush or service on an older transmission with little or no service history can be very risky.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:53 PM   #7
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I believe the way I heard it was not that crud would cause problems but that new oil and a clean filter will increase internal pressure and cause failure. I wouldn't believe this if I hadn't heard it from more than one reliable transmission tech. Sometimes it's best to leave sleeping dogs alone they may bite.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanabee FTer View Post
Many old timers will say that a trans service on an older vehicle with little or no service history will cause premature trans failure. It's not because crud gets into the trans, actually it's just the opposite. The cleaning additives in old trans fluid break down over time and cause varnish build up to develop on the clutches. When new fluid is introduced, the cleaning additives cut through the varnish buildup and cause the clutches to literally fall apart. IMHO a trans flush or service on an older transmission with little or no service history can be very risky.
This is a fact.... Basically, the new fluid will be thinner and more slippery than the old fluid, so its Very risky to change it if very far past due... Believe me I'd love to change ours on a 95 P30 Chevy chasis, but even though the trans has been replaced by the original owner, I won't risk it with approx 60 K on the trans... In my case , the fluid looks new,,, (not burnt or such) , so I guess we'll go for it...
Do your research, and make your own choice.... But most say if its old, leave it alone... This from current up-to-date mechanics... Newer transmissions are more sensitive to changes...
Darel
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:48 PM   #9
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This is a hard one because I would not tell somebody to change the fluid on a E04D with that many miles on it. You are between a a rock and a hard spot. I have run into this before an have a friend that has a tranny rebuild shop and he says if the Ford/Chevy/Dodge transmission has not had the fluid changed in over a 100K miles then don't do it. He says he has seen a lot of failures because of it. The question here is what do you do if the transmission fluid is burnt and is brown and smells. Well if it is like that then you are going to need an overhaul real soon anyhow. The crud being talked about here is mainly clutch debris or dust created by clutch plate wear. You will find it in the pan everytime you take the pan off. As far a Chevy with 60-70K miles if it was mine then I would change it because that is not too excesive. 100K miles is considered ecessive by my friend. As far as Palmsprings and your high milege it would take you forever to change 100% of your fluid at one quart at a time. Every time you drain one quart out and add another it dilutes way down. so next time you drain another quart only about 1/10 of that drained quart is going to be new fluid. i think that is a wasted effort. Now on the other hand there are transmissions that go forever without being required to change fluid. BMW is one of those. They don't even have a dipstick anymore. If it was my E04D with super high mileage I would leave it alone. If you have a tranny like those that is in a MH or a tow vehicle then that is considered severe duty and you should be changing the fluid at every 35-45K miles.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:56 PM   #10
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So Mike, with my 4L80E trans behind a 350, with 60K miles, you would suggest changing the fluid/filter???? Thanks,, Darel

PS,, only had this MH a few months, being an ex hottrodder/aircraft mech,,, I understand some mechanical things... I do plan on installing a temp gauge next spring on the trans....
I might add the fluid looks and smells just fine....
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:45 PM   #11
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Monkey. If it was my transmission 60k miles
then I would change it based what I have told from my very good transmission guy. I think it is safe.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:47 PM   #12
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Monkey. If it was my transmission 60k miles
then I would change it based what I have told from my very good transmission guy. I think it is safe.
Thanks Mike....
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:26 AM   #13
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My 79 Pace Arrow has 48k miles. Turbo 400 transmission. Fluid looks good but it was parked since 1997 PO said but previous inspection ran out in 1994. Thoughts on fluid change since it set so long?
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanabee FTer View Post
Many old timers will say that a trans service on an older vehicle with little or no service history will cause premature trans failure. It's not because crud gets into the trans, actually it's just the opposite. The cleaning additives in old trans fluid break down over time and cause varnish build up to develop on the clutches. When new fluid is introduced, the cleaning additives cut through the varnish buildup and cause the clutches to literally fall apart. IMHO a trans flush or service on an older transmission with little or no service history can be very risky.
We have a winner !!!

ASE Master here, since 1984. Rebuilt many trans myself. Run a shop now, with a fluid exchange machine. 50/50 chance of causing the trans to start slippng in gear(s). Flip of a coin.

"I" won't take that chance for you. Unless..... "you" sign the repair order (after I descibe the potential outcome on it) that states you understand, and waive any warranty or damage claims.

The 1-2 qt trade every 200 miles is an approach I have performed on the many dozens of vehicles I have owned.

I do it till the fluid looks red enough, then leave it alone. I don't pull the pan and swap the filter unless the fluid looks decent to start with. This way I feel more comfortable knowing I have better fluid inside, that will take the heat, and lubricate the parts again.

Old, burnt fluid lost most of its lubricating properties.

As a matter of fact, we just "redid" a flush on a 236k mile Toyota Avalon for a fellow that "said" he understood the potential problems. 1 flush was not enough to clean it all out, and after driving it a couple months, we had to do it again to get the fluid red.

Now he will likely have a failure any time now.
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