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Old 06-20-2021, 08:34 PM   #1
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Transmission oil change, help!!!

I got a 21 years old Fleetwood Flair P30 chassis GM 454.
The transmission shifts very good but the temperature is a little high, 200F, I believe I should change the transmission oil by age, because I got just $32,000 miles.
The problem is I don't know how to do it I have so many questions and I could not find on a videos on YouTube, if you could help me to answer some of those questions I sincerely appreciate it

1- what kind of oil should I use to be under factory specifications.

2- I don't know how to flush the system, but I'm planning to drain twice, I do have a drain plug, and I'm planning to do it before and after new filter. ???

3- how many quarts without a flush, what is the correct way to measure the quantity by looking in the stick.

4- filter specifications

5- gasket specification

6- torque specification

7- max temperature in the transmission radiator located in the front, in a hot day!

Thank you to respond my thread
As you see I never done this before it is always a first time and I want to do right.

Thanks to you I'm going to do it
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:50 PM   #2
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If you have a 4L80E trans....(you may have an Allison though)

DEX VI or DEX/Mercon fluid

That fluid has replaced the previously used DEX III fluid in the 4L80E. It also extends the drain interval. You'll need to get a pan that is slightly bigger than the trans pan size.

Start by loosening all the bolts (should be 17) but not removing them completely. Fluid will begin to come out all around and down into your pan. Once it slows start removing the bolts rear side most from side to side. Get the trans pan to tilt down on the rear end.

Once the fluid slows you'll still have fluid in the pan and need to carefully hold it during removal of all the remaining bolts. Then lower it down by hand and empty into pan.

Are you certain the drain plug is the trans drain plug? Most 4L80Es do not come from the factory with one.

You can look up the filter on Rockauto. Be sure and get the one that corresponds to your trans (ban bolt number). WIX is a great one to use.

The torque specs is very low if I recal. Not much beyond finger tight. Always start the bolts by hand first.

Does your RV have a trans cooler? Post up a pic of the area to the front of the ac condensor.

As for amount of fluid required. I seem to remember that a dry trans (virgin) required roughly 13 quarts. A simple pan drop with filter change removed approximately 7-8 quarts. Start with 6 then check the stick.

One important note....

Given your are dropping the pan take a close look at the trans connector on the side of the transmission. Do you see any red fluid? You shouldn't Unplug it as well and look. If you see fluid it means the connector on the inside is cracked and will need replacing. Not a difficult job once the trans pan is off. If you replace the wire harness I highly recommend doing both the shift solenoids as well (A & B).

Any fluid going into the connector will cause all sorts of shift issue/s. This was a known issue with the 4L80E. Aside from that it is a very stout trans.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:10 AM   #3
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Change the search parameters to focus on the transmission model rather than the chassis or who the house builder might have been, plus what udidwht posted.

Also do a detailed inspection of the radiator sandwich. Besides a fluid drain and fill you might need to clean the radiator(s) to get the temps back down to what you are used to seeing. And no pressure washing as the high pressure can damage the cooling fins.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:56 AM   #4
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Great thank you!

I will make some pictures of my transmission to see if you could identify, have a wonderful day!
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:06 AM   #5
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Great thank you!

I will make some pictures of my transmission to see if you could identify, have a wonderful day!
IF you will post the last 8 digits (only) of the chassis vin # that begins with "5B4", I will DL the "build sheet" and tell you exactly what chassis components you have.
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:29 AM   #6
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Just curious. Does this tranny have a Torque Converter? I think most likely, then how do you drain the torque converter?
I am NOT a mechanic but I seem to remember that the torque converter holds most of the oil, maybe not in this case. And, even if the TC does not get drained, you could just drain the tranny again after driving it for awhile and then again maybe, who knows how many times in order to get fresh oil in the system.
Again, I am just asking questions for future use. Thank you.


EDIT: I heard that most TC's do not have a drain plug
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Old 06-21-2021, 12:39 PM   #7
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If you have the 4L80E as suggested above, here is a You Tube video on how to service it. You can look at the video and see if the transmission pan shown, looks like yours, indicating you have the 4L80E. The pan in the video does not have a drain plug, so your procedure is much simpler. If it's a different pan, then you most likely have the Allison, but.....I don't think the Allison was offered back then.

If you want to do a reasonably good service, drain the fluid and refill the transmission. If you're not sure how much it takes, as you add new fluid to the trans, refill the empty containers with the old fluid. This will give you a pretty close measurement of what you need.

Drive the RV around the neighborhood for a few minutes and then drain the fluid again. If you're not sure, a part store or GM may be able to run your VIN and give you the correct gasket and filter kit.

Remove the pan, replace the filter and gasket and refill. Drive it until the trans gets hot and check the fluid level.

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Old 06-21-2021, 01:10 PM   #8
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If you're changing the filter you have to drop the pan. Here is my procedure. Drain the pan, quantify the oil that drained 4, 6 , 8 quarts, whatever drains out. Install the new filter , sealer or gasket on the pan, bolt it back on. Add back the amount of fluid you drained. Now go to the transmission cooler up front, usually inside the lower radiator tank. Determine which hose is the return to the trany and which is pressure from it. A quick tap of the key should dump a little from the hose. Not a disaster even if it fires. Have the hoses in a bucket. Now reattach the return to the cooler. Now run the motor long enough to pump 2 quarts into your drain vessel. Time it. Shut the motor off, add 2 quarts in the filler tube. Repeat until you've changed about 2 quarts more than it's total capacity. ( ie holds 16 quarts, buy eighteen) reattach the line and check your fluid level. Top off or drain a little if you missed measured a little. This gives you a complete fluid change without disturbing any imbedded friction material throughout the trans.
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:37 PM   #9
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I prefer to do a simple fluid change. The fluid doesn't "wear out", it just gets a bit dirty and (more importantly) the additives in it lose their effectiveness. If there's excessive stuff in the fluid it can stop the filter up, depending on filter design. And the main reason for a fluid for me, to see what kind of debris is in the pan which will give an indicator ot the health of the transmission. So a simple fluid change works for me.

Pan bolts are happy at no more than 10 foot pounds. The case is very easy to strip the threads out of. Doing so will turn a simple maintenance job into a bad day. On transmissions like the 4L80E, once the pan is secured by a couple of bolts, I will tighten all the pan bolts around like clock hands travel. Just barely tight. (I use a "speed handle" for this", small chance of overtightening with one of those.) Then another round to where I feel they are nicely snug. Then the last round where you will actually start using a torque wrench. If you are using a cork gasket sometimes a fourth snug is needed. With a reusable steel-cored rubber gasket or a fiber/paper gasket usually two rounds are sufficient. Most "filter kits" at your local parts store come with a rubber gasket that I can't advise you one because I always thrown them away. Other folks seem to like them all right, but I don't and throw them away.

Incidentally a version of what shootist describes in the previous post is in fact a factory correct service procedure on some vehicles that don't have "pans" or accessible filters to be changed. For example a 2004 Mitsubishi Eclipse (for which I happen to have the factory service information on hand.) Basically take off a transmission cooler line. Doesn't matter which one except for planning the placement of your catch pan. Have someone start the engine normally in Park. Watch the fluid flow out of the line and hopefully where you intended. The second the line starts spitting air yell for the other person to quickly shut the engine off. Drained. At that point some folks might run some flush and compressed air through the cooler. Not a bad idea. "Flush" tends to be rubbing alcohol in a handy spray can. For anyone who might Google this up, Mitsubishi says not to do that. Their and other Asian radiator of that era tend to have rather delicate insides and compressed air may damage them. That precaution does NOT apply the hulking great radiators in our older RV's.

I don't personally see any value in machine flushing or trying to get ALL the fluid out. Though I certainly have used the above methos. Like engine oil, I believe there's no such thing as changing it too much or too often though. Whatever gives you peace of mind will be about right. Following the manufacturer's recommendations is rarely wrong. For me, another fluid change about this time next year would be more than good enough.
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:22 AM   #10
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...... The fluid doesn't "wear out", it just gets a bit dirty and (more importantly) the additives in it lose their effectiveness..........
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:33 AM   #11
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Just a thought to share that I have done in the past, when you drop the pan to drain the fluid and change the filter, install a drain plug in the pan and in a location that will not interfere with hitting anything (it needs an inch or so clearance inside). Then, every other oil change (or sooner if you like) drain the transmission and refill it again, that way over time you will have diluted all of the old fluid almost completely and have new fluid in place. ~CA
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:41 AM   #12
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Motor oil doesn't wear out either. This is how and why they can sell "recycled" motor oil. In the industry the call the additives "add packs". Anti shear additives, detergents, viscosity enhancers, all kinds of stuff. Choices of exactly what additives to put in and what quantities of them are the only real difference between motor oil brands. (Shh, big secret.) "Brands", not standard versus synthetic, diesel oil, outboard oil etc. Just like, say, between Mobil 1 5w-20 and Castrol Magnatec 5W-20 for example. The additives and the bottles are the only real differences between those two.
If you want to know about such esoteric stuff there's a site called "bobistheoilguy" that's pretty much a flood of information and discussion.
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