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Old 02-25-2013, 11:17 AM   #1
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Transmission fluid change ?

How many quarts and what type do y'all recommend?
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:45 PM   #2
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Need more information. Are you pulling the transmission or is this just a pan drop and filter change? Complete flush and drain of cooler? Which trany do you have? 4L60 or 4L80?

Could range anywhere from 5 quarts to 11 quarts depending on the above.

As for type, just use any quality brand name ATF that's type Dexron/Mercon.The newest standard for Dexron is DEXRONŽ VI. It's completely backwards compatable all the way back to DEXRONŽ II.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #3
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Plus if your just starting out with the rig....establish a base line.
Start by dropping the pan, replace the filter, then a complete power flush to replace ALL the fluid. Torque converter, cooler and lines.

If not equipped, a remote transmission temp gauge/filter would be a worthwhile add-on.

Bob
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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I don't know which tranny I have. I have been a Ford guy for my whole life so these Chevy/foreign trannies are greek to me so I need a little schooling. I am only doing a complete fluid change with filter. (92 chevy 454 auto p 30 chassis) Is there a drain plug on the torque converter?
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:44 PM   #5
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You must drop the pan to get to the filter. No drain on the pan on most units and the only way to drain the torque converter is to pull the trany. You likely have a 4L60 or 4L80 transmission. Not sure which though. If you're only dropping the pan and replacing the filter, then you'll need about 5-8 quarts depending on the trany type.

To replace the filter you'll need to loosen ALL the screws and then pull enough screws out to tilt the pan in one direction to drain most of the fluid out one corner of the pan into a bucket. Getting the pan seal to break loose is sometimes a challenge. Don't bend the pan lip. Once you have most of the fluid out you can remove the remaining screws and drop the whole pan assembly straight to the ground. Have a replacement pan gasket and filter ready. You don't want to introduce any dirt or stir up the fluid in the bottom of the pan until it's removed from the trany. Clean the pan out good thoroughly and check the magnet in the pan for metal. Small shavings are normal but any big pieces indicates issues. Old fluid should look red with no burnt smell.

Once the new filter and pan is replaced you need to add back fluid. Fill the trany through the dipstick tube. You can start with 4 quarts and then start the engine. Run the trany through D and R a few times. Check the fluid level with the engine running. There should be a COLD and HOT indicator on the dipstick. Add to the cold level at first. Add additional fluid a little at a time until it's at the correct level. You may have to run the dipstick in and out a few times to clear the tube of fluid to get a good reading. Do not over fill. Each time you add fluid run the trany through D and R a few times. Once you think you're at the correct level you need to run the trany through all the gears. Check the fluid level again. Top up and repeat the drive through again as needed. You're done when the level is good and remains steady after being driven. Run the engine for a while. By then it should be between the COLD and HOT level.

I would recommend picking up a P30 GM chassis manual for the future.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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If fluid is red and doesn't smell burnt, does it need changing. PO put on an external filter mounted in front of the radiator on mine. Never did see a schedule to do it routinely.
I changed the motor oil when I bought just to have a baseline of an oil change, with all the papers from PO the last 3 yrs of ownership was mostly sitting without miles added.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:18 PM   #7
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I was wondering, on my fords I just remove the supply line or warmest to the trans cooler and stick it in a large container ,start the engine and let it pump out.To save from the mess. Will it hurt the GM tranny?
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:04 PM   #8
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Be aware that the last couple of Dexron iterations have a NORMAL brown color to them after they have been in service for a few thousand. A lot of people see this and think it is burnt. If someone has serviced it with Dexron V or IV (IIRC) you may see dark fluid that is normal. Still shouldn't smell any different than new though.

I'd use Dexron VI. It is a full synthetic and is markedly better than its predecessors.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:07 PM   #9
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I was wondering, on my fords I just remove the supply line or warmest to the trans cooler and stick it in a large container ,start the engine and let it pump out.To save from the mess. Will it hurt the GM tranny?
No just do it one quart, (no more than 2) at a time so you don't suck air up through the filter. Doubt it would hurt anything in park anyway, but I think the more of a solid column of fluid you can maintain, the more of the old you can actually replace. JMHO
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:33 AM   #10
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No just do it one quart, (no more than 2) at a time so you don't suck air up through the filter. Doubt it would hurt anything in park anyway, but I think the more of a solid column of fluid you can maintain, the more of the old you can actually replace. JMHO

I have used the starter to get as much fluid out of a tranny as possible.
15 seconds/time on a charger.

After installing the Tekonsha gauge/filter.

I was on a 3 year flush schedule, after an initial 15k internal filter change, pan drop at 60k for another filter. External trans filter changed at every LOF.

Question though....would you only change 1/2 your engine oil or antifreeze?

Bob
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:51 AM   #11
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I would think if you started your engine and opened the trans line you would almost completely empty the trans and after you have it filled with new you would run about a quart out and then hook it back up and top it off. Would that not completely change it?
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:54 AM   #12
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I would think if you started your engine and opened the trans line you would almost completely empty the trans and after you have it filled with new you would run about a quart out and then hook it back up and top it off. Would that not completely change it?
No, once the pump draws air, no more will come out of the torque converter and line.

Bob's way is convenient, if you have a filter.

I would: Drain the pan and change the filter...let it drip completely. This will get out 4 - 6 quarts maybe, depending on the trans.

Go up top and add the amount that came out of the pan. The fresh will all sit (ok, most of it) in the pan.

Crank, not start, truck and let about 1 - 2 quarts of fluid fill a container from the trans cooler RETURN line at the trans.

Stop cranking and refill sump.

Repeat until the near entire specified amount of OVERHAUL trans capacity is added in this manner.

Reattach line and check for leaks.

This gets MOST of the old fluid out. Some bypasses the torque converter and cooler and goes straight out of the pump to lubricate the shafts, provide hydraulic pressure for clutch applies and for valve body to do its hydraulic thing. So you'll never get every drop changed out, but this is about as good as it gets for the DIYer.

Did I miss anything Bob?
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:29 AM   #13
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"Did I miss anything Bob?"

Nope....but I would expect nothing less.
You are much higher on the GM Totem than I was.

Bob
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:32 AM   #14
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"Did I miss anything Bob?"

Nope....but I would expect nothing less.
You are much higher on the GM Totem than I was.

Bob
Yeah, I don't know about that!!!!! Seriously! And I don't think this process was ever in a service manual. It's driveway tribal methodology!
GM would've had a $25,000 machine as a required dealer tool for this.
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