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Transmission service

wabos42wabos42 Posts: 2
edited March 6 in Lincoln
I recently purchased a 95 TC with 73k miles. The previous owner kept pretty good records and they indicate that the vehicle was serviced regularly except for the 60k transmission service. My local dealer is running a $99 'special' to flush and replace the fluid but wants $160 to do that and replace the filter. As I am not having any problems would the $99 sevice be adequate or would I be wise to go ahead and replace the filter also?


  • If you fluid still looks good you can probably just get away with replacing the filter and about three quarts of fluid. The filter is at intake of the pump and even minor restrictions can effect shifting. Shop aound, I think you can get a better price than that. If the color isn't a nice pink get the flush and filter.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    However have a transmission specialty shop do it. I had a drain, fill and filter replacement done recently for only $50.00. Unless the fluid smells burnt that should be all you need.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    Your TC has a drain plug on the torque converter so it is possible to pull the pan, replace the filter, drain the converter, and refill with fresh fluid - around 11 or 12 quarts. That would be an option and I have done that with every Ford product I have ever owned.

    The transmission engineer who frequents the LS board is a strong advocate of the flush method, however. So, with my LS, I had the flush performed at around 35,000 miles and left the pan and filter intact. At around 70k, I will have the full service done, pull the pan, change the filter, and flush. That is the process recommended by my dealer.

    If I were you, I would go for the full service - flush and filter.
  • wabos42wabos42 Posts: 2
    I opted to have the 'full' service, drain and refill all of the fluids to include the torque converter, and replace the filter. No problems were found so I feel pretty good about the service as it relates to preventative maintenance.
    Thanks for the responses.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    However, I feel you should change the filter after the flush but no service shop will do that becasue it wastes clean fluid just placed in during the flush. However how much gunk is flushed into a new filter and then left there if you don't change the filter after the flush?????
  • It never hurts to service the tranny. I've burned out several in my lifetime skimping on the service. No longer. Haven't had to rebuild one since I stopped neglecting them. I'd do it all.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    It can be done cheaply, will replace half the fluid and keep it in good quality. I've never had any transmission problems since I do a drain and replace filter every 15K.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    On a modern 4 speed the rebuild/reman replacement cost is aproaching $3,000, on a 5 speed it is over $4,000 on the new BMW/Jag/MB 6 speed AT it is over $5,000.
    What is $200 per year in flush/fliter change. I am constantly trying to think of things: external filter, external additional cooler, synthetic ATF, LubeGuard additive, spend more than the $200! Every year's maintenance defers the big hit!
  • I have a Ford Conversion with a 4R70 transmission , 7000 miles on vehicle , has anybody any information on this blended synthetic , I tow heavy occasionally and would like to bring temp. down a bit , does anybody know if my torque converter has a drain on it? If it don't can I mix the Pennzoil synthetic blend with existing fluid , already bought 12 qts at $2.75/ qt. Kept turning engine over and looking for drain plug on converter , pulled the rubber plug , still can't see the plug , will have to get someone to stay underneath vehicle as I keep clicking key .. any comments on any of this ... Larry says thanks
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    theoretically it might make a fractional difference that results in a couple degrees... except... that transmission fluid has modified viscosity to provide some "sticky", and if it's going to work in the tranny, it will have a designed energy loss, thus generate about the same amount of heat. what you are going to get is longer protection against oxidation with a synthetic.

    if you tow, you need a larger than stock transmission oil cooler by the radiator. no arguments accepted, it is God's rigid law. if you didn't get one by virtue of having the van built with the "towing package," you need to add it after the fact. you should also consider a supplemental oil cooler as well.

    Ford and GM towing packages include this, plus the control relays for extra load on the signal lights which spares the brake and turn signal switch life... larger battery/alternator... heavier suspension... larger radiator capacity... generally also heavier brake systems... and they were engineered together to reduce the load on engine and running/stopping gear to about what it would be on the same car in normal service per square inch of metal/amount of friction/expected service life.

    if you want to use synthetic because you want to, have fun and spend hearty. if you don't want to melt the van down under load, beef it up now.
  • Hello ,
    Swschard I appreciate your response ,
    I don't tow everyday but when I do it's right up to the Max allowable by specs , when I waqs looking for a vehicle I ended up buying a Ford Conversion Van it's a 2000 E250 , the 250 has the 16 inch tires discs all the way around , it has a factory transmission cooler , I,m not sure but was told at time of purchase that all E250,s have a towing package , so I accepted that , although I had to put a hitch on myself , I figured it must have heavier duty parts as you indicated becayse why would Ford put a transmission cooler on if it did,nt have a towing package (bigger radiator , heavier alternator and relays ) as you have suggested ... Any comments on this ... thanks , Larry
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    but I knew it had the towing package, as I definitely looked for that, and would not have bought a vehicle without the $355.00 trailer towing package and 3.73 LS axle. there were 60 other units on the lot and 36 coming that I wanted no part of. it makes a difference, especially when towing at max rating... one pull up a hill can take 50,000 or more miles off the tranny in one shot if it overheats.

    all automatic trannies have a radiator-located cooling assembly for the transmission fluid. the difference is in the size, as determined from the assembly code number, and sometimes location. in my case, if I had a standard A4 transmission and standard radiator, I sort of remember from looking under vehicles in the back lot that they had the standard assembly technique, the ATF cooler built within the frame of the radiator. the HD towing rig had to mount the ATF cooler behind a larger unit radiator with only the radiator connections in the assembly. the engine oil supplemental cooler, a much smaller dingus the size of a paperback book, was located under the radiator assembly.

    you can always add a supplemental cooler with hoses ahead of the radiator if you have to, but it's not as protected and integrated and wasn't tested as a unit to insure no warranty hassles if warranty is needed.

    there should have been a pass-through paper from Ford, the chassis maker, showing the equipment on the conversion vehicle as supplied to your converter. if that says trailer towing, cool. that van should have enough weight and frame to control the load, as long as you don't try squealing around corners on two wheels or something... but without the full buildout, which to me always includes the lower-ratio axle for more torque (screw the mileage, gain the dead-start torque and better engine braking with the OD turned off) and towing enhancements, it won't last.

    and I typically run my vehicles until I have gotten my money back out of them ;)

    BTW, do please plan on always clicking OFF overdrive when hooking up that tow, you will beat up the clutches and have dangerously less control of the vehicle if you try and pull with OD on. one of the secrets of not having troubles is to always shake your head and say, "screw the mileage" with a tow on and a choice of options in how to drive. that's right up there with the law of gravity and Murphy's Law as un-arguable facts of life :(
  • OK , Now I'm a little confused , I do have a separate cooler in front of the radiator the transmission lines go to the radiator then to the cooler back to the transmission , It come with 373,s on the rear , I installed a transmission temperture on My Ford E250 Conversion , it normally runs around 150 degreees empty when fully loaded in 85 degree temp . it,ll run about 155 degrees and stop and go in city hit about 195 degrees 1 time , I,m going to try this synthetic blend fluid with an oversize Aluminum transmission pan ( larger by 3 quarts ) When normally cruising at 65 MPH the temperture stays steady at about 155 degrees on the tranny temp gauge , I think I'll be fine hate, to start spending the big bucks on Larger tranny coolers and oil coolers .. I'll let you know if temperature dropped down a bit with this xtra capacity pan and synthetic blend fluid , thanks for the comments .. Larry ... really enjoy this Ford Conversion with the 5.4 Much more power then my ole 5.0
  • well i have a 1990 ford high top conversion van withthe 5.8 engine this thing can barely move itself never mind any weight plus the stock tranny sucks very weak
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    sounds like you've got the package, then.
  • after I flushed the fluid in my 97 Explorer w/106K. This uses a standard FL1A type oil filter and is mounted behind the front bumper. Plumbed it in between the radiator and the external cooler. Kit is available from Summit but I made my own with just an oil filter mount ($12.75). Ford now recommends adding an inline filter when any transmission work is done. An easier to add inline filter (looks like a fuel filter) is available from for about $15 and is the same one Ford sells for $40. I like the added filter area of the oil filter and getting an extra quart of fluid in the system. As an old hand at taking oil filters part, I like being able to inspect what is happening in the transmission without having to replace 4 quarts of fluid. Have 3K on it now and will open the filter up at 4K.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    It reduces both temperatures and acids that harm transmissions. I credit it with saving 4 transmissions of people that I know. has good info and they will even send you the manufacturers recommendations and bulletins endorsing the products.
  • Hello Opera House
    Looked at Summit's inline filter , it seems to be fairly priced , 20 some bucks .... I am wondering if all instructions are included on installation , i have a ford Conversion , with the 4R70 transmission , where abouts might I hook this up , I have transmission fluid going to radiator then to transmission cooler back to transmission , do I have to splice in to transmission line , or go right to fitting coming in or going out of transmission ? DO you think by pushing the fluid through this filter , it might tax the pump on the transmission ? I looked bulk parts
    inline filters hookups and they come with a magnetic filter ..... I wrote them and they responded saying that it could clog up filter and don't reccomend , I can't figure why they are saying that about their own product .. Anyways I would welcome a reply , on any of the points I,ve written... thanks Larry
  • The filter Ford sells is that plastic ribbed one at bulkparts. The stock internal tranny filter is only $10.35, what a deal, is made by SPX/FILTRAN and is top notch American made. I installed the filter on the 5R55E between the radiator and the cooler because I wanted the oil to be as warm as possible for easier flow. With the large filter area flow shouldn't be a problem. I am just starting to remove an A4LD from a 92 Explorer. This one has been grinding metal for years. I had 4 magnets in the pan and had to clean them every 8 months. So if you got a little filter, (and problems) I can see where they would say this. On this one I will put the filter on the exit of the cooler to catch metal stuck in the cooler cause I know it's there. For your information, check out and click on tech. under A4LD there is a tech note for delayed reverse. that also applies to the 4R44E. These O rings are as easy to change out as a filter. Four screws and a spring pops out the piston. Nothing tricky at all. Mine was really floppy and worn out. Gasket kit costs $27 at bp and these two O rings are packaged separately. Shame to have to buy the whole kit. At least inspect this next tome you drop the pan. My piston was filled with sludge. Just remember to start up the car cold and see which line heats up first, the hot one is the out. Oil filters have a one way check valve. Center of filter is the exit. They recommend placing filter before any cooler but it doesn't matter unless it is a very cold climate.
  • i have a 1990 ford high top conversion van it has an e40d tranny ive heard these trannys wear out prematurely mine has 100000 miles on it with the oraiginal fluid what could i do to prolong it,s life how can you tell when they are about to fail
This discussion has been closed.