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Transmission service

wabos42wabos42 Posts: 2
edited March 2014 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: 815
    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, etc....to 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 bulkparts.com 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. www.lubegard.com 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 www.atcdg.com 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
  • You answered your own question , start by changing the fluid , changing filter in pan and get a transmission flush ... You can tell by looking at dipstick , and smelling oil , it it smells burnt and is brown in color , that is a sign to do the above ... If not I'd probobly do it anyways , your supposed to change the oil and filter anyways after about 35000 per your owners manual .... Larry
  • Hello Opera House
    I was wondering about that Ford inline filter , I was not aware that Ford had an inline filter availiable ...You say a plastic ribbed one they sell , hmmm , The one Summit sells is one that is replaced with a Fram 8A filter , Where did you bolt the housing for the filter , looks like it has a flat back and is bolted somewhere ...
    Also what do you do ? Cut the line and put rubber hose with clamps on ... Does not look like anyplace where this might be mounted >> the housing .... I am wondering if by adding this filter if it will strain the transmission pump that pumps the oil thru the radiator and cooler back to transmission ..... any thoughts of any of this .... Thanks , Larry
  • It's not easy finding a place for the filter. On my 97 Explorer I mounted on a dog leg L bracket I made. Filter is just behind the bumper mounting bolt in the drivers side fender. Every thing is sprayed black so it is not visible to someone who might think spinning it loose would be a joke. When car was purchased w/100K it did not have the transmission cooler which I installed by cutting the transmission line. Hose slips over the metal tube about 4 inches and I use thee clamps to secure each hose. Little extra security because there is no barb to secure the hose. do you currently have any contamination? I am seeing metal powder in my pan. This is my effort to delay the inevitable, reduce wear on other components, and get an extra quart in the system to help cooling. I drove my 92 for 3 years removing metal from the pan. This can be a lot of work if your's is not a problem transmission. This fluid is basically fluid returning to the pan. I heard one person say his shifting improved after installing the filter. Must be the little extra back pressure helped out his leaking valves. I wouldn't sleep using a Fram. The older ones with a flat center tube have a minimal filter area. The latest ones with the wavy center tube may be ok now that the company has been taken over by Honeywell but I don't know yet. Several people have changed out the first filter after the first 1000 miles saying it cleaned a lot of stuff out of the existing fluid, so it wouldn't matter what brand was in there.
  • larieblarieb Posts: 12
    Hi Opera ,
    I have a 2000 E250 Ford Conversion with 7000 miles on it , I tow at times pretty heavy and have been reading that this 4R70 transmission is really not heavy duty ... I have a factory cooler on it , just put a transmission temperture gauge , while towing I run between 150 and 195 degrees ... As winter is getting closer up here in NY I am looking for a project to undertake and I thought the filter would be a good one , also just bought a larger transmission oil pan by 3 Quarts made of aluminum with some cooling fins I will be putting on also ... I take this vehicle off the road in winter so have plenty of time to work on it ... I am wondering ? If I install an inline filter it would have to me mounted somewhat horizontal to the existing transmission line , as anything not horizontally inline would probobly tax this transmission pump even more ...
    looking at the ones offered by Summit , for about $30 seems like a winner .. any thoughts ..... Larry
  • I need to take my 98 Regal in for a routine fluid and filter change and want to try Aamco. Anyone have any experience with them? They want to do all kinds of stuff before performing the fluid change, such as test driving, and using a scope to check for codes, and I don't really think that's necessary, I just want the fluid and filter changed. If they find a problem and I elect not to have them fix it, I get charged $37 for the checkup, no fluid or filter.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    You might want to read a few of the stories here first:


  • All I can say is YIKES!
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Got to a good local shop or a dealer before this chain
  • I believe Aamco stores are franchised, so you can get a good operator in an Aamco shirt, I guess. I've just never heard of one. Ever.

    Go to the dealer, if you don't have a local shop you trust.
  • mullins87mullins87 Posts: 959
    But, I have used their tranny fluid and all I can say is that I am NOT impressed. My Cougar ate it up and spit it out.
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