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Changing transmission fluid

Discussion in '1994-2004 V6 Mustang Tech' started by blackenedESP, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. blackenedESP

    blackenedESP New Member

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    I'm looking to change my car's transmission fluid with the help of a Haynes manual but I'm confused. In the manual's section of recommended fluids and amounts, it says the 3.8L V6 4R70W takes 13.9 quarts of Mercon V and states Mercon V is not interchangeable with other Mercon. Going through the steps of actually changing the fluid and filter though, it shows I'm only adding 4 quarts of fluid and topping it off as needed.

    I did some searching and found a post by KTBug, 4th post down, http://www.v6mustang.com/threads/181564/) that also says to drain the torque converter, that there is a ton of fluid in there. I'm assuming that is the remaining 10 quarts (roughly)? Also, where the hell do I get 14-15 quarts of Mercon V??? I've been to several Advance Auto Parts and Auto Zones, I only see some Castrol 1 quart bottles if anything and they don't have 14 or 15 of them. I've seen the bigger jugs of Dexron III/Mercon I think it was but this manual and the label on the Dexron says not to use it where Mercon V is recommended.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2013
  2. KTBug

    KTBug - Kris -

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    Mercon V can be used on any Mercon transmission.

    Mercon cannot be used on a Mercon V transmission.

    Do not use anything in your transmission other than Mercon V.

    Just collect Mercon V from as many sources as you have to. They are pretty hard to find even though there's a ton of vehicles out there using it. I just don't get it.

    You are correct. There's 3 or 4 quarts in the pan and the rest is in the convertor.
     
  3. Brandon

    Brandon Better Than Sliced Bread!

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    also not sure it will do it if you dont drain your converter (if you dont change your fluid every 12k miles as you should then you should drain the converter) but when I did mine i had to shift it through the gears a few times to get it to work, to get the fluid circulating right and the pressure up.
     
  4. atlanticblue98

    atlanticblue98 Bazinga!

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    how do you fill the torque converter back up, do you just keep filling it into the dipstick?
     
  5. christopher paq

    christopher paq New Member

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    How many miles on your car? When was the fluid last changed.
    I would be really careful about changing that much fluid at a time if you are unsure of how the transmission has been maintained in the past. Trans fluid is full of detergents and too much of a good thing at a once in a questionable trans can spell trouble. I know, as I have seen it happen on several cars.
     
  6. KTBug

    KTBug - Kris -

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    It's an '04. It should be ok.

    Yes, you have to shift through the gears manually a few times in ordre to circulate the fluid after you fill up the transmission.

    To fill it back up, crank the engine and leave the transmission in park. Pour transmission fluid through the dipstick tube slowly. I usually fill it with ALMOST the required amount and check it. If it's a little low then add a little more, etc.
     
  7. blackenedESP

    blackenedESP New Member

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    Thanks KTBug, was lucky enough to find a crap load of Mobile 1 Mercon V at Walmart, got the filter and gasket from Auto Zone so I'll be doing this today.
     
  8. jimmy_beaner

    jimmy_beaner VITA EST BREVIS

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    here's another question...

    My car needs a tranny flush (126k miles... stock fluid/filter :uhh: )
    it's a manual. I see that you have to go through the gears on the auto... will there be any "issues" with the manual? How much are we looking at cost wise for the change?
     
  9. BlueSHO

    BlueSHO New Member

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    The manual trans has no filter, and no pump that circulates fluid like an automatic. All you have to do is drain it (there is a drain plug at the bottom of the trans) and then refill it with ATF through the fill plug at the top of the trans, up to the level of the hole. I don't remember fluid capacity, but it is just a few quarts, FAR less than the 14 or so that the automatic holds.

    Do a search, it should give you more details. Or buy a Haynes manual, it is $15 well spent! ;)
     
  10. jimmy_beaner

    jimmy_beaner VITA EST BREVIS

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    3.25... not 100% sure which fluid to use... since everyone says something different, but I'm not doing it right now anyway... since it's 11 degrees out. I have a starter issue to figure out before I worry about the trans.
     
  11. blackenedESP

    blackenedESP New Member

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    Ran into a little problem. I couldn't find the torque converter's drain plug, i took off the rubber grommet and cranked the engine quite a few times, it never came around. I read something that after 2001 or whatever that they stopped making the converters with drain plugs. So I just put the new filter in, bolted the pan back up, and filled the transmission fluid with like 4 quarts, pretty much a waste.

    I read that you can drain it through the cooling lines. Is this way effective? It says to disconnect the cooling line then turn on the engine letting the fluid to drain out. When it's done draining, immediately turn the car off and reconnect the cooling line. Then do the transmission pan as usual, then refill the transmission with the specified amount. I assume I'd run the car until it heats up, moving the gears a few times, then top it off as needed. That right?
     
  12. KTBug

    KTBug - Kris -

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    You can do it that way but I don't suggest it. If you can't "bump" the engine over to find the plug then use a breaker bar and a large socket to turn the crank. I think the size is around 1 inch or 1-1/8". I forget the exact size.
     
  13. blackenedESP

    blackenedESP New Member

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    No, I was able to turn the engine over (using a 21mm socket). I looked for specific marks on the converter to see when it made a complete revolution. I probably turned it twice overall - no drain plug. Doesn't a mechanic's machine hook up to the cooling line, doing the same thing basically?
     
  14. KTBug

    KTBug - Kris -

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    Yes, but it adds new fluid as it drains the old. I think there was a cutoff date where Ford stopped using TCs with drain plugs. It probably happened a year or two before your '04 was built. My '01 has 2 plugs.
     
  15. blackenedESP

    blackenedESP New Member

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    Oh I see. I also read people that do a little bit at a time - drain a couple quarts, add the same amount back - and just repeat that until the drained fluid starts looking fresh. I guess that's similar to what the mechanic's do, just more of a hassle without that machine. I have like 11 quarts of Mercon V sitting in my room so I might as well use it, the stuff isn't cheap. Thanks for the help KTBug.
     
  16. KTBug

    KTBug - Kris -

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    Sure, no problem. Good luck!
     
  17. tommy2273boy

    tommy2273boy Wings Fan

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    How much did you pay for all those quarts. I think my buddy said he had his flushed for $80.
     
  18. KTBug

    KTBug - Kris -

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    It usually costs me around $60 or so (I think). However, I know it was done right as well.