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#515558 - 06/16/05 03:12 AM Mazda transmission fluid ?
pacem Offline


Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 461
Loc: MD
1996 Mazda 626 with 2.5 V6 engine and automatic tranny.

If you know anything about 90's Mazdas, you know that their automatics are extremely troublesome. Failures are common and widespread around 100K miles or less. Check out carsurvey.org , excellent site.

I think the theory is that the tranny oil gets burned up, and destroyes the tranny.

I got mine with the tranny blown of course, (barely) found another working tranny, had it put in, and installed external tranny cooler (Hayden 404). I hear it greatly helps. Still, annual fluid changes are necessary. The external cooler is good when it is driving, but what good is it when the car is in stop-and-go traffic? anyone know by how much it reduces the tranny temp?

This raises my question - I put in some Ford tranny fluid, since this is a Ford tranny, Dextron III I think, the cheap stuff from Advanced Auto parts in red cans. Now I would like to change the filter and drain some fluid and put in some synthetic fluid. I understand that mixing the two won't cause issues, will it? Also, what's good synthetic for this tranny?

I hope that synthetic will withstand the heat more.

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#515559 - 06/16/05 03:50 AM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
Quest Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 6551
Loc: beaver land EH?
These are essentially Ford gearboxes. If you are a member of the Mazda board you shall notice that Asian version of Mazda 626, with the original Japanese AT gearboxes, are virtually indestructable! This was the observations cited by Mazda fans in New Zealand for the compared the AT trannies on their Japanese 626 vs the ones that sold in US. From what I've been told, it was Ford's management decision to force Mazda to install their AT gearboxes for those 626s that were sold in continental US and that ended up giving Mazda a bad rap.

To extend the longevity of your "Ford" gearbox, run AutoRx once and then try maintaining proper fluid change intervals from that point onwards. With oil coolers and such, your gearbox should lasts a while.

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#515560 - 06/16/05 03:59 AM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
Riflemen10x Offline


Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 24
Loc: Western New York
Hi Guy`s,
I worked for Mazda from 88 to 97and have seen no problem with the older transmissions but as soon as we got the new style ford-Mazda 626`s they droped like flies.We replaced every 1993 626 4 cylinder transmission mazda sold around 15-25k.Ford bult the pumps with too close a tolerance and they self destructed.I have seen no problem with any of the replacment transmissions.Another problem they have is leaking rear wheel cylinders.

hope this helps

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#515561 - 06/16/05 04:02 AM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
unDummy Offline


Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 8756
Loc: RI
If it calls for DexronIII, then Mobil1 ATF is an excellent choice.

Transgo has a shift kit for this tranny to help prevent some of the common problems.
http://www.transmissionpartsusa.com/Ford_Mazda_GF4A_EL_SHIFT_KIT_p/500-000095931.htm

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#515562 - 06/16/05 10:54 AM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
ediamiam Offline


Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 634
Loc: Northern California
got 93 Mazda 626 w/ 6 cyl, acquired from family member at 93,000, now 146,000 miles. 18 months back, I got around to checking tranny fluid - very non-red, greyish, murky, qt low. Bad situation. I did a couple of incremental changes of the fluid, improved the shifting. Didn't even notice that the shifting had degraded on me. Last november got some of that lube control and mixed in with the tranny fluid. It seemed to have improved shifting quite a bit. Probably due again for another incremental change, but I don't think DollarTree has anymore of that $1.00 Citgo DexIII .

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#515563 - 06/16/05 11:43 PM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
brianl703 Offline


Registered: 05/07/04
Posts: 10487
Loc: Manassas, VA
quote:
Originally posted by Quest:
These are essentially Ford gearboxes.

My understanding is that only the 2.0L version of the Mazda 626 got the Ford CD4E transmission.

The 2.5L version got the Mazda transmission.

If you can replace the filter in it, if it doesn't have a drain plug...it's not a CD4E.

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#515564 - 06/17/05 08:24 PM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
FazerZ Offline


Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 76
Loc: Charlotte, NC
It's true.

After 94, the 626 had two available transaxles: G4FA-EL (Japan built unit) and the CD4E (Batavia, Ohio built).

The usage is dependant on engine type/size. The 2.0 L I4 got the wonderful CD4E (lol) and the 2.5 L V6 got the larger G4FA-EL.

The failure rate on the CD4E is pretty awful. The Japanese unit is much more reliable, but more difficult to get rebuilt properly.

I believe the G4FA-EL has been phased out of production and the CD4E is still making its way out of Mazdas and back into multiple Ford branded vehicles.

DH

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#515565 - 06/18/05 01:10 AM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
the_oil_dealer Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 435
Loc: Toronto
GF4A-EL is still being used on all V6 models. It hasnt been used on the 4-cylinders since 1993 in which the ZF CD4E has taken its place. Theyre great transmissions, they just have very inadequate cooling systems from the factory. THe earlier model G4A-EL was actually a great transmission; we've owned one for 15 years without an issue, as long as it is maintained and kept cool. I find that Chrysler ATF+3 or +4 is the perfect fluid for these things. I completely flushed out a G4A-EL with very high KM's on it with ATF +3 and it has never shifted more smoothly or quickly ... ever! I highly recommend you use this fluid!! Yes it is a Chrysler spec, but it is highly friction modified and the boxes love it far better than any Dexron or Mercon I've tried. Just be happy you dont hav e the ZF CD4E!! I would invest in an auxxiliary ATF cooler as well!

Yes both GF4A-EL and G4a-el are Mazda units.

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#515566 - 06/18/05 07:21 PM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
pacem Offline


Registered: 10/16/03
Posts: 461
Loc: MD
Well, I am not excited about G4FA-EL either, as it failed in my 626 at 108,000 miles. The fluid smelled like burned pancakes. Granted, I did not own the car at that time and got it for a good price, I thought. Maybe the previous owner never changed the fluid, ever.

After the second G4FA-EL, I took really good care of it, installed aux. tranny cooler and change fluid often. I have no faith in Mazda autos, period. (And for that matter in Ford, or Chrysler autos)

So, it's working thus far, I've had it for 6K miles now....

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#515567 - 06/18/05 08:16 PM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
unDummy Offline


Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 8756
Loc: RI
Pacem, installing the cooler will add to the tranny's life.
Mazda added an auxialiary cooler for certain models of the 626 for tranny overheating. This says alot about the inadequate OEM cooling.

And, you should back flush the OEM cooler(in the radiator) and install an inline filter prior to the coolers to prevent "cooler clogging" which is an issue with several automakers.

Ford sells an inline filter good for 30k miles or a couple of years. The filter is dealer installed on reman's.
Magnefine has a 12k mile yearly filter.
Permacool has 'oil filter mounts' that you can use to make your own ATF filter with some transmission hose and a standard cheap oil filter.

Worn valve bodies is also an issue. Installing the inline filter and changing ATF regularly should prevent normal VB wear.
A bottle of "automatic transmission protectant" can also help with protecting and cleaning.

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#515568 - 06/18/05 10:25 PM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
the_oil_dealer Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 435
Loc: Toronto
quote:
Originally posted by pacem:
Well, I am not excited about G4FA-EL either, as it failed in my 626 at 108,000 miles. The fluid smelled like burned pancakes. Granted, I did not own the car at that time and got it for a good price, I thought. Maybe the previous owner never changed the fluid, ever.

After the second G4FA-EL, I took really good care of it, installed aux. tranny cooler and change fluid often. I have no faith in Mazda autos, period. (And for that matter in Ford, or Chrysler autos)

So, it's working thus far, I've had it for 6K miles now....

Yea I too have no faith in any transmission that has molasses as ATF and reaches the temperature of the sun on daily basis.... [Roll Eyes]

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#515569 - 06/18/05 11:06 PM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
FazerZ Offline


Registered: 01/08/05
Posts: 76
Loc: Charlotte, NC
quote:
Originally posted by the_oil_dealer:
GF4A-EL is still being used on all V6 models. It hasnt been used on the 4-cylinders since 1993 in which the ZF CD4E has taken its place. Theyre great transmissions, they just have very inadequate cooling systems from the factory.

Obviously, your experience with the Ford/ZF CD4E has been limited from your comment. It's been a great transaxle for the transmission rebuilding market. It's been great for me! [Cheers!]

But for owners, its a expensive liability. Heat is a factor, but it's not near a cause as poor design and durability troubles are. Some of which can be corrected.

I'm not aware of Mazda using the G4FA-EL in any production vehicles now? Specific example maybe?

I agree completely that to get the best out of your automatic no matter what the model, adding an auxilary cooler and some inline filtering is worthwhile. Regular fluid changes should be strongly advised too.

DH

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#515570 - 06/20/05 03:32 AM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
the_oil_dealer Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 435
Loc: Toronto
Fazer by "great transmission" i was referring to the G4A and GF4A lol... I would never consider the CD4E a good transmission, not in my wildest dreams. Anyway, I believe the GF4A in its latest encarnation is present in the Mazda MPV 2.5... which I dont think they make anymore... ok carry on [Big Grin]

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#515571 - 06/22/05 12:40 AM Re: Mazda transmission fluid ?
brianl703 Offline


Registered: 05/07/04
Posts: 10487
Loc: Manassas, VA
In 1999 the CD4E was "beefed up" by ZF for use on the Ford Escape (which has an additional cooler from the factory).

Are all of these CD4E failures pre-1999 models?

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