External ATF filter cut open with pictures

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20
Location
CA
Car is a '99 Camry 2.2L (112k mi) with a Derale external oil filter installed on the A140E trans. Using a Supertech ST16 filter for about 10k miles and 8 months and this is what it looks like. This is the first time I've cut open my oil filters and I'm guessing all the dark material that you can see is friction material from inside the transaxle, am I correct in assuming this? Fluid was fairly dark before I ran a few gallons of Supertech Dexron through it to get it cleaned up. Now that the weather is getting colder I've noticed that when first starting up the car that it seems to take a few seconds (5 sec?) for the trans to fully engage during which it feels like the trans is slipping. I have run Lucas transfix in it, though probably only a 1/4 of the bottle, I may be adding more to see if it helps any. The ST16 was replaced with a Fram XG16.

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Messages
595
Location
Vancouver, BC Canada
Are you running that filter on the line out to the in-rad cooler... (or for that matter, on the line back from the cooler) - or are you running it as a bypass filter... between the two cooler lines? If the former, it may be restricting flow as it packs-up with wear materials. My way of thinking is to run a really tight media filter in bypass arrangement, and then for summertime or summertime + shoulder season time - to run an ATF cooler in front of the rad... on the line coming OUT of the in-rad cooler loop. Those stacked-plate Hayden coolers, with the so-called thermal bypass are nice.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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44,535
Location
New Jersey
Does this AT have a magnet inside? Good pics, sort of surprising how nasty the media looks. But it might not really be a lot of anything. Kind of like how the slightest bit of diesel soot makes clean oil look black.
 

grjr

Thread starter
Messages
20
Location
CA
Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT
Are you running that filter on the line out to the in-rad cooler... (or for that matter, on the line back from the cooler) - or are you running it as a bypass filter... between the two cooler lines? If the former, it may be restricting flow as it packs-up with wear materials. My way of thinking is to run a really tight media filter in bypass arrangement, and then for summertime or summertime + shoulder season time - to run an ATF cooler in front of the rad... on the line coming OUT of the in-rad cooler loop. Those stacked-plate Hayden coolers, with the so-called thermal bypass are nice.
filter is inline with the cooler line to the radiator, don't remember if I put it before or after the radiator (it was quite a while ago). Don't have any additional cooling for the ATF, I don't think I need it since this car isn't driven under heavy loads.
Originally Posted by JHZR2
Does this AT have a magnet inside? Good pics, sort of surprising how nasty the media looks. But it might not really be a lot of anything. Kind of like how the slightest bit of diesel soot makes clean oil look black.
yes there are a couple of small magnets in the pan, I've changed the internal filter once... it just uses a fine metal mesh screen to keep bits out of the inner workings. If you guys are saying it is metallic, I might take a magnet to it and see how it reacts.
 
Messages
1,527
Location
Southeast United States
Something is not right here. The filter media should not be that dark, especially for the relatively short time it was in service with new ATF. Are you certain the fluid flow direction is correct, going in and out of the Derale filter housing?
 
Messages
595
Location
Vancouver, BC Canada
Running the filter in-line with the cooling flow to the rad tank cooler loop means the filter media has to be fairly coarse (and if fluid is dirty enough it could still plug or reduce cooler flow). I think cooler flow actually feeds / acts as a lubricating / oil feed for something... with bad results if it isn't maintained at full flow. For me, very tight media bypass filter (no negatives if it stops flowing due to media load-up) is king. Plus, ATF will be much cleaner...
 
Messages
75
Location
Texas
I did something similar with a 98 Celica that had the same drivetrain. It had around 125K miles with the original fluid. I didn't drop the pan or change the original fluid. I ended up adding a spin on filter to the cooler loop like you did. I first used a $3 Motorcraft FL-1A to do the initial cleaning, and then switched to a Fram Ultra XG8 to run long term. I added some new fluid for what was lost during filter changes. That was many years ago and I didn't own a filter cutter back then, so I never got to see how much dirt was really removed. The transmission shifted noticeably better and the fluid looked visibly better on the dipstick. I removed the external transmission filter before it was sold, but that car is still driving around to this day on the same transmission.
 
Originally Posted by grjr
Car is a '99 Camry 2.2L (112k mi) with a Derale external oil filter installed on the A140E trans. Using a Supertech ST16 filter for about 10k miles and 8 months and this is what it looks like. This is the first time I've cut open my oil filters and I'm guessing all the dark material that you can see is friction material from inside the transaxle, am I correct in assuming this? Fluid was fairly dark before I ran a few gallons of Supertech Dexron through it to get it cleaned up. Now that the weather is getting colder I've noticed that when first starting up the car that it seems to take a few seconds (5 sec?) for the trans to fully engage during which it feels like the trans is slipping. I have run Lucas transfix in it, though probably only a 1/4 of the bottle, I may be adding more to see if it helps any. The ST16 was replaced with a Fram XG16.
shocked Why on earth are you running Lucas Transmission Fix in it? It's only used for for trannys that are on its last leg with a worn pump that couldn't deliver the pressures neccessary to shif! That's why the Lucas stuff is so thick and probably why your're having consequences. Supertech Dexron is already a higher viscosity formula to begin with. You're making things worse, the Aisin 4 speed is arealdy a bulletproof design. Consider the lower viscosity Valvoline MaxLife Multi Vehicle ATF or Valvoline Import ATF, all are synthetic and cheap at Walmart or AAP (Buy 1 Get 1 50% off) in gallon jugs.
 
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Messages
468
Location
Newport News, VA
I would never have done that Lucas in the trans. I only use Lubeguard RED ATF fluid protectant. Nothing works better, if anything in a bottle will work. Now that Lucas is in there, it will need to be drained and filled several times to get rid of it.
 
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Messages
4,363
Location
Southeast
could there have been a lot of debris in the fluid when the filter was installed? 10k is not a long interval. I'm not convinced those are metal debris - could be clutch material.
 
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