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#4505683 - 09/02/17 06:18 PM Changing ATF in an old car
Ether Offline


Registered: 01/22/17
Posts: 82
Loc: Europe
What are your thoughts on changing the Automatic Transmission Fluid on a 33 year old car that has the original Fluid and 50,000 miles.Fluid is Red and appears clean.I have heard a suggestion of draining out and replacing a litre of fluid every few thousand miles,instead of replacing the entire amount at one change,what is the reasoning behind this idea? is there any merit to this,or is it nonsense? Would you just replace all the Fluid,and fit a new strainer/filter in a single drain and refill,and maintain from there?

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#4505693 - 09/02/17 06:25 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4741
Loc: MA
The standard recommendation is to change it. But not to use a flush machine, just a drain and fill and change the filter and clean the magnet. The only reason you hear people telling you not to do it is from the mechanics who don't want the liability of the transmission failing soon afterwards and being blamed for it. If it's going to fail, it will fail regardless of whether you change the fluid or not. Usually people think of changing the fluid when they start having transmission problems so the two sometimes goes hand in hand. You could always get a suction machine and suck out as much as you can out of the fill tube and refill with fresh fluid, but that still doesn't get to the filter or magnet which is why a pan drop and fill is still recommended.

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#4505742 - 09/02/17 07:29 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Wolf359]
Ihatetochangeoil Offline


Registered: 10/28/14
Posts: 580
Loc: On the road Midwest
Believe it or not, I try to do most of my own work, and MONEY is NOT my motivation; (I can afford to pay a mechanic) vehicle longevity is. I do a combination of the above; I use a Pela 6000 mighty vac (manual suction pump) to pull the ATF out prior to dropping the pan. It minimizes the mess under the car. I also a 15 quart clear plastic rectangular salad bowl that I bought at a flea market for $10 as a transmission drain pan. Leave one side of the pan bolts partially in so that when the pan seal is broken (maybe with a putty knife), the pan doesn't drop completely and splash fluid everywhere. Protect under the vehicle with scrap cardboard and I don't end up with a drop of fluid on my clean garage floor. Wipe the pan out clean, wash the debris off the magnet, use silicon grease to lubricate the new gasket (so you don't have to PRY the pan off next time), torque the bolts to 120 inch pounds (or whatever the spec is for yours) and I do this better than the local mechanic. The difference is I'm not being paid by the hour and I don't care how long it takes on Saturday morning. Have a cup of coffee and listen to favorite music while you take care of your car.

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#4505764 - 09/02/17 07:58 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Wolf359]
jeepman3071 Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 4204
Loc: Storrs, Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Wolf359
The standard recommendation is to change it. But not to use a flush machine, just a drain and fill and change the filter and clean the magnet.


+1
_________________________
2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (179k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (32k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X

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#4505787 - 09/02/17 08:22 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
barkingspider Offline


Registered: 12/22/13
Posts: 2040
Loc: socal
I would replace the filter and do multiple drain and fillls
_________________________
06 Cadillac Escalade Ext
17 Cadillac ATS (wife)
05 Toyota Camry (daughter)
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#4505795 - 09/02/17 08:34 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
The_Nuke Offline


Registered: 07/21/13
Posts: 288
Loc: D/FW Metroplex
Do you know the type/model of the transmission?

(GM TH350, Ford C6, etc.)
_________________________
2012 Dodge Charger
- R/T with pursuit pkg.
- 5.7L + A5 + 2.65
"..it's got cop tires, cop shocks, cop suspension..."

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#4505826 - 09/02/17 09:23 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ihatetochangeoil]
i_hate_autofraud Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 704
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Ihatetochangeoil
Believe it or not, I try to do most of my own work, and MONEY is NOT my motivation; (I can afford to pay a mechanic) vehicle longevity is. I do a combination of the above; I use a Pela 6000 mighty vac (manual suction pump) to pull the ATF out prior to dropping the pan. It minimizes the mess under the car. I also a 15 quart clear plastic rectangular salad bowl that I bought at a flea market for $10 as a transmission drain pan. Leave one side of the pan bolts partially in so that when the pan seal is broken (maybe with a putty knife), the pan doesn't drop completely and splash fluid everywhere. Protect under the vehicle with scrap cardboard and I don't end up with a drop of fluid on my clean garage floor. Wipe the pan out clean, wash the debris off the magnet, use silicon grease to lubricate the new gasket (so you don't have to PRY the pan off next time), torque the bolts to 120 inch pounds (or whatever the spec is for yours) and I do this better than the local mechanic. The difference is I'm not being paid by the hour and I don't care how long it takes on Saturday morning. Have a cup of coffee and listen to favorite music while you take care of your car.


Yeah! - Right on!

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#4505828 - 09/02/17 09:24 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
SnowDrifter Offline


Registered: 08/24/14
Posts: 391
Loc: WA
I'd replace it. The logic with not doing older transmissions if they've never had fluid is because the friction material is shot, and the particulate floating in the fluid is what allows the clutches to continue to grab.

But based on what you've described on fluid color and mileage, I doubt that's the case here.

I'd say go ahead and change it. Based on the mileage and age, I'd suggest dropping the pan and tossing a new filter in as well. I like to swap my trans filters every 30-50k and do fluid at the same time

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#4505882 - 09/02/17 10:55 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5506
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
What car, what tranny ... Buick DynaFlow is a whole lot different than a TH350 ...
_________________________
Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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#4505970 - 09/03/17 05:24 AM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 7094
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Ether
What are your thoughts on changing the Automatic Transmission Fluid on a 33 year old car that has the original Fluid and 50,000 miles.Fluid is Red and appears clean.I have heard a suggestion of draining out and replacing a litre of fluid every few thousand miles,instead of replacing the entire amount at one change,what is the reasoning behind this idea? is there any merit to this,or is it nonsense? Would you just replace all the Fluid,and fit a new strainer/filter in a single drain and refill,and maintain from there?


Pan drop, change filter, refill. Repeat every 50k.
_________________________
Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete

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#4506014 - 09/03/17 08:06 AM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5203
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
ihatetochangeoil and i_hate_autofraud are in the "Zen zone".

Just avoiding the chatter one encounters when having a car serviced is worth any effort. Savings are gravy.

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#4506026 - 09/03/17 08:24 AM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32629
Loc: ME
Do it. I saved a 20 y/o cutlass ciera with a clogged up filter that would slip in all gears except 1st. The filter reduced pump pressure which reduced the clutch holding ability.

It didn't need any more "silt" floating around in the fluid.

Get the filter! If you drop the pan you get half the fluid which 1) is procedure anyway and 2) will let the TC fluid "mix in" if that's what you really want.

Don't let someone flush it because that creates a weak spot in your cooler line hoses.

I'd go in for another filter and fluid in a year, regardless of mileage.

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#4506317 - 09/03/17 02:03 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
Ether Offline


Registered: 01/22/17
Posts: 82
Loc: Europe
Thanks to everyone for your replies.I will do a fluid change myself,drop the pan as there is no drain bolt,and replace the filter,no flush.The vehicle is a European Ford Escort that has the Ford ATX Transmission,the same Automatic as used in the US Spec Escort/Lynx.The Transmission calls for Fluid meeting Spec M2C- 166-H which i believe is conventional ATF Dexron 11/111 so i have chosen Fuchs Multi purpose Titan 3000 for the change.

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#4506646 - 09/03/17 07:58 PM Re: Changing ATF in an old car [Re: Ether]
SilverFusion2010 Online   content


Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1654
Loc: Crawfordville FL
Mercon or equivalent
_________________________
2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 178k miles M1 HM 10w-30

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