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Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement #5164031 07/18/19 06:39 AM
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Sierra048 Offline OP
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My 2014 Sierra 1500 with the 6L80E transmission is pushing the 50K. I bought it new. It had a pretty gentle life until we moved to the mountains. It definitely gets a work out now. So, I've decided it might be a good time to drop the pan and change the filter. I would also like to flush the system via the cooler lines. I know I'm going to have to deal with the crossover exhaust pipe that prevents the pan from dropping easily. I've been game-planning for that. I have several questions I hope someone can help with.

Q1 - Does anybody make a transmission pan with a built in drain plug besides B&M and PML to fit the 6L80E? I have no problems with their offerings other than the price. I find it hard to justify $300+ for a transmission pan. I see so many cheaper options for other transmissions by many more companies. With the number of 6L80Es on the road, I would think someone would come up with a more affordable option given the disgust by so many who deal with the exhaust pipe interference issue. I know you can buy a drain plug kit and install it on the existing pan but I'm not real impressed with the offerings out there. And I'd like to deal with the exhaust issue just one time, not every time I need to replace transmission fluid.

Q2 - In all the other vehicles I have done a flush on, after changing the filter and putting the pan back on, I refilled the pan with exactly what I measured coming out of the pan. I would then flush the system, two quarts at a time, from the radiator cooler fitting until fresh transmission fluid came out. I've heard/read that in the 2014 MY this transmission was equipped with a thermostat. If this is true, does that mean the truck would have to be at operating temperature before I could do the flush? There's no way I could do a pan drop, filter change, pan and fluid replacement before the transmission cooled down. Having to bring the transmission back up to operating temperature would negate my flushing regime, without wasting a lot of new fluid. And, I have no desire to fight with a hot crossover pipe. This very issue, if true, is why I'd like to replace the factory transmission pan with one that has a drain plug so I could compensate by doing regular drain and fills to keep the fluid fresh.

Q3 - Am I totally off base here? If I'm misinformed please let me know. Anything you can offer, in anyway, would be much appreciated.


2014 Nissan Frontier
2014 GMC Sierra 1500
Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164046 07/18/19 07:12 AM
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doitmyself Offline
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This guy has a work around - unbolt the transmission mounts and jack it up while also pulling down the exhaust system to create clearance for pan removal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rCMLc4BX5I

Sorry I cannot help with your more important questions.

Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164107 07/18/19 08:15 AM
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Chris142 Offline
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We add drain plugs to pans all the time. While its off take it to your local Radiator shop.


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Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164119 07/18/19 08:40 AM
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tblt44 Offline
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My 2 4l60e, I added drain plugs.
The auto parts store has them under 5 bucks.
Drill a hole and install the drain plug.
You MUST make sure nothing is behind the area you plan on putting the plug.
The nut and washer on the inside of the pan are probably 1/2 thick.
I will try to get pics later today


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Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164134 07/18/19 09:08 AM
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Rat407 Offline
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You can also delete the transmission thermostat if interested, or search YouTube on how to by-pass it to flush.



2002 Silverado 5.3 0w-20 AMSOIL
Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: doitmyself] #5164135 07/18/19 09:10 AM
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Sierra048 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by doitmyself
This guy has a work around - unbolt the transmission mounts and jack it up while also pulling down the exhaust system to create clearance for pan removal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rCMLc4BX5I

Sorry I cannot help with your more important questions.


Much appreciated. I have seen this video. This is part of the game-planning I mentioned earlier.


2014 Nissan Frontier
2014 GMC Sierra 1500
Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164196 07/18/19 10:30 AM
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sloinker Offline
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I second the idea of welding/brazing in a bung with plug. I have had issues with the B&M plug retrofits that utilize the gasket.


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Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164224 07/18/19 11:19 AM
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dave1251 Online Happy
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What is your ATF temps during your drive?


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164286 07/18/19 12:37 PM
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bullwinkle Online Confused
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I’ve had a welder put them in before, usually two of them-one in the side for a gauge, one in the bottom for a drain. Cheaper than a new aluminum one for sure.


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Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164310 07/18/19 12:54 PM
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nthach Offline
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The B&M and other Taiwanese kits are hokey-pokey and do need a perfect install to work. And there will be a good chunk of fluid left over.

I'd see if a welder can add a bung on.

Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164392 07/18/19 02:45 PM
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I was in the same situation as you. My '11 Escalade has the 6L80E and I wanted a pan with a drain plug. The only ones I found were the expensive ones. I ended up biting the bullet and just bought the PML one, as it was the cheapest one I could find. It wasn't anywhere close to cheap though. I don't know anything about the thermostat stuff. I just plan to pull the drain plug and refill every 40k or so. Dealing with the exhaust was a nightmare.


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Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164431 07/18/19 03:31 PM
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nascarnation Offline
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Be sure to leak test your plug and bung (welded or otherwise) before installation.

Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: dave1251] #5164966 07/19/19 07:06 AM
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Sierra048 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dave1251
What is your ATF temps during your drive?


I saw your question just before I took a thirty minute round trip drive. When I started the vehicle, it was 71 degrees per the information center. At the end it was 171 degrees. From memory, on long trips it stays around 190 - 195.


2014 Nissan Frontier
2014 GMC Sierra 1500
Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: exranger06] #5164970 07/19/19 07:07 AM
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Sierra048 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by exranger06
I was in the same situation as you. My '11 Escalade has the 6L80E and I wanted a pan with a drain plug. The only ones I found were the expensive ones. I ended up biting the bullet and just bought the PML one, as it was the cheapest one I could find. It wasn't anywhere close to cheap though. I don't know anything about the thermostat stuff. I just plan to pull the drain plug and refill every 40k or so. Dealing with the exhaust was a nightmare.


exranger06,

Would you mind sharing how you dealt with the exhaust?


2014 Nissan Frontier
2014 GMC Sierra 1500
Re: Help With 6L80E Fluid & Pan Replacement [Re: Sierra048] #5164983 07/19/19 07:22 AM
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Sierra048 Offline OP
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Sloinker, Bullwinkle,

Did you buy a specific bung for your pans or just weld a nut on the bottom? What did you use for the plug itself? Any links to what you used? I'd be very interested in what you used or could suggest. I just want to make sure if I go this route that leaks will be a distant concern.

I did watch a video yesterday of someone who simply drilled a small self-tapping screw with a neoprene gasket into a drain pan. He was able to drain the pan before removal. He added a small amount of Blue RTV to the threads and the neoprene and tightened it up before reinstalling the pan. He claims every time he has done this he has never lost a drop of fluid to a leak. Could something as simple as this be the solution. I know you'd have to be careful but it appeared there was plenty of space between the filter/valve body to do this safely.


2014 Nissan Frontier
2014 GMC Sierra 1500
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