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Unread 11-14-2013, 10:05 AM   #1
evan1395
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230K, bad idea for Trans Fluid swap?

The GF's XJ has 232K on it. I seriously doubt the transmission has ever had its fluid changed. I believe its an AW4, but not sure. Can anyone tell me?

I read it is better NOT to change the fluid/filter in it after it has been that long without a fluid change. Can it do more bad than good? It does not slip, but does shift rather rough from 5th-4th (or 4th-3rd), not sure if these are 4-5 speeds.

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Unread 11-14-2013, 11:11 AM   #2
CCKen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evan1395 View Post
The GF's XJ has 232K on it. I seriously doubt the transmission has ever had its fluid changed. I believe its an AW4, but not sure. Can anyone tell me?

I read it is better NOT to change the fluid/filter in it after it has been that long without a fluid change. Can it do more bad than good? It does not slip, but does shift rather rough from 5th-4th (or 4th-3rd), not sure if these are 4-5 speeds.
With 232,000 miles on it that AW4 doesn't owe anybody anything. Just drain the pan (around 3-4 quarts) and refill the amount you drained with fresh ATF. Repeat the drain/refill process several times over about 500-1,000 miles.

Recommend Dexron III/Mercon (DEX/MERC) ATF
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Unread 11-14-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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If your Jeep was on fire, would think about not putting out the fire because you didn't want to get the seats wet ? Even if the trans fluid has not been changed in a lonnnnnng time, you should get that old and contaminated fluid out and put in some fresh fluid. The AW-4 automatic transmission uses Dexron-III/Mercon fluid. I would drop the pan, and change the filter, however some consider a new filter optional. Then, for the next 4-6 weeks drain 3-4 quarts from the pan using the drain plug. A week later do that again. When the drained look like the fresh fluid you are done.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by evan1395 View Post
[snip]
I read it is better NOT to change the fluid/filter in it after it has been that long without a fluid change. Can it do more bad than good? It does not slip, but does shift rather rough from 5th-4th (or 4th-3rd), not sure if these are 4-5 speeds.
What you read about was probably "power flushing". There is lots of anecdotal evidence that it's a "bad thing" to do...

Is your GF the original owner? If not, how long has she owned it?
And how bad DOES the fluid look?

Either do a normal service as previously described, or some people talk about a technique where you pull the output line and have it dump into a bucket while you run the engine and feed new fluid into the dipstick tube until the output is clean.
But you'd still want to pull the pan and clean or replace the filter...
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Unread 11-14-2013, 01:00 PM   #5
JBlue
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I have a question, how do you know you are replacing the correct amount of fluid? Is there a simple way of knowing how much is drained and how much to add if I buy a gallon of Dex/Merc?
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Unread 11-14-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
evan1395
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So simply dropping the pan, changing the filter and re-filling with fresh dex/merc a couple times will be harmless?
You said the pan holds around 3-4 quarts?
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Unread 11-14-2013, 01:39 PM   #7
evan1395
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sAe23, my GF is not the original owner. The guy she bought it off of was some little dweeb we had gone to high school with who knew NOTHING about cars. I dont know how long he had prior to us buying off him. But I can almost guarantee no maintenance was done to a single component on this poor old XJ
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Unread 11-14-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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So simply dropping the pan, changing the filter and re-filling with fresh dex/merc a couple times will be harmless?
You said the pan holds around 3-4 quarts?
"So simply dropping the pan"

LOL

Wait until you try to seperate the dipstick tube inorder to get the pan out. You'll want to come back here and kick someones arse.

I'm not big on changing the filter because of the devil tube and feel it is best to just leave it be and just drain and refill the tranny.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 01:54 PM   #9
sAe23
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I have a question, how do you know you are replacing the correct amount of fluid? Is there a simple way of knowing how much is drained and how much to add if I buy a gallon of Dex/Merc?
You add fluid and check the dipstick (following normal procedures). Just don't over fill it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evan1395 View Post
So simply dropping the pan, changing the filter and re-filling with fresh dex/merc a couple times will be harmless?
You said the pan holds around 3-4 quarts?
*Should* be harmless...
A couple of years ago I was told I needed to re-build my transmission to fix an intermittent shifting issue.
I told them to just do a fluid change and it's been "ok" since then (it's not in *perfect* condition, but it works for me and I'm closing in on 400K miles!).

By the way, to answer a question in your initial post, the AW4 has 4 gears (1-2, 3, OD) plus TC lockup.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 01:56 PM   #10
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I have a question, how do you know you are replacing the correct amount of fluid? Is there a simple way of knowing how much is drained and how much to add if I buy a gallon of Dex/Merc?
Get an empty milk jug. Using a measuring container that is graduated off in quarts, like for cooking, fill the milk jug with water one quart at a time, and at each quart measure mark the jug. In the end the jug will have 4 quart measures.

Drain the tranny to a pan then transfer the drained ATF to the graduated milk jug. There you can see how much you've drained, and need to refill. Fluid level between the quart marks is a eduacated guess.

Regardless, you will aways be required to check the fluid level using the procedure outlined in your owner's manual to make sure you have the proper fill.

Edit: I would recommend getting quart containers of ATF instead of a gallon jug. It makes it easier to meter out the ATF back into the tranny, unless of course you want to ruin your wife's kitchen measure that you used before (like I did) to measure out the new ATF.. LOL
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Unread 11-14-2013, 02:06 PM   #11
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drain and pour what was drained into the milk jug and mark the level. Dump it out and refill fresh fluid to the mark and pour back in the trans. Make sure the trans level is good first.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 03:59 PM   #12
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May want to do some research, when I got my '98, seemed I read more then one article that said the transmission didn't have a servicable filter and there was no reason to drop the pan, just drain, using the plug, and refill, 3 times.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 04:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Trons View Post
May want to do some research, when I got my '98, seemed I read more then one article that said the transmission didn't have a servicable filter and there was no reason to drop the pan, just drain, using the plug, and refill, 3 times.
That's my understanding also. However the filter that is inside is very easy to get to once the pan is removed. New filters can be bought. I've also came across those.who removed the filter and soaked it in solvent too clean it.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 04:49 PM   #14
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There is a filter that is replaceable when you drop the pan - it is a screen filter that can be either cleaned or replaced. Many people do NOT replace it based on the fact that is involves dropping the pan and it is not a paper/cloth filter that can clog with fine particles.

The milk jug is a ridiculous idea - drain the pan, replace the drain plug, add 3 quarts and drive it around the block, then top off and monitor over the next day or so when you have the tranny up to full operating temperature.

You do not want to overfill the transmission - it can foam the fluid creating slippage and can blow out the front seal very easily and cause it to leak.

It would be better to be underfilled a bit for a day assuming you're not going on a road trip then over filled at all.
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Unread 11-14-2013, 10:03 PM   #15
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The mileage won't hurt anything. I have 270k on mine and did a fluid change just before a 575 mi trip, 240 of that in the dirt. No issues, but, the fluid was clean looking when I drained it and I do not know the history of the truck.
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