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Unread 09-01-2010, 10:53 AM   #31
87warrior
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A flush is generally considered a death sentence for any high mileage automatic, if the transmission wasn't regularly flushed since new. My basic understanding is that a high mileage auto becomes conditioned to the older, thicker, fluid and replacing all of it with new fluid will make the loose tolerances more noticeable and cause slipping.

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Unread 09-01-2010, 11:01 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason, aka: Jeepin.com View Post
Heh-heh, it's somewhat ironic that something considered one of the most bullet-proof parts on an XJ is actually made in Japan.
I'd hardly call the AW-4 "bulletproof," and it shifts with all the style and grace of an Allison behind a V8 Detroit in a 1980 Greyhound bus. I personally think its also a horsepower soak and responsible for most of the crappy gas mileage in automatic XJs. Its reliable enough in daily driver use- but its not really very stout as transmissions go. Why they didn't use the 43RH in the XJ like they did in Wranglers and Grand Cherokees it I'll never know.

But ranting about its quirks aside- you're not going to hurt it with a fluid/filter change unless you use an incompatible fluid (Dexron V, type F, etc.) Stick with Dexron III or even Mopar ATF+4 (which wasn't around when the AW4 was invented, but is the closest thing on the market to Dexron III these days other than real Dexron III.) The whole thing about high mileage automatics dying a horrible death if you ever change the fluid is just another one of those ridiculous automotive myths that refuse to go away.
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Unread 09-01-2010, 11:09 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
That Technical Service Bulletin gets mentioned often, but in the bulletin, there is no justification or reason given for the change in fluid specs. Most TSB's are released to address specific customer complaints or documented problems with a specific part or assembly.

Dexron-III/Mercon is what the original designers and manufactures of the AW-4 transmission specified and used, and Dex-III/Merc is inexpensive (unlike Amsoil) and readily available at any auto parts store, WalMart, and even the local grocery store has a few bottles. I prefer regular fluid changes instead of some expensive wonder fluid.

Why change what has worked well since the first AW-4 was installed in a Cherokee ?
Because GM has moved on to Dexron V (maybe even Dexron VI?) which is significantly thinner than Dexron III that the AW-4 was intended to use. So long as you can get Dexron III, go with it. But its becoming less and less common since GM transmissions are all compatible with Dex V and the newer fluids, so there's not much market for Dex III. Read labels carefully when you buy ATF- if it says Dexron III/V compatible, its really a Dexron V fluid and the "compatible" just reflects the fact that older GM transmissions are fine with the new stuff. ATF+4 is very, very similar to Dex III- more similar than Dex V is, and that's why Chrysler recommends it.
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Unread 09-01-2010, 11:32 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by praetorian View Post
Quick question, why do some of you say that a transmission flush is bad for these transmissions?
From all indications, the vast majority of people recommending against a transmission "flush" have no idea what they are talking about. Many flushing machines use the transmissions own fluid pressure, use no cleaning chemicals, and really do nothing more than a thorough fluid exchange. It's hard for that to be "bad."
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Unread 09-01-2010, 02:04 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87warrior View Post
..... if the transmission wasn't regularly flushed since new. My basic understanding is that a high mileage auto becomes conditioned to the older, thicker, fluid and replacing all of it with new fluid will make the loose tolerances more noticeable and cause slipping.
Warrior, not jumping you stuff, but this is simply incorrect info.


The potential problem with a high pressure flush is that dirt and debris that are in the transmission and transmission pan are disturbed by the power flush and are now circulating in high concentrations.

Simply draining and filling the pan once a week for a few weeks, using the drain plug, will remove dirty contaminated fluid and the debris without causing the debris to circulate throughout the entire transmission.

Dexron-III/Mercon fluid is available everywhere including the grocery store, the 7-11, WalMart, and any auto parts store. Just read the label and buy the right fluid.
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Unread 09-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post

Dexron-III/Mercon fluid is available everywhere including the grocery store, the 7-11, WalMart, and any auto parts store. Just read the label and buy the right fluid.
It's unlikely that genuine Dexron III is available at any retail store, considering that no one has had a license to produce it for several years, now. The only fluids currently available are substitutes claiming to meet Dexron III specifications.
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Unread 09-01-2010, 02:45 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangofox007 View Post
..... The only fluids currently available are substitutes claiming to meet Dexron III specifications.
It's not like there is a secret Dex/Merc formula like for Coca-Cola, the bottle is labeled Dexron-III/Mercon.

If it meets the Dex/Merc specifications, that's all I need.
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Unread 09-01-2010, 03:25 PM   #38
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Tim- thanks for the clarification. Guess my basic understanding was just wrong. But that is ok, it is why I started this thread in the first place. Thank you for the information.

On a side note, I did drain and fill the MJs AW4 once since this thread started. Nothing changed as far as driveabiliy is concerned. This is the end of that story, as the original drive line has been pulled and won't be going back in.
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Unread 09-01-2010, 03:26 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
It's not like there is a secret Dex/Merc formula like for Coca-Cola, the bottle is labeled Dexron-III/Mercon.

.
I don't think you will find a bottle labeled "Dexron III" on many store shelves today. If you do, it's pretty old stock.

Here is the current Castrol label:
http://www.castrol.com/castrol/secti...tentId=7027043
Note that the product name is no longer "Dexron III."


Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
It

If it meets the Dex/Merc specifications, that's all I need.
But is that what you are getting? GM says you might not be.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 10:46 AM   #40
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Somebody mentioned on NAXJA that if you do a total of 5 fluid drains of the transmission pan, you will have replaced like 83% or 85% of the total volume. At that point, you get to diminishing returns.

I've done one drain of the pan and I'm getting ready to do #2. I'm going to wait about 3,000 to 5,000 miles after drain #2 to drop the pan and change the filter. I didn't want to change the filter at the beginning, because I'm sure the new fluid will knock some crud loose.
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Unread 10-16-2010, 08:06 PM   #41
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i've read through and have decided to do the drain and fill method. My aft is not redish as it should be. I just have one question is there away to tell what type of atf fluid was used. when i got the jeep they just did regular stuff so i don't think they ever changed out the fluid. i don't want use the wrong fluid and cause issues. currently my tranny has no problems.
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Unread 10-16-2010, 08:27 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorget View Post
i've read through and have decided to do the drain and fill method. My aft is not redish as it should be. I just have one question is there away to tell what type of atf fluid was used. when i got the jeep they just did regular stuff so i don't think they ever changed out the fluid. i don't want use the wrong fluid and cause issues. currently my tranny has no problems.
I *believe* it's merx/dex III.
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Unread 10-16-2010, 08:28 PM   #43
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When I first got my XJ last year, I changed all the fluids and even did the transmission twice after a few hundred miles and then again when I changed the shift solenoids. Fluid looks great now and everything seems to be working so far with 163k+ on it. Knock on wood that it continues like it is now.

Oh yeah, all the above consisted of changing the filter out twice just to be sure I got as much of the old fluid and dirt out as possible.
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Unread 10-16-2010, 10:12 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorget View Post
.... i don't want use the wrong fluid and cause issues.
Use Dexron-III/Mercon fluid as specified in your Owners Manual and in the Factory Service Manual. My 1998 Cherokee has 178,000 + miles and Dex-III/Merc is all that was ever used in it.
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Unread 10-17-2010, 05:24 AM   #45
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You'll be fine using either Dextron III/Mercon or ATF+4 (which Chrysler now recommends). I switched to ATF+4 after draining/refilling my trans three times because the full synthetic fluid flows better at extremely low temps and resists breakdown at extremely high temps.

High mileage fluid change: A trans that has been run hard and never serviced can fail after a fluid change. I've personally seen this happen and have been cautioned about doing it by a good trans tech. I suspect that it's got a lot to do with what trans you're doing it to...some may be more prone to fail than others.
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