I started having problems with my 545-RFE a couple weeks ago. I started doing some homework on them and was pretty impressed. Long story short, I replaced my vehicle speed sensors which helped the shifting problem and eliminated the erractic shifts it had started to suffer from. But it still wasn't right, there was something just a little off.
After talking to the previous onwers (Family) Everyone thought the transmission fluid had been changed a while back but couldn't remember when exactly.
I had always heard that changing the fluid on a high mileage transmission was a bad idea, it would wash the varnish off of the clutches and ruin it in a short time. After doing more and more homework I found more and more contradicting information.
So off came the pan to see what I could find:
In all honesty I was expecting to a snap ring(s) or lots and lots of clutch material.
This is what I found in the bottom of the pan:
It was dirty, very dirty; but the fluid wasn't burnt.
Both filters were replaced (with Wix a Trans Filter Kit) which included the pressed in seal in the case of the transmission. I added fresh ATF+F and took it for a test drive and was really impressed with how much different it felt. No more flare up going in to 5th gear, the shifts were much more fim (Imagine that!). After taking it for a couple of test drives, I checked the fluid level one more time and corrected it as needed.
SO FAR, no leaks, no mis-shifts, no noise, SO FAR SO GOOD!
Let me know what you think of what I found in the pan!