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Unread 02-01-2009, 09:40 PM   #1
Soft 8
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Pulled Trans Pan - 142K miles on original fluid! Pics! Pics! Pics!

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!



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Unread 02-02-2009, 05:51 AM   #2
Turbonut
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Probably hasn't been changed for a while, but looks like normal wear sediment on the pan and magnet.
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Unread 02-02-2009, 02:37 PM   #3
compcrasher86
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you are a lucky man. If that is indeed the original fluid, you were roughly 5 tansmission fluid changes overdue! LOL glad you caught it when you did
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Unread 02-02-2009, 02:53 PM   #4
Pbux690
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So what exactly were the steps that you took in changing the transmission fluid. Did you just drop the oil pan. Clean it, drain the old fluid(where is the plug in ur picture?), change both filters(theres two?), Add the trans fluid(How many quarts?), then reattach the oilpan cover? Thanks
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Unread 02-02-2009, 03:02 PM   #5
windsors03cobra
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I changed it in my 99 V8 Exploder @ 160k and it was original, not as much sludge but close. Noticed same much better shifts and performance overall, 15k miles since with nary a problem.
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Unread 02-02-2009, 03:06 PM   #6
99avant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pbux690 View Post
So what exactly were the steps that you took in changing the transmission fluid. Did you just drop the oil pan. Clean it, drain the old fluid(where is the plug in ur picture?), change both filters(theres two?), Add the trans fluid(How many quarts?), then reattach the oilpan cover? Thanks

You got it, except there is no drain plug. Just be careful when pulling the pan, that is when it all comes out.

The number of quarts depends on the model. I think its 6 for the 545fe
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Unread 02-02-2009, 03:11 PM   #7
Pbux690
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Thanks for the conformation I bought mine with 98xxx and now its got 124xxx i think its time to change. Where do you add the trans fluid. Is there a gap under the hood or what, also do you have to add any seals on the oil pan so it wont leak or is it just fine to bolt it back up??
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Unread 02-02-2009, 03:14 PM   #8
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Pbux690: You may want to watch someone who has done it before first or it WILL get very messy
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Unread 02-02-2009, 03:18 PM   #9
Pbux690
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Mess is the last thing im worried about. But yeah maybe observing or having someone help would be better off than just diving into it.
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Unread 02-02-2009, 03:41 PM   #10
JrMechanic
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It's an easy job. From experience, I've found that a plastic trash can lid (Convex one), upside down with drain holes poked into it works great for funneling it into a drain pan
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Unread 02-02-2009, 05:02 PM   #11
Soft 8
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I varified when I dropped the pan that it was the original fluid because it had the OEM gasket material. That and when I brought home the filters no one had seen that style before so... no one had been in there.

I have a 4.7L with a 545-RFE, This is also the same transmission behind the Hemis in the 1/2 ton Rams so they are gaining popularity in the aftermarket. Mine ended up using 8 quarts for just a fluid and filter change. There is no drain plug in the transmission pan. So... The tip about the trans can lid is a good idea. I wish I would have thought of that. I didn't realize the transmission pan was so big (I am used to the 727's) until I crawled under there with my catch pan... that was the same size as the transmission pan.

I picked up a set of WIX filters from Oreilys, I didn't care for the pan gasket that came with the WIX filters so I used the gasket from a Pioneer filter kit. The WIX kit gave me both filters and the seal that is needed to do the filter change.



Also this is a good reference on the process.

http://www.nagca.com/forum/archive/i...p/t-33521.html

You will have to copy and paste the links in to the browser to get the pictures to work but it is all there.
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Unread 02-02-2009, 05:10 PM   #12
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I replaced my trans fluid in my 93 ZJ limited over the weekend. It has 197,000 miles on it. It had never been changed before. The pan was clean and the fluid was not burnt and very little slug. I was very surprised.
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