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Unread 06-29-2014, 08:18 PM   #1
Nishbot
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42RLE Transmission Fluid Change questions and write-up?

Greetings to everyone here! I turn once again to you for advice.

I'm looking to drain and fill (with filter change) my transmission fluid. I drive a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L 6cyl 4spd Automatic. The transmission model is 42RLE. I have 99,000 miles.

I have searched this forum high and low, including the TJ tech boot camp, as well as Google, for a decent write-up on how to perform this, but to no avail. Sorry, I'm a newb, and this will be my first time changing transmission fluid on my own.

The best write-up I got was this: http://www.jeepz.com/forum/drivetrai...er-change.html

But even that leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I was hoping anyone with experience here with this transmission, and transmissions in general, could assist me in answering these questions:

1. The fluid used in a 42RLE is Mopar ATF+4 which (even written on the bottle) is a "fill for life" fluid. What does that exactly mean? Do I not have to ever change my transmission fluid? The tranny came factory filled with Mopar ATF+4, so I'm not sure I even need to change it. (by the way, I know any ATF+4 will do, but I personally elected to go with Mopar).

2. I've been reading a lot of different answers whether to even change the transmission fluid. The owners manual says every 60,000 miles (schedule A), but other forums say every 30,000 miles (for schedule B), while others say do not EVER do a transmission fluid change, even after 100,000 miles (ex: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2713202/posts). Should I change my tranny fluid? (Also, I've never changed the tranny fluid since I've owned the car (6 years, since 39,000 miles), and I don't know if the previous owner has ever done it either. I also do not ever off-road, or do any high-stress driving, but I do live in FL, and it gets hot here.)

3. Is there a rubber gasket for the tranny pan? Autozone sells a rubber gasket, some forums say rubber gasket, but the dealership says there is no rubber gasket, and you have to use RTV sealant, and not just any kind of RTV, but a specific one for transmission seals. So what's the deal? Is there a rubber gasket or no? Can I use any RTV sealant?

4. Will any 42RLE filter do? I already bought a Mopar filter, cost me $30, but don't know if it's worth it.

4. Does anyone know where I can find a more detailed write-up, or if one of you are generous, can do a write-up for me? I'm sure I'm not the only one looking for a write-up for a 42RLE tranny fluid change, and this could help a lot of people.

Thanks in advance everyone. I'm looking to dive into this as soon as possible.

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Unread 06-29-2014, 11:00 PM   #2
richardprovince
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nishbot View Post
Greetings to everyone here! I turn once again to you for advice.

I'm looking to drain and fill (with filter change) my transmission fluid. I drive a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4.0L 6cyl 4spd Automatic. The transmission model is 42RLE. I have 99,000 miles.

I have searched this forum high and low, including the TJ tech boot camp, as well as Google, for a decent write-up on how to perform this, but to no avail. Sorry, I'm a newb, and this will be my first time changing transmission fluid on my own.

The best write-up I got was this: http://www.jeepz.com/forum/drivetrai...er-change.html

But even that leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I was hoping anyone with experience here with this transmission, and transmissions in general, could assist me in answering these questions:

1. The fluid used in a 42RLE is Mopar ATF+4 which (even written on the bottle) is a "fill for life" fluid. What does that exactly mean? Do I not have to ever change my transmission fluid? The tranny came factory filled with Mopar ATF+4, so I'm not sure I even need to change it. (by the way, I know any ATF+4 will do, but I personally elected to go with Mopar).

2. I've been reading a lot of different answers whether to even change the transmission fluid. The owners manual says every 60,000 miles (schedule A), but other forums say every 30,000 miles (for schedule B), while others say do not EVER do a transmission fluid change, even after 100,000 miles (ex: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2713202/posts). Should I change my tranny fluid? (Also, I've never changed the tranny fluid since I've owned the car (6 years, since 39,000 miles), and I don't know if the previous owner has ever done it either. I also do not ever off-road, or do any high-stress driving, but I do live in FL, and it gets hot here.)

3. Is there a rubber gasket for the tranny pan? Autozone sells a rubber gasket, some forums say rubber gasket, but the dealership says there is no rubber gasket, and you have to use RTV sealant, and not just any kind of RTV, but a specific one for transmission seals. So what's the deal? Is there a rubber gasket or no? Can I use any RTV sealant?

4. Will any 42RLE filter do? I already bought a Mopar filter, cost me $30, but don't know if it's worth it.

4. Does anyone know where I can find a more detailed write-up, or if one of you are generous, can do a write-up for me? I'm sure I'm not the only one looking for a write-up for a 42RLE tranny fluid change, and this could help a lot of people.

Thanks in advance everyone. I'm looking to dive into this as soon as possible.
I'm on my phone so the short answer is yes change it, it needs changed certainly, Mopar filter will be best, no additives, and gasket maker is what I use but kits will do
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Unread 06-30-2014, 06:18 AM   #3
Neil F.
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- Yes you HAVE to periodically change the transmission fluid. It is not "life time"

- Factory pan seal is RTV. You can use RTV again or non dealer supplied gasket.

It's fairly straight forward. Drop the pan (it will be messy). Youl'll see the filter has a simple twist lock. Scrape the stock RTV (reapply or use gasket). Refill (+4 only various brands will do).
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Unread 06-30-2014, 06:26 AM   #4
TJSIDNEY
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You can do a Full Flush and a Filter and gasket change.. I would suspect that a Full Flush will not harm your Tranny.. or you could just drop the pan and change the filter and only really replace approx. 4 quarts of fluid .. it's up to you.. leaving that new fluid to mix with all the old fluid.. The torque converter is gonna be full of old fluid.. why not flush it ? I hardly think a full flush is going to do anything negative to it.. You can flush a Tranny but not an Engine.. You have two choices.. do it halfway or do it all the way..

I change my Fluids regular.. and recently Fully Flushed my Wife's Jeep- Auto Tranny at 79k miles.. full flush not just a drop .. Hers runs fine.. if you start doing it now and regular there is no reason you can't continue down this maintenance path. There is a lot of Hype about flushing fully and not flushing.. To be honest it's just hype and nothing else.. Mostly fear .. When you get the Pan down and see how much metal is on the magnet .. that will give you the best indication of the use of the tranny before and during your ownership, in addition to the condition of the fluid.. i.e. color and odor..

You will have to have a shop Fully Flush as you most likely don't have the equipment to do yourself..
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Unread 06-30-2014, 08:01 AM   #5
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I've done mine twice. As said it's not difficult but quite messy.
Drop the pan and drain.
Use ONLY a Mopar filter. There's a little o-ring that goes on the filter tube. Make sure that gets on there. Use the new one if you get one with the filter or reuse the old one. There's a couple bolts that hold the filter on.
Scrape the mating surfaces of the tranny and pan clean. I use Permatex Black RTV - run a bead around the outer edge of the pan. [you can also buy a Lube Locker reusable gasket if you prefer not to mess with the rtv]
Install the pan and do NOT overtighten the bolts.
It takes me between 5-6 quarts of ATF+4 to get back to full. Put 4 in then start the Jeep run it through the gears blah blah , let it idle and check fluid. Add a little at a time until it shows full. I use Valvoline ATF+4. Cheaper than Dealer.
http://lubelocker.com/collections/tr...s/lub-llt-a042
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Unread 06-30-2014, 08:13 PM   #6
JBTJ
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What can I say here?

1. YES, the ATF needs to be replaced on a regular basis. They say it's a fill for life in hopes you are dumb enough to not change the fluid and come back for service work when the transmission craps out because the fluid was never changed and wore out. Heat kills ATF and the hotter it gets the less life it has. I completely replace my ATF every year. Most ATF+4 fluids are approved by Chrysler. You can look that info up for yourself on the Internet. The list is big.

2. The ATF should be changed at least every 30k or sooner. Who ever says it never needs to be replaced simply has no idea what they are talking about. The problem occurs when a vehicle goes into the shop to have the ATF "flushed". IF the vehicle has the "flush" preformed on a regular basis then there is no problem. But, if not then the flush can kill the transmission due to the way the flush machine works. Many shops use chemicals to get all the gunk out and also incorporate a back flush to the procedure. This procedure takes the gunk from the little nooks and crannies and deposits them due to the back flushing in other areas that could cause blockage in the internals of the transmission and burn it up. The "BEST and safest way is to simply replace the ATF in the system. This is done by disconnecting the output cooler line from the transmission at the radiator. Then use the transmissions pump to pump out the ATF in the system while you dump in more fresh ATF. Simple and quick to do.

3. My transmission, the 32RH 3 speed has a reusable gasket, good for life unless you tear it up. I would order one of those gaskets or use a rubber one. The cork type gaskets tend to leak.

4. I would use the OEM filter myself.

5. I can post a write up for you that I use on my transmission. Though the exact procedure may be a little different the process is still the same.

There is a way of doing this process and a better way. Many say drop the pan to change the filter. This is all good but in doing so the ATF in the pan will get all over the place. My method is to disconnect the output cooler line at the radiator and connect a length of 3/8th's rubber hose to it and stick the other end into a empty milk jug then start the engine to pump out what's in the pan into the milk jug. This way when you remove the pan there will be little left in the pan to get all over the place.
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Unread 07-01-2014, 01:21 PM   #7
mike_dippert
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I stick one of these down the fill tube before dropping the pan:

Then drop the pan and change the filter.
Reinstall the pan.
Refill to proper level.

I do that every 12-18 months, but I only drive 6-7k a year.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 07:31 PM   #8
Nishbot
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Thanks everyone! I changed my fluid today and used a rubber gasket from Advanced Auto with a Mopar filter from the dealer. Whole job took 3 hours, not bad for the first time :-) . I appreciate everyone's help!
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Unread 07-04-2014, 07:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nishbot View Post
Thanks everyone! I changed my fluid today and used a rubber gasket from Advanced Auto with a Mopar filter from the dealer. Whole job took 3 hours, not bad for the first time :-) . I appreciate everyone's help!
It was frigging messy right. I did mine a few weeks ago. I used a lubelocker filter....so much easier than the rtv.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 08:13 PM   #10
geiman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffro06
I used a lubelocker filter....so much easier than the rtv.
Just did mine last weekend and used a lube locker too. Made me a fan for sure, loved it.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 10:27 PM   #11
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For future reference the fluid should changed every 30K miles.

A full flush is actually quite easy. You need 12-14 qts of ATF+4 (12 is what is actually required but I get a little extra just in case).

Take a gallon jug that you can see through (like a milk jug) and mark it by the quart.

Disconnect the output line from the bottom of the radiator (driver's side 03-06, pass side 02 and earlier) and attach a 2-3 foot hose to it and put the other end in your marked jug.

Have someone else start the engine. Run it until you hit the 3 quart mark and shut it off.

Drop the pan and replace the filter (have a catch pan cause there will be about a quart in the pan). Make sure to use a genuine Mopar filter. There have been issues with some aftermarket filters because of pick up design. It's less messy to pump the first 3 out before dropping the pan.

Reinstall the pan and use black RTV or a quality gasket. The FSM says use RTV but a gasket is fine, too. Once the pan is reinstalled add 4 qts of ATF+4.

From here forward start and run the engine long enough to pump ONLY 3 qts at a time. Any more than that and you'll suck air into the system.

Once you've used 12 quarts, remove the hose to the jug, reattach the return line, start the engine, and allow it to reach normal operating temp. Once warm check the fluid level (parked on level surface, P-brake set, trans in N) and add if needed to bring to the full mark. At this point take it for a drive. You want the trans fluid at normal operating temp for the best results when checking fluid level. A 15 minute or so drive will do this quite nicely. After the test drive recheck your fluid level and add if needed.

If you like you can fill until there is about an extra quart of fluid. This WILL NOT hurt the 42RLE. Many do this (especially offroaders), it helps to prevent fluid starvation at extreme angles.
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Unread 07-04-2014, 11:46 PM   #12
Nishbot
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Thanks for the tips, white, and to everyone else as well. Next time I'll do the output disconnect method because yea, it was messy!
And yeah, it definitely looked like the fluid hadn't been changed ever because it was a really dark shade of red, almost black.
I didn't do a full flush (only replaced 5 quarts), so I hope I'm OK?

I also did a drain and fill on my transfer case. 20 min, super easy! Yay for productive July 4ths!
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Unread 07-05-2014, 04:28 AM   #13
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So white, what do you do with the return line while your using the jug. I assume it just sits there sucking air in. That's why only 3 quarts at a time? Or do you plug it while doing the work? Just making sure before trying myself.

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Unread 07-05-2014, 08:27 AM   #14
JBTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nishbot View Post
Thanks for the tips, white, and to everyone else as well. Next time I'll do the output disconnect method because yea, it was messy!
And yeah, it definitely looked like the fluid hadn't been changed ever because it was a really dark shade of red, almost black.
I didn't do a full flush (only replaced 5 quarts), so I hope I'm OK?

I also did a drain and fill on my transfer case. 20 min, super easy! Yay for productive July 4ths!
Bad idea, there is still 2/3rd's of the old ATF left in the system. It all needs to be replaced. It's pointless to only do 1/3rd of it. Here is another project for you. Cost maybe $70 total but well worth it. Add on an external transmission filter. If you can locate here where I did mine you can stand up to change the filter and takes about 20 seconds to do. Once this filter is in place you no longer need to crawl under the JEEP, drop the pan and change out the internal filter and make a mess doing so. Though it's not shown in this pic, I use a NAPA brand hydraulic filter p/n 1269 that can filter the ATF down to 10 microns. Much better than the internal filter can do. Also, when it comes down to replacing ALL the ATF in the system, which I do every year, simply disconnect the input line off the external filter and use the transmissions pump to pump out all the old ATF. Now I can do a filter and complete ATF change in about 10 minutes and not make a mess.








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Unread 07-05-2014, 08:40 AM   #15
JBTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowRunner View Post
So white, what do you do with the return line while your using the jug. I assume it just sits there sucking air in. That's why only 3 quarts at a time? Or do you plug it while doing the work? Just making sure before trying myself.

Tracy
You add a length of rubber hose to the supply line coming from the transmission going to the radiator or get a brass barb fitting that connects to the radiator on the return side and connect the rubber hose there and stick it in the milk jug. This part really doesn't matter too much as you are either going to start the flush before the radiator and exteranl cooler, if you have one, or after it. It doesn't suck air, ATF will be coming out of the rubber hose. The 42RLE holds more than 3 quarts in the transmission pan but like my 32RH it only holds 3 quarts. So you can actually pump out a little more in this case. But, since there is only 4 quarts to a gallon milk jug I'd pump out 4. The reason for this is the fluid is being sucked out of the pan and pushed through the system and out the supply line or return line, depending on where you decide to make the connection, into the milk jug. Once the pan is sucked dry you want to turn off the engine to stop the process so you will not burn up the pump in the transmission. At this point is where you add new ATF through the dipstick tube to fill the pan again and repeat the process until fresh clean ATF is coming out. Now you have successfully exchanged out all the ATF in the transmission and system.
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