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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:06 PM   #1
josh_br
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How to change manual transmission fluid?

I would like to change the fluid in my 1997 Wrangler's transmission. It is a 5 speed manual. I'm asking about it because this is something I haven't ever done before. As I understand it, you just remove a drain plug, drain the old fluid, and replace the plug. Then there's another plug up higher, so you take that plug out and then add the new fluid until it gets level with this plug. Sound correct?

I also wondered if anyone knows of anything unexpected a person can run into doing this, and if anyone knows what the best fluid to put back in the tranny would be. Most of the Jeep's miles are driven on-road, but it does get the occasional trip off-road when time permits. My local auto parts store is Advance Auto.

Thanks!

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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:12 PM   #2
George Dickel
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I can't recall without looking but I believe you can find that info in one of those stickys up top of the screen. If not, it's pretty straightforward. My only issue I want to say was the crowded area makes getting the new fluid back in tough without a pump of some sort.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
2jhanna
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first make sure you can get the fill plug out first (drivers side about mid way up), the last thing that you want to happen is to drain the fluid and then not be able to get the fill plug out because of it being too tight or stripped.

having a "bottle fluid pump" is handy to get the new fluid in.

i think for your year, most here have switched to 10/30 motor oil. others can correct me if this is not correct.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 09:16 PM   #4
freeskier93
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Remove fill plug, then remove drain plug. The rain plug has a magnet in it so make sure you clean the metal shavings off. You can even drain it with the skid plate on, I use cardboard to deflect the oil.

Put drain plug back on. There are two ways of doing this:

1. Remove the shifter from the transmission and poor the oil in there until it comes out the fill hole.

2. Get a handheld pump and pump the oil into the transmission through the fill hole until it runs out.

I personally like option 1.

^^^Yes, 10w-30 motor oil is the "new" spec. It's what I put in there and am really happy with it. Really smoothed out the shifting.
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Unread 01-28-2011, 11:42 PM   #5
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http://www.stu-offroad.com/engine/ax-15/ax-15-1.htm

I used a flexible cookie sheet to channel the old fluid over the skid plate and a quart pump to pump the Redline MT-90 in. The problem I had was my washer from the drain plug fell into the fluid and I didn't notice until I was getting rid of the old fluid had already re-filled the transmission.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 05:31 AM   #6
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redline mt-90 or royal purple synchromax (ive got RP in mine now and will switch to redline). i have not heard of anyone using 10w-30 wt oil and would not use it in your manual transmission. in fact without doing any research into it i would say that it could damage your synchronizers because the oil meets nowhere near the viscosity requirements or has the right properties (waiting to hear the correct answer from jerry now). and if i remember correctly the fill plug sits decently high up, if you were to fill all the way to that, you would have way too much fluid, im pretty sure its 4 qts. better by yourself a manual to see what the factory specs are for amount of fluid and what specs the fluid needs to meet. only about 15 bucks from your local parts store. well worth the investment.

oh and if you get a fill tube long enough, the bottle will fit up in front of the fire wall allowing the oil to drain in the tranny. either that or a pump will work.

edit: in just reading the link real quick from stuoffroad, about 3.25 qrts.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 05:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfmiller58 View Post
redline mt-90 or royal purple synchromax (ive got RP in mine now and will switch to redline). i have not heard of anyone using 10w-30 wt oil and would not use it in your manual transmission. in fact without doing any research into it i would say that it could damage your synchronizers because the oil meets nowhere near the viscosity requirements or has the right properties (waiting to hear the correct answer from jerry now). and if i remember correctly the fill plug sits decently high up, if you were to fill all the way to that, you would have way too much fluid, im pretty sure its 4 qts. better by yourself a manual to see what the factory specs are for amount of fluid and what specs the fluid needs to meet. only about 15 bucks from your local parts store. well worth the investment.

oh and if you get a fill tube long enough, the bottle will fit up in front of the fire wall allowing the oil to drain in the tranny. either that or a pump will work.

edit: in just reading the link real quick from stuoffroad, about 3.25 qrts.

I use 10w-30 and it works great. Its the new oil your supposed to use in the AX-15.

First remove the FILL plug.
Then the drain
put the drain back in
Fill it up with 10w-30 using one of those crappy pumps from autozone
Fill plug back in
Your good to go

IIRC the fill/drain polugs are 15/16".
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Unread 01-29-2011, 06:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfmiller58 View Post
redline mt-90 or royal purple synchromax (ive got RP in mine now and will switch to redline). i have not heard of anyone using 10w-30 wt oil and would not use it in your manual transmission. in fact without doing any research into it i would say that it could damage your synchronizers because the oil meets nowhere near the viscosity requirements or has the right properties (waiting to hear the correct answer from jerry now). and if i remember correctly the fill plug sits decently high up, if you were to fill all the way to that, you would have way too much fluid, im pretty sure its 4 qts. better by yourself a manual to see what the factory specs are for amount of fluid and what specs the fluid needs to meet. only about 15 bucks from your local parts store. well worth the investment.

oh and if you get a fill tube long enough, the bottle will fit up in front of the fire wall allowing the oil to drain in the tranny. either that or a pump will work.

edit: in just reading the link real quick from stuoffroad, about 3.25 qrts.
10w30 is the current recommended fluid from jeep for the ax15.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 07:10 AM   #9
josh_br
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That is just the kind of info I was looking for, such as that I'll need a pump or something to get the new fluid in. Thanks all!
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Unread 01-29-2011, 09:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfmiller58 View Post
redline mt-90 or royal purple synchromax (ive got RP in mine now and will switch to redline). i have not heard of anyone using 10w-30 wt oil and would not use it in your manual transmission. in fact without doing any research into it i would say that it could damage your synchronizers because the oil meets nowhere near the viscosity requirements or has the right properties (waiting to hear the correct answer from jerry now). and if i remember correctly the fill plug sits decently high up, if you were to fill all the way to that, you would have way too much fluid, im pretty sure its 4 qts. better by yourself a manual to see what the factory specs are for amount of fluid and what specs the fluid needs to meet. only about 15 bucks from your local parts store. well worth the investment.

oh and if you get a fill tube long enough, the bottle will fit up in front of the fire wall allowing the oil to drain in the tranny. either that or a pump will work.

edit: in just reading the link real quick from stuoffroad, about 3.25 qrts.
1st, gear oil and engine oil use different scales. 2nd, 10w-30 is the new recommended oil from Chrysler. 3rd, while Jerry is a wealth of information there are a lot of other people who happen to know what they are talking about. 4th, 3.25 quarts is almost exactly to the fill plug.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 10:32 PM   #11
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I visited Advance Auto this afternoon. They recommended gear oil...I don't remember what weight. They said 3.4 quarts were required. Hopefully tomorrow I will to change the fluid.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 10:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by josh_br View Post
I visited Advance Auto this afternoon. They recommended gear oil...I don't remember what weight. They said 3.4 quarts were required. Hopefully tomorrow I will to change the fluid.
What gear oil did they recommend? GL-4 I hope...
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Unread 01-29-2011, 10:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 2jhanna View Post
first make sure you can get the fill plug out first (drivers side about mid way up), the last thing that you want to happen is to drain the fluid and then not be able to get the fill plug out because of it being too tight or stripped.

having a "bottle fluid pump" is handy to get the new fluid in.

i think for your year, most here have switched to 10/30 motor oil. others can correct me if this is not correct.
You're right on the money on all counts. I've got a '97 with a manual and I switched to 10/30 last year. The tranny shifts way better than it ever has and i no longer have problems shifting into 2nd gear on cold mornings.
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Unread 01-30-2011, 06:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Max-Q View Post
You're right on the money on all counts. I've got a '97 with a manual and I switched to 10/30 last year. The tranny shifts way better than it ever has and i no longer have problems shifting into 2nd gear on cold mornings.
I've read that you should use synthetic 10w30, is that true?
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Unread 01-30-2011, 06:43 AM   #15
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^^^ Correct.
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