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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Both fluids should be Mercon V. Power steering I changed soon after purchasing the car in late March; transmission I don't know when (if?) it was changed.

Note the difference in color.

My question: do non-Motorcraft fluids which meet or exceed Ford/Motorcraft specifications have the same color as the original Motorcraft fluid? Or do the specifications not include the color?

The transmission fluid is simply a more pale shade of red/orange (could that be the color of Mercon prior to Mercon V?).
It does not smell, and if you look at a drop hanging from the dipstick, it's entirely translucent (not milky, dark or opaque).

One way or another I want to replace the transmission fluid as soon as I find a place where I can do that. Just wondering if the color could be a clue as to what fluid is in there currently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A thought...hear me out:

In a perfect world, I'd drain my transmission pan and torque converter and cooler lines. But I don't really have the space to do that right now. So why not do the same I did with my power steering?

With the steering, I simply siphoned out the reservoir, replaced the same amount of fluid with fresh Mercon V, and repeated this process after each drive until the quart of fluid was used up. The result is fluid that becomes gradually cleaner.

I could do the same with the transmission: siphon out through the dipstick tube (maybe what? 1-2 quarts per application?), replace with fresh fluid, and repeat.

Has anyone done this? How much can you get out of the pan with this method?
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
@supergordo, @Kenz, I'm increasingly betting that this may be the original Mercon fluid. The original owner (23 years and about 29,000 miles) was very good to the car, but technically a transmission fluid change isn't until 30,000 miles (I realize you should consider mileage and time, but they may not have); the second owner (1,5 years and about 10,000 miles) only did oil changes.

Meanwhile, this siphoning exercise did help me make up my mind about how to proceed:

I will do the pan drop, filter change and torque converter drain. But before the pan drop, I will siphon out the fluid to minimize the mess.
I realize a lot of people recommend disconnecting a cooler line and then using the engine to pump the fluid from the pan out, but I just don't like that idea honestly. I'm not saying there's anything wrong about it; but personally I find the siphoning so much easier and cleaner, with essentially the same result.

I may not get all the fluid out. If I don't disconnect the cooler lines, I imagine that most of the fluid in the lines and in the radiator will remain. That being a fairly small amount (maybe 1-2 quarts?), I can live with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
You don't have to disconnect the cooler lines.
Well, I just re-read that old TSB...


...and now I'm wondering about that. The TSB states that any residual fluid in the lines can cause shudder, and to drain all fluid completely. Maybe they just wanted to make sure dealerships weren't cutting corners back then.

Questions:

Once the pan is lowered, if I simply disconnect the upper radiator line, will the fluid in the lines and radiator drain down to the pan (gravity plus air entering the line and radiator from the top)?

And a more general question: how exactly does fresh fluid get into the torque converter (and air out of it) after draining it? From what I'm seeing, the torque converter is an enclosed fixture with just one opening in the aft middle. But that opening is where the transmission shaft goes in. Sorry if this is a dumb question; just trying to understand the overall workings of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
When I read anywhere "deep pan", is that just in reference to the small, slightly deeper area in the middle (marked red in the picture) as opposed to an entirely flat pan? Or does "deep" refer to a pan which is deeper as a whole?
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
But you do have to rig up a fitting and hose for the radiator, and run the car for 30 seconds.
And after 30 seconds it'll start pumping air?

I'm actually surprised that it would be so quick. Isn't the routing of the fluid this: pan > torque converter > cooler? In that case you'd think it would take much longer.
Or does it pump directly from the pan to the cooler?
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
30 seconds should be safe. You don't want it pumping air.

Al
That's why I keep thinking...wouldn't it be best if I get a friend: one of us monitors the color of the fluid coming out of the cooler line; the other pours fresh fluid into the dipstick tube? This way there's no risk of the transmission to pump air and/or run dry. And once the color at the cooler line turns to bright red, you stop the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
In the transmission fluid change instructions on crownvic.net, there's the following paragraph:

"Disconnect the battery, unplug the PCM from the harness, or remove the PCM "KAM" fuse while the converter is draining to re-set the adaptive shift strategies in the PCM for the transmission. This is VERY IMPORTANT !"

I haven't read any such thing on TCCoA. Any thoughts?


For the cooler lines, I see at the radiator there's one at the top and one at the bottom. Which one is fluid going to the radiator, and which one is the return line to the transmission?
 
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