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Old 03-12-2013, 08:07 AM
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Tranny Service Question

After a self-imposed hiatus, I have found myself re-addicted to this forum. I love the sharing of information that goes on here.

My truck is a 2001 F-250 with 192k miles. I have had the truck for a couple of years and the only issue I have had was a leaking fuel bowl. We are going to pull our camper to down to FL this year for vacation. Had a great time doing this a couple of years ago. In preparation for this trip, I am going to have the tranny and cooling system serviced. When I called around to have these items priced, I got hit with a couple of different philosophies regarding transmission service. So I wanted to get some other opinions.

Keep in mind that both garages I called are solid and reputable in my area.

The first place I called said that, in his experience, he had not seen the benefit of dropping the pan and changing out the filter. He recommended a full system solvent flush, all new fluids, and not changing the filter.

The second place I called said that they don't recommend flushing, but dropping the pan, changing the filter, and replacing the fluid lost while doing this.

After talking to these garages, I called the dealership to get the service records that they had on file. They went back to 100k miles and didn't have any record of tranny service. AHHHH!!! Lesson learned that I should have checked this a long time ago. Now, maybe it was serviced somewhere else, but I can't confirm this.

Can you guys provide some opinions on the best method of service?
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:16 AM
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If not flushing, replace with all new fluid (as it tends to break down over time), replace filter if needed and add an external filter system.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:51 AM
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If it was me, and I've had too replace my tranny at 194,000 miles, and after that I've learned a ton about what I was doing wrong. First if you don't have a larger cooler than the stock size, upgrade to the 6.0L cooler. Next is if you upgrade at that time I'd replace the filter (who knows how old it is) and I would flush 20 gallons of fluid through the tranny. After this is done every 15,000 miles I service my tranny by flushing 3 gallons of tranny fluid through it, it doesn't change it all but it keeps it fresh, this method is calling infinite dilution or something like that, a guy describe it as like cleaning house, you do it all the time not just once a year, so by changing 3 gallons every 15,000 miles the fluid stays fresher and doesn't have a chance too break down verse's if you did it only changed it every 50,000.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:35 AM
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IMHO I would pull the pan, new filter, drain the torque convertor, and pull the cooler lines off and blow them out. That is about the most youre going to flush out. I work in a tranny shop and thats what we do when we flush trannys. I flushed my tranny that way about 2 months ago as it lloked like it had never been changed (114K on truck)
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:47 AM
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I have the same truck as you and understand by "having been there" exactly what you are saying. At this point, DO NOT have a shop flush any solvent through your transmission! The best option is a fluid change by pan drop with filter change, TC drain, and cooler line drain as stated above.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:20 PM
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The way I learned about doing a tranny flush was from another Powerstroke diesel forum, is that you remove the cooler line that runs back into the tranny and pump out 1 gallon, then replace the 1 gallon until you (I've) gone through 5 gallons because that flushes out the valve bodies and torque converter. This way all the fluid is changed, then every 15,000 miles I will do the 3 gallons, then at 45,000 miles I drop the pan and change the filter. A happy tranny is one that has clean fluid and kept cool
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:53 AM
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Thanks for your input. It sounds like that I may be better served by dropping the pan and changing the filter. Then periodically doing a partial fluid exchange.

I do find it interesting that there seems to be hesitation around the idea of a total system flush, but then again, the transmission is not an area that I have any experience in. In fact, it spooks me a little to think about messing with one.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:06 AM
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I changed out all the fluids in my truck after I bought it. I went and got a flush from the dealer, then dropped the pan and replaced the filter myself. A lot of places say not to worry about the filter, but it's there for a reason. Replacing it is cheap, if a little messy. My fluid wasn't all that clean when I got it, and I guessed after 160K miles, the PO probably didn't bother with it much.

The flush was cheap at my dealer. I don't see a need to drop the pan every 20K, but a flush every 50K can't hurt.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:32 AM
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Get an external filter, drop the pan, do a complete flush, send in a fluid sample to see how bad it is. Then you can just drain the pan and top off every few thousand (3-5) and have tested until it comes within normal specs. It took me 2 drain and top offs to get mine back within specs.
Depending on where you are form and the temps you usually pull in, I highly recommend the 6.0 cooler to deal with the FL heat. I also recommend taking any toll roads you can just so you avoid the stop and go red light to red light traffic the toll roads avoid (especially if going through Miami to the Keys). I pull my 12K boat to FL several times a year and that heat is rough on the tranny's.
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