E150 - too much ATF?

I just bought a 91 econoline 150 with automatic transmission. The van has 86k miles and runs pretty good but the automatic shifting is a little rough - it jolts into gear instead of just gently shifting. It's not really
bad, but bad enough to make me worry a little.
I checked the transmission fluid this evening with the engine cold and it's wayyyy over the high mark, probably 5 inches or so above the 'Add'. Now I know that it's supposed to be checked with the transmission warm, with the engine idling, and the transmission in park. However, after checking it cold I'm wondering if I should drain some fluid out before I warm it up. I'm worried that it may have too much fluid and cause damage to the transmission or seals if I run it very long like this.
Thanks for info or tips!
Eric
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Now that you know that you are supposed to check it at full operating temperature engine idling and in park, do that. Then you will know if it is over full or not. FYI, an over full transmission will not cause a harsh shift. The harsh shift ( if it is a harsh shift, it may be normal ) depends on the model transmission.

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Thanks for your response. Didn't know if an over full transmission would cause a harsh shift or not, but it's reassuring to hear it might be normal.
Tomorrow I'm gonna heat it up and see what the ATF level is.
thanks again,
Eric

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Yeah, I cleaned the dipstick. And you're right, running it one more time probably won't hurt. I'll try it tomorrow.
Thanks for responding.
Eric

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"Eric Yancey" wrote

Probably because the torque converter and the various passages in the valve body partially drained back into the pan. Warm it up, and put the shifter into each gear position for a few seconds to make sure everything's full, then check the level while running.
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Thanks to all that responded. I checked the ATF level again this evening with the engine hot and after I had driven for a little while and the level is still really high - probably about 4 inches above the high mark. So it sounds like I need to drain some out.
By the way... why in the heck do they put the dipstick so far back in there under the air cleaner snorkel? With the engine hot it's a pain to get in there without burning yourself.
Eric

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I had a 93 Tempo that always showed the tranny fluid being too high on the dipstick. When I drained it to make it read correctly, the tranny started slipping. I had to refill a lot of it back before it was ok again. I don't know whether the occasional slipping damaged anything.

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