To Change or not to Change

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I have a 1988 Mercury with 148,000 miles on it and was wanting to perform regular maintenance on it.
I have been told by several people not to change the auto transmission fluid
and filter. Their response is that the vehicle has high mileage and that changing the fluid at this time would result in failure of the transmission since the old fluid has particulates in it that help it work and that new fluid will not.
I have never heard of this before myself. The car shifts ok now but the transmission fluid has no record of being serviced before and if it is the original fluid I would want to change it after all these miles.
Comments anyone?
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148000 miles is NOT high mileage for a 1988 Merc - and the fluid MUST be changed if you want to get high mileage on it without failure. The guys giving you the mis-information do not know what they are talking about.
Drain the fluid, drop the pan, change the filter, adjust any bands according to factory manual specs, and the flush the system. I remove the return line from the cooler and with the engine idling, pour new fluid in untill clean fluid comes out the hose.. Then shut off, reconnect the line, run engine and fill to the full mark.
Simply draining the fluid will get less than half the old fluid. If your old fluid is still nice and pink, and does not stink, this may be adequate, combined with a good transmission fluid conditioner. This conditionar is basically just the additive pack to replace what has been depleted in the old fluid. B-G makes a good one.
My prefference is a complete change.
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Take the car to a shop that has a tranny flushing machine, WBMA. The tranny flushing machines take out the old fluid, flush new fluid through the whole system till it runs clear THEN refills the tranny. Tranny fluid is loaded with detergents. When one only changes the fluid in the case and not the converter, or does not flush the system to clean out the gunk that the new fluids detergents get loose, you can have a problem. We have seen transmissions easily go to 500K in five years in fleet vehicles since we started changing the fluid with the machines, about ten years ago, at every two years or 50K.
mike hunt
ka9szx wrote:

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fluid
transmission
A couple months ago I changed the transmission fluid in my '68 Galaxie's FMX (107,000 miles). I doubt it's ever been changed before as it was originally my great grandmothers car so I know it's history. In any case, after changing the fluid and filter the transmission definitely felt different. It shifts better, more quickly and firmly when I'm hauling ass or particularly manually shifting, and more quickly and smoothly when just putzing along.
Make sure when you change the fluid you drain the torque converter. Usually there is an access panel on the bellhousing you remove and then you just turn the engine until you see the drain plug on the converter. Once you've drained the converter go ahead and drop the pan, then change your filter, put it all back together, and add fluid.
Cory
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wrote:

Except todays torque converters do not have a drain. Some trany shops have a drain kit - basically they pinch a hole in the converter and install a plug. Otherwise you need to flush to get all of the oil .
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perform

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Didn't know that... Add that to the long list of reason I'll never own anotehr modern car. Even though the two modern cars I have owned were both manual transmissions (modern cars typically have 4 bangers or 6 bangers, no sense in a torque converter if there ain't any torque to convert). My two Galaxies have never given me half the trouble I've had from my two modern cars. Hell, the with the fuel injected car I had to pour gas or started fluid down the throttle body to get it to start on cold mornings!! Never had to do that even in well below freezing weather with the Gals. Oh well, chalk it up to a lesson learned. These days auto makers do everything they can to make it harder for you to work on the car yourself.
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I noticed that too.
I have a 97 Contour. The plugs didn't need to get changed until 100k. Damn, I couldn't change them every 20k like I did with my AMC Eagle.
I had to change the points and condensor on my Eagle. Oopsie, no need to change these.
The cars are more reliable now. There are few parts that break and the cars last far longer (my Contour is said to be good for 200k + miles vs. about 100k for cars 15 years ago).
Part of the reliability of the cars is all the computers. They control the spark, fuel mixture, etc., better than ever before. This improves mileage and decreases pollution. You can't do this without computers.
Jeff
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Damn,
That's probably more a factor of modern plug design than anything else. I am leery about going so long on the same plugs without at least checking their condition and gap at normal 20k-30k intervals.

I have a Pertronics Ignitor II setup in my '68. It's a beautiful thing to never worry about points.

cars
I don't know waht you're talking about with that... My '67 Galaxie 500 with 289 and FMX went to 202,000 miles on the original engine adn transmission before I sold it. Even then, when I sold it the motor and transmission were rock solid reliable. Compression was within a few PSI on every cylinder. It fired right up even in below freezing weather, idled at a cold idle of only 100 RPM or so above warm idle and I could drive away right after starting it with no driveability issues whatsoever. I only sold it because the frame was rotted out under the doors and around the rear end. That was because the car sat in a field of tall grass for a good 10 years before I got it. It lasted me over two years before the frame weakened to the point where it was unsafe, so I sold it.

My '67 Galaxie nor my '68 Galaxie has ever given me much trouble. Even on the coldest of mornings they have always started right up and got me where I need to go reliably. I can't say this for the only fuel injected computer controlled vehicle I ever owned. It was an '86 Olds Calais Supreme with 2.5l 4 banger and 5 speed trans. On cold mornings (not even below freezing) I would have to pour gas down the _throttle body_ to get it to start. Go figure... Anyhow, that was the first and last modern vehicle I'll ever own. I have nod esire to deal with computers and junk like that. I'll stick to tried and true technology that may not be the most efficient or most environmentally friends, but always gets me where I need to go, and in the rare event it gives me any trouble it's easy enough to get working. Hell, a nice little Falcon with a 200 cube 6 banger and 3 on the tree would be awesome. 25+ MPG on the highway, maybe more if I could find one with one of them pseaudo 4 speed toploaders where 4th is overdrive. A carburetor properly tuned will not pollute significantly more than the same engine with fuel injection. That is of course assuming both are tuned with the same thing in mind, be it performance, fuel economy, or emissions.
Cory
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Cory Dunkle opined

Dammit Cory... How many times I have to tell you, CFI isnt really FI!
But you are right.. the longevity is as much a product of the closed carnkcase breathing system and oil technology along with regular maintenance as anything.
but being old enough to be your grandpa.. I'll still tell you you are -still- fulla shit about that "reliability"
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What do you mean CFI is not FI? It most certainly is fuel injection.

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perform

that
new
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FMX
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The OP is asking about an 88 Merc which probably DOES have a converter drain. FLM has always been pretty good about putting drain plugs in the torque converters.
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On Mon, 6 Sep 2004 14:10:46 -0500, "ka9szx"

Pretty much BS. If the trans fails after service, it was already on short time. Your vehicle should have a 4R70W trans. To properly service it, the pan needs to be dropped and the filter changed. The torque converter needs to be drained as it will have about 8 qts of fluid in it. There is a drain plug in the converter accessible thru the rubber plug at the bottom of the converter housing. The engine will need to be turned by hand to bring the plug into position for removal. I would not recommend the "flush" method of service on your trans as the pan has to come off to change the filter anyways. Anyone telling you otherwise on that vehicle just wants the easy money. You should not be alarmed by metal filings in the pan at that mileage as they are pretty much normal in any trans. There may also be a plastice plug loose in the pan if it has never been serviced which is also normal - it was the dipstick tube plug used by the factory for shipping. Make sure a high quality name brand fluid as specified on the dipstick is used - no scrimping on it! There are no adjustments to be made.
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am trying to find out if the previous owner ever changed the fluid and I will base my decision on that. It could be he had it changed recently but if not I still want to change it and will get what fluid it needs.
The torque converter plug is something I will look for and get it changed as well. Being an old car with a lot of miles it has become somewhat of a work car that I have been running 300 miles per week on since I got it. I have a lot of questions about this and will post other questions soon.
Mark Garrett

fluid
transmission
the
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On Thu, 16 Sep 2004 23:56:44 -0500, "ka9szx"

I must have been a bit more sleepy than I though when I responded to your post earlier. Your 1988 car should have the Ford AOD trans - not the 4R70W which is an electronic unit use in later models. I stand by my other comments. One problem you should immediately check on yours is the throttle cable grommet at the throttle body as they are prone to failure. If it fails or becomes loose, the line pressure in the trans will drop resulting in slippage and a failed trans. Ford has an updated grommet to fix the problem. If the grommet fails, the trans can fail within relative short miles.
Lugnut

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Did you ever change it ? If so, is it still alive ?
thanks
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On Fri, 18 Feb 2005 10:31:32 -0700, Rein

Just about every news group I've monitored has gone over this time and time again. Change it. Flush it. Change the filter.
If it fails it would have regardless. If it does not, you do not know whether the change has helped or not - BUT - the fluid is the lifeblood of the automatic trans and in the majority of cases a regularly serviced transmission outlasts and outperforms a non-serviced one.
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Has anyone EXPLAINED why it (failure) seems to happen just after a change?
I have thought about this, and I bet it OFTEN has to do with sludge/deposits/crud introduced during the filter change.
The guy drops the pan, yanks the old filter and shoves a new one in.
If you're lucky, he checks to make sure that the old seal came out... never mind carefully cleaning around the filter neck and seal before and after the old one is removed.
So what I suggest is to either do it yourself or not at all.
A couple cans of wd-40, drop pan, spray the wd-40 around the filter neck till you get it clean as possible.
Carefully wiggle out the filter, making sure the seal comes with.
Clean up the seal area with a REAL Qtip (no stray fibers) starting from inside out to avoid pushing any crud up.
Rinse out with WD 40, again from inside out.
To make up for that "missing particulate" problem... install a bottle of Lucas Transmission fix along with the new fluid.
Yes THAT stuff works, NO dont use anything else!
And for the same reason, i WOULDNT "flush it" if there's deposits IN the valve body or pressure areas, I would rather they dissolved slowly -or not at all- and not jolted loose by continually new fluid or detergents.

--
- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -

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That would depend on the failure. Most are seal related. Hard seals that are now exposed to new seal additives. This causes the seal to break. It would have happened even if the fluid was not changed.

How so? The filter and pick up are on the bottom, when you remove the filter gravity draws any fluid trapped in the pick up tube down and out, sort of acting like a flush.

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On Sat, 19 Feb 2005 15:18:42 -0500, "pick one" <try again!> wrote:

the seal additive accerated the failure hurc ast
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On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 02:01:43 GMT, you go snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

By how much? A day, A week? A month? You will never know, and you are only assuming. And by the way, I've NEVER had it happen in 36 years.
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