Spreading the wealth tonight because there are knowledgable people in all
In order to try to make sure my '92 Grand Caravan has the proper ATF,
which is now ATF+4, I did a drain and fill and replace 5.5 qts of trans
fluid with Castorl ATF+4 grade ATF. It is running OK, but sometimes
"Bump-shifts" which in these trannies can be an indication maybe someone
put in the wrong fluid.
My plan is to drive it 1-2,000 miles and then do another drain and fill
(which will put me right about the middle of January, and of course,
there's no quick and easy drain plug...)
How many times does anyone think I need to do this to make sure there's
enough ATF+4 to cover my behind? I could put some extra effort into it and
I can't quickly find the fluid capacity of the tranny...
That's what I was thinking: do the Lazy Man's Flush and pull the pressure
line off the cooler with the trans in N and fill the thing while it's
We're bringing it into my friend's shop later this week to replace the
brake lines, and I might try this. Or just do another drain and fill...
Some Trans Tune by Seafoam will help clean out any junk in the tranny
too. But IIRC those trannies are problematic.
How many miles are on it? I've known people who've owned Caravans had
3-4 transmissions replaced in the same vehicle.
I have heard of people who've tried to do a flush job themselves
pouring fluid into the filler tube with the pan off. Would probably be
messy as hell though.
On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 04:02:16 -0600, Fred the Plumber wrote:
I used to work for a guy that did this to a couple of higher mileage
Escorts we had for asle. He did two. He never did another one. One stopped
moving after about 150 miles, and the other stopped on the way back from
Besides, if you talk to the guys that do it, they will tell you "We use a
generic type of ATF and add the proper friction modifiers for the
transmission it's being placed in."
Un-uh. Chrysler specifies AFT+, so ATF+ it gets!
If the brakes don't give us too hard a time Friday, maybe we'll do a "ppor
man's flush", remove the incoming line from the cooler and add ATF+4 while
running in neutral.
I know on later vehicles, when the fluid is changed, you need to reset
the TCM back to its defaults so it can relearn to adjust things to the
new properties - I assume that also applies to 92's (could be wrong).
But you replaced about half the fluid. Anything you do will be a
dilution process, so you'll never get 100%, but you can certainly do
better than 1/2. A second pan drop will probably get you in the 80%
range. You could disconnect the cooler return line and let it run into
a waste bucket while you put in at approximately the same rate as it
comes out - that has the advantage of also swapping fluid in the torque
converter. That will probably put the new fluid at 95+% if you were to
run, say 12 or 14 quarts of new fluid into it. Probably more mess
than you want to mess with though from the sounds of it. If you have
more money than desire to do it thoroughly, then pay a dealer to do it -
but make sure they tell you what you will get for your money - i.e.,
that they aren't just going to do another pan drop.
(To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 06:30:06 -0500, Bill Putney wrote:
Well, I am not sure what's in the trans. I know the original owner had it
service at a Chrysler dealer, and I would assume they know what's what.
The last owner had it four years, and he seems to know a bit about cars,
so I'm hoping he knew to use ATF+3 or +4. I'm not having any real problems
with the tranny except a small amount of bump-shift at lower speeds. The
van has 239,000 on it so some bumps and groans are to be expected.
Unfortunately (er, perhaps, fortunately?) the only bottle in the van was
brake fluid, and we found the leak. No oil cans or trans fluid cans. I'm
hoping that means there weren't any problems...but it doesn't give me a
clue as to what fluids were put into the vehicle when needed...
On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 10:09:50 -0800, larry moe 'n curly wrote:
Wow. He reference a real TSB! Thanks!
My LHS was filled with 'modified' Dexron, and started slipping in 20 miles.
There isn't any slipping, so I'm hoping it has the right stuff in it.
I'll go 1,000 miles, drain and fill and then do it again.
I would be interested to know if it is the original transmission. I
bought a new 1993 Grand Voyager in Nov. 1992. The transmission
problems were already starting to become well known by then. I tried
to keep the fluid fresh, hoping to avoid the problems that others had
seen. I always made sure that ATF3+ 7176 was always used.
In July 2007, the transmission died at 95,000 miles. I had a local
shop rebuild it. They rebuilt it, and brought it up to 1998 specs,
along with a "flashable" transmission contol module. The early ones
like mine were not flashable. If the TCM does not have cooling fins,
it is not flashable.
After the rebuild, it still had some problems shifting. They had to re-
crimp all the connectors in the harness, so fix that problem. That may
have been what killed the transmission in the first place, I am just
Anyway, it has been more than two years, and it is still running fine.
The shop where I had the rebuild recommends changing the fluid once a
year, which I think is more than necessary.
If your transmission and all related components is original, then it
has lasted much longer than most.
If I remember correctly the entire planetary set had to be replaced
along with a bunch of other components. In addition, all the engine
and tranmission mounts had to be replaced too. The cost of the repair
exceeded the value of the vehicle, but it was still cheaper than
trying to find a decent used one that could have been on the verge of
I knew that I would be losing my job soon, so a new one was out of the
These things are somewhat indestructable. They had the trans problem, and
the 3.3 had some rocker tower failures, but if you get your hands on one
that has these issues sorted out, then you can put it up against any
Japanese car out there.
And I am a Japanese car fan! Google "Hachiroku"!
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.