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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I wanted to change my tranny oil but have never really done it before. I've done the typical oil change for years. Anyone care to explain how to do this properly on the 3.8 s/c impala?

Thanks,
-Michael
 

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Drop the pan, clean it out, replace the filter, you can reuse the stock gasket if it is in good shape. Slap it back on, torque and refill. Retorque in a few hours to make sure it's on snug. around 7.5L or 7-8qrts of ATF, check level the next day, make sure you don't have any leaks. When you take the pan off undo bolts opposite to one another, as well as re-tightening it so it seats correctly.
 

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^^ There is also going to be a magnet in the left of the pan, You want to clean all the **** off that too.Also If i where you i would not buy generic brand atf. Go right to gm and get dexron 6. It's a little more but it is worth every penny.
 

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While you're at it and the pan is down,drop by the parts store and buy a drain plug/bulkhead fitting and add a drain plug to the pan to make it easier next time.
Oreilly's has em on the shelf for under $10.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is there no need to buy anything other then what everyone has recommended? I guess I was under the impression that I needed a filter as well.

Thanks,
-Michael
 

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Is there no need to buy anything other then what everyone has recommended? I guess I was under the impression that I needed a filter as well.

Thanks,
-Michael
You definitely want a filter. You wouldn't run clean motor oil through an old filter, you shouldn't do it for a trans either.
 

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If you don't change the filter,don't waste your time.
You will only be draining about 6-7 qts of a 13+qt system,not exactly a fluid change-more like a fluid refresh.
If you want to fully change the tranny oil,take it somewhere and get it flushed.
 

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Flushing a higher mileage vehicle can cause a lot of damage. Settled particles will be disrupted, seals may start leaking, slips can occur. We don't even warranty flush services at work on higher milage or older cars for that reason and advise against it. Just my 2 cents.
 

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He didn't mention mileage,figure the shop would tell him if too much.
At the dealer I worked at I wouldn't flush over 100k,maybe high as 130k depending on customer/maintenance records.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've heard a lot of controversy over to change it or not to change it. I'd rather do it myself and save me the labor costs. I've also heard flushing the transmission is not something companies recommend you do (GM, Honda, Acura, etc.) At least not with a machine I mean, I'm not sure what they don't recommend them being done, I've heard it does more damage then good. I can't be that hard to just drop the pan, put a new filter in, put the pan back on and fill it up with tranny fluid is it? I don't see why it would be any different from a engine oil change. Then again, I've never done it so excuse my competence.

By the way, my car has about 92k miles on it right now, the body would suggest that the car was VERY well taken care of. Even spot checked little paint chips with proper paint. I would imagine if they took the time to do that, they would take the time to treat it right. On a side note I have noticed weird transmission issues so this is why I would like to change it. It doesn't really happen anymore since the winter, but during the summer/fall I noticed from a dead stop to a green light up into second gear the car would sometimes SLAM into gear. Even so, one time it slammed so hard it squealed the tires. I've heard people talk about the transmission for these cars being **** though. Not sure how accurate that is. I'm just concerned, I bought this car in July..86k miles on it, spent 10k on it and its clean as hell. So far I've replaced the oil with synthetic, good engine oil filter, and changed out the supercharger oil as well. Next step is to change out the transmission fluid. I like to know what has been maintenance on this car, this is a good way to find out.


Also, another issue; which is besides the point, when I steer to the left I can feel a little clicking and almost pop like sound. I made a thread on here before but didn't really seem to get down what the issue was.

Thanks for the help,
-Mike
 

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To correct a myth,Ford at least i know has a maintenance schedule that includes both a service flush interval and filter change interval.
Or they did when I worked there,motorcraft makes thier own machine.

Most people that say "flushing" anything has no use and is just an upsell,aren't mechanics.
Injector,topend,tranny,power steering and brake fluid flushes have a very important place in maintenance when done correctly and not just as an upsell.


For a click/pop when turning check CV axles and possibly sway bar end links.
If it does it while turning left,check the passenger side outboard axle.
 

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If I remember correctly, the abrupt gear change is a result of a safety feature for the transmission. Sometimes a sensor can be involved to however the pressure inside the trans can surge it into second. I had the same issue with my last GP(an 03). A friend of mine who is a GM mechanic explained a bit to me and said it was common. I would reset my computer and it would be a short term resolution at times. My 99 is not governed by the ecu the same way the 03 was. maybe someone can explain it a little better.
 

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Is there no need to buy anything other then what everyone has recommended? I guess I was under the impression that I needed a filter as well.

Thanks,
-Michael
By all means you should replace the transmission filter and pan gasket. On another note, if you do a fluid and filter change, I would highly recomend a "re usable" trans pan gasket. These are made with very good material as well as metal inserts where the pan bolts go thru. This will help to keep "over torquing" the bolts which can damage the pan and the gasket. You should be able to get this type of trans pan gasket at auto zone, napa, o'reilies, etc. Best of luck..mr. goodwrench......
 

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Is there no need to buy anything other then what everyone has recommended? I guess I was under the impression that I needed a filter as well.

Thanks,
-Michael
You do need to replace the filter also. If the filter becomes restricted from normal wear, the debri will start plugging up the trans filter which can result in internal trans DAMAGE...
 
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