Changing ATF Fluid in a E4OD and 4R100 transmission
By Mark Kovalsky
I've done this alone. It's
easier with a second person, and sometimes helps prevent spills.
Things you need to get started:
The E4OD and 4R100 transmission system holds
almost 18 quarts of ATF, and you must waste a couple of quarts to be sure
you get it all purged and replaced, so buy 20 quarts of MERCON ATF [For the 4R100, use MERCON V]. You
may use either conventional or synthetic, as long as it meets the above
4R70W transmission system holds about 14 quarts of ATF. The 4R70W uses MERCON V, and the MERCON V
can be used on older 4R70W transmissions that were factory filled with MERCON.
I replace the transmission filter every other
fluid change. Note that Ford does not recommend ever changing the filter.
I've opened filters with over 300,000 miles that were not even close to
Don't buy a new pan gasket. The original is
A 10 foot length of clear tubing and one hose
clamp, sized to fit over your cooler hose. There have been different size
cooler lines over the years, so check before buying!
If you don't already have a special funnel that
fits into the transmission dipstick tube, then you will need one of
If you are changing the filter, drain the pan if
your pan has a drain plug. If you are not changing the filter, jump to
If you don't have a drain plug, go to step 4 to
pump out the pan, preventing an ATF shower! Return here after step 4 and
one pass through step 5a.
Remove the pan and clean the pan and gasket,
including the magnet on the bottom of the pan. Fuzz on the magnet is
normal, that's why it is there!
Change the filter. It just pulls out, there are
no bolts that hold it. It is held in place by the pan. Make sure that the
O-ring is removed, too. Sometimes it does not come out with the filter.
Replace the pan, using the reusable gasket.
At this point you can drain the torque
converter. Some people think it is necessary, but I don't. Running the
engine in the next steps will pump the fluid out of the torque
converter. If your transmission
was built after August 2001, you don't have a drain plug in the torque
To drain the torque converter remove the shield
(or the rubber plug in some models) and turn the flywheel until you see
the drain plug. If you also drain the torque converter, then the old ATF
will not come out the return line until after the torque converter has
If you drained the pan, pour new ATF into the
filler [dipstick] tube until you have added about as much as you earlier
drained from the pan. At this point overfilling by no more than one quart
won't hurt anything.
Disconnect the transmission-fluid return line at the
transmission - from where the ATF returns to the transmission from the
cooler. This is the line towards the rear of the transmission. Clamp the
clear tubing over the line that you removed from the transmission. This is
where the fluid comes out.
This is where the second person comes in handy.
One person starts the engine, while the other holds the line over the
drain bucket. A clothes pin can
replace the person holding the line in the bucket.
Run the engine until you see some air in the
clear tubing. As soon as you see
air shut off the engine. Refill through the dipstick tube with the same
amount as you just pumped out.
NOTE: If you drained the
pan and the torque converter, fluid will not run out until you fill the pan a
second time. Run the engine for 30 seconds, then stop and add six more quarts.
Repeat step 5 until you have added 19 quarts with
of new ATF to the system with an E4OD or 4R100. Repeat until you have added 13 quarts with the 4R70W.
At least one time while the engine is running
move the shifter through each position from P to 1, pausing about 5
seconds at each position. This will change some fluid that would
otherwise be trapped in the valve body, accumulators, and clutches.
Remove the clear line and reconnect the cooler
line to the transmission.
Check the fluid level and use the last quart to
Properly dispose of the used transmission fluid.
Congratulate yourself! And your engine