I have a 97 Explorer and I can't find the tranmission drain plug. Where is it? My tranny fluid is black and the truck was cutting off on me Friday whenever I put it in D or 2. Everything else worked ok (even reverse and 1). It's ok now, but I want to take care of this problem now.
It doesn't have a drain plug.
To drain the fluid you have to remove the bolts that hold the pan on and lower the pan down. It's messy.
A better way might be to take it in and get the transmission flushed.
There isn't one. You have to remove the pan. Even if you flush it, I would suggest removing the pan and cleaning it. I would do a flush, then remove the pan (you will scrafice some fluid) clean the pan, replace the filter (assuming there is one) and thentop up the fluid. Fairly inexpensive if you flush it yourself.
I changed the fluid and filter (yeah, it was really messy). The fluid looks better than before, but you can tell it's a mixture of new and old. How do I flush it so it can be replaced with all new fluid?
I must admit, I haven't done it on a Ford yet. I do it on my Volvo by disconnecting the line that goes into the cooler part of the radiator. I put a clear plastic hose on it about 4' long. I put the other end in a 5 gal container. I start the engine. When I see any air bubbles, I turn off the engine, add two quarts of ATF, and do it again until the ATF is clear coming out. Then I reconnect the line to the radiator, and check the level. It ususally takes about 14 qts to get it dead clear. This also flushes the torque converter as well. I'm assuming that it will also work on a Ford... Been doing it every year on Mercedes, BMW and Volvos.
Know what you are getting into when you drop the pan. I figured a 1 hr max job to drain AT and replace filter and gasket but you will find in order to remove the pan you might need to drop the drive shaft (you can take the bolts out but find you can't get the pan down unless you drop the shaft). You will need torque bits to drop the shaft and make sure you mark it so you put it back on right again.
Home flush - Drop the pan again. Even if you just did it, there will be sediment in it again. You will likely be able to use the same gasket again. Check the valve body bolts because the 5R55E (V6) has always a couple that come loose. Just a light hand twist, about 9 ft-lb. This tranny is very prone to blowing out gaskets because of this. With the pan replaced, fill the transmission with 5-6 quarts of Mercon V. Normally about 3 1/2 quarts will fill the pan, but you can overfill it by several quarts. This will prevent the pump from running dry. Now remove one one of the hoses from the transmission cooler. If you don't have one you should add it now. My 97 came without one. Slip a hose section on the cooler and also bring that down to a collection bucket. One side will pump when the engine is started and the other will dribble. Now start the engine and pump out three quarts, stop and refill the transmission with three quarts. Repeat this process. The transmission holds about 10 quarts but it takes 15-20 quarts to do the flush. You are mixing new with old in the torque converter. This is why you should start with new in the pan. Cheap top quality SPX filters at www.bulkpart.com
Last edited by Opera House Works; 07-26-2004 at 09:36 AM.