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Old 07-25-2014, 09:12 PM
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My transmission....Am I too late?

Ok folks...I feel like an ass even posting this up here because I am not a dumbass when it comes to maintenance and getting my hands dirty for a white collar guy. I am actually quite handy but I have to say this place is great for tech know how on my Jeep WK. I got all my info from here thanks to very helpful and great Jeep owners. I did however mess up on frequency of the ATF fluid and proper maintenance.

Here is the situation. Nothing of urgency but I wonder if I am already past the point of no return and I just ride it out and wait to see since that is all I can really do anyway unless I jump the gun and pay prematurely for no currently visible problems of note. But I sense they will be coming. Maybe I'm wrong.

I've had my Jeep since new really. Was my wifes company car and then we bought it at the 58,000 mile point. It now has 180,000 miles and runs awesome. I always maintained it on my own for most part. Oil changes myself. I did bring it to Jiffy Lube to do differentials, TC, Coolant flush and ATF fluid change at about 120,000 miles. Of course I doubt Jiffy even dropped the pan and changed the filter so it's quite possibly going with the original filter. That was the only time the ATF was done and stupid me I just had it in my head for whatever reason that the ATF only needed to be done approx. every 100,000 miles or so and now I realized how wrong I was. I can hear you guys saying already what a jackass I am. Especially with the type driving I do. I am in Sales and use this as my work vehicle too.

I just took on doing myself for the first time the differentials and transfer case fluids. Wanted to save a few bucks and have that feeling of self accomplishment. I love this stuff as long as I don't get over my head. Went well thanks to the assistance in these forums. I also put new set of spark plugs in for the the second time. Not a problem.

Last I was going to tackle was the ATF fluid and just drop the pan. Not do a flush. It wasn't until recently when I read up further on here how bad I let this go.

I got an aftermarket Dorman dip stick to check the level and also to assist with the ATF refill when I was going to do the job. The color is a light brown with a slight oder. It's not black with a prevalent burnt oder. At least I don't think so but doesn't smell pleasant either. I attached a picture of what the ATF looked like on a paper towel.

I am planning on doing the ATF change (pan drop and filter + adding a JEGS Trans Drain Plug Kit) next week. So after I do this initial ATF and filter change I will change again in another 5000 miles or so to flush some more of the old ATF out and hope for the best.

Im not so sure how long a trans should last but I already have a lot of miles on this beast and still going strong. It shifts great in every gear. No lag or delay in gears. Very smooth still. Maybe I am just pushing my luck but want to hopefully bear the expense of having to spend $5k to put in a new tranny any time soon. I guess we will see.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,

Jay
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ATF Fluid2.jpg (318.5 KB, 10 views)
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:09 PM
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Re: My transmission....Am I too late?

The colour and smell of the fluid is not (always) an indication of the state of the fluid. Its normal that the clear red colour changes into a light brown colour over time and as long as it doesnīt have a burnt smell, its not too late yet. But besides the fluid becoming darker, the filter also becomes saturated with particles and can restrict the flow.
By only dropping the pan, still quite some fluid will stay in the torque converter, which will mix with the fresh fluid again. On the 5-45RFE transmission you can remove the transmission fluid cooler line and catch the fluid, which comes out of the torque converter, in a recipient. There will still be some mixing of old and fresh fluid in the torque converter, but most of it will be replaced. I donīt know if this is also possible with the NAG-1.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:15 PM
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Re: My transmission....Am I too late?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frango100 View Post
The colour and smell of the fluid is not (always) an indication of the state of the fluid. Its normal that the clear red colour changes into a light brown colour over time and as long as it doesnīt have a burnt smell, its not too late yet. But besides the fluid becoming darker, the filter also becomes saturated with particles and can restrict the flow.
By only dropping the pan, still quite some fluid will stay in the torque converter, which will mix with the fresh fluid again. On the 5-45RFE transmission you can remove the transmission fluid cooler line and catch the fluid, which comes out of the torque converter, in a recipient. There will still be some mixing of old and fresh fluid in the torque converter, but most of it will be replaced. I donīt know if this is also possible with the NAG-1.
Thanks Frango. I was hopeful that someone would respond. I have no way to know if the oder is that of a burnt smell that's bad. My guess is that it isn't that extreme. It does have an oder though as I explained. How would I know based on my wiff?

The NAG-1 trans only has the standard flat filter with the 3.7L. No spin on cooler filter like on the larger engine WK trans. I knew the torque converter would be holding at least another 2 quarts I couldn't get out unless I did a full flush. That's why I will drop the pan for now, change the filter, and get out what I can. Add my JEGS drain plug kit to the pan and 5000 miles later I will drain the trans again. That should work out pretty decent to get all the old ATF out.

The trans has no hiccups now as mentioned. I'm just pissed I let this go as long as I did. I should have known better. I just got the drain plug in the mail today and planning to do the job on Friday.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:00 PM
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Re: My transmission....Am I too late?

A burnt smell to the fluid is quite different then the smell of normal fluid. Seeing the colour on the picture you showed, it looks quite normal for fluid which is used for a long time.
If you would disconnect the cooler return line, you should be able to get most of the old fluid out of the torque converter. The engine has to run for this ofcourse.
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:01 PM
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Re: My transmission....Am I too late?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frango100 View Post
A burnt smell to the fluid is quite different then the smell of normal fluid. Seeing the colour on the picture you showed, it looks quite normal for fluid which is used for a long time.
If you would disconnect the cooler return line, you should be able to get most of the old fluid out of the torque converter. The engine has to run for this ofcourse.
On his transmission, does burnt fluid tend to smell a little bit like burnt sugar?
A decent rebuild isn't 5K and you'd want a real rebuilder, not a chain.

As for old fluid mixing in, yes, it happens, but another way of dealing with that is two changes in reasonably quick succession.

Have you checked with NON-AAMCO places to see what a transmission tune-up would be? Not Jiffy either, someone who can spell transmission preferably.

Personally I'd never risk a revenue critical vehicle to Jiffy... most dealer express lanes are in the same price range...
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:39 PM
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Re: My transmission....Am I too late?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lstowell View Post
On his transmission, does burnt fluid tend to smell a little bit like burnt sugar?
A decent rebuild isn't 5K and you'd want a real rebuilder, not a chain.

As for old fluid mixing in, yes, it happens, but another way of dealing with that is two changes in reasonably quick succession.

Have you checked with NON-AAMCO places to see what a transmission tune-up would be? Not Jiffy either, someone who can spell transmission preferably.

Personally I'd never risk a revenue critical vehicle to Jiffy... most dealer express lanes are in the same price range...
That's my plan was to due another ATF change after this pan drop and 5000 miles. I'm going to do the tune up. Was going to do today but got too busy with work. Doing tomorrow now. Don't need a place to do after I researched how easy it is to do based on the great info I got here.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:02 PM
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Re: My transmission....Am I too late?

Job complete. Worked like a dream. Took a little time but the JEGS transmission drain plug kit worked well. I also used transmission RTV with the plug for a solid seal. No leaks.

I guess what I need to search for is how do I gauge the temperature of the trans fluid without having a scan tool? The Doorman dipstick works well and right now Im measuring at 70mm on the dip while WK is at full operating temp.

I measured the ATF I drained and was just shy of 4.5 quarts so that's what I put back in and dip measured the same as before I drained. I just want to make sure that what was in there was the correct fill since it was Jiffy that last did this trans tune up.

I'm going to drain again in another 5000 miles for a better flush then refill again. This trans takes 9.5 to 10 quarts on a complete rebuild so I only got half of the ATF out dropping the pan !!! Wow!
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:50 PM
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Re: My transmission....Am I too late?

An infrared thermometer should work quite well for the measurement of the transmission fluid temperature. Just aim it on the pan and it will be very close to whats inside.
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