Tranny Fluid Change: How Often? - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-07-2004, 12:05 PM   #11
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You know, I've also heard mention of a fine screen-type of filter, but have never seen one in any of the ones I've serviced. -and that may only be because they have already been changed a time or two ?? I don't know. I've used both OEM and aftermarket filters, and all have been the typical fiber-type material.

And I will have to say, most all that I've serviced in recent years have really been pretty clean inside. -very little clutch debris, dirt, etc. -but the magnet always has quite a lot of black fuzzy stuff on it, just aching for a good cleaning.

Anyway, GOOD FORUM
I enjoy the priviledge of sharing thoughts and experiences. I am certainly a believer of at least following the manufacturer'* recommended service intervals, and agree that it can't hurt to do it a little more often, especially if used fairly hard.

Hey, question: What does anyone think of the "max-life" fluids ? -is it just sales hype, or are they using a small amount of additive, such as the Lucas additive ?? (-yeah, I know, how can we ever find out the facts,,,, bummer.)

For the most part, I'm not a very strong believer in the typical array of aftermarket additives. However, I have had some very interesting experiences with the Lucas stuff. If anyone is interested, you can read a couple of tesitmonies from me (Harry Sison) on the lucasoil.com website.

Hey everyone, have a GREAT day !! (inspite of ourselves,,)
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Old 08-08-2004, 02:43 AM   #12
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I suppose my comments will invite a flurry of replies, but here goes. A very experienced mechanic once told me: "...oil and filter is much cheaper than parts and labor..." and I believe him. With every one of my cars, part of the initial "going over" they all get is a new trans filter and fluid change by dropping the pan. While the pan is off the car, I have a drain plug welded into the trans pan prior to reinstalling it. The rest of the trans service is as per the manual. However, I drain the trans with every other engine oil change (about every 5,000 miles) and change the filter every 15,000 to 20,000. In doing so, I accomplish the same thing the shops do with the aforementioned "flushes" but over a period of time. Draining/dropping the pan does not empty the torgue converter and some of the oil galleries, but repeated drainings serve to eventually replace the trans fluid with new. At $0.89/quart for Dexron III, this is a very cost-effective means of constantly introducing fresh oil into the tranny and there is no more mess than draining engine oil. Also, the constant replacing of oil in the trans assures slow dissolution of any unwanted varnishes which could impair transmission function. Lastly, when it is time to replace the trans filter, removing the pan is not the nightmarish mess it normally is without the drain plug - it'* an absolute breeze.

As a side note, I ran a 4T60E to 370,00 miles with the above service before i sold the car: it never needed rebuilding. It had 90,000 when I first got it.
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Old 08-08-2004, 11:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1998SLE
As a side note, I ran a 4T60E to 370,00 miles with the above service before i sold the car: it never needed rebuilding. It had 90,000 when I first got it.
370. Jeez. That'* some kind of proof that your system works, right enough.

What trans do I have? 4T60E?
1999 Bonne 3800 ser. II, L36, Vin K.
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Old 08-08-2004, 12:38 PM   #14
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Say, 1998SLE, GOOD JOB !! Totally agree with BlueBonne, that your method obviously works. WOW, now if your example isn't the classic case of "the proof is where the rubber meets the road," then I don't know what is. (I'm still absorbing the thought of 370k miles. That just says it all right there) -and I thought I was doing good with my ole '90 chevy truck at 233k.

What an excellent idea to have a drain plug installed If you'll forgive me, I am not trying to "steal your idea," but I want to do the same thing. Where do you get the parts ?
Some(-maybe all ?) of the aftermarket pans I've used on old street rod stuff has a drain plug in them, so wouldn't it be nice if the OEM'* would do the same.

I still can't seem to find adequate words to compliment you on your excellent results. It is just outstanding beyond words.

(hmm, makes me think that maybe I should start a thread on the aftermarket bypass filter kit that I found years ago (for engine oil filtering) and have used on most of my vehicles. It seems to me that almost all engine wear stops when using that system. -it is reported to filter down to the 3 micron range)
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Old 08-10-2004, 02:48 AM   #15
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Sure...it is very simple to do. First, remove the pan and clean/degrease with gasoline or similar. I usually source my drain plugs at the local Pep Boys shop. I use the aftermarket engine oil pan drain plugs which are intended to be used on an engine oil pan with stripped threads in the drain hole. The item is basically a bolt with another bolt tapped into it (usually costs about $3.00). You'll see what I mean when you go to the parts store and ask for a fix for an engine drain hole with stripped threads. Once you have the item, locate a spot in the pan where there are not any transmission internals close by. Drill a hole to size to accommodate the plug you are using and then off to the welding shop or muffler shop. I ask the welder to run a bead around the plug on the inside and outside of the pan for a good tight seal (usually costs about $10.00). Back at your garage, take an angle grider and grind the protruding plug as flush as possible on the inside of the pan (this allows for more complete drainage using the plug). In the end, if you have done things right (really not a hard thing), when bolted back in place on the tranny, your pan looks to have a larger bolt head sticking out with a smaller bolt head sticking out of the larger one. Usually decreases ground clearance by about 3/4 of an inch.

While you have the trans drained, you might also consider installing the factory transmission cooler which is common on the SSEi, but can be a tough find in the wrecking yard if you do not know where to look. You need to look at late 80'*/early 90'* FWD Cadillac sedans - they have the identical trans cooler as the SSEi. Installation is obviously very straightforward. For the most part, it is a remove and install operation.
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Old 08-11-2004, 02:28 AM   #16
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To 1998SLE, I stopped at the parts house this afternoon, and got a plug, gasket, and nut. Their books showed the exact one you described, but they didn't have that one in stock.

And after studying the whole deal a little while longer, I have decided to go with a stock Chevy oil pan drain plug. I will use a 1/2" x 20 jam nut attached to the inside of the pan, so as to keep the installation as shallow as possible, without the extra welding, grinding, etc.

Thanks again for the super idea. It will probably be quite sometime before I get around to doing this, but will have the parts ready when I do.
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