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Old 04-10-2003, 04:10 PM   #11
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You can change it out whenever you want. Just make sure to replace the filter as well. But some of the old fluid will reside in the torque converter. An you really dont have to change you tranny fluid often, most likely maybe 2-3 times in the car'* entire life. It'* up to you if it'* worth it, but lower temperatures do mean longer transmission life. So if you spend the money, in the long run it will be worth it, might also be worth it to add a tranny temp gauge if you are worried about the transmission. But that'* more if you abuse the tranny.
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Old 04-10-2003, 09:15 PM   #12
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i've actually been seriously thinking about adding a tranny temp gauge...how do you do this? is it in the tech info section?

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Old 04-10-2003, 11:27 PM   #13
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Installing a Transmission Cooler

Begin:

To install a transmission cooler you will need only simple hand tools and the cooler itself. There are a number of them out there but one several of us have used fits nicely and works well. It'* a B&M 19,000 GVW unit and you can purchase it at many speed shops or through mail order from Jegs or Summit Racing.

Most of the kits supply the fittings, however you may have to adapt the fittings to your needs. Most of the supplied fittings are 5/16" fittings, but on the GP you'll need 5/8" fittings. Take care of this adaptation in advance or you won't be driving the vehicle anywhere.

Optional: When installing the cooler, some believe it is also good to switch to synthetic transmission fluid and change the filter. Some of us use Red Line ATF (Dexron III equivalent) for this purpose. It is supposed to keep your transmission cooler and operating better than standard fluid, but will run you about $8 per quart (and you'll need 8 or 9 quarts) so it can be a bit expensive. Since you'll have the car up anyway, this is a good time to do this upgrade. See the Helm'* manual for more details on changing the fluid.


The Upgrade:


You will need to jack the front end up or put it up on ramps. Either way, make sure it is secure. You will be crawling under it, and you definitely don't want your GP to fall on you! Make sure it'* nice and high so you can work comfortably.

To begin, remove the lower air dam at the base of the radiator. This is held on with about 6-8 bolts that are right on the bottom and easy to see.

Decide which location you would like to use to tap into the fluid lines. They run from the transmission to the right (passenger) side of the radiator. The return line runs from the top of the radiator to the pan and the supply runs from the transmission housing to bottom of the radiator. The bottom of the transmission has the two lines coming out from it.

It is normally preferable to have the external cooler plumbed in series with the return line. This provides the most efficient cooling by about 5%. However, the port at the top of the radiator where the return line exits is kind of a tight squeeze to work with, so you can tap into it at the transmission but this requires running longer fluid lines back to the radiator area (some of us have done this with no problems). If you plan to do this, you may tap directly into the existing connection near the radiator as shown in the following photo (click for larger view). In the photo, notice that I cut off the existing hose and attached the hose to be connected to the cooler instead.

Alternatively, plumb into the supply line. It has slightly less cooling efficiency but simplifies the installation a little bit.

Remove the appropriate lines and hook up the fittings. Be sure to seal any non-flare fittings or they might leak.

Mount the cooler low on the front of the radiator using the supplied fasteners (preferably to the side you are planning on running the lines to).

Run the lines from the fittings to the cooler. Be sure the are not hanging down or rubbing on an edge surface.

Before you install the air dam, you might need to trim it a bit to allow clearance for the lines. Re-install the air dam.
Crank it and allow pressure to build. Check for leaks at every point in the fluid flow. If there are leaks shut off the vehicle and fix them. Otherwise take the car for a spin and heat up the fluid, (which should take about 10 minutes). Come back and check for leaks again, and repair if necessary.

Questions? Ask Steve Calbert ([email protected])
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:28 PM   #14
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Installing a Transmission Temperature Gauge

A transmission temperature gauge of your choice an be purchased from most speed shops or The Grand Prix Store. The type of gauge is irrelevant, you can choose whichever you like the best.

You will need to decide the location to mount the gauge, but an A-pillar gauge mount is available as a professional location to mount two gauges. Contact Grand Prix Store for details. These gauge mounts can be purchased from The Grand Prix Store. Both 2 and 3 pod mounts are available.




Begin by locating the throttle body. Just below it is the transmission. On top of the transmission you will be able to see two "nipples". The lower and closest to the firewall is what we are concerned with. This is a pressure test port that can be used. There'* a simple threaded plug in there. Simply remove it with a ratchet.

Install the provided sending unit into the threaded port as shown below. The small copper-colored sender with the gray wire is what we're looking at here:


-- It should be the same thread size as the plug. Make sure it fits snugly. Here'* another look. You can see it in the back of the transmission:


A tip when installing the signal wire is to put a few drops of removable thread lock on the mounting nut to keep if from working loose. Install the signal wire and route it securely away from the transmission.


Run the signal wire into the passenger cabin. There is a wire harness that runs through the firewall just above the passenger'* footwell that is a good location for this wire.


Run the wire to the signal input of the transmission temperature gauge inside the cabin and supply a switched power source for the backlight. Another document is available that describes how to do this.

Don't forget to hook up 12V power. Why do you need 12V power? Because the gauge is an electrical (unlike a boost gauge, for example, which is mechanical). But I already hooked up my gauge lighting - isn't that good enough? No - the power for the lamp is used only for the lamp. The gauge needs an electrical signal that'* not variable (unlike the dimmer you already hooked up - it'* not always 12V and varies with a turn of the dimmer dial) so that it converts the signal from the sender into a mechanical movement of the gauge needle. Here'* how to do it.

Pop off the cardboard panel under the dashboard on the driver'* side. Pop the light out of the panel and move the panel out of the way. Directly under the steering column, you'll see a small blue connector with a few wires on it. Find the hot pink wire that is located as shown below (it'* hard to see in the small version, so click the picture to view the larger version). Notice the position of this wire is the last in the connector. There is only a small portion of this wire exposed, so take care to do this right the first time. Tap into this line, and connect this to your gauge for the power source (12V).

The passenger foot well area locates another possible 12-volt switched source down. Remove the glove box door and slide out the glove box assembly. Located at the back of the glove box compartment is a bundle of wires taped to a support bar. This bundle is clearly marked at AUXILIARY POWER DROP. In the drop is a 12 volt constant, 12 volt switched, and ground. You can tap into these wires to provide power for your gauges. This location is a little easier to work with, but does require a bit more wire. Either location will work regardless.



Questions? Ask Steve Calbert ([email protected])
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:29 PM   #15
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Transmission fluid change procedure
Changing the Transmission Fluid and Filter

This write-up is for a ’92 Bonneville SE with a GM Hydramatic 4T60-E automatic transaxle. This information should be applicable to any other 4T60-E-equipped FWD car. The newer 4T65-E should basically follow the same procedure as well (I know the filters are the same). However always make sure to read your owners manual and/or service manual to make sure the fluid specifications, etc are correct.

Things you will need: Large, deep drain pan, a good amount of newspaper, paper towels, 10mm socket and wrench, torque wrench (recommended), Rhino ramps (or lift), 7 quarts (13 recommended) of ATF (Dextron IIE) and a transmission filter.

1. Fluid Capacities. The transmission in its entirety holds 11 quarts (according to the owner’* manual). However if you just drop the pan and change the filter only 6 ˝ quarts will come out (according to the owner’* manual). That is because the remaining 5 ˝ quarts is stuck inside the torque converter and cannot be drained out. Thus my recommendation is to buy a 12 quart case of ATF (plus an extra quart as well) and to perform this procedure twice, within 1-2k or so. The second time you do not have to change the filter.
2. Fluid and Filter Recommendations. The owners manual specifies Dextron IIE fluid. You can use Dextron III instead, it meets all the same specs. Get a good fluid! Valvoline, Halvoline, etc. Good fluid is not terribly expensive and is well worth it. Do not get synthetic. It is too slippery. I have heard enough horror stories about transmissions that were led to slide too long without a fluid change, then blowing up with the lighter newer fluid (that was non-synthetic), to ever try something as slippery as synthetic in my tranny. Leave synthetic for the racing guys who rebuild their trannies every so often. As for the filter, AC Delco (OEM) is recommended.
3. Work Space. In a perfect world we would all have lifts in our garages. But not everyone can pony up the $$ for one (hey not everyone has a garage, even!). My personal recommendation is to get a set of Rhino Ramps. They’re around $30 at Wal-Mart and are fantastic for undercar work. Once you have your car setup on the lift (or ramps) you will need a large drain pan to stick under the trans pan as you loosen and drain it. I also recommend that you surround the entire floor surface with newspaper, so any errant splashes or drips will not stain it.

Procedure

1. Remove the drain pan. Position drain pan beneath the pan. Begin loosening the transmission pan bolts, starting on the narrow side, which is the passenger side of the trans pan. Slowly allow the fluid to drain out. Continue loosening bolts as necessary until the trans is fully drained, then remove the pan. Once you have removed the pan, clean it. My pan was filthy. I brought it into the kitchen sink and made it spotless, I could have eaten off it. One thing you will notice, on the passenger side of the pan, there is a square of metal covered with a thick film of greasy metallic pieces. This is the pan magnet, it will come right off the pan. Pull it off for easier cleaning. It takes awhile, but eventually you can get it squeaky clean. The last thing you will want to clean is the pan gasket (if you plan to reuse it, or, if you got a new gasket in the filter kit, you can discard the old gasket).
2. Remove the transmission filter. The majority of the filter is easily removed by simply pulling it out. However, the filter seal usually stays stuck inside the transmission. In this case, you can make one of two choices. Either find a way to remove the seal or simply leave it in there and pull the one on the new filter off instead. I made a half-hearted attempt myself to remove it. I found it next to impossible to get off, and besides, I had no desire to damage the trans in any way. So I left the old one stuck in the trans, pulled the new one off the new filter, and slide the new filter into the old seal. I left it this way for 2k miles or so, then dropped the pan (to flush the fluid again) and checked the filter out while I was at it. It was still nice and snug.
3. Replace the pan .Now that you have installed a new filter, you can replace the pan. Carefully align the gasket and pan and thread the bolts in. The gasket does NOT need sealant of any kind. After cleaning the gasket surface on the transmission, begin to bolt the pan back up, skipping every other bolt. Make several rounds to ensure every bolt is tightened. Final torque is 12ft/lbs.
4. Fill the trans back up. With a pan removal it takes 6 ˝ quarts, roughly. To add fluid, remove the dipstick, and use a funnel to pour the fluid down the dipstick tube. To check the fluid level, you should drive the car around for 10 minutes or so to allow the trans to warm up. Then park the car on level ground with the engine running. Move the gear selector through P,R,N,D,3,2,1, etc, pausing for a couple seconds on each one. With the car still running, pull the dipstick, clean, put it back in, wait a couple seconds, and then check the level. It should be in the cross-hatched area.

Because some of the fluid is still left over in the torque converter, I decided to wait 1-2k and then drop the pan and repeat the process sans replacing the filter, to flush even more dirty fluid out.


Cameron Sprague

1992 Pontiac Bonneville SE

http://home.earthlink.net/~spragues/

Moderator @ www.automobileforum.com
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:40 PM   #16
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Here is some info (curtesy of Amsoil) that includes a "full" change including draining the torque converter and oil cooler.

Code:
1.  Make sure the fluid is warm. Warm up the car so the transmission is at normal operating temperature. Pull the transmission dipstick (located near the firewall in most cars). Fresh fluid is translucent and cherry red. Some darkening is normal, but if it is reddish brown or mustard color and smells like burnt varnish, it is worn out. 
2.  Drain the fluid by loosening the pan. Select the correct Hastings filter replacement based on pan shape and prepare a large pan to catch the fluid. Then loosen each pan bolt a turn or two and loosen one corner more than rest. Drain mostly from this corner. 
3.  Finish removing the pan and any gasket material from the pan or case. Avoid scratching the metal and make sure the pan’* gasket surface isn’t bent or distorted. 
4.  Remove the old filter. Most transmission filters are held in place with a bolt or two, but some are held by a clip. Be careful to include O-Rings or other seals. 
5.  Install a new filter. Use the clips or bolts from the old filter. Be sure O-Rings, etc. are in place. If the filter has a long intake neck, gently push the neck into place without unseating the O-Ring. 
6.  Clean the pan thoroughly. Inspect the pan before cleaning. A small amount of fine grey clutch dust is normal. However, if you find metal shavings, there has been transmission damage. Clean the pan with solvent and wipe dry so there is no harmful residue. 
7.  Position gasket on pan. Some gaskets have four holes slightly smaller than the rest to allow four bolts through the pan and through these smaller holes to hold the gasket in place. 
8.  Hand tighten pan bolts in a criss-cross pattern. After that, use a torque wrench to tighten bolts to proper ft-lbs as per manufacturer. 
9.  Refill the transmission using only the amount shown as “refill capacity” in the owners manual or "AMSOIL Product Selection Guide,” using the type of fluid specified for the vehicle. 
10.  If doing only a partial fluid replacement, skip to instruction 12 below. If doing a complete fluid replacement, follow the steps in instruction 11. 
11.  You now have replaced the fluid in the pan. To replace the fluid in the torque converter and oil cooler also, follow these steps. 
Step 1. Obtain the total system capacity of the vehicle from the manufacturer or AMSOIL. Have this amount readily available.

Step 2. Disconnect the oil cooler line from the oil cooler. As you may not know which is the pressure side and which is the return side, have both directed so the stream of fluid will be directed toward a receptacle.

Step 3. With another person, be prepared to add ATF to the fill area as it is being pumped out of the oil cooler line.

Step 4. Start the engine, and as the old fluid is pumped out, add fresh fluid to the pan.

Step 5. When either the fluid color brightens or the total capacity has been replaced, shut the engine off and re-attach the oil cooler line. All fluids has now been changed.
 
12.  Recheck the fluid level. With the car on level ground, set the parking brake and the transmission in “Park” or “Neutral.” Let the engine idle for a few minutes. Shift the transmission into different positions before returning the lever to “Park” or “Neutral.” Check the fluid level again and check for leaks.
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Old 04-12-2003, 12:34 PM   #17
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Better way to change out all of the tranny fluid is to go to a shop that has a transmission flush machine. My shop charges about 80 bucks to do a transmission flush with conventional tranny fluid and about 150 bucks to do the flush with synthetic.

Those are pretty competitive prices so in most areas you shouldn't pay much more or less then that.

The good thing about the tranny flush machine is that it is impossible to put the wrong amount of fluid in the tranny. The machine replaces the fluid at a 1:1 ratio so as long as the tranny has the right amount of fluid in it to begin with you are good. I usually lose about a pint or so when removing the lines and hooking up the machine from leakage and such. I just top the tranny off when I am done.
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Old 04-16-2003, 08:13 PM   #18
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Wel, I got my oil changed with AMS Oil and I don't have to change it for 25,000 miles or 1 year. My bro' has been using this stuff in his SHO for 4 years he changes his oil every 1 year cause his ody doesn't work. I will proly change if every 20,000 miles just to be on the safe side.
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Old 04-17-2003, 01:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azwed
Better way to change out all of the tranny fluid is to go to a shop that has a transmission flush machine. My shop charges about 80 bucks to do a transmission flush with conventional tranny fluid and about 150 bucks to do the flush with synthetic.

Those are pretty competitive prices so in most areas you shouldn't pay much more or less then that.

The good thing about the tranny flush machine is that it is impossible to put the wrong amount of fluid in the tranny. The machine replaces the fluid at a 1:1 ratio so as long as the tranny has the right amount of fluid in it to begin with you are good. I usually lose about a pint or so when removing the lines and hooking up the machine from leakage and such. I just top the tranny off when I am done.
My buddy just had this done to his '97 SSE. No filter change, though.
Is this a problem or the does the filter get 'flushed', too?
I'm wondering if the AMSOIL tranny fluid would be a good thing to change over to.
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Old 04-17-2003, 07:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BusMaster007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azwed
Better way to change out all of the tranny fluid is to go to a shop that has a transmission flush machine. My shop charges about 80 bucks to do a transmission flush with conventional tranny fluid and about 150 bucks to do the flush with synthetic.

Those are pretty competitive prices so in most areas you shouldn't pay much more or less then that.

The good thing about the tranny flush machine is that it is impossible to put the wrong amount of fluid in the tranny. The machine replaces the fluid at a 1:1 ratio so as long as the tranny has the right amount of fluid in it to begin with you are good. I usually lose about a pint or so when removing the lines and hooking up the machine from leakage and such. I just top the tranny off when I am done.
My buddy just had this done to his '97 SSE. No filter change, though.
Is this a problem or the does the filter get 'flushed', too?
I'm wondering if the AMSOIL tranny fluid would be a good thing to change over to.
Well the filter is not realy much of a filter more of a couple of screens sandwiched together.

Most of the metal in the tranny is floating around suspended in the fluid and so is captured by the machine. Most of the rest is caught by the little magnet in the bottom of the tranny pan. The fitler still needs to be replaced every once in a while but not as often as recomended if you do the flush. We usually recomend that people alternate between the flush service and the traditonal service.

Since the tranny flush with amsoil is considered essentialy a lifetime fill we usually recomend that people have the filter replaced using a traditional pan and gasket service and then have the tranny flushed with synthetic.
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