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Old 06-29-2009
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Lightbulb AW4 Changing Filter and fluid. (1998 4.0L, AW4)

Well not much of a write up, but maybe it will be helpful if you've never done this before.

I've done lots of things to my various vehicles, but it dawned on me that I have NEVER changed a automatic transmission filter and fluid before today!
I had it done on my Jeep at about 90k miles, woefully over due.

I went to Oreilly's Auto Parts and picked up a AW4 automatic transmission filter, about 20.

I also picked up some ATF+4 automatic transmission fluid. I was going to get the Mopar brand, but Wal-Mart either doesn't carry it any longer, or was out.

I picked up 4 quarts of Castrol synthetic ATF+4

** Correction, I should have used DEXTRON III, but check your owner's manual before you select the transmission fluid for your transmission.



My owner's manual said 4 quarts for a fluid change. My plan was to do 50/50. 50% old transmission fluid and 50% new, so I bought 2 extra quarts.

Quote:
My mechanic recommended the 50/50 mix to me when he first changed the fluid on my XJ at 90k miles. He had seen transmissions fail because too much of the band material that was suspended in the fluid was removed, this let the bands slip. That material was what USED to be on the bands. Removing that coupled with to much of the "clutch like" material from the bands would cause the transmission to slip. My rig is now at 147k miles, so again I am doing the 50/50 mix.


I also picked up a NEW plastic pan to capture the fluid, since I was going to reuse it and this pan was completely open on the top. I figured this would make it easier to poor it back in another container, then poor into the transmission fill tube.

So I removed the drain bolt on the bottom of the AW4 pan. Then I removed the 605 bolts that hold the pan to the bottom of the transmission. More fluid drained out.

I had to separate the tube on the pan from the fill tube that runs up into the engine compartment. You can see where they meet, one just slides into the other. I had to rotate the pan back and forth while pulling down.

Once that was out I laid the pan to the side.

I opened the box containing the new filter. I compared it to the old filter. Yep looked identical.

I removed the 4 bolts that held the old filter in place. More fluid drained out. A lot more than I expected.

With the filter removed I laid it to the side.

I took a blue shot paper towel and clean the underside of the exposed transmission. I cleaned the area that the pan and gasket would be placed.

I took the new filter out of it's plastic bag and installed it. Very easy. I put in all four bolts leaving them loose. Once everything was lined up, I snugged them down, then went back and tightened them. I noticed that these bolts were tighter (when I removed them) than the pan bolts. So I tried to tighten these a little more than I was going to tighten the pan bolts.

I then cleaned the pan, checked the magnets in the bottom of the pan for metal. Very little metal, and all very small.

I removed the old gasket from the pan, and cleaned the surface.

I covered the new gasket with a thin film of the old fluid.

I put the new rubbery gasket on the pan, it wouldn't stay in place! So I took all the 605 bolts and pushed them through the pan holes and through the matching holes on the gasket. I put them in just far enough to hold the gasket in place.

I then started screwing in the bolts. I didn't snug ANY of them because I didn't want to distort the pan. I probably spent 30 minutes carefully snugging up the bolts in a criss cross pattern. I noticed that when I took the bolts out they were not very tight. So I tried to put them back the same way. I didn't want to squeeze the rubbery gasket out of shape.

The fill tube and the tube attached to the pan weren't fitting like they should. I had tapped on the mating point while I was mounting and snugging the pan, but they didn't go back completely. So with the pan mounted and tight I tapped on it a few more times and they finally fully mated.

I put in two new quarts of fluid. I used those empty bottles and filled them with the old fluid I had drained earlier. Careful to just get the top of the fluid in the bottles.

I then put in one of the old quarts of fluid.

I checked the fluid, tranny cold, and it showed close to full. 3 quarts wasn't enough, so I put in another NEW quart of ATF+4. I checked it again, and it was full.

I cranked it up and backed it out. Leaving it running so it could heat up and I could check the tranny fluid level hot, like you are supposed to.

I ran it for a little while and once I thought it was hot enough I checked the fluid. NOTHING ON THE STICK!

I thought that 7 quart plastic drain pan looked like more than 4 quarts!

I put in another quart of the old fluid. Checked, nothing, I put in another NEW quart and I was on the stick. I then added 1/2 of the 4th new quart.

Level looked fine, maybe a little too much fluid, but not over the max line.

Test drive showed everything working fine.
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Old 06-29-2009
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You do have an AW4 right? Aren't you supposed to be pouring Dexron III in there instead of atf-4?

When i bought mine, i immediately took it to my tranny guy and had him flush it. The fluid was dark brown and nasty. After flushing it twice, it was nice and red, perfectly clean. I took it home and tore off the pan and replaced the filter then filled it back up myself. I used to do the drain and fill with the tj but i was just wasting new fluid by mixing old with new.

Last edited by muddeprived; 06-29-2009 at 05:39 AM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddeprived View Post
You do have an AW4 right? Aren't you supposed to be pouring Dexron III in there instead of atf-4?

When i bought mine, i immediately took it to my tranny guy and had him flush it. The fluid was dark brown and nasty. After flushing it twice, it was nice and red, perfectly clean. I took it home and tore off the pan and replaced the filter then filled it back up myself. I used to do the drain and fill with the tj but i was just wasting new fluid by mixing old with new.
My manual said Mopar ATF+3, or Mercon, or Dexron. I forget the spelling and correct numbers because I knew I was going to get the Mopar stuff. When I couldn't find the Mopar I looked for the ATF+4. I read that the ATF+4 meets or exceeds the ATF+3.
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ive heard mixed things about the atf+4... but ive heard the atf+4 is newer and better...
i use atf 4... also ive heard the filter is not worth the hassle in changing often, so i didnt...
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btw nice write up
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Thanks, and thanks for the information. That's the nice thing about write ups, you usually learn more from people that read and comment on it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudderoy View Post
My manual said Mopar ATF+3, or Mercon, or Dexron. I forget the spelling and correct numbers because I knew I was going to get the Mopar stuff. When I couldn't find the Mopar I looked for the ATF+4. I read that the ATF+4 meets or exceeds the ATF+3.
That's weird. I'm gonna have to check my manual. From what I've learned, the AW4 is not a DC part and doesn't take atf-4 but I've also read that people can switch to atf but not go back to dexron. Alot of different opinions and info on this.

But hey if it works, it works
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Good write up. I am scared to change the fluid and filter in mine,cause they run good and I do not want to mess them up.
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Hey Mudd, what manual do you have? My Haynes says this:

AW-4 Mercon ATF
727 and 999 Dexron II.

I don't disagree with what you used, just trying to figure out why there are different oil recommendations.
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I'm with deprived on this one. I've always heard/read that the AW4 takes Dexron II or higher. I know the manual for my 2000 says use Mopar Automatic transmission Fluid, OR equivalent Dexron II or Mercon fluid. So I assume there is a difference between Mopar automatic transmission fluid, and the ATF+3.

It DOES state to use ATF+3 or ATF+3 Type 7176 for the automatic with the 2.5L four cylinder. I've read that the ATF+3 and higher fluids were made for Chrysler transmissions because of additives for the type of band/clutch material they use. Someone PLEASE correct me if I am wrong.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddeprived View Post
Hey Mudd, what manual do you have? My Haynes says this:

AW-4 Mercon ATF
727 and 999 Dexron II.

I don't disagree with what you used, just trying to figure out why there are different oil recommendations.
I'll have to check my owner's manual again. I thought it said ATF+3. Looking online I see there are disagreements. Some says ATF+4 is bad, some say it is fine to use and they have over 80k miles. None of it says ATF+3 is a choice though.

Not that big of a deal, I can always drain and refill.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudderoy View Post
I'll have to check my owner's manual again. I thought it said ATF+3. Looking online I see there are disagreements. Some says ATF+4 is bad, some say it is fine to use and they have over 80k miles. None of it says ATF+3 is a choice though.

Not that big of a deal, I can always drain and refill.
I don't think they make atf-3 anymore? I'm not 100% but i never see it anymore. All i see is atf-4.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddeprived View Post
I don't think they make atf-3 anymore? I'm not 100% but i never see it anymore. All i see is atf-4.
Yep that is why I got the ATF-4.
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I found this interesting...

Quote:
NUMBER: 21-014-07
GROUP: Transmission
DATE: October 16, 2007
THIS BULLETIN SUPERSEDES TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN 21-010-06, DATED APRIL 14, 2006, WHICH SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM YOUR FILES. ALL REVISIONS ARE HIGHLIGHTED WITH **ASTERISKS** AND INCLUDES THE ADDITION OF THE ASIAN WARNER (AW4) TRANSMISSION AND ADDITIONAL MODELS AND YEARS.
SUBJECT:
Automatic Transmission Fluid Usage ATF+4 (Type M59602)

1997-2006 (TJ) Wrangler
2001 - 2004 (WG) Grand Cherokee (International Markets)
Vehicles equipped with Gas engines
1999 - 2004 (WJ) Grand Cherokee
2005 - 2008 (WK/WH) Grand Cherokee
2006 - 2008 (XK/XH) Commander
1989 - 1995 (YJ) Wrangler
1989 - 2001 (XJ) Cherokee
1989 - 1993 (MJ) Comanche
1996 - 1998 (ZG) Grand Cherokee (International Markets)
1994 - 1998 (ZJ) Grand Cherokee/Grand Wagoneer

NOTE :**AWA (Asian Warner) transmission are now included in this Service Bulletin. ATF+4(R) is recommended for AW-4 (Asian Warner) transmissions**

NOTE :This Service Bulletin DOES NOT apply to Sprinter transmissions, Crossfire transmissions, MK/PM vehicles equipped with Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and WG vehicles equipped with a diesel engine (sales code ENF) and a W5J400 or NAG1 transmission (sales code DGJ).

DISCUSSION:

ATF+4(R) - (Type 9602) is being used as factory fill for Chrysler Group automatic transmissions. ATF+4(R) is recommended for all vehicles equipped with Chrysler Group automatic transmissions EXCEPT FOR THOSE LISTED IN THE NOTE ABOVE.
NOTE :ATF+4(R) must always be used in vehicles that were originally filled with ATF+4(R). DO NOT USE ANY OTHER FLUID.

NOTE :ATF+4(R) is backward compatible with ATF+3, ATF+2, and ATF+. Additionally, ATF+4(R) can be used to top off vehicles that used ATF+3, ATF+2, or ATF+.

NOTE :If ATF+4 is used to service models originally filled with ATF+3, ATF+2, and ATF+ the fluid maintenance schedules listed for that model does not change. The service interval currently in effect for a given model should continue to be followed. Refer to the Service or Owners manual for maintenance schedule directions.

In general terms, If ATF+, ATF+2 or ATF+3 was the recommended fluid, it is now recommended to use ATF+4

BENEFITS
^ Better anti-wear properties
^ Improved rust/corrosion prevention
^ Controls oxidation
^ Eliminates deposits
^ Controls friction
^ Retains anti-foaming properties
^ Superior properties for low temperature operation

FLUID COLOR

Mopar ATF+4(R) has exceptional durability. However, the red dye used in ATF+4(R) is not permanent; as the fluid ages it may become darker or appear brown in color. ATF+4(R) also has a unique odor that may change with age. With ATF+4(R) fluid, color and odor are no longer indicators of fluid condition and do not necessarily support a fluid change.
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I'm going to double check it but I am 99% sure this is what my owner's manual said.


MOPAR ATF fluid or equivalent labeled DEXRON II or MERCON fluid

So how should I read this?
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