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Took my 2015 transit 250 w/ 3.5 engine (60,000 miles) in for the drive shaft recall at Hawk Ford in Oak Lawn Illinois. Wanted to get a oil change & trans fluid change. Adviser said that they back flush the trans & do not change the filter ($250.00). I should have asked them if they do the oil changes that way & not change the filter.
As i was leaving the van for the recall he said that the mechanic said that the van was to new & they don't have the tools to back flush the trans. Also said service wasn't needed until 150,000 miles.
I looked on Rock Auto & they carry the filter, I will take it to a friend at a local trans shop.
 

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Sounds like you have a good dealer!

Front subframe needs to be dropped to remove the transmission oil pan.

Transmission filters are more like a big screen to catch stuff in case of catastrophic filter, so it allows the Transmission to be rebuilt.

Ford Dealers do have machine to capture old/put in new fluid. Fluid Exchanger.

I can think of a few ways to build a home shop fluid exchanger, but it would be a big diameter cylinder to hold all 13 qts of fluid. Think of three gallon paint cans stacked on end. 7" diameter by 24" long cylinder. Piston with seals in the middle, as old fluid comes into that cylinder, is pushes down on the piston, which forces new fluid back into the transmission.


A Home Shop Machinist can build a fluid exchanger. Think of a 8" diameter plexiglass cylinder about 4' long. Middle of the rod is a piston with two o-rings. New fluid on one side, old fluid goes into the empty side, pushing that piston down, which forces new fluid back into the transmission. On farm tractors you see hydraulic push pull arrangements. Same idea, but you don't need a tractor rod down the center (but gives a visual of the progress of fluid exchange). I'm sure some of the more clever guys on this list could make one from stuff at Home Depot. I'm just not that clever.
 

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Poor man's exchange: I have disconnected the transmission pump output to the cooler, sticking the tube into a gallon jug, intermittently starting and stopping the engine, replacing the same amount of fluid collected each start/stop cycle until you think you've more or less exchanged the fluid volume. Maybe a bit like dropping the pan and changing what fluid you can but does a better job of getting at the fluid in the torque converter.
 

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Unless a straight change is particularly difficult, I'm figuring on a simple drain-and-fill every 50K, and not worrying too much about catching what's in the torque converter. Enough of the fluid ought to be refreshed to keep the clutches happy.

But that does beg the question - how much of the 13.1 quarts will drain doing it that way? Mercon LV is expensive, so my old tried-and-true technique of drain-and-fill two or three times in a short period to get a more thorough change is approaching the $250 @katmat was charged for the dealer to worry about it.
 

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In my work vehicles I change transmission fluid every 30K miles. Friend of mine owns a transmission shop and says its the best thing you can do. Ive never had a transmission failure. I'm surprised nobody seems to want to do this maintenance procedure correctly. I think I pay 200 bucks to have it done, but worth every penny to have peace of mind and know I'm preventing a break down.
 

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Unless a straight change is particularly difficult, I'm figuring on a simple drain-and-fill every 50K, and not worrying too much about catching what's in the torque converter. Enough of the fluid ought to be refreshed to keep the clutches happy.
According to @Budsky, the problem is that 9.5 qts remain in the TC with one drain and fill. But repeat it a few times and you should be good enough. http://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/engine-technical-discussion/51145-transmission-service.html
 

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If Ford is using a machine to exchange, I would pay for the service

Quick efficient way which I am not sure if it can be done with out transits is to suction out fluid using the fill hole.

I would do it early while the fluid is still good, so you are putting in 3 qts or so fresh every x miles.
 

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According to @Budsky , the problem is that 9.5 qts remain in the TC with one drain and fill. But repeat it a few times ...
"A few times" is right. Given the small percentage changed (25%) on each pass, there is going to be a lot of waste of fluid and time to get a reasonably-freshened (90%?) fill. I'll check with my mechanic about a fluid exchange machine.

This is an important issue, to me at least. We had a previous Ford that became notorious for early fluid deterioration. Book said 60K, people were having TC bypass clutch issues starting around 20K. Once Ford (with some help from our group) discovered it was the fluid going out-of-spec, the recommended change became 15K. Fortunately in this case the TC didn't retain but a couple of quarts, so two or three drain-and-fills and you were golden. It didn't hurt at all that the fluid change was easier than an oil change - very quick.

Another issue we (and the engineer) discovered with this (CD4E) transmission - you could not use synthetics in it, it was designed around the original Mercon formulation and the clutch material was not tolerant of fluids with different heat/lubricity curves. It was vogue at the time to "extend life" with aftermarket synthetics since they were the new tech. However, the field intel turned out to prove the opposite with this particular design. We and Ford learned, in some cases, a pretty hard lesson.
 
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"A few times" is right. Given the small percentage changed (25%) on each pass, there is going to be a lot of waste of fluid and time to get a reasonably-freshened (90%?) fill. ...
On running the math, it would take eight drain-and-fills to get 90% fresh. By the time you're done, that's ~32 quarts, or over $250 in fluid alone at the current street price for Motorcraft Mercon LV.

A-yup, have the pros use their machine.
 

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Both the dealership that I bought my truck from, and the higher volume "truck centre" dealership nearby, told me the old "lifetime fluid" line when I inquired about a flush and fill. Then when I pressed a little more, my purchasing dealership quoted me about 650 bucks to drop the subframe and do a pan only service.

Then I pressed the truck centre dealership about a full flush, as they had the machine, and they told me they "didn't have the attachments for the Transit. You should go to a transmission shop."

Nice product support guys. Really super.

I'm at 68000 kms now, and the thing rarely keeps the converter locked on deceleration, and less and less on acceleration. Just freewheeling all the time. Zero engine braking. Dealer says it's normal. I'm thinking a full fluid change can't hurt. Then maybe I'll figure out a way to break it before it's out of warranty so I can get a new one.
 

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On running the math, it would take eight drain-and-fills to get 90% fresh. By the time you're done, that's ~32 quarts, or over $250 in fluid alone at the current street price for Motorcraft Mercon LV.

A-yup, have the pros use their machine.


Mercon LV $4.13 per quart.

32 quarts $132

For my location shipping is $34

So $166 a little better than $250

you will actually have to buy 36 qts

RockAuto
 

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There are numerous Mercon LV equivalents available as well. This fluid has been specified by Ford since 2008. GM 6L80E transmissions use fluid with the same specifications. I changed my 6L80 with Kendal Versatrans LV. It is also suitable for the Ford transmission.
 

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Mercon LV $4.13 per quart.

32 quarts $132

For my location shipping is $34

So $166 a little better than $250

you will actually have to buy 36 qts

RockAuto
Well, that's a little better. But... still... eight times? Is there a Fumoto valve that fits the transmission drain plug?

I find it interesting it's not available (or I haven't found it) in gallon jugs considering it takes nine gallons to do this. I might get in trouble with the local L.E. for the pile of quart bottles in the trash. Considering our particular community, somebody might get the notion I've figured out how to make a recreational substance out of ATF. >:D

Given my personal experience with aftermarket equivalents discussed above, I'm going to stick with the Motorcraft product even if it may be a few bucks more in the end. Modern ATFs are very tightly engineered, with the fluid a part of the overall mechanical equation. An equivalent or compatible might be a quality product in its own right, but more often than not the formula is tweaked ever so slightly to keep out of trouble with patents, and will the tweak be OK in the long run... or not OK? Considering that LV is a new-ish formulation, patents are likely to prevail.
 

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Both the dealership that I bought my truck from, and the higher volume "truck centre" dealership nearby, told me the old "lifetime fluid" line when I inquired about a flush and fill. Then when I pressed a little more, my purchasing dealership quoted me about 650 bucks to drop the subframe and do a pan only service.

Then I pressed the truck centre dealership about a full flush, as they had the machine, and they told me they "didn't have the attachments for the Transit. You should go to a transmission shop."

Nice product support guys. Really super.

I'm at 68000 kms now, and the thing rarely keeps the converter locked on deceleration, and less and less on acceleration. Just freewheeling all the time. Zero engine braking. Dealer says it's normal. I'm thinking a full fluid change can't hurt. Then maybe I'll figure out a way to break it before it's out of warranty so I can get a new one.
I didn't even think about how often the locks the converter. I wonder if adding a forced lock, like what the Cummins guys do, would be worth anything.

You would need to add a trans temp gauge, and see how the manual force locking of the converter regulates the temps.

Does the converter lock up more when you keep in in manual and hold gears on decel? it must
 

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No Trans drain plug in transit, no rear diffy drain plug in transit also.
Well that's annoying. I hadn't actually looked, I'm a few years away from either. The era of sealed, no-service, throw-away-because-they're-not-worth-working-on vehicles is apparently here in spades. [I'll save the rest of that soapbox for later.]

OTOH... I mentioned the 1st-gen Escape being super-easy. In thinking back, maybe too easy. The transmission drain plug was close enough to the motor oil drain to be confusing when viewed by a minimally-trained wrench-turner at a quickie oil change store. I'll betcha more than a few CD4E-equipped Ford products were ruined because they drained the wrong sump.
 

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