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Thread: ATF quantity?

  1. #1
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    Default ATF quantity?

    Recently my 97 vic had a leaking transmission cooling line, was driven on it for a little bit and eventually lost all gears except for reverse.

    loaded it up with about five quarts so far and still only have reverse. Really hoping i just don't have enough fluid and don't have to rebuild or replace.

    now for the question: How many quarts of ATF should i need? I didn't flush the trans or replace the filter, just the cooling line.


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  2. #2
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    What does the dipstick read? Needs to be checked with the engine running.

    Total capacity is near 12 quarts. I don't know how much can be lost before it completely stops shifting but losing that much fluid will not be good for it.

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    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    What does the dipstick read? Needs to be checked with the engine running.

    Total capacity is near 12 quarts. I don't know how much can be lost before it completely stops shifting but losing that much fluid will not be good for it.
    reads full every time i pour a quart in, after letting it sit for awhile and letting it settle it reads dry again. checking in the morning to see if i need to add anymore.


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    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    If it’s not leaking out or getting mixed with antifreeze in the cooler at the bottom of the radiator, keep adding until you get a consistent full reading on the dipstick with the engine running.

    The wife did this to her 4L60E in her S10. The smell was horrible. Burnt nasty friction material smell. It recovered with addition of fluid (and leak fixed) for about 200 miles then left her stranded with no 3rd/4th.
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    You add while the engine is running yes?
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    Member EaOutlaw1969's Avatar
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    Also check both sides of the dipstick
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    just checked the dipstick again and added a quart, still no movement. next up, change the filter. if it doesn't move then the transmission is getting torn out.


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    No mean-spiritedness here. IPreferDIY's Avatar
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    I don't think changing the filter will get you anything at this point, except maybe for the sake of looking for transmission debris. When you put the fluid down the tube, it sits in the pan until the pump sucks it up through the filter. The reason you check it while running is that the amount in the pan should be at the designated level while the fluid is being circulated. The fact that the fluid is getting sucked up should not be surprising, and it would actually seem to be a good sign. At least it tells you the pump is still working. At this point, it's just a matter of how much more you need before you can see the fluid on the stick consistently and determine if the tranny still changes gears with the right amount of fluid.

    It's really a judgment call at this point. The torque converter alone requires something like 4-5 quarts. You've done six of 12, so you might only need 1-2 more or 5-6 more, and you might be screwed in any case. Not having fluid on the stick will certainly make taking the pan off easier, and changing the filter would be a good idea if you know the tranny is not toast, but would the extra work be worthwhile if the tranny is toast? If you don't change the filter and find the tranny is still good with enough fluid, you would lose 4-5 quarts of fresh fluid if you proceed with changing the filter. I'm not even sure what I would do at this point.
    Last edited by IPreferDIY; 12-02-2018 at 05:57 PM.

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    I think loosing 4-5 quarts of fresh fluid if the trans shows to be good is worth the cost vs. the time/money to R&R a whole trans.

    Are you checking the dipstick with it in park and running? Any other way will give a false reading.
    These are highly engineered precision vehicles, the first step in diagnosing the problem is to strike the suspected offending part sharply and repeatedly with a blunt object, then re-test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FordMan77 View Post
    I think loosing 4-5 quarts of fresh fluid if the trans shows to be good is worth the cost vs. the time/money to R&R a whole trans.

    Are you checking the dipstick with it in park and running? Any other way will give a false reading.
    have been checking it in park and running, still only have reverse.

    I drove it once or twice while the leak was present, never leaving my yard, soon as i realized i had lost all gears except for reverse and that the trans was losing fluid is when I left it to sit until about now. I've only got an acre of land so it's not like i did a whole lot of driving. I'm in an auto tech vocational class so as soon as I can get a trailer and a spot on a lift for a week or two I'll see what my options are.


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    i've got a spot for a couple weeks. just need a way to get the car there and a transmission.


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    No mean-spiritedness here. IPreferDIY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FordMan77 View Post
    I think loosing 4-5 quarts of fresh fluid if the trans shows to be good is worth the cost vs. the time/money to R&R a whole trans. ...
    Good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by frankenstang View Post
    have been checking it in park and running, still only have reverse. ...
    Was the fluid high enough to be consistently showing on the stick with the engine running? If so, then it's obviously not a fluid level issue, and I doubt the filter would be the issue. If not, then it's a matter of how much more you want to spend on fluid before opening it up or taking it out. I don't know the details of how things work inside trannys, but I do know it comes down to high pressure fluid being directed to particular areas to have particular effects. I learned that from a pump drive failing on a FWD vehicle many years ago. No fluid pressure = no workie.

    2000 Grand Marquis LS HPP, a hand-me-down in 2008 with 128,000 km; 175,000 km as of July 2014
    mods: air filter box "tuba" (in place of the "trumpet"), headlight relay harness, J-mod (around 186,350 km), 70mm throttle body, NKL4 PCM (from a 2000 CVPI, nothing great there apart from highway cruising), KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (after >202,000 km on originals)

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    Quote Originally Posted by IPreferDIY View Post
    Was the fluid high enough to be consistently showing on the stick with the engine running? If so, then it's obviously not a fluid level issue, and I doubt the filter would be the issue. If not, then it's a matter of how much more you want to spend on fluid before opening it up or taking it out. I don't know the details of how things work inside trannys, but I do know it comes down to high pressure fluid being directed to particular areas to have particular effects. I learned that from a pump drive failing on a FWD vehicle many years ago. No fluid pressure = no workie.
    Consistently showing on the dipstick. assuming since i still have reverse that the pump is still functioning how it's supposed to. If i'm wrong please let me know, just dabbling into this platform as of right now. I'm getting everything together to begin the process.



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    No mean-spiritedness here. IPreferDIY's Avatar
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    88grandmarq is a tranny expert who might be okay with you sending him a PM asking him to respond to this thread. AFAIK, if the proper level of fluid is sufficient to activate reverse, the pump should be good enough to activate the forward gears. The valve body is the part that directs the fluid where it's supposed to go, so theoretically there might be an issue in there, but that's beyond me. 88grandmarq is definitely the go-to guy.

    2000 Grand Marquis LS HPP, a hand-me-down in 2008 with 128,000 km; 175,000 km as of July 2014
    mods: air filter box "tuba" (in place of the "trumpet"), headlight relay harness, J-mod (around 186,350 km), 70mm throttle body, NKL4 PCM (from a 2000 CVPI, nothing great there apart from highway cruising), KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (after >202,000 km on originals)

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    My screen name is GREEN, Bitches ! 88grandmarq's Avatar
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    fluid capacity depends on torque converter size. models with 11.25" torque converter(police/HPP/sport/Marauder) take 13 qts to fill. models with 12" converter take 14 qts to fill. IF you remove the valve body from the case, it take 10 qts to refill the transmission.

    In the case of the original poster. if you have enough fluid, the dipstick reads full and you have no forward gears, you most likely damaged the Forward clutch. when this clutch fails you have NO forward gears, but reverse works fine. rebuild or replace the transmission
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88grandmarq View Post
    In the case of the original poster. if you have enough fluid, the dipstick reads full and you have no forward gears, you most likely damaged the Forward clutch. when this clutch fails you have NO forward gears, but reverse works fine. rebuild or replace the transmission
    thanks, guess i'll have a hell of a time doing that then.



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