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Old 01-03-2006, 07:38 PM   #1
OldFaithful
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2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

I have the Ford Manuals and I am maintaining my daughter's and my 2000 Windstars, that is a total of two cars. Hers at 140,000+ and mine at 120,000+ and it is ATF replacement time. This is my first time to try this on the Windstars. Before, I had it done. I have the Ford manuals.

The Ford manual shows disconnecting the cooler return line, as is shown on other threads in this forum, but pumping only for enough time to loose 2 to 3 quarts, replace those with fresh fluid, and then fire it up again to get the other 10+ quarts. Is this the way it should go, or can you pump it all out, change the filter and gasket and then refill the tranny?

Thanks in advance for your response.

Regards,

Jim
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:54 PM   #2
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Re: 2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

I also have the rather confusing Ford manuals. I've finally surmised that the process outlined is an effort to fairly thoroughly purge the tranny and the cooler ... going thru about 13 qts of fresh fluid in the process. But you can't push out the old with the new and not have "fluid mixing" in the process. And unless you drop the pan, you can not wipe out the pan and clean the magnets.

So, like many others, I think dropping the pan and replacing the 6 1/3 qts that drains ... but doing it twice as frequently as someone might with the Ford process ... is the better practice. As long as the fluid is fairly clean, there is no reason to suspect the cooler needs "flushing".

I believe this is the practice suggested by the Haynes manual.

By the way, the pan gasket is reusable.
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:22 AM   #3
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2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

Thanks for your reply. I have tried to read all of the previous posts on ATF change but I probably missed the one that explained the process used fully. The Ford process sounds like you will only get 2 to 3 quarts of fluid out the first attempt. That doesn't make sense to me, so I was looking for confirmation that you can empty out most of the fluid in one step, drop the pan and filter, clean and reassemble and refill. If there is a thread that explains this and the refill process to use, I would appreciate it if someone would steer me to it. I did see the pictures from wiswind and they are worth thousand of words. Thanks for the work that went into those wiswind. They are priceless.

I was going to refill with 15 quarts and take out very close to 15 quarts so that I use and extra 2+ quarts to flush most of the remaining old fluid out of the system. I would have to get the extra fluid out of the return line somewhere during the refill process. With a 6+ quart fluid pan on this unit, you obviously couldn't put 15 quarts in there all at once. I'm guessing that you put in 6 or 7 quarts, then idle the engine to pick up that fluid, shutdown and then put in the rest of the fluid so that when you are finished you have gotten very close to 15 quarts of "old" fluid out equaling the 15 quarts you put in. I'm reading between the lines that I saw to come up with that plan and I am looking for confirmation that it works well this way and if not what is the best way to do this. I did not see a refill process anywhere, so if it is in one of the threads, I would appreciate it if someone could point me in that direction.

I am very aware that you should not continue to pump when there is no fluid draining. The pump would be wet and cool but not for very long if you continue to run it without fluid circulating.
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Old 01-04-2006, 11:52 AM   #4
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Re: 2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

As you said, the Ford procedure first allows the pump to cavitate after having pushed out 3 qts or so.
Then you put in 10 qts. At this point the tranny is 7 qts overfilled ... but you really aren't going to operate this way, for the next step is to pump out 10 qts (or whatever).
Now you button everthing back up and refill the missing 3 qts. At least, this is what I think it is saying.

It's not a bad procedure; especially if after the first 3-qt pumping ... one were to drop the pan and mop everything out and replace the inlet screen. Of course, you would find about 3 1/3 qts in the pan to be dumped.
Then when you put in 10 qts, you would only be overfilled by 4 qts or so.

I just don't like dealing with the tubing.
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Old 01-04-2006, 03:25 PM   #5
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2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter and fluid Change

Thank for your post. That takes the mystery out of it for me. I'll cavatate, change the filter and refill. I will use 15 quarts to get as good of a flush as possible. Thanks.
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:45 PM   #6
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Re: 2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

Hi
I attempted to follow the OEM manual process on my '96. It didn't really go as described - I did not get the cooler line to "go dry" (pump cavitation) in the amount of time they indicated. I became a little goosey about screwing something up. So, I just alternately pumped out, then filled in equal quantities until I had exceeded the normal quantity, i.e. had allegedly "swapped" all fluid. I have twice since, and once before, used the pan method for the other reasons noted - clean the pan and magnet. Good luck.

One other thing. If you are changing the filter there is a common "trap" many of us have fallen into: when you pull the old filter, the seal is likely to remain in the bore of the intake orfice. It is hard to distinguish it from the rest of the bore and you will drive yourself nuts trying to insert the new filter as it will not fit. So, if the neck of the old filter after pulling it is just bare plastic (black usually) then the seal is likely in the bore. Careful prying pressure with a large blade screwdriver should free it from the bore.
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:05 PM   #7
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Re: 2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

Hi,
I have done the fluid / filter change a couple of times on my '96 3.8L.

Your 2000 will be similar. You will use Mercon V rated fluid....with is different from the Mercon fluid that I use.

Verify which tube is the return line for your 2000.

The other place that fluid (old and new) can mix is in the torque converter. I posted pictures that show what you will be seeing.

What I did is to disconnect the return line from the cooler.....slide a short piece of clear hose over the cooler return hose.....so that I could easily see the fluid flow.

I ran the engine until the fluid flow pretty much stopped. I measured the amount that came out. Then I dropped the pan...cleaned things up....changed the filter......and put the new filter in, installed the pan. I measured (as close as I could) the amount that came out when I dropped the pan.

Now you have a clean place to put the new fluid.....the pan is the sump from which the transmission pulls the fluid.

Then I added new fluid....flushed....added new fluid...flushed....and did that until I had gone through the amount of fluid that I used (I used 18 quarts). I added only about what I ran out each time.

I posted pictures.....including detail of the pesky filter gasket that wants to stay in the tranny....in my pictures at
http://community.webshots.com/album/201931518cScpNK
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:23 PM   #8
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2000 Windstar ATF change

Gentlemen,

I thank you for your help. I think that you have very well filled in the blanks for me. I was aware of the seal trap and the screwdriver cure for that seemed to look best to me.

I'll give this a try in a couple of days.
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:30 PM   #9
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Hear Hear to Busboy4's comments about the tranny filter - drove me nuts for 6 hours. The tranny filter neck seal is 3 parts: rubber-aluminum-rubber. I just scraped out the inner layer of rubber and left 2/3 of old filter seal in the hole - new filter won't fit.

This photo shows 2/3 left in - looks good if it's your first change.

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Old 01-05-2006, 06:25 AM   #10
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Re: 2000 Windstar ATF change

You might consider adding a drain plug kit while you have that pan off.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:47 PM   #11
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Re: 2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

Does flushing the trans the way wiswind said push all the old fluid out of the torque converter? Is there a drain plug on the torque converter?
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:21 PM   #12
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Re: 2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

No, there is not a drain plug on the torque converter.
There is some mixing of old fluid with new in the converter, which is why I used the extra fluid to do the flush. The capacity of mine is 12.25 quarts. The 18 that I used was overkill. The purist will say that I still have some old fluid in there....but I will say that it is very little. The 15 quarts that other's have used is plenty enough to do a good job of changing the fluid.
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:56 AM   #13
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Re: 2000 Windstar ATF change

Quote:
Originally Posted by lewisnc100
You might consider adding a drain plug kit while you have that pan off.
That "kit" would consist of a Dorman 65245 -20 pilot point drain plug, a -20 jam nut, and a bit of drilling/welding or brazing. You can install the plug just to the right and rear of the magnet in the left end of the pan. I've done three of these AXOD-E/AX4*s this way with no problems. (I rarely remove a trans pan without installing a drain plug.)
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Old 03-25-2006, 06:07 PM   #14
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Re: 2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

FWIW, I just use a fluid evacuator and suck out 6-7qts of fluid out of the tranny from the dipstick every year (done during November oil change). Comes in handy too when dropping the pan as there isn't much fluid in it causing a huge mess.
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Old 07-18-2006, 02:18 PM   #15
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Re: 2000 Windstar 3.8L ATF Filter & Fluid Change

I know this thread is old but I was reading about transimission flushing and I read Wiswind's statement that he used 18 litres (or quarts) to flush his transmission. Of course with Mercon that isn't so expensive but since my 99 uses Mercon V and the only brand I have managed to find that only meets Mercon V (and not Mercon/Dextron/MerconV) is Motorcraft. And at $5.79 per litre that can really add up.
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