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Old 06-05-2011, 04:13 PM   #1
chadster1
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Default Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

I just changed the transmission filter on my pickup. Fairly easy job but it ended up being somewhat messy. Why dont they put a drain plug on transmission pans just like they do on the oil pans. Even though the transmission fluid and filter is not changed as often, it sure would make things easier.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

You should know the answer already...so you have to pay a tech to do it.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

I always put one in the first time.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

I don't know what truck you drive but my 1995.5 Isuzu Rodeo has a drain plug for the transmission pan.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

There's one on every one of my vehicles after the first time I change the oil ...I take a 3/8 pipe coupler , saw it in half , and make a hole in the pan big enough to push the 1/2 coupler in most of the way . Then I braze it into place.
I guess it saves them $ .39 on each pan if they don't provide one .....
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

I just bought a 4x4 pan for my Lightning. The new one held 1 quart more fluid and had a drain plug. I figured while I was changing the valvebody to a more aggressive one I'd get the filter and pan for a 4wd.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Drive a stick. I haven't seen one without a drain plug.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Originally Posted by nissan_crawler View Post
I always put one in the first time.
The thought crossed my mind as I was putting the pan back on. While I am probably better equipped in my garage than the average person, I did not have what I needed to put one in. Next time, I am just going to get the guy that helps me sometimes on the weekends to tackle this job.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

2008 Dodge Ram 1500, 5.7l Hemi.

I just realized one thing I should of done that would of made it a little less messy. I should of sucked what fluid I could out the dipstick tube.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

any parts store sells a bolt in drain pan plug. i put one in the wife's mustang pan when i changed the fluid. it is basically a ~5/8" nut and bolt w/ a ~5/16" bolt in the center of it. drill a hole in the pan, bolt the larger nut/ bolt in w/ o-ring, then bolt smaller bolt in larger one to seal. it's been in the car a year or so and no leaks.

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Old 06-05-2011, 04:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

The filter won't fit through the little hole.......
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Drive a stick. I haven't seen one without a drain plug.
Amen! that why i drive my 2002 dodge ram 3500 with cummins and NV5600 6 speed transmission... i love to drive the trucks with manual transmission/transaxles....

too many ford transmissions problems at my work, fewer and fewer manual transmissions come in for problems.... my work has two transmission techs and they has been working on it a lot...
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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The filter won't fit through the little hole.......
No, but you can get the pan empty before removing it and not try to balance 10 qts of fluid without spilling.

Oh, and mine doesn't have a filter to change, anyway.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

I had a fine thread nut welded on the C4 pan when I had an auto in the Mustang. I've thought of doing the same with the truck on the first fluid change.

I've comsidered buying one of these to catch all the wayward fluid, placing the regular drain pan inside this dropping pan.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/pet-car...30-in--2180597
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:47 PM   #15
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

I quit wondering about the crazy transmission designs a couple years ago! Our 09 malibu 3.6 trans pan is the side of the transmission so to change the internal filter you have to pull the trans. I did a trans swap on my friends 04 lincoln aviator and to fill the thing you have to pump fluid up into the drain plug till it backflows and it doesn't have a dipstick to ever check the fluid level. They are getting closer and closer to transmissions just not being servicable anymore, run it till it dies an put a new one in like an alternator or starter.

I have a big square drain pan adaptor like this one for trans fluid service, http://www.tooltopia.com/johndow-2436.aspx. I just set it in one of my drain pans that is open on the top. Found if I loosen all the bolts just a turn and then start in one corner working both ways it will drain out of one corner and I can control most of the mess.

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Old 06-05-2011, 04:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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They are getting closer and closer to transmissions just not being servicable anymore, run it till it dies an put a new one in like an alternator or starter.
it's already here. friend of mine works at Nissan dealer, they are not allowed to open any of their new CVT transmissions. replace only.

also, the smart people at Toyota designed their Tundra trucks with a completely sealed transmission, it doesn't even have a dipstick. I heard it "sould" be good for lifetime.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:21 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

I'm planning on doing the drain plug mod to my Transmission and my Differentials when I do the fluid changes. I've got a Ram 15(2500) Megacab and just don't see the need to remove them for every fluid change. I'd do the differentials maybe every other or 3rd/4th oil change to look inside and every other fluid change and replace the filters then.

I've looked at the DIY plug kits at the local parts store but they don't really look like something that reliable. How well do they actually seal to the pan and how do you keep the adapter nut from loosening? Would Lock-tite or JBWeld be the thing to do if you don't have anyone who could braze it on for you?
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Not tryin' to derail this thread but as a non AT guy, I have a question. I had my oil changed at a IFFY LUBE and the guy tried to sell me a trans fluid change. I asked, "What about the filter?" and tells me there is none.

It's a '02 Sonoma, 4.3 and AT. Is he right?
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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I'm planning on doing the drain plug mod to my Transmission and my Differentials when I do the fluid changes. I've got a Ram 15(2500) Megacab and just don't see the need to remove them for every fluid change. I'd do the differentials maybe every other or 3rd/4th oil change to look inside and every other fluid change and replace the filters then.

I've looked at the DIY plug kits at the local parts store but they don't really look like something that reliable. How well do they actually seal to the pan and how do you keep the adapter nut from loosening? Would Lock-tite or JBWeld be the thing to do if you don't have anyone who could braze it on for you?
i used 4 of those diy plugs where you drill the pan. 2 i installed exactly as said several years ago with no leaks. i brazed in one since i had the torch available the 4th i broke the inner nut when tightening so i jb welded it from the outside. None have leaked so far and each has been install for at least 3yrs.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Originally Posted by JC23 View Post
Not tryin' to derail this thread but as a non AT guy, I have a question. I had my oil changed at a IFFY LUBE and the guy tried to sell me a trans fluid change. I asked, "What about the filter?" and tells me there is none.

It's a '02 Sonoma, 4.3 and AT. Is he right?
no 4l60e's have a filter
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:45 PM   #21
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Originally Posted by JC23 View Post
Not tryin' to derail this thread but as a non AT guy, I have a question. I had my oil changed at a IFFY LUBE and the guy tried to sell me a trans fluid change. I asked, "What about the filter?" and tells me there is none.

It's a '02 Sonoma, 4.3 and AT. Is he right?
I have an '02 Astro w/4.3 & auto...it most certainly does have a trans filter. Not sure if it is the same trans you have though.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:25 PM   #22
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Originally Posted by JC23 View Post
Not tryin' to derail this thread but as a non AT guy, I have a question. I had my oil changed at a IFFY LUBE and the guy tried to sell me a trans fluid change. I asked, "What about the filter?" and tells me there is none.

It's a '02 Sonoma, 4.3 and AT. Is he right?
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:29 PM   #23
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

First thing I do with an auto trans that does ANY towing is put in a bung for a trans temp sensor. Doubles as a drain also plus I can monitor how hot the oil is getting and can shut it down before something bad happens.
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:35 PM   #24
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

So the sales slug WAS zooming me! Thanks, guys!
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:53 PM   #25
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Most aftermarket transmission pans have a drain plug. When I built HOTFR8 (My F4 withthe Cummins) I swapped the standard ford C6 transmission pan for an aftemarket one. The standard one had no drain plug but the after market one did.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:05 PM   #26
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Drive a stick. I haven't seen one without a drain plug.
most GM before 1968 + - didn't have them on a stick.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:20 PM   #27
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Our 93 Saturn had a drain plug and a spin on trans filter. Still had to replace the trans at ~ 150,000 miles.

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Old 06-05-2011, 08:34 PM   #28
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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it's already here. friend of mine works at Nissan dealer, they are not allowed to open any of their new CVT transmissions. replace only.

also, the smart people at Toyota designed their Tundra trucks with a completely sealed transmission, it doesn't even have a dipstick. I heard it "sould" be good for lifetime.
To my dismay, I found out that my 2008 HHR is set up exactly the same way. I got fed up with trying to find the transmission dipstick!
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:25 PM   #29
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Originally Posted by JC23 View Post
Not tryin' to derail this thread but as a non AT guy, I have a question. I had my oil changed at a IFFY LUBE and the guy tried to sell me a trans fluid change. I asked, "What about the filter?" and tells me there is none.

It's a '02 Sonoma, 4.3 and AT. Is he right?
I think every vehicle known to go through a Jippy lube needed a transmission fluid change. Some more that once!

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:41 PM   #30
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JC23 View Post
Not tryin' to derail this thread but as a non AT guy, I have a question. I had my oil changed at a IFFY LUBE and the guy tried to sell me a trans fluid change. I asked, "What about the filter?" and tells me there is none.

It's a '02 Sonoma, 4.3 and AT. Is he right?
it has one, but they arent going to drop the pan to change the fluid. They are going to use the super sucker 10,000. just change the fluid, TO HELL WITH THE FILTER!!!
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:42 PM   #31
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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no 4l60e's have a filter
Yea they do...and they need replaced every 30k if you want a decent chance of not having to replace the tranny. Found that out the hard way on a few vehicles Ive bought used.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:44 PM   #32
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Yea they do...and they need replaced every 30k if you want a decent chance of not having to replace the tranny. Found that out the hard way on a few vehicles Ive bought used.
If I may, please allow me to translate "warmpancakes" post:

"No, that's not correct. 4l60e's have a filter."

That should clear things up.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:52 PM   #33
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

ok...thanks hoseb
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:52 PM   #34
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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If I may, please allow me to translate "warmpancakes" post:

"No, that's not correct. 4l60e's have a filter."

That should clear things up.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:51 PM   #35
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

To answer the original question...

Most automatics have their first scheduled fluid change after 100,000 miles.

As for people who like to shift their own gears, Ford only offers a manual transmission on Fiesta, Focus, Ranger and Mustang. With the Ranger being discontinued soon , no Ford truck will offer a manual. Why ? The "take rate" was too low.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:10 AM   #36
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Because there is no service on an automatic transmissions that requires draining the fluid but not dropping the pan.
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:49 AM   #37
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Allison trannies have drain plugs. They also have an external spin-on filter. Normal trans fluid maintenance is to drain the pan via the plug, replace the spin-on, and refill. No replacing the inside filter/screen in general use. The internal filter gets replaced if the trans is overhauled. (This is all per the manual)

I've either brazed in a drain bung or installed an aftermarket pan into all my AT stuff. It makes for a much neater job.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:31 AM   #38
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Most German cars have drain plugs on their auto trannies. Now draining the converter is a whole different story.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:46 AM   #39
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Because there is no service on an automatic transmissions that requires draining the fluid but not dropping the pan.
How do you figure that one? On mine there certainly is, unless you're going to pay for a flush.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:12 AM   #40
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Also has a deeper pan
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:20 AM   #41
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

I was told by my hgh school shop teacher that they leave off trans drain plugs so the average DIYer doesn't drain the tranny fluid instead of the oil when doing an oil change. Doing so would run the trans dry and probably double the oil in the crankcase when they added the new oil - Killing the trans and engine at the same time.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:33 AM   #42
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

My C4 trans now has a Drain plug.. Went to my bolt and nut stash, drill the right size hole, tack weld nut to inside of pan, install copper washer on bolt and install. Problem solved and did not have to but a drain plug kit.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:08 AM   #43
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Originally Posted by theoldwizard1 View Post
Most automatics have their first scheduled fluid change after 100,000 miles.
My pickup is 60,000 miles under regular use and 30,000 miles under severe duty for tranny filter change. I tow a 4000 lb load quite often so I am use the severe duty schedule.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:14 AM   #44
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Originally Posted by A29 View Post
My C4 trans now has a Drain plug.. Went to my bolt and nut stash, drill the right size hole, tack weld nut to inside of pan, install copper washer on bolt and install. Problem solved and did not have to but a drain plug kit.
Only problem there is if you want to just do a quick tranny drain/fill. You have the nut on the inside, that will keep a 1/4" of fluid in the bottom of the pan, where all the crap settles.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:29 AM   #45
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Only problem there is if you want to just do a quick tranny drain/fill. You have the nut on the inside, that will keep a 1/4" of fluid in the bottom of the pan, where all the crap settles.
I put a magnet out of an old hard drive on the bottom of the pan. All the crap gets stuck to the magnet.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:49 AM   #46
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Maybe not....think you'll find most of the "crap" is non-magnetic and is in that 1/4" layer mentioned above. It is best to put that nut outside, on the back curve so all the crap drains and the nut is not scraped off if your pan should slide over something solid.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:01 AM   #47
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

The whole point I was using is to avoid the mess of just dropping the pan. What about all the ATF in the converter? Mine has a plug, some do not.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:11 AM   #48
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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As for people who like to shift their own gears, Ford only offers a manual transmission on Fiesta, Focus, Ranger and Mustang.
I just double checked on the Ford website. You can still get a Fusion with a manual transmission.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:17 AM   #49
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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I always put one in the first time.
This -
....or I buy a chrome dress-up pan for my old cars with a drain plug - it is a pain to get them to stop leaking after you take the pan off the first time - not worth the hassle.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:43 AM   #50
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

Auto trans have filters..don`t let anyone tell you otherwise..They elimanated the plug in the pan because it added a labor operation, and created a potential leak point..not to mention the BOZO who drains the trans , and adds 5 quarts to your engine..nuff said
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:06 PM   #51
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Because there is no service on an automatic transmissions that requires draining the fluid but not dropping the pan.
What he said. Other than band adjust. You are supposed to pull the pan because on stock vehicles, the factory engineers program the auto transmissions for cushy-butt drivers. Which means there is overlap between shifts where more than one gear is engaged. They also regulate line pressure in the trans to insure a soft shift. This is where the aftermarket "trans kit" industry comes from. Shift overlap and low line pressure causes debris to accumulate in the pan from clutch material (both fibrous and metallic) and regular service requires removal and cleaning of the pan with a filter replacement. The condition of the debris in the pan can tell you about the condition of the trans - a lot like reading plugs used to be.

Take a ride in my race car - the motor is wimpy 300HP 302 but the auto uses a manual trans valve body using 200 PSI of line pressure. You'll notice there is no soft shift overlap.

Modern transmissions - and I'm not a 'spert on new trans programming - probably avoid much of this because the engine and trans work together on power application, shift timing, etc.

SO - the drain plug is not there because you are supposed to be in there looking things over.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:04 PM   #52
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

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Originally Posted by hydramatic View Post
Auto trans have filters..don`t let anyone tell you otherwise..They elimanated the plug in the pan because it added a labor operation, and created a potential leak point..not to mention the BOZO who drains the trans , and adds 5 quarts to your engine..nuff said
They might all have "filters", but they don't all have ones that are supposed to be changes. My truck doesn't, it's a screen.

That's why there's no need to drop the pan for a simple drain and fill.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:45 PM   #53
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

I have asked this question to Hydro & Cruiseomatic Engineers, back in the early 80's.

The response was that the early trans had drain plugs. People would simply drain the ATF with out pulling the pan and changing the filter or cleaning the screen. Not bothering to adjust the bands. Not cleaning the debris from the pan.
Drain plugs were left out to force pan removal to service the trans.

Since about 1991 most trans are electronic controlled and have magnets in the sump. ATF will not conduct electric current, but a normal working trans will generate a lot of metal particles that when suspended in the ATF will make it conduct current. As the electronic trans use open wound type solenoids, meaning not insulated, if the ATF gets enough metal in it , it will cause problems. That is why you should drop the pan and at least clean the "black jelly" from the magnets. When the magnets get over loaded things get interesting.

The newer trans being "sealed" is simply for advertising low maitenace cost for OEM's.

The OEM's are trying to lower warranty costs by not allowing Dealer repair of transmissions. Most OEM's are farming out the transmission repairs, to contract rebuilders. They do not have to train Dealer Techs to repair transmissions which saves them money.

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Old 06-06-2011, 04:38 PM   #54
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Default Re: Why dont they put a drain plug in transmission pans?

My 01 Yukon and 05 Z-71 have the exact same engine/transmission/drivetrain with exception of the 4WD Xfer case. The yukon has a drain plug on the trans and rear diff, the Z-71 does not. Makes changing the fluid/filter and diff fluid more difficult.

I have owned 2 Honda Accords and their automatics have no tranny filter, just change the fluid.
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