Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing

   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing #1  

Gale Hawkins

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Transmission Fluid Change

We did this yesterday on the 'new' Escalade and need to do it on the Blazer. The guy's write-up works as stated. We did this three years ago on the motorhome but the connection was simple due to regular hose clamps at the add on transmission cooler.

We did put a hose clamp on the nut in the radiator tank so we did not have to hold the hose at the radiator and put the other end in a 5 gallon bucket (hence the name Bucket Flush).

We did put a can of Sea Foam in the transmission three days before and had driven it 200 miles when we did this bucket flush. The goal was to cut out any varnish build up in the valve body, etc.

I did blow out the return line before the first pump down so it would not later mix with the new ATF.:thumbsup:

The best we could learn the transmission has never had a power flush and 60K miles before there was a pan drop change at 40K to replace the valve body.

200 miles later is is shifting great but that was the case before with the very brown ATF.

Has anyone else used this method to do a total system change out of ATF?
 
   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing #2  
I have done that with several Volvos (740, 940, 960/V90) with Aisin-Warner automatic transmissions.

Aaron Z
 
   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing #3  
I have done similar. Just a as a side note many new vehicles are equipped with a drain plug in both the pan and the cooler. You simply pull it an drain. Many new vehicles also DO NOT have a filter in the tranny. Same thing with fuel filters. Many do not have them anymore, just a small screen and filter element on the in tank pump itself.

Chris
 
   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing
  • Thread Starter
#4  
I have done similar. Just a as a side note many new vehicles are equipped with a drain plug in both the pan and the cooler. You simply pull it an drain. Many new vehicles also DO NOT have a filter in the tranny. Same thing with fuel filters. Many do not have them anymore, just a small screen and filter element on the in tank pump itself.

Chris

Anyone with a thought why they are going back with drain plugs at this time?

From my recent reading it seems even the current transmission filters are so course they only really catch big chunks of band material and metal shavings so nothing is gained in a technical sense (other than to clean the pan) when replacing them.

With this DIY flush I can flush every 30K miles even using a one gallon "push" for only about $30 a year in my case and only have pink (not dark brown) ATF most of the time. :D

Pumping out nearly 100% of the dirty/damaged ATF should remove about 100% of all the crud that is flowing through the transmission.:thumbsup:
 
   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing #5  
I have to have mine flushed at 30K intervals. I can tell when the tranny just doesn't feel right. Once done at the dealer for $160 (ripoff) it's good to go for another 30k.

Since I mantain the rest of the truck myself with no other labor expenses, I suppose I can tolerate this. There is no tranny filter in mine, so the flush is all you can really do, I guess.
 
   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing
  • Thread Starter
#6  
I have to have mine flushed at 30K intervals. I can tell when the tranny just doesn't feel right. Once done at the dealer for $160 (ripoff) it's good to go for another 30k.

Since I mantain the rest of the truck myself with no other labor expenses, I suppose I can tolerate this. There is no tranny filter in mine, so the flush is all you can really do, I guess.

Then why do you not do save the $100 labor by doing this bucket flush. Even if you just pay around it is hard to spend over an hour the first time. After once 15 minutes should be tops. I do not make $400 an hour where I work. :D
 
   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing #7  
I put a drain plug in my transmission pan (2004 GMC 1500, 4L60E) and drain and fill at each oil change. So far, the fluid in my truck has never changed color or smelled burnt at all. Still shifts well at 142K miles.

Mine still has a filter and I change it yearly (approximately every 25K). The filter may be pretty useless, but its nice to crack open the pan and evaluate the condition. Mine rarely has even a trace of clutch material, though the magnetic gets a light coating of iron. Probably the cleanest transmission I've ever seen.

Tim - I thought you have a similar truck as mine? It should still have a trans filter as far as I know.

BTW - if you guys are seeing burnt or brown fluid, I would suggest putting a transmission temp guage in. I did, and it helps to know when you are pushing the truck too hard.
 
   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing
  • Thread Starter
#8  
crashz you may have the best maintained transmission in the world.

I have never understood why GM ships some 4L60's with and some without drain plugs.

We did a 357 mile trip today in the 2003 Escalade we purchased 10 days ago and did the Sea Foam in the transmission for 200 miles over three days followed by the bucket flush last weekend. I think the bucket flush every 30K miles will keep it from ever getting as dirty as with the past owner.

If I was physically able to get up and down I would pull the pan but the bucket flush lets me remove the dirt and replace with new Dexron VI for about $1 per 500 miles driven. Perhaps not idea but it is something I can physically do that is good of the ego and the vehicle.:D

The transmission gauge hung around 150 +/- 10 degrees but there was no towing and just two in the SUV.

One thing we had done before learning how to do this GM bucket flush was to use a vacuum pump to suck out a couple quarts of ATF and replace them. I think this done ever oil change would keep most transmissions healthy.

Replacing some or all of the ATF on a regular schedule should stop transmission damage due to dirty/worn ATF.

I am doing the Sea Foam cleaning now with the 4L60 in the Blazer and will follow up with a total flush this weekend. Not sure I will need to do the Sea Foam again after doing catch up servicing.
 
   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing
  • Thread Starter
#9  
I am noticing my transmission now requires more braking to hold it back at stop lights since running the can of Sea Foam in the transmission for 200 miles over 3 days then doing the total bucket flush. Also stopping on a steep grade if it tries to roll backwards the transmission seems to go into a "hold" mode all on its own. The idle speed still is about 650 RPM because that was my first thought.

Any thoughts on why the transmission wants to pull harder at the same idle speed with all temps at normal operating range?
 
   / Photos GM transmission DIY Flushing #10  
Yes I have done similar drain/fill routines for various reasons but I would shut car off and re-connect the line or have a tee you could switch after the pan runs dry for convenience.

Then add the 3-4 qts fluid (30% TC roughly) and then run car awhile before pulling the line and the reason being is the pump will be pushing out the new oil FIRST on a subsequent start/drain/fill/start routine and IMHO would not gain you much dilution with the oil that is intended to be replaced.

Oh and thank your luck stars you even HAVE a dipstick thats a thing of the past thanks to the wonderful engineers at GM etc.
 
 
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