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Dexron III vs VI ATF in Automatic Transmissions (revisited)
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Do you use Dexron VI ATF in your Vanagon Automatic?
Yes
31%
 31%  [ 12 ]
No
47%
 47%  [ 18 ]
I don't know
21%
 21%  [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 38

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geo_tonz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

table wrote:
I guess all this should be in the other thread huh?


Yeah, sorry for the repeat hijacking. Just trying to gather as much intelligence as I can before I really bugger up something but I'll constrain those questions to your other thread.

Thanks for your advice.

With regard to the actual topic, based on what I've read in other threads I will only stick with DEX untill the next fluid change. Then Type F or maybe the Castrol if I see more posts on it (and if it's available here). Terry does know his stuff and others have posted their success with Type F. I'd go Synthetic if I manage to replace every seal but my experience with synthetic oil in an aged motorcycle was that it did too good a job and seemed to clean out the gunk that kept the old seals from leaking, plus it flowed out through those spots easier than dino oil. I went back to 20w-50 Penzoil on the next change and the seeps mostly went away. Perhaps the story would be different with synthetic ATF vs motor oil though.

I did vote no as DexIII is in there now and I won't be going to DEXIV.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what happens when you mix in a different kind of trans fluid?
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing as long as you don't toss synthetic ATF in the trans.

You'll have a Big Jello Bowl--an actual slush box.
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table
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry Kay wrote:
Nothing as long as you don't toss synthetic ATF in the trans.

You'll have a Big Jello Bowl--an actual slush box.


This is incorrect.

Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF, which is Dextron III compatible but costs ~$10/L, is (from their website) "Compatible with mineral ATF fluids and all common seal materials"

http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Other_Products/Mobil_1_Synthetic_ATF.aspx#

This is the first synthetic ATF I checked.
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table
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

geo_tonz wrote:

I did vote no as DexIII is in there now and I won't be going to DEXIV.



Yes, that has been my eventual conclusion too. If I get a rebuild eventually I might got Dextron VI but until then I'll go with Dextron III.

On a regional note, where do you go for good ATF pricing? Canadian Tire is only cheap when it's on sale. I haven't called Lordco yet.
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geo_tonz
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

table wrote:
Yes, that has been my eventual conclusion too. If I get a rebuild eventually I might got Dextron VI but until then I'll go with Dextron III.

On a regional note, where do you go for good ATF pricing? Canadian Tire is only cheap when it's on sale. I haven't called Lordco yet.


Another Canuck eh? Somewhere on the coast I guess from your monsoon comment?

I haven't shopped around for anything yet, just looked online while stuck in camp. Generally if they have the brand you want Wally world can be cheaper. So can Costco but very limited selection (if they have any ATF at all). Lordco or NAPA will have a great selection but not at a cheap price.

I think it will be Type F for me and I'll flush the DexIII out. The Castrol isn't even on the Castrol Canada website (only USA) so I think it's a no-go north of the border.
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kurt at north westy, Renton Washington recommended dextron III and if I heard him correctly any dex III, at that. So I bought some. For my automatic. But where to start? I'd like to drop the pan because I bought the bentley package...gasket, filter and screen. However, me being a novice and not having a Bentley manual i cannot %100 differenciate between the final drive (took some searching to finally understand this is the differential Smile ) and transmission.
I can clearly see where the trans dip stick goes to...this is also where ud fill up the trans after draining? But where to drain? Just drop the pan or by removing the dip stick end, fluid drains?
Next pan? to the rear I see one of the inversed allen screws which I assume is a drain but not necessary for the transmission? What about 7-9 bolts on this pan location? This is not the trans but the diff or confusingly called imo the final drive Smile ?
Unless I've missed there's no DETAILED guide anywhere on the internet for how to change the auto trans fluid for a vanagon. It's alot to ask I know...But on just the samba alone it's been difficult not finding info.
I've found data for correct fluid amount...knowing when to check levels etc.
Issues with adding new seal....Will need some type of heat resistant glue maybe or try to be a pro? and fit pan back on balancing the seal etc...or glue is mandatory..?
I can comfortably more or less crawl under my van...refilling would seem to be an adventure but I figure I can run a hose to small funnel and make it work...so with that in mind jacking up the rear is not necessary? Or jacking is essential as it also helps drain?
But could someone please give me a walk through for draining...what do I release and which pan is which? What should I not do? In terms of ruining my trans with this change...I don't think that's going to be an issue as the dip stick fluid looks good and am only about 15k miles over the recommended or this is a lot? Trans has only 40k miles so I don't believe there's any sledge waiting to run free =)
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jvan wrote:
Kurt at north westy, Renton Washington recommended dextron III and if I heard him correctly any dex III, at that. So I bought some. For my automatic. But where to start? I'd like to drop the pan because I bought the bentley package...gasket, filter and screen. However, me being a novice and not having a Bentley manual i cannot %100 differenciate between the final drive (took some searching to finally understand this is the differential Smile ) and transmission.
I can clearly see where the trans dip stick goes to...this is also where ud fill up the trans after draining? But where to drain? Just drop the pan or by removing the dip stick end, fluid drains?
Next pan? to the rear I see one of the inversed allen screws which I assume is a drain but not necessary for the transmission? What about 7-9 bolts on this pan location? This is not the trans but the diff or confusingly called imo the final drive Smile ?
Unless I've missed there's no DETAILED guide anywhere on the internet for how to change the auto trans fluid for a vanagon. It's alot to ask I know...But on just the samba alone it's been difficult not finding info.
I've found data for correct fluid amount...knowing when to check levels etc.
Issues with adding new seal....Will need some type of heat resistant glue maybe or try to be a pro? and fit pan back on balancing the seal etc...or glue is mandatory..?
I can comfortably more or less crawl under my van...refilling would seem to be an adventure but I figure I can run a hose to small funnel and make it work...so with that in mind jacking up the rear is not necessary? Or jacking is essential as it also helps drain?
But could someone please give me a walk through for draining...what do I release and which pan is which? What should I not do? In terms of ruining my trans with this change...I don't think that's going to be an issue as the dip stick fluid looks good and am only about 15k miles over the recommended or this is a lot? Trans has only 40k miles so I don't believe there's any sledge waiting to run free =)


Oh jvan....... Youve got me worried here!

Automatic transmissions are filled through the dipstick tube using a very small spout funnel, they make them special for doing this.

There is no drain plug on the oil pan.
Some say to loosen the big dipstick tube nut and let it drain...
Some say to loosen all the pan bolts and let it drain.....

Either way it is a M E S S !!!!!!!

You remove the pan to change the filter screen.
But when you remove the pan DO NOT JUST WIPE IT OUT!!!
You "read" the pan. The pan will tell you a LOT about your transmissions condition. A lot of "gold dust"?
Bits of clutch?
Slivers of metal?

Everything in that pan will talk to you.

Once all is cleaned and reinstalled, put in some ATF, start up the engine and while in part fill it to the lower cold mark. Take a short ride, the level should ruse to the top hot mark, if it is low add a LITTLE BIT at a time, checking it so you do not overfill it.

Best of luck to you.

Dave
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny thing happened when I searched simply ;
ATF Change.
Seven pages popped up to cover this simple operation.

Not sure what or how you went about this but there is plenty of info published here.
Ya havta look a little.

Oh, and use type F.
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This is the automatic transmission and final drive unit for a Vanagon, obviously out on the floor.

The transmission you need to service is silver (front of the Vanagon) and has the dip stick tube (next to the red line). The Diff is black and has a pan too. If the Diff pan is not leaking leave that pan alone. The gasket is about $50 or more for some reason.

Up at the upper end of the dip stick you can see a metal strap..it is secured with a 10mm head bolt to the top of the Diff housing. You will need to loosen or completely remove that 10mm head bolt. Then go under the Vanagon (usual lawyer disclaimers about using jack stands, safety..in all seriousness be careful. Don't jack up the Vanagon on the engine case..transmission pan or Diff pan..use the forward transmission mount or other location that won't distort the workings of these units)

Under the Vanagon..use a good wrench (big adjustable is okay) and loosen the nut (gold color in the picture) that hold the dip stick tube to the pan. Wiggle the tube out of the pan..be ready with a catch pan for about 3 or 4 quarts of old ATF.

Once that has all drained, remove the four 13mm head bolts from the transmission..the pan may be stuck..so some wiggling or light taps with a soft mallet may be needed..the pan drops off straight down.

Now you will see something that looks like this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

You need a phillips screwdriver and loosen the two phillips screws that hold the filter cover on the valve body. Do not loosen any other screws in the valve body. You can see the locations in this picture
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Drop the filter cover and remove the filter..it looks like this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The transmission service kit should look like this:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Clean everything up..the ATF pan and filter housing..brake clean works well. Don't leave any trace of cleaner or paper towel in the pan or housing..clean is good.

Remove and replace the paper gasket..install the new filter (it goes back as the old one came out..it should only fit one way) and centering the filter housing/filter with one of the two phillips screws in the middle of the housing..finger tighten the housing back to the valve body. Then install the second phillips screw. tighten both screws up. Torque spec is 26 inch/lbs..snug.

The pan gasket is tricky..they typically don't fit well. You may need to warm up the rubber gasket in the sun or with a hair dryer. Fit the rubber gasket over the pan. One corner of the gasket may not exactly fit over one edge of the pan. Just work it. I do not use any gasket sealants and VW really does not need it. You do not want any sealants like RTV floating around inside your transmission.

Once you have the rubber gasket pretty much in place..grab those 13mm head bolts and while holding the pan in position..thread the bolts back. (it helps to have a buddy hold the pan while you start the bolts)

Snug up the bolts in a criss-cross pattern..while your buddy holds the pan..check to be sure the rubber pan gasket has not crept off the pan. The rubber gasket fits inside the groove in the transmission case. It is fiddly but very doable.

Torque up the pan bolts to 14 foot/lbs..snug.

Now take the dip stick tube and insert it back into the pan..reattach the 10mm head bolt up top at the Diff on the strap..not very tight..

Now carefully start the threaded dip stick flange holding nut into the transmission pan and run it down finger tight. Go back and tighten the 10mm bolt that holds the dip stick tube strap..then go down and tighten the big dip stick tube nut..snug..not too tight..you don't want to strip the threads but snug enough to hold the flange secure and prevent ATF leaks.

Using a funnel pour in about two quarts of ATF into the dip stick tube. Check for leaks at the pan gasket and the flange.

No leaks? Good. Lower the Vanagon and with two quarts of ATF inside the fresh clean pan..start the engine..in park..at idle..level ground and check your ATF level..it is probably just barely on the dip stick..let the engine warm up. With the WBX original ATF/water cooler installed once the cooling fans come on..re check your ATF level..you may need to add 1/2 to 1 quart to get the ATF reading on the dip stick right in between the MIN and MAX mark...engine running, in Park..transmission now warm.

Go for a drive for about five miles and then again recheck the ATF level..in park, engine running..it should be up close to the MAX mark..good.

Do not overfill the transmission with ATF..or underfill too. Just at or slightly below the MAX mark with the transmission at operating temperature is good.
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Oh jvan....... Youve got me worried here!


djkeev,

ha...i think now ive got it figured out. worry not. thanks for your input. And i happen to have one of the spouts you mentioned..bonus. not bad. on this expedition we hope to find ZERO metalic or gold dust, no? Smile

Terry Kay,

that is funny. I appreciate your input. Some of those threads i had not seen. The others i have.
I noticed your suggestion of ford type F in another thread which you relied to me. we meet again. Very Happy As i said earlier in this thread i have in possession dextron III which was recommended to me by Kirk (who i mistakenly called Kurt earlier) of North Westy. Between what you recommend and Kirk, whats the key difference?

AtlasShrugged,

Thank you very much for the detailed walk through. That is exactly what i was looking for. This should be stickied as "ATF change for dummies." Smile Ive got the service kit. However, im debating whether to jack the van up at all...or can this help drain fluid? Its not extremely difficult for me to maneuver under my van as is.
You said initially expect to be able to drain 3 or 4 quarts. Why then only add an additonal .5 -1...shouldnt i be expecting to add 1-2 once warm after having already added 2 qrts?
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the driveway I like to have some room. The Vanagon sits tall enough for an oil change, but with a tranny pan drop you need some extra room. Nice to see the bolts and filter clearly. I use some ramps...mine are plastic but these from HF will give you some additional room to work. Only $40 less any online coupons you can find.http://www.harborfreight.com/solid-steel-auto-ramp-set-68365.html Check your local FLAPS too.

You will drop about 3 quarts ATF..could be 2.5 or 3.5..just depends. I like to suggest a gradual refill of ATF for new folks who have not serviced a transmission rather than just throwing 3 quarts back in the old slush-box. Our transmissions are very tough..but they do not like being overfilled with ATF.

You want enough ATF in the pan to supply the transmission once restarted after the service..in park..engine running..on level ground..parking brake on...You could start with 1 or 2 quarts and monitor the ATF level on the dip-stick..as the engine warms up the transmission warms up too and the ATF level will rise on the dip-stick, if you still have the VW coolant/ATF cooler on the transmission. Add the ATF gradually...like 1/4 quart and then recheck the level on the dip-stick..keep going and go slow..there is not much difference between the MIN and MAX as far as quantity of ATF on the dip-stick..I recall it is less than 1/2 quart

If you have an air/ATF cooler installed and have deleted the VW cooler..it takes longer to get the transmission warmed up (and you need a little more ATF in your initial post service fill). In this case get the engine warm with the radiator fans running and get the ATF level on the dip-stick to MIN and then drive for about 5-10 miles and recheck the level. You will find the level should be close to ideal..but no more than the MAX mark.

With the transmission warmed up you want the ATF level right in between the MIN and MAX marks...do not exceed the MAX mark!

Overfilling your transmission with ATF is not healthy ..if you do overfill..you need to remove the extra ATF with a vacuum pump or loosing the filler tube back under the transmission.
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

table wrote:
Terry Kay wrote:
Nothing as long as you don't toss synthetic ATF in the trans.
You'll have a Big Jello Bowl--an actual slush box.

This is totally correct information.
NEVER mix synthetic any kind of oil that has been always mineral based all it;s life of Dino oil.
Your looking for big problems.
If the trans was brand new--this would be OK, and acceptable.
Never on a half worn out trans that has been running some sort of ATF.
Bad suggestion--


This is very correct,and you may mess up your gear box all you want.
It's yours, not mine.

table wrote:
Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF, which is Dextron III compatible but costs ~$10/L, is (from their website) "Compatible with mineral ATF fluids and all common seal materials"


Propaganda--and do they tell you at what mileage or when to do this swap?
With 100,000 miles of mineral based oil in the trans.
If so--they are butt assed fools, and your really nuts for doing so--or thinking just because you read this erroneous info on the internet it's true--it ain't.

http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Other_Products/Mobil_1_Synthetic_ATF.aspx#

table wrote:
This is the first synthetic ATF I checked.


Do some more checking--it's all BS.
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jvan wrote:
that is funny. I appreciate your input. Some of those threads i had not seen. The others i have.
I noticed your suggestion of ford type F in another thread which you relied to me. we meet again. Very Happy As i said earlier in this thread i have in possession dextron III which was recommended to me by Kirk (who i mistakenly called Kurt earlier) of North Westy. Between what you recommend and Kirk, whats the key difference?


Ford Type F as I have mentioned a thousand times has a lot more friction additives to induce fast & no slip at all between shift points.
Less slippage between gears, the longer the trans operates, cooler & shifts crisper.
I'll bet you never did a search at all for B&M trick shift, which is exactly the same stuff as type F only Blue, and at almost 3 times the cost.
Dextron III is not a performance trans fluid will not aide in crisp shift points as mention more times than I can count--and has cured many a cold start Dynaflow slow shifting characteristic.
Faster shifts?
Less clutch wear in the trans.
That's all.
The Dextron 3 is only taking up space in your garage--burn it in the gas or add it into the engine oil--this is the best it can be used for--keeping your lifers clean.

OH, and an FYI;
On the new Volvo 960 parts chaser I bought & after I got the stuck oil plug out and the oil ( with a quart of MMO) & filter changed--without any questions, or trepidations I dropped the trans pan, changed the filter, and dropped Ford Type F in it--immediately.
Their book calls for Dextron III--toss out the book, it got type F, and now is a crisp shifting 4 speed neck snapping OD gear box.
Next the rear end--straight weight 90 weight Hypoid Pennzoil gear oil.
Tried & true stuff, and allows the car & me to rack up big miles without any issues--

However;
You can pretend your Frank Sinatra and "Do It Your way"
It's Your Van, your transmission.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

table wrote:
If I get a rebuild eventually I might got Dextron VI but until then I'll go with Dextron III.


jvan wrote:
Kurt at north westy, Renton Washington recommended dextron III


Terry Kay wrote:

Dextron III is not a performance trans fluid will not aide in crisp shift points as mention more times than I can count


Everyone, please make note that the product's trademarked name (which is licensed by GM) is: Dexron!

This anal Public Service Announcement has been
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


jvan wrote:
AtlasShrugged,

Thank you very much for the detailed walk through. That is exactly what i was looking for. This should be stickied as "ATF change for dummies." Smile


It was added to the FAQ the very day Atlas posted it. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the question is whether "additives to induce fast & no slip" might have any side effects that are not good

if so, are the side effects worth it in an A/T that operates normally, or should it be reserved for worn ones
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have mentioned in several posts that the quick shifting of automatic trans eliminates the way the clutch plates connect if you will.
BANG--there is no time for slipping and wearing the plates out faster.
Hence not only a faster hook up between gears, but no, or very little clutch pack wear.

Go to B&M Hydro and do some reading.
These guys were building transmissions when VW & their buses & vans were just a twinkle in their eye--

The Ford Type F is the same exact formula in grabber's, only red.
I think I have mentioned this more times that you can count--read some of the older messages, if that will help you out comprehending the thought process.


B&M
B&M Trick Shift Automatic Transmission Fluid



Pour In Performance!


B&M Trick Shift Performance Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) is the easiest way to firm up your transmission's shift performance. Not an additive, this safe and effective blend of extreme pressure agents and foam inhibitors will provide a noticeable shift improvement when you replace your existing automatic transmission fluid with Trick Shift. Ideal for street use and high load applications such as racing, off-road, towing and heavy duty fleet use. Trick Shift may be mixed with other types of ATF but works best by itself. With B&M Trick Shift you can literally ''pour in performance''. Meets or exceeds Type F requirement

There ya go---
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Dexron III vs VI ATF in Automatic Transmissions (revisited) Reply with quote

GoWesty sells Red Line D4 ATF. Is it safe to assume that its compatible for use in a 1991 Vanagon?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Dexron III vs VI ATF in Automatic Transmissions (revisited) Reply with quote

'85 1.9L auto.

Hopefully I can get some insight into this head scratcher. I just did the AT filter and gasket kit. Torqued everything down and then followed this from AtlasShrugged:

"No leaks? Good. Lower the Vanagon and with two quarts of ATF inside the fresh clean pan..start the engine..in park..at idle..level ground and check your ATF level..it is probably just barely on the dip stick..let the engine warm up. With the WBX original ATF/water cooler installed once the cooling fans come on..re check your ATF level..you may need to add 1/2 to 1 quart to get the ATF reading on the dip stick right in between the MIN and MAX mark...engine running, in Park..transmission now warm.

Go for a drive for about five miles and then again recheck the ATF level..in park, engine running..it should be up close to the MAX mark..good.

Do not overfill the transmission with ATF..or underfill too. Just at or slightly below the MAX mark with the transmission at operating temperature is good."


I put 2qts of Type F ATF (recommended by TF). Took it for a drive and had a very scary thing happen. Just before I got back home (about a 12 mile run) smoke started pouring out the back. The smoke was coming from the top of the final drive/tranny area. No fire just smoke that smelled like grease, not oil. Today I jacked it up again and checked the gear oil in the differential/final drive. (What is the correct terminology?) Oil right to the bottom of the fill hole.

I started it up again and let it warm up. I kept checking the tranny dip stick but couldn't see any oil. Being colored blind I waited for conformation from the wife and she also said, NO oil on the dip stick when engine is warm and running.

I turned it off and after a few minutes oil appeared to just below the lower mark.

WHAT is going on? Anyone??????? Please?????
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AtlasShrugged
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:30 am    Post subject: Re: Dexron III vs VI ATF in Automatic Transmissions (revisited) Reply with quote

Two quarts ATF with a filter change, drain and refill is just fine..which is perplexing as what it sounds like is the transmission blew out ATF from the breather port on top of the transmission like it was over-filled with ATF (a classic over-filled symptom) and yet your dip-stick indicates too little ATF after your drive home.

Could be the transmission was accidentally over-filled, the spinning internals "frothed" the ATF with air..blew a good amount out the breather..then when you got home..the ATF level settled and the aeration in the ATF settled out and your level was now too low..

I would again..without a 12 mile test drive...start the engine..in park..hand-brake on, on level ground..let the engine warm up and check the ATF level with the dip-stick. Once the cooling fans have run a couple of times..the ATF level should be at the MIN mark or a little above.

If your having a hard time seeing the ATF level on the dip-stick (it happens sometimes) have an assistant with good eye-balls check it for you.

Don't drive the Vanagon until you have confirmed that the AFT is at or slightly above the MIN mark, in Park, at idle, on level ground, engine and transmission warm (radiator cooling fans have run a couple of times)

Once you are certain the ATF level is good and not under or over filled then do the test drive.
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