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Old 11-04-2011, 05:59 PM   #1
JFortner5
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Default How To: Change your manual transmission fluid

I'm not sure if somebody has done this already, but either way maybe it will help somebody out.

I bought my 99 Ranger about 4 months ago with 132k miles. It seems like it was taken care of fairly well throughout its life but I had a feeling nobody ever messed with the transmission fluid. So, I had a little spare time and a few quarts of fluid and took a few pics along the way. This will show you how to do it without a hand pump. I didn't have one and needed to get this done.

These pictures were taken with my phone, so they aren't the best quality, but I believe they will give you a good idea.

Things you need:
-3 quarts of Mercon ATF (I used Dex/Merc, some say Mercon V is fine, I believe its all the same as long as its Mercon.)

-Phillips head screwdriver

-T30 Torx bit

-11/16" socket (I used it, it fit good but it may have been a metric size)

-Adjustable wrench (I hate these but it was all I had where I did it)


To start, park your truck on nice level ground. Put it in gear, parking brake on. The last thing you want to do is get hurt doing this simple job. You need to locate the 2 phillips head screws that hold the cup holders / shifter bezel to the floor. They are down inside those two holes.



When you lift it off, you will notice a bunch of little metal clips falling off. These are from the shift boot, they hold it to the plastic. You really don't need them and I'm not sure they could be reused anyway. Once you get that off, you'll see how the shifter is attached. I forgot to take a picture of this, but there is a cam bolt that goes through the shifter. Using the 11/16" socket (or metric equivalent), remove the nut holding it all together. Now, thread the nut onto the other side of the bolt. You'll see what I mean when you do it. This will extract the bolt from the shifter. You may have to tap it with something to help get it out, but be careful not to damage the threads.





Once you get the shifter off you will have this-



Now you need to remove the inner shift boot and plate. There are 4 phillips head screws holding it to the floor. Note that on the front of the plate it says "RANGER FRONT." Keep that in mind for reassembly.



Ok, we're almost done with this part. Now, using the T30 Torx bit, remove the 3 bolts holding the actual shift mechanism that goes down into the transmission.




Good we're all done inside the truck for now. Be sure not to drop anything, or get any dirt, etc. down into the hole in the top of the transmission. I covered mine with a rag just in case.


Now its time to crawl under the truck and get to the best part. In the following pic you will see the location of the drain plug on the drivers side of the transmission. Get a bucket or your drain pan ready and remove the drain plug. This is where I carefully used the adjustable wrench, but if you have the proper size it might be better.

Now that you've gotten the plug out and the old fluid is draining, take the time to clean the magnet that is part of the drain plug. Here you can see the crap on mine after 135k miles.



After a good cleaning-



Here is my old fluid, ugh. -



Now that the old fluid is drained, and you've cleaned the magnet, put your drain plug back in. It does not have to be super tight. Just snug it up and maybe give it a half a turn or so. Now remove the fill plug that is above and to the left of the drain plug. Again I used the adjustable wrench for this.




Alright, now find a funnel and insert it into the shifter hole from inside the truck. Remember to do this with the fill plug removed. Pour in the first couple quarts. Now when you are pouring in the 3rd, you can either get somebody to watch, or do it slowly. You want to pour the fluid in until it starts to run out of the fill plug. When it does, you can put the fill plug back in and tighten it up. Again not super tight. You're done with the messy part.

Go wash your hands so you don't get you're interior dirty when you get back in the truck. All you have to do now is put the shifter and "console" back in and you're all set. If you have any questions let me know I'll do my best to help.

My truck shifts better with the new fluid for sure. It was a little hard to get it into 2nd gear sometimes, but its like butter now.

Good luck,
Joey
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:31 AM   #2
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I just need to chime and say: Chock the wheels with the parking brake on if your going to remove the shifter and leave the truck in neutral. Never remove the shifter with the truck in gear, it can cause heaps of problems if you happen to put it back in without lining it up right.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:46 AM   #3
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Good point, I forgot to add that.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:26 PM   #4
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I fail to understand why you remove the shifter assembly?
You can fill the transmission from below too, there is a fill hole.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:42 PM   #5
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That's why it says in bold its the way to do it without a pump to get the fluid up to the fill plug. I didn't have one when I did mine and since I figured a lot of people don't either I took some pics along the way.

Sure it might not be the best way, but it works. It only takes about 5 minutes to take the shifter out anyway.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:29 PM   #6
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You may want to check your drain and fill plugs again after putting a couple thousand mile on the new fluid. I changed mine before towing my race car from CA to Wisconsin and back. I crawled under the truck after the trip and noticed both plugs were wet with fluid and had a slight leak. I checked them with a wrench and both were less than snugged up. I know I snugged the plugs pretty well when I changed the fluid. I don't believe in over tightening drain plugs either. This time I tightened them more than I usually would and I will keep an eye on them.

I don't know what would cause them to get loose but I will make sure to tighten them more than just snugging them up in the future but certainly short of stripping the threads. I am sure they have a torque spec but I have not found it yet.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by press 1 for english View Post
I fail to understand why you remove the shifter assembly?
You can fill the transmission from below too, there is a fill hole.
Removing the shifter assembly is the same way I put fluid back in. Its alot easier than crawling around on my back with some useless handpump.
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