How to flush your 4L60E transmission fluid - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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  #1  
Old 11-11-2009, 10:17 PM
sherlock9c1 sherlock9c1 is offline
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Lightbulb How to flush your 4L60E transmission fluid

Wondering whether you should flush your trans if you don't know its history? Read this first.
  1. Jack up the car, EDIT - unless your car is lowered, you likely don't have to jack it up. Just get to a point where you can reach the hoses below. You can avoid jacking the car if you can slide a pan underneath to catch the fluid.
  2. Disconnect the cooler line at the one joint near the battery where there's a hose clamp.
  3. Put a short length of tubing on the hard line, and aim it into a bucket or a pan that holds at least 4 quarts if you have a stock pan, or 6 quarts (1.5 gallons) if you have a deep pan. Don't worry, no fluid will come out of the rubber hose you disconnected. I'm now using milk jugs as catch cans with the stock trans pan and have never overfilled one yet.
  4. Have a friend start the car.
  5. The engine running will drive the transmission pump, which will pump all of the fluid out of the pan for you.
  6. When the flow out of the hose starts to sputter, shut the car off so you don't damage the pump.
  7. Wait a minute for any residual fluid to drain into the pan so it can get to the filter, then run the car a few more seconds. You should be able to get around 3-4 quarts of fluid out using this method.
  8. Now, the pan will be nearly empty (maybe 1 qt remaining in the pan) and you can change the filter if you want to.
  9. Measure how much you pumped out, refill the same amount of new fluid back into the transmission.
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 until the fluid color changes to the new fluid.
  11. Now your transmission is flushed out.
A 4L60E transmission, a stock-diameter (12") torque converter, and alll of the assorted cooler lines and coolers holds 11 quarts. You will not be able to pump all of this out in one shot - the pump will drain the pan dry and you will have to add 4-5 quarts of new fluid, then continue pumping until the fluid coming out of the cooler line changes color. It will be visibly obvious. I started seeing clean fluid come out of the hose at around 8 quarts after having cleaned the pan and installing a new filter.

If you want to flush out your cooler lines while the transmission is out of the car, go buy a can of Kooler Kleen or equivalent from Napa and blow the lines out both ways, then finish off with compressed air. Do this ESPECIALLY after you've had any sort of failure in the transmission, whether a worn-out 3-4 clutchpack or a hard part failure.

A picture of the drain setup is shown below:
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Last edited by sherlock9c1; 01-27-2014 at 12:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2010, 05:29 AM
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I have used this method for the past 4 years, and it is the way to go. I normally un do the lower cooler line at the rediator. But that is a slight difference.

Works great! No more fighting the fluid flilled pan on your back.
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96 DGGM Buick RMW 263k Stock Tranny

RAISS, Tri-Y's, Pypes X pipe, Spintech Prostreets, 3000 Edge, 3.73's, Eaton Posi, and the rest of the Bolt-ons. Fried #7 Ring.

And 5 other LT1 B-body's... Is there Rehab for this Sh*t?
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:44 PM
walford walford is offline
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Thanks for this. I am planning to tow with my Roadmonster wagon and want the trans to be in top shape.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:14 PM
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Nice post Joel, it don't get much easier than that! Better yet, a guy can also drain the pan that way, instead of getting a bath of tranny fluid!
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:45 PM
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Am I the only one with a bolt in my tranny pan? Just like oil for me, I unscrew let it drain then take down the empty pan... Was this bolt just added on by previous owner maybe?
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBuick (Magnum) View Post
I have used this method for the past 4 years, and it is the way to go. I normally un do the lower cooler line at the rediator. But that is a slight difference.

Works great! No more fighting the fluid flilled pan on your back.
I drop the pan a little.. Let nost of the fluid dripp out. Then before I remove the pan I suck out what is left of the fluid in the pan w/ a hand pump fluid pump (The things napa sells for gear oil and such) Works great! NO MESS! I'm used to working on lifts so I came up w/ that idea adapting! I got no ATF on me when I was under the car. It was great!
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubblekid View Post
Am I the only one with a bolt in my tranny pan? Just like oil for me, I unscrew let it drain then take down the empty pan... Was this bolt just added on by previous owner maybe?
They weren't factory.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuSSker View Post
! Better yet, a guy can also drain the pan that way, instead of getting a bath of tranny fluid!
That's how I do it, everytime before I drop the pan.
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95 DCM Buick RMS. 14.21 at 91.79 "Jesus", Motor Swap at 85k
95 DCM Buick RMS 13.52 at 99.12 Buffman's car, Cracked Piston at 180k
96 DGGM Buick RMW 263k Stock Tranny

RAISS, Tri-Y's, Pypes X pipe, Spintech Prostreets, 3000 Edge, 3.73's, Eaton Posi, and the rest of the Bolt-ons. Fried #7 Ring.

And 5 other LT1 B-body's... Is there Rehab for this Sh*t?
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghetto wagon View Post
I drop the pan a little.. Let nost of the fluid dripp out. Then before I remove the pan I suck out what is left of the fluid in the pan w/ a hand pump fluid pump (The things napa sells for gear oil and such) Works great! NO MESS! I'm used to working on lifts so I came up w/ that idea adapting! I got no ATF on me when I was under the car. It was great!
Wow Manson.... you actually have an intelligent idea... What have you done with BBBrian??
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~Cory Magner "My name is Cory, and I'm an addict."


95 DCM Buick RMS. 14.21 at 91.79 "Jesus", Motor Swap at 85k
95 DCM Buick RMS 13.52 at 99.12 Buffman's car, Cracked Piston at 180k
96 DGGM Buick RMW 263k Stock Tranny

RAISS, Tri-Y's, Pypes X pipe, Spintech Prostreets, 3000 Edge, 3.73's, Eaton Posi, and the rest of the Bolt-ons. Fried #7 Ring.

And 5 other LT1 B-body's... Is there Rehab for this Sh*t?
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherlock9c1 View Post
[LIST=1]

If you want to flush out your cooler lines while the transmission is out of the car, go buy a can of Kooler Kleen or equivalent from Napa and blow the lines out both ways, then finish off with compressed air. Do this ESPECIALLY after you've had any sort of failure in the transmission, whether a worn-out 3-4 clutchpack or a hard part failure.
what is Kooler Kleen?? is it a aresol or pressurized some how? if not how do u "blow the lines out" the first time b4 u used compressed air?
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