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I had a similar issue and it was the shift linkage seal. Was pretty easy for the shop to find once it was up on the lift. They did replace the seal but it still leaked, ended up needing a new shaft too as the area the seal contacts was too pitted. Once that was replaced the leak was fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
well, re-torquing the pan bolts seems to have done the trick! Underside of the pan remains dry after a few days of short trips and the car parked. Love these easy fixes.
 

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With 75K on the current fluid it is far beyond needing to be changed so you should have dropped the pan anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
This is what the book from the same pages above States. Dextron 2E or Dextron 3E. When I went to the auto parts store they cross reference it as “Dexron/Mercon“ Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) View attachment 194946 .
Looks like Dexron VI has replaced II and III. Being that there is fluid in the TC, is it ok to mix VI with the old stuff that will remain in the TC during a fluid change?
 

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Looks like Dexron VI has replaced II and III. Being that there is fluid in the TC, is it ok to mix VI with the old stuff that will remain in the TC during a fluid change?
I have no idea about Dextron IV. I DO know that I read that Dextron II and Dextron III were told to me or I read that they are old trademark/Copyright GM fluid names. When I went into Autozone, I asked the guy (not saying he knows) but seemed knowledgeable, he told me it’s Dex/Merc. He pointed it to me on the shelf and I read the Front and back of the gallon. It says for “Dextron III and for many GM vehicles“ on the front. And on the back it says “GM pre 2006”... I believe “Dextron” is a GM name and “Mercon” is a Ford name. Reading the bottle is how I made my decision to put it in my car. It’s for pre 2006 GM cars that required Dextron III. So there I have it. As far as Dextron IV goes, I don’t know anything about it. I don’t understand what TC means.. If you are asking if you can drop the pan, change filter, bolt it shut, and refill with clean and correct fluid with a full torque converter of old fluid. My answer is that it’s better than before. Probably much better. I don’t see any other way to empty the torque converter. I’ve never done it. Jiffy lube is probably going to do the same thing including most shops. Just make sure you use the correct fluid. You should be good. After you refill and test drive, re check the fluid color on the dipstick and on to your finger. If it’s pretty red matching new fluid, then it’s ok. If not, I’d drive a little and rechange my fluid.you could always change your next fluid change early. That would help you get a clean fill. It would cost you fluid and gasket and filter.
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Discussion Starter #29
How is the TC (Torque Converter) drained of fluid? It's not normally done during a tranny fluid change...and doesn't it hold a substantial amount of fluid? Or, does most of the fluid come out during a change and only a small amount is left in the TC?
 

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Here is an article from (car tech books.com) on draining torque converters. *This is only an article for informational purposes and is NOT any instructions on how to flush the torque converters on 1994-1996 Impala SS, Caprice or any similar vehicles. Information in this article can be dangerous when performed by any individuals. I am not recommending any persons reading this information to perform the job/s within this article. Again. It’s just for informational purposes.


“Draining the torque converter

By Ralph Kalal

Replacement of transmission fluid ordinarily does not include draining the torque converter. The procedure specified in many factory shop manuals for changing transmission fluid is merely to drain and clean the sump, and then install enough new fluid to replace what was drained.

But, what if you want to replace the old fluid in the torque converter, too?

On some vehicles, particularly domestic makes, it is impossible to drain the old ATF from the torque converter without operating the engine and turning the converter, that pumps out the contents. However, as this is occurring, new ATF must simultaneously be added to replace what is being pumped out. On other cars—usually European brands, but occasionally on domestic makes—there is a drain plug in the torque converter itself, which allows draining it with the engine off.

On these vehicles, there will be an access panel in the torque converter “bell housing” that can be removed to expose the drain bolt, which is normally recessed into the converter. It will be necessary, however, to rotate the crankshaft to bring the bolt to the bottom of the converter’s rotation. This is done by putting a big breaker bar and socket or very large box end wrench on the pulley nut located at the front end of the crankshaft. Then remove the drain plug and let the converter drain into a drain pan. When it’s empty, retighten to the torque figure specified in the factory shop manual.

On most cars, though, it isn’t that simple because there is no drain plug in the torque converter. The only way to fully drain these torque converters is to have the converter pump the old fluid out of itself. Here’s how that’s done:

This requires at least one assistant and preferably two. Also, be sure that you have an ample supply of the required ATF on hand. You’ll need more than the complete capacity of the transmission because some will be poured into the sump, some will go into the torque converter, and some will be pumped out with the old fluid.

After changing the fluid in the sump pan as described in this chapter, disconnect the return line from running from the transmission cooler part of the radiator to the transmission. There are two lines, one to the cooler and one return. Check the factory manual to identify which is the return line. If it is a flexible line, disconnect it at the transmission. If it is not a flexible line, disconnect it at the cooler. It is important to get the return line, because that empties the transmission cooler, as well. These lines are frequently connected with quick-connect fittings and a special tool may be necessary to remove them (see Chapter 1).

Attach a length of hose to either the flexible line or to the cooler fitting. Route the hose to a container large enough to hold the contents of the torque converter plus a quart or two. You will need to be able to see the fluid pouring into the container.

One person then starts the engine, as another person watches the fluid being drained to see when fresh fluid begins to flow out, and the third person adds fresh fluid as fast as the old fluid is pumped out of the torque converter and drained from the cooler. On some vehicles, fluid is not circulated in the torque converter unless the transmission is in a “drive” gear, so this process requires having the vehicle in gear, with the parking brake engaged and someone’s foot on the brake pedal. But, on most cars, the fluid will circulate in the torque converter with the transmission in “park.”

As soon as fresh fluid starts draining, turn off the engine. Reattach the cooler line(s) and top off the transmission to the full mark with fresh fluid.

That’s how the theory reads. But on many cars, it’s just not practical. When auto manufacturers claim automatic transmission fluid lasts for the vehicle’s “lifetime,” they have no reason to worry about making the transmission fluid cooler lines easily accessible, and quite often they are not.

But, if you still want to get that old fluid out of the torque converter and can’t access cooler lines, there are two alternatives. First, you could just change the fluid a couple of more times. Sure, that’s messy. But, if you’ve got a reusable sump gasket, it won’t cost more than the price of the extra transmission fluid. You won’t be able to get all of the old fluid out, but you’ll be able to come pretty close. Second, after changing the fluid, you could use a hand pump to suction out fluid from time to time, replacing as much as you remove. That saves you the trouble of dropping the pan and, eventually, you end up with the same result.”
 

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Dexron VI is the only fluid licensed by GM for their automatic transmissions.
GM removed all their licensing,and trademark from Dex III in 2011...
GM does not recommend it in their transmissions in any form.
Dex VI is backwards compatible with all their transmissions,and previous fluids.
My transmission(s) love Dex VI,run cooler,shift smoother/quicker,etc.etc.
 

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Well now that these cars are out of warranty...

"DexMerc3" is fine to use. I use it in my daily. Dex6 is definitely a superior fluid, and if I was racing, I would use it. But if your 4L60E is generating any amount of clutch dust, which with 100k on the fluid, it probably is; it will benefit from regular flushes, which negates the superior longevity of Dex6.

For your case, with 100k on the current fluid, you may need a few flushes before it stays clean. For those flushes I'd just use DexMerc3 and once it stays clean, then flush it out with Dex6 and call it good. Or stay with Dex3.

It's also worth saying that since your car has 140k, probably on the original transmission, I would not spend the extra $$ on nicer fluid. Instead, start saving for a rebuild.
 

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Plenty of Dex III horror stories out there about it turning acidic,and /or abrasive for me to ever trust,and or use it again... Dexron VI is under $25/gallon on amazon. Is Dex III cheaper? Sure,but it isn't that much cheaper... These transmissions aren't cheap,and parts/labor are the same regardless of fluid.
 

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Tom could you post links to the acidic and abrasive data?
 

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I would have to search forum,and/or web like you,or anyone else can if they have the time..... Wikipedia says,
"All Dexron-III (H) licenses expired permanently at the end of 2011, and GM now supports only Dexron-VI fluids for use in their older automatic transmissions.[23] Aftermarket fluids asserted by their manufacturers to meet Dexron-III(H) and earlier standards continue to be sold under names such as Dex/Merc. These fluids are not regulated or endorsed by GM.[22] "
 

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From another article warning of using generic Dex/Mercon fluid...

"Why Multi-vehicle Fluid Is Waning Multi-vehicle ATF was introduced so that an installer or quick-lube did not have to carry so many different fluids. Generally, formulators would design one or two fluids to serve the majority of vehicles likely to come in for service. This was fine until Ford and General Motors deactivated their respective Mercon and Dexron-III specifications about six years ago. Ford replaced the former with Mercon V, GM created Dexron-VI, and both declared that the expired products were obsolete and no longer to be used. Since then, auto manufacturers have evolved or substantially changed their transmission designs so this older fluid technology now only meets the needs of a decreasing number of vehicles."
 

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...interesting read about DEX6 tech bulletin

From a GM tech bulletin:

Although DEXRON-VI (fig. 1) was introduced into production starting with 2006 model year vehicles (see bulletin 04-07-30-037D), there are still some misunderstandings about it. Here are some facts to help clear up these misunderstandings.
Since GM introduced the first service-fill specification for automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in 1949, it has been necessary periodically to upgrade the specification as part of a continuous improvement strategy. The upgrading process ensures that available service fill fluids are of an appropriate quality for use in transmissions that have been designed around the improved factory fill fluid performance.

IMPORTANT: As with previous upgrades, DEXRON-VI fluids are designed to be backward compatible with earlier transmission hardware. But more important, earlier type fluids are NOT FORWARD COMPATIBLE with transmissions that were designed to use DEXRON-VI.
DEXRON-VI can be used in any proportion in past model vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, in place of DEXRON-III (for instance, topping off the fluid in the event of a repair or fluid change). DEXRON-VI is also compatible with any former version of DEXRON for use in automatic transmissions.

TIP: Simply topping off the fluid is adequate, but a full drain and replacement is preferred, to obtain the full benefit.

IMPORTANT: DEXRON-VI Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) is the only approved fluid for warranty repairs for GM transmissions requiring DEXRON-III or prior DEXRON transmission fluids.

TIP: Any vehicle that previously used DEXRON-III for a manual transmission or transfer case should now use p/n 88861800 (88861801 in Canada) Manual Transmission and Transfer Case Fluid. And power steering systems should now use p/n 89020661 (89021183 in Canada) Power Steering Fluid.

TIP: Since some early bulletins were issued, further validation has taken place and certain transfer cases and manual transmissions now DO use DEXRON-VI, so it's important to refer to the owner manual for appropriate recommendations.
All licenses for DEXRON-III expired at the end of 2006 and will not be renewed. Fluids sold in the market after that date bearing claims such as "suitable for use in DEXRON-III applications" or similar wording should be avoided, because 'DEXRON-III' fluids are no longer checked and policed by GM and therefore may not be the originally tested and approved formulation.

ADVANTAGES OF DEXRON-VI

GM uses an ATF for factory fill that provides significantly improved performance in terms of friction durability, viscosity stability, aeration and foam control, and oxidation resistance. In addition, the fluid has the potential to enable improved fuel economy and extended drain intervals. The service fill specification for a fluid meeting these standards is designated as DEXRON-VI.

When compared with earlier automatic transmission fluids, DEXRON-VI offers these improvements and benefits:

  • enhanced performance of both new and older transmissions
  • longer ATF life (160,000 km/100,000 miles normal, or 80,000 km/50,000 miles severe). It is important to refer to the owner manual because certain vehicles recommend a normal service drain interval of 150,000 miles (240,000 km).
  • consistent shift quality throughout the life of the transmission
  • extended transmission life.

To achieve these benefits, DEXRON-VI offers significant improvements in these operating characteristics:

Friction Stability (improved 100%) -- Friction describes how the fluid behaves when transmission clutches or bands are engaged. A fluid with poor friction characteristics leads to grabbing, chattering and slipping (fig. 2).





DEXRON-VI also offers a 120% improvement in clutch durability (fig. 3).




A DEXRON-III
B DEXRON-VI

A Clutch operated with DEXRON-III
B Clutch operated with DEXRON-VI

Viscosity Stability (greatly improved) -- Viscosity is a description of how thick or thin a fluid is at various temperatures. In a hydraulic system, components can function sluggishly or improperly when viscosity is wrong. As determined by comparison testing (fig. 4),



DEXRON-VI maintains an almost constant viscosity over time, while the viscosity of DEXRON-III degrades considerably.

A DEXRON-III
B DEXRON-VI

Foaming Resistance (improved 150%) -- Automatic transmission fluid may contain air in three forms -- dissolved, entrained (aeration) and foam. Oil containing air doesn't do anything very well -- lubrication is affected, heat transfer in affected and pressures are unstable. Anti-foam additives are used to control and limit the effects of air in the fluid (fig. 5).



A DEXRON-III foam test
B DEXRON-VI foam test

Oxidation Resistance (improved 100%) -- Oxidation describes the length of time it takes for a fluid to reach the end of its useful life. Oxidation generally occurs more quickly at higher temperatures (fig. 6).




And oxidation has an effect on how long a fluid can be used before replacement is necessary.

A Aftermarket fluid oxidation test
B DEXRON-VI oxidation test

TIP: Just because another auto maker does not require use of DEXRON-VI, this does not imply that their required fluid is in any way inferior to or better than DEXRON-VI. It simply means that the other auto maker has established its own, unique fluid requirements. Their transmissions may be built with different materials, and may be designed to perform in different ways, neither of which is necessarily inferior to or better than GM's transmissions, just different. Variables include the material used for friction surfaces, the material used for reaction surfaces, the types of control mechanisms and the characteristics of the factory fill fluid. This means that each manufacturer must tailor their transmission fluid requirements to meet the needs of their own transmissions. And a fluid may cause entirely different performance when installed into transmissions of different designs.

COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS

Beware products that claim to be DEXRON-VI but are not; for instance, some products claim to be multi-purpose. And beware the products which claim to provide DEXRON-VI characteristics when added to other ATFs. Unlicensed products have not been tested by GM to determine whether they meet GM's specifications.

ADDITIVES

DEXRON-VI is formulated to meet and exceed GM's specifications and requirements. Additives are not needed and are not recommended.
The best thing that can happen when using an additive is that it will do nothing. At worst, an additive can ruin the transmission.

DEALING WITH CONTAMINATION


Anything but DEXRON-VI in the automatic transmission is considered a contaminant. Typically, a customer or other service facility may add fluids other than DEXRON-VI. This includes aftermarket additives -- they are not needed and should not be used. In case like this:

  • drain the transmission fluid
  • flush the system with DEXRON-VI (NOT solvent)
  • fill the system with the correct amount of DEXRON-VI.

FLUSHING

Many aftermarket flushing systems rely on solvents, which essentially may be considered contaminants. The effects of these contaminants may lead to transmission failure.
Refer to bulletin 02-07-30-052E and also document 1601517 for the complete story on using the Automatic Transmission Oil Cooler Flush And Flow Test Essential Tool J 45096 TransFlow. Here are some highlights.
Two significant features of the J 45096 are (1) that it uses DEXRON-VI, not solvent, as a flushing agent, and (2) that it injects high pressure air into the fluid stream to agitate the ATF oil to enhance removal of contaminated ATF and debris.

TIP: It is important to flush the system in both directions (back-flush and forward-flush). There are instructions in SI to explain how to make the proper hookups for both directions.
There are also instructions in SI explaining which adapters to use for various transmissions.

TIP: It is necessary to fabricate adapters for Vibe, Wave and Aveo, using instructions in SI. Also, although these vehicles have a slightly different transmission oil requirement, the small amount of DEXRON-VI remaining in the system after flushing is compatible.

In addition to the flushing capability, the J 45096 also has a digital flow meter to check and indicate the flow capability of the ATF oil cooling system.
Oil temperature has a direct bearing on flow rate, so SI explains several ways to ensure that the DEXRON-VI in the storage reservoir is suitably warm for an accurate test. And there is a table showing the minimum flow rate at various temperatures and for both steel and aluminum coolers.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
I purchased a Moroso rubber gasket with steel reinforcement insert. The gasket is thick - about 0.2" thick, which means my pan will drop by that amount (compared to the typical 1/32" thick gasket that comes with the filter kit). Will this affect the oil pick up of the filter at all?
 
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