With pictures from Edgar, this is advice from Robert G, who has carried out this work on his own autobox.
If the oil is brown or black and
smells burnt the box is on its way out and will require new bands at the least
and changing the oil is not worth the expense. Otherwise the fluid should be
fine for the service life depending on mileage about 80,000 miles town driving
and more on motorways. However if the fluid still looks red and does not smell
burnt then after several years of usage it would benefit a change and can help
in some cases. Some Scorpios are 10 years old!!!
The first things are to obtain the
correct gearbox filter for your box. It is a pan type filter which is not
possible to clean and only costs about £10 from a good auto dealer or a little
bit more from Ford - (£12.77). You will also need a new gasket for
the gearbox sump - again about £10. You will also need the little oil o ring
seal for the oil filter as this is not supplied with the Ford filter. Use
your VRM or VIN number to ensure you collect the correct parts before you start
The next thing to check is if you have the optional gearbox oil cooler fitted (It is a small radiator located below the main radiator at the front of the car) This is important as it will make a difference to how much gearbox oil you will need - 6 litres or 9 litres approx (With oil cooler). If your model does not have an oil cooler fitted try to fit one as this does prolong the life of the box as they run very hot! The gearbox fluid can be bought from Ford or a good Auto shop. Ford oil costs about £100!!! but at a good Motor Factor it will be about £30. Check your specification as later models do not use Dextron II but a different oil which is more expensive.
If you have a suction pump you can drain some the oil out but it is still a messy job - I had a ramp and a proper oil drainer but it was still messy. In my case I disconnected the battery then I disconnected the oil cooler hoses from the gearbox off side of box (You will need a ring spanner with a cut out to undo the hoses: if not an open end spanner will do but it will take longer)
Remove the dip stick. I then undid all the bolts (about 20) holding the gearbox pan on leaving just 2 in place to make sure it did not empty itself all over my head, then I undid the last 2 and angled the pan to one side to empty the oil into the drainer. This can be very messy so stay clear off the box as it will drip on your head as the filter drains. Totally remove the cover and put it to one side to allow the oil to drain out in a tank or bucket!
Be careful as more oil will dump on
you at this stage! When you have the filter off you will see a small O ring
fitted to the neck of the filter so be sure to replace this onto your new filter
because if you miss this it will cause problems! You could re use
this O ring but as the cost is small it would be a false economy.
Make sure you clean the sump pan up as best as possible and check for signs of metal in the pan bottom as this could mean problems. Metal filings are from the brake bands, while little gritty black bits are from deteriorated seals. Too much of both indicates that the autobox is reaching the end of its service life.
Remove the old sump gasket and
replace it with the new one - I cover the gasket with fluid to help it bed in.
Offer up the sump pan to the box and replace the bolts, torque them up. Replace
the oil cooler pipes and tighten, this is very difficult as they are a bit
The next bit depends on oil cooler or
not! fill the box up with about 4.5 litres or 8 litres (cooler fitted) of the
relevant oil through the dip stick hole and check for leaks from the sump.
Filling the box is a slow process as the filler neck is very small. Refit the
battery. If all is well start the engine. Give it a minute or two to see if oil
is leaking and if all is well then put your foot on the brake and engage Reverse
then Drive several times. The shift may be a bit clunky at first as oil
circulates but this should go in a few seconds. Make
Depending on how clogged the fluid filter was and the general condition of the autobox, operation may well be much smoother and quieter. A noticeable decrease in noise from the ATF pump (the whine when moving off) may be achieved. On a 100,000+ mileage car it can restore an as-new performance and is recommended by several owners.
ANOTHER FLUSHING METHOD
From Norway, Terje G suggests a method of flushing the old fluid out of the torque converter too - (this would normally remain in the TC and mix with the new fluid after the change.) He wrote to us on the List:-
My procedure is as follows:-
by Edgar. Words from Robert G and more from Terje G. Thanks guys!
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