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Old 07-11-2016, 08:16 AM   #1
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Transmission Whines After Fluid & Filter Change

I thought it would be a good idea to change the fluid and filter in my ATX transmission since I'm making a lot of trips to and from Ohio. Everything went fine, drove to and from with no issues. I rechecked fluid after getting back and it was low, so I added more fluid. I ended up over filling, which I let go for about 3 weeks then got some of it out. I'm not quite 1/4 inch above the high mark on the stick, with engine running as you are supposed to check it. Now it whines when accelerating, it didn't at first but has for about 2 weeks. It shifts smoothly and is quiet at speed, so I just don't know whether to worry or not. I'm hoping to put it up on my ramps this week and pop a cooling line off to get the other fluid out. Any idea if it's just an isue of too much fluid still in there or could I have messed up my transmission? It's only got 129k on it, ran great till I thought I'd change to fluid, which hadn't been done since 30k. Any help is greatly appreciated.


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Old 07-11-2016, 10:18 AM   #2
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Not sure what the overfill threshold is for this transmission, but as a rule, overfilling an auto is a no-no. It can cause foaming, which causes a loss of pressure, and critical parts don't receive the needed lubrication.

In my experience, whining means you have an unhappy bearing. My '05 Sport Trac shredded a 2nd gear bearing at 49,000 miles, and that was a helluva whine.

Which bearing it is for you will take some diagnosis.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. That's my concern, that by leaving it high it developed pressure in places that it shouldn't have. I'm still hoping it's just air getting entrained into the fluid and will clear up once I get the excess out.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:24 AM   #4
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Well, if you leave it running long enough with a good amount of air in the fluid it WILL do long term damage.

Air in fluid LOWERS pressure not increases it. Main thing there is the pump then runs air enough to possibly score the gear teeth in pump exactly like everybody does on power steering stuff by lollygagging around when they change fluid, too slow filling it back up tears the pumps up left and right. Then they whine forever.

Lower the fluid level to correct but don't be surprised if the noise doesn't go away.

Using correct fluid? Should be Mercon 'V' there.
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Old 07-12-2016, 03:32 AM   #5
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Don't confuse a bad wheel bearing whine with trans, I've heard a couple that sound pretty close to same sound.

You may also simply be beginning to hear the normal 4F27E whine that occurs as the trans gets older, they all can do it. Begins to show up right around that mileage, but commonly heard as you slow down to a slow roll in parking lot first, then the whine begins to intrude at higher rpms and speed later on. That's the 3 gear final drive wearing enough so that the gears begin to tilt out of dead flat planes, it changes the tooth engagement and they then whine. That will last forever only getting worse with time. Both mine do it and been that way for years now.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:07 AM   #6
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AMC49, thanks for the feedback. I did get more fluid out last night. With the engine running and car on my flat and level garage floor it is right between the low and high level marks. It's still has some whine when accelerating but not much. I did a noob thing, hoping it will get better the longer it runs, getting any excess fluid or entrained air out of the system. Next is serpentine belt and idler pulleys, right after fixing a burned out headlight.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:57 AM   #7
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Not to compound one Noob mistake with yet another, is it a BAD idea to put any additives into it? A guy at work keeps telling me to add Lucas Oil additive. If it's a better idea to change the fluid and filter again, I'm fine actually doing that, I'll just be more careful to get the level right. I did not know if maybe I dislodged buildup in the system and it's fouling the filter or anything. I'm asking so I can avoid making a bad situation worse.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:20 PM   #8
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Personally I would not put the Lucas additive in unless it was a last resort to limp it out a bit longer before getting rid of it or for a rebuild.

What ATF did you use? Most say they're backwards compatible but I think the newer ones like Dexron 6 are a bit thinner than the older say Dexron III. I don't know slightly thinner fluid in a used unit with 'plenty of clearance' maybe lets the noise increase?

The filter on many AT's I think is really just more of a suction strainer to prevent sucking chunks into the pump than it is much of a filter. Some have external spin on filters or a filter in the line (often those are units that had trouble with clutch material plugging up the cooler).
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:29 PM   #9
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Should be Mercon V for that one as amc49 mentioned a bit earlier.

Lucas has some good products, but you need to use them only for a particular purpose when necessary. Wouldn't use a general purpose oil additive for sure except as porcupine mentions.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:06 PM   #10
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I won't say that ANY additives are bad, they are just gimmicks that fix the human brain far more than they do the cars. A psychological thing. What are you fixing, you or the car?

People use additives because they do not understand how the car works. I sold them all day long and got to see how that worked and rock solid theory there. You're fixing the person.

You really don't want to mess with ATX fluid with additives, I know what they are trying to do there, but screwing with the fluid you mess up what was millions of dollars worth of hydraulic programming that all goes out the window as soon as the basic working fluid changes its' thickness or viscosity. If you really think you are that smart then go right on ahead.

Lucas improves SHIFTING if anything, it cannot improve whine whatsoever, whine is wear evidence. You can cover that up (cover up and fix are two different things!) but only by going thicker, the trans will then start messing up shifts. Take your pick there.

Lucas is good product. I sold it and most being honest with themselves (HARD!) said it did nothing. There you go. The problem being people are looking for a fix where there is none to be had doing that, it's repair time. Why so many additives are sold, human desperation.

In your case keep on driving it, it'll stay that way forever or it'll get worse, the two things that will happen.
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