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I flushed the transmission fluid on my girlfriends '02 Escape (V6 automatic transmission) last weekend and decided I would document the procedure I used here. This is the first time I've ever worked on an Escape but the procedure to flush the transmission is the same as on pretty much any car:

Tools required: pliers, 10mm socket, milk jug, transmission fluid funnel
Parts required: 1 case of MERCON transmission fluid
Optional: get a new 1/2" screw-down hose clamp to replace the cheap factory hose clamp.

1. Drive car up on ramps.
2. Remove the drivers-side black plastic underbelly pan (held on with several 10mm bolts). This exposes the 2 hoses running to the transmission from the transmission cooler.

There are 2 black rubber hoses running from the external transmission cooler in the front of the car. Each one attaches to a metal tube that attaches to fittings on the transmission. The tube attached to the front of the transmission is the outlet (i.e. fluid is discharged from the transmission here). The fitting in the rear of the transmission (and also closest to the front wheel) is the inlet (i.e. fluid enters the transmission here). To flush the transmission and the external cooler, you need to disconnect the rubber hose from the metal pipe that connects to the rear of the transmission (the inlet).

3. Identify the transmission inlet hose, and remove the hose clamp with pliers. Pull the rubber hose off of the metal pipe. Some fluid may come out, but there won't be much.

The idea of a transmission fluid flush is to use the transmission's own pump to pump out old fluid, and then replace it with new fluid. I used a 1-gallon milk jug to collect the old fluid, and a helper to start and stop the car's engine on my command.

4. Position milk jug under disconnected inlet hose, and have helper start engine. Fluid will pour out of the inlet hose into the milk jug. Stop the engine when approx 2 quarts have come out (the milk jug is 1/2 full). This will take 15-20 seconds or so.

5. Add 2 quarts of new transmission fluid into the dipstick tube.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the transmission fluid coming out is the same color as the new fluid. For me, it took a full case (12 quarts) of fluid. At least one time during step 4, have the helper shift the transmission into R and D while the engine is running. When all fluid has been replaced, reconnect the rubber hose onto the metal pipe and install a new screw-type hose clamp (the factory clamps are junk).

Overall this took about 30 minutes, and is a very clean job. Anyone who can change their own oil can do this job, you just need a helper to start and stop the engine.
 

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If you drop down 4 boxes at your source material, you'll see the birth of the prowler-patented 7-6-3® transmission fluid-exchange process which supplements and optimizes the Lietzke process that you quoted. Here is the final version:

Ultimate Transmission Fluid Exchange Process

The prowler-patented 7-6-3® transmission fluid-exchange process WORKS!

Thanks to our new member Rurapentay who has actually done this, we now have a proven method that is arguably the best way to change ALL of the transmission fluid.

Using this approach, a home-mechanic with the simplest handtools can do an equal job to the $100-plus "professional" fluid exchanges (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "flushes").

Simply:

quote:Originally posted by prowler
1. Remove drain plug and drain 3.9 quarts.
2. Install 7 quarts.
3. Pump out 6 quarts.
4. Top off with approx. 3 quarts.

Draining and replacing the 4 quarts from the pan before the flush is started is the key. The tranny will never run dry this way.

quote:Originally posted by Rurapentay
well, I just finished using the 3.9 out, 7 in, 6 out, 3 in method and it went off without a hitch!! wonderful idea and by the time my catch pan read 6 quarts, the fluid looked nice and red.

thanks for all the incredible information!
 

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Be careful when removing the bolts for the splash guard. For me, all of the ones right under the bumper sheared off with no effort (even after using penetrating oil on all of them). Right now, I'm in the process of drilling out and retapping the holes. If you do need new bolts, these ones are M6 metric bolts with a 1.0mm thread pitch. I bought stainless steel bolts and anti-seize spray to hopefully help prevent this in the future.
 

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prowler said:
If you drop down 4 boxes at your source material, you'll see the birth of the prowler-patented 7-6-3® transmission fluid-exchange process which supplements and optimizes the Lietzke process that you quoted. Here is the final version:

Ultimate Transmission Fluid Exchange Process

The prowler-patented 7-6-3® transmission fluid-exchange process WORKS!

Thanks to our new member Rurapentay who has actually done this, we now have a proven method that is arguably the best way to change ALL of the transmission fluid.

Using this approach, a home-mechanic with the simplest handtools can do an equal job to the $100-plus "professional" fluid exchanges (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "flushes").

Simply:

quote:Originally posted by prowler
1. Remove drain plug and drain 3.9 quarts.
2. Install 7 quarts.
3. Pump out 6 quarts.
4. Top off with approx. 3 quarts.

Draining and replacing the 4 quarts from the pan before the flush is started is the key. The tranny will never run dry this way.

quote:Originally posted by Rurapentay
well, I just finished using the 3.9 out, 7 in, 6 out, 3 in method and it went off without a hitch!! wonderful idea and by the time my catch pan read 6 quarts, the fluid looked nice and red.

thanks for all the incredible information!
hi there!

just to be sure, from step 2, you install 7 quarts through dipstick (it doesn't overflow?! ) and pump out 6 quarts through the drain plug or the inlet? just wanna be clear as JWS was talking about the transmission cooler inlet hose previously.

hope that doesn't sound too silly

thanks!
 

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When doing The prowler-patented 7-6-3®

-engine should be warmed?
-car position should be normal horizontal or lift up the front ?
- in any step of prowler-patented 7-6-3 start engine or run it through the gears?

Do we need a new drain plug?
is it with seal?
Is automatic transmission drain plug the same size/type like in engine oil ?

Thanks
 

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SNCF said:
When doing The prowler-patented 7-6-3®

-engine should be warmed?
-car position should be normal horizontal or lift up the front ?
- in any step of prowler-patented 7-6-3 start engine or run it through the gears?

Do we need a new drain plug?
is it with seal?
Is automatic transmission drain plug the same size/type like in engine oil ?

Thanks
I would also like to know the answers to these questions, as I am at 89K miles and never changed any of the fluids (Transmission, Power Steering). I was considering taking it to a dealership to see if they woudl recommend a fluid change or a full flush (as long as they don't power flush and use the transmission's own power to cycle through the fluid), but after reading this post it seems as though I could do it myself. I am still on the fence because I have not experienced any real issues with the trans slipping but I do want this to last at least another 50K miles. My only reason for taking it do a dealership was they have more knowledge about the transmission and what the right route to take is. I thought I would seek any advice here about whether I should even bother with changing/replacing the fluid because of the high mileage. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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0Escape5 said:
SNCF said:
When doing The prowler-patented 7-6-3®

-engine should be warmed?
-car position should be normal horizontal or lift up the front ?
- in any step of prowler-patented 7-6-3 start engine or run it through the gears?

Do we need a new drain plug?
is it with seal?
Is automatic transmission drain plug the same size/type like in engine oil ?

Thanks
I would also like to know the answers to these questions, as I am at 89K miles and never changed any of the fluids (Transmission, Power Steering). I was considering taking it to a dealership to see if they woudl recommend a fluid change or a full flush (as long as they don't power flush and use the transmission's own power to cycle through the fluid), but after reading this post it seems as though I could do it myself. I am still on the fence because I have not experienced any real issues with the trans slipping but I do want this to last at least another 50K miles. My only reason for taking it do a dealership was they have more knowledge about the transmission and what the right route to take is. I thought I would seek any advice here about whether I should even bother with changing/replacing the fluid because of the high mileage. Any help would be appreciated!
You should definitely do it. It's a common fallacy for people to think, "Nothing's wrong, so why bother?". Well, the truth is, by the time you actually notice a problem with your transmission, the damage is done, and you can only prolong the inevitable.
 

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Hello everybody. New member here but not new to Ford's (08 Escape, 08 F-150, and 09 Focus) or cars in general. My Escape has the 2.3L and its in the shop for a drivers side power window repair right now. The dealer recommended a fuel filter change (already found the thread on changing that) and a tranny flush. I am way too DYI to pay them to rape me. I found this thread and it sounds like a piece of cake. Just a couple of questions though:

1: do I have to change the filter since it's just a screen or just power flush it as described above?
2: Do the steps and supplies listed in this apply to my 08 as well? Clamps, fluid amounts and types?

My wife is driving to Florida from Texas and when she gets back I intend on doing a lot of maintenance as the miles she is going to drive will put her right at 30K miles with no tranny service ever being performed.

I am glad I found this place. I have found other forums that had no activity. I was beginning to lose hope of finding for my Escape what I have for my F-150; a good fan club.
 

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Is the fluid dirty or discolored? We have an 08 Tribute with over 30K miles on the clock, and it does not need the fluid changed, it's just something they read off a chart of things to do when you bring it in...if it's needed! Not an absolute maintenance line item to be performed.
 

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My plan for my Escape is drain and refill the trans fluid every 15k due to the fact that there is no filter. With the drain plug, it's so easy plus it's a little piece of mind for me.
 

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techy said:
prowler said:
If you drop down 4 boxes at your source material, you'll see the birth of the prowler-patented 7-6-3® transmission fluid-exchange process which supplements and optimizes the Lietzke process that you quoted. Here is the final version:

Ultimate Transmission Fluid Exchange Process

The prowler-patented 7-6-3® transmission fluid-exchange process WORKS!

Thanks to our new member Rurapentay who has actually done this, we now have a proven method that is arguably the best way to change ALL of the transmission fluid.

Using this approach, a home-mechanic with the simplest handtools can do an equal job to the $100-plus "professional" fluid exchanges (sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "flushes").

Simply:

quote:Originally posted by prowler
1. Remove drain plug and drain 3.9 quarts.
2. Install 7 quarts.
3. Pump out 6 quarts.
4. Top off with approx. 3 quarts.

Draining and replacing the 4 quarts from the pan before the flush is started is the key. The tranny will never run dry this way.

quote:Originally posted by Rurapentay
well, I just finished using the 3.9 out, 7 in, 6 out, 3 in method and it went off without a hitch!! wonderful idea and by the time my catch pan read 6 quarts, the fluid looked nice and red.

thanks for all the incredible information!
hi there!

just to be sure, from step 2, you install 7 quarts through dipstick (it doesn't overflow?! ) and pump out 6 quarts through the drain plug or the inlet? just wanna be clear as JWS was talking about the transmission cooler inlet hose previously.

hope that doesn't sound too silly

thanks!
Hey there, I just bought all my tranny fluid last night! I'm excited to take the old MERCON out and put in fresh new MERCON V using the 7-6-3 method. But just to clarify..I had the same question, do we pump out 6 quarts through the drain plug just like in the initial step of draining out the 3.9, or do we have to drain it out through the inlet hose on the tranny. I have an '05 Escape XLS 4x4 and I just wanna make sure I get all the MERCON out so it doesn't interfere with the new MERCON V...thanks everyone for the help! I love these forums!
 

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jonas1022 said:
Is the fluid dirty or discolored? We have an 08 Tribute with over 30K miles on the clock, and it does not need the fluid changed, it's just something they read off a chart of things to do when you bring it in...if it's needed! Not an absolute maintenance line item to be performed.
That's what people are saying though - it's not an absolutely required maintenance item, but it may be the difference between getting 100k miles and 200k miles out of your transmission. I, and many other hardcore DIYers, change their fluid every 30k miles, even if the manual doesn't call for it - considering the price of fluid, it's very cheap insurance (that is if you do it yourself :) ).

As someone else said on here already - by the time you notice a problem with the tranny, the damage has already been done.
 

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The CD4E tranny in the escapes are the same ones that were in the old ford countor/mondeo/escort in the early 90's and havent changed very much since then, although ford did say they "beefed" up the tranny for SUVs but that is no excuse for not maintaining them correctly. Knowing its past history, these trannies have a high failure rate if the fluid hasnt been changed regularly. every 30k is good for a fluid change.
 

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I'll do a transmission service on my Escape here shortly, I was going to do the "drain-fill-drive-drain" cycle that the CR-V owners and I have done when I was running the CR-V. But this idea has it's merits.
 

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ltlredscape said:
The CD4E tranny in the escapes are the same ones that were in the old ford countor/mondeo/escort in the early 90's and havent changed very much since then, although ford did say they "beefed" up the tranny for SUVs but that is no excuse for not maintaining them correctly. Knowing its past history, these trannies have a high failure rate if the fluid hasnt been changed regularly. every 30k is good for a fluid change.
+1000 and the CD4E will outlast many of its owners!
 

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Hey there, I just bought all my tranny fluid last night! I'm excited to take the old MERCON out and put in fresh new MERCON V using the 7-6-3 method. But just to clarify..I had the same question, do we pump out 6 quarts through the drain plug just like in the initial step of draining out the 3.9, or do we have to drain it out through the inlet hose on the tranny. I have an '05 Escape XLS 4x4 and I just wanna make sure I get all the MERCON out so it doesn't interfere with the new MERCON V...thanks everyone for the help! I love these forums!
hi there

I have a 05 XLT 2.3L in Australia, I drained out the fluid from the drain plug first (though only a little over 2L came out for mine) topped up 3.5L, then drained out 2.5L from the cooler inlet, top up 2L, drained 2L from cooler inlet again etc. i only wanted to use the remainder of my transmission fluid which was about 8L so once that was almost out i topped up the fluid to original level. I suppose you should do it until you see nice red fluid flowing out. ( i did two drain and fill previously but my fluid was looking black)

and maybe someone else can advise me on this.
when i finished i had the fluid up to my top notch on the stick (checked after my engine was running for 30mins), after a few trips i checked again it was actually 1cm over the top mark however the gear was changing quite smoothly so i didn't do anything till i finished a 2000km trip. weird thing is after i reduce the fluid by just a bit. (now 0.5cm over the top notch). i can feel the gear change a bit more, esp 3rd to 4th gear.

i thought that a slightly higher fluid level shouldn't matter that much, does it? i tried to siphon fluid out of the fill tube but i can't seem to suck anything back up. so the only way i can reduce the fluid is by opening the drain plug partially for a few seconds, but that just makes a much bigger mess then a "drain and fill".
 
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