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[VY] How to change transmission filter and fluid.

Discussion in 'Holden Commodore How-To's' started by VYMAD, May 12, 2011.

  1. VYMAD

    VYMAD SILVERFOX

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    Ok what you will need for this relatively simple job is:

    1. A set of car ramps.
    2. A socket set including an extension bar and a 13 mm socket. Torque wrench is good too.
    3. 5 litres of Dexron III, check that this is still the specified fluid for much older models.
    4. A transmission service kit, I get mine from Repco. $30- $50, depends if on sale. Check if you have a deep pan or shallow pan by looking on your dipstick. My VY has a deep pan.
    5. A heap of rags, including some clean, lint free ones.
    6. A large container to catch the old fluid.
    7. A CLEAN work area such as a concrete driveway, don't even think about doing this on grass or gravel!
    8. Small funnel.
    8. One can degreaser.
    FILE0011.jpg

    Now drive your car forwards up onto the set of ramps and put selector in park and apply handbrake firmly. I like to do this job while the vehicle is cold, as there are a lot of things to burn yourself on under there!
    Now slide underneath and look for this FILE0014.jpg

    Get your ratchet and ext bar with 13 mm socket and begin loosening the bolts around the outside of the pan, not too much, but you want to take the rear ones all the way out and some of the side ones so that the back of the pan can be lowered down to start draining the fluid into your container. FILE0015.jpg
    Why didn't Holden put a drain plug in?:hmmm:
    Support the pan with your free hand to avoid the weight of pan and fluid bending the front of the pan that still has some of the bolts left in. By the way, as soon as you start to loosen any of the bolts, fluid will start dripping from all around the pan, so watch your eyes!
    When you have a fair bit of fluid out, support the pan with one hand and remove the remaining bolts, then carefully lower the pan to the ground.
    Looks pretty intricate up in there doesn't it? FILE0018.jpg
    It is, there are lots of wires and solonoids and stuff that you don't want to damage so try not to touch the components that are now exposed. You'll see the filter, it will either be metal or black plastic. Grab hold of this and gently twist as you pull down until it comes off, discard it.

    Take the pan and tip the remaining fluid somewhere like into a container, then remove the magnet. Clean the magnet with a rag until all the black crap is off, this black crap is tiny metal particles. FILE0023.jpg
    Next wipe out the pan with a cleanish rag until all the old fluid is gone, I then take the garden hose to it and wash it thoroughly with water, making sure to completely dry it with a clean rag and leave it in the sun.
    Remove the old gasket from the transmission and make sure none of it is left on there, if it is then very carefully scrape it off with a butter knife or the like. (Same goes for the pan)
    Now, where you removed the filter from, there is an 'o' ring, pain in ass to get out, I have always just left the same one in there, as long as the new filter is firm as you push it in then there's no need to fit the new 'o' ring, you'll see what I'm talking about in the service kit you bought. Ok, so you have put the new filter in? Good. Now it's time to wipe around the underside of the tranny where the gasket sits with a very clean rag. Repeat this process until there is no fluid on it, I believe cork gaskets seal better if applied to a dry surface, but I may be wrong.
    Next place your clean magnet in the pan, you'll notice a little square box-type mark indicating exactly where the magnet sits. Make sure no dust or crap has got into the pan while it was sitting in the sun by wiping it out again with a CLEAN rag. FILE0030.jpg
    Grab your new gasket and place it on the pan, lining the gasket holes up with the bolt holes on the pan. It can only go on one way, as the holes won't line up if it's wrong.
    Slide under the car with the pan and re-wipe the underside of tranny again, then lift the pan up into place, again it can only go on one way as bolt holes won't line up if wrong.
    Next get a bolt and screw it into a corner hole, followed by three more bolts in the other corners, then add the rest of the bolts, doing them up firmly with your fingers. Now if you have a torque wrench, set it to 11Nm, (thanks Brett_jjj for these specs) and go around the bolts over and over until they are all torqued up. If you don't have a torque wrench, then do them up firmly, but watch the gasket doesn't start squeezing out of the sides! Make sure to go over and over the bolts, so that they are all nice and firm. Remember it is a cork gasket, so not too tight!!!!
    Now get some degreaser and spray the pan, and surrounding area, leave a few minutes, then hose off.
    Go and have a shower! Unless you don't care about getting in your car covered in tranny fluid.
    From under the bonnet, insert a small funnel into the filler tube and add four litres of fluid. (Check what your owner's book states the capacity is) Mine is 4.8 litres.
    Now start the car and reverse off the ramps onto flat ground, gradually add more fluid until the level is at the lower end of the cross hatches. Start the car and run it through the gears, let settle then recheck. Go for a drive, around 15-20 mins should do until the vehicle is well up to operating temp then, park on flat ground with motor idling and selector in Park, add fluid until it is at the full line.
    Recheck the level over the next few days and park somewhere that you can see any leaks to make sure the pan gasket is sealed.
    If you have overfilled it, then don't panic, just get a squirty bottle and some fish tank air hose or similar, stick it down the filler tube and pump out the excess fluid. Like this one. FILE0033.jpg
     
    ephect and edals like this.
  2. edals

    edals Active Member

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    Great How TO MATE! Should make things much easier from now :)
     
  3. Dayvo

    Dayvo Because i can

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    Very good right up . I guess it would be similar to the VT / VX models. I like the tip about using the squirty bottle and plastic tube .
     
  4. VYMAD

    VYMAD SILVERFOX

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    Thanks, yeah same for VT-VX, etc. Even my old VH was pretty much the same.
     
  5. edals

    edals Active Member

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    How much of a Pain is it to change that O ring ? Is it a solid plastic type ?
     
  6. VYMAD

    VYMAD SILVERFOX

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    I stuck my finger up into it yesterday and tried to pull it out. It isn't a normal 'o' ring, but that's what it's called in the service kit. looks like this: FILE0037.jpg


    Aparently it can be removed with long pointy-nose pliers, but I can't see how.
    When you're under there and have the filter out, you'll be able to tell if the new filter feels firm when pushed into place.
    Like I said, I have still got the original 'o' ring in and it seems fine.

    It is a rubber object with a metal band around the outside, about 20mm in diameter and 10mm long.

    BTW, I put all the photos on the How-to as attachments, so if you click on them, they will show up larger and clearer.
     
  7. Brett_jjj

    Brett_jjj New Member

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    Mate an excellent how to.Servicing the auto trans is just as important as changing the engine oil and filter..A lot of people dont realise this.With the metal filter seal,all I do to remove the old one is, I very carefully crush it inwards with a long screwdriver and then use pliers to grab it and pull it out,if you have a good look at the new seal,then you will see that the sides of the seal are made of very thin soft metal,this is what I crush inwards so I can then grab it with the pliers,it cant harm anything else if your careful..I wouldnt use the same seal for too long,the rubber part of the seal will eventually go hard and brittle.Anyway, once youve removed the filter seal once,you will find its not as hard as you first thought.I gotta say that I also baulked at it a bit the first time I did one.Also,I forgot to mention,when replacing the new seal,put clean trans fluid all over the new seal,put the new seal onto the filter,push it on firmly,then firmly push both the filter and seal up into the filter hole together until it wont go in any more,this will seat the new seal,just double check that its in there properly by very gently pulling the filter back outwards,it shouldnt move or pull back out easily..it should feel firm..Cheers,hope this helps..
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  8. VYMAD

    VYMAD SILVERFOX

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    Thanks Brett, great info. Now next time I do a service on the tranny, I'll definately change that 'o' ring. I never thought of doing it that way! That must be what I'd heard the pointy nose pliers were for- after bending it in with a screwdriver, the pointys would grab the seal and pull it out. Cheers.
     
  9. Brett_jjj

    Brett_jjj New Member

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    Thanks,yeah this method works well,Ive never been able to get one of them out otherwise,they certainly get stuck in there tight.The main thing is just take your time with it and be careful..Look at the new seal and use it as a guide so you know where you need to collapse the old one inwards,it doesnt take a lot of pressure to bend it in...The only real thing you need to watch out for is to make sure you dont scratch the outside of the hole where the trans seal seals against the hole,if your careful,this is almost impossible to do....
     
  10. VYMAD

    VYMAD SILVERFOX

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    Just an update on the removal of the filter retainer: We pulled the engine and tranny out of my son's VT last weekend and while it was out, decided to service the transmission. After removing the pan, we saw that the filter was very loose, just about "floating" there. Don't know when this was last serviced as my son has only had the car for a few months.

    So... we decided to change the retainer, which comes in the service kit. I followed Brett's instructions and I found that carefully hand driving a small screwdriver that has been filed down to a sharp point between the retainer and the side of the retainer hole worked. I was then able to "lever" the old retainer off on one side, allowing enough room to get a pair of pointy noses in, grab hold of it and pull it out.
    To fit the new one, make sure you've got it the right way round, duh! And push it in slightly. Then get an appropriate sized socket and use this to tap the new one in gently with a hammer.

    Note: Don't damage the alloy where the retainer sits against.
    Note 2: Will be a little more difficult to do this when the tranny is still in the car.
     
  11. tHe_sTiG

    tHe_sTiG New Member

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    Thanks for this thorough write-up mate! Does this also apply to the VZ? Will be of great help for me in the future. I'm sick of the GM service center ruining my car and charging me heaps for their "service". Just wondering... is this easier said than done? I am no mechanic, and yet this doesn't seem to be too difficult... I suppose I just need the right tools and plenty of time.
     
  12. VYMAD

    VYMAD SILVERFOX

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    Should be the same for a VZ, just check that the fluid is DEXRON III.Not many tools needed, just a socket set.
     
  13. m1lky

    m1lky New Member

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    Very good tut. I used petrol rather than water to clean the pan since it dries much faster.

    It stumped me as to why there was no drain plug either.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  14. VYMAD

    VYMAD SILVERFOX

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    I've since discovered that the reason for Holden not adding a drain plug is so that the pan MUST be removed and then chances are the filter will be changed as well. If it was just a matter of undoing a drain plug, then filters may not be replaced.
     
  15. Jaymz

    Jaymz Donating Member

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    I managed to get myself organised and get the photos of types of fluid uploaded.

    This photo is of what the fluid looks like straight out of the bottle:
    [​IMG]

    This photo is of what the fuild looks like after ~50,000Kms on the clock:
    [​IMG]

    This is a photo of what the fluid looks like when the transmission is slipping:
    [​IMG]

    If your fluid looks like the last photo, you have a serious problem with your transmission and you need to get it looked at asap.

    Here is a photo of all three next to each other for reference:
    [​IMG]

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  16. Jaymz

    Jaymz Donating Member

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    hmm, can you guys see the photos? I can't but i am not sure if it is my computer or not. :S

    Updated now, working. IT brain isn't working at the moment!
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  17. VYMAD

    VYMAD SILVERFOX

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    No, Jaymz, the photos didn't come up.
     
  18. T4ppers

    T4ppers Tappers

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    Very helpful step by step, come in handy next week, cheers.
     
  19. jaws_one

    jaws_one New Member

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    Nice posts guys
     
  20. Vzniko

    Vzniko Guest

    IT took me 3-4 hours to figure out a way to remove that O ring from there. If it is in place just don't worry about it (it is not worth the trouble). I had to change it, because I tried a million ways to remove it, and I had totally destroyed it. Used pliers, screws, knives, finger, hooks etc! I finally took it out by using a very very thin flat screwdriver and gently using a small hammer to bend it, then pulled it out with a pointy nose pliers.
    The problem is that the new one is also so hard to get in, as the hole is so tight. They surely must have a specific tool for that job. What I did, I found a nut that it is the exact same circumference as the 'O' ring, and using a hammer I banged it into place. That worked like a charm as it gives an even load of force around the O ring as so it does not bend. If it is still hard to get in, sticking it into the freezer for about 40min also helps as it shrinks the metal enough to make a difference.

    Regarding the whole flushing procedure, 5L of oil is not a full flush. The way it has been shown here does NOT remove the oil from the torque convertor (I think). According to holden's specification for the VZ 4-speed auto (would assume other models are similar) for a DRY TRANSMISSION the trans oil capacity is 7.9L. 5L is only for a refill which I am assuming meaning the torque convertor fluid is not replaced. Please someone correct if I am wrong.

    I believe this thread here explains a more comprehensive transmission flush http://forums.justcommodores.com.au...997-2002/32283-transmission-fluid-change.html I used the exact way shown on that thread, and worked like a charm. Also 5L of fluid was no enough (For me at least) when I checked from the dipstick it was below the minimum level.
     

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