UPDATE 11-20-12: I have made a .pdf of this how-to, here: http://www.wikiupload.com/BZWJLPCNEAKZ2WU
It looks like a bunk website, but I tested it and its good, just click on big "Download This File" button. If admins can fix the file upload feature (database fail) I'll attach it to the post, but for now, there it is. I'm thrilled that I have been able to help so many people with this how-to, it was worth every second writing it
Hello: i've done a couple tranny fluid changes now, and after doing it by myself, i devised a good method for this one man job to get it done quickly. Obviously there are variations of this method that accomplish the same goal, but i have found this method works for me. there is not a definite HOW TO for the noobs on here, so i scratched this up to help ya'll out. make sure you read all of this and understand before you proceed.
Tools and materials needed:
modified 24mm socket
tranny fill tube from pepboys, $4.99
empty quart of oil
3 quarts of tranny oil of your choice
STEP 1. first things first. i grabbed the tranny fill tube from pepboys because it was cheap. it has threads on one end, so you can screw your bottle of tranny juice directly to it. it also has a twist valve to cut the flow when you are full. problem is, the threads did not fit my bottle of tranny fluid (Redline MT90). they did, however, fit an empty quart of pennzoil platinum i had laying around.
what i did was cut the bottom off the empty quart, and screwed it onto the fill tube. then i poked a hole in the thing towards the top, so i can use a cable tie (or string or whatever) to hold it to hood prop rod while filling. this makes it easy and a one man job.
next, i bought a cheapie 24mm socket from autozone, $4.99. it is a tight fit to get to the drain plug, so i used a grinder and shortened the socket so i can very easily get it in there. it still fit without the grinding, but there was not enough room between the lower control arm mount and the plug to get a good rotation with the wrench. so if you dont have grinding equipment, don't fret. caution tho, when you grind the socket, you lift up some of that cheap plating on the socket. this can give you a nasty sliver. use common sense.
STEP 2: alright, your ready to get to work. use 21mm socket, loosen left front wheel lug nuts. use floor jack, and jack up car. remove the wheel. at this point, you will be able to see the drain plug.
there it is, right on the tranny, below that CV joint. using modified 24mm socket and wrench, LOOSEN but do not remove drain plug. after it's loose, put drain pan under plug. now remove the plug. i start the draining process first, because without opening the fill hole to let air in, the fluid drains out slowly and does not shoot out all over your LCA and make a mess.
STEP 3: this is where things are different. you need to remove your airbox to gain access to the fill hole. if you have a CAI, you might need to remove the CAI. this is not hard, just do it. after you get that off, you will be able to see the fill hole down there.
grab your 24mm socket and wrench, and remove this fill plug. at this point, i go back to my floor jack, and lower the left side of the car all the way until the brake rotor is almost touching the ground. this way i am sure all the oil is getting drained out, because the car is leaning towards the drain hole.
STEP 4. smoke a cig, drink a beer. wait a minute for the crap to drain out.
STEP 5. after it is all done draining, jack the car back up, use a rag to clean the drips off the drain hole. grab your drain plug, clean that off, and screw it back on. Torque to 20.2-37.5 ft\lbs. do not strip these threads. after you got the drain plug in, put the wheel back on, and torque the lug nuts down in the normal sequence (star pattern), to about 70-80 ft\lbs. drop the car down, and bounce the front left corner a couple times to get the suspension to even out.
STEP 6. grab your rigged filling apparatus. cable tie the makeshift funnel to the hood prop rod, and route the tube to the fill hole. for the first 2 quarts, i took the black thing off the fill tube and pushed it in the hole. i did this so i dont have to hold it in there. dump the first 2 quarts in. then take the 3rd quart, and dump about half the jug in. when its all in there, take the tube out and put the black nipple back on the tube. you need this on there, because if you dont, the oil will not drip out of the hole. now hold the black nipple in the hole, and SLOWLY pour oil in funnel, a little bit at a time. stop when oil starts dripping out of the hole. this means its full.
STEP 7. all full? clean off your fill plug, and screw in hand tight. take out makeshift funnel and tube. grab 24mm socket and torque down plug (to 20.2-37.5 ft\lbs), just like you did the drain plug. do not strip those threads!! next clean up the oil that you just dripped all over the black plastic under tray. you don't want your new car to be an oily mess, do ya? god have some respect. also clean your funnel so its good the next time you go to use it.
STEP 8. put your airbox\CAI crap back on. this is self explainitory, and is different depending on the setup your running.
STEP 9. take that baby out for a drive! in the first few seconds of driving, don't hammer on the gears. give it a little bit of driving to get the lube all over the inside of the tranny. after that, let it rip! bask in the glory of silky smooth shifts, and be proud, because you did it all by yourself!
This is a real easy thing to do. It's as easy as changing your own motor oil. As far as what fluid to use, don't ask in this topic, because there are big discussions about it elsewhere. personally, i use Redline MT90, bought from a local speed shop for $9.95 a quart.
Bam! your done! this concludes this HOW TO.
TIPS ADDED BY USERS:
[quote author=rotus8 link=topic=92872.msg1811661#msg1811661 date=1193414588]
A tip from another member - remove the fill plug before the drain plug. The reason is that if for some reason you can't get the fill plug out, after you remove the drain you are screwed because you can't fill it up again. A simple precaution.
[quote author=flashfrenzy link=topic=92872.msg2134282#msg2134282 date=1205024658]
I had a brilliant idea while I was spilling oil all over my under tray.* Get a small drain pan or tupperware bowl* you (or your wife) don't care about (or in the case of the wife don't know about
) and put it down underneath the fill plug.* Then put all 3 quarts down the fill tube and when it's done, you can just pull out the fill tube and let it drain out into the drain pan until it reaches equilibrium.* Not more oily messes!* I wish I had thought of this before I made a huge mess.
[quote author=pneutin link=topic=92872.msg2030526#msg2030526 date=1201561440]
When you are draining the old fluid, one thing you can do to avoid splashing everywhere is to use a Ziploc Freezer Bag.* Cut one of the corners off, and then place th bag over the drain bolt as you loosen it.* Position your drain pan under the bag so that when the fluid pours out, it will exit through the corner of the bag that you cut, and into your pan.