Chrysler Front Wheel Drive Cars 6-CYL 1988-1995 Repair Information

Automatic Transaxle

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



It is important that the proper lubricant be used in these transaxles. MOPAR® ATF PLUS (Automatic Transaxle Fluid-Type 7176) should be used to aid in assuring optimum transaxle performance. Fluids of the type labeled Automatic Transaxle Fluid should be used only if the recommended fluid is not available. It is important that the transaxle fluid be maintained at the prescribed level using the recommended fluids.

For the 41TE four-speed transaxle DEXRON II fluid is not recommended . Dexron II can be used ONLY if the recommended fluid is not available. If more than a small amount of DEXRON II is used shudder or shift quality problems may result.

The Dodge Monaco and Eagle Premier with ZF-4 transaxles require Mopar Mercon® automatic transaxle fluid. This is the only fluid to be used in the ZF-4 transaxle. Do not substitute any other type of fluid.

LEVEL CHECK



See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

Inspect the fluid level on the dipstick at least every 6 months. Low fluid level can cause a variety of conditions because it allows the pump to take in air along with the fluid. As in any hydraulic system, air bubbles make the fluid spongy, therefore, pressures will be low and build up slowly.

Improper filling can also raise the fluid level too high. When the transaxle has too much fluid, the gears churn up foam and cause the same conditions which occur with a low fluid level.

In either case, the air bubbles can cause overheating, fluid oxidation, and varnishing. This can interfere with normal valve, clutch, and servo operation. Foaming can also result in fluid escaping from the transaxle vent, dipstick handle) where it may be mistaken for a leak.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Torqueflite 3-speed automatic transaxle components-41TE 4-speed automatic transaxles are similar



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Fig. Fig. 2: Dipstick and vent for the Torqueflite 3-speed and 41TE 4-speed transaxles



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Fig. Fig. 3: Transaxle dipstick location on the Premier and Monaco

Along with fluid level, it is important to check the condition of the fluid. When the fluid smells burned, and is contaminated with metal or friction material particles, a complete transaxle overhaul is needed. Be sure to examine the fluid on the dipstick closely. If there is any doubt about its condition, drain out a sample for a double check.

After the fluid has been checked, seat the dipstick fully to seal out water and dirt.

  1. To avoid false readings, which could produce under or over full conditions, do not check the level until the fluid is at normal operating temperature.
  2.  
  3. Shift the transaxle into Neutral, apply the parking brake and block the wheels.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Be certain of the fluid level before adding-excess transaxle fluid can damage the unit

  1. Operate the engine at curb idle speed.
  2.  


WARNING
When performing underhood operations with the engine running, keep your hands well away from hot or rotating engine components. Do not wear loose articles of clothing which could become entangled in engine components or accessories.

  1. Clean the dipstick filler cap and tube before removing the dipstick.
  2.  
  3. Remove the dipstick and inspect the fluid level. The correct level is between ADD and FULL HOT marks on the dipstick.
  4.  
  5. Check the fluid condition. The fluid should be dark red to light red in color and free of dirt or debris.
  6.  
  7. If the fluid is discolored or smells burned but the transaxle operation was OK, flush the cooler and lines and change the fluid and filter. Then road test the car again to confirm proper operation.
  8.  
  9. If the fluid is black or dark brown, burned or turned to sludge, and contains large quantities of metal or friction material particles, transaxle may have to be replaced; especially if the problems were evident during a road test and preliminary diagnosis.
  10.  

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figures 5, 6, 7 and 8

To prevent dirt and water from entering the automatic transaxle after checking or replenishing fluid, make certain the the dipstick cap is seated properly.

On all vehicles refer to Vehicle Owner's Manual or Maintenance Interval Chart for mileage interval to perform the necessary service.

Except Premier and Monaco

For this procedure a new gasket and transaxle fluid will be needed.

  1. Raise the front end of the vehicle with a floor jack and support safely with jackstands. Place a drain container with a large opening under the transaxle oil pan.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the pan bolts and tap the pan at one corner to break it loose allowing the fluid to drain, then remove the oil pan.
  4.  
  5. Install a new filter and gasket on bottom of the valve body and tighten the retaining screws to 40 inch lbs. (5 Nm).
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: The transaxle pan must be dropped to drain fluid (loosen all bolts and remove all but 2)



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Fig. Fig. 6: With only the 2 loose bolts installed, carefully break the gasket seal, draining the fluid



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Fig. Fig. 7: Once most of the fluids has drained over the pan edges, then remove the pan from the transaxle



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Fig. Fig. 8: Remove the transaxle fluid filter by pulling down-be careful as the filter can be difficult free

  1. Clean the oil pan and magnet. Reinstall the pan using new MOPAR® Adhesive sealant. Tighten the oil pan bolts to 14 ft. lbs. (19 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Pour four quarts of MOPAR® ATF PLUS type 7176 through the dipstick opening.
  4.  
  5. Start the engine and allow it to idle for at least one minute. Then, with the parking and service brakes applied, move the selector lever momentarily to each position, ending in the Park or Neutral position.
  6.  
  7. Add sufficient fluid to bring the level to 1 / 8 inch below the ADD mark.
  8.  

Recheck the fluid level after the transaxle is at normal operating temperature. The level should be in the HOT region.

Premier and Monaco

See Figure 9

  1. Raise and safely support the front end of the vehicle on jackstands. Remove the underbody splash shield.
  2.  
  3. Place a large pan under the transaxle oil pan.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the nut attaching the fill tube to the oil pan, then drain the fluid.
  6.  
  7. Allow all of the fluid to drain, then tighten the fill tube nut to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the underbody splash shield and lower the vehicle to the ground.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 9: Loosen the nut attaching the dipstick/filler tube to the transaxle fluid pan in order to drain the fluid

  1. Remove the transaxle dipstick and add Mercon® transaxle fluid through the fill tube.
  2.  
  3. Check and adjust the fluid level. Add fluid in small amounts. It only requires 1 / 2 pint (0.25 liters) of fluid to raise the level from the ADD to the FULL HOT mark.
  4.  

DIFFERENTIAL FLUID CHECK



Automatic Transaxles

Only the ZF-4 automatic transaxle's differential has a separate fluid system from the transaxle. The other transaxles share their fluid with the front differential units. Therefore, when the transaxle's fluid is changed, so is the differential's fluid.

PREMIER AND MONACO

See Figure 10

  1. Raise and support the front end of the vehicle safely on jackstands. Remove the underbody splash shield.
  2.  
  3. Position a drain pan under the differential drain plug. Remove the differential drain plug and drain the lubricant.
  4.  
  5. Install a new washer on the drain plug. After the fluid has completely been drained, install and tighten the drain plug to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Differential drain plug location for the ZF-4 transaxles-Premier and Monaco models

  1. Remove the differential fill plug and install a new washer on the plug.
  2.  
  3. Fill the differential with 75W-140 synthetic-type hypoid gear lubricant.
  4.  
  5. Continue adding the lubricant until it starts to dribble out of the fill plug hole. Then install and tighten the fill plug to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the underbody splash shield and lower the vehicle back to the ground.
  8.  

 
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