Chrysler Full-Size Trucks 1997-2000 Repair Guide

Automatic Transmission

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



Mopar® ATF Plus 3, Type 7176 automatic transmission fluid is the recommended fluid for all Chrysler automatic transmissions covered.

LEVEL CHECK



It is very important to maintain the proper fluid level in an automatic transmission. If the level is either too high or too low, poor shifting operation and internal damage are likely to occur. For this reason a regular check of the fluid level is essential.



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Fig. With the engine running, remove the automatic transmission fluid dipstick to check the level

  1. Drive the vehicle for 15-20 minutes to allow the transmission to reach operating temperature. If the fluid temperature gets very hot, the results of the check may be inaccurate. In this case, give the fluid some time to cool off before checking.
  2.  
  3. Park the truck on a level surface, apply the parking brake and leave the engine idling. Shift the transmission and engage each gear, then place the gear selector in P (PARK).
  4.  



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Fig. Automatic transmission dipstick markings

  1. Open the hood and locate the transmission dipstick. Most models will be marked "TRANS FLUID".
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  3. Wipe away any dirt in the area of the transmission dipstick to prevent it from falling into the filler tube. Withdraw the dipstick, wipe it with a clean, lint-free rag and reinsert it until it seats.
  4.  



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Fig. Use a long-mouth funnel to add fluid to the automatic transmission dipstick tube. Do NOT overfill

  1. Withdraw the dipstick and note the fluid level. It should be between the upper (FULL) mark and the lower (ADD) mark.
  2.  
  3. If the level is below the lower mark, use a funnel and add fluid in small quantities through the dipstick filler neck. Keep the engine running while adding fluid and check the level after each small amount. Do NOT overfill.
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  5. The fluid on the dipstick should be a bright red color. If it is discolored (brown or black), or smells burnt, serious transmission troubles, probably due to overheating, should be suspected. The transmission should be inspected to locate the cause of the burnt fluid.
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  7. Replace the dipstick and make sure it is fully seated.
  8.  

DRAIN AND REFILL



It is a good idea to warm the transmission fluid first so it will flow better. This can be accomplished by 15-20 miles (24-32 km) of highway driving. Fluid that is warmed to normal operating temperature will flow faster, drain more completely and remove more contaminants from the engine.


CAUTION
The EPA warns that prolonged contact with used transmission fluid may cause a number of skin disorders, including cancer. You should make every effort to minimize your exposure to used transmission fluid. Protective gloves should be worn when changing the fluid. Wash your hands and any other exposed skin areas as soon as possible after exposure to used transmission fluid. Soap and water, or waterless hand cleaner, should be used.



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Fig. Automatic transmission pan bolts



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Fig. Leave a bolt at each corner of the pan to keep it from bending and spilling the fluid



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Fig. As the four corner bolts are slowly loosened, the fluid will begin to drain; it may be necessary to pry gently on the pan to break the seal

  1. Raise the front of the truck and support it safely on jackstands. Place a large drain pan under the transmission.
  2.  
  3. Loosen, but do NOT remove, the transmission pan bolts.
  4.  
  5. Begin removing the bolts, but leave one in each of the four corners of the pan.
  6.  
  7. Back off the remaining bolts slowly. If fluid begins to come out, skip the next step and proceed to the following one.
  8.  
  9. If the pan is stuck, break the seal by prying gently around the lip or striking it with a plastic mallet.
  10.  
  11. After the seal is broken, support the pan with one hand and remove the two remaining bolts on one side, allowing it to tilt. Fluid will begin to pour out. When it stops, support the pan and remove the two remaining bolts, lowering the pan and draining off the fluid.
  12.  



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Fig. Remove the transmission filter attaching screws



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Fig. Removing the filter



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Fig. Remove all old gasket material, but avoid damage to the mating surfaces



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Fig. Clean the pan with a safe solvent and a clean lint-free cloth



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Fig. Make sure the magnet(s) are clean and that you place them back inside the pan before installation

  1. Remove the filter attaching screws and remove the filter. These may be Torx® style.
  2.  

To install:

  1. Installing a new filter is recommended.
  2.  
  3. Clean all the sediment out of the transmission pan with solvent. Remove the magnet(s) from the pan and clean them thoroughly, then return them to the pan. The magnets are used to trap any metallic particles floating in the transmission fluid.
  4.  


NOTE
Some transmission pans and cases are made of aluminum and can be easily damaged. When removing old gasket material, take care not to gouge the aluminum.

  1. Clean the transmission pan and transmission gasket mating surfaces of all old gasket material. After scraping all the old material off, wipe the area with a lint-free rag moistened with solvent. Allow it to dry completely.
  2.  
  3. Lay the new gasket on the transmission pan and check for proper alignment. Remove the gasket, place a few dabs of adhesive on the pan and place the gasket down again. Make sure the gasket is aligned before the adhesive is dry.
  4.  
  5. Position the pan on the transmission and install the pan bolts. Tighten the bolts in a crisscross pattern to 150 inch lbs. (17 Nm).
  6.  


WARNING
Never operate the transmission without fluid, otherwise severe damage will result.

  1. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle, then immediately refill the transmission with the proper amount and type of fluid.
  2.  
  3. Refill the transmission slowly, checking the level often. You may notice that it usually takes less than the amount of fluid listed in the Capacities chart to refill the transmission. This is due to the torque converter being partially filled with fluid. To make sure the proper level is obtained, start the engine and shift the transmission, engaging each gear. Then place the selector in P . Adjust the fluid to the proper level.
  4.  


NOTE
If the vehicle is not resting on level ground, the fluid level reading on the dipstick may be slightly off. Be sure to check the level only when the vehicle is sitting level.

  1. Empty the used fluid into a suitable container for recycling.
  2.  

 
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