Dodge Aspen/Volare 1976-1980 Repair Guide

Manual Transmission



Both the 3 and 4 speed manual transmissions are filled by the factory with Dexron® automatic transmission fluid. This is the fluid that Chrysler recommends for normal driving conditions. If, however, gear rattle noises or gear clashing sounds are heard, Chrysler recommends draining the Dexron® fluid, and filling the transmission with SAE 90 or SAE 140 gear oil.


The manual transmission level should be checked twice a year, but hard use such as trailering requires more frequent checks. All manual transmissions have two square headed pipe plugs, the upper for filling and the lower for draining. Both are located on the right side of the transmission on 3-speeds. The drain plug is located on the lower left side of the 4-speed and the fill plug on the right side.

Unscrew the top plug and insert your finger to feel if the lubricant is at the level of the filler hole. If it's not, top it up with the recommended fluid discussed in fluid changes later in this section.


Chrysler doesn't specifically recommend manual transmission lubricant changes, but it is suggested that it be changed at regular intervals on cars which see heavy duty use such as trailer towing. It might be a good idea to change the manual transmission lube if you have just purchased the car from a previous owner.

To drain the lubricant, remove the plug from the transmission (right side on 3-speeds, left side on 4-speeds) and allow the lube to drain into a pan. Replace the drain plug. Remove the filler plug and fill the transmission with Dexron® automatic transmission fluid up to the level of the filler hole. Transmission capacity is given in the Capacities Chart.

If gear rattle at idle speeds or under light acceleration has been a problem, fill the transmission with SAE 90 or SAE 140 gear lubricant. This should eliminate any objectionable noise.


Occasional greasing of the shift linkage will ease gear shifting. On column shift models, lubricate the linkage at the lower end of the steering column with multi-purpose chassis grease. On 3-speed floor shift models, the shift mechanism has a grease nipple which can be reached from under the car. With the shifter in neutral, grease the nipple until lubricant appears on the operating levers which are covered with a rubber boot. On 4-speed transmissions, remove the shift boot bezel and pull the boot up to expose the shifter. Apply grease to the sliding surfaces of the mechanism, while moving the shifter back and forth through the gears.