Dodge Colt/Challenger/Conquest/Vista 1971-1989 Repair Guide

Automatic Transmission/Transaxle

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



Automatic transmission/transaxle fluid type Dexron®II is required.

LEVEL CHECK





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Fig. Fig. 1 Borg-Warner automatic transmission fluid dipstick with level indicators shown



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Fig. Fig. 2 Test the transmission fluid level only when the vehicle is HOT

Check the level of the automatic transmission fluid every 2,000 miles.


CAUTION
The electric cooling fan, on front wheel drive models, may switch at any time the engine is running. Keep hands away.

The dipstick has a high and low mark which are accurate for level indications only when the transmission is hot (normal operating temperature). The transmission is considered hot after 15 miles of highway driving.

  1. Park the car on a level surface with the engine idling. Apply the parking brake.
  2.  
  3. Shift the transmission through all ranges and return the lever to the PARK position.
  4.  
  5. Remove the dipstick wipe it clean, then reinsert it firmly. Be certain that it has been pushed fully home. Remove the dipstick and check the fluid level while holding the dipstick horizontally. The level should be at or near the high mark.
  6.  
  7. If the fluid level is below the low mark, add Dexron®II type automatic transmission fluid through the dipstick tube. This is more easily accomplished with the aid of a funnel and hose. Check the level often between additions, being careful not to overfill the transmission. Overfilling will cause slippage, seal damage, and overheating. Approximately one pint of fluid will raise the level from low to high.
  8.  

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.

DRAIN AND REFILL



Rear Wheel Drive

The oil pan must be removed, since no drain plug is provided. Purchase a sufficient quantity of Dexron®II automatic transmission fluid and a pan gasket before starting this project.

  1. Jack up the front of the car and support it safely on stands.
  2.  
  3. Slide a drain pan under the transmission. Loosen the rear oil pan bolts first, to allow most of the fluid to drain off without making a mess on your garage floor.
  4.  
  5. Remove the remaining bolts and drop the pan.
  6.  
  7. Discard the old gasket, clean the pan, and reinstall the pan with the new gasket.
  8.  

Tightening torque for the pan bolts is 8 to 13 ft. lbs. Tighten the bolts in a crisscross pattern. Don't overdo it, as the transmission case is aluminum.

  1. Refill the transmission through the dipstick tube. Check the level as previously described.
  2.  

Front Wheel Drive
  1. Jack up the front of the car and support it on jackstands. Remove the lower cover.
  2.  
  3. Slide a drain pan under the differential and remove the drain plug. When the differential is completely drained, move the pan under the transmission. Remove the plug (on models equipped), or the transaxle oil pan (see the proceeding RWD information).
  4.  
  5. Install the drain plug(s). Clean all gasket mounting surfaces. Install the oil pan and new gasket. Tighten the mounting bolts to 8 ft. lbs. Fill the transmission with the required amount of Dexron®II fluid. Start the engine and allow to idle for at least two minutes. With the parking brake applied, move the selector to each position ending in PARK.
  6.  
  7. Add sufficient fluid to bring the level to the lower dipstick mark. Check the fluid level after the transmission is up to normal operating temperature.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 3 To drain the automatic transaxle loosen the drain plug on the differential housing ...



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Fig. Fig. 4 ... and allow the fluid to drain into a pan

PAN AND FILTER SERVICE



Drain the transmission/transaxle. With the oil pan removed, inspect the filter. If mileage servicing, or a clogged condition exists, remove the filter. Install a new filter and tighten the mounting bolts to 35 in. lbs. Install the oil pan and fill the transmission/transaxle with the proper amount of fluid.

 
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