ISUZU Amigo/Pick-ups/Rodeo/Trooper 1981-1996

Automatic Transmission

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



The automatic transmissions used in the 1981-93 Isuzu trucks and sport utility vehicles should be filled with DEXRON® II automatic transmission fluid. The 1994-96 models require DEXRON® III automatic transmission fluid.

Just because the automatic transmission requires DEXRON® II or III transmission fluid, does not mean that the transfer case uses the same fluid. Refer to the transfer case recommendations later in this section.

LEVEL CHECK

Except 1996 Models

See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

Check the automatic transmission fluid level at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) or 12 months. The dipstick can be found in the rear of the engine compartment.

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface with the engine idling. Shift the transmission into Park and set the parking brake.
  2.  

If you have driven for a prolonged period of time or in city traffic in hot weather, wait until the fluid cools down, about 30 minutes before checking the fluid level.

  1. Remove the dipstick and carefully touch the wet end of the dipstick, with your finger, to find out if the fluid is cool, warm or hot (if the fluid is hot, allow the vehicle to sit a while longer). Wipe the dipstick clean and then reinsert it firmly. Be sure that it has been pushed all the way in. Remove the dipstick again and check the fluid level while holding it horizontally.

    If the fluid feels cool, about room temperature-the level should be in the COLD range
     
    If the fluid feels warm, about normal operating temperature of 122-176°F (50-80°C)-the level should be in the HOT range
     

  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Depending on the temperature of the transmission fluid, the fluid should fall within the appropriate range on the dipstick-automatic transmissions

Overfilling the transmission can cause foaming, loss of fluid, seal damage and overheating, whereas a low fluid level can cause slipping or loss of power. In either case, transmission damage may result.

  1. Add just enough of the appropriate DEXRON® II or III transmission fluid through the dipstick tube to fill the transmission to the proper level. Use of a funnel will help prevent automatic transmission fluid spills. Check the fluid level often so that the transmission is not overfilled.
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Fig. Fig. 2: To check the transmission fluid level, remove the dipstick, then ...



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Fig. Fig. 3: ... inspect the level on the dipstick in relation to the markings



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Fig. Fig. 4: To fill the transmission, a funnel is extremely helpful to avoid messy spills

The fluid on the dipstick should always 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 by a qualified technician to locate the cause of the burnt fluid.

  1. Install the transmission dipstick and shut the hood.
  2.  

1996 Models

See Figure 5

The 1996 models equipped with automatic transmissions (Rodeo and Trooper-the Hombre is only equipped with manual transmissions) use a version of the 4L30-E transmission, which is equipped with a fill plug rather than a dipstick.

When adding or changing the transmission fluid, use only DEXRON® III. Also, the transmission fluid temperature is very important for this procedure; an accurate, quick thermometer, or a diagnostic read-out box scan tool, is necessary.

  1. Do not check the transmission fluid immediately after driving at sustained highway speeds, after heavy city driving in hot weather, or after towing a trailer. If the vehicle has been operated under these conditions, shut the engine off and allow the vehicle to cool down for 30 minutes. After the cool-down period, restart the engine and continue with this procedure.
  2.  


WARNING
Do not overfill the transmission. Overfilling will cause foaming, loss of fluid, abnormal shifting and possible damage to the transmission.

  1. Park the vehicle on level ground and apply the parking brake firmly. If the underside of the transmission cannot be reached with the vehicle on the ground, support the vehicle safely on jackstands as level as possible.
  2.  

The transmission fluid level should be checked with the vehicle idling. Be sure that the fluid temperature is below 86°F (30°C).

  1. Move the gear selector through all gear ranges.
  2.  
  3. Place the vehicle in Park.
  4.  


WARNING
Do not mistake the drain plug for the overfill plug. Refer to the illustration for the overfill and drain plug locations.

  1. Let the engine idle for 3 minutes, then open the overfill plug on the underside of the transmission.
  2.  


WARNING
Do not open the overfill plug with the engine stopped.

  1. Add transmission fluid through the overfill plug hole until the fluid starts to trickle out of the plug hole.
  2.  
  3. Let the engine idle until the transmission fluid has reached a temperature between 90°F (32°C) and 135°F (57°C), then install the overfill plug. Tighten the plug to 28 ft. lbs. (38 Nm).
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Make sure to remove the overfill plug, not the drain plug, when checking the transmission fluid-1996 Rodeo and Trooper models with the 4L30-E automatic transmission

DRAIN, FILTER CHANGE AND REFILL



Except 1996 Models

See Figures 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

  1. Drive the vehicle until it has reached normal operating temperature. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands. Place an drain pan under the transmission.
  2.  

Some models have a transmission oil pan drain plug; if so, remove the plug and allow the fluid to drain into the catch pan. If not, the oil pan must be removed to drain the fluid.

  1. For transmissions equipped with a fluid drain plug, remove the drain plug and allow the fluid to completely empty from the transmission. After all of the fluid is drained, remove the transmission oil pan by removing the mounting bolts and lowering the pan.
  2.  
  3. If there is no drain plug on your transmission oil pan, remove the pan by first loosening all of the pan bolts a few turns. However, do not completely remove the oil pan mounting bolts at this time. Place a large container under the oil pan. Tap one corner of the pan with a soft hammer to break the seal. Once the pan seal is broken loose, support it, remove all the bolts, and then tilt it to one side to drain the fluid.
  4.  

Check the fluid in the drain pan; it should always be a bright red color. It if is discolored (brown or black), or smells burnt, serious transmission problems, probably due to overheating, should be suspected. The transmission should be inspected by a qualified service technician to locate the cause of the burnt fluid.

  1. Remove the attaching bolts, then the filter assembly. This is located on the underside of the transmission in the area covered by the transmission pan. Most filters are held in place by five bolts, however the actual number of bolts may be different. Strainers may be cleaned in a safe solvent and air dried. Foam filters must be replaced.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 6: To drain the transmission fluid, remove all but two bolts, which should be loosened



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Fig. Fig. 7: As you can see, this procedure can cause a large mess-be prepared



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Fig. Fig. 8: Once the initial amount of fluid drains, remove the last two bolts and lower the pan



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Fig. Fig. 9: Once the pan is lowered, the filter can be replaced by removing the mounting bolts ...



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Fig. Fig. 10: ... and pulling the filter off of the transmission



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Fig. Fig. 11: Before installing the components, clean the pan-to-transmission mounting flange



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Fig. Fig. 12: When cleaning the fluid pan, make sure to remove all metal filings from the pan magnet

To install:
  1. Install the filter or strainer and tighten the bolts alternately (diagonally) to 35-43 inch lbs. (4-5 Nm).
  2.  
  3. If equipped, position the oil pan magnet on the oil pan so that it is placed immediately below the oil screen.
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  5. Clean all the gasket surfaces thoroughly. Then, position the pan and new gasket in place with bolt holes aligned. Reinstall the bolts, tightening them very gently with your fingers.
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  7. Tighten the bolts to 120 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  8.  
  9. If equipped, install the transmission fluid drain plug and tighten to 11-15 ft. lbs. (15-20 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Add the correct type and amount (refer to the Capacities chart at the end of this section) of new transmission fluid through the dipstick tube. Set the parking brake, then start the engine and shift the transmission through the gears while depressing the brake pedal. Fill the transmission to the COLD level and check for leaks. Drive the vehicle and adjust the level to the HOT line once the vehicle reaches normal operating temperature. DO NOT overfill; for more details refer to the transmission fluid level check procedure.
  12.  

1996 Models

See Figure 5

FLUID DRAIN AND REFILL

When adding or changing the transmission fluid, use only DEXRON® III. Also, the transmission fluid temperature is very important for this procedure; an accurate, quick thermometer, or a diagnostic read-out box scan tool, is necessary.

There is no need to change the transmission fluid unless the transmission is used under one or more of the following heavy duty conditions:



Repeated short trips
 
Driving on rough roads
 
Driving on dusty roads
 
Towing a trailer
 

If the vehicle is used under these conditions, change the fluid every 20,000 miles (32,000 km), as follows:

  1. If necessary, raise and support the vehicle safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Place a large drain pan under the transmission fluid pan.
  4.  
  5. Remove the transmission oil drain plug and allow the fluid to drain into the catch pan.
  6.  
  7. Once all of the fluid is drained, install the drain plug to 28 ft. lbs. (38 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Remove the transmission overfill plug and fill the transmission through the overfill plug opening. Make sure to use only DEXRON® III Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF).
  10.  

Add transmission fluid until it flows out the overfill plug opening.

  1. Let the engine idle until a transmission fluid temperature of 90-135°F (32-57°C) is reached, then install the overfill plug to 28 ft. lbs. (38 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Lower the vehicle, if necessary.
  4.  
  5. Properly dispose of the used transmission fluid.
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OIL PAN AND FILTER SERVICE

See Figures 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12

The transmission fluid filter only needs to be changed if the vehicle is driven under severe conditions, or if the transmission fluid appears brown or burnt.

  1. If necessary for under vehicle access, raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Drain the transmission fluid, as described earlier in this section.
  4.  
  5. Remove the sixteen 10mm bolts, then lower the fluid pan from the transmission. The fluid pan may need to be broken loose from the transmission mounting flange with a rubber mallet or similar tool.
  6.  
  7. Remove the fluid pan magnet and clean all traces of old fluid pan gasket from the transmission and pan flanges.
  8.  
  9. Remove the three 13mm bolts, then separate the oil filter and old gasket from the transmission.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the new oil filter to the transmission body with a new gasket. Install the three oil filter-to-transmission body 13mm bolts to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Position the pan magnet, then install the fluid pan to the transmission case with a new pan gasket.
  4.  
  5. Install the sixteen 10mm fluid pan-to-transmission mounting bolts to 96 inch lbs. (11 Nm) in a crisscross (alternating) manner.
  6.  
  7. Install the drain plug to 28 ft. lbs. (38 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Remove the transmission overfill plug and fill the transmission through the overfill plug opening until the transmission fluid flows out of the overfill plug opening. Make sure to use only DEXRON® III Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF).
  10.  
  11. Let the engine idle until a transmission fluid temperature of 90-135°F (32-57°C) is reached, then install the overfill plug to 28 ft. lbs. (38 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Lower the vehicle, if necessary.
  14.  
  15. Properly dispose of the used transmission fluid and filter.
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