ATF+3 ATF+4 Dexron TCM replace

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Tree Line, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Tree Line

    Tree Line Guest

    Here we go again.
    1994 Plymouth Voyage "3" liter Mitsubishi, rebuilt tranny with 58,000
    miles

    Rebuilt at Cottman. What fluid they put in 4 years ago? Who knows.
    Asked if they updated the software for the TCM, Transmission Control
    Module, what's that?

    Car has the famous 37 mph shudder, wrong fluid and bad software
    update.
    Thanks to Chrysler techs on this forum who posted and emailed me on
    that.

    The TCM is $190 remanufactured at the dealer. Any cheaper? Can I
    replace that or is that a hard thing to do? Appears to be a dealer
    part. At least would get the right one with the software update or
    really firmware update.

    This can't be flashed if I read the TSB right.

    Anyway to tell easily is Dexron was used in case of the proper ATF+3
    or 7176 or whatever is supposed to be used. ATF+4 is the synthetic
    version, better or what?

    So many questions, sorry.
     
    Tree Line, Nov 17, 2004
    #1
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  2. "Tree Line" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Here we go again.
    > 1994 Plymouth Voyage "3" liter Mitsubishi, rebuilt tranny with 58,000
    > miles
    >
    > Rebuilt at Cottman. What fluid they put in 4 years ago? Who knows.
    > Asked if they updated the software for the TCM, Transmission Control
    > Module, what's that?
    >
    > Car has the famous 37 mph shudder, wrong fluid and bad software
    > update.
    > Thanks to Chrysler techs on this forum who posted and emailed me on
    > that.
    >
    > The TCM is $190 remanufactured at the dealer. Any cheaper?


    Any wrecking yard TCM that has fins will work. You can get one for $100 at
    a wrecking yard then the dealer can charge you $90 to flash it. That is
    assuming
    they still have the flash tool and a tech that remembers how to use it.

    > Can I
    > replace that or is that a hard thing to do? Appears to be a dealer
    > part. At least would get the right one with the software update or
    > really firmware update.
    >
    > This can't be flashed if I read the TSB right.
    >


    Any of the finned ones can be flashed.

    > Anyway to tell easily is Dexron was used in case of the proper ATF+3
    > or 7176 or whatever is supposed to be used. ATF+4 is the synthetic
    > version, better or what?
    >


    flush and refill with atf+3 or ATF+4 whichever you prefer.

    Ted
     
    Ted Mittelstaedt, Nov 17, 2004
    #2
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  3. Tree Line

    Treeline Guest

    "Ted Mittelstaedt" <> wrote in message
    news:newscache$q4hb7i$8of1$...

    > Any wrecking yard TCM that has fins will work. You can get one

    for $100 at
    > a wrecking yard then the dealer can charge you $90 to flash it.

    That is
    > assuming
    > they still have the flash tool and a tech that remembers how to

    use it.

    So the same cost. And although the fins are flashable, what about
    cables and connectivity. I asked because one tech said $125 for a
    rebuilt controller but NAPA does not have these and the dealer is
    $190 which sounds, in this case, a bargain, if it's upgraded as
    purchased.

    I asked the dealer and they said $70 to see if my existing TCM
    can be upgraded. I wonder if I should ask them if they will
    charge for something that had a TSB, although long ago, and
    probably resulted in many failed transmissions (electronically
    controlled clutch was shifted too slowly causing stress on the
    torque converter and self-destruction) and the wrong fluid.
    Dexron is not right and is mentioned in official manuals and
    places way back then. I'm told it's even on the dipstick but I
    have not looked.

    > > Anyway to tell easily is Dexron was used in case of the

    proper ATF+3
    > > or 7176 or whatever is supposed to be used. ATF+4 is the

    synthetic
    > > version, better or what?



    > flush and refill with atf+3 or ATF+4 whichever you prefer.
    >
    > Ted


    What type of flush? A little flush or a big flush? I have been
    warned by the Chrysler dealer AND Cottman Transmissions not to
    flush this old tranny because the dirt is keeping it together.
    Well, it's a rebuilt, 190,000 miles with 58,000 miles on the
    rebuilding by Cottman (correct fluid and TCM upgrade - who knows,
    they don't.)

    So is there a gentle flush or do you mean a reverse power flush.
    The destruction is in the details. I am sorry to ask so many
    questions but I find I make too many mistakes if I don't
    over-ask. Some people can get by with broad answers. I am not one
    of those lucky people.

    If it's a little flush, if that exists, then it won't get the
    fluid out of the torque converter which is seperate? You don't
    mean just drain but a flush, yes?

    It's not a question of preference, unfortunately. The ATF+4 is
    synthetic so lasts longer and does a better job. But my seals are
    old, 10 years old, and there is at least one reference, justified
    or not, that the ATF+4 might cause possible seal leakage on these
    old transmissions which were designed for ATF+2, and then ATF+3
    which is non-synthetic.

    The ATF+4 is probably a little bit more slippery which is fine in
    my case. It's not fine if it nudges a seal to leak.

    So that's my quandary. Any thoughts?

    Thanks for your reply, Ted.
     
    Treeline, Nov 17, 2004
    #3
  4. "Treeline" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Ted Mittelstaedt" <> wrote in message
    > news:newscache$q4hb7i$8of1$...
    >
    > > Any wrecking yard TCM that has fins will work. You can get one

    > for $100 at
    > > a wrecking yard then the dealer can charge you $90 to flash it.

    > That is
    > > assuming
    > > they still have the flash tool and a tech that remembers how to

    > use it.
    >
    > So the same cost.


    Well, that was somewhat of a joke - you really should call around.
    If the wrecking yards in your area are full of them then maybe you
    can get the trans computer for $20.

    > And although the fins are flashable, what about
    > cables and connectivity.


    They are all the same, they use the same harness. '89/90 have to have
    a wire cut with the newer firmware.

    According to the green "Service/Diagnostic Procedures & Refinements Manual
    for the
    41TE/AE Transaxle" by Chrysler, on page 32, 1993-1995 original trans
    controllers
    were finned with 4 heat sinks and are flashable. To flash they require
    Miller CH 5500
    flash kit, as well as a DRB tool and a special cable.

    It was only the 1989-1992 controllers that were non-finned and
    non-flashable.

    Yours is probably flashable. By the way, the fins are along one edge.

    > I asked because one tech said $125 for a
    > rebuilt controller but NAPA does not have these and the dealer is
    > $190 which sounds, in this case, a bargain, if it's upgraded as
    > purchased.
    >
    > I asked the dealer and they said $70 to see if my existing TCM
    > can be upgraded.
    > I wonder if I should ask them if they will
    > charge for something that had a TSB, although long ago, and
    > probably resulted in many failed transmissions (electronically
    > controlled clutch was shifted too slowly causing stress on the
    > torque converter and self-destruction) and the wrong fluid.


    Well, the vehicle is out of warranty so they are legally not
    obligated to do squat. I think you should just call the dealership
    and ask their service manager if they have the special tools and
    a tech that remembers how to flash the '93-'95 transmission
    controller, then pay them the $70 to just flash it. After all it
    isn't like they just plug in and have at it. The DRB tool itself
    is like around $10K also. The tech is going to
    have to dig around in documentation and such to make sure
    he's got the right firmware. And of course, like any computer,
    there is always a slight risk when your doing a firmware update
    that your going to scrooge the controller because an error
    happens when it's rewriting the PROM. If that happens then
    the TCM they got on the shelf is going to go into your car
    and you will end up doing a lot of yelling, and they probably
    will end up eating the labor on the whole deal.

    > Dexron is not right and is mentioned in official manuals and
    > places way back then. I'm told it's even on the dipstick but I
    > have not looked.
    >


    I very much doubt that it was still in the manuals for 1994. I
    know that Dexon was listed on the dipstick for the '89 models
    but I think even the owners manual mentioned Type 7176 back
    then. I doubt also that it was on the dipstick in 1994, it isn't
    on the dipstick in my 1995.

    > > > Anyway to tell easily is Dexron was used in case of the

    > proper ATF+3
    > > > or 7176 or whatever is supposed to be used. ATF+4 is the

    > synthetic
    > > > version, better or what?

    >
    >
    > > flush and refill with atf+3 or ATF+4 whichever you prefer.
    > >
    > > Ted

    >
    > What type of flush? A little flush or a big flush?


    This type:

    http://www.allpar.com/eek/atf.html

    > I have been
    > warned by the Chrysler dealer AND Cottman Transmissions not to
    > flush this old tranny because the dirt is keeping it together.


    That is baloney. Read the following:

    http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html

    Keep in mind that this transmission uses a fluid filter that uses a
    felt-like material, not
    a screen like some transmissions do. Chrysler really meant business when
    they
    designed the filter for this. The fluid must be absolutely clean. There
    are many small
    passages in the valve body and even small particles are going to jam it up.

    > Well, it's a rebuilt, 190,000 miles with 58,000 miles on the
    > rebuilding by Cottman (correct fluid and TCM upgrade - who knows,
    > they don't.)
    >
    > So is there a gentle flush or do you mean a reverse power flush.


    Do not reverse power flush. Unfortunately some shops have invested
    heavily in flushing machines that they want to use to make money with
    and are so turning a simple procedure into a more complex one and
    charging a lot for it. I frankly recommend that if you change
    your own oil that you do your own trans flush on these transmissions
    as well as change the pan gasket and the pan filter.

    The factory calls for RTV sealant on the trans pan, and they do this
    for a reason. Most DIYers use cork or composite gaskets, I did
    myself. However, I have discovered in mine that the pan and gasket
    only hold their seal for about 2 years. Then the gasket shrinks, or the
    bolts get loose enough, that it starts leaking. Once you see it start
    to leak then retorque. RTV would not have this problem. Since I
    change my own oil I am underneath the engine every 3000 miles and
    so I am able to catch small leaks like this before they turn major.

    > The destruction is in the details. I am sorry to ask so many
    > questions but I find I make too many mistakes if I don't
    > over-ask. Some people can get by with broad answers. I am not one
    > of those lucky people.
    >
    > If it's a little flush, if that exists, then it won't get the
    > fluid out of the torque converter which is seperate? You don't
    > mean just drain but a flush, yes?
    >


    The method I documented on the website above gets all of the fluid.

    > It's not a question of preference, unfortunately. The ATF+4 is
    > synthetic so lasts longer and does a better job. But my seals are
    > old, 10 years old, and there is at least one reference, justified
    > or not, that the ATF+4 might cause possible seal leakage on these
    > old transmissions which were designed for ATF+2, and then ATF+3
    > which is non-synthetic.
    >


    If it was rebuilt then the seals were replaced and are of newer material.
    But you aren't required to use ATF+4 on your vehicle. ATF+3 is
    about a quarter of the price and is available from retail, while ATF+4
    is only available from the dealer, so that made my decision for me.

    > The ATF+4 is probably a little bit more slippery which is fine in
    > my case. It's not fine if it nudges a seal to leak.
    >


    The two ATF+'s are of the same frictional coefficient.

    > So that's my quandary. Any thoughts?
    >


    Get the TCM flashed and then change the fluid.

    Ted
     
    Ted Mittelstaedt, Nov 19, 2004
    #4
  5. Tree Line

    Bob Shuman Guest

    I agree with Ted, but three additional comments:

    Make sure you clean the pan completely while you have it off. You will be
    amazed at the amount of crud that accumulates there. I use brake cleaner
    after I have wiped it out completely and scraped off all the old RTV gasket
    material. Also, clean the magnet completely at the same time and then
    reinstall in the same place.

    Second, don't bother with using a cork gasket. The dealer sells a composite
    metal and silicone gasket for these transmissions. It is a bit pricey, but
    is re-usable up to three times and I have not had mine leak when all bolts
    have been torqued to the specified 165 inch pounds.

    Third, I use ATF+4 from the dealer, but purchase it in the gallon container
    as it is cheaper. If you search you can find a web dealer that sells at
    discount. I have used Galeana Chrysler Jeep in SC. Compare to local dealer
    prices and ask what volume will get you a discount and how much.

    Bob

    "Ted Mittelstaedt" <> wrote in message
    news:newscache$wg8f7i$86j1$...
    >

    Lots of really good advice removed.
     
    Bob Shuman, Nov 19, 2004
    #5
  6. On Wed, 16 Nov 2004, Tree Line wrote:

    > 1994 Plymouth Voyage "3" liter Mitsubishi, rebuilt tranny with 58,000
    > miles
    >
    > Rebuilt at Cottman.


    Whoops, you used a franchised transmission chain. These places specialize
    in deciding that transmissions with minor problems need expensive total
    rebuilds. These expensive total rebuilds are always charged for, but
    frequently not actually done. You should have taken the car to a competent
    independent transmission diagnostician first.

    > The TCM is $190 remanufactured at the dealer. Any cheaper?


    www.car-part.com , searchable used auto parts nationwide. Get a '95 or
    newer TCM.

    > Can I
    > replace that


    Yes.


    > This can't be flashed if I read the TSB right.


    That's why you should get the newer one, with the finned case, which can
    be flashed.

    > Anyway to tell easily is Dexron was used in case of the proper ATF+3


    No. Call Cottman's and ask, but most of those places use a universal fluid
    with additives claiming (but failing) to convert the universal fluid into
    the right stuff.
     
    Daniel J. Stern, Nov 19, 2004
    #6
  7. Tree Line

    Treeline Guest

    "Daniel J. Stern" <dastern@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:p...
    > On Wed, 16 Nov 2004, Tree Line wrote:
    >
    > > 1994 Plymouth Voyage "3" liter Mitsubishi, rebuilt tranny

    with 58,000
    > > miles
    > >
    > > Rebuilt at Cottman.

    >
    > Whoops, you used a franchised transmission chain. These places

    specialize
    > in deciding that transmissions with minor problems need

    expensive total
    > rebuilds. These expensive total rebuilds are always charged

    for, but
    > frequently not actually done. You should have taken the car to

    a competent
    > independent transmission diagnostician first.
    >
    > > The TCM is $190 remanufactured at the dealer. Any cheaper?

    >
    > www.car-part.com , searchable used auto parts nationwide. Get a

    '95 or
    > newer TCM.
    >
    > > Can I
    > > replace that

    >
    > Yes.
    >
    >
    > > This can't be flashed if I read the TSB right.

    >
    > That's why you should get the newer one, with the finned case,

    which can
    > be flashed.
    >
    > > Anyway to tell easily is Dexron was used in case of the

    proper ATF+3
    >
    > No. Call Cottman's and ask, but most of those places use a

    universal fluid
    > with additives claiming (but failing) to convert the universal

    fluid into
    > the right stuff.



    I did not take the car, the previous owner did to Cottman and was
    most unhappy. So you're right. $2000 for the rebuilt then another
    $700 for parts, pumps, not rebuilt right, in 2000. I suspect the
    TCM or EATXII or whatever they call that Transmission Computer
    Module was not upgraded. It still has the rough shift around 37
    mph, the notorious shudder. After a tune-up, it's better. The
    distributor had a corroded wire which probably screwed up
    everything electrical. The tune-up, which I did not ask for, just
    get the start problem, the original distributor wire, was $341,
    which I thought was expensive and was something I used to do,
    tune-ups. But the tranny is working much better, the shudder is
    down about 90%.

    So now for the software upgrade and the fluid change. I have not
    been able to get through to Cottman on the phone. But I can see
    the conversatio now - back in 2000 what fluid did you put in and
    did you upgrade the computer? Probably no to both. Nothing on the
    original bill about anything with a computer.

    Thanks for your response.
     
    Treeline, Nov 20, 2004
    #7
  8. Tree Line

    Treeline Guest

    "Ted Mittelstaedt" <> wrote in message
    news:newscache$wg8f7i$86j1$...
    >
    > "Treeline" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > "Ted Mittelstaedt" <> wrote in message
    > > news:newscache$q4hb7i$8of1$...


    > Well, that was somewhat of a joke - you really should call

    around.
    > If the wrecking yards in your area are full of them then maybe

    you
    > can get the trans computer for $20.
    >
    > > And although the fins are flashable, what about
    > > cables and connectivity.

    >
    > They are all the same, they use the same harness. '89/90 have

    to have
    > a wire cut with the newer firmware.


    Read about that wire #49, so thanks, not my problem.
    Have found thanks to Daniel Stern, some yards that have it for
    $25 to $35 and may be near me in case I do not use my original
    one. Tempted to have the dealer do the flashing and resetting the
    computer but found the method in allpar or somewhere else for
    resetting the TCM after the upgrade. Maybe the main computer too?

    >
    > According to the green "Service/Diagnostic Procedures &

    Refinements Manual
    > for the
    > 41TE/AE Transaxle" by Chrysler, on page 32, 1993-1995 original

    trans
    > controllers
    > were finned with 4 heat sinks and are flashable. To flash they

    require
    > Miller CH 5500
    > flash kit, as well as a DRB tool and a special cable.
    >
    > It was only the 1989-1992 controllers that were non-finned and
    > non-flashable.
    >
    > Yours is probably flashable. By the way, the fins are along

    one edge.

    Thanks, found it, see the fins and checked the TSB's and the part
    number and it's flashable.

    R4686478AA 04686606 93-94 A,C,J,P,S,Y 3.0, 3.3 & 3.8
    from the TSB, above is the remanufactured part and software
    upgrade from the dealer. I have the "S" Voyager model which
    probabl is the "AS" model in 1995 that you recommended for the
    TCM.

    4686131 was the original part number but I can't read it.
    Probably on the metal tag and I don't want to take it off the
    firewall just yet.


    > http://www.allpar.com/eek/atf.html

    Thanks, so a flush using the transmission pump I gather would be
    just fine, instead of the power flush.

    > > I have been
    > > warned by the Chrysler dealer AND Cottman Transmissions not

    to
    > > flush this old tranny because the dirt is keeping it

    together.
    >
    > That is baloney. Read the following:
    >
    > http://www.allpar.com/fix/trans.html


    They probably thought I meant the reverse power flush only. They
    could have mentioned the ordinary flush. It's similar to their
    fluid change which uses the tranny's pump. I just want the fluid
    out of there. Okay the torque converter is sealed but still.

    Hmmm, thinking, if I push the OD button and disconnect the
    OverDrive, might that help the torque converter by disconnecting
    the lockup? Don't know, just a thought. Read one fellow who did
    it with soldering and tinkering. In any case, the 37 mph shudder
    is not the lockup situation which probably occur at highway
    speeds.


    > Keep in mind that this transmission uses a fluid filter that

    uses a
    > felt-like material, not
    > a screen like some transmissions do. Chrysler really meant

    business when
    > they
    > designed the filter for this. The fluid must be absolutely

    clean. There
    > are many small
    > passages in the valve body and even small particles are going

    to jam it up.

    That's very helpful. Dealer said not necessary if 30,000 miles.
    But this is a rebuilt and questionable and probably worth the
    extra expense.


    > The method I documented on the website above gets all of the

    fluid.

    Even the torque converter too? Sounds like a good method. I have
    used that in the past so familiar with the siphoning. Just don't
    have the confidence and a garage now with ramps but I am thinking
    about it.


    > If it was rebuilt then the seals were replaced and are of newer

    material.

    But it's Cottman, so my confidence is low having seen how they
    charged the previous owner at least $2700 and that owner, my
    friend, was still most unhappy with the performance of the van.
    Rebuilt in 2000 but not leaking, still don't like some of the
    feel and subtle sounds of the tranny. So have been babying the
    car. There's the slight shudder at 37 mph and at 70 mph, hear a
    slight whine. Does not sound quite normal. Now I have had
    Chrysler trannies that whined for 130,000 miles. I drove Chrysler
    trannies that ran dry, DRY!, put in fluid, and the thing was up
    and running so in the past, they built stuff that was tanklike.
    Everything else came apart, the body, the electrical system,
    everything but loved those slant-6's and their trannies.


    > Get the TCM flashed and then change the fluid.
    >
    > Ted


    Thanks for the excellent advice and taking the time to go into
    all these details, most kind of you, especially the good advice,
    get the TCM done FIRST and see if it affects anything. If not,
    then some have gotten a quieter, shudder-free tranny with just a
    fluid change. Mine is quiet at the moment with just a touch of
    shudder at 37 mph after a tune-up where the distributor wire was
    shot and screwing things up electrically all over.
     
    Treeline, Nov 20, 2004
    #8
  9. "Treeline" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > Read about that wire #49, so thanks, not my problem.
    > Have found thanks to Daniel Stern, some yards that have it for
    > $25 to $35 and may be near me in case I do not use my original
    > one. Tempted to have the dealer do the flashing and resetting the
    > computer but found the method in allpar or somewhere else for
    > resetting the TCM after the upgrade. Maybe the main computer too?
    >


    Resetting the TCM and flash-updating it are two different things.

    > Thanks, found it, see the fins and checked the TSB's and the part
    > number and it's flashable.
    >
    > R4686478AA 04686606 93-94 A,C,J,P,S,Y 3.0, 3.3 & 3.8
    > from the TSB, above is the remanufactured part and software
    > upgrade from the dealer. I have the "S" Voyager model which
    > probabl is the "AS" model in 1995 that you recommended for the
    > TCM.
    >
    > 4686131 was the original part number but I can't read it.
    > Probably on the metal tag and I don't want to take it off the
    > firewall just yet.
    >


    Don't. Let the dealer do that if they need to when you have them
    flash-update it.

    >
    > > http://www.allpar.com/eek/atf.html

    > Thanks, so a flush using the transmission pump I gather would be
    > just fine, instead of the power flush.
    >


    Yes.

    > They probably thought I meant the reverse power flush only. They
    > could have mentioned the ordinary flush. It's similar to their
    > fluid change which uses the tranny's pump. I just want the fluid
    > out of there. Okay the torque converter is sealed but still.
    >


    No the torque converter is not sealed. Fluid is pumped into and
    out of it. If it was sealed the fluid inside it would overheat.

    > Hmmm, thinking, if I push the OD button and disconnect the
    > OverDrive, might that help the torque converter by disconnecting
    > the lockup?


    No. Don't do that.

    >
    > That's very helpful. Dealer said not necessary if 30,000 miles.
    > But this is a rebuilt and questionable and probably worth the
    > extra expense.
    >


    You probably have Dexron+Lubeguard not ATF+3 in there.

    >
    > > The method I documented on the website above gets all of the

    > fluid.
    >
    > Even the torque converter too?


    Yes.

    >
    > But it's Cottman, so my confidence is low having seen how they
    > charged the previous owner at least $2700 and that owner, my
    > friend, was still most unhappy with the performance of the van.
    > Rebuilt in 2000 but not leaking, still don't like some of the
    > feel and subtle sounds of the tranny. So have been babying the
    > car. There's the slight shudder at 37 mph and at 70 mph, hear a
    > slight whine. Does not sound quite normal. Now I have had
    > Chrysler trannies that whined for 130,000 miles. I drove Chrysler
    > trannies that ran dry, DRY!, put in fluid, and the thing was up
    > and running so in the past, they built stuff that was tanklike.
    > Everything else came apart, the body, the electrical system,
    > everything but loved those slant-6's and their trannies.
    >


    Look again at how much space they had to work with. The
    FWD layout is not optimal. The trans is crammed into the
    engine compartment. I'm all for newer materials and such
    but there' s no substitute for meaty, beefy, thick components.
    And there is no space for that in a FWD. So, they try to
    get around the lack of space by making everything thinner
    out of fancy materials. Sometimes it works, other times
    it don't.

    Ted
     
    Ted Mittelstaedt, Nov 20, 2004
    #9
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    Oct 27, 2005
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