Transmission service at Ford prices

Team Jeff

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I did a little digging & found that the transmission in the the 3's (and I believe the 4's) are the same unit found in some Ford Expeditions & all Ford Raptors. I called the local ford dealer and ordered a few variations to compare. I ended up using this pan - 9L3Z-7A194-A and filter 7L1Z-7A098-A. Then added a B&M universal drain plug to simplify future fluid & filter changes. Speaking of fluids, after much research I decided to take a "chance" with Motorcraft SP transmission fluid. I figured at worst it would cause the transmission to shift more firmly, which is based on the assumption that LR specs fluid for silky smooth shifts & Ford probably isn't as concerned. After almost 5k mi I honestly can't tell a difference - at all. Feels the same in every aspect.

The ford pan has a sump that extends downward, lower than the OE plastic pan so you will have to either trim & completely remove the heat shield. I decided to trim it. The heat shield bracket will also need to be modified, but it's a straightforward deal with a cutoff wheel or hacksaw.

I have just over $100 in parts & fluid into it. Not too bad.

You'll need;
New bolts (thinner pan flange) M6 X 1.0 - 15mm
Pan gasket (sorry, no part no.)
Pan 9L3Z-7A194-A
Filter 7L1Z-7A098-A
B&M universal drain plug
Motorcraft SP fluid
 

Team Jeff

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I pulled the OE magnets out of the plastic pan & attached them with a little adhesive silicone (right stuff). They'd probably stay in place by themselves, but I thought a little extra adhesion couldn't hurt.
 

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daven5735

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Awesome post and timing Jeff. I have a 2006 SE with 71K miles that I have been thinking about doing this to. Can you confirm that yours is the same ZF 6HP26X ******? Also, tell me about your fill procedure.
Thanks,
Dave
 
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roverman

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Very interesting.. Can you tell me (us) a little more about the swap? How many miles did you have? Did the oil you replaced look spent, was there any metal on the magnets? Did you do all the engine lifting, exhaust pipe removing, etc... yourself? That's the part that has me thinking it's out of my league to do it myself.
 

Team Jeff

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It is the 6HP26X trans. I had about 80k when I did the pan & fluid, just turned 85k today. The fluid was darker than the new stuff but didn't smell burnt. No metal chunks on the magnets, just the typical metal "slime". I did have to lift the engine on the right side, also removed the exhaust and cross member. Since I wasn't sure the new pan would work I had to preserve the OE pan - which meant being extra cautious during disassembly. I do recall thinking I'd probably still have to jack the engine up & remove the exhaust even with the ford pan. It's not terribly difficult if you have the proper tools. A good 3/8" socket set with u-joint, wobbly and extensions etc. An impact wrench is pretty handy as well.

Spray the bolts/nuts with wd-40 and let it soak for a bit. Some of mine were surprisingly rusty for a life long AZ car. I wire wheeled the bad ones and used copper anti seize on them.

For the fill - I pulled the return line off the trans cooler and had an assistant start the car till the fluid stopped flowing, then filled via the full port with a hand pump till the trans started to overflow (it's like a differential fill plug). The transmission. Is supposed to be around 100 deg. F when setting the final level so while the engine was running and the transmission was warming up I'd select reverse, 1st, 2nd etc to make sure all the fluid "circuits" were full. Once it's up to temp just fill it till the fluid level reaches the bottom of the fill plug.

Oh, and mine didn't have a converter drain plug. (FYI)
 

Team Jeff

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It is the 6HP26X trans. I had about 80k when I did the pan & fluid, just turned 85k today. The fluid was darker than the new stuff but didn't smell burnt. No metal chunks on the magnets, just the typical metal "slime". I did have to lift the engine on the right side, also removed the exhaust and cross member. Since I wasn't sure the new pan would work I had to preserve the OE pan - which meant being extra cautious during disassembly. I do recall thinking I'd probably still have to jack the engine up & remove the exhaust even with the ford pan. It's not terribly difficult if you have the proper tools. A good 3/8" socket set with u-joint, wobbly and extensions etc. An impact wrench is pretty handy as well.

Spray the bolts/nuts with wd-40 and let it soak for a bit. Some of mine were surprisingly rusty for a life long AZ car. I wire wheeled the bad ones and used copper anti seize on them.

For the fill - I pulled the return line off the trans cooler and had an assistant start the car till the fluid stopped flowing, then filled via the full port with a hand pump till the trans started to overflow (it's like a differential fill plug). The transmission. Is supposed to be around 100 deg. F when setting the final level so while the engine was running and the transmission was warming up I'd select reverse, 1st, 2nd etc to make sure all the fluid "circuits" were full. Once it's up to temp just fill it till the fluid level reaches the bottom of the fill plug.

Oh, and mine didn't have a converter drain plug. (FYI)
 

daven5735

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Thanks for the additional detail Jeff. A couple more questions...
How many qts of the Motorcraft (mercon) SP did you have to add?
Most of the M6 x 1.0 bolts (I like flange hex) come in 16mm length. Do you see the extra 1mm length as a problem?
 

Team Jeff

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I bought a case of 12 qts & I think I used 10 of them. It just depends on how many times you drain the cooler in an effort to dilute the old fluid, which is impossible to completely remove from the transmission. I don't think 1mm in extra length will be an issue. I just used 15mm because that's what's in my bolt bin (Lawson bolts).
 

er1c

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Any performance updates? Everything holding up well / going smoothly?

Where's the transmission cooler? In the engine bay? Any pictures of the location?

Also, I know a lot of guys replace the Mechatronic sealing sleave when doing a ****** fluid flush (http://www.thectsc.com/products/sealing-sleeve-3-10.html) --- did you do this as preventative maintenance, too, or decide not to?
 

Team Jeff

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Everything is functioning perfectly (almost 6k mi. now) including a rather strenuous 100mi ride through some deep snow. I don't have any photos of the cooler, but you can follow the lines from the transmission up to the radiator. They are the only fluid lines leaving the transmission. I did not replace the Mecatronic sleeve because mine was 100% dry & since I wasn't going to disturb it I thought it would be better left alone.
 

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