2002 Mercury Sable 3.0 Mercon V w/ 12768 on ATF and 43170 on Tranny

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1,251
Location
Akron, OH
The car is a 2002 Mercury Sable LS Premium with the 3.0 Liter 24V Duratec V6. Do not confuse that with the Vulcan engine of the same size available in this model. Usage was 60/40 highway-city driving. I do not remember if this has the AX4S or the AX4N tranny. Oil analysis by Schaeffer’s Manufacturing. Schaeffer’s indicated "ALUMINUM: PUMPS, CLUTCHES, THRUST WASHERS, BUSHINGS. OIL SHOULD BE CHANGED. RESAMPLE TO ESTABLISH TRENDS." Wear metals and additives below are in PPM. Sulfur, Oxidation and Nitration are expressed as a percentage, where 100 % is the number you must stay below. NR means "not reported". At the time this sample was taken, my mechanic dropped the pan, took the sample, swapped filters, and replaced the pan and refilled the tranny with Pennzoil Mercon V. That means my current (today) fluid is approximately 50% old, 50% new. I’ll be sampling and changing again at 60,000 miles. My game plan is to drop the pan, swap filters and refill with Mercon V every 15K. This tranny had her first ATF service at 30,402 under the previous corporate owner. I do not know if it had a full flush or drop the pan service at that time. Date: April 2005 Lab Schaeffers Mi Unit 43170 Mi Oil 12768 Copper 127 Iron 91 Chromium 0 Aluminum 38 Lead 31 Moly 2 Phosphorous 222 Zinc 21 Magnesium 0 Calcium 54 Sodium NR Potassium NR Antifreeze % 0 Fuel Dilution N % H20 0.0 Silicon 14 Viscosity CST 6.38 Viscosity SUS @ 210 F NR ISO 10W Sulfur 11 Oxidation 20 Nitration 0 Insolubles NR Editorial Comments: I really don't like the CST viscosity, but Schaeffer's didn't remark on it or flag it as abnormal. I was of the belief that Mercon V was supposed to be somewhere between 7.3 and 7.5 on CST viscosity. Schaeffer's appears to think that aluminum doesn't normally go over 15 PPM, and that my 38 PPM puts me in the "abnormal" category, but not their "severe" category. I don't know if I should worry about that or not. Really, the viscosity change creeps me out more than the aluminum. Miscellaneous: There's a thread on this car's engine at http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=002719
 

TomJones76

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1,251
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Akron, OH
I looked up CST at 100 Celsius viscosities for various advertised Mercon V products. I excluded products that advertise Mercon V + other spec compatibility. Mobil 1 is 7.5. <1> Castrol is 7.5. <2> Havoline thinks it doesn't need to tell me. <3> AAMCO is 7.5, but I think it's just rebadged Mobil 1. <4> I couldn't find any others. <1> http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/Pds_Files/nausenpvlmomobil_mercon_v_synthetic_blend_atf.pdf <2> http://www.castrol.com/liveassets/bp_internet/castrol/castrol_usa/STAGING/local_assets/downloads/u,v/vvv.pdf <3> http://www.havoline.com/products/na/trans_mv.html <4> http://www.exxon.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/NAUSE2PVLEXAAMCO_Mercon_V.asp
 
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6,091
Location
northern Alabama
Do you know what fluid the previous owner added? I assume not. That looks like a lot of copper & iron, but I'm not familiar with this tranny. I would think you are doing yourself a favor by changing the ATF every 15k miles.
 

TomJones76

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1,251
Location
Akron, OH
I have no clue what fluid the previous owner added. All I have is a note in my manual that "L&O Towing & Repair" performed an ATF change at 30402 miles, with a shop signature. L&O towing appears to not be in my town, so I can't call and ask. Actually, I'm uncertain where they are.
 
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17,344
Location
Silicon Valley
Man, my dad just did a drain/refill with filter replace on his 01 Taurus Vulcan, plus a tranny range sensor replacement at 25k that the dealer replaced some fluid. Kind of scary about the wear rate, I think I should warn him to replace the fluid every 15k instead.
 

TomJones76

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1,251
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Akron, OH
Yeah. I'm not thrilled about these numbers. In fact, given that this unit has.. I think a 15 qt system with a 6-7 qt pan, my pan drop only got 40% of the volume in the system. If the fluid is SUPPOSED to be 7.5 CST, and WAS 6.4 CST, and I replaced 40% of it..... [fumbles through Excel] It looks like, if this stuff works algebraically, which I understand it probably doesn't, my CST should be 6.8. It SHOULD be 7.5. Hmmm. It strikes me I might be wise to just get a "flush" done, making sure that genuine Mercon V gets used. That could get me up to what... 80% fresh fluid? That would get me up to 7.3 CST, which I would imagine is within a "safe" range of viscosity from original, plus it would serve to get my wear metals down. It occurs to me that perhaps the service at 30402 may have consisted of completely draining the tranny and then filling it with the wrong fluid, maybe something with a nice low CST. Is there an ATF with a viscosity around 6.4? I think I'll ask that last question in another forum.
 
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313
Location
Texas
I have a 2000 Taurus with the Duratec engine and the same AX4N transmission. The transmission in these cars is the weak link. After dropping the pan, to change the fluid and filter at 29,000 miles, I was amazed at all of the crud from the clutch packs in the pan and metal covering the magnet. I concluded that I had to use Amsoil ATF, the only Mercon V rated full synthetic fluid. Many members in the TCCA use Amsoil ATF in their Taurus/Sable transmissions, because they are problem prone.
 

TomJones76

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1,251
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Akron, OH
quote:
Originally posted by Neil Womack: If you want professional analysis contact Terry. Money well spent when in doubt.
I've used him before, and I'll be using him again, the next time I have $40 to spend on it. I'm planning to take another sample on this thing to see how much improvement my last drop & fill made. No reason to panic yet, since it's shifting good and I've seen labs make mistakes before. I think that based on my feedback here I want to change this again before too long. I've also gotta' order another Schaeffer's kit.
 

TomJones76

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1,251
Location
Akron, OH
quote:
Originally posted by TxGreaseMonkey: SNIP I concluded that I had to use Amsoil ATF, the only Mercon V rated full synthetic fluid. Many members in the TCCA use Amsoil ATF in their Taurus/Sable transmissions, because they are problem prone.
TxGreaseMonkey, is the Amsoil ATF you're using licensed by Ford to carry "Mercon V" on it, or is it a "meets or exceeds" situation?
 
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23,892
Location
CA
Amsoil ATF meets or exceeds Mercon-V, it is NOT Ford approved. The only ATFs that are Ford Mercon-V approved, that I know of, is Chevron or Castrol's product. Its very likely that the independent shop used Dexron-III(G)/Mercon + Lubegard "Green" Mercon-V fluid converter for the fluid change. Lubegard's Universal ATF Protectant is about 16cst, so I'm guessing that their Platinum, Black, and Green products are about the same. In that case, the addition of 1oz 16cst Lubegard to 31oz of 7.5cst Lubegard will yield a resulting viscosity of 7.7cst per the Shell calculator. A pan drop for this transmission replaces about 50% of the fluid. After 30,000 miles, most fluids are in the mid 5cst range. Assuming that the remaining 50% of the factory fill was 5.5cst, and the replaced fluid was 7.7cst, it'll yield a resulting mixture that is 6.5cst, per the Shell Viscosity calculator, fwiw. [I dont know]
 
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23,892
Location
CA
No, increasing the viscosity is NOT the intent of Lubegard M-V. It just happens to be an effect. The shop probably added the Lubegard M-V, which adds the necessary Friction Modifiers to Dexron-III for use in Mercon-V applications.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,908
Location
Iowegia - USA
Look on the bright side, if some of the ORIGINAL fluid was still in there, a lot of wear particles are being flushed out. The viscosity is ok but the wear metals are questionable. I would change ASAP and resample at 10k and get Terry Dyson's analysis. Theoretically, you should see a TRENDING of fewer wear metals until about 125,000 miles. I would NOT use the Lubeguard M-V in a fluid speced for MerconV.
 
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23,892
Location
CA
quote:
I would NOT use the Lubeguard M-V in a fluid speced for MerconV.
No, mechanic probably added Lubegard M-V to Dex-III.
 

TomJones76

Thread starter
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1,251
Location
Akron, OH
I'm approaching my next 15K interval. I expect we'll have another analysis on this tranny for its 60K birthday in about... give it two months. I plan to use Waterloo transmission of Akron for a FULL service, including pan drop, filter change and fluid exchange. I know you never get a tranny 100% cleaned out due to the way fluid flows, but it should be a little more functional than what I did last time, for not much more money.
 
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23,892
Location
CA
Tom, Do you know what fluid they'll be using? They appear to be quite a large shop. I did see a Lubegard banner on their website though, so would they perhaps be using Dexron-III plus Lubegard M-V ("Green") fluid converter? Do you know what brand of Dexron-III will they be using? Perhaps bring your own fluid? Are they going to exchange the fluid first, then drop the pan and change the filter, or the other way around. May I ask how much they'll be charging for the service? Just curious.
 

TomJones76

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1,251
Location
Akron, OH
They quoted $155 out the door with tax. Given my financial situation, I won't be bringing my own fluid. Given the fact that the ATRA (automatic transmission rebuilders of America) endorses modifying fluids using Lubegard-type additives, I'll accept the practice. I would have been more upset about it some time back, but it isn't like Mercon V is a Group IV product anyway. I believe it's what? A group II+ or group III product?
 
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23,892
Location
CA
Group II/III I think. That's a great price for a complete service. It was pretty sad several years ago when tranny techs *thought* they were brewing GrpIII ATF+4 out of Dexron-III and Lubegard Black, as Dexron-III was not Group II/III back then.
 
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8,756
Location
RI
Most MerconV's are blends. The only synths are the Redline/Mobil1/Amsoil ones. Your viscosity drop is normal. ATF shears. I haven't seen Pennzoil Mercon-V in a long time. Their multivehicle fluid is excellent and can be used. If you're worried about the fluid condition, install a drainplug and practice more frequent drain/refills. The filter will last a pretty long time and there is no need in changing so soon(every 30-50k is good). And, the OEM filter will last much longer(100k) if you install an inline ATF filter with those more regular drain/refills. A pela extractor might be an option in place of a drainplug kit. Lubegard MV is used to convert standard DexronIII/Mercon to MerconV specs. But, with the availability of the many brands of MerconV, their is no point to it(I am a big lubegard fan and supporter). You can use lubegard red(or aamco protectant) or platinum with the MerconV. Aamco is not rebadged Mobil-1 ATF. It is rebadged Mobil MerconV ATF. Notice the difference with the "1". The last time that I checked, the BVisc @ -40 for MerconV is 12000 or less. Castrols MerconV doesn't even meet that spec. Techs rarely think. I don't remember anyone say in the shop they were brewing anything. All they knew is that the 'fluid converter + ATF' would work.
 
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