Anyone service a tranny w/o a dipstick?

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I did a search found a thread that the OP asked this question and never really got an answer. My dad owns an 08 Jeep with the 4 speed auto tranny. It has a plug on the fill tube instead of a dipstick, and is to be serviced by the dealer only. My father is not about to do that. I am trying to gather some info for him. So when he decides to do this he's got a plan of attack. Seems Jeep has some hi-tech way of measuring fluid based on temperature of the fluid etc. At some point we'd like to drop the pan, change the filter top it off, then do a line flush. I figured we could pump fluid out of the dipstick, measure that amount, and replace it with fresh fluid, or drop a line and do the same thing. Its the pan drop that has us stumped, since getting an exact measurement of fluid might be an issue if some misses the drain pan, etc. Anyone do a tranny service on a newer Chrysler with the plug on the fill tube? I guess we could drive the car get a dipstick that fits it make a mark and go from there. That is assuming it was properly filled from the factory? TIA, AD
 
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I don't know if it is like vw's DSG fill mthod or not but on that one it has a combination fill/drain on the bottom. Basically a plastic tube runs up from the drain hole. You pump in or fill by gravity and when the fluid is hot the extra fluid overflows the plastic tube and drains out. That is how you know it is the correct level. You should be able to buy the special tool to do it yourself somewhere.
 
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If you don't get what you need here, you might find detailed info on this in a Jeep forum. The reason I say this is that some Toyota truck automatics have this same set up, and if I remember right, there was some DIY info on a Toyota truck forum about how folks figured out how to do it at home.
 
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The new Challengers also have a plug in the dipstick tube (I had previously thought that the dipstick tube itself had been eliminated, like on Toyotas, but at least that's not the case). The correct procedure for measuring the fluid level requires a calibrated "tool" (ie dipstick) PLUS an accurate reading of the transmission temperature. Here's the dipstick: http://www.etoolcart.com/chrysler-dip-stick-gauge-9336-a.aspx Note that the "WK" is a Jeep, and the "LX" is the Charger/Challenger/300/Magnum vehicle. And here is the procedure as posted on a Challenger forum: If vehicle is an LX, remove the dipstick tube cap. Push the transmission oil dipstick (Special Tool 9336) into the transmission fill tube until the dipstick tip contacts the oil pan. Pull out the dipstick and read the transmission oil level. Repeat if necessary. a. Check transmission oil temperature using the StarSCAN™. b. The transmission Oil Dipstick 9336 has indicator marks every 10 mm. Determine the height of the oil level on the dipstick. Using the height, the transmission temperature, and the Transmission Fluid Graph ( Fig. 2), determine if the transmission oil level is correct. c. Add or remove oil as necessary and recheck the oil level. d. Once the oil level is correct, install the dipstick tube cap. If *I* owned one of these vehicles, I'd buy the dipstick and take readings under normal conditions and see where the average fluid level falls, trying to be consistent in checking it with the engine fully warm and, say, after having driven my normal commute home. That might not be "by the book," but it would be better than nothing and should allow you to track any changes in fluid level. I'd also buy the Factory Service Manual and that way I could even measure the trans pan temperature and then use the temp vs. level graph (the "figure 2" referenced above) and get very close to the same result as using the "star scan" tool, or use one of the high-end OBD-II readers to get the trans temp.
 

crw

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Yes, the bottom line is there *is* a procedure to do it. And you can do it, just research out the procedure first. I actually took a shortcut with my VW. I drained it, then I very carefully measured the exact amount that came out, taking care to not spill any, and measure every bit that came out. Then I just put that exact amount back in. I wouldn't take that approach too often, but for one drain and fill, I think it works fine. I did mine 20K ago, and it's fine. Next time, I would probably follow procedure, because I don't want the additive effect being ever so slightly off more than once. Some of you might come unglued with that idea, but it works for me. You can buy a $1 funnel that has a tube on it. Just route that tube down to the filler tube to do your fill.
 

ADFD1

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Its a Liberty, I searched and saw demarpaint had posted a similar question a while back, and didn't get any backyard mechanic solutions. What we were thinking about doing is getting a dipstick from an older Liberty with the same transmission, driving the car for about half an hour on the highway, then let it idle on level ground for about 5 minutes and making a mark in the dipstick, and using it for a full/hot mark. Then let it sit overnight and make a full cold mark. It seems Chrysler wants to make Rocket Science out of checking and servicing a transmission. I had checked the Jeep forums and found the Rocket Science approach. That might be the only way to service the unit, but I figure my fellow BITOG'ers are a pretty crafty bunch, and we'd figure out a way. Thanks for the replies, keep'em comin. AD
 
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Was there some high incidence of dipstick abuse? I can't believe that the <$2.xx cost factor pushed this evolution. "Bring forth the sacred dipstick!!" (visions of the holy hand grenade in Monty Python's Holy Grail - or Seinfeld doing the American Express commercial where he opened the fuel cap and said "Release the hounds!")
 
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Hi Gary, I'm thinking a dipstick from an 06 Liberty, would do the trick. Or as mentioned any dipstick that will fit, then get a cold mark, and a mark after the fluid is heated up. I can't see a Chrysler tech taking temperature of the fluid then holding the stick to some chart/graph what-ever. I'm sure a dipstick from an older Jeep with the same tranny would work fine? I looked at a few Jeep forums myself, one guy said he bought a dipstick from an 06 Liberty for under $10 and it seems to be working. Wish there was a reputable transmission shop nearby I'd ask.
 
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There was probably a high incidence of people servicing their transmissions themselves (especially Jeep people), so Chrysler decided to remove the dipstick in order to get them to pay the dealer money to have it done.
 
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 Quote:
I can't see a Chrysler tech taking temperature of the fluid then holding the stick to some chart/graph what-ever.
I imagine that he might for one or two until he "knew the drill". I find it hard to imagine that this could be THAT critical. Sure you get variance between cold and hot, but it falls into a fairly narrow range. The only challenge is verifying that the current level, whatever that may be, is the correct/specified level. Otherwise, you can use any dipstick long enough and just mark the thing yourself. Hopefully they used the same tubes for the older dipstick transplant (didn't mess with the "seal" push in thingie end on the tube ..etc..etc. .just to prevent what you're suggesting- it's always the minor details that end up being major roadblocks).
 
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I always found it interesting on my Yaris that I have both dipstick on engine and tranny, and drain bolts on each one as well. Particularly since the Yaris is supposedly the bottom of the barrel in the line-up... Now if they could only get all the other stuff to work as well...
 
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 Originally Posted By: Gary Allan
 Quote:
I can't see a Chrysler tech taking temperature of the fluid then holding the stick to some chart/graph what-ever.
I imagine that he might for one or two until he "knew the drill". I find it hard to imagine that this could be THAT critical. Sure you get variance between cold and hot, but it falls into a fairly narrow range. The only challenge is verifying that the current level, whatever that may be, is the correct/specified level. Otherwise, you can use any dipstick long enough and just mark the thing yourself. Hopefully they used the same tubes for the older dipstick transplant (didn't mess with the "seal" push in thingie end on the tube ..etc..etc. .just to prevent what you're suggesting- it's always the minor details that end up being major roadblocks).
I don't know enough about Jeeps just yet to be certain the dipstick/tube from the 06 is in fact the same. My thinking is to get the 06 stick, park the Jeep on level ground overnight then mark the cold full line in the morning. Then drive it for about 30 minutes or so, as already mentioned, let it idle for 5 minutes and check the level again, and make a hot mark. I will give Chrylser the benefit of the doubt and hope it was factory filled correctly. There are no leaks so I guess it would be OK My only question is would driving it for 30 minutes and let it idle for 5 minutes be OK? Or should I sit it with my foot on the brake after the drive, then go through the gears a few times, then check the hot level? Once I get that sorted out I think I'd be in good shape. After watching some of the techs at the Jeep dealership I want to stay as far from that place as humanly possible.
 

JTK

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 Originally Posted By: crw
..I actually took a shortcut with my VW. I drained it, then I very carefully measured the exact amount that came out, taking care to not spill any, and measure every bit that came out. Then I just put that exact amount back in.
Exactly. That's all I ever did with the "sealed" 4L30Es I've done ATF changes on. I don't understand the concern with ATF temp for a simple dump and fill???. Thermal expansion of the fluid is negligible. You simply put back the amount you took out. Joel
 
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If I drain fluid from a line, or suck it out of the fill tube that is how I plan on doing it. I was thinking a pan drop, and filter change might be a bit more involved, but still not a major problem. Then there is the fear of a leak, when topping off would be impossible without a dipstick. That was why I wanted to get the stick from an 06 and calibrate it myself.
 
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You have to hook up a scan tool up and there is a special diptick made by Miller tool whom makes Chrysler's special tools.The special dipstick is not cheap,$72.00 and Miller tool sells it only.The fluid level goes by a chart going by the reading off the scan tool and the special dipstick,the fluid tempature.My mother 2006 Chrysler 300 is this way also.
 
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Thanks, we're aware of that tool. What we are trying to figure out is if there is a DIY way of checking the fluid w/o the special dipstick and the chart. I figured by now someone has done it, or made their own dipstick similar to what I was trying to outline above.
 
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That is the only way to check the fluid level on that transmission,with the scan tool and the special dipstick going by the chart.Only use the ATF+4 fluid only on that transmission.
 

JTK

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 Originally Posted By: wafrederick1
That is the only way to check the fluid level on that transmission,with the scan tool and the special dipstick going by the chart.Only use the ATF+4 fluid only on that transmission.
It's the "only way" per the OEM service manual, but obviously not the only way to get the job done. Like said any associated thread, these ATs are setup this way to persuade owners to use dealer service. Joel
 
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