View Full Version : 4R70W fluid change

Alan K
04-01-2003, 01:05 PM
One of the first things I did when I bought this machine was to get the "OEM" manual from Helms. However I can not seem to find a definitive statement in the book about the number of quarts needed to refill a 4R70W after the filter & fluid change. Any ideas how much refills a stock trans pan? Or, where to find the answer in the Helms? And, Yes I did look in the specs & maintinance section.

04-01-2003, 02:41 PM
it's not that big a deal, just have 6 qts on hand, put like 4 in after you put the pan back on, then check it with it running after you put the trans thru all the gears........add fluid till full with engine running

04-02-2003, 08:38 AM
If you drain the converter (there is a drain plug on a 4R70W) you will need 12 quarts more than likely. Otherwise 5-6 is correct.

04-02-2003, 11:14 AM
Is the "4R70W" the auto tranny for a 94-95, I need to change the oil in mine also.

04-02-2003, 03:48 PM
The one in my Mark VIII took a little over 10 after a 1-2 accumulator change and tc draining... buy a case and you should be safe.

Not sure what you mean by "official" manual but the green Ford service manuals have the capacities on the back cover - transmission fluid says 12.3Q (11.6L). This is from the Mark also my 'Bird manual is at home....

04-02-2003, 05:49 PM
Make sure that you do not change the tranny fluid if the car has 60,000 or more miles on it and you are not sure if it has been changed on a regular basis. If you do this can lead to the tranny slipping and burning out.

04-02-2003, 08:11 PM
Actually my car is an experiment on that theory every mile she goes....

I bought it with 78K on it and didn't get any maintenance records with it. I decided to take the chance and did the aforementioned 1-2 upgrade and Mercon V switch at about 79k. So far she's managed another 700 miles or so including two 5 hour runs 4 days apart, mostly over 80 mph. Knock wood, no signs of any slipping or burning as yet unless we're counting the tire (oops, left the traction assist on) smoking when I got po'd at the dumb **** spring breakers the other day and left the car wash in a hurry. :)

04-02-2003, 08:12 PM
Ok, but if I put in a trans-go and add the five-ish quarts to refill, should I go ahead and drain the converter or not. I just bought it with 70k and have no idea if it has been previously changed or not. (95)

Alan K
04-03-2003, 11:50 AM
Apologizes for not responding to questions. I've been out of pocket the last 2 days.
T-bird4vr - Yes, my "4R70W" is in a 95 SC.
doodaa - when I said "offical", I proablly should have said "Ford licensed" manual. Question - on your Mark VIII, what are you referring to when you say the "1-2 accumulator"?
SCme94 - I noticed other posts and references to draining the Torque Converter. It seems obvious that the TC gets drained without pulling it and the trans. However, will the fluid needed by the TC simply spill over from the trans pan (when refilling) into the TC throat and rise to the required level or do I have to pump fresh fluid into the TC through the drain plug. I'm reasonablly sure the procedure is in the manual, but you sound like you've done this already. Any help...?

04-03-2003, 01:35 PM
The 1-2 accumulator I referred to is the installation of an updated piston and springs. Ford changed the design sometime in '97 (I think) and issued a TSB on it. The details are at http://www.markviii.org/LOD2/part_numbers.htm#Spring

Haven't search the tech articles so not sure how much applies to the 'Bird transmissions of the same era... my 'Bird has an AOD.

Joisey Jim
04-03-2003, 02:48 PM
Alan - I think it's still on the TCCOA site, but there is a whole host of recommended upgrades for earlier (pre '96) trans. I did mine, including the 2 accumulator pistons, Transgo shift kit, larger sump etc. Cost me around $400 at the trans shop; although I'd already put the new pistons in myself. Also you should change over to Mercon V fluid. I had a lot of shudder problems with mine in the early days (Mercon V cures that) and, I did the upgrades around 20,000m. Now I'm up to 110,000m with no problems. When I change just the pan fluid (larger 1996 style sump included a drain plug !) I can still only get about 3 qts back in. I do this every 10,000m and drain the TC every 30,000. The total capacity including the TC is still only barely 12 qts on mine.
It's hard to find the Mercon V other than at your local Ford dealer, so shop around as prices vary from $3-5 qt.
Hope that helps,

04-03-2003, 03:00 PM
Mercon V is easy to find. Any Autozone has it, as well as other quality auto parts stores.

04-03-2003, 03:33 PM
the best way to change the fluid on the 4r70w is to pump as much as you can out the radiator cooler until it starts spitting air, then shut the car off.

Next drain the torque converter, it has a drainplug on it, you line up the motor with a breaker bar, turning it clockwise until you can see the drainplug.

Next put the plug back in the torque converter, and the rubber cap back on the bellhousing.

Then, you drop the pan, to find less than one quart of old fluid in the pan.

Throw that pan out, and get yourself a 98 deepsump pan with drainplug from ford, and get yourself a filter for a 96 transmission. Clean the magnet up with brake cleaner, and swap it over to the new pan. Swap over the pan gasket to the new pan, and torque all the pan bolts as per the manual.

Now is a good time to install a tranny cooler.

Then put six quarts of mercon v in the tranny, start it up, and shift the gears. Then put the rest of the fluid in there, and you are all set.


Alan K
04-04-2003, 12:54 PM
What is this about a 98 deepsump pan? When I called the local Ford dlshp they didn't seem to know anything about this. Although they did say if I have a part # they can look it up. Well, duh... I should hope so. Is this for an AODE that is bolted to a 98 T-bird? Is it for the 3.8L or the 4.6L.? Or would that even matter? I have no idea. And the 96 trans filter, is this needed because of the deeper sump pan or is it just a better filter?

04-04-2003, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by Alan K
What is this about a 98 deepsump pan? When I called the local Ford dlshp they didn't seem to know anything about this. Although they did say if I have a part # they can look it up. Well, duh... I should hope so. Is this for an AODE that is bolted to a 98 T-bird? Is it for the 3.8L or the 4.6L.? Or would that even matter? I have no idea. And the 96 trans filter, is this needed because of the deeper sump pan or is it just a better filter?

The 98 deep sump pan with the drainplug is from a 98+ 4r70w transmission. It holds more fluid than your 94-95 pan to keep things cooler, and has a drainplug for easy changes in the future. I beleive it is a part from a van or truck. I have it on my 95.

Here are the part numbers I have from fordparts.com
'96 style (no drainplug) - F6AZ-7A194-A $17.04
'98 style (drainplug) - F8UZ-7A194-AA $55.10
Filter for both styles - F6AZ-7A098-A $15.18


03-04-2006, 08:36 PM
JustinH, is that the orginal 4r70w in your 95? did you do anything else like the valve body or 1-2 accumulator piston?
I have a 4r70w in my 95/sc everything fine but reading all these post saying that 94/95 4r70w are junk and not to bother fixing and replace with a newer model like 2003

03-04-2006, 11:09 PM
Its not that your transmission is "junk" .. alot of the internals have been updated to build the transmission stronger over the years and have corrected a few problems that the early model units had.

My 94 4.6 Blew out at 80k miles, Replaced it with a used 1997 Trans ( w/ 70k miles ), and it has 155k miles to this very day - Modified seperator plate.

My 94 SC has 164k miles, the previous owner had some work done to it, not sure if it was rebuilt or replaced.

My 91 Tbird w/ a 95 4.6 and Trans has 55k, with a 99 Valve body modified seperator plate and updated accumulators, etc etc ..

If it isnt broke, you dont need to fix it. Unless you are going to be installing a shift kit, you can install the accumulator pistons at the same time. Transmission cooler is always a help also. If you blow it up, you can worry about rebuilding it or replacing it with a later model transmission.
There is plenty of information on the updates at www.tccoa.com under the techincal article section.

03-05-2006, 08:05 AM
Woah....Another 3 year old post revival:)

Here is my info to add. My 94 has 82k on the original 4R70W with no problems. I have done all the updates though.

03-05-2006, 04:51 PM
SCme94, what updates did you do, and did you do them yourself? can you do the updates without removing the trans from the car?

03-05-2006, 07:38 PM
The updates I did were the one's outlined in the TCCOA articles.
96 pan and filter and new style 1-2 and 2-3 accumulator pistons, the O/D piston, Mercon V fluid and the valve body mod's shown.
I did them myself, and no the trans does not need to come out.

03-05-2006, 11:42 PM
where can i get these parts online?