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 Post subject: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:05 am 
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Decided to change my transmission fluid and filters. Our CRD is just short of 70K miles. Read in the 2006 service manual that it would take 5 quarts of ATF+4 fluid. The 1st pain I encountered was the lack of a drain-plug. As Warp might say....bean counters !! How stupid is that? In order to drain it you have to spill it ! So I'd already bought a B&M drain plug kit from O'Rielly's. Got the WIX filter kit from Amazon and went to work. The pan was glued on with sealant and the Wix kit came with a rubber seal. After I removed all the sealant glue and installed both new filters, I tightened down all the pan seal bolts.

Since I was able to catch most of the used fluid in my oil drain pan (and it seemed very full) I decided to measure it. 1st I filled up a used 1 gallon milk jug and there was still a lot in the pan. So I poured in 4 new quarts into the tranny dipstick tube. I now had some 1qt. bottles to pour the remaining fluid in my oil drain pan into. Filled the 1st, then the 2nd and still had some in the pan. I ended up with 6.5+ quarts !! Way over the service manual's volume of 5 quarts. So I poured in the 5th new quart & inserted the dip stick....Started the engine & the fluid didn't even show on the stick. Added the 6th quart (I had bought 1 extra qt. to have on hand), this brought it up to the "Minimum". Fluid level is to be checked, warm & tranny in park.

Since I live way out of town, I was in a pickle....fluid level too low to drive and I'd used my "extra" quart. Fortunately a neighbor was in town and was able to pick up a couple of quarts for me.

Conclusion, our 2006 Liberty CRD with the 545RFE transmission takes 6.5+ quarts of ATF+4 transmission fluid for a pan fluid & filters change.

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:24 am 
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That is why I just normally buy a case since it is cheaper that way and I know I will end up using it all eventually.

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:42 am 
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You will potentially end up with as much as 9 quarts for a change, check it again after a day or two of driving. You technically COULD have driven it with the 6 quarts added, and been OK, but the performance would have been interesting.

Check the transmission with the engine at full operating temperature and idling in neutral - AFTER putting the selector into each gear option for about 3-5 seconds. The flow in neutral is much higher than in park, so any air will be quickly deposited back in the pan where you will see the lower level. If you drained the entire transmission (or left it sitting overnight while dripping on an incline) you could approach the maximum of like 16 quarts that includes the torque converter. You wouldn't ever get *all* of it out with just a regular change, but people that have left it overnight (myself included) have gotten up to the 9 quart mark before the thing was properly filled.

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:54 am 
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On mine, i had it on ramps and I let it sit for an hour while I cleaned the pan and stuff. IIRC, it took about 9 qts to fill. Glad I got a case.

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Last edited by ChooChooman74 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:20 am 
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I agree the filter service refill amount can vary depending on how long you let it sit, and whether or not your running a second transmission cooler. Mine took 7 litres, just over 7 quarts. I always have at least 8 litres on hand for this service - regardless of the Service Manual.


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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Drive for several miles and check the level with the engine running, add the amount needed.
Then drive some more and again check with the engine running. Good project for weekend shopping, bring extra fluid and a funnel along with shop towels and hand cleaner.
After doing my Suncoast/Transgo along with the Extra Deep PML pan, I added 17 1/2 Qts of ATF+4 before I was done adding fluid.
Toss the gasket, it was put there for those who won't use silicone sealant.
Unless you work for a US Honda factory who do not permit silicone on site, I see no reason to use the gasket. Check your steel pan for dimpling of the bolt holes and beat them flat with a small hammer, one thing I don't miss with my PML pan.

It would be a good idea to do a slow learn if you have let any fluid drain out of your valve body.
Especially if you are in the Ram or GC TCM training mode.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:59 pm 
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I just changed my fluid and filters as well. I pulled right at 9 quarts out. Am I correct in saying that the fluid is good as long as it is mid way between the middle dots on the dipstick? When I check it, the fluid doesn't reach all the way up to the "hot" indicator with the 2 small dots around the word "hot". It is half way between the "cold" and "hot" indicators. Can anyone shed any light on the drain back issue with this transmission? I believe I am suffering from it. When I check my fluid cold.....it is waaaaay past the hot mark on the dipstick. As soon as I get it warmed up and check it proper....it is right in the middle between cold and hot. Also.....whenever I start it up for the first time of the day (or after sitting for several hours) and put it in gear without letting it idle for 10 seconds or so it doesn't want to go when I hit the gas pedal. It feels really sluggish for the first few seconds trying to drive it. If I start it, let it idle for about 10 seconds, and then put it in gear all is well. What causes this drain back issue and is it harmful to the transmission if it is not fixed quickly?

Thanks, Jim

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:07 pm 
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warp2diesel wrote:

Unless you work for a US Honda factory who do not permit silicone on site, Cheers

Find that funny as honda does not use gaskets on the trans pans or engine oil pans.I know I change honda 2.4 oil pans left and right at work.It's such a bad issue with the oil plug threads to pull out that the local honda dealership stocks like 25 or so at all times.

As far as checking the trans fluid to start get it about in-between the hot/cold marks then take and drive for 30mins min then check again.It can take well over 20mins of driving in moderate weather before the trans is actually at operating temps,alot longer when it's below freezing.

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:15 pm 
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tjkj2002 wrote:
warp2diesel wrote:

Unless you work for a US Honda factory who do not permit silicone on site, Cheers

Find that funny as honda does not use gaskets on the trans pans or engine oil pans.I know I change honda 2.4 oil pans left and right at work.It's such a bad issue with the oil plug threads to pull out that the local honda dealership stocks like 25 or so at all times.

As far as checking the trans fluid to start get it about in-between the hot/cold marks then take and drive for 30mins min then check again.It can take well over 20mins of driving in moderate weather before the trans is actually at operating temps,alot longer when it's below freezing.


To reprogram a VFD in a Honda Plant waste water pretreatment. My Employer had to prove they have $1 million insurance policy, I had to pass a drug test on site, and sign documents stating I did not have silicone in my tool box. Because it might make the paint streak.
All the engines and transmissions are assembled miles away from the paint line.

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:21 pm 
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warp2diesel wrote:
tjkj2002 wrote:
warp2diesel wrote:

Unless you work for a US Honda factory who do not permit silicone on site, Cheers

Find that funny as honda does not use gaskets on the trans pans or engine oil pans.I know I change honda 2.4 oil pans left and right at work.It's such a bad issue with the oil plug threads to pull out that the local honda dealership stocks like 25 or so at all times.

As far as checking the trans fluid to start get it about in-between the hot/cold marks then take and drive for 30mins min then check again.It can take well over 20mins of driving in moderate weather before the trans is actually at operating temps,alot longer when it's below freezing.


To reprogram a VFD in a Honda Plant waste water pretreatment. My Employer had to prove they have $1 million insurance policy, I had to pass a drug test on site, and sign documents stating I did not have silicone in my tool box. Because it might make the paint streak.
All the engines and transmissions are assembled miles away from the paint line.

For painting I can understand,don't want fish-eyes.When I worked at the bodyshop stuff like hand lotion,fast food,any type of tire shine,and any type of protectant like armorall was strictly forbidden in the bodyshop.Should have seen when the head painter went off on one of the saleman(a woman) came back into the bodyshop and smelled like she poured about 2 gallons of purfume on herself,I was rolling on the floor for about a hour.She quit that day.

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:22 am 
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kissfan79 - re drain back issue. It's a not uncommon issue with automatic transmisions or DCJ, I experienced it as far back as a generation 1 Plymouth minivan. In general the cause is over a period of time, usually about 8 hrs, fluid drains out of the transmission body passages and partially out of the torque convertor into the transmission pan so when the vehicle is started and the transmission placed in gear it takes a noticable period of time for the tranny system to pump enough fluid for the tranny to function properly. Most systems have some sort of check valve to prevent this from happening. In the 5-45RFE transmission that check valve is apparently in 1, don't ask me which, of the 2 internal transmission filters. Early in KJ production there was apparently a bad batch of OEM filters, hence lots of drain back problems, and some of those filters are still out there for cheap on eBay.

Solutions, assuming you have drain back and not just low fluid:
1. live with it - I did for like 20K miles before having my SunCoast TC and Transgo kit installed. It's harmless but you do have to remember after the vehicle sits a while to crank it up; shift into neutral; hold idle at about 1500 for 10-15 seconds before driving off. 99%+ of the time that works but if when driving off the tranny doesn't immediately engage (NOTE I never really had the problem in reverse only drive) be sure to pop it into neutral and idle a bit longer. If you don't do this cycle you may drive about 100' get a horribly rough engine stall which may or may not throw a CEL. The CEL goes away after about 5-10 good starts.
2. replace the filters being sure they are seated properly.
3. maybe install a tranny cooler return line check valve per viewtopic.php?f=98&t=55110

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 Post subject: Re: 545RFE Transmission Fluid Change ATF+4
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Papaindigo,
Thanks for the reply. I am fine with living with it for the time being. I realize that at some point I'll have to replace the torque converter and I'll address it then as long as it causes no harm now. I just changed the filters the other day (that little seal ring for the larger filter was a pain in the butt to get out and put in). Even with new filters it does it. As long as I idle for a few seconds on the first start up of the say or after several hours of sitting.....it seems to be fine. What causes that harsh stall that you were referring to? I have had an instance or 2 of backing up out of the driveway in the past without idling for long enough that when I got to the end of the driveway I heard a nasty sound and the idle dropped of a second but it never stalled.

Jim

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