If you remove all the bolts but the four corners, loosen the four corners, whack the pan a couple times with a rubber or plastic mallet to break the RTV, slice the remaining with a sharp knife, and then *almost* fully remove two bolts on one side you can do a pretty clean drain every time. It's a little easier on pans that haven't been RTV'ed (so, everything not Chrysler
) but the rubber mallet generally does the job. Sometimes running a plastic prybar ( like you use for interior panels) around works better than the knife. Just not a screwdriver or something beefy where you might bend the pan or scar the transmission flange.
Usually it works best on a narrow dimension of the pan, but in this case I had the passenger side of the Jeep on a jack so the whole thing was tilted to the driver's side.
Yeah, but having a quarter inch drain hole with a plug is waaaaay easier; you can drain it, then
just take the pan off.
I had mine on ramps when I did it, and just made sure to "crack it open" toward the low point at the back and it wasn't horrible, but you still have to have a huge pan "just in case." With the drain plug I can now go to a modest size bucket for draining (though you do still need something to catch drips from the whole pan area once the pan is off).
Even being super careful, when the fluid had stopped running and it was time to actually drop the pan (obviously there will still be fluid in it), it slipped out of my hand and the large quantity of fluid in the deep part of the pan sloshed all over the driveway.
I just received my 3-in-1 temp gauge and I'm hoping to get some time this week to see if the transmission temp probe will simply thread into the plug I installed the pan (fingers crossed).