how to check transmision fluid level (the hard way)

meerschm

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Aug 26, 2012
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meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
View attachment 23993

new filter would not allow the pan to fit.

View attachment 23994

here is why

View attachment 23995

this looks better

View attachment 23996

with the old filter back in place

View attachment 23997

pan reattached. I cross threaded two bolts, drivers rear corner, where I did not take off the bracket. I muscled them in to the point the washer would not move, and torqued the rest to 97 inch LB

running level check right after fill was at the top of the warm full range, with five quarts of DEXRON VI synthetic.

drove back home and checked the level warm, trans cooler line temp reads around 150f with an IR laser thermometer.

View attachment 23998

checked level running in park, the twig points to the fluid level.

I went back to NAPA and it seems I bought a shallow pan filter, NAPA 1-8567 and the correct one is a NAPA 1-8566 deep pan filter. They were nice and switched for me, but since I monkey'd up the couple pan bolts, I am not inclined to put it in. the old one only had a bit over 40k miles on it, so it should be fine. if the gasket starts to leak, and I need to drop the pan again, I have the spare filter. this came with a rubber gasket, so should be ok if i do pull the pan.


View attachment 23993

they are both the same size (tube depth, but the deep pan has the notch which lets the cover fit in place.)

I will check again in the morning when it is cold again and see where the level sits, I am guessing it will be full warm.

of interest is that I held a section of vinyl tubing on the fill tube, and blew into the transmission. it did not seem like there was an open vent, when I stopped blowing into the tube, the gas came back out. the vent is supposed to come from the top, and have a hose to the rear, but I could not find it, and was not about to pull the transmission out just to check the vent. since this was installed as a GM reman about 42,000 miles ago, they may have not put the vent on, and it seems to do ok without it.

any opinions?
 

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meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
NAPA AUTO PARTS

NAPA AUTO PARTS

Now I think the filters were switched in the boxes. the photo at the NAPA site does not match what I got.

I purchased the 18567 on Monday (which did not fit) and exchanged for the 18566 today, (which matches the one in my transmission.)

I called the guy at NAPA and let him know to check the boxes, and contents against the pictures on his computer.



GM parts east lookup by vin leads to this deep pan filter which looks correct.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C9LOHW/?tag=gmtnation-20
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Was there a design change on the pan? Or a different pan for the TB and Envoy?
I had the deep pan on my 2003 Envoy (changed it for an extra capacity pan) and there is no bump that would interfere with the filter like in your picture.
My OEM deep pan is about 2.25" deep at the shallow end and 3" deep at the deep end.
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
Wooluf1952 said:
Was there a design change on the pan? Or a different pan for the TB and Envoy?
I had the deep pan on my 2003 Envoy (changed it for an extra capacity pan) and there is no bump that would interfere with the filter like in your picture.
My OEM deep pan is about 2.25" deep at the shallow end and 3" deep at the deep end.

I don't know about the history, but it seems like all the envoy/tb take the deep pan. I was just surprised to learn the only difference between "shallow pan" and "Deep pan" is that notch on the filter.

looks to me like the purpose of the bump in the pan is to keep the filter in the correct orientation.

can you post a photo of your OEM pan?
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
recalibrated the level in my driveway, almost perfect parking on two thicknesses of 2 by under the rear wheels. (set a 48 inch level on an 8 ft 2 x 4)



when cold, the five quart fill from yesterday came to the top of the warm level.

I pulled out about a quart, and now it reads at the top of the full cold level.

also re-tried the blow into the tube, and this time it seems to be venting.
 

WarGawd

Member
Sep 2, 2012
468
Great post, good pics, still very weird on the delta between cold & warm levels. Will check my phone for comparative pan and filter pics.

GM service info says warm check is most accurate, so probably have to more or less completely ignore what the cold level seems to indicate. I wonder if Dex VI has a significantly larger coefficient of thermal expansion than the DEXIII that was originally spec'd when the pans & dipsticks were designed??
 

meerschm

Original poster
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Aug 26, 2012
1,079
WarGawd said:
Great post, good pics, still very weird on the delta between cold & warm levels. Will check my phone for comparative pan and filter pics.

GM service info says warm check is most accurate, so probably have to more or less completely ignore what the cold level seems to indicate. I wonder if Dex VI has a significantly larger coefficient of thermal expansion than the DEXIII that was originally spec'd when the pans & dipsticks were designed??

could not find that info. but did run across this, which sings the praises of Dexron VI vs III

http://www.sandyblogs.com/techlink/techlink_May_09.pdf

I suspect air in the fluid, which the anti foam additives in the DEX-VI should help. (I pulled the fluid this morning with the engine idling, and you could see some tiny bubbles in the fluid pulled out. measured the length of full cold, and taped the hose on my Pela 6000)
 

WarGawd

Member
Sep 2, 2012
468
meerschm said:
could not find that info. but did run across this, which sings the praises of Dexron VI vs III

http://www.sandyblogs.com/techlink/techlink_May_09.pdf

I suspect air in the fluid, which the anti foam additives in the DEX-VI should help. (I pulled the fluid this morning with the engine idling, and you could see some tiny bubbles in the fluid pulled out. measured the length of full cold, and taped the hose on my Pela 6000)

Well I found a post from a former Allison fluids engineer, who had this to say in repsonse to a question in a big 30+ page thread on DieselPlace: Diesel Place : Chevrolet and GMC Diesel Truck Forums - View Single Post - Former Allison Fluids Engineer (Here to Help)

Given the overall relatively small COE, I'd have to conclude DexIII and DexVI aren't significantly different. But the math there makes sense to me. 0.0007 % per degree C (0.07%/C) on a temp change of roughly 80 deg C (from cold near freezing here to normal op temp of 82 deg C) should give an apparent level change of ~0.6 qt, which from my interpretation of the text of my manual is about the distance between the two holes in the dipstick (bottom = hot/low, top = hot/full). Given the larger temp deltas in winter vs summer, it seems more important to do the level check in winter at normal op temp. Further, the level indicated by doing a cold temp check in cooler fall/winter temps will be even LOWER than it would doing a cold check in summer when ambient temps are milder. I'm starting to suspect that I may have never noticed this type of issue before because of the overall smaller fluid capacity in my previous vehicles - with this one, esp with the addition of an external cooler, the much bigger system capacity gives rise to a much more noticeable amount of expansion in absolute terms.


I guess I never took any pics of the pan, here's a shot of the old vs new filter. As stated in the other thread, I had bought the deep pan filter, and had no interference issues upon pan replacement:

View attachment 24024

I parked on a flat level spot tonite, will do a series of pics of levels at various temps for comparison...still trying to come to a satisfactory conclusion to my own question on this subject.
 

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WarGawd

Member
Sep 2, 2012
468
meerschm said:
View attachment 10640

note the full mark on the indicator is right at the bottom of the fill tube

That's kind of an interesting shot too - I can see where the filter itself might block further passage of my fluid transfer tube, but mine lost suction at the hot full mark (when following the correct procedure and fluid was actually right temp), suggesting that something stopped it right at the end of the filler tube....not sure what to make of that yet.
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
WarGawd said:
That's kind of an interesting shot too - I can see where the filter itself might block further passage of my fluid transfer tube, but mine lost suction at the hot full mark (when following the correct procedure and fluid was actually right temp), suggesting that something stopped it right at the end of the filler tube....not sure what to make of that yet.

You can see the tube is swaged at the end to a smaller diameter. this could catch the tubing. other folks have posted about some kind of baffle with a slot at the bottom of the tube.
 

meerschm

Original poster
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Aug 26, 2012
1,079
:deadhorse:

thought I would follow up with a few more photos. procedure to check fluid level calls for level.

View attachment 24054

I needed it to make up for my slanted driveway. (water needs to flow away from the garage, right?)

View attachment 24055

turns out two thicknesses of 2 by lumber (inch and a half each) does the trick for me.

View attachment 24056

turns out a level across the roof rack cross bars (at the front and back) matches level. (for future reference)

View attachment 24057

I use this to check temp of the trans case and fluid lines.

View attachment 24058

qualifies for cold in my book (for the transmission, seems like nice weather to me)

View attachment 24059

running in Park, just at the full cold mark

View attachment 24060

pulled it off the boards, ( so is now three inches lower in the rear)

View attachment 24061

just a bit fuzzy, but fluid level looks closer to the bottom of the cold range.
 

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STLtrailbSS

Member
Dec 4, 2011
1,617
Hard Way...A lift Eh
An SS was a blast especially bolts directly above 3inch borla. :rotfl: My hair looked like i was playing in the outsiders with all the fluid in straight grease ball
0D4394D4-08A7-420C-96A6-880D18324778-204-00000025F09C534C.jpg
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
STLtrailbSS said:
Hard Way...A lift Eh
An SS was a blast especially bolts directly above 3inch borla. :rotfl: My hair looked like i was playing in the outsiders with all the fluid in straight grease ball
0D4394D4-08A7-420C-96A6-880D18324778-204-00000025F09C534C.jpg

hope you did not get any on your Ipad.
 

meerschm

Original poster
Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
after all this, the fluid level is still very high after driving a while. (couple inches over full warm ( no photo or measuring))

not a lot of helpful productive research on the web, but a few mentions that a leaking seal somewhere could be to blame, or leaking or spraying valve causing splashing or bubbles.

there is no foam or bubbles on the indicator, just fluid

Guess i will just be thankful tomorrow the thing still runs.
 

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