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Old 09-22-2006, 08:05 PM   #1
sikwan
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Default Transmission Dipstick Drawing

This is a pdf file from a Yahoo SprinterVan List member: tvflorin. He posted his experience and supplied a descriptive drawing on using the MB ATF measuring tool.

ATF_Level.pdf
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:25 AM   #2
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Default ATF change experience

I have a few ATF experiences to add. I was having Rumble Strip Noise (RSN) periodically, not too serious yet but didn't want to go there. 2004 2500 112 wb low roof with 85k miles, new to me.

I went to a dealer for a transmission fluid change today. For those that don't know, the Sprinter is supposed to use a special Mopar fluid which is just for the Sprinter and costs $20/qt at all my local dealers. A full tranny plus transfer case change takes about 8 quarts. More on pricing below. I would be very interested in a discussion of tranny fluids, if we have any experts...

The Sprinter tech at the dealer was enormously helpful, I stood and talked with him as he did the work, and he taught me lots of tidbits about my Sprinter.

He said that he no longer checks the tranny fluid level against the transmission temperature for a fluid change. The process is, he raises the vehicle, drains from the tranny pan plug, rotates the engine so you can get to the transfer case plug through the flywheel housing, drains the transfer case, removes the tranny pan, washes it off, replaces the gasket and filter, and puts it all back together. Then he fills it with about 7 1/2 quarts, starts the motor and gently rocks it back and forth a couple times, and checks the level. He looks for the level to be 3-4 cm up the dipstick in a cool transmission, lower in a stone-cold transmission and at about 6-7 cm in a hot transmission. ATF is always checked in a running engine.

Now, his theory that he doesn't have to check the level against the temperature (he said he used to always do it and the level added always came out the same) became more questionable when fluid came out the overflow plug on the tranny. He wasn't worried, I don't know if I should have been (this is my first-ever automatic), and he drained a little (I think) and cleaned it up and on I went...

I haven't noticed yet, for sure, if there was any RSN left. He didn't seem to know what I was talking about: when I said RSN, he suggested I was referreing to tranny flutter, and expected that it would always relate to up or down-shifting (a correlation I've never noticed, mine always occured under very mild load, generally on a flat road at 30 mph or so, no acceleration). He further suggested that whether it was up or down-shifting at the time would indicate what the problem was. If it ever happens again, or more consistently, or is repeatable, I will try to either determine which way it's going, or put it in manual mode to avoid any shifting at all and see if it happens. Right now, it's been so few and far between it's hard to diagnose, and it only lasts seconds. He is not the first person to suggest to me it has to do with the tranny trying to shift, but not quite doing so. He expected that the change of fluid would quite likely help. He suggested changing both tranny and differential fluid every 50k miles or so, and oil every 5. He was clearly trying to make the vehicle last a long time, though I thought some of those numbers sounded extreme...

The dealer had quoted me $220 to change the fluid, and since the fluid would have cost me at least $160 (one person told me it would take 12 quarts), it seemed worth it. When finished, they tried to charge me $400 as other dealers had quoted, and said they had misquoted, but eventually held to their original quote. I used Darcars Dodge in New Carrolton MD near Washington DC, my service tech was Duane. I would HIGHLY recommend him, though I was less impressed by the dealership.

As an offhand comment, mention has been made periodically on the Yahoo group of a method to measure the temperature of the transmission with a voltmeter, and a table in the manual to correlate temp and fluid level. I've never found any such description or table. Perhaps all that can be reiterated, the table reconstructed, and put in the FAQ (which I don't think exists yet here at Sprinter-Forum)? I had previously suggested that a wiki FAQ be started, which would make such things easier/less stressful on group/forum managers, and more flexible.

I will definitely be getting or making (maybe just using a simple plumbing snake) a tranny dipstick. I imagine that one can probably make a good guess at tranny temperature based on engine temperature if conditions are fairly static: mild weather, running for a while without pulling some big load, etc. So then if we had the table correlating temperature with dipstick reading (which you can sort of get off the ATF file at Yahoo SprinterVan), at least the level could be checked periodically.

I'm sorry for the great length of the post, I wanted to download everything in one place at one time that I could think of! In case you can't figure it out, I have no idea about the accuracy of everything I said above, it's just my recollection and perception: do anything you do at your own risk!

Keith
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Old 11-06-2006, 01:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: ATF Level

Hello,

I have been experiencing the same RSN issue with my 2006 140. Pretty much the same situation....low speed (30-40MPH). Let me know if you find out any more info or solutions. Thanks for the post!
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Old 05-24-2007, 12:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: ATF Level

I had my trans fluid checked at a dealership not long ago. The RSN still persisted. Just for laughs and giggles I dumped in another quart of fluid to see what would happen. After driving for a few days, from what I can tell my RSN is gone. I don't hear anything anymore. I'm beginnng to believe that the way in which the fluid is checked at the dealerships may be suspect. All I know is the vibrations are gone. Could it be low fluid...

Last edited by Suba; 08-27-2007 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: Transmission Dipstick Drawing

I am a brand new member. I am finding your posts very informative! I is great having such a resource, since it seems the normal channels (dealer, parts houses, "local" mechanics) are sometime sketchy with their information regarding Sprinters. Many can't even find them in their catalogs.

Based on what I read here, my official "service CD" and past experience, I serviced my NAG1 trans today. Had recently purchased my fluid and filter/gasket from "MB 4x4".com/JT Outfitters.com on-line. I would not recommend them. They vastly overcharge for parts (Sprinter dipstick is $69.95, K&N air filter is also $69.95. Both are easily found for $50 each at Europarts-sd and K&N website. I should have searched a little more before I purchased, then I would not feel so ripped off.

Anyway, warmed up the van, drove it up on some ramps, pulled the rubber cover plug for the torque convertor drain plug access. Whoever posted how to turn over the engine with a 1 1/16 ratchet (van in neutral), thank you! Works like a charm. You can watch the torque convertor spin slowly until the plug becomes visible. Pull that babe (5mm allen), catch all the fluid, then pull the transmission plug (also 5mm allen) Let them drain, pull the transmission pan (torx) and filter. Clean everything, install new filter and gasket, replace the plugs (don't forget the copper seals) and refill with 7.7 litres of new fluid. (slow process)

Took a little effort and time, but the Freightliner dealer in Portland, Or. wants $350 to do the same thing. So thanks again to everyone who posted information regarding the transmission. I am hoping I did it all correctly and I would welcome any advice and/or expert opinions. Next project: anti-seize the glow plugs,,,,(?)
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: Transmission Dipstick Drawing

Quote:
Originally Posted by refox1 View Post
I am a brand new member. I am finding your posts very informative!

Next project: anti-seize the glow plugs,,,,(?)
You better search this site before you even consider this.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Transmission Dipstick Drawing

Hi refox1, welcome to the forum. You bit off a big one, as far as I'm concerned. Once in my life I decided to change transmission fluid... first and last and never to be repeated.

As HK advises, searching for glow plug information is a wise step.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Transmission Dipstick Drawing

I just did my tranny service with Dr A inspection as well....My Converter plug was 4MM I have a 2006 2500 140" I think Sik used the 5MM as well......????
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Transmission Dipstick Drawing

RSN, I get a similar noise at 20-25 mph, lasts about 30 feet on a stretch of road that doesn't do it engine up to temp. Even the vibration in the cab reminds me of rumble strips.
I'm going to add the frequency of the rumble is about the same as hitting real rumble strips at 60 mph.
Used to get a similar noise/vibration with my 4x4 when the cupping on the tires got in phase with each other, although that lasted till I went round a corner and got the tires out of phase again.
There is some cupping on the sprinter tires but I would think if it was that I'd get it engine warm too.

My tranny may or may not be correctly full. As I don't have a dipstick-YET
What exactly is going on in the tranny?
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Transmission Dipstick Drawing

The torque converter is trying to lock up. In order to lock up, the engine rotational speed and the tranny rotational speed have to be close to the same. RSN is the noise/vibration of the torque converter clutch being activated "digitally" with pulses of fluid pressure that are just a little too high pressure for the low torque levels provided by the engine. This too high pressure causes the clutch to stick momentarily when it should only be slipping - thus the noise/vibration. It's easy to say, but not so easy to live that way, but not to worry - this does not hurt anything. Having written that, I still worry after 176k miles of RSN on my '02.

However, if you have similar (but more violent) symptoms at high engine torque levels, that's shudder and should be eliminated by fluid flush or repair immediately.
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