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Old 05-22-2010, 01:52 AM   #1
fishermunn
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Default changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

not a great start, meant to post thread as ncv3....oh well, here it is anyways

i decided to do the routine transmission service on my 2008 3500 van with 46k miles.
.
i first removed the oil drain plug on the transmission pan using a heat gun on its highest setting. i couldn't budge it other wise. i drained the oil and then went after the torque converter.

there is a round cross piece that has to unbolted at the mounting brackets and can be moved forward or backwards to give a little more room to access the drain plug.i had to use a large screwdriver and pry against the outer housing to move the inner housing and turn the torque converter.i tried to turn it with the starter, but after several tries, i knew it would never happen. i finally found the drain plug and thought it couldn't be so small. i went around again and that was the only screw plug on the housing.

it is very difficult to access. i had a 4mm allen wrench and was able to remove the plug using a pair of needle nose vise grips. a better solution is a 1/4" ratchet with a swivel attachment. i cut a short piece off a 4mm allen wrench and epoxied it into a 4mm socket. it is still very tight, but you can at least use the ratchet to turn the screw without having to remove and insert after every small arc of movement you have available. it also allowed me to apply sufficient torque when tightening. i don't think i could have done so other wise.

i was surprised to find the torque converter held more oil than the pan. it was slower to drain, but i let it drain overnight so i am pretty sure i got most of the oil.

i subscribed to sprintertekinfo for a day to review the factory proceedure for a 3500 nc3v. the main difference from the 2500 is the rear transmission mount. you first support the engine by placing a piece of wood onto the cross member that sits over the front spring. remove the two rear engine suspension bolts on the transmission housing. they are attached to the rear crossmember by a rear engine mount bracket. then you can remove the cross member below the transmission. then the transmission can be lifted, under the rear engine mount, to allow room for removal of the pan.i lifted it only enough to allow room for my 1/4" ratchet to fit into the front torx screws to remove the pan.

the pan and filter came off with no issues. i had a slight accumulation of sludge on the bottom of the pan. the magnet had more, but no noticeable metal slivers. the filter has a small opening and it looked brownish and off color compared to the new filter. i felt like i was very timely on changing the oil.

i replaced the oil pan and drain screw. cross tighened the pan screws until i felt they were very snug. re mounted the crossmember below the transmission with the rear engine mount.

removed the support on the crossmember over the front spring.

bolted the rear engine mount to the rear of the transmission.

i then used a tip from the forum, thanks to aqua puttana, and fitted a 1/4" tube onto the spout from a lucas brand bottle. i used it to squirt the oil down the dipstick tube. using a dipstick from europarts i checked the oil after 7 liters and i seemed to be exactly right in the middle of the cold range.

i took it for a test drive and everything seemed fine. shifted and down shifted normal, no rumbles and everything was great. when i stepped outside the truck to recheck the oil at operating temperature i noticed a strange new noise. it wasn't a critical mechanical noise, but harmonic. i then realized i forgot to replace the rubber plug on the torque converter. all was fine after putting the plug into place.

big job, much easier with proper tools, especially a lift. i purchased a pair of ramps rated for gross vehicle weight of 10,000 lbs from northern tools. i don't think i could have done the job without them. i have jack stands, but i often find them in the way when i try to move around with the creeper.

i am hoping next time, i am more effecient and take less time to complete the job. good learning experience, but i certainly did not save any money by doing it myself. it was strictly going to school.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg torque_converter_drain_plug.jpg (33.2 KB, 2085 views)
File Type: jpg ratchet_swivel_4mm_socket_4.jpg (31.4 KB, 1934 views)
File Type: jpg cross_member_removed.jpg (35.1 KB, 1988 views)
File Type: jpg rear_engine_trans_mount.jpg (36.3 KB, 1978 views)
File Type: jpg two_jacks_pan_off.jpg (33.3 KB, 1980 views)
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2008 3500 170" high top ncv3

Last edited by fishermunn; 05-22-2010 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:26 PM   #2
GregT
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Default Re: changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

Great post of this job. It looks like a complete nightmare! I was planning on doing my own trans service tomorrow but I am now hesitant about doing it myself.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

greg,
i didn't mean to imply it was a nightmare, but it was a weekend excursion. i also believe the 3500 is a bit more challenging because you have to remove the rear cross member from the frame and the transmission. once it is removed you can lift the transmission to get access to the hold down bolts on the front of the transmission pan. with the transmission elevated you can easily remove the pan and filter.
the torque converter was more challenging to drain. i had to remove the brackets on the anti-sway bar and pivot it out of the way to get access to the drain plug. this again might be unique to the 3500. the torque converter is fairly easy to turn with a large screwdriver leveraged against the housing to bring the drain plug into view. once in view, using the ratchet setup i showed in the write up, the plug can be removed and the oil drained.

i highly recommend subscribing for a day to http://sprintertekinfo.com. read the factory procedure for the transmission service. it gives the proper sequence of events to follow.
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2008 3500 170" high top ncv3

Last edited by fishermunn; 05-22-2010 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishermunn View Post
greg,
<snip>
the torque converter was more challenging to drain. i had to remove the brackets on the anti-sway bar and pivot it out of the way to get access to the drain plug. this again might be unique to the 3500.

<snip>
I believe that this method - (re)moving the anti-sway bar and the cross-member - will provide enough clearance on the 2500 with heavy duty anti-sway, front end equipment as well. I have that equipment and it's too close of quarters to work unless you're very small and have very talented hands.

So I don't think needing to remove large hunks of metal is entirely unique to the 3500 chassis, though no one's told me in so many words that it's required.

Lifting the transmission from the cross members to disengage the pan clamp fasteners is unique to NCV3s, required and a major pain.

-Jon
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

I have serviced my Ford E-250 several times so after taking a long look at my transmission I have decided that I will try to complete this job myself. I understand that loosening the sway bar will allow access to the torque converter drain bolt and I have confidence that I can complete that part of the job. My question is: can I remove the transmission pan on my 08 2500 without removing the cross member? I have already put the T30 torx bit in all 6 trans pan bolts. Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregT View Post

My question is: can I remove the transmission pan on my 08 2500 without removing the cross member? I have already put the T30 torx bit in all 6 trans pan bolts. Thanks for your help.
Yes, you can remove the transmission pan w/o removing the cross member. What you can't do is keep the filter on the valve body while replacing the transmission pan. There isn't enough clearance; you'll knock the filter out of the valve body trying to replace the pan unless you lift the rear of the transmission a few inches from the cross forward member.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7001

-Jon

Last edited by jdcaples; 05-23-2010 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

On the NCV3 3500's only (sorry Jon) , to remove the pan : simply remove the 2 bolts that go in from below the cross member on both sides of the mount , then place a jack and a piece of wood under the center of the mount (round bushing ) and finally jack carefully and the trans will raise off the cross member. I have never removed the cross member to service the NCV3. Lastly you can access the drain plug for the torque converter when the trans is raised (lifted) much easier that way.



Carl
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Last edited by sprintguy; 05-23-2010 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprintguy View Post
On the NCV3 3500's only (sorry Jon) , to remove the pan : simply remove the 2 bolts that go in from below the cross member on both sides of the mount , then place a jack and a piece of wood under the center of the mount (round bushing ) and finally jack carefully and the trans will raise off the cross member. I have never removed the cross member to service the NCV3. Lastly you can access the drain plug for the torque converter when the trans is raised (lifted) much easier that way.
Carl

Carl,

Thank YOU for the info :)

Although I still think that the torque converter drain plug on my 2500 is too difficult to access w/o removing something, even if it's jacking the front of the tranny/rear engine mounts.

I'd prefer just refreshing the contents of the trans pan on a regular basis - and rely on extra filtration - than deal with it on my gravel driveway.


-Jon

Last edited by jdcaples; 05-23-2010 at 04:12 AM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

carl,
thanks! it will be much easier to do it the way you described. i followed the instructions posted on the sprintertekinfo site. i see what you are describing to be a better solution.
one question, do you still have to support the engine under the front cross member? i didn't see why that was necessary.
always appreciate your input.
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Old 06-02-2010, 08:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: changing transmission fluid and filter on 2008 3500 nc3v

Greetings Everyone,

For those of you that are interested, we do have a trani service tool available that makes the transmission service on the NCV3 2500 or 3500 much easier. It will lift the trani 2-3 allowing the pan to be dropped down and out, easily clearing the filter. There is plenty of space to move the pan rearward for removal or to rotate it 90 degrees then down and out. It does take a few minutes to install but gives you complete unobstructed access to do the job. No cross member to remove and/or jacks or blocks of wood in the way. When we service the trani, we roll a tanker under the vehicle to catch the fluid and it requires the space under the transmission to be completely clear. The tool is $89.95 plus shipping. Hope this info helps.

Thank you, John
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