NAG1 Transmission Fluid Change

bryan575

Member
I just did a trans fluid change with shell ATF 134, conductor plate replacement from europarts, and the DARF mod. This work took away my random humming noises at various speeds and also made the shifting WAY smoother. Should have done this months ago. Thank you all who have taken the time to post on these fixes. Very thankful!

FYI - for the conductor plate change, I used 71in lbs to torque down the solenoid springs and to reattach the plate to the transmission. I kinda had to dig for that info.
 

Nautamaran

2004 140” HRC 2500 (Crewed)
Some specifics for those digging for bolt torques, here are the values I pulled out of Section 21 of the 2004 service manual:

- valve body mounting bolts . . . 8 Nm (71 in.lbs)
- sump pan clamp bolts . . . . . . 8 Nm (71 in.lbs)
- sump drain plug . . . . . . . . . 20 Nm (177 in.lbs, 14.5 ft.lbs)
- torque converter drain plug . 14 Nm (10 ft.lbs)
- cooler line fittings . . . . . . . . 34 Nm (25.4 ft.lbs)
(at the transmission casing )

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The hot sump level changes at a rate of about 1mm per 20 mL (1/16" per ounce) of fluid volume.

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I scaled dimensions from other's photos of the OEM dipstick to size and locate the "ears"...
the descriptions I found of the MB dipstick all measured up from the end of the plastic tip without dimensioning where the ears were.

The MB plastic tip is:
width . 6mm (1/4")
ears . . 8mm (3/8") wide across the two ears

The ears form a 90-degree cone which fits into the receiver funnel on the plastic conductor plate. From the apex of this cone down to the "high-hot" mark is 3mm (1/8"), and the "low-hot" mark is 10mm (3/8") below that.

The end of the plastic tip (the zero reference for the fluid height graphs in the service manuals) is 68mm below the apex of the cone, and 71mm below the outer corners of the ears, 65mm below the high-hot mark.

In making my D.I.Y. dipstick, I decided to replicate the MB tip by welding stop ears on the end of a 1/4" plumbing snake, grinding them into a cone, then screwing a nylon tie-wrap into the end. The high/low marks on the nylon were measured down from the ears rather than up from the tip. The ratchet lines of the tie-wrap nicely capture the fluid and make an easy job of reading the sump level and assessing the fluid colour (mine turned out to be a tinted yellow).



I could have just pushed until I hit the bottom of the pan and added 13mm to the prescribed T1N fluid levels, but I like the OEM design not being reliant on the shape of the transmission pan.


-dave
 

Attachments

az7000'

Active member
What is wrong w $10.95 from amazon? I hope the zip the doesn't come "unscrewed", if it works for you then sweet!
 

Nautamaran

2004 140” HRC 2500 (Crewed)
What is wrong w $10.95 from amazon? I hope the zip the doesn't come "unscrewed", if it works for you then sweet!
Off topic, but a good number of Amazon vendors won’t ship into Canada, and those that do will often tack on ridiculous shipping fees... then the courier companies may tack on a border brokerage fee before customs adds taxes and duties. So that US$10.95 can sometimes turn into CAD$30 by the time the package lands on my doorstep. (I once had an injector line sent from Boston to Halifax. $5 for the part, $10 shipping, $20 brokerage fee, then sales tax on the full $35! Not exactly an open border)

As for the zip tie, it’s good ’n’ snug, but thanks for your concern. :cheers:

-dave
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
... Not exactly an open border)

As for the zip tie, it’s good ’n’ snug, but thanks for your concern. :cheers:

-dave
Wrong coast, but I've been told that sometimes people on the US side of the border can order parts for friends. Pickup gives an opportunity to visit.

:cheers: vic
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
A bit OT, but aren't there freight forwarders/consolidators that will combine shipments to reduce the costs? After going through the pain of trying to obtain parts and/or consumer goods in Aus and god forbid NZ, I never realized how vibrant the US consumer and commercial products retail sector is.
 

billintomahawk

'02 2.7 T!N Freightliner
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

Would anyone be willing to check these out and make a recommendation.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=sprinter transmission dip stick&ssPageName=GSTL

...
:idunno:

They all appear to have the necessary stop ears on the plastic tip.

There are likely only a few manufacturers of these dipsticks, but many suppliers. The exact same design/manufactured unit may be offered for different prices.

I'd purchase based up favorable reviews.

There have been a couple reports of the plastic tips coming loose. Because of that there may be those who warn against buying anything other than MB OEM. The tip coming loose isn't fatal, it is inconvenient. If the tip comes off the transmission pan needs to be dropped to push the tip out from the bottom.

I find that sometimes the dipstick will bind when trying to insert it down the tube. Rather than forcing things I remove the dipstick, rotate the insertion and try again. Usually it goes fine on the second go. Forcing things might even cause an MB OEM dipstick tip to come loose.

vic
 

jacobkoski

New member
Has anyone had difficulty getting the gasket on the pan to seal correctly? I’m getting what looks like a small weeping leak at the gasket
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Has anyone had difficulty getting the gasket on the pan to seal correctly? I’m getting what looks like a small weeping leak at the gasket
The seal does install into a specific position, but as the pan is raised up into place I suppose it could unseat before making it to home.

MB reports the seal as reusable, but that likely doesn't go on forever.

vic
 

Nautamaran

2004 140” HRC 2500 (Crewed)
I finally got a calm sunny window to get my transmission fluid and filter changed.

My sump drain plug was seized so I sucked about 3.5 litres of fluid up the dip stick tube before dropping the pan. The 1/4” o.d. aquarium tubing reaches to the bottom of the pan so no there was spillage upon cracking the gasket.

I cut the flat top off the dip stick seal so the lock tab could be pushed through and reused, though the cap apparently will stay in place from the O-ring’s friction.

I turned the engine (righty-tighty) with a standard 27mm shallow socket on a 1/2” ratchet handle (the same torque wrench I do my wheel lugs with). There is enough space to place the socket into the crank pulley then insert a ratchet into the socket, but not enough room if they are snapped together first. The engine turns with moderate force, perhaps 40 ft-lbs. Sliding back and forth to watch for the torque converter drain was a pain, but I couldn’t find a helper. Best to remove the socket from the crank right away, otherwise you’ll remember once you start the engine (yup... I almost did that).

I drained about 3.5 litres from the t/c. There was no gasket on the t/c drain plug. Now there is. Filled with Shell 134. Started overflowing at about 4.5 quarts, removed socket from crank pulley (!) and ran engine for about a minute to refill t/c, filled to seven quarts, then idled engine to let fluid get warm. Used an Autel-802 scanner to read trans fluid temp while in gear (122’F) then shifted into Park and adjusted level up to graphed value (50mm up dip stick, or 5mm below “hot min” mark. It takes about two minutes for the fill/dip tube to clear before a clear reading can be taken. Confirmed during these final adjustments that adding 20ml of fluid raises the sump level by 1mm (100ml = 5mm). Put cap back on dip tube and reinserted the locking insert I had pushed through to unlock it.

There were no flakes or debris in the pan as I tipped out the last bit of fluid. My pan has a grid magnet so it took a while to clean the metal dust from all the narrow slots, which meant my t/c had lots of time to drip. There was a “normal” amount of dust on the magnet and I have no speed sensor symptoms so I left the valve body in place rather than risk contamination. I also had no sign of fluid in my electrical connector so I did not disturb the 13-pin socket and risk breaking off the threaded insert on the plastic conductor plate.

I used a new pan gasket. This was coated in white powder which I wiped off with an oiled rag before installing the pan. So far no sign of leaks after 24 hours/3 hours driving.

I’m already noticing smoother shifts, especially this morning when cold. The old fluid was quite dark, and since I’ve got 4 quarts of fluid left (a case of 12 was the same price as 9 bottles) I’ll be doing another suck and fill of the sump in a week or two to get more goodness into the gears and clutches, though I wouldn’t bother if I didn’t have the fluid on hand.

Definitely a worthwhile project. Three hours start to finish, including initial warmup drive before draining and an OCD-worthy cleaning of the grid magnet.

-dave
 

Lamberton

Member
I started my change today. I'm letting it drain overnight because a shop I brought it to used the wrong fluid. I want to get every drop possible out. They also overfilled it by more than a quart, so it was foaming out the top of the transmission when I drove it. My first step was to suction out that quart, and then I read the service ticket closely and it said they used ATF4. :thumbdown:

It was interesting to see that someone had already done the "screwdriver to the torque converter method". They scraped it up pretty good. I, too, used that method and found it to be a pain in the ass. Van was in neutral, but it required leveraging the screwdriver against the little metal window to get it to turn. I made plenty more scrapes on the TC, but not as bad as the first guys. Next time I do this, I'll buy the right socket and turn the crankshaft.

Here's where I found the drain plug. At first I thought it wasn't it. It didn't look like sikwan's photo. It took a 4mm hex to open it.

I'm a little concerned at how beat up the TC was and the rust on it. I no longer live in the salty North, so I'm not too concerned about it getting really bad. Let me know if you think I should take steps to prevent it. I could always have a friend turn the crankshaft while I paint it up with brush-on Rustoleum.

I opened this drain first, after wrapping the cross member in plastic, and was surprised that 4.5 quarts came out. I don't know why, but I thought less would come out from that drain. I guess it makes sense, though. It's at the same level as the transmission. When I drained the transmission pan less came out obviously.

Question:

When I bought the pan seal and filter kit I bought at a local MB parts store, I received this washer that I assumed was for the pan drain plug. It looks very small and narrow, but it fits on the plug. Is it designed to get crushed and flatten out?

The plug looks like it already has a copper washer on it, but it's paper thin. Was that originally like the one I received? Should I try to remove it from the plug and dispose of it? Replacement plugs and kits I see online show copper washers that are about the size I received, but maybe a bit thinner. So I'm assuming it's designed to be crushed. eBay has some auctions that look like what I received.

I just want to make sure I'm using the right part.
 

Lamberton

Member
Hey, all, I'm really hoping for an answer to the question from my previous reply. I want to finish up my fluid change today. Thanks!
 

RoadHobo

2006 View 3500 T1N
Hey, all, I'm really hoping for an answer to the question from my previous reply. I want to finish up my fluid change today. Thanks!
I have changed my own transmission fluid three times. The original washer on the torque convertor plug was the small, thin aluminum washer. That's what I always used as a replacement. Sometimes the old one sticks in the TC when the plug is removed. Need to use a small pick to get it out. Have always used a copper washer on the pan plug. I torque the TC plug to specs and tighten the pan plug by feel....till the copper washer starts to crush.
 

Lamberton

Member
The TC plug has the washer that was on it. I'm just going to reuse that.

The guy at the shop did remark that it wasn't copper, but it was supposedly the right one. I guess I'll see if it crushes at all when I try to put the plug back in. It appears to be aluminum, so it should.
 

billintomahawk

'02 2.7 T!N Freightliner
Buried on page 24.
I won't ask why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaneason View Post
What is the correct position for the plastic tab on the transmission filter. I did not pay attention when I took the filter off and want be sure I get it back correctly. It does not seem there is an obvious slot for the tab.

Thanks for the write-up.
Look carefully, there IS a slot for the tab and the tab needs to be pushed into it. Can be somewhat difficult, just rock it from side-to-side a little while pushing up.

Damn!
Guess I'll take the pan off again.

bill in tomahawk

ps.
bill, the torque converter refills itself.
b
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
For continuity. My answer to your duplicate question.

Hey, all, I'm really hoping for an answer to the [seal washer] question from my previous reply. I want to finish up my fluid change today. Thanks!
It's a bit dangerous to answer based upon pictures and not having the parts in hand.

It appears that the washer you received is either plated copper, or aluminum. Either metal is malleable. If it is plated copper it is fine.

If it is aluminum...
I have seen aluminum seal washers used on other equipment, but not on Sprinters. It *should* work without problem.

I bought a copper washer assortment from Harbor Freight and harvested the seal washers which were similar to those that are needed for my T1N. Much cheaper than vehicle specific parts.

Another option some people use is to anneal the copper washer to return ductility.

Even another is to just re-use the washer as is. I would not do that professionally, but have re-used copper seal washers many times for DIY.

:2cents: vic
Thanks for the reply. The washer does appear to be aluminum. There's really no washer to reuse unless that razor thin layer of copper on the plug is the previous washer. I don't think it's wise to reuse it if it's flattened that much already, butr I'm also not sure if it's worth trying to scrape off.
I would go with new aluminum vs paper thin re-use of any material. Aluminum will be fine.

:2cents: vic
 

KL2BE

New member
I changed transmission fluid for the second time; followed Sikwan's write-up again and again all went as easy as pie.:cheers:
First change was 2010 at 50,000 miles and now at 97,800 [in recent years we have been driving our Sprinter RV less and touring Europe more which explanes my 6 year absence from the Forum]. We had been toying with the idea of a new RV, but after getting our T1N LTV out of mothballs, changeing all the fluids and taking a shake-down trip to Homer, AK and back (500 mi), we decided we would be better off maintaining our 2006 T-1N and spending the $100 grand it would take for a new RV to simply spend more feely on our European trips! :smirk: Could invest in Business Class seats for a planned Christmas Market trip to Germany and still be $98,000 ahead.:rad:
PS: I used Europarts of San Diego again for Fuchs transmission fluid, filter and spare plugs and washers (plugs & washers not needed).:thumbup:
 
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