Transmission filter and pan drop - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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  #1  
Old 03-31-2008, 07:01 PM
gomes512 gomes512 is offline
 
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Transmission filter and pan drop

No idea if this has been posted before but I haven’t been able to find anything like this. Then again maybe I didn’t try hard enough? I decided to install a drain plug in my pan and thought I would make a quick guide on the subject if anyones interested.

Anyways, below is a guide on changing your tranny filter which inadvertently changes some your trans juice. Although, in reality, your only changing like 30% of the total fluid. But at least you can see how to do it before you decide to get your hands dirty.

I went to the parts store and they listed two different tranny pan styles and filter kits for the 6 cylinder model TB’s in ’03. There is a deep pan that is more rectangular and there is a shallow pan that is squarer. Mine uses the shallow pan. Parts stores, like Advance Auto and Autozone should have a picture listed on their computers. I also used Dexron VI, Supertech brand from Wally World. Never had any problems with any of the transmission fluids that Warren Distribution makes for the Supertech brand name.

Basically you’ll need 5 qts of fluid like Dexron VI, a tranny filter kit, a torque wrench, a ½” socket with like 3” extension, jack and stands, and some clean paper towels.


I’m not too familiar with the TB but one thing I know for sure is… dang that thing is low. Might be easier to work on if you jack it up and pop in some jack stands. I have no idea where the jack points are on these trucks so I’d suggest checking the owner’s manual before getting any ideas from this picture.


Look for the tranny pan in the middle of the vehicle. Big silver looking square/rectangle thing. Use a ½” (I think?) socket with extension and unscrew the bolts on one side of the pan. There where 16 on the pan I took off. They are all under very low torque so they should be fairly easy to undo.



Like I said, unscrew one side of the pan first then work your way around, this way the fluid will leak out of one side first and you can catch the fluid with a pan easily. Leave two bolts in and then knock the pan to coerce more of the fluid to spill out over the side. Basically, the less fluid in when lowering it the less chance of spilling ATF all over your new driveway.


Should see something along the lines of this.


The magnet will have metal fuzz over it. Shouldn’t be seeing any big chunks, if you do then you may have future problems a brewing. This particular vehicle had 45K on the clock with four summers worth of once a week towing a 18ft boat. No big flakes of metal, just some minor fuzz, everything seems A’ok.


Believe it or not some people actually forget to remove the old gasket material. Use a razor blade gently to get it off if it doesn’t come off by hand. Check under the vehicle also for any material.


Skip this step if you don’t plan on installing a universal drain plug into your transmission pan. All of our larger vehicles now have these since they all tow in the summer. When 40k rolls around we simply open up the universal plug, draining the pan and pour in fresh fluid. Also makes it a cleaner job to drop the pan if you need to drop it again in the future. If you do install one then make sure the nut that sits inside the pan does not come into contact with anything when the pan is bolted back onto the tranny. This particular drain plug kit required a ½” hole to be drilled and then the two nuts to be tightened down. I change my filters every 100K after installing drain plugs.


Clean up the pan with some sort of solvent cleaner and lay down the new gasket that came with the filter. A one piece gasket is great because it will hold all 16 bolts in place for you while you hold the pan up against the tranny with one hand. Alternatively you can use gasket maker from a tube but I find that it is just hard to remove when dropping the pan next time and there is a chance that the pan can shift (ruining the bead of gasket maker) while trying to thread in the bolts.


The tranny filter is either a big black looking thing or a big silver looking thing that has a tube type extension that connects to the transmission. It is not held down by any bolts. Just grasp firmly and pull it out, try not to rock it back and forth to much otherwise you will have to replace the friction o-ring that holds the filter tube thing in place. A filter kit will come with a new o-ring deal but you will need to use a gasket removal tool to get it out (I think?) you could possibly use a small flathead but be careful. I pressed the new filter in and it made a good seal so I didn’t bother to replace the ring.


Position the pan back in place and hand thread in all 16 bolts. Make sure that none of them are cross threading! Otherwise you’re in some trouble. If you installed a universal drain plug in your pan then check to make sure its in the closed position. No idea what torque values are required for the TB but my Jeep calls for a value of 12ft-lbs for the bolts on the tranny pan. I did the same for the TB, if I where you then I’d go check what values are needed.


Pour in some new fluid, I used Dexron VI. You should notice no major change in shifting performance or feel. If you do then that means you either waited way to long to change the fluid and need to flush out the entire system or crack open the drain plug you installed and drain and fill again. Or you used the wrong fluid.

Then you can:

Take it for a drive to fully warm up fluid and check the level with engine idling.

Crack open a cold one to celebrate a job well done.

Recycle trans juice at local parts store.
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2008, 08:50 PM
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GREAT POST! Thanks
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:10 PM
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Very nice post. I have a question, where did you get the drain plug kit? Nice idea while the pan is off. I do need to replace my pan, it kinda has a "little" dent in it. I got really lucky in the desert and did not punch a hole.
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:21 PM
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Your Local Parts Store should have them. Sometimes NAPA is the only place to find crazy parts at....Here's a link to Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/B-80250-Automa.../dp/B00029WR78
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Old 04-01-2008, 04:28 AM
ScarabEpic22 ScarabEpic22 is offline
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Nice quick writeup, and the first post to boot!

As for the trans pan bolts, I think the GM manual calls for like 10-12 ft/lbs (basically snug plus a little). And for jacking points, that looks right but look at the manual first everyone!
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:56 AM
AbsoluteZero AbsoluteZero is offline
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I know not many have access to a mig welder but I tack welded a 1/2" nut in the pan and use short 1/2" bolt and copper sealing washer. The grooves in the nut let fluid drain from the bottom.
Not to say you will, but I had a problem with one of those drain kits loosening.

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Old 04-10-2008, 09:33 PM
Stoli Stoli is offline
 
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Thanks for the write up. I used it today to change out the oil and put a new filter on. While I was down there I put a drain plug in and I also installed a tranny cooler. I thought I could get it all done at once.
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:52 PM
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Nice write up, was just pondering how to do this today.
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2008, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomes512 View Post
From the pic it appears there are no interference issues when changing to a deep pan if you have a shallow one, am I correct???

I ended up buying a 3 5/8" deep pan with a drain in it and I'm hoping to change it over next week...
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Old 04-12-2008, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteZero View Post
I know not many have access to a mig welder but I tack welded a 1/2" nut in the pan and use short 1/2" bolt and copper sealing washer. The grooves in the nut let fluid drain from the bottom.
Not to say you will, but I had a problem with one of those drain kits loosening.

I had the same problem on a different vehicle... Luckily with the kit I had you could retighten from the outside of the pan and didn't have to drop the pan to do it...

One nice thing about a drain plug is that it makes tranny maintenance much easier and more likely to be done by us DIY'ers... I used to change the pan fluid every time I did the oil the first 3-4 times then every other time after that...
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