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Old 03-11-2011, 10:53 PM   #1
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Question E4OD - Which ATF Works Best?

Hello,

I have truly been very indecisive with what ATF I want to use in my truck. I am currently running Super Tech D/M ATF and Seafoam TransTune to get everything prepped and in order for my fluid upgrade. The quality of my transmission shift points has honestly gotten so much better since I first purchased the truck, but now it's time to change it out since both aforementioned items have served their respective purposes. The list below is everything my mind has seriously considered at one point or another. One thing I like about the design of the truck is the drain plug in the torque converter and the fact that I was able to upgrade to the 4R100 drain pan with the drain plug and reusable gasket (thank you Summit for the cheap Dorman trans pan and NAPA for the cheap reusable gasket), so transmission maintenance is now a snap!


Here are the fluids I've considered at one point or another:
1. Amsoil ATF
2. Mobil 1 Syn ATF
3. Formula Shell Multi-Vehicle ATF
4. Formula Shell D/M ATF
5. Chevron MD-3 ATF
6. Chevron Multi-Vehicle ATF
7. Wolf's Head Universal Syn ATF
8. Valvoline MaxLife ATF
9. Valvoline D/M ATF
10. Redline D4

I'm truly stuck on what to choose to say the least. Basically, I just want a smooth shifting transmission with the longest service life possible. I will be changing every 30,000 miles faithfully since it's so easy to drain and refill. I won't be doing any major towing. Usually, I tow a car on a tow dolly about twice a year. Otherwise, it's 60%-70% city driving or 30%-40% open highway driving. It's basically a city truck to be perfectly honest. I do think that it could shift better than what it does now. My 3 to 4 shift is the one that I think could really improve with a better quality fluid. It shifts fine, but it's kinda firm unless I'm giving it a somewhat aggressive throttle. It's not firm enough for the average person to really notice or care, but it's enough to make me think about it from time to time. My 2 to 3 shift is very, very smooth and the 1 to 2 shift is very smooth, but not as smooth as the 2 to 3 shift.

What are your thoughts/experiences on ATF in the E4OD?

The truck in question is a 1990 F150 302/5.0L.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:58 AM   #2
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Come on yall.......I know at least one person has had a good experience with an ATF.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:16 PM   #3
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You can run a Mercon or a Mercon V, I like the Valvoline MerconV and have had good results with it. But also have heard good things on the Amsoil, Redline and B&M fluids.
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:54 PM   #4
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I'm quite pleased w/ Mobil 1 Syn ATF! After "Transtuneing first,(which also restores coolng coil flow) & switching to Mobil 1 Syn ATF, my transmission op. temp dropped 12F to a nice 178F.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:03 PM   #5
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ymeski, how long do you think it's necessary to TransTune it? I've been doing it for over a month and I did notice a substantial performance improvement. Since it seems to be still improving over time, I figured I'd let it stay in for awhile longer perhaps.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:59 PM   #6
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Why not use Valvoline or comparable ATF you can buy at Walmart for a decent price. You have the trans pan with the drain plug so just every couple oil changes, drain the trans. Should be about 3 or 4 qts. Keep that tranny fluid pink, thats all I do on my Fords.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qdeezie View Post
ymeski, how long do you think it's necessary to TransTune it? I've been doing it for over a month and I did notice a substantial performance improvement. Since it seems to be still improving over time, I figured I'd let it stay in for awhile longer perhaps.
You're good to go for the fluid change by now but it won't hurt it to run a bit longer. Try real hard not to get the draining fluid on your hands, skin, eye's or clothes. It's going to smell reeeeallly bad!

Don't forget, nearly half your fluid's in the torque converter. There should be an inspection plate in front of it to remove, then rotate the converter until the drain plug is on the bottom. Remove & drain.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ymeski56 View Post
Don't forget, nearly half your fluid's in the torque converter. There should be an inspection plate in front of it to remove, then rotate the converter until the drain plug is on the bottom. Remove & drain.
What's the best way to rotate the converter? Usually I pull the flywheel plate off so I can access the converter bolts/flywheel teeth and I take a prybar and stick it in the flywheel holes to rotate the converter until I see the drain plug. I have been thinking about maybe getting another person to put a ratchet/socket on the alternator bolt in front of the engine to rotate it until I see it. That's what I'm leaning towards because I want to make it a quick and easy process. I'll be taking the fluid lines off at the trans and blowing them out with air as well to drain that extra 1-2 quarts of fluid out. How does that sound?

Thanks for your feedback, I truly appreciate it.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdmartin65 View Post
Why not use Valvoline or comparable ATF you can buy at Walmart for a decent price. You have the trans pan with the drain plug so just every couple oil changes, drain the trans. Should be about 3 or 4 qts. Keep that tranny fluid pink, thats all I do on my Fords.
I agree and that's sort of my intention. I am definitely looking to upgrade the quality of the fluid I've been using, but in this instance I've run cheap fluid twice (draining the converter and pan) in the past year and the performance degraded after about 2 months or so. Since this has occurred twice, I want to drain all of the cheap stuff out and put something quality in it such as Valvoline or M1, which should be much more durable and better performing than the 2 month type of ATF. Upon using the TransTune, the smooth performance I had when the fluid was new came back, which tells me I need to use something better than Accel or SuperTech ATF in this application. If it does the same thing when I put in the "better stuff", I will probably end up doing something in the lines of what you mentioned.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:00 PM   #10
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FYI - I picked up 16 quarts of Mobil 1 ATF and I'll post a review of it in my E4OD once I change it. I'll probably TransTune it for another month or so and go with the M1 ATF afterwards. It was a long and hard decision between M1 ATF, Valvoline Maxlife and Wolf's Head Univ Syn ATF, but I'm giving M1 a whirl to see what happens.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:00 PM
 
 
 
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