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Old 10-14-2007, 12:20 PM   #1
JH6
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2003 ION-1 Sedan
Default Changing oil in Manual Trans, 03 Saturn Ion.

Hey Guys.

I'm doing some maintenance on my saturn this weekend, and figured I mine as well change over the ATF in the manual gearbox to Mobil1 ATF.

I thought about redline or amsoil, but the mobil1 ATF is 5.98 a quart at walmart, and its easy to get.

I have been searching the forums, there are some guys on here that say its hard to drain the fluid in the manual, and you have to lift the engine, etc.

This is nuts.

I took a look at it, and got out my set of metric hex head sockets, and put them a 3/4'' ratchet with a 8mm hex on it. I put a extension on it as well.

It seems that I can drain the fluid from the side of the transmission, and fill it right on top of the transmission, without even putting the wheel off the car.

Looks like about a 20 minute job to me, anybody else want to share their results?

Is 2 quarts of fluid going to be the right amount, also is there a way to measure the fluid, or just drain, then add two quarts?

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Old 10-14-2007, 01:15 PM   #2
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2003 ION-2 Quad Coupe
Default Re: Changing oil in Manual Trans, 03 Saturn Ion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JH6 View Post
Hey Guys.

I'm doing some maintenance on my saturn this weekend, and figured I mine as well change over the ATF in the manual gearbox to Mobil1 ATF.

I thought about redline or amsoil, but the mobil1 ATF is 5.98 a quart at walmart, and its easy to get.

I have been searching the forums, there are some guys on here that say its hard to drain the fluid in the manual, and you have to lift the engine, etc.

This is nuts.

I took a look at it, and got out my set of metric hex head sockets, and put them a 3/4'' ratchet with a 8mm hex on it. I put a extension on it as well.

It seems that I can drain the fluid from the side of the transmission, and fill it right on top of the transmission, without even putting the wheel off the car.

Looks like about a 20 minute job to me, anybody else want to share their results?

Is 2 quarts of fluid going to be the right amount, also is there a way to measure the fluid, or just drain, then add two quarts?
I have never changed fluid in a manual tranny yet, unless there is a problem with it, but when you do it, the side plug IS the fill line. Leave it out when you fill it back up from the top, and when it just starts to pour out of the side, that's enough, not sure about the capacity though, check the manual.

Hope that helps.

By the way I'm sure any ATF fluid is fine for it, again check the manual.

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Old 10-14-2007, 02:38 PM   #3
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2006 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: Changing oil in Manual Trans, 03 Saturn Ion.

Generally, what Kav says its pretty accurate. I've only done the fluid in a couple manuals, but most that I'ver researched, and a few differentials, you fill it to the bottom of the fill plug. On level ground, if some starts to come back out the fill hole, I think you're good.

Make sure its ATF you're supposed to be using and not gear lube. I know GM was using ATF in some gear boxes for a number of years, but I haven't looked in my manual to see if the Ion does also.

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Old 10-14-2007, 10:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Changing oil in Manual Trans, 03 Saturn Ion.

I actually justchanged mine last weekend (2004 Ion QC with 5speed). What I did was put a breaker bar in between the tranny and frame (same side as the drain plug). I then used leverage to move the tranny out of the way (not much effort) I moved itout ofthe way enough to insert the allen wrench. I then twisted the allen w. to loosen the plug and I twisted the rest by hand. Onced drained, I closed the drain plug and added 2 qts of Saturn tranny oil.

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Old 10-15-2007, 05:08 PM   #5
JH6
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Default Re: Changing oil in Manual Trans, 03 Saturn Ion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickyrr View Post
I actually justchanged mine last weekend (2004 Ion QC with 5speed). What I did was put a breaker bar in between the tranny and frame (same side as the drain plug). I then used leverage to move the tranny out of the way (not much effort) I moved itout ofthe way enough to insert the allen wrench. I then twisted the allen w. to loosen the plug and I twisted the rest by hand. Onced drained, I closed the drain plug and added 2 qts of Saturn tranny oil.

I tried to get it done today, but couldn't.

I thought I was looking at the drain plug, but I had taken out the inspection plug by accident. No wonder no oil came out.

Then I found the actual drain plug at the bottom of the trans, right on the frame.

There is no way that I can get a allen socket on there. I was trying to use an allen socket bit and a 3/4'' ratchet. Not even close.

I'll have to go to the store and pickup a 8mm allen key.

Does anyone sell a low profile allen key for such a purpose as this one?

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Old 10-17-2007, 03:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Changing oil in Manual Trans, 03 Saturn Ion.

Get a large 8MM allen key, shorten the short side to 3/4" this is for the drain plug, a 8mm inverted hex socket on a long 3/8" extension will allow to access the upper fill plug on top of the transaxle. see this post from SSicarman

8 mm allen plugs are the drain and fill level plugs.

From the service manual for 2006.


Lubrication Specifications
Application: Manual Transmission Fluid
Specification: (GM part No. U.S.: 88861800, Canadian: 88861801)

Metric: 1.7 liters
English: 1.8 quarts


Transmission Fluid Replacement
Draining Procedure

Raise and suitably support the vehicle.
Remove the left front wheel.


Clean away all dirt and debris from the transmission fluid drain plug area.
Remove the drain plug.
Allow the system to drain.


Install the transmission fluid drain plug, using pipe sealant on the plug threads.
Tighten
Tighten the transmission fluid drain plug to 38 Nm (28 lb ft).

Filling Procedure

Clean away all dirt and debris from the transmission fluid fill plug area.
Remove the transmission fluid level check plug.
Fill the transmission with the proper fluid until even with the bottom of the fill plug hole. Refer to Lubrication Specifications for fluid recommendation.
Install the level check plug.
Tighten
Tighten the level check plug to 38 Nm (28 lb ft).

Install the left front wheel

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Old 10-25-2007, 02:48 PM   #7
JH6
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2003 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: Changing oil in Manual Trans, 03 Saturn Ion.

Great advice. I just finished this up.

I picked up a set of metric and sae allen keys at big lots for $3.

My girlfriends father is a machinist, he took the 8mm key to work, and cut the short side down about half.

It was very simple to drain the fluid with the shorter key, with the assistance of a rubber mallet, one tap, and it came loose.

The 40k mile factory oil looked bright red, brand new.

I replaced it with 1.8 quarts of mobil 1 full synthetic atf.

The car shifts a little slicker at regular temp, and a little better when its very cold out, nothing major, and I would say that 40k is too early to change the manual trans fluid for people thinking about doing it.

Total cost is about 12 dollars for 2 quarts of mobil1 fluid, and 3 dollars for a set of allen keys.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maritime Storm View Post
Get a large 8MM allen key, shorten the short side to 3/4" this is for the drain plug, a 8mm inverted hex socket on a long 3/8" extension will allow to access the upper fill plug on top of the transaxle. see this post from SSicarman

8 mm allen plugs are the drain and fill level plugs.

From the service manual for 2006.


Lubrication Specifications
Application: Manual Transmission Fluid
Specification: (GM part No. U.S.: 88861800, Canadian: 88861801)

Metric: 1.7 liters
English: 1.8 quarts


Transmission Fluid Replacement
Draining Procedure

Raise and suitably support the vehicle.
Remove the left front wheel.


Clean away all dirt and debris from the transmission fluid drain plug area.
Remove the drain plug.
Allow the system to drain.


Install the transmission fluid drain plug, using pipe sealant on the plug threads.
Tighten
Tighten the transmission fluid drain plug to 38 Nm (28 lb ft).

Filling Procedure

Clean away all dirt and debris from the transmission fluid fill plug area.
Remove the transmission fluid level check plug.
Fill the transmission with the proper fluid until even with the bottom of the fill plug hole. Refer to Lubrication Specifications for fluid recommendation.
Install the level check plug.
Tighten
Tighten the level check plug to 38 Nm (28 lb ft).

Install the left front wheel

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