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Old 12-13-2017, 01:42 PM   #1
Ionizen
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Default LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Iím planing to have the transmission pan/filter drop and fill done on my new to me 02 LW200 with 55,000. This car did a lot of sitting and mostly city commutes. Iím doing a few short OCIís now with MMO to clear up condensation in the oil. This car will finally see some long highway drives.

Anyway on too the transmission. Is there room in the pan to install a drain plug? Iíd like to do 2 drain/fills to refresh 80% or so of the fluid but donít want to go through the hassle or expense of continuous pan drops. Has anybody out there installed a drain plug?

Last edited by Ionizen; 12-13-2017 at 01:56 PM..

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Old 12-13-2017, 07:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Yes you can add a drain plug, many have done it. They also sell pans with a drain plug built in. I have heard of drain plugs leaking that were not built into the pan.

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Old 12-13-2017, 08:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

If you plan on clearing up crap the transmission, surely dropping the pan and CHANGING THE FILTER makes the same sense as changing the fluid?
Don;t forget with the L seris, there is NO transmission dipstick!

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Old 12-14-2017, 12:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Thanks for the input. I saw the doorman pan with drainplug, that looks like the way to go. Question on the filter. Amazon and RockAuto have two listed. AC Delco TF316 for $18 and 24221762 for $28. Will either one work? Also is the pan gasket reusable if it comes out solid or should I plan replacing it regardless?

I plan to do 2 drain fills then drain every 50,000 and pan drop/filter change every 100,000 using Mobil 1 ATF.

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Old 12-14-2017, 04:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ionizen View Post
Thanks for the input. I saw the doorman pan with drainplug, that looks like the way to go. Question on the filter. Amazon and RockAuto have two listed. AC Delco TF316 for $18 and 24221762 for $28. Will either one work? Also is the pan gasket reusable if it comes out solid or should I plan replacing it regardless?
The ATP kit #B171 provides both filter and an OE type reusable gasket which I've used on all of my transmission drains. It's a good product and the price is very reasonable on-line. Additionally, ATP adds a different torque figure to tighten the pan bolts at in order to avoid leaks. Follow it. As a matter of course, I replace the gasket each time I perform a transmission drain service.

I have replaced my transmission oil pan with the Dorman pan. The plug seals well and doesn't leak. I would recommend using it as it makes future transmission services much cleaner over all. In this case, since you're wanting to drain the fluid more frequently - at least for a time - then it will expedite the upcoming work.

If you decide to replace the current transmission oil pan with the Dorman pan then I strongly suggest that the paint should be sanded off of the pan's sealing flange. The paint coating leaves an extremely smooth surface against which even the OE type gasket can't seal as well so that there's some extra seepage between the gasket and the pan. One member chose to remove all of the paint coating. I, however, find that to be unnecessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ionizen View Post
I plan to do 2 drain fills then drain every 50,000 and pan drop/filter change every 100,000 using Mobil 1 ATF.
I don't see a significant gain from the use of synthetic transmission fluid in the 4T40E, or 4T45E transmissions. The transmission was designed to use DEXRON III. Synthetic transmission fluid has an even lighter viscosity to it than what was required in these transmissions. My transmission has had nothing but DEXRON III in it and it does well. And while I understand the idea of changing the filter only every 100K miles, it seems to me that you're better off replacing both fluid and filter at a 50K mile interval. Services starting with clean fluid and a clean filter seems more sensible.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

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Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 12-14-2017, 04:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Thanks Pierrot, Thatís just the type of insight I was looking for. Iím going to follow your advice to a tee. Originally I thought this job too difficult and was going to have my favorite shop do it. Now Iím ready to tackle it. Iíll add 7 qt DexIII drive a mile to put in on a lift at my mechanics and check the fluid. Thanks for saving me a bunch and my transmission thanks you too😀.

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Old 12-14-2017, 09:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

And just to repeat myself.... don't forget the L series has NO dipstick so the average joe can't accurately measure the fluid in the tranny. Some folks say replace with what came out, but that makes the bald assumption the level was correct in the first place. The official and accurate way is to have ALL 4 wheels off the ground on a level surface and with the tranny fluid HOT open the level plug under the car. The fluid level is accurate when no more fluid comes out.

The problem with all the for most of us;

1) Getting the car high enough off the ground and level and you can crawl underneath. It's a breeze if you have your very own 4 leg hydraulic hoist in your garage! LOL

2) Opening the plug with HOT oil and being close to it under the car. Doesn't shout safe in my book.

GM were clearly sending a message to us DIY's of "keep your oily fingers off that, our GM garages will take care of it"

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Old 12-14-2017, 10:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Thanks Floridaís, my plan was to use my mechanics alignment rack for the job. That should make it easy and safe. No way would I ever attempt that under a jack. GM could have made that procedure much easier for DIY but it make$ more $ence for them to heard the $heep into the dealer$hip for $ervice.

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Old 12-14-2017, 11:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

I have checked thy trans fluid on these cars many times. Put the front wheels on ramps, jack up the rear and get it done. Just keep in mind fluid lever doesn't have to be EXACT. I wear mechanic's gloves when I work on cars so hot trans fluid is not a concern. You just have to be smarter than the car LOL.

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Old 12-15-2017, 03:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Save yourself the trip to the repair shop to check the transmission fluid level after finishing the transmission drain and refill. The owner's handbook states that the refill amount is 6.9 quarts following a transmission drain. At 7 quarts, the transmission is very slightly over filled - 3.2 ounces - so you don't need to have the level checked at all. Following the transmission drain service, pour in the seven quarts of DEXRON III and don't check it again until the next time you change your engine oil. It's almost a certainty that when the fluid is checked at that time will be a slight loss as it will be draining out of the inspection hole. This is what I've done and without any problem. BTW, the inspection plug has an 11 mm hex head on it. Use a quarter drive ratchet and a short extension when removing that plug. When installing the gasket be sure to set the OE type gasket's locator "dowels" correctly on the pan and into the transmission case. Otherwise, a leak there is inevitable.

Up until four years ago or so, I'd not ever checked the transmission fluid on my own. One day I finally decided that I should make the attempt. While it was uncomfortable being underneath the car with the engine running and at normal operating temperature, everything was just as it would have been if the engine weren't running at all. I have two custom made wood ramps which were left at the house we live in by the previous owners. I place them in my garage and back the car in, setting the rear wheels on the ramps. I then take the jack and elevate the front end. I use two sets of jack stands; one upon which the car is resting and a second set acting as a back up in case something happens with one of the others. I'm as safe as I can make myself for this work.

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 12-16-2017, 04:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
The ATP kit #B171 provides both filter and an OE type reusable gasket which I've used on all of my transmission drains. It's a good product and the price is very reasonable on-line. Additionally, ATP adds a different torque figure to tighte

If you decide to replace the current transmission oil pan with the Dorman pan then I strongly suggest that the paint should be sanded off of the pan's sealing flange. The paint coating leaves an extremely smooth surface against which even the OE type gasket can't seal as well so that there's some extra seepage between the gasket and the pan. One member chose to remove all of the paint coating. I, however, find that to be unnecessary.
"[/I]
FWIW, I did indeed remove all of the Paint/Powder Coat on the Dorman pan sealing surface on one of my L's. (This coating was very difficult to remove so I'm pretty sure it was powder coated.)

On another, I left Dorman pan alone and just installed it. No leaks on either pan.

The next time my 3rd L-Series vehicle needs a fluid change, it will get the Dorman pan as well.

Pierrot's advise on the filter Mfg and not to use the aftermarket drain plug is excellent information. Unless you have the inside part of the drain plug welded to the inside of the pan, it will leak. (Don't ask how I know)

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Old 12-16-2017, 07:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

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(This coating was very difficult to remove so I'm pretty sure it was powder coated.)
Yes, the powder coating removal was difficult. That was my experience also. Thank God for an electric orbital sander!

Prior to seeing this pan being available, Dorman p/n 265-809, I'd heard not of powder coating. I haven't researched it to see what makes is different from paint. Whatever it is, it's tougher than common paint. (BTW, Dorman's catalog specifically states that the pan is powder coated.)

Lastly, RockAuto's cataloging of this part has gone awry. I could only find it for an L-Series car with a V6 in model year 2004. It's a silly error. The pan fits the 4T40E and 4T45E transmissions on many models through 2011 (including all L-Series cars).

The link below contains Dormans fitment guide.
https://www.dormanproducts.com/p-322...origin=keyword

...
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Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 12-16-2017, 08:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Quote:
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[B]Pierrot's advise ............ not to use the aftermarket drain plug is excellent information.
Credit where credit is due: I wrote nothing cautioning against the use of an aftermarket trans. oil pan add-on drain plug, although I appreciate your deference to me in that regard. It's kind of you.

Here's where that caution came from:
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsurvives View Post
Yes you can add a drain plug, many have done it. They also sell pans with a drain plug built in. I have heard of drain plugs leaking that were not built into the pan.

...
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The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
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Old 12-19-2017, 02:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Thanks for all the help guys. Got all the supplies in yesterday. Doorman pan and ATP kit look top notch. Very nice gasket. Iím going to try install without sanding the pan as Iím planning on two full/drains. Sounds like leaks wonít be an issue. Thanks again for the help.

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Old 12-19-2017, 06:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ionizen View Post
Thanks for all the help guys. Got all the supplies in yesterday. Doorman pan and ATP kit look top notch. Very nice gasket. Iím going to try install without sanding the pan as Iím planning on two full/drains. Sounds like leaks wonít be an issue. Thanks again for the help.
^^ Great! BTW, the reason I did not sand the 2nd pan sealing surface I bought is that the powder coating looked very even and smooth. That was not the case with my 1st purchase.

Someone I guess had a bad day when my 1st pan was coated.

Let us know how it goes!

...
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: LW200: Install a transmission pan drain plug???

Just wanted to update. With your advice the job went without a hitch for the most part. Installed the ATP pan with drain plug and filter. Old fluid and pan were immaculate, just a bit of build up on the magnet. Only dumb head move I made was when checking the fluid level. At first I tried removing the line pressure bolt instead of the fluid level bolt. They both look similar but the fluid level is located near the oil drain plug. That was a messy mistake but no harm done.

I did not prep the new pan and there have been no leaks. Again thanks for the input.

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