"Lifetime", Lifeguard 8-9 Speed ATF (Is this semi-synthetic oil good "forever"??) 24k kms.

Should you change the "good for life" transmission Lifeguard 8-9 Speed ATF sooner than later??


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Maximus Gladius

Maximus Gladius

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Glycol could be introduced at the transmission final assembly.

I have worked at the Chrysler Kokomo transmission plants as an outside contractor. Transmission housings come in one end, complete transmissions go out the other. Every machine in the place uses glycol as a coolant and a flush to remove contaminates from the housings. The glycol is recycled, ran through huge filter troughs and back into the system.
So just to clarify, the glycol is a washing agent of the housings and bits to wash other contaminants off before assembly?? Like, these parts I’m assuming just move along some kind of a conveyer belt or hanging from chains and washed down with glycol?? Is there a drying time or these parts blowed off before assembly?
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kevman65

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In short, yes. The movement of assemblies is much more advanced than that.
If there is machining done on the housing at a station, then glycol is sprayed on the housing and tooling as a coolant and a vehicle to remove loose particles.
The machine also uses glycol as a coolant.
Final clean, no clue because the machine it goes through before hitting a pallet also uses glycol.

Now keep in mind, I'm talking about Chrysler transmissions. It is my understanding our automatic transmissions are not made in a Chrysler plant. But every automotive assembly plant that I've worked in uses the same basic principles. Engine assembly, transmission assembly, even jet engine machining/assembly.

Plant process water is a glycol and water mix, used for cooling and cleaning. Supply is the clean side after the filter troughs and before machine. Return side is the dirty side after machine and before filter troughs.
 

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So this is a super good point! I did not even think of it. I believe the design is licensed from ZF. So I think they may be machined and assembled here. I know ZF uses an achololic distillate for machining in order to avoid contamination. I could see Chrysler saving a few pennies here, which disappoints me. I blame you as now I have some research to do😁. I am gonna have to figure out how I change the fluid cleanly and flush it.
 
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So this is a super good point! I did not even think of it. I believe the design is licensed from ZF. So I think they may be machined and assembled here. I know ZF uses an achololic distillate for machining in order to avoid contamination. I could see Chrysler saving a few pennies here, which disappoints me. I blame you as now I have some research to do😁. I am gonna have to figure out how I change the fluid cleanly and flush it.
I’m always blamed! I figured this would happen. I’ve hunted around for a shop that can do a full flush and in Calgary we have National Transmission. Talked with the tech there who explained they will do a “hot flush” which will take 18-20 quarts to flush the old out. They drop the pan as well and drain that part. Replace pan and gasket and hook up the flush machine to the cooler lines. Since I’m providing my own pan, gasket and new fasteners and oil, they will only charge me 2 shop hours for the flush.
 

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I’m always blamed! I figured this would happen. I’ve hunted around for a shop that can do a full flush and in Calgary we have National Transmission. Talked with the tech there who explained they will do a “hot flush” which will take 18-20 quarts to flush the old out. They drop the pan as well and drain that part. Replace pan and gasket and hook up the flush machine to the cooler lines. Since I’m providing my own pan, gasket and new fasteners and oil, they will only charge me 2 shop hours for the flush.
I don’t recall the specifics, but back when I changed the ZF fluid in my GC the cooler has an in line thermostat that you 1) have to activate to clear out the old fluid and 2) ensure you get the proper fluid level back in. Should be on the pan sticker, but fluid has to be filled up to approximately 120 or 125 F. Over that, you have to let it cool and start again. Again, details are fuzzy as that was several years ago, the procedure might be different on this one, but just something to be mindful of and maybe check on.
 
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So this is a super good point! I did not even think of it. I believe the design is licensed from ZF. So I think they may be machined and assembled here. I know ZF uses an achololic distillate for machining in order to avoid contamination. I could see Chrysler saving a few pennies here, which disappoints me. I blame you as now I have some research to do😁. I am gonna have to figure out how I change the fluid cleanly and flush it.
If I may add to your research list…
One of your first things to do is order the pan, gasket and fasteners. It’ll take a while to get and I’ll guarantee there’s no tranny shop in town that has your pan.
I bought my truck last February and in April ordered and had to pay upfront for my pan from Mopar On-Line. It was from a dealership parts counter back east in Toronto. Guy said it would take a month. Well, one month turned into 5 and when I got it it was dirty and pan had grit all inside from being kicked around, filter cap was missing and didn’t come with fasteners. (Can’t use the old ones). I called the guy and asked WHAT THE HECK and I’m returning it. He said I should just use it cuz it took so long to get. NOT!

I then went to the dealership I’m using now and reordered it. Its coming soon but it’s been a month.

Here’s something else to critically think about…I drew the sample from the fill plug or sump pump while truck was running and level and before temps got to 120. The pump is constantly pushing the oil around with some great pressure, I’m sure. The travel distance from the filter exit point to back around to the sump isn’t that far. I’ll bet the travel time is under 20 seconds to complete one revolution back to the filter.

So consider the lab result, from the sump, of the copper and iron being around that 700-900 ppm mark. (If I found these numbers in my engine or diff reports ID SHIT MYSELF and know for a fact these units are toast or fast heading that way.) Those are malfunction numbers. Now let’s assume the filter is really amazing and being kind, let’s say those numbers are around 30-50ppm at the exit point. The tranny is being worn out in gross numbers of wear by the time the oil comes back around to the filter….OR the other way we can think what’s happening is the filter is shit and the constant circulation of oil is maintaining those high numbers so one has no choice but to get that oil out as soon as physical possible in order to maintain health and longevity of the tranny.
 

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If I may add to your research list…
One of your first things to do is order the pan, gasket and fasteners. It’ll take a while to get and I’ll guarantee there’s no tranny shop in town that has your pan.
I bought my truck last February and in April ordered and had to pay upfront for my pan from Mopar On-Line. It was from a dealership parts counter back east in Toronto. Guy said it would take a month. Well, one month turned into 5 and when I got it it was dirty and pan had grit all inside from being kicked around, filter cap was missing and didn’t come with fasteners. (Can’t use the old ones). I called the guy and asked WHAT THE HECK and I’m returning it. He said I should just use it cuz it took so long to get. NOT!

I then went to the dealership I’m using now and reordered it. Its coming soon but it’s been a month.

Here’s something else to critically think about…I drew the sample from the fill plug or sump pump while truck was running and level and before temps got to 120. The pump is constantly pushing the oil around with some great pressure, I’m sure. The travel distance from the filter exit point to back around to the sump isn’t that far. I’ll bet the travel time is under 20 seconds to complete one revolution back to the filter.

So consider the lab result, from the sump, of the copper and iron being around that 700-900 ppm mark. (If I found these numbers in my engine or diff reports ID SHIT MYSELF and know for a fact these units are toast or fast heading that way.) Those are malfunction numbers. Now let’s assume the filter is really amazing and being kind, let’s say those numbers are around 30-50ppm at the exit point. The tranny is being worn out in gross numbers of wear by the time the oil comes back around to the filter….OR the other way we can think what’s happening is the filter is shit and the constant circulation of oil is maintaining those high numbers so one has no choice but to get that oil out as soon as physical possible in order to maintain health and longevity of the tranny.
These are good points, but this sump is a bit different. Your basically sampling accumulated dirty bath water. The reason ZF says lifetime is becuase the filter is not constructed to hold the material in suspension, it just keeps it from entering the pump. The reason you get a whole pan is due to the fact it is an integral part of the filtering system and will house rinsed off debris. Glycol get my attention because for all intent it almost unfilterable. Its chemical compound is acidic to aluminum and base metals. Oil and metalic debris is filtered no issue similare to a centrifuge system on a large ship or what not.
 

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In my humble opinion, a flush is not worth it. You are paying a huge amount extra to get the last 10% of ATF out of the tranny.

For less money, you could have the fluid changed twice as often. Or do it yourself 4 times as often.
 

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In my humble opinion, a flush is not worth it. You are paying a huge amount extra to get the last 10% of ATF out of the tranny.

For less money, you could have the fluid changed twice as often. Or do it yourself 4 times as often.
This is a thought I had. You could purchase enough fluid to do multipe drain refills. Then on the 3rd or 4th time, change out the pan and filter. Probably pretty decent results. You flushing pan debris and diluting the old stuff with new fluid.
 

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This is a thought I had. You could purchase enough fluid to do multipe drain refills. Then on the 3rd or 4th time, change out the pan and filter. Probably pretty decent results. You flushing pan debris and diluting the old stuff with new fluid.
The biggest issue for most people is getting rid of the used oil. I'm lucky because I still have a key to the airport that I used to keep my plane at and they have oil disposal tanks for hangar renters to use.
 
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[QUOTE="dcmdon, post: 812747, member: 39121"
In my humble opinion, a flush is not worth it. You are paying a huge amount extra to get the last 10% of ATF out of the tranny.

For less money, you could have the fluid changed twice as often. Or do it yourself 4 times as often.
[/QUOTE]

It’s not about the money for me, the reason to do the 20L hot flush is to get all the glycol contaminated Mopar semi-synthetic crap out and replace it with a full synthetic, ZF COMPLIANT, non glycol contaminated ATF.

Break-in is done so flush the high copper, Iron and silicons out and start fresh. 25k kms now,…would have done it a whole lot sooner but had to wait all this time for the pan and parts.

Tomorrow it goes in to get done!
 

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[QUOTE="dcmdon, post: 812747, member: 39121"
In my humble opinion, a flush is not worth it. You are paying a huge amount extra to get the last 10% of ATF out of the tranny.

For less money, you could have the fluid changed twice as often. Or do it yourself 4 times as often.
It’s not about the money for me, the reason to do the 20L hot flush is to get all the glycol contaminated Mopar semi-synthetic crap out and replace it with a full synthetic, ZF COMPLIANT, non glycol contaminated ATF.

Break-in is done so flush the high copper, Iron and silicons out and start fresh. 25k kms now,…would have done it a whole lot sooner but had to wait all this time for the pan and parts.

Tomorrow it goes in to get done!
[/QUOTE]

If I was really worried about that. I'd just do a drain and fill twice, or even 3 times and still be a lot less than paying someone to flush it.

But I get your point. I guess it also comes down to whether or not you want the hassle or just want to write a check. There are plusses and minuses to each.
 
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UPDATE:
Got the truck back yesterday from doing the hot flush. It took 17.5L to accomplish it. I replaced the semi-synthetic with a full synthetic (ZF code and tranny 8HP50 compliant ATF). After driving it home last night, the temps were running cooler than before. Today, I drove across town and again, tranny temps were constantly 10c cooler than the engine/coolant temps. I’d say it’s a
decrease of 5-7c. That for me is worth paying the $300 cad labour for the flush. Main reason again for doing it was to get all the glycol out, not just a portion of it. Second reason was because the break-in period was done,…so dump all of that mess and clutch debris and start over with clean. What’s the point to letting the debris pack in on the nooks and crannies?? I’ll do another lab sample in another 25k and compare the numbers straight across to see if I actually did a good thing or not. I’ll follow up from that sample with another at 75k and see what the lab says about the condition of the oil and maybe I’ll do another hot flush before 100k kms.

The shifting now is amazing! It’s very responsive and smooth, not my imagination. I informed my service manager today of my findings and he’s elated with the data. I go in to the dealership on Monday to have my electric steering pump replaced and I told him I want him to take my truck out for a spin to experience it for himself.
 
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Maximus Gladius

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UPDATE day 2.
I noticed another decrease in transmission temperature today. This is telling me the flush and change in oil was a good thing.
The 1st photo attached is of temps as I got home from work YESTERDAY.
The 2nd photo is when I got home from work, TODAY.

I’m not saying the transmission will never get up to temps closer to the engine/ coolant temps but so far it hasn’t when it should have.

A737DAB4-D9E3-4DC2-A4AE-99A9D6D3CE32.jpeg


C1B6986E-9222-469B-898D-1B77D41C0F5A.jpeg
 
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Well I just try to care for what I pay for. Which now, at 54, I don’t want to keep flipping and paying mortgages. The goal is to care for the vehicle and by the time I’m done paying for it, it runs better than most. I had that same intention on my last truck but an elk ran out in front of me last October and I had to start over. Ive reached that point in my life where no vehicle payments is the home run I need to reach with the vehicle that’s sound.

As far as wanting my vehicle when I’m done,…you’ll have to fall in line. My neighbour has already asked the same, lol!
I have a car payment whether I actually do or not. Helps me pay for my cars in cash or a big chunk of it down
 
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