Hello all, I want to change the transmission fluid in my 1998 ML320. I got the fluid, the filter, the gasket and a dip stick. I want to drain the torque converter and want to know how to get accesses to it. There is a black plastic cover on the transmission that is where the toque converter looks like it should be. Any hints from those who have done this before?
Thanks Boston Mark
There is no provision to drain the torque converter, they are welded shut and do not have a drain plug.
If you really want to "change" all the fluid, a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach is to purchase enough fluid for approx. four 'pan only' changes. Then remove the transmission pan, drain the fluid, place new filter in place, thoroughly clean the pan, reinstall the pan with the same gasket and run the engine about 5 minutes to circulate the fluid (run the shift lever slowly through all the gears).
After the 5 minute run time, place in park/shut off the engine, remove the transmission pan again, drain the fluid (leave the new filter in place), reinstall the pan (old gasket) and fill with new fluid again/run 5 minutes. Do this two more times with the last time installing the new gasket.
Now you have effectively diluted the fluid to somewhat close to new conditions. (I.E. the 1st change dilutes the dirty fluid by about half, the second change to 1/4 dirty concentration, third change 1/8 dirty fluid, fourth change 1/16 dirty fluid, etc). This is the approach I use.
Be sure to keep everything meticulously clean as no automatic transmission reacts to even small dirt particles well. Good Luck!
Incorrect post, the 98 and 99 MLs DO have a drain plug on the torque convertor. I had mine drained along with the pan and that took out almost all of the fluid... (was around 7qts I think drained). You have to spin the flywheel to get access to the drain plug... I had my indy do it for me so I can't tell you specifics.
Thanks Kar Don,
I thought that might be the case as there is that plastic cover where the torque converter is. I have a warm dry place to work on my ML320 and quite frankly enjoy doing the little things myself.
I'll let you know and post the results.
Yeah sure I have around 4000 SF of space in Medfield Ma.that I rent out for heated dead storage. Not many takers this year because of the economy. ( 2 Alfas a 1930's something Dodge pickup and a fire truck) So if you got something you want to store I get $100.00 a month but if you need a place to do some work let me know I would be happy to let you use it, no charge for a day keeping dry and getting those things done that are no fun doing outside in this cold New England weather. I have a small air compressor and a good floor jack that your welcome to use. Let me know, I don't mind sharing.
How much would an Indy shop charge for a transmission and transfer case flush? I just bought my ride and it seems to be running and shfiting great but from everything ive been reading this sounds like maintenance im going to want to have done here soon.
Use transmission fluid that is spec'd 236.12 or 236.14. There is some older fluid out there that dealers will try to put off on you that is 236.10. DO NOT USE IT!
Don't do a flush. Drop the pan, replace the filter and refill. It'll take about 3.5 liters (4 qts.) to do it this way. In 30 to 40,000 more miles, do it again. That way, you're not changing all the fluid at once on an old transmission.
After reading through the posts I may end up having my leak at the gasket fixed at the shop. While I'm fairly handy and have done my fair amount of oil changes and the like (albeit to my MINI) this looks like I need special tools and such to do it.
My local mechanic, whom I have trusted to perform other work on my ML, estimated changing the gasket at $350.
While gaskets looks to be inexpensive, the rest of the stuff (time involved) look to be where the cost lies.