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Discussion Starter #1
Evening gents!

I went in ready to flush my transmission today, and found after dropping the exhaust and removing the transmission protector that the 5l40e we have in our cars does not have a drain plug, because it is "sealed for life."

I would love a less messy way to drain it than removing the pan...

I've looked, and not found helpful info.
Suggestions are welcome.
 

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Forget your fluid....u will need to go to a GM dealership and have them suck out your old fluid ....then have them refill it. The days of dropping your pan is over.
 

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Search for a pan made by Dorman.

The OEM pan on my Liberty was badly rusted. I bought a new pan, I think from Advance Auto, made by Dorman. My old OEM pan had no drain plug, the Dorman equivalent does.
Maybe their Sky pan does too.

In the mean time, just make a mess and do it yourself. Remove all bolts except the 4 corners. Loosen two a little, and two a lot, then break the seal, catch most fluid, let cardboard catch the rest.
 

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Evening gents!

I went in ready to flush my transmission today, and found after dropping the exhaust and removing the transmission protector that the 5l40e we have in our cars does not have a drain plug, because it is "sealed for life."

I would love a less messy way to drain it than removing the pan...

I've looked, and not found helpful info.
Suggestions are welcome.
From the service manual:
  1. Raise and support the vehicle.
  2. Remove the front closeout panel.
  3. Place a suitable pan under the transmission.
  4. Loosen the pan bolts on three sides.
  5. Tap the pan with a mallet if necessary.
  6. Allow the fluid to drain.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From the service manual:
  1. Raise and support the vehicle.
  2. Remove the front closeout panel.
  3. Place a suitable pan under the transmission.
  4. Loosen the pan bolts on three sides.
  5. Tap the pan with a mallet if necessary.
  6. Allow the fluid to drain.
I decided to follow this. The pan is drained. You are a greasy saint.
Anyone know what the black square is for at the bottom of the pan?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just realized it's a magnet!
I'm glad I cleaned it off. It had a fair amount of gunk on it.
 

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I went to a GM dealer and that is not what they did...at 30K...car now has 41K and will NEVER do a transmission flush again. Car will never hit 60K in my lifetime. GM has a machine that sucks out all the transmission fluid. I cannot recall if we even have a transmission dip stick.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Drop exhaust from catalytic converter. Drop transmission cover.
113988


113989


Remove most pan bolts except 4 corners.
113990


Remove 2 corner bolts on one end. Use a flat screw driver to slowly separate the cover from the transmission, releasing most of the oil.
113991


Pan is dropped after most of the oil is out. Removed the filter with a solid tug and installed the new filter. Cleaned up residue, especially around the magnet pad.
113992

Removed old gasket, cleaned mating surfaces (transmission and pan), placed new gasket on, and mounted pan back up.
 

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You know.....
you can always add a bung and drain plug while you have the pan off:)
 

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To change the automatic transmission fluid/filter & pan gasket or not.
A sealed transmission for 100k thanks to the engineers/designers at GM.
With no true traditional dip stick to measure any signs of loss of fluid maybe
a change in color/texture or smell makes it hard for owners to when this might be
done? A fluid change could have been done with suction through that opening.
It does not change the filter or crud on the magnet bottom of pan sludge, and now a pan
gasket too that wasn't leaking before. Now after all this work is done, you have a bench mark
on your odometer going forward. No dealer inflated prices either- just say'n.

Just make sure your pan gasket bolt pattern is tighten in the right sequence to factory torque specs
on the bolts. Keep an eye on it from underneath for leaks since there is no dip stick to measure against.

* It was a glorious day around here yesterday. I know let's clean up our gem go for a top down
drive. After about a 2 hour job-That is what I did. Full tank of fresh fuel and we're off. Near perfect.
74 degrees- not a cloud in the sky. Everyone was out and about. Saw a 37-ish Buick hot rod.
A 68-69 Mustang 302 black with grandad and grand daughter at High Rock lookout. Sweet.
Place was packed. Then after blasting a bit I stopped for an ice cream- local spot.
A 53-ish MG old school roadster. Pretty cool. Just about to leave and the black Mustang pulls in.

LAC
 

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Drop exhaust from catalytic converter. Drop transmission cover.
View attachment 113988

View attachment 113989

Remove most pan bolts except 4 corners.
View attachment 113990

Remove 2 corner bolts on one end. Use a flat screw driver to slowly separate the cover from the transmission, releasing most of the oil.
View attachment 113991

Pan is dropped after most of the oil is out. Removed the filter with a solid tug and installed the new filter. Cleaned up residue, especially around the magnet pad.
View attachment 113992
Removed old gasket, cleaned mating surfaces (transmission and pan), placed new gasket on, and mounted pan back up.
I an so glad that "YOU JUST DID IT" and will move onward.

I looked on-line but did not find an aftermarket pan of any kind let-alone one with a drain plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I didn't have enough fluid on hand, and had to wait until today to go fill it up.
Problem is, the fill plug is in a tight spot, and requires a necessitating a wrench. Problem is, I can't figure out if it's a 16mm or 17mm... I have a 15mm and an 18mm...
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
In case anyone was wondering, the fill bolt is 17mm.

Side note: odd happening... The transmission dropped 5 qts when I drained it, but even with following the GM fluid change guide, it only would accept up to 3.5 qts.

Took it out for a nice night drive. It shifts smoother. There's no longer a harsh downshift at 20~ miles an hour.
 

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On automatic transmission in general, people add ATF in through the dipstick. I ask, why didn't you fill from there? Did that not work for some reason?

In any case, I am glad the fluid & filter change resolved your quirky auto transmission behavior. I got similar results changing the ATF and filter on our Jeep Liberty. It's surely something everyone should do per the maintenance schedule. Don't neglect it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
On automatic transmission in general, people add ATF in through the dipstick. I ask, why didn't you fill from there? Did that not work for some reason?

In any case, I am glad the fluid & filter change resolved your quirky auto transmission behavior. I got similar results changing the ATF and filter on our Jeep Liberty. It's surely something everyone should do per the maintenance schedule. Don't neglect it.
GM recommends filling from the fill plug until transmission fluid leaks out. They recommend multiple power cycles to get fluid pulled up too.

Also, there is no dipstick.
 
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