How do I remove fluid from torque converter without drain?


Old 07-20-08, 06:22 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,070
How do I remove fluid from torque converter without drain?

I have a 92' Ford Ranger with auto transmission and 250,000 miles. It has the original transmission. I have changed the transmission fluid/filter about 6 times since the truck was purchased.

I had the fluid and filter changed again last week. The mechanic said my model does not have a drain for the torque converter.

When I changed the fluid in the past, I would disconnect the transmission cooler lines under the radiator/grill area. Then I would run the engine in park or neutral till it would slow to a trickle. Then turn the engine off. Then I would remove the pan and drain the rest of the fluid. When I told the mechanic this, he told me not to do this anymore as it would damage the pump.

In doing this, was I effectively removing the fluid from the torque converter? If not, is the torque converter at least being partly mixed and replenished with fresh fluid from the fluid changes over the years?
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Old 07-20-08, 06:29 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Eastern Georgia
Posts: 486
your mechanic is right that is not a good thing to do. as far as the torque converter the fluid is mixed with the new fluid each time you change it. Back in the day we used to drill a small hole in the torque converter, drain the fluid, then tap the hole for a 1/8 inch pipe plug.
Old 07-20-08, 06:31 PM
Speedwrench's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,698
you were removing some of the fluid from the torque convertor but it is impossible to remove it all short of cutting it open. the best you can do is to disconnect a cooler line and hook up a electric pump to a container of clean fluid and pump it through the cooler and trans untill the fluid comeing out the otherside looks clean.

the trans pump will move the fluid thruout the trans system when the engine is running so yes the fluid in the convertor is being partly mixed and replenshed on a fluid and filter change.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
Old 07-20-08, 09:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,070
A couple months ago, I drove the truck for about a week at overheat temperature. I knew the engine was going to fail anyway, which it did. Incidentally, I had a new engine installed. The heat must have transferred to the transmission and burned the fluid, because I noticed it was dark. (By the way, I also drained and re-filled the transfer case since it is 4 wheel drive.)

This is why I am concerned with old, dark fluid being in the torque converter. My mechanic said next year he could electrically pump out the whole system. But his pump is broken at this time. I wonder if I can wait till next year to change the fluid again. Don't really want to spend another $120.00 for fluid/filter change.

Thanks for your replies,
Old 07-21-08, 08:19 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central, IL.
Posts: 109
Never run your tranny dry.
No need to worry about every single gram of tranny fluid. Drain the pan and top off is typically all the service you need.

Also there is no need to change the tranny filter, the only thing it filters is tranny parts, and if the filter is pluggin up, changing it wont fix your problem.

I recommend you drop the pan, install a drain plug, and top off with tranny fluid. Next year, drian the pan and top off.

Since your fluid is dark, dont count on your tranny lasting too much longer.
Old 02-15-14, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1
Awesome!!! I love this idea! I was looking for a way to (or if it was possible) to do something like this for a two stage drain. Drop the pan and install new gasket and filter (like you said, only if necessary for the filter) refill, drive it for a while and do a second drain and fill once the new and old fluids mix together well. With your drain plug idea, I would not have to drop the pan to do a second drain and fill, retaining my new gasket intact. Is this a feasible idea? To my way of thinking it would do a 70-80% fluid flush without the use of any machine, pump etc. to do a full flush, torque converter and all, like a shop would do (or not do and charge you full price anyway, scammers). Sure it wastes some clean fluid, but who cares? It is a cheap and almost complete flush right? My question is they will mix eventually, after some driving, right? Then a second drain and fill would accomplish a decent "poor man's flush"'? I am tight, I'll admit it, and do "most" of my own repairs and service and got this idea of a two stage flush and need an expert opinion. After reading your post I thought "This is a great idea, install a plug!" and thought that you might be the guy to ask, if a two stage flush would accomplish almost a complete fluid change and if this was ok? What do you think?

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