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Old 07-30-2017, 11:41 PM   #1
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Transmission Fluid Drain / New Noise

Hey all,

I did a bunch of maintenance yesterday. All went well, except the transmission fluid refill. I started out with 6.5 Qts for the refill. However, after I started the vehicle up, the transmission fluid wasn't even on the dipstick. So I kept adding and checking, and finally ended up adding almost 12Qts. All I did was a fluid drain, and filter change out - anyway, it now reads properly when at temp.

First question: Why did so much fluid come out? The manual says it needs about 12Qts for a transmission overhaul, but only 5/6.5Qts for a drain and refill.... I did let everything drain until it stopped dripping, but doesn't some fluid remain in the torque converter?

Second question: Could I have done any damage, or done something, that would cause a noise to be coming from what sounds like the transmission pan by running the engine with insufficient fluid? I did run it for a bit to get the transmission temp up.

I used a stethoscope to narrow the noise down, but I still cannot tell EXACTLY where it's coming from - although it does definitely sound like the torque converter/transmission pan "area". Common sense tells me I caused the noise since it wasn't there before, but I am lost as to how, so maybe it's the torque converter bolts and it's just a coincidence? I plan on checking the torque converter bolts tonight/tomorrow but I thought it might be time to get a second opinion.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

2008 Ram 3500 SRW, 68RFE transmission, full deletes, GDP Mk2 fuel filter kit. 77,000 miles.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:06 PM   #2
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So I removed the plate underneath the torque converter (TC)/flexplate and spun the flex plate around 360 degrees. I saw no damage on any of the teeth, for what it's worth. Nor did I hear any sounds when I spun it. I never did hear a grinding or major knocking, just a ticking sound.

I have probably spent 2 hours under the truck with the stethoscope and it's difficult to say with certainty, but it sounds like the sound is coming from the TC. The clicking sound only is audible when the transmission is above 120F, and it more noticeable in Reverse and Drive. After the the vehicle is warmer, 160F and above, the sound is noticeable in Park and Neutral, too.

Edit:

So I learned last night that the toque converter holds an additional 4 qts and if you let the transmission drain long enough, 11-12 Qts will drain. So that explains the first question.

Unfortunately, I still cannot determine if running the transmission with 4-5 less quarts can cause damage (either to the oil pump or torque converter).
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:03 PM   #3
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You did check it with trans in neutral? If you leave the filter off it will drain the torque converter and valve body. I usually add 7 quarts then recheck it. Also fluid when hot will read higher on dip stick. That's why I leave at the cold mark and then recheck when trans is at operating temperature. Trans would start slipping really bad if 4 quarts low and would could damage to clutches if you drove it that way for several miles.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:41 PM   #4
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Thanks man.

When I drained it I let it drip dry, so yeah I must've drained everything possible. After that I replaced the filters and pan and added 6.5qts, then I let it run for about 30 minutes, thinking that was all that was needed, then shifted the gears around, then checked it again. I kept that up pattern up until I ended up adding about 12 total, which shocked me at first, but now I realized it's because the torque converter was drained.

//

The entire time I have been checking it with the trans in Park since the book said Neutral or Park should is best for checking the level (since it fills the torque converter). However, I just went and checked it now while in Park and it reads correct.

I did drive it about 1/4 mi with about 8-9qts added back into it. I was ignorant to the fact that the torque converter will drain if it sits for a while, so I was assuming it read low because the truck wasn't warm yet (like you mentioned). I was too concerned with overfilling it and thought it was just reading low.

//

So I drove it today for about 50 miles with no negative effects (to my knowledge). However, the transmission still makes that clicking sound near the torque converter, which definitely wasn't there before I drained it.


I noticed a few service checks in the manual for the transmission itself (system pressure), but nothing for the torque converter. Is there something I should/could check, or is this something that might warrant just replacing the torque converter for, so I don't kill the entire transmission over a $200 part? That may be overkill but I don't wanna kill the entire transmission.

Also, if it's not the torque converter, what else might it be? Pump?
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:08 PM   #5
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Did you use OEM filters? I had major issues with none oem filters, no TC lock up if cold and no reverse for 45 secs when starting up in the morning.

When I went to dealer the parts guy showed me the difference in filters and why you can only use OEM.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:07 PM   #6
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Ah, just saw this.

Actually, no, they're not MOPAR parts.

Next time I change the fluid I'll use those and see if anything changes.

Fortunately, the sound hasn't gotten any worse, and there are no other abnormal indications (except for a whine which started around the same time) so I think whatever it is may not be an issue.

If anything breaks I'll post back.

At this point I half expect a socket or a rock to fall out of the bottom of the truck.
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