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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any thoughts or info on :

1. Trans fluid that comes in the truck.

2. Replacing with a better (appropriate) fluid immediately ?

I am a firm believer that running the best synthetic trans fluid is money in the bank.
 

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This isn't the "Old Days" where they would just slap in the ATF that was being used by the auto manufacture. The ZF8 uses it's own fluid. There really isn't a substitution for it yet. Not to mention... it is synthetic
 

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yup i second that. In fact all transmissions in all vehicles now require synthetic ATF or better. for example VW's DSG transmission uses a special fluid. I wouldn't mess with it until more research is conducted. You may do more harm than good
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Very good points. Thanks. I didn't know they all came with a good synthetic these days. I have been driving the same Chevy for 20 years.
 

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The transmission does NOT have a dipstick. Only way to check fluid level is remove a plug on the side of the trans - kinda like my '55 Dodge pick-up! Owner's manual says the trans fluid is good for 10 years or 100,000 miles.
 

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Its a green shell fluid, I cant remember the exact part number but I will find out. ZF uses it in all of their transmissions. I do know that it's liquid gold.
 

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Thank you for answering my question! I'm brand new here as I just purchased a 2014 Ecodiesel Longhorn 2 weeks ago. I had not been able to find a transmission dipstick & I have been digging thru my owners manual & didn't find anything there!
 

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Thank you for answering my question! I'm brand new here as I just purchased a 2014 Ecodiesel Longhorn 2 weeks ago. I had not been able to find a transmission dipstick & I have been digging thru my owners manual & didn't find anything there!
from the owner's manual disc ref checking your auto transmission level

Fluid Level Check — Eight-Speed Transmission
The fluid level is preset at the factory and does not require adjustment under normal operating conditions. Routine fluid level checks are not required, therefore the transmission has no dipstick. Your authorized dealer can check your transmission fluid level using special service tools.

If you notice fluid leakage or transmission malfunction, visit your authorized dealer immediately to have the transmission fluid level checked. Operating the vehicle with an improper fluid level can cause severe transmission damage
 

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It's always recommended to at least allow new vehicles to wear in their clearances for the first 45-60,000Km. If you feel that the main purpose of the vehicle is to be used for heavy hauling on a daily basis (max 9600lbs) it won't hurt to change the fluid every 50,000Km. No fluid is made to last for 10 years under normal driving conditions never mind a truck towing frequently or operating in harsh weather climate conditions (extremely hot/cold) [+36C - -45C]

"Helping Dealerships/Shops & Vehicle Owners stay Educated is What We Do"
It is always recommended by who? Chrysler states the following.

"Under normal operating conditions, the fluid installed at
the factory will provide satisfactory lubrication for the
life of the vehicle. Routine fluid and filter changes are not required.
 

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I really wish that there was some way to put a dip stick on the trans. I guess ill have to buy the tools to check/fill it. my main issue with it is if i am in the middle of nowhere, as i am alot. I need to be able to at least do something with the fluid. I am in baja, mexico alot and if i rip a trans line. Id like to be able to continue my trip. As i think there are only 2 dodge dealers in baja, both im pretty sure have no access to the eco diesel stuff. at least not on hand
 

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You don't need any special tools other than socket wrench and hex wrench. Here is how the transmission oil is changed or checked.

Also, it's interesting that ZF recommends that the transmission fluid is changed at 80,000 to 120,000 km, when Chrysler doesn't recommend changing it at all. Chrysler says it's good for the life of the truck... I hope that doesn't mean that the design life is 120,000 km. :confused:
 
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Gene,

Digging further into the ZF site you linked us to I found the quote copied below stating they used a partially synthetic oil. I believe I read somewhere that Chrysler used a full synthetic fluid but I cannot find that reference at the moment. If correct, that could explain the different recommendations on change interval. I do note that they are very specific with change intervals on the 6 spd auto with shorter change intervals for heavy use applications. Not doing so for the 8spd would seem to be a conscious decision.

5-, 6- and 8-speed as well as 4HP20 automatic transmissions:
ZF 5-, 6- and 8-speed as well as the ZF 4HP20 automatic transmissions are filled maintenance-free with specially developed
partially synthetic ATF oils. Maintenance-free fills are intended for normal operating conditions. Especially driving at very high
operating temperatures can result in accelerated aging or increased wear of ATF oils. It is recommended, in the event of severe
operating conditions, such as:
- frequent highway driving in top speed range,
- offensive, sporty driving style,
- frequent trailer operation,
being above average, oil purification (oil change) on automatic transmissions is recommended between 80,000 km and 120,000
km, or 8 years, depending on the load.
In each case, only released ATF oil may be used for oil changes. And oil changes must be performed in accordance with the
relevant specifications.
 

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Gene,

Digging further into the ZF site you linked us to I found the quote copied below stating they used a partially synthetic oil. I believe I read somewhere that Chrysler used a full synthetic fluid but I cannot find that reference at the moment. If correct, that could explain the different recommendations on change interval. I do note that they are very specific with change intervals on the 6 spd auto with shorter change intervals for heavy use applications. Not doing so for the 8spd would seem to be a conscious decision.

5-, 6- and 8-speed as well as 4HP20 automatic transmissions:
ZF 5-, 6- and 8-speed as well as the ZF 4HP20 automatic transmissions are filled maintenance-free with specially developed
partially synthetic ATF oils. Maintenance-free fills are intended for normal operating conditions. Especially driving at very high
operating temperatures can result in accelerated aging or increased wear of ATF oils. It is recommended, in the event of severe
operating conditions, such as:
- frequent highway driving in top speed range,
- offensive, sporty driving style,
- frequent trailer operation,
being above average, oil purification (oil change) on automatic transmissions is recommended between 80,000 km and 120,000
km, or 8 years, depending on the load.
In each case, only released ATF oil may be used for oil changes. And oil changes must be performed in accordance with the
relevant specifications.
Howie, you are probably correct. The ZF article/video was not clear to me, but seemed to contradict Chrysler. If I still have my truck in 100K miles, I will probably change the fluid and filter just for good measure. BTW, I believe that our transmission is an 8HP70, which is not mentioned specifically in the above. In any case, it would not be in Chrysler's best interest to recommend no fluid change if there were a potential problem.
 
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