View Full Version : Changing Transmission Oil in 10 minutes

08-06-2012, 09:10 AM
I know this was discussed recently, but I thought this would be useful.
I wanted to change my transmission oil while I have the car on jackstands for a brake upgrade.
After reading recent posts about problems I wanted to make it as simple as possible. I have a set of 8 point sockets so the removal of the filler plug was easy. Don't even bother with any other tool. The 8 Point is the correct tool.
In one post someone mentioned the Sta Lube pump from Harbor Freight. This pump wouldn't screw onto my bottles of Redline MT90. So I bought the Harbor Freight Transfer Pump.
I'm not a big fan of Harbor Freight tools, but this was on sale for $5.99 so it was worth a try. It worked quite well. There are a couiple minor things to mention. You should trim the orange tubing to the length you need to do this job. I used the full length and it's a little cumberson. Once the fluid was flowing I pumped a little too fast. That forced the lower hose (Output) out of the pump and sprayed oil all over my leg and the driveway. Take it slow and you won't have a problem.
The whole process took about 5 minutes. If you don't already have the car elevated add 5 more minutes to drive it onto ramps.
You should be able to use the pump in reverse to suck the oil out of your differential filler plug. Then use it to refill the diff.
At $5.99 it's almost disposible if you don't want to clean it for storage. Yesterday HB had a coupon in the paper $3.99 for the pump. That's a bargain worth buying.

08-06-2012, 09:38 AM
Thanks. That's very helpful information.

08-06-2012, 12:47 PM
I agree with BOBH, used this pump for a variety of TR related tasks, and it works great!
Didn't know you could inflate tires with it, though.....
This is the pump I mentioned to Afrodesia to help drain the tank in her TR3.

08-06-2012, 05:21 PM
I heard my name mentioned...

I didn't end up needing it (so far) for the tank but one thing on my LONG list is this task so I might just pick up the pump anyway. I'll be by Harbor tomorrow when I'm picking up my oil filter...any other things they have there in which I might want to check out? I did get the 3-ton floor jack & 2 more jack stands while I was there yesterday.

08-07-2012, 10:31 AM
I went through so many oil pumps that I got annoyed one day...and came up with a better (and much cheaper) solution. I take the cap off the oil bottle and drill two holes, just the size of a small diameter hose. I then plug the hose in one hole, feed the other end of the hose into the tranny, and blow air into the bottle through the second hole.

The air forces the oil through the hose and into the trannny, differential, whatever. You control the feed by regulating the pressure of the air...or, if you're lazy like me, by how long and often you shoot some into the bottle.

When the bottle is empty, just screw the modified top onto the next bottle and keep going.


Geo Hahn
08-07-2012, 03:00 PM
... I'll be by Harbor tomorrow when I'm picking up my oil filter...any other things they have there in which I might want to check out?

Oh my, where to begin? In case you don't have one, here's a coupon for 20% off one item and a free flashlight:


I have so many handy things from HF it is hard to mention just a few. Oaky, here's one thing that has proved useful for a quick diagnostic of a non-start:


Not as much fun as having your kid brother or mother-in-law hold the plug lead while you crank the engine but they aren't always available.

08-07-2012, 10:12 PM
How often should Tr3/TR4 trans fluid be changed?

08-08-2012, 01:29 AM
TR3 book says every 12,000 miles; TR4 says never. I don't like either of those numbers, so I do mine every 3 or 4 years (or when something breaks :smile: )

08-08-2012, 06:48 AM
Randall is right, of course. The TR book says you should check it every 6,000 miles and top it off if necessary, and drain and refill every 12,000 miles.

Since most of these old transmissions leak a bit, I check mine once or twice during a year, when it is convenient. Insurance and Virginia state law (for antique plates) limit me to 4000 miles per year, so I have chosen to drain and refill the transmission every 8000 miles (the end of each 2-year period).