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Old February 9th, 2015, 10:58 AM   #1
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AT Filter Change and 3x3 Flush and Fill

So after reading NVA-AV6 post http://www.v6performance.net/forums/...placement.html I felt I was armed with enough info on this bish and felt confident doing it. So I have another write-up with a few hacks and some valuable info to aid in the next poor sumbish to attempt this for the first time.


First go to walmart for a couple supplies you WILL want to have. All this came to less than $10 (thanks child labor).

A 4qt. clear pitcher with lid. I highly recommend that you pick the one shown in the pic specifically because the lid will be used later in the job.

Metal mesh strainer to filter your oil through and check for abnormalities plus it fits perfectly on this pitcher as well.
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I also bought a drain pan just for AT fluid as I intend to do the FF at regular intervals and eventually add an inline magnetic filter along with a proper tranny cooler. Here is where the lid is indispensable.

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I bought a narrow tapered funnel, the kind you'd use for a normal dipstick hole and a syringe type fuel mixing gauge. Like you use for mixing 2 stroke oil. I just cut the tip off and wedged it into the funnel with a long handled phillips head screwdriver. When you know for certain you'll get a good seal, use some JB Weld for plastics to secure it permanently. I timed it when I added one of the new bottles of AT fluid. 1:10 for all 32ozs. This is MUCH easier than using the AT fill bolt on top of the tranny. And MUCH faster than a transfer pump.

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It fits perfectly and does not leak a drop!

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I'm not going to do the entire write-up because there is an EXCELLENT step by step with some helpful pictures I will link to. I'm just going to touch on the hacks and the steps that are more particular in nature than the rest.

This link is an amazing tool for a noob to this process: http://api.viglink.com/api/click?for...nge-How-To-DIY

Use the lid to the pitcher to act as a splash guard for when you drain the hot oil. Be sure to loosen the drain bolt first THEN wedge the lid in there. You will still have minor splashback but keep an eye on your drain pan and move it accordingly. You won't believe how much this step helps to keep things tidy.

After the third flush it's time to start the fun!

As shown in both links you should have the correct parts from their parts lists. Majestic Honda is great for this stuff. Fast n' cheap.

Disconnect the battery. I always do a capacitive discharge by touching the Pos+ wire to the Neg- terminal or bridging them. Again, just an old habit. Remove the battery hold down and the nuts and bolts securing it.

I would highly recommend a system to keep track of the nuts/screws that are going to come out and where they came out of.

Next remove the top of the air box and pull the filter out of the resonator. There are 4 screws holding this down. Remove the top from the accordion hose side that is closest to the drivers side fender only. There are 2 screws holding the resonator which are obvious and 2 that aren't so easy or obvious. They are small 8mm(?) bolts that are also hold downs for wire splicers. Once they are out, liberate the resonator from the vehicle. Obvs if you have CAI this is a moot point.

Next is a test of patience, determination and creative cussing. I recommend herbal refreshment to see you through the rest of the process.

Remove the banjo bolt 1st. If you have ratcheting thin walled box wrenches you will find the removal of the necessary bolts a TON easier if not, don't plan on going anywhere for a while

You should have let the fluids all drip out by now so there won't be much out of the banjo bolt. There is a ground wire from the trans to the body held in by retainer clips with screws 8mm(?) that should be removed for full access to the area. Mine was actually devoid of ANY insulation so I wrapped the bejesus out of it with a roll of electrical tape. Resist the urge to twist this out of the way as the wires at this point are probably frail and prone to breaking causing a bad ground, and that ain't good.

Now you are ready to get started on the filter housing cap
I hope you have small nimble hands and fingers because if you don't, Ay dios mio mang!

The cap is under mechanical pressure from the spring inside. remove the top bolt closest to the radiator FIRST. NEXT the lower bolt. At this point some fluid will start coming out. I had less than 2oz. come out when I did mine but I also let it drain very well. LASTLY, remove the remaining bolt. You might need to pry the cap off as it is a snug fit in there but USE CAUTION. You should be replacing the gaskets anyway but you still don't want to mar the mating surfaces. Once the cap is off just grab the filter. I checked the spring for any signs of stress, all good so, I left it in there. This is what came out

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That certainly does not look like a lifetime filter to me Honda.

To re-install isn't super easy but a bit better than removal was for some reason. Install the BOTTOM BOLT of the housing cover FIRST. While you do this keep pressure on the cap to avoid cross-threading or chewing up the bolts threads as you will want to tighten this down completely. Once you start installing the other items you have removed you will notice your access has quickly become fettered. The rest is just the reverse of removal.

I noticed an immediate improvement in the tranny after this. I am still waiting on the back ordered 3/4 pressure switches.


Cheers and good luck!
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Old February 9th, 2015, 11:26 AM   #2
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Good write up!!!

its a lot easier to do the ATF bolt. Its 8 inches away from where you had your funnel. the bolt is stamped ATF. Just need extra extra long extension and a breaker bar or jack handle

Anyways keep up the good work
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Old February 9th, 2015, 05:13 PM   #3
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Nice write up man. I still have to replace the filter in the rdx tranny this summer.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 05:33 PM   #4
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I purchased the filter the other day while picking up 6 qts of fluid. Did not get a new o-ring. I will before I replace the filter. My car has 87k miles and no evidence the tranny has ever been serviced. Tranny shifted good, but I wanted to drain/refill it at least twice for now. Will again in another 800 miles or so.

What difference did you notice in the tranny after swapping the filter?
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Old February 16th, 2015, 07:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JBeezy View Post
I purchased the filter the other day while picking up 6 qts of fluid. Did not get a new o-ring. I will before I replace the filter. My car has 87k miles and no evidence the tranny has ever been serviced. Tranny shifted good, but I wanted to drain/refill it at least twice for now. Will again in another 800 miles or so.

What difference did you notice in the tranny after swapping the filter?
I noticed substantially smoother shifts especially downshifts while coasting to a stop. No more jerky motion and up shifts are buttery smooth. I will be replacing the 3rd and 4th gear pressure solenoids shortly for good measure. Your results may vary but my fluid was BLACK. 2nd flush was a little better and by the 3rd flush it was all red again. I would recommend flushing it until the fluid is the proper color.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 11:12 AM   #6
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Well this new stuff isn't exactly red in my opinion. It was a little darker
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Old March 10th, 2015, 04:34 PM   #7
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FYI, here is a link to that page on the FULL web site that the screen grab in one of the links was taken from.

A lot of info has been updated. Also a write up on Pressure switches with Old V New graphs. More data on 3rd clutch failure modes and design flaws to watch out for when shifting. Graphs and data on transmission TC outlet, cooler outlet and OEM Pan temperature monitoring - includes TC outlet pressure and cooler outlet pressure v temperature, heat and PRM. Info on adding an external cooler. Results from temperature probes (in the AT fluid) correctly installed and measured.

/Honda/ChangeOilFilter.html

Last edited by Mczgl; March 10th, 2015 at 04:46 PM..
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Old March 13th, 2015, 02:01 PM   #8
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You look like a manly man, and yet you made that contraption to fill through the dip stick tube. It takes no time to crack open the filler cap with a 17mm socket, extension, and a breaker bar.
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Old March 16th, 2015, 09:15 AM   #9
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You look like a manly man, and yet you made that contraption to fill through the dip stick tube. It takes no time to crack open the filler cap with a 17mm socket, extension, and a breaker bar.
LOL. Still going to need that funnel! Why not drop the $3.27 and be done with that whole scenario? It took the same amount of time to make that thing as it would to gather the sockets, extensions, etc, and still have to drop a funnel down there. Like I said these were just some hacks I thought would be helpful for others.

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Old March 23rd, 2015, 08:49 PM   #10
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The transmission has a fill bolt for a reason,,,,,,,,,,,, to fill the transmission. I don't get why people don't use it. Sure, you still need a funnel, but not with the tiny tip glued to the end. After you remove the fill bolt once, you don't have to tighten it so much, making it easier to remove the next time.
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 09:14 AM   #11
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Finally got around to doing the 3rd and 4th pressure solenoids and cleaned the screens out of the linear solenoid block. Happy to report the screens were clean, the fluid was the same color as it was out of the bottle and she's shifting like brand new. I've been researching AT upgrades recently and haven't really come up with many options to beef these things up. Lvl10 out of NJ has clutch packs, and torque converters they claim will handle 350-450hp. They also have a completely built 5spd AT with LSD. These seem tempting but all the reviews of the company are very negative so, IDK. I saw some old threads as well on the Dr. Evil AT group buys but at that point there was only one 5 speed they had done and a dude over at Acurazine got one and had a VERY bad experience with it and the company. Anybody know of anything I can do to bolster the AT for when I start with FI and other serious power/tq mods? TL swap? I could run Hondata with that if I remember correctly. Do they handle good hp/tq?
Any info would be helpful.
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 08:04 PM   #12
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I got around to swapping the filter today. Appears it's never been changed. Would that indicate the tranny has never been serviced?


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Old May 23rd, 2015, 07:32 AM   #13
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Wasn't it fun and exciting? lol

No, not necessarily. Most Honda dealers will tell you they aren't serviceable filters for whatever reason. Did you strain the fluid? If so, did you see any particulates? Just keep an eye on the fluid and plan to do another FF soon, prob 3-7k miles and do the pressure switches and solenoid screens when you do. It will give you a good idea of how it's looking in there in that time span. Obviously no fluid will fix chipped teeth, worn bands, etc. but it will keep the pressures up and the system lubricated.
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Old May 24th, 2015, 04:12 PM   #14
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I did the flush a while back just never changed the filter. No noticeable change in shifting that I can tell
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Old May 25th, 2015, 11:01 AM   #15
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Reset the ECU by pulling the under hood fuse and disconnect the negative battery cable. If you are still having problems it wasn't fluid/pressure related and is probably mechanical. This procedure isn't a cure-all. It's the same as changing engine oil, in essence. If a piston ring has gone bad an oil change and filter won't fix that it only keeps future damage from occurring to properly functioning items due to contamination and viscosity breakdown. That is why this stuff is considered routine maintenance. If that makes sense.
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