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A 62TE Dipstick Revisit- Based on 80F and 180F temperatures

17269 Views 68 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  2014 White Lightning
I have looked at many, supposedly helpful/sometimes helpful Threads, Posts and YouTube videos about measuring the 62TE's transmission fluid level, and only noticed one so far, that talks about operating temperature, not max or beyond operating temperature, or for that matter, doing a measurement when fluid is more, or less, cold, like after startup.
Then there's the stone cold, no startup measurement, Jeepman style, which is a good indicator "on the quick".

Back to Basics:- Referring back to the 41TE transmission for some information per the Owner Manuals:
" Remove the dipstick and determine if the fluid is hot or warm. Hot fluid is approximately 180°F (82°C), which is the normal operating temperature after the vehicle has been driven at least 15 miles (24 km). The fluid cannot be comfortably held between the finger tips. Cold is when the fluid is below 80°F (27°C)."

Can the same information be applied to the 62TE transmission? Sure can, exactly, per information referenced at the end of this Post. So, that instruction will be our guide herein.

DRB Charts are nothing new:
The 41TE had a chart for DRB measurement using dipstick measurements versus transmission fluid temperature. See 41TE Chart below. The 41TE transmission also had a dipstick based on that same chart.

The 62TE has a chart for DRB measurement as well, but alas, no dipstick. The 62 TE Chart is below as well.

DRB = Diagnostic Readout Box.

41TE Chart:

62TE Chart:

Now, using your motor oil dipstick, a cold reading, at 50F ambient temperature, may show up as a drop on the dipstick, if at all.
Mark your dipstick off for the 80F range (4/20 mm), run your engine for 5 or 10 minutes or take a trip around the block, and then measure your transmission fluid level. Use this warm-up procedure if ambient temperature is nowhere near 80F.

Using the dipstick: A solid landing and the dipstick has bottomed out properly at the stop (16.7"/424 mm from the top of the tube)**. A soft landing and the dipstick has gone past the stop and is likely scraping along the bottom of the pan, another 10 mm more or less.
Note: With the lettering on the dipstick facing me, the dipstick bottoms out solidly. With the lettering on the dipstick upside down to me, the dipstick bottoms out softly every time. The readings vary accordingly. Use your senses.
** See Post #3.

For operating temperature, use the data for 180F (34/48 mm) to mark off your dipstick. Using the data for 200F isn't as realistic, unless you are towing a LEVY trailer. :).

Marking off the dipstick (many ways):
  • no marks, just tape measure against the reference points
  • file marks
  • blade marks
  • small holes drilled

Locating/ removing the cap from the tube - front of transmission
On my 2016 DGC, it's nearly invisible, right underneath a big hunk of wire harness, which I have to push back a bit. It's also tight and awkward enough that I use a small pair of vice grips to crack it loose. Loosen a quarter turn and pull out. Putting back, no problem, except the wirie harness is in the way.

This is one of the better YouTube Videos (Motorcity Mechanic) I have come across for visual information and recognizing "operating" temperature as the measurement to use.

As for everything cold, level surface, engine not running - 90 mm so far, more checking to be done.

References, mentioned earlier on, will be in Post #2

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Dang. Y'all know how to go about this huh?

I'll head down in am 1st thing. Around 50 degrees in the Burgh tonight, so cold reading should work ok right?

Plus, looked underneath. Looks a bit grimey, but like it was never serviced as I was led to believe. Or misheard, is possible. So, they checked it. Hope I can get results fr maintenance at the dealer.

Small trans shop in town. I've been in and out since my dad was friends with his Dad. Thought good to stop by tomorrow and see if he's up to a second set of eyes for me. May know these beasts well.

Appreciate the help, and I'll keep ya posted.
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Per: A 62TE Dipstick Revisit- Based on 80F and 180F temperatures

Started it up, ran it through the gears. At less than a minute, nothing on the dipstick. At 5 minutes, a drop, about 2 mm, on the end of the dipstick. All was well (normal), so shut it down.

My theory is that with nothing showing at startup, the transmission isn't overfilled, and with a drop showing at 5 minutes means the fluid level isn't low. :)
So Jeepman, my measurements of 90-95mm after driving hours is ok, you think?
So Jeepman, my measurements of 90-95mm after driving hours is ok, you think?
Sounds overfilled. I remember when I bought my 2010 4.0 with the 62TE new from the dealer it had 7 km on the odometer. Drove it for a full year before deciding to check the trans fluid. It was 65mm at 180 deg F but max should be 48mm. So it was overfilled from the factory but didn't seem to do any harm but 90mm seems very high if at 180 deg F.
So Jeepman, my measurements of 90-95mm after driving hours is ok, you think?
It seems you may have too much fluid in your transmission, by a lot. Let's try this again.

Scene 1:
Your transmission pan will have the most fluid in it when cold, after sitting, say overnight, to allow more drain back. That's where the "cold turkey" measurement is used, just like checking your engine oil. That's when you will get the highest measurement on your transmission dipstick, like 95 mm, or whatever. All other measurements will be much lower.

Scene 2:
Once you start your engine, much of the transmission fluid will be sucked out of the pan, up into the transmission, such that the dipstick, which doesn't go to the bottom of the pan because there's a "stop bracket" in place preventing that from happening, will show no fluid. Yep, no fluid showing if like mine. 95 mm down to nothing.

Scene 3:
As the engine is idled and the fluid warms up say for 5 minutes, fluid will start showing up on the dipstick. For mine a drop on the dipstick shows up at 5 minutes.

Scene 4:
As the engine is idled and the transmission fluid continues to warm up, the level on the dipstick will rise, but nowhere near the 95 mm mark. Expect somewhere between 4 mm to 18 mm (say 10 mm+/_) after 10 to 15 minutes of idling.

Scene 5:
Transmission up to operating temperature. Although 180F is considered a typical operating temperature for a transmission, after 15+ miles of driving, your transmission fluid may be lower than that, maybe even at 150F, (the transmission cooler at work) leaving you in the 36 mm+/- range (24 mm to 48 mm). You really need an actual temperature measurement at this point as the temperature readings can vary by a lot*, from situation to situation.

*Note: Some report operating temperatures, after considerable driving, as low as 140F per this Post and others near it:

The Chart:

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Just did scenes 1, 2, 3 and 4 - 3:00 PM LT
Scene 1: 16 hour shutdown; 9C/48F ambient temperature; 95 mm right on "cold turkey". That's good.
Scene 2: 0 minutes after going through gears - nothing on dipstick
Scene 3: At 5 minutes, just a small drop on the very end of the dipstick.
Scene 4: At 10 and 15 minutes, nothing much happening, drop is a little larger, turned off cooling fans (AC), 10 mm at 20 minutes, should have taken an IR gun reading on the front of the pan as the fluid was obviously heating up very slowly, fans working for whatever reason didn't help. Ambient temperature didn't help either. That's the first time I have noticed the slow warmup that much.
82mm cold morning, before start. 50°f outside
95mm after 45min driving,

No idea how to interpret that, except it looks off the chart above
82mm cold morning, before start. 50°f outside
95mm after 45min driving,

No idea how to interpret that, except it looks off the chart above
82 mm "cold turkey" makes some sense, but 95 mm, while warming up, or reaching operating temperature, engine running, sure doesn't.

48 mm at 180F would be "full, full". A more likely temperature of say 150F would be 40 mm "full, full".

Note: "Full, full" doesn't necessarily mean "Good Dear, Good". Somewhere between low and high is the objective. Some try to reach the full mark and then overfill.

Is the dipstick slipping past the stop (bracket) in the transmission maybe. Must be. The dipstick should only go down the tube 16"+/- (16.1") to hit the stop.

Here's what the dipstick stop looks like:

The Dipstick Stop
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I used oil dipstick, measured height from 1st easy tap, did not proceed to apply any more pressure to bend stick.
Measurements well above hash marks and bend in stick above that.
I don't understand how they remain close at diff temps.
Tim the transmission guy will help school me. Fresh fluid and filter is in order. Underneath, looked like pan etc never saw service...
Thanks for all the help guys.
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