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81 auto trans fluid and filter

cstarr89

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
23
Location
columbus,ohio
Corvette
1981 charcoal grey coupe auto
So, I have a question about an 81 with an auto trans. My question is that i've read up on the filter and trans fluid in chilton's manual for the 63 to 82 but i'm still leary about replacing them because i've never had any experience with them. The manual just states u should refill it with dexron or dexron 2 fluid through the filler tube. filler tube??? Can I pick up a gasket,filter and fluid from a local auto parts store? The cars been sitting for awhile so i know its probably a good idea to replace it. I'd appreciate any advice.

thx
 

corvette66

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Messages
519
Location
Mattawan MI
Corvette
1969 427
Yes you can buy a filter and fluid at any parts store. Autozone, carquest, napa etc. check to see what the manual recomends for the fluid type. There are a few different types of fluid. Dexron 2, dexron 3, etc
You will get the gasket with the filter in one package deal. It will be a cork gasket, and you can always buy a rubber one (better and easier to install).
when installing the gasket either use super glue and glue the gasket to the pan first, or use sewing thread to tie the gasket to the pan. (through the screw holes)
this will help keep the gasket from falling into the pan when bolting it up. You'll notice the gasket is all twisted up in the box and can be a real PAIN!!!!
Rubber is much better and usually won't leak. You could also add a liitle Permatex seal (paper thin) to the gasket to help keep it in place and prevent leaks.

When filling, buy a trani fill funnel, usually skinny yellow funnel (walmart parts store blah blah) and stick it in where the fluid level check is, then filler up
have fun
 

Vette79

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,392
Location
Millersville, MD
Corvette
1979 L-48 Black Coupe
Very straight forward easy process. A little messy. Just ask if you have any questions. When you have the trani pan down check and see if you have a lot of metal shavings either in the pan or filter.
 

minifridge1138

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Messages
908
Location
USA
Corvette
1982 Black Fastback
Changing the transmission fluid and filter is a very easy job. No worse than changing your oil filter. It just takes more time and makes a bigger mess.

You'll definitely want to jack the car up to give you space to work.

To get the old filter out, you just pull/twist on it. There will probably be a little plastic ring on the filter where it slides into the transmission. Sometimes that little ring slides out with the old filter, sometimes it gets stuck. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RING FROM THE OLD FILTER OUT BEFORE YOU PUT IN THE NEW FILTER! I forgot and put on the new filter, shoved the plastic ring way up, and spent 1 hour with different picks and pliers getting it out.

Putting permatex or RTV on the new transmission pan gasket is a good idea. And don't over-tighten the pan bolts, or it will leak.
 

cstarr89

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
23
Location
columbus,ohio
Corvette
1981 charcoal grey coupe auto
Alright sounds good thx for the help. I'm going to pick up the filter this weekend and give it a shot.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
2,141
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
Corvette
1981 HD Suspension; ZN1 Option
You probably won't feel comfortable doing this, but here are a couple of "tricks" that can be done to your tranny.

I purchased at Checkers a few years ago a B&M Pan Drain Kit. You basically drill a hole on the pan, and install the drain plug kit. It is an adapter fitting, a Teflon seal washer, a back-up nut, and of course the plug. It paid-off handsomely just before Cruise Fest IV. I removed the plug, drained the pan, and removed and replaced the filter and pan gasket easily. I believe that Jegs and other high performance shops have a TH350C oil pan with a built-in drain plug on it.

Also, you can prevent metal shavings produced from wear by placing a magnet inside the pan. The magnetic pull will keep metal shavings at the bottom of the pan. The magnet MUST NOT be encased or shrouded in a metal casing, otherwise the metal casing will nullify the magnet polarity, and thus not do its intended work. :upthumbs

Good luck!
 

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