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Diesel - Manual Gearbox Oil change

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Old 26 Nov 2018, 11:46 am
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Default Diesel - Manual Gearbox Oil change

Probably been done before as a "how to", but while I'm having a coffee, here's a quick blow-by-blow.

The usual safety rules / caveats apply - don't do what I do / say - use your own common sense in all things. This is just what I did, feel free not to copy me


Torq 50 / 8mm hex - 3/8 socket

3/8 ratchet

Short (circa 12") hollow steel bar / wanking handle / call it what you will =- or ring spanner if you feel so inclined - anything to give you a bit of leverage unless you have a 12" handle on your ratchet.

About 4ft of clear thick walled (eg 2mm wall) plastic hose 11mm OD is perfect - half inch at a push.

Small funnel that will tight fit into the hose

Not needed, but sensible: 2" masking tape or similar

Ramps or jack & stands - take your pick - I used ramps BUT I only went up half way - you don't want the car laying backwards too much.

If you do what I did, use chocks, gears, handbrake and make sure she's not going to roll back.

You can do it with the oil cold, but ideally, give it a 10 mile drive, then let the exhaust cool down while you get everything together. About half an hour should be OK - the oil will still be warm, but you don't want the exhaust manifold hot enough to melt your plastic tube.

Worklight / torch / scented candle - whatever floats your boat.

Bowl / tray

Measuring jug

2 and a bit litres of your chosen fluid - with the stupid price of Mopar ATF+4 over here, I used this from Mannol which is listed as Chrysler +3 / 4, and is a Toyota spec that slightly exceeded Mopar ATF+4 when I researched it.

Personally I doubt if "Chrysler ATF +4" is that critical. So long as a major manufacturer is using a given ATF in a manual box - especially if it's a Getrag box - I doubt you'll go far wrong, but ultimately what you use is your call.

________________ So... on with the show... __________________

Jack up, axle stands, ramps whatever - get the front of the car raised enough to get under it, but as little as possible. This is because of the orientation of the fill hole - you want to minimise how far down it points, because it affects how much fluid will go in. Every little counts

1) Get under the car, about in the middle of the engine - look towards the gearbox - the DRAIN plug will be almost directly in front of you - call that "6 o'clock".

The FILL plug will be about 5" higher up at about 10 o'clock

Using the Torq / hex, UNDO THE FILLER PLUG

If you cannot undo the fill plug give up.
On some other boxes (eg, Fiat / Alfas that I know of) if the fill plug wont play ball, you can drop the end plate off the box and fill from there, but it looks like our fill plates are too low to get 2 litres into, even if you jacked up only the gearbox side of the car by a foot.

Anyhoo... the plug is a bit of a cow to get the torq/hex into, because it's half hidden behind the intercooler hose and other gubbins. It's a proper gynecologists special, and working by feel, you have to be very careful that the torq or hex seats right into the plug before you try to undo it - because you will (or should!) need leverage to undo it.

Have your bowl ready - you may well find that half a litre of old fluid wants to come out. I suspect this happens when whoever maintained the car believed Chrysler that the box was "sealed for life" if they didn't drive it as hard as the "B" service schedule, and never changed the gearbox fluid; ergo it still has the original fill, which was probably done on the production line with the gearbox upside down.
Be assured, though - you will not get any more than 2ltrs back in it - which is how much is specified.

2) Get back upstairs, and cover both ends of the hose with masking tape so it stays clean

3) poke one end of it down behind the oil filler cap (top left corner of the engine cover if your car isn't a diesel) and push it down behind the engine, past the exhaust manifold and down and across rightwards towards the top of the gearbox

4) get under the car again and find the end of the hose, and pull it over so you know it will be able to push into the filler hole. Take off the masking tape and poke it - the pipe, not the masking tape - securely into the fill hole, making sure it goes in a good couple of inches.

5) get up top again, and make sure the hose isn't too long - you only want it a few inches higher than the engine cover - cut if need be once you have it in the fill hole.
Secure the hose so it doesn't flop about / fall down the back etc - on a diesel, you can poke it through the oil dipstick handle and it will stay put. Leave the masking tape on for now.

6) Bowl at the ready, take out the drain plug... and let it drain. Once it's stopped coming out: PUT THE DRAIN PLUG BACK IN and tighten to spec - or whatever feels good. Leave the bowl where it is.

7) Get upstairs again, tuck the hose somewhere secure (like between the side of the engine cover and the air con pipes) take off the masking tape and poke the funnel securely into the pipe.

8) measure out your fluid into the measuring jug and start pouring to the funnel until you've sent 2 litres down the pipe - by which time, you will probably hear it trickling into the bowl underneath. If you can't, put a tad more in until you do.

9) At this point, you're all but done. Get underneath, pull the hose out and lay it in the bowl, hand tighten the fill plug, then torque it / tighten it with your ratchet.

10) Using the bit of masking tape you had over the pipe, plug the end of the pipe and give it a wipe so you can pull it out from behind the engine without dripping ATF over the manifold.
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'07 2.2 CRD

Last edited by Sinbad; 26 Nov 2018 at 11:59 am.
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