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Trans fluid/filter change '02 Burb

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by IrishBrewer, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. IrishBrewer

    IrishBrewer Rockstar

    I did my trans fluid last night on my '02 5.3L Suburban (1500) and ran into a few glitches.

    First of all, there is a shift selector cable running along side of the tranny pan that partially obscures 2 pan bolts. The FSM just says to unbolt and move the bracket out of the way. Problem is, the bracked is held on by two torx bolts that are barely visible and very inaccessible (the head is on the top). I was only able to find out that they were torx by pressing a piece of molding clay on the head and looking at the impression. The bracket itself is pretty stiff so you can flex it a bit but I was afraid to lean on it hard enough to bend it for fear of damaging the tranny housing it was bolted to.

    Also my drain plug (on the deep pans) was frozen so I had to do the tilt the pan thing to drain it. That wasn't a big deal but due to the bracket on one side and a crossover exhaust pipe on the other side, the pan would only come down a couple inches - I could not totally remove it. I was able to get it lowered enough to remove the fluid and to replace the filter. Thankfully, the gasket was still in one piece on the pan side and by feel it appeared to be in good condition. I bolted it back together and again had trouble with the two bolts under the bracket.

    I only got about a gallon of ATF out by draining the pan so I added that much back in and disconnected the lower ATF cooling line going into the radiator. This e-clipped line is the inlet into the radiator from the transmission and I had to remove the e-clip from below. I hooked a 3/8 inch section of clear tubing to the line and routed it to a catch basin. I had a friend pour fluid into the dip tube as I started the vehicle to have the tranny pump the old fluid out. He added about two gallons and we shut it off and measured the volume collected and pumped a little more out to get the right level.

    If i were to do it again, I would start of by removing the crossover pipe. I just didn't feel like doing any dirty exhaust work in the midst of an ATF fluid change where I'm trying to keep things relatively clean. My friend has an earlier GM vehicle and he found that my troublesome bracket is attached via the tranny pan bolts so it comes off as you are unbolting the pan. Some genius at GM found a good way to screw up this perfectly acceptable design.

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