The manual transaxle has a drain plug located between the two support bars that run from front to back underneath the unit. However, removal of the speed sensor is required. There is an electical connector that must be disconnected. The retainer clip for the speedometer cable must be removed along with the speedometer cable. Pry the speed sensor from the transaxle. Use the end of the speed sensor to check the level of the fluid. The larger lobe near the end you remove from the housing indicates full when fluid shows at the top of the lobe. Fluid is low if it shows closer to the tip of the sensor. After the sensor is removed, remove the drain plug using a suitable pan to catch the fluid. Refill by reinstalling the drain plug, using a funnel, and my book says Mercon automatic transmission fluid using care to not overfill. Reinstall the speed sensor, speedometer cable, and electrical connectore in the reverse order of removal procedure. NOTE: REPLACING FLUID IN A MANUAL TRANSAXLE EXCEPT FOR VERY HARD USE IS NOT NECESSARY PER FORD. Torque values are 30-38 ft-lbs for the drain plug, 70-99 in-lbs on the speed sensor bolt.
An Automatic transaxle can be changed along with the filter when car has been recently used. HOT STUFF, but most particles are now suspended in the fluid. SAFETY - use proper gloves and protect the rest of your body. You will be removing the pan on the bottom of the transaxle. A jack and a small block of wood may be necessary to lift the transaxle slightly to remove the pan. Check for a drain plug later models have one, and if not except for the 3 bolts on the driver's side end of the pan, remove the other pan bolts using a 10mm tool. Use a catch pan for the fluid all the while you are doing this. Now, loosen the 3 remaining bolts 2 turns each. Carefully separate the pan from the transaxle housing. Fluid will spill out, and if you are careful it will make a mess so use newspapers under your catch pan. Have oil-dri handy. Remove the pan (some fluid still exists in the pan) using the jack only just enough to clear the pan is necessary. Remove the filter by removing the 3 retaining bolts. A pan gasket, rubber seal, & filter are needed. Installation is the reverse procedure. Make sure the old rubber seal is removed and the new one in place when installing the new filter. Use the new pan gasket holding it in place with sewing thread if you like by tieing the gasket at several points to the pan. Torque values are 15-22 ft-lbs on the drain plug (2.0 Zetec is 30-40 ft-lbs), 70-90 in-lbs on the pan bolts, and use your torque wrench to loosen the bolts on the old filter when removing if you desire to know the torque value to apply when installing the new filter.
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