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This is very, very bad advice. I predict many transmissions are going to fail because of this.

MERCON LV CANNOT be used in a 4R100. It will kill it.
That’s what they used to say about Mercon V in these transmissions. I suspect when the licensing changes again, it will magically be ok to use LV. I say this with full sarcasm and definitely not recommending anyone try it,but I’m getting the sneaky suspicion that all ATF is made at the same plant and put in different bottles...


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Its bad enough to make the first mistake of my life and in front of others but even worse to be called on it by an ME. 😂
Not just an ME, but I also hold an MAE - Master of Automotive Engineering. Both of these degrees are now doing me a lot of good in my main profession - BBQ Pitmaster!
 

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That’s what they used to say about Mercon V in these transmissions.
I was one of those people. Tests were run and MERCON V caused problems in these transmissions. In 2006 MERCON V was reformulated, retested, and worked fine.

I’m getting the sneaky suspicion that all ATF is made at the same plant and put in different bottles...
MERCON LV is noticeably thinner than MERCON V. That's why it is called LV - LV stands for Low Viscosity.
 
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Discussion Starter #25
Of the three Transtar ATF products listed, I would guess your mechanic is using the Mercon labeled.

Transtar does not manufacture or blend their own lubricants. They purchase bulk at a discount and re-label it with their brand. The question becomes are they just buying the cheapest fluid on the market or are they buying the bulk fluid that has the best analysis? I have read they are buying based on least expensive and offers the highest markup.

Popular brands on 4R100 forums are typically Mobil-1 and Valvoline. These companies manufacture and blend their own products and have high user ratings. Ofcourse, another top quality option is the Motocraft brand of Mercon-V. Ford does not manufacture this ATF; however, they insist it meets very specific properties that are best suited for their transmissions.

Do you intend to do work on your own 7.3 or find it more advantageous to have a shop do the work? No right or wrong answer.

I mean no disrespect towards your mechanic choosing Transtar. I am guessing he services many types of Transmissions and finds the Transtar does the job.

But our 4R100 Transmission is around 20 years old and about $4K to replace. For that reason, I would suggest budgeting for another pan drain & fill within the next 5,000 miles and using one of the following ATF fluids:

1) Genuine Motorcraft Mercon-V (corrected)
2) Mobil-1 Multi-Vehicle ATF
3) Valvoline Dex/Merc (Blue Jug)
4) Valvoline Max-Life ATF (least expensive option).

I would also perform Mark Kovalsky’s ATF Flush Procedure if doing the work myself (or does he go by Mike nowadays? 😉).
If taking it to a mechanic, then getting on RT’s rotation schedule would be good.

My own preference if I relied on a Mechanic would be to find a shop that specializes specifically in Ford Powerstrokes. They have learned the unique peculiarities or requirements of our Vintage.
T
Thanks for the advice I’m planning on doing a drain and fill of the recommended transmission fluid and filter I realize as a mechanic the guy should have taken the time to look into what is best for his client truck but then again in today society we seem to all be in a hurry and that can cause problems lol have a great week brother
 

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I was one of those people. Tests were run and MERCON V caused problems in these transmissions. In 2006 MERCON V was reformulated, retested, and worked fine.


MERCON LV is noticeably thinner than MERCON V. That's why it is called LV - LV stands for Low Viscosity.
And yet, as if by magic, the bottle of Valvoline ATF I use says approved for Mercon, Mercon V, Mercon LV, and about a dozen others...


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Yes, it does. I don't use that fluid.
 

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Getting back a bit to the original post question, is changing the lower end fluid good or bad? My opinion, as long as one uses the appropriate materials and compatible materials it can't be bad. However it may not satisfy the owner, it would not me.
We're it me I wouldn't want a testimonial from a "Mechanic" regarding what they put in mixed with what might have been in there. Hope it wasn't one of those Express Mistakes Quicky NoKanikz ex- spurtz. I would want a fresh start to know first hand eyeball close. Drop the pan clean up, change the filter, flush the system installing a media that I had complete confidence in it's providence. Then stick with it.
It's probably a 2 out of 10 DYI project. While I was at it change the transfer case media. If an old man like me with bad knees and post back fusion surgery can do it anyone can.
 

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Yes, it does. I don't use that fluid.
Mark, you were very verbiage specific about the certainty of failure if one used MotorCraft LV in a 4R100. I respect your qualifications and opinions that I believe are likely based on imperical data and testing.

Do you feel as strongly about using the referenced Valvoline Synthetic Mercon rated fluid in a 4R100 ? Your statement above could be interpreted to mean that you just don't use it not necessarily that you disapprove of it. If you disapprove, why?
 

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I won't use it because I am leery of a fluid that can cover MERCON V and MERCON LV specs. Maybe it can. I don't know, and I won't risk it to find out.
 

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OK, fair enough. Possibly as a group we can gather enough actual use data to determine capability from in unit testing by multiple users? It would be encouraging it there was some type confirming data other than the one size fits all Mercon's Valvoline bottle writing. Having an acceptable synthetic Mercon at half the price of Mobil1 might encourage more users to keep their fluid maintenance up to date or improved, more frequent. I run Valvoline in three vehicles including my PSD. It has ran well, defined as no negatives determined or experienced. But I am just one user that isnt abusive to equipment a light duty user. If its the spec the differences of Mercon and Mercon LV might not be linear, it could easily be that the Valvoline is a good Mercon and poorer Mercon LV fit.
 

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You can count on me to NOT risk my transmission on a fluid that I don't trust. But if others are willing to use it, report back after 250,000 miles and let us know how the internal wear measures in the transmission.

Anything less than that is anecdotal and while interesting, doesn't answer the question of how this fluid works in these transmissions.
 
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