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Discussion Starter #1
Any of you that have thought you might want to check your automatic transmission fluid level, have probably noticed a distinct lack of a transmission dipstick. Chrysler in its infinite wisdom has apparently decided we owners don’t need one, probably because checking the fluid level is a tad more involved than in years past and so they no doubt wish us to make a trip to the dealership.

Since I decided to change torque converters to a high stall unit I figured I’d better be able to check my own. What follows is a method for checking your fluid level, I borrowed some of the ideas from various places and adapted in some of my own as well.

First we need some kind of a dipstick, now there are articles floating around out there that tell how to make your own (either out of a zip tie or old van dip stick etc…) but I’m going to stick with the factory unit here. I acquired dip stick 9336 from vendor HHP although I’m sure several other vendors no doubt have it as well. Be warned though that it isn’t a cheap part, especially considering the complete lack of complexity of the part, however I wanted the correct tool.

With the tool acquired we are now ready to measure right? Well not quite, fluid level is apparently very temperature sensitive and must be measured in conjunction with its temperature and checked against Chryslers chart to see that it falls within a certain level.

The dealership would use a scan tool to check the temp. however not having one I had to improvise. Now I have read of people using a tire temp. gauge and then scanning the fluid on the dipstick to take the temp. That method would most likely work but I didn’t have a tire temp gauge and didn’t want to spend that much more money. Instead I borrowed an idea I had seen elsewhere and acquired a cheap digital meat thermometer with a long line to the probe (cost about $12).

Now some guys after removing the metal spear at the end then wrap the line around the 9336 dip stick with the actual temp probe of course being close to the tip of the dip stick. I didn’t want anything interfering with the measurement so I instead ran it along a 36” zip tie, taping it in place and took the temperature separate from my fluid measurement.


Remove metal spear from temp gauge by uncrimping the one end and pulling temp probe free. Then attach to either the dipstick itself or a zip tie or a long old dipstick from another vehicle etc…

Both dipstick and temp gauge ready to go.


With the vehicle parked on a level surface, the parking brake on and the dipstick tube cap removed go ahead and start the car. Let the car run in park for a bit then shift through the gears a few times. I shouldn’t have to remind you but keep a foot on the brake while running the transmission through the gears.

After a few minutes warm up, check the oil by running the dip stick down the fill tube until the tip contacts the bottom of the pan (the dipstick will not be all the way in at this point and in fact will actually have a good bit of extra sticking out the top of the fill tube) then pull and check the level.

With a good reading established you can then check the temperature by running the gauge down. I did try to just run the gauge down without it being attached to anything but it just got hung up, so I found it necessary to have it attached to something, in my case a zip tie in order to get it into the fluid.

Now with the level known and a temperature you just look at the chart and see where it falls.

 

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Good thread Jon. Very imformative and useful .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good thread Jon. Very imformative and useful .
Thanks Alan :smileup:.

very good,would a hand held laser temp gauge be accurate if aimed at the pan from underneath the car? just curious
I don't know too much about them but it might work. I would think that if you pull the dip stick up with a bit of fluid on the end and hit that with the laser temp gauge that might do the trick. We just need to get someone that has both gauges to try some of this out and see if the readings are the same.
 
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What's Old is New Again!
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Good Write Up!!!

Nice Write Up on the Dipstick. That's worth about 8 :rep:. Actually, it is worth more, but I'm not. LOL
 

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Dash Cam Guy
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Excellent write up, thanks for sharing. Chrysler is not the only company to do away with tranny dip sticks. General Motors got rid of them over a decade ago. Seems asinine to me, but there must be a good reason.
 

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Yeah there is a good reason alright. The big guys want you to bring your car in so they can fleece you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A little more information from the service manual that might help some that are either changing their own transmission filter or doing a torque converter change.

If changing fluid and filter add 5.0L (10.6 pts.) of transmission fluid.

If changing the torque converter add 7.7L (16.3 pts.) of transmission fluid.

Then of course follow the procedure initally listed to make sure you are at the correct level.

Also the pan bolts should be torqued to 70 in.lbs, remember that's inch pounds not foot pounds LOL.
 

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Time to Spray Pff Pff
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Good Info. After I swap Converters, I usually will add fluid and then get the trans hot and try to hit between 60 - 70 or I will do it at the track after and nice burnout and a trip down the 1320
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Been a few questions on the process lately so I'm giving this a bit of a bump back up. I've used this technique in conjunction with both my converter swaps and its worked fine, it still seems like a bit of an overly complicated process but it's what Chrysler calls for.
 

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Looks like im gonna do something like that to check my fluid level now, i just had my car up on a lift to install my safety loop and i noticed a very slight leak from the seal where my new Torque converter is. This might have been from the Torque converter installation 18 months ago or my heavy foot at the track. Either way i want to keep a closer eye on it now.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Looks like im gonna do something like that to check my fluid level now, i just had my car up on a lift to install my safety loop and i noticed a very slight leak from the seal where my new Torque converter is. This might have been from the Torque converter installation 18 months ago or my heavy foot at the track. Either way i want to keep a closer eye on it now.
It's not too hard to do Alan once you have assemble all the tools needed and with all your performance modifications it's probably a good idea to keep an eye on things.
 

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How fa$$$t do want to go?
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Has anyone purchased the NAG-1 Locking Transmission Dipstick from B&M Performance? Looks interesting, but a bit pricey.--:4-dontknow:
 

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Yeah there is a good reason alright. The big guys want you to bring your car in so they can fleece you.
Hit the nail right on the head. Absolutely no other reason to eliminate the dipstick. The shop tech/ service mgr. can tell you anything. How do you know otherwise except for the jerry rig set up suggested by a previous poster which may or may not be all that accurate. Just my $.02.
 

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I have a 2012 Dodge Challenger SXT V6, Curious to know, If the transmission (NAG 1) fluid level is checked after warm up,that level is checked with a corresponding temp chart. So if that same car is checked after sitting outside in the current ambient Temp for 12 hours, will not that fluid be very close to the ambient temperature , and then checked on the chart, i do not see the difference.
 

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Any of you that have thought you might want to check your automatic transmission fluid level, have probably noticed a distinct lack of a transmission dipstick. Chrysler in its infinite wisdom has apparently decided we owners don’t need one, probably because checking the fluid level is a tad more involved than in years past and so they no doubt wish us to make a trip to the dealership.

Since I decided to change torque converters to a high stall unit I figured I’d better be able to check my own. What follows is a method for checking your fluid level, I borrowed some of the ideas from various places and adapted in some of my own as well.

First we need some kind of a dipstick, now there are articles floating around out there that tell how to make your own (either out of a zip tie or old van dip stick etc…) but I’m going to stick with the factory unit here. I acquired dip stick 9336 from vendor HHP although I’m sure several other vendors no doubt have it as well. Be warned though that it isn’t a cheap part, especially considering the complete lack of complexity of the part, however I wanted the correct tool.

With the tool acquired we are now ready to measure right? Well not quite, fluid level is apparently very temperature sensitive and must be measured in conjunction with its temperature and checked against Chryslers chart to see that it falls within a certain level.

The dealership would use a scan tool to check the temp. however not having one I had to improvise. Now I have read of people using a tire temp. gauge and then scanning the fluid on the dipstick to take the temp. That method would most likely work but I didn’t have a tire temp gauge and didn’t want to spend that much more money. Instead I borrowed an idea I had seen elsewhere and acquired a cheap digital meat thermometer with a long line to the probe (cost about $12).

Now some guys after removing the metal spear at the end then wrap the line around the 9336 dip stick with the actual temp probe of course being close to the tip of the dip stick. I didn’t want anything interfering with the measurement so I instead ran it along a 36” zip tie, taping it in place and took the temperature separate from my fluid measurement.



Remove metal spear from temp gauge by uncrimping the one end and pulling temp probe free. Then attach to either the dipstick itself or a zip tie or a long old dipstick from another vehicle etc…

Both dipstick and temp gauge ready to go.


With the vehicle parked on a level surface, the parking brake on and the dipstick tube cap removed go ahead and start the car. Let the car run in park for a bit then shift through the gears a few times. I shouldn’t have to remind you but keep a foot on the brake while running the transmission through the gears.

After a few minutes warm up, check the oil by running the dip stick down the fill tube until the tip contacts the bottom of the pan (the dipstick will not be all the way in at this point and in fact will actually have a good bit of extra sticking out the top of the fill tube) then pull and check the level.

With a good reading established you can then check the temperature by running the gauge down. I did try to just run the gauge down without it being attached to anything but it just got hung up, so I found it necessary to have it attached to something, in my case a zip tie in order to get it into the fluid.


Now with the level known and a temperature you just look at the chart and see where it falls.

Amazon the dipstick is $9.99 w/o tax
 
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