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Thread: Honda Accord 94-97: Changing Manual Tranny Fluid

  1. #1
    cause it's tight! VRGNCD5's Avatar
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    *How to* Change manual tranny fluid(5th gen Accord)

    ~Items/supplies needed~

    Shop towels(rags will do)
    1/2" drive ratchet
    3/8" drive ratchet(you can use a 1/2"-3/8" adapter too)
    floor jack
    drain pan
    3 quarts of Honda manual tranny fluid(kinda costly)
    or
    3 quarts of your favorite Synthetic blend 10w30 motor oil
    Lug wrench
    Fluid pump(two different sizes, get one that fits a quart)

    Aight now that you have all the vitals, let's get busy

    **Make sure your tranny is warm before starting this procedure**

    1.) Break the lugnuts on the front passenger side wheel, don't loosen them alot, just get em going.

    2.) Jack the car up to remove that wheel

    3.) Once you remove the wheel, you will see two plugs, one above the other, that have a square opening. The top one, the fill plug, is 3/8" while the bottom one, the drain plug, is 1/2". Remove the top plug first. Be prepared to exert yourself, it may be in there pretty good. The best way to remove these plugs would be to use a breaker bar, it is longer than a rachet and will give you more leverage when trying to "break" the plug.

    4.) Once you've got that plug removed, get your drain pan and some shop towels and remove the lower plug, allowing the fluid to drain into the pan.

    5.) After all the fluid is out, put the drain plug back in and tighten to manufacturer specs(don't ask me) *I just tightend up so its snug, then tapped it a few times w/the hammer just to be safe*

    6.) Get ur pump and place the hose into the small opening where the fill plug goes, push it into the hole about a 1/2" or so, then open up a bottle of tranny fluid(or oil if you so choose) and screw the pump onto it and begin pumping with the bottle upside down, you will be able to get most of the fluid out if you pump upside down, pumping right side up will only allow you to pump maybe 1/5th of the contents. You want to add 2.5 quarts of fluid to the tranny.

    7.) When you have filled the tranny w/2.5 quarts, have the fill plug in hand before taking out the hose of the pump cause some fluid will start to come out, remove the hose and quickly put the fill plug back in and tighten, giving it 3 firm taps w/the hammer to be safe(or better yet, torque to manufacturers specs).

    8.) Re install your wheel, let the jack down, torque your lugnuts and you're ready to go, almost

    9.) After doing this, I got in the car and w/o starting it up, I went through the gears about two or three times to work the fluid throughout the tranny, then started up the car and let it idle for a minute or two, then with the car running, went through the gears again.

    That's all there is to it, it is an easy project given you have the right tools and do things in the order they need to be done to avoid having problems like I did. I did manage to get my problems taken care of and accomplished this w/o any further complications. Have fun!

  2. #2
    Honda Biased REbornHONDAneer's Avatar
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    you should go ahead and post the problems you had before your fluid change(if u call it that with a teaspoon of fluid that came out of ur tranny), and how it basically fixed all your tranny problems. People might have these same problems but not know it might be their tranny fluid.

    Dave
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  3. #3
    cause it's tight! VRGNCD5's Avatar
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    Originally posted by REbornHONDAneer
    you should go ahead and post the problems you had before your fluid change(if u call it that with a teaspoon of fluid that came out of ur tranny), and how it basically fixed all your tranny problems. People might have these same problems but not know it might be their tranny fluid.

    Dave
    True dat, I didn't even think about that. Well, here is the list of problems I was having. First one was that the clutch pedal didn't go in smoothly, I felt a slight resistance. Not only that, but when I pressed it in, it made a weird noise that was audible from outside, sounded like a cable was binding on something. I also had a shudder when pulling out in first gear first thing in the morning, and that shudder sometimes lasted for a couple times when pulling out of first. I also had some resistance when putting it into gears 1-3, 4 and 5 were fine. And when I would push it hard(take it up to redline in 1st) I would have to force it into second. And the most irritating one was kinda weird, I would find sometimes the clutch would grab almost instantly when I let off it, causing my car to stall since it just grabbed like that out of the blue. When that happened, I could just put my foot under the pedal and pull up on it and it would be back to normal, it was weird. So if you are having any of these problems, you may want to check ur tranny fluid. I still can't believe only a teaspoon of fluid came out of my tranny when I drained it

  4. #4
    PIMP-strollin' on 'em!
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    All I can say is that manual transmissions rule!

    Had you been half as neglectful with an automatic transmission...can you say $2k?

    I don't think I'll ever buy a daily driver that's not manual transmission. Maybe if it's a leased weekend car (if I ever get to that point in life). But never an automatic in a car I know I'm gonna dog out on the highway or just running errands around town. Maintenance costs on the important stuff--transmission--is soooooo much more sensible. Even if you're a bad shifter and burn out your clutch, you can get a shadetree mechanic to put one in for like $300. Much better than someone asking you for $3000 to rebuild a 4-spd, Japanese-engineered transmission.

  5. #5
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    are u supposed to jack the car up so it is level before doing this? ie setting them on 4 jackstands of equal height?

  6. #6
    cause it's tight! VRGNCD5's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TypeSH
    are u supposed to jack the car up so it is level before doing this? ie setting them on 4 jackstands of equal height?
    Yes, you want the car level, but jacking all four corners up off the ground to accomplish this is doing too much in my opinion. I just jacked up the front passenger wheel, removed the wheel, and when I was ready to drain the tranny, lowered the jack until the car was level again(actually, I had it leaning to the passenger side a bit. This shouldn't be a problem because you don't have to get under the car for anything so I felt comfortable doing it.

  7. #7
    Honda Biased REbornHONDAneer's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cvc2k
    nevermind... fill thru dipstick hole apparently.
    yeh..that hunched me too.....it didnt feel right filling it through that hole. I dont know about civics, but on accords, the dipstick is almost at the "bottom" level of the car. And the space to work with is very compact, so you need a LOOOOOOONG funnel to fill it. Weird!

    Anyway...good u found it. Autotranny fluid is easier to change than oil, there's no excuse people shouldnt do their own.

    Dave
    http://www.twitter.com/davidbauder
    ~David Bauder~
    02' Silver Accord EX Sedan 5-speed
    04' Silver Mini Cooper Hardtop Automatic

  8. #8
    cause it's tight! VRGNCD5's Avatar
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    Originally posted by REbornHONDAneer
    yeh..that hunched me too.....it didnt feel right filling it through that hole. I dont know about civics, but on accords, the dipstick is almost at the "bottom" level of the car. And the space to work with is very compact, so you need a LOOOOOOONG funnel to fill it. Weird!

    Anyway...good u found it. Autotranny fluid is easier to change than oil, there's no excuse people shouldnt do their own.

    Dave
    Yeah, that's why they have funnels w/bendable extensions on them

  9. #9
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    honestly i never new this could be done, or even heard of it.....

    but i watched one of my coworkers do it on one of the hondas, not sure which model..... i walked in and the car was on the lift, he had already drained the so called tranny fluid.... i walked in late but when i did he put 10w 30 oil in there.... i have only done automatic tranny fluids and i thought you would put it in from the top but he was putting it from the bottom.....

  10. #10
    cause it's tight! VRGNCD5's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Macster33
    honestly i never new this could be done, or even heard of it.....

    but i watched one of my coworkers do it on one of the hondas, not sure which model..... i walked in and the car was on the lift, he had already drained the so called tranny fluid.... i walked in late but when i did he put 10w 30 oil in there.... i have only done automatic tranny fluids and i thought you would put it in from the top but he was putting it from the bottom.....
    Yep, manual trannys have fluid too, it's just too bad there isn't a dipstick like on auto's so you can check the level. Yeah, you can use oil for this, but I chose to go w/Honda manual tranny fluid, I heard it is specially formulated to not foam and has more additives to provide better protections and lubrication than oil, but who knows? At $17 and some change for 3 quarts, it should be better.

  11. #11
    cx power! dantastic's Avatar
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    Re: *How to* Change manual tranny fluid(5th gen Accord)

    Originally posted by 94uhkord

    3 quarts of your favorite Synthetic blend 10w30 motor oil
    ive always heard that its best to use conventional 10w30

  12. #12
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    Honda switched to recommended MTF over 10w30 for the later years (96-97 perhaps?). so since the tranny's are the same for all years, I think MTF is a better overall solution for any honda tranny, new or old.

  13. #13
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    Is this the same process for AT tanny? And is tranny flush bad for your tranny? If so how?

  14. #14
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    nice write up vrgncd5...i happened to be googling around yesterday looking for some info about changing my fluid in my 96 accord and came across your post. after i read the symptons you were having, i immediately ran out and got stuff to change mine. like yours, i had about a shot glass worth of sludge come out. luckily i looked to see what the plugs actually looked like before i bought all of the stuff...my first thought was completely different what it actually is. the breaker bar you suggested did the trick for getting the plugs out. everything was going smoothly until i tried to get the fluid back in. it's a real pain...in fact, i couldnt get any to go back in...seems like it wanted to flow out of the fill plug, but i KNOW it isnt full. maybe i had the hose in it too far? the pump i had was crap, and that could have been part of the problem. what pump did you use for yours??? how long did it take for the fluid to "drain" into the tranny? can you fill it through the vss hole on top? any ideas or suggestions...anybody?

    oh yeah, ihave about .5 quarts in there now...ugh...but it's more than i had before. :P

  15. #15
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    Thanks so much for the post. This helped me a lot. Basically I had a crack on the bottom of my trans. The mechanic saids go buy a new one! I even got the part ready for pick up from the junkyard. Then I remember I saw a thread about changing manual fluid. I decided to read it in more detail and drain my oil, then I can JB weld the crack and then put oil back in. Woah it works! (so far)

    But there's one thing I'd like to add to your post, there is actually another drain bolt. It's all the way at the bottom of transmission. It's a 3/8" square lug too. I opened it and found 2 quarts of oil coming out. So the 1/2" square is not really the drain, maybe it's there for another reason?

    I used 10w30 (2.5 quarts) and it works great. A cheap 10 pump from pep boys works. Get a pump with a small pipe (1/4" or less, smaller the better), that way you can put the pipe right into fill port (tiny hole on the upper left of the 3/8" square lug opening).

    Good luck with changing your fluids all you manual accord owners!

    David

  16. #16
    bboy Wesley West wedley2's Avatar
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    odd, i thought honda recommends their own MTF?

    or pennzoil synchromesh works well (i have yet to try it but i have done research on it) which is also cheaper, yet the same as GM synchromesh.
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  17. #17
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    But there's one thing I'd like to add to your post, there is actually another drain bolt. It's all the way at the bottom of transmission. It's a 3/8" square lug too. I opened it and found 2 quarts of oil coming out. So the 1/2" square is not really the drain, maybe it's there for another reason?


    I've changed tons of fluids in hondas, both auto and manual trans.

    The 3/8 square lug hole on the passengers side, very bottom of the transmission is the ACTUAL drain plug. It is even slightly magnetic, to catch metal particles flowing through your transmission. You should take that out to drain the transmission fluid.

    There are several ways to refill your transmission.

    1. through the speed sensor
    2. through the check transmission fluid dipstick on automatic trans
    3. through another 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch fill plug- located on MANUAL trans only- at the top of the tranny casing.

  18. #18
    bboy Wesley West wedley2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigt61
    But there's one thing I'd like to add to your post, there is actually another drain bolt. It's all the way at the bottom of transmission. It's a 3/8" square lug too. I opened it and found 2 quarts of oil coming out. So the 1/2" square is not really the drain, maybe it's there for another reason?


    I've changed tons of fluids in hondas, both auto and manual trans.

    The 3/8 square lug hole on the passengers side, very bottom of the transmission is the ACTUAL drain plug. It is even slightly magnetic, to catch metal particles flowing through your transmission. You should take that out to drain the transmission fluid.

    There are several ways to refill your transmission.

    1. through the speed sensor
    2. through the check transmission fluid dipstick on automatic trans
    3. through another 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch fill plug- located on MANUAL trans only- at the top of the tranny casing.
    holy shit, ill drain through that now...
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  19. #18
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