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It is very important to change the filter in the pan, at the valve body, even if you have an inline magnetic filter for the ATF and I will tell you why.
My transmission mechanic Gaby, at Jul's Transmission in Hollywood, Ca. showed me last week a 2005 Ford Expedition 4wd automatic transmission's pan filter that was completely plugged/blocked, where the owner had installed an aftermarket drain plug in the transmission oil pan so that he could do regular ATF fluid changes to keep his transmission running longer.
He did not drop the transmission pan and change the filter inside at anytime. All he did was kill his ******* sooner by having a plugged up pan filter and the valve body was heavily layered in wear materials from the transmission.... His transmission crapped out at 38,000 miles. His FORD dealer had warned him that prior to installing the drain plug in his transmission oil pan, that his warranty was void on the transmission if he did that.
You're absolutely right about keeping ATF fluid clean and that inline magnetic filter for the transmission from BOSS products sounds like a great idea! I am planning to check it out and install one on my newly rebuilt 4R55E 2wd transmission. Thanks for the tip! :-)
Change the ATF fluid and pan filter and put on a new pan gasket once a year/12,000 miles. If you have a 4x4 (4WD) and do alot of offroading or if you do a lot of towing with your 4x2 (2WD) you should check your ATF even sooner and change as necessary due to it being burned or a high content of worn materials (friction material, metal, etc.) suspended in the ATF oil.
The filter in the pan mounts right at the valve body and also there is a magnet in the pan itself. That is another reason to once a year (or as driving conditions warrant) drop the pan and change the filter and clean the pan magnet.
Park on a hill or jack the car up and place jackstands under the vehicle in a recommended lifting area. Your drain plug is on the driver side of the engine. Drain oil then remove the oil filter located towards the front of the vehicle. Replace oil filter put the drain plug back on and refill oil 5.5 qts.
I recommend plugs, wires, distributor cap, rotor, air filter, I suggest changing the oil and filter and the tranny filter and oil too. Also drain and reflll differential(s) ... Stick with motorcraft, fram, products