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Discussion Starter #1
GTO 2004 Automatic 50,540 mi

Do i have to drain it then put new fluid in or top it off? I was thinking of doing this myself but i feel this is a very delicate procedure. Ive done simple maintenance on my car(oil change, brake fluid, coolant, brake pads etc) and I was wondering maybe if this is something i can do? Or i can get it done by a professional who knows what hes doing. Does anyone know where i can get this done in Southern California? I live near south of Los Angeles.
 

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To change the filter, you're going to have to remove the pan so, yes, it has to be drained. I've done this before on other vehicles (my GTO is a 6 speed). Not really a difficult job and I wouldn't refer to it as 'delicate'. It can be messy, however, since there's no drain plug.
 

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This is from the service manual:
Raise and support the vehicle.
Place a drain pan under the transmission oil pan.
Remove the oil pan bolts from the front and sides of the pan only.
Loosen the rear oil pan bolts approximately 4 turns.
Lightly tap the oil pan with a rubber mallet in order to loosen the pan to allow the fluid to drain.
Remove the remaining oil pan bolts.
Remove the oil pan and the gasket.
Grasp firmly while pulling down with a twisting motion in order to remove the filter.
Remove the filter seal. The filter seal may be stuck in the pump; if necessary, carefully use pliers or another suitable tool to remove the seal.
Discard the seal.
Inspect the fluid color.
Inspect the filter. Pry the metal crimping away from the top of the filter and pull apart. The filter may contain the following evidence for root cause diagnosis:
• Clutch material
• Bronze slivers indicating bushing wear
• Steel particles
Clean the transmission case and the oil pan gasket surfaces with solvent, and air dry. You must remove all traces of the old gasket material.

Installation Procedure

Coat the new filter seal with automatic transmission fluid.
Install the new filter seal into the transmission case. Tap the seal into place using a suitable size socket.
Install the new filter into the case.
Install the oil pan and a new gasket.
Notice: Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Replacement fasteners must be the correct part number for that application. Fasteners requiring replacement or fasteners requiring the use of thread locking compound or sealant are identified in the service procedure. Do not use paints, lubricants, or corrosion inhibitors on fasteners or fastener joint surfaces unless specified. These coatings affect fastener torque and joint clamping force and may damage the fastener. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.
Install the oil pan bolts.
Tighten
Tighten the oil pan to transmission case bolts alternately and evenly to 12 N·m (106 lb in).
Lower the vehicle.
Fill the transmission to the proper level with DEXRON® III transmission fluid. Refer to Transmission Fluid Check and Fluid Capacity Specifications .
Check the COLD fluid level reading for initial fill only.
Inspect the oil pan gasket for leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To change the filter, you're going to have to remove the pan so, yes, it has to be drained. I've done this before on other vehicles (my GTO is a 6 speed). Not really a difficult job and I wouldn't refer to it as 'delicate'. It can be messy, however, since there's no drain plug.
Thanks alot for your reply. You have any tips for a first timer?
 

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Just carefully follow all of the outlined steps, tap the pan to remove it; don't pry it, make sure that each bolt goes back in the same location it came out of, don't over tighten the pan bolts. I said 'can be' but hoagie is right, it will be messy.
 
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