How to Change the Transmission Filter & Fluid in a 1998 Ford F150


In 1997, the F-150 underwent a drastic redesign, dropping the boxy look and introducing a love-it-or-hate-it, rounded body style. Though the looks were less rugged and truck-like, the newly redesigned F-150's horsepower increased significantly. The 1998 F-150 came standard with a 210-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-6 and a five-speed manual transmission. The 1998 F-150 had two optional four-speed automatic transmissions available, 4R70W and E4OD. Both transmissions had the same process to replace the fluid, only the capacity and type of fluid differed between the two.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Drain pan
  • Ratchet
  • Socket set
  • Rubber mallet
  • Transmission pan gasket (optional)
  • Plastic gasket scraper
  • Spray parts cleaner
  • Clean, lint-free cloths
  • RTV silicone
  • New transmission filter
  • Torque wrench
  • Long-necked funnel
  • Mercon (E4OD) or Mercon V (4R70W) transmission fluid (amount varies)
  • Small funnel
  • Drive the Expedition for about 20 minutes to warm up the transmission fluid. Park on a flat surface and turn the vehicle off. Set the parking brake.

  • Raise the front of the vehicle, using a floor jack, and place jack stands under the frame rails. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands.

  • Crawl beneath the vehicle and position a drain pan under the transmission pan -- the large, metal pan on the base of the transmission. Read the raised letters and numbers on the pan, this is the type of transmission your F-150 has -- 4R70W or E4OD. Remove all of the transmission pan bolts, except one bolt on each corner, using a ratchet and socket.

  • Loosen the four remaining transmission pan bolts about halfway, using a ratchet and socket. Pull the pan downward to drain some of the transmission fluid. If the pan sticks to the transmission, lightly tap it with a rubber mallet to free the pan.

  • Hold the pan upward and remove the remaining four transmission pan bolts by hand. Tip the transmission pan one direction toward the drain pan to drain the remaining fluid from the drain pan.

  • Pull the transmission pan gasket from the transmission pan and inspect it for any cracks, splits or tears. If any of these defects exist, replace the gasket with a new one -- you can reuse the gasket if it is in good shape.

  • Pull the circular magnet out of the transmission and wipe it off with a clean, lint-free cloth. Scrape the gasket-mating surface with a plastic gasket scraper and wipe it off with a clean, lint-free cloth. Hold the transmission pan over the drain pan and spray the inside of the pan with parts cleaner until the inside of the pan is clean.

  • Apply a thin bead of RTV silicone to the gasket-mating surface and set the transmission pan gasket onto the transmission pan -- line up the bolt holes on the pan gasket with the holes in the pan. Set the pan aside.

  • Pull the transmission filter downward from the transmission and set it in the drain pan. Check that the O-ring remained attached to the old filter and did not stick in the filter inlet hole on the transmission. If the O-ring is stuck in the filter inlet hole, pull it out using your finger. Press a new transmission filter into the hole on the base of the transmission until it snaps into place.

  • Set the transmission pan on the base of the transmission and hand-tighten the pan-retaining bolts. Tighten the pan-retaining bolts, in a crisscross pattern, to 10 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and socket.

  • Raise the SUV off the jack stands, using a floor jack, and pull the stands from under the Expedition. Lower the Expedition to the ground.

  • Open the Expedition's hood and remove the transmission dipstick. Insert a long-neck funnel into the transmission dipstick tube. Pour in 2 quarts of the prescribed type of transmission fluid -- the 4R70W uses Mercon V and the E4OD uses Mercon.

  • Start the engine and allow it to warm up to operating temperature -- leave the gear shifter in "Park," do not cycle through the gears.

  • Remove the funnel from the transmission dipstick tube. Wipe the fluid off the dipstick, using a clean, lint-free cloth and reinsert it into the dipstick tube. Pull the dipstick from the tube and check the fluid level on the dipstick.

  • Insert the funnel into the dipstick tube and add 1/4 qt. of transmission fluid, if the level is below the crosshatched area on the 4R70W's dipstick or below the crosshatched "Hot" area on the E4OD's dipstick.

  • Repeat Steps 14 and 15 until the fluid level on the dipstick reaches its correct level.

  • Insert a small funnel into an empty transmission fluid bottle and fill the bottle with old transmission fluid from the drain pan. Once full, tighten the cap onto the bottle. Repeat this step until you transfer all of the old fluid to the empty transmission bottles.

  • Take the old fluid and filter to a used automotive fluid-recycling center for disposal. Many auto parts stores take this fluid free of charge.

  • Recheck the transmission fluid level after your initial drive and add more fluid as needed.

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