Durashift -Jatco JF506e oil change - Drivetrain (Mk4 Mondeo) - TalkFord.com

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Durashift -Jatco JF506e oil change

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#1 wirdy


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Posted 02 January 2010 - 01:05 AM


Hi, new member with a newly purchased 2004 TDCI Ghia X Durashift Auto.
On every auto I've owned I have changed the gearbox oil soon after purchase and EVERY one had dirty smelly fluid. So when I acquired my Mondeo - simple I thought, trawl the net or get the manual.

Trouble is, the information consists of lots of snippets all over the place so I've put together a little guide for anyone who is mechanicaly sympathetic like me and doesn't believe all this 'It's Sealed for Life mate - the fluid never needs changing' sort of information that is widespread.

At 110k miles my fluid was dirty brown and smelly - so was well overdue for a change.

Firstly - the correct oil - much debate over this. Some sites say the specified fluid is Texaco N402 or equivalent, but try getting hold of the stuff....
The only definitely correct fluid that I've found is available from Rover parts stockists and is the fluid specified for the same JATCO JF506E box as fitted to our mondeos. It's available from Rover parts dealers such as Rimmer Brothers near Lincoln or any other x-part dealers - from the 5 litre container it says on the back label " An automatic transmission fluid specifically for use in the JF403E 4 speed & JF506E 5 speed electronically controlled automatic gearbox in MG and Rover vehicles"

The part number is VYK000040.

DO NOT remove the bolt at the back of the gearbox thinking this is the drain plug- IT IS NOT - It's the bolt that anchors your reverse band inside the gearbox. See pics in next post. You WILL lose reverse gear and releasing it means a full gearbox removal to rectify.

Because of the fluid always held in the torque convertor an oil drain only changes about 30% of the fluid each time. But the more you flush the higher percentage of old oil is being replaced. My fluid went clear red after three flushes.

This is how I flushed / changed my fluid -

Firstly I bought 7 litres of Comma ATF (as flushing oil)
and 5 litres of Rover fluid part no VYK000040.

Warmed up transmission with a spirited 10 min drive. Put front wheels on ramps and jacked up the rear of the car to get the car levelled.

Underneath the car, remove the metal gearbox selector cover (3 bolts) to expose the 5mm female hex fluid level plug and the large drain plug, the level check plug is partially hidden by the front cross-member but just enough access to get a 5mm allen key in there to undo.
Make sure you can remove the fluid level check plug before draining the oil!
Undo the large drain plug at the bottom of the gearbox (22mm If I recall correctly) and let the fluid drain - you should get about 3 litres out and will probably be filthy! Go careful not to lose the metal sealing washer.

Refit drain plug.

Remove battery and battery tray to gain access to the rubber gearbox oil filler plug.

Remove rubber bung and use a small funnel to fill up with the same amount of fluid removed. I chose to use standard (cheap) comma ATF as a flushing oil and flushed it twice before flushing once with the good fluid and finally refilling with the good fluid.

Refit battery.

Run car for 5 minutes and cycle through R,N,D slowly but continually to really work the new fluid around.

Stop engine and drain this fluid.

Remove battery.

Refill with the more flushing fluid.

Refit battery.

Run car again and cycle through gears for 5 mins.

Stop engine and drain fluid.

(Add another drain / fill cycle here if you want to flush some more).

Remove battery.

Refill with good fluid.

Refit battery.

Run car and cylce through gears again but only for about 3 minutes because the next step is to go underneath the car and feel the gearbox casing for temperature - you need to check the level at about 35 degrees c.

With engine running and gearbox in park, remove the fluid level check plug - some fluid should come out as the level drops to the top of the tube that sits upwards of this check plug hole. If no fluid comes out you need to top up with more fluid until it comes out. The temperature thing is quite important here so make sure the fluid doesn't get too hot or you will get a false level.

Once fluid has stopped coming out of the check plug refit it. The fluid coming out should be lovely and red at this point because you will have replaced about 90% of the fluid.

Refit the metal cover and the job's a good 'un.

It'll take a good few hundred miles to get the new fluid fully around all the nooks and crannies in your gearbox but you should notice an improvement in shifting quality within 20-30 miles.

Remember that after having your battery disconnected your engine ECU and your gearbox ECU will need to relearn their datums so a sprited drive should be undertaken with a few applications of full acceleration / wide open throttle.

Hope this helps someone.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1262392521-JF506e_drain_plug1.JPG
  • 1262392533-JF506e_drain_plug2.JPG
  • 1262392549-JF506e_level_check_plug.JPG
  • 1262392561-JF506E_Fill_plug1.JPG
  • 1262392571-JF506E_Fill_plug2.JPG

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#2 huw1000


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Posted 02 January 2010 - 01:09 AM

I don't have an auto box but this writeup is impressive and definitely needs to go on the wiki.

Excellent work Wirdy :thumbup:
2004 Mk3 Zetec 2.0 TDCI Hatchback in Magnum Grey
Final Facelift Rear Lights, Final Facelift Rear Skirt, Reverse Parking Sensors, 18" Zetec S Alloys, Mud Flaps, Aerotwin Wipers, Titanium Sony MP3 Headunit.

#3 wirdy


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Posted 02 January 2010 - 01:11 AM

Pic of bolt that you DO NOT remove and diagrams of how the fluid level check plug gives the right level.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 1262394416-JF506e_do_not_remove_this_bolt.JPG

Attached Files

#4 SRH990


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Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:42 AM

I had a Volkswagen Sharan VR6 with an auto box and VW service schedule shows an ATF change at 80k miles, although finding a dealer that could do it wa a chore. The same engine and gearbox were fitted in the Ford Galaxy and as I was having so much trouble finding a VW dealer to do it I popped into the nearest Ford dealer - to be told the Ford gearbox is sealed for life and doesn't need an oil change :shocked:
Steve H

'06 Zetec TDCi 130 Euro IV, '04 TDCi 130 Euro IV

#5 cevin


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Posted 02 January 2010 - 12:40 PM

wow, perfect, i've just bought mine, 98000m on the clock and thinking about to change the oil in gearbox, i think all the words about all life fluid is wrong, all oil need to be change because of the mechanical parts... well just looking for someone, who can do it, im not able to do it by myself, its little bit scary for me :) but anyway, well done!!!

#6 wirdy


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Posted 02 January 2010 - 12:53 PM


Your experience is not uncommon - I think it's to keep the 'cost of ownership' figures low. Judging by the state of my oil it really needed changing about 30k miles ago which ties in nicely with your info about the VW maintenance schedule. Just hope it's not done too much damage in the meantime. I will be using my mondeo for towing so any work to give the gearbox an easier time is worth it. Jatco say that these gearboxes have a normal service life of 250k KM and only specify no oil change because they are concerned that it won't be carried out correctly - doesn't say much for their confidence in garages, eh? Follow the info, then check the level at the correct temperature and it's not a difficult job at all. In the US they change the oil in this box at regular intervals on VW's - youtube has some videos.

Anyway - does the first owner of a car really care about how long the auto box will last when they are unlikely to own the car when it dies at 80/100k miles?

From my research the Jatco JF506E (alternative part no's - 5F31J, 09A, JA5A-EL)was fitted to Ford, Jaguar, Mazda, Volkswagen, Rover and Seat in models - Mondeo, Galaxy, X-type, Freelander, 75 / 45, Sharan, Jetta/Golf, Alhambra.

Just to add - I'm really impressed with this gearbox - the way it learns how you want to drive it, and especially the automatic downshifting to give you engine braking when going downhill - something all my other auto's didn't do meant going into manual selection of a lower gear to get this.

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#7 wirdy


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Posted 02 January 2010 - 01:30 PM

For completeness.

Auto Express article on Mk3 with Durashift

JF506E Technical Supplement

:) :)

#8 Sartan


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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:09 PM

At first sorry for my english but i'm writting to you from Poland.
Tommorow I want to change oil in my Jatco and it's written in maunal that I sholud check oil level when the engine is on and the temp. of oil is about 35C in gearbox.
I don't have a software to monitor the temp on the computer.

My question is: Is there some place where I can mesure the temperature with a normal termometer?

#9 bertj


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Posted 02 February 2011 - 05:58 PM

Shouldn't this post be in the Mk.3 Mondeo section?

#10 lcx


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Posted 12 March 2011 - 04:49 AM

I have a TDCi 130 with the same automatic gearbox.

Does someone know the maximum torque this gearbox can handle?


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