To change the tranny fluid yourself, you will have to drop the transmission pan. The new filter will "push" into the bottom of the tranny after the pan (and old filter) are removed.
Be sure to have a large drain bucket/container at hand. Loosen all the screws on the tranny pan a bit, then slowly remove the srews from one end of the pan until the pan drops a bit, allowing the majority of the fluid to flow into the bucket. Support the pan with your hand while this occurs. Then remove the rest of the screws until the pan can be carefully dropped and the rest of the fluid can be drained. DO NOT use a screwdriver to "pry" the pan down...you will scratch up and possibly gouge the gasket seams, causing the new gasket not to fit properly and fluid will leak from around the transmission pan.
The drained fluid should be reddish in color, and should not have a “foul” smell to it. It will have a consistency of used motor oil (almost the viscosity of water). Tranny fluid has a particular smell to it...I suggest that you CAREFULLY take a whiff of the new transmission fluid (Mercon) ... the old fluid should smell the same way.
Once the pan is removed, clean it out with some carb cleaner. Make sure the top of the pan (where the gasket will go) is clean and that the surface is flat with no scratches, etc. There will be a circular magnet in the bottom of the pan, and there should be a small amount of metallic "sludge" on the magnet. These are the "shavings" from the tranny gears wearing. A small amount is normal, if there is really alot, or if there are large shavings, have the tranny looked at.
Clean and replace the magnet (easy to forget!)
The old F-150 tranny filters used cork gaskets, I believe the newer F-150's use re-usable silicone/rubber ones. Once you have the gasket properly fitted around the clean pan (and the new filter installed properly!), reinstall the pan in the same manner it was removed (screw by screw). Use a torque wrench if you have one, otherwise, tighten the bolts by hand with moderate pressure on the ratchet. Resist the temptation to over torque the bolts!! BE CAREFUL NOT TO STRIP THE THREADS... otherwise the pan will leak slowly and drive you nuts.
Be sure that the filter is seated properly, and is not pinched, bent, or otherwise not fitted properly. If it is, it will leak (trust me here) and you will have to do it all again.
TAKE YOUR TIME fitting the new gasket on the pan and reinstalling the pan.
Finally, fill the tranny with the new fluid (make sure to check the owner’s manual for the correct tranny fluid!!!). After the first few quarts, check that the tranny pan is not leaking. It’s easier to remove it if you have to with just a few quarts of fluid in it.
The reason for the discrepancy in the amount of tranny fluid called for is that you will not be draining the torque converter, which will typically hold an additional 5-6 quarts of fluid. You can drain the converter if you wish, but it is a more involved process.
Be sure to check the tranny fluid level again after starting the engine for a few minutes.
2000 4X4 Lariat SC SB
Two tone black/silver
All options except LS differential
MODS so far:
-Westin step bars (powder coated matte black)
-Lund bug shield
-Gentex electrochromatic rear view mirror
-Cabin filtration kit
-Stull Billet Grill
MODS to come:
-K&N or AirAid FIPK kit
-Flowmaster Force II exhaust (series 50 SUV with duals out the rear)
-Mickey Thompson Challenger 16" wheels with 295/75 BFG AT KO's
-4.10 gears (still thinking about this one ...anyone have any input?)
-LS diff or locker of some sort once they are available