Best method to change transmission fluid?

TbubTbub Posts: 10 New Baller
I have been dealing with this for years. I have a 2004 Ski Nautique 196. I have been using a fluid transfer hand pump and it is always a hassle. Trying to get a little hose all the way into the transmission, then hoping to get it all out. What a pain. Is there a better way?
Thanks for any insight.


  • GOODESkierGOODESkier Posts: 1,107 Crazy Baller
    Are you using a "suck up" or vacuum based device? Or a pump?

    Vacuum based device works really well.
    2003 Nautique 196 LE Star Gazer & ZBox - GOODE NANO OneXT 66.75" - Powershell 5 (LFF) - Tournament PB: 2 Balls @ 39.5' OFF (34.2 MPH) on 7/18/2015 at BIG DAWG BROHO!
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,520 Mega Baller
    pump it out. You should get near 2 quarts out of it.
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 292 Solid Baller
    Use a 12 v pump that you can hook to your boat battery, but go to an auto parts store and buy a short piece of metal tubing (like brake fluid line) and a fitting to attach the metal tube to the plastic hose from the pump. The metal tube doesn't bend or flex and is therefore easy to insert into the transmission. Put a slight angle on the end of the tube so it doesn't sit flat agains the bottom of the transmission case.
  • TbubTbub Posts: 10 New Baller
    I am using a vacuum pump. I like the idea of a 12v pump. Metal tube is a great idea as well.
  • TbubTbub Posts: 10 New Baller
    Transmission fluid does not match my carpet. Not happy.
  • bogboybogboy Posts: 696 Solid Baller
    @tbub, I have had great luck with my west marine 6.9 qr. manual pump oil extractor. It comes with a really good variety of a hose reduction system that works well for both engine and tranny applications. Having at least 2 home depo buckets ( one to keep the pump in), and several rags works for me also. Hope this helps.
  • DWDW Posts: 1,911 Mega Baller
    @Tbub: Brake Clean will get out the trans fluid, be very careful as it may also harm or discolor the carpet although I have had success to date using it. Heck, even use it in the house although the CFO has no idea on that!
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,059 Baller
    I use a siphon pump through the dipstick opening. The boat needs to be in the water to get the levels correct. I always do it in the fall before I put the boat away.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • bogboybogboy Posts: 696 Solid Baller
    @tbub, also, for the engine oil, your 196 may have a dedicated extractor service hose with threaded female hardware on top of the engine, like my 02 s/n. If so, you can go to ace hardware an get the male hardware piece that will connect from the oil extraction pump hose to the service extraction hose on the engine. That makes the process really easy for me.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,290 Mega Baller
    @Tbub some simple green and it'll be OK. Gets rid of the oil and won't hurt the carpet
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,720 Infinite Pandas
    What is "changing the transmission oil"? Last time I did that the transmission cooler failed a couple weeks later. Coincidence?
    Regarding the carpet, mix some engine oil (change it? Nooo), some steering cable grease, some spilled sunscreen, some bird poop and a little salt crust and you can have a sweet tie dye look. Of course, those rubber boot soap spillers can ruin the entire effect.
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,747 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    How often do you recommend changing it??
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,123 Mega Baller
    If you do that metal tube trick make sure it is LONGER than the trans is deep. My roommate in college had similar Idea to suck oil out of a motorcycle that had a stripped drain, only problem that metal tube with the bend got caught and pulled out of the tube.

    I use a "topsider" oil change pump - and since it only takes ~2 quarts I usually will suck dry, add 1 quart back, start it for a moment, then suck it dry again and add fresh to my "on lift cold" mark.

    If you haven't don't so - establish your appropriate on water level, put your boat on lift/trailer/sling or what have you - once cool pull the dip stick and SCORE a line. Makes it FAR simpler to do oil changes.
  • JohnbrannanJohnbrannan Posts: 30 Baller
    Does anyone have any current advice for a 2016 SN EX3 5.7 tranny fluid change?
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 492 Crazy Baller
    This is a little pricey, but the best solution out there for boat oil and transmission fluid changes is the Porta-Quick. I built a quick disconnect fitting so I can screw on to the oil change hose, then plug in, suck out the oil, then unplug to unscrew without spilling a drop. I made another adapter that plugs into the same quick disconnect that connects to a long piece of very small copper tubing. All I have to do is insert the copper tubing into the transmission to suck out the fluid. Be very careful to not use a plastic tube for this as it can get stuck, causing a transmission tear down to get it out. Another tip is the 1-gallon zip lock bag around the oil filter to remove and get out of the boat without spilling a drop.
  • DWDW Posts: 1,911 Mega Baller
    @Johnbrannan : Assuming you have a top plug / port to fill & check level, I use a cheap Harbor Freight manual fluid pump to extract the fluid and simply fill an old container as I do it.
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