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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Goal: To check the level of the tranny fluid. Maybe even drain and refill.

(1) I have already done some damage to my '99 Passat V6 by using the floor jack. :cry:

(2) I have fallen and crushed the Rhino-Ramps. :oops:

(3) I don't get a "warm fuzzy" with the emergency jack and then jackstands. Looks unstable, and the car may not even be perfectly horizontal. Plus it is a lot of work. :shock:

At this time I am coming to the realization that raising the Passat on all four is "Rocket Science". :sad:

My Plan: To build a solid ramp using 2"x6"x10' lumber. Maybe stack 4 of them to make an 8" height. Would this give me enough clearance to get underneath, with the engine running, and check the tranny fluid?
 

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I have build something similar, 2 sections per side plus a ramp. I think what you'll find its ends up being terribly heavy. It can be stored to the side of your garage but it's such a hassle to set up. I leave mine up all the time. As to height I think you'll find that something on the order of 14" is more realistic given you'll want to use a creeper. I would suggest a width that gives you at least 2" on either side of the tire.
 

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FWIW My driveway happens to be the right slope so that when I drive the front up on ramps, the car ends up level. (I checked level by looking at my coolant tank.) If you can find a slope you can use... just make sure you can let it sit there on the ramps for enough time for the fluid to cool before you open her up. I put mine on the ramps in the evening and did the drain and fill in the morning. It stays hot a long time.

Also make sure it is running when you open the inspection cover, otherwise too much fluid will come out of the inspection hole. To quote JAERO: "Be sure you set the final fluid level after cycling through the gears, then with the trannie in park and the engine is running. If you shut off the engine fluid will drain back into the pan and your final level would be too low. If you just remove the fill plug with the car cold and engine off fluid will come out, but that doesn't absolutely mean it was overfilled."


How do you plan to pump the fluid in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I plan to buy 12' of clear 3/8" tubing and attach to a 1-gallon bottle containing at least 3 liters. I will clamp the tip of the hose with a pair of locking pliers. I will put the big bottle on the roof of the car and hope siphon action will do the rest.
 

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That may be enough, but I tried it with a funnel 5 feet in the air, and the fluid just came out in a trickle. My mechanic showed me his trick - you need a compressor - even a cheap one that plugs into your lighter will be good.

Drill a hole in the cap of the trans fluid bottle that your tubing will just squeeze thru. Push the tubing thru the cap far enough that it will reach to the bottom of the bottle when you put the cap on.

Then poke a hole in the upper side of the fluid bottle - he used a phillips screw driver. This is where you will blow the compressed air in. It pressurizes the bottle and the fluid shoots out. Much faster than gravity feed...
 

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For quicker dispensing of the fluid, warm it up.

Turn your oven on it's lowest setting (~200) and put your ATF bottles in there for a FEW minutes.

Or set the bottles in the sink and fill the sink with hot water.

Matt
 

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RL331 said:
How did you crush your Rhino ramps may I ask, I have put them up on those ramps numerous times without any problems? Was the car fully loaded with passengers? :???:
I'd like to know too.

I am always nervous about driving off the end of the ramps...getting the car on the ramps is a lot more difficult with a manual transmission...it's a lot more difficult to maintain a steady inching up. (I end up rolling back off)

Do you think it's possible to jack the car up...then lower it onto the ramps??
 

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Drill a hole in the cap of the trans fluid bottle that your tubing will just squeeze thru. Push the tubing thru the cap far enough that it will reach to the bottom of the bottle when you put the cap on.

Then poke a hole in the upper side of the fluid bottle - he used a phillips screw driver. This is where you will blow the compressed air in. It pressurizes the bottle and the fluid shoots out. Much faster than gravity feed...
This is what I did. Actually flowed well with just the hole in it... but of course much faster with the pressure.

Didn't spill a drop. Oh, I also got some soft 1/4 copper tubing and made a 'candy cane' to hook on the fill hole... nice and secure (just make sure you don't pop the fillhole cap off, cause then you gotta pull the pan :( some of our members have been unlucky like that )
 

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Metal ramps for front wheels. Jackstands for rear, backed up by a large block of wood under the rear suspension just in case. I also place my floor jack under the front subframe just so it's touching as an additional backup. That's the only way I'll crawl under for tranny work.

MityVac extractor and dispenser. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: Tell your wife it'll save money on oil changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is how I crushed Rhino-Ramps: I drove over the cliff. I thank Rhino for being crushable, otherwise this would have caused damage to my car's underneath. Why did I do that? -- Because I expected to feel the "stop" at the end of the Rhinos. I may not replace the Rhinos now though. :oops:

I have to figure out a once-and-for-all solution to the working-underneath-the-car problem -- otherwise it will cost me $100's just to have my VW Dealership utter the words: "yeah, we checked it", not to mention the loss of time in going there and leaving the car, etc. :puke:
 

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I bought Steel ramps (with extensions) at Wal-mart. They have a definite stop to them,but I am careful pulling up on them. I used jackstands on mine,but I did a filter/gasket change and wanted the extra room to move around.

Get a rail adapter for the floor jack. There is a GB on them now.
 
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