depending on the model of transmission you have you may have to drop the transmission pan. on the 4R70W transmission, there is no drain plug. you must drop the lower trans-pan in order to change the fluid. once the pan is down, remove the silver disk plug in the transmission case close to the motor. from here you have access to the torque converter. on the torque converter there is a drain plug to change the fluid here too. The vehicle uses MERCON V type transmission fluid. if you have the 4R70W trans, and you drain the torque converter, you can expect to put 14 quarts of fluid back in. The other transmission is the 4R100, and has a drain plug in the pan. follow the same procedure for draining the torque converter as well on this transmission. if you have this transmission, and are 2 wheel drive, the unit will take just over 17 quarts. If the vehicle is 4x4 the transmission pan is alittle larger and will take close to 18 quarts.
13.2 quarts not fun
Two plugs that a 3/8 ratchet fit into on trans lower for drain upper for fill, after draining fill until fluid flows out upper plug, run the engine and cycle gears and do it again. finally check level by pumping in more fluid till it runs out again and you are done. either go yo pennzoil and have them do it. or get a trany filter kit and drop the trany pan
there is a solenoid on the drivers side fron taxle that has gone bad.
There is normally a "pipe plug" in the side of the transmission case. When the plug is removed fluid is added until it starts to run out.
Unlike engine oil, or automatic transmission oil, there is no dip stick to measure the level. Also ther is no cap to remove under the hood to add manual transmission oil. You must get under the car and remove the plug with a wrench.
All the above may apply to other Mazda models, on late 80's 323's (1987-1990), you need to remove the speedometer cable drive located on top of and at the rear (closest to the firewall)of the transaxle. Use a 10 mm box end wrench or socket and rachet to remove the retaining bolt and metal retaining clamp. Now you can pull the drive (with the speedo cable attached) out of the transaxle, and move it to one side.
Use a funnel with a long spout so that you don't spill any fluid when topping up. Don't overfill the transaxle (max capacity is 3 litres, a little under 3 US quarts)and use only Dextron II (GM automatic transmission fluid, yes even for manual transmssion (right out of the factory manual).
On data decal (sticker) on bonnet (hood) it will tell you what type of oil needed for gear box. if Auto it will be DextronII if Manual it will be 75W-90 gear oil. these numbers are SAE or Society of Automotive Engineers (same Authority that gives us those cute "wrench" sizes used in USA and UK)
I find it is best to use a hose (even garden hose) about 1 metre long and a funnel taped to it. this will fit in the speedo drive hole and makes it clean and easy. pour oil in slowly. MAZDA 323 or Astina 1990-1996 or Ford Laser use 3 litres of gear oil. We recomend EPX 80W-90 for Australian conditions.
The speedo drive is located by following the cable out of the firewall to the final drive (diff) housing. it has a 10mm retaining bolt. remove this bolt and twist and pull the cable to disengage the speedo gear.
there is a drain plug (24mm with a red fibre washer) under the gear box to drain it and a level plug in the side of the diff housing. Usually you fill the gear box until it reaches the level plug, but in this case you will be ok if you drain the Box and fill it with 3 litres of gear box oil (manual). Oil manufacurers recomend this is done every 50,000 km, especialy in hot areas. Most manufacturers now state that the transmitions are sealed for life. Go figure.. one wants to sell you a new car the other wants to sell you oil. I say, look after your car and at least check the level when doing regular oil service every 10,000 km, but if used under harsh conditions, change it every 50,000 km and your motor oil every 5,000 km. a quick tip! change your coolant every 20,000 km.