2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick? - Transmission Forum

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2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 1:30 PM
hey so i have a 2004 cavalier z24 ls sport (manual) and my transmissions seal went and its leaking so i have to top it off a little every night till i can get it fixed. so im just curious where the trans dipstick is and where do i put the fluid, because theirs a cap thats really hard to get to and a hex bold beside it?

Re: 2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2:13 PM
Well... Unless I have no idea about cavaliers... I would have to say that you don't have a 2004 Z24. You should have a 2004 LS Sport w/ Manual Transmission. The manual doesn't have a dipstick. It has a filler cap on top of the tranny. It should be RED. This is also where you fill the tranny with like ATF 3 I believe. NOT gear oil! You can use some Lucas oil stabilizer too but not very much. And you should put in a MAX of 1.8 quarts.

There is a drain plug that is a hex head near the CV axle. I also believe it is under the CV axle.

If there's anybody who thinks otherwise... post on here so we all can learn.




To turbocharge, or not to uh, uh..... eh, that last part don't matter.
Re: 2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 3:52 PM
Abe Jacobs wrote:

Well... Unless I have no idea about cavaliers... I would have to say that you don't have a 2004 Z24. You should have a 2004 LS Sport w/ Manual Transmission. The manual doesn't have a dipstick. It has a filler cap on top of the tranny. It should be RED. This is also where you fill the tranny with like ATF 3 I believe. NOT gear oil! You can use some Lucas oil stabilizer too but not very much. And you should put in a MAX of 1.8 quarts.

There is a drain plug that is a hex head near the CV axle. I also believe it is under the CV axle.

If there's anybody who thinks otherwise... post on here so we all can learn.


Well if he is from Canada he could have a Z24......I have a 03 Z24

He can add more than 1.8 quarts. The GM TSB says to add 2.6 if the trans is making the rattle noise. I usually just add 2 and be done with it.

Your correct you do use atf. I believe its 4 though.
Re: 2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick?
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 4:08 PM
Fine... I'll just stick with the engine side of things

Plus Canadian cars are dumb! lol jk




To turbocharge, or not to uh, uh..... eh, that last part don't matter.
Re: 2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick?
Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:51 AM
ya im in canada on my ownership it says it is a z24. but yes after i removed the stock air intake i was able to access the tranny cap alot easier, its not a vented cap i believe it was just a solid black cap, no red cap. and while i was taking my stock intake off i slapped on a new cold air intake.
Re: 2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick?
Thursday, August 22, 2013 1:23 PM
yeah when i drained my transmission fluid right before removing my engine and tranny this past weekend, not a whole lot came out. I have an 04 base cav, 5spd manual though.
Red cap on top, 8mm allen drain plug on driver side between the tranny and cross member support. I was able to stick an allen wrench on it then use the hole in a wrench to leverage it loose.

Is there a better fluid to use than the traditional stuff? Mine was very clean for a 205k mile car, but Id like to see if theres a way to reduce the temps at all since i drive mine pretty hard a lot on weekends.


04 Cav. 2dr. 5spd. My DD. 'Nuff said.
Re: 2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick?
Thursday, August 22, 2013 8:47 PM
yes.. I just put in Pennzoil Synchromesh. It's in a yellow gear oil looking bottle. I've seen others on here use it, and I just put some in today cuz I had CV shafts going out, and when I replaced them, most of the fluid came out too. This is in my black cavy. Before I put it in earlier I had like a almost grind noise when I was in hear accelerating from 1500-2000 RPM. After I put 2 quarts of the synchromesh in, I only hear the engine rev no more tranny struggling noise. I recommend this stuff. $8.99 a quart but I think so far its worth it!

I kinda stripped out my plug.... so to drain my tranny, I have to open the case lol




To turbocharge, or not to uh, uh..... eh, that last part don't matter.
Re: 2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick?
Thursday, August 22, 2013 8:53 PM
the plug shouldn't be in there very tight...it doesn't even start draining until its quite a ways out. So you should be able to put a bigger alan in there or a thick extraction bolt and loosen it. that sucks though!


04 Cav. 2dr. 5spd. My DD. 'Nuff said.
Re: 2004 cav trans where to fill and dipstick?
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:22 PM
Well you've seen and commented on my build. The tranny came out and well, whoever owned the car before me or the shop that may have ever worked on it, put the plug on too tight. I understand not to over torque these aluminum cases and plugs. Just like an oil pan. Still ticked me off that I wasn't able to drain it before I dropped it out of the engine bay.

What did you get for your fluid?




Did you say my car looks slow??
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