tranny leak question
July 26, 2011 5:21 PM   Subscribe

Help me ID a transmission fluid leak (photos within)

Hey guys. Hey guys, never had a diesel until I bought an '89 Ford E350 7.3 L diesel box truck last week. 191k miles runs nice overall. I took it in to my local truck shop to have tranny fluid changed, and they gave me one of those packages with tranny fluid change, gasket change, bands adjusted. I picked it up last Friday, drove maybe 10 miles on Saturday, parked it. Drive it again a few miles that day, Saturday, parked it. Today, I backed it up to move some garbage cans sitting next to it. I let it run for a few before backing up. Then I see a humongous tranny fluid puddle on the ground. Big! I don't remember seeing it over the weekend. Anyway, I went under and looked all over and see no immediate signs of leak or crack or anything. It definitely wasn't leaking before this weekend as I drove it 200 miles or so after I got it. Anyway, i went under again and it sure looks like it is leaking at the gasket between the pan the the transmission. I took some photos. Does it look like it to you? Is it unusual to have a shop do such a crappy job of tightening in the pan? I haven't done a thing to it. Should I start by tightening these, then putting more fluid in and then giving it a go?


I'm a real newbie here, what type of fluid? OK. Here are some photos, thanks!

photo 1
photo 2
photo 3
photo 4
photo 5

photo 6
posted by Salvatorparadise to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
 
It could be low or uneven torque, or it could be a half-assed job of cleaning the old gasket off the faying surfaces. Either way, it needs to be fixed and you should start by calling the shop where the work was done. It is a mistake rooted in carelessness. If they don't give you satisfaction, gently turn the screws on the pan to see if any is comparatively loose.

Transmission pan gaskets typically need several passes at increasing torque to get them right. Torque should be even and should be applied crosswise (tighten opposing pairs to 1/2, then 3/4, then the final torque) Your manual might have details about the torque sequence needed.

You should keep the fluid topped up if you have to drive any distance, until this leak is fixed.
posted by jet_silver at 5:31 PM on July 26, 2011


thank you
posted by Salvatorparadise at 5:51 PM on July 26, 2011


From your photos, it certainly looks like your pan gasket is leaking, but that could be just one place that is leaking, and you don't have any photos of your bell housing, and the one photo you have of the rear of the transmission seems to show that there is some leakage there, but it is pretty old, or fresh but caked in a lot of old dirt. It might just be that you have a major overfill on transmission fluid. Was this a manual drain and fill, or was a machine used to scavenge all the old fluid from the torque converter, while draining the main transmission body?

Usually a machine done transmission flush and fill is pretty fool proof, but I have seen overfills if the machine is programmed wrong, or is out of calibration. Sure seems like a lot of transmission fluid on your drive, for a simple pan leak, especially if it happen in a short period of time.
posted by paulsc at 8:47 PM on July 26, 2011


Cork gaskets are tricky. Too little torque and they leak. Too much and they split/squish out. It looks like they just didn't get it quite right.
posted by gjc at 5:34 AM on July 27, 2011


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