Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

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Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby hometheaterman » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:33 pm

To say I'm getting frustrated with this transmission situation is a very big understatement. Since I got this 96 Trooper I've been battling with this transmission pan. I dropped the pan and replaced the gasket with an ATP gasket the first time. I torqued the pan bolts to 11nm going in a star pattern. After a couple of days I noticed the transmission was leaking again. I got under there an instead of using a torque wrench I just tightened the bolts down. Apparently too much as the leak got even worse.

So I dropped the pan one more time. I checked it with a straight edge and while it looked pretty good I thought the pan might be warped. So I ordered a new OEM pan from Honda and replaced the pan and this time I used a Fel Pro gasket and again torqued the pan bolts to 11nm. I also put blue locktite on the bolts since I didn't want them to come loosen up. I drove it for an hour or so and all seemed well. That is until I let it sit for about a week. I once again noticed a puddle under it. I got under there and looked and sure enough it's leaking around the pan gasket again. I checked the bolts and they felt loose. I tightened them back down to 11nm. (I'm assuming this is from the gasket settling.) Hopefully I didn't over tighten them this time. At this point I'm losing faith.

What is the secret to getting these pans to stop leaking? I've done this is quite a few cars and I've never had an issue until now. I'm very close to removing the gasket and just using RTV. Any advice on how to get this thing to stop leaking?
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby Buster28 » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:18 am

Where is the leak located?
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby hometheaterman » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:51 pm

Sure enough, I get home from work today to find another puddle under the Trooper. Apparently retorquing it didn't make a bit of difference. It's literally leaking almost everywhere although the front of the pan near the OD pan seems to be the worst, but the side has fluid coming out as well. Here are pictures of it in the front. You can see the ATF coming out there.
Image

Image

I'm thinking my next step is going to be to ditch this gasket and just use RTV. I don't know what else to try. I've never seen one leak like this before. Especially not when torquing it properly with a torque wrench. Any other suggestions?
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby vanduker » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:15 am

Not to doubt your skills but could it be something leaking above and looking like it is the pan? I have a cheap UV light kit where you put a small amount of dye in the fluid or oil or whatever. With the UV light in the dark any leak shows up really clear.

If I remember right pulling the pan on those requires removal of the crossmember. I'd consider buying one of the leak detection kits before I dove into the pan gasket again.
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby hometheaterman » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:31 am

In this case I can see it oozing around the pan gasket and it doesn't look wet anywhere above. So I'm pro sure that it's the pan gasket. The first time it was the pan gasket combined with the shift shift seal which I fixed.
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby Holoholo » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:58 pm

I'm having similar leak issues, changed the gasket twice already and just changed out the shift seal. I think the case connector on my trans is also leaking, dripping down to the lip of the pan and mimicking a gasket leak. Try reaching around the pan lip and touch near that case connector to see if it's wet up there. Shoot it down with some brake clean and check it again later for ATF.
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby Oro » Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:05 pm

The method I use is this:

a) clean surfaces w/solvent. Dress surfaces with file if necessary.
b) dress new gasket very lightly (I use permatex Aviation)
c) tighten to torque values.
d) DO NOT FILL. Let sit overnight. Re-torque the next day. You will find some bolts are now loose.
e) Fill and go.

This has always worked for me.

And as mentioned, there are numerous other places these can leak that can mimic one or both of the pan gaskets. They are hard to find without a really thorough inspection.
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby radare » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:16 pm

Sounds very similar to my trans leak saga. I replaced the gasket, twice. Then installed new pans (yes, new pans). Leak remained. Turned out to be the selector shaft seal. Heres my post on the problem with pictures of what the leak looked like:

http://planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 50#p761269
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby hometheaterman » Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:30 am

Radare, that was my first thought as well. That's why I replaced the shift shift seal the last time I replaced this gasket. One question though, I noticed that this seal was a lot thinner than the oem one. I saw you also mentioned this, but said you seated it flush with the housing. I tapped mine in all the way? Do I have it seated too deep? What's the proper way to seat this seal?

I don't think it's what's leaking. Originally Joy could see it covered in fluid. This time I don't see any fluid on the range mode sensor or the transmission case in that area. I also don't see fluid on the gasket on that side. It's mostly the front of the transmission pan and the opposite side.

When you guys have had the sensor drip down does fluid go all the way around the pan gasket, or just look like it's leaking on that side?

For you guys the have used rtv on the pan are you using it in addition to a gasket or in place of a gasket? What brand gasket are you guys using that are using a standard gasket?
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby Holoholo » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:08 pm

hometheaterman wrote:Radare, that was my first thought as well. That's why I replaced the shift shift seal the last time I replaced this gasket. One question though, I noticed that this seal was a lot thinner than the oem one. I saw you also mentioned this, but said you seated it flush with the housing. I tapped mine in all the way? Do I have it seated too deep? What's the proper way to seat this seal?

I don't think it's what's leaking. Originally Joy could see it covered in fluid. This time I don't see any fluid on the range mode sensor or the transmission case in that area. I also don't see fluid on the gasket on that side. It's mostly the front of the transmission pan and the opposite side.

When you guys have had the sensor drip down does fluid go all the way around the pan gasket, or just look like it's leaking on that side?

For you guys the have used rtv on the pan are you using it in addition to a gasket or in place of a gasket? What brand gasket are you guys using that are using a standard gasket?


On the passenger side of the transmission are the cooler return lines and the accumulator cover, other common areas of leaking.
1997 Trooper 3.2 SOHC: Moog 6187 Impala spring lift, cranked torsion bars, Cooper A/T3 265/75R16, Ford F150 tie rod ends, braided brake lines, Energy Suspension swaybar bushings.
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby hometheaterman » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:08 am

I'm going to work on it again some more this week. When you are seeing leaks from one of these, don't you generally see fluid around that part and dripping down the side of the case as well, or do you generally only see it on the gasket?
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby Holoholo » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:16 pm

hometheaterman wrote:I'm going to work on it again some more this week. When you are seeing leaks from one of these, don't you generally see fluid around that part and dripping down the side of the case as well, or do you generally only see it on the gasket?


If your transmission is clean, you should be able to see the ATF dripping. Use a mirror and flashlight. Degrease the area or wipe it all down and then check again after a drive.
1997 Trooper 3.2 SOHC: Moog 6187 Impala spring lift, cranked torsion bars, Cooper A/T3 265/75R16, Ford F150 tie rod ends, braided brake lines, Energy Suspension swaybar bushings.
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby hometheaterman » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:00 pm

So I'm still battling with this. I've done 2 gaskets with no RTV, and tried twice with just straight Prematex ATF safe RTV. This last time my friend that's a mechanic came over and did it with RTV and no gasket which he claims is all they use at their shop as it seems be better than the cheap gaskets. This thing is still leaking. I also filled it with a dye and it doesn't look like it's coming from above. I only see it on the pan gasket.

Are there any gaskets that are better than others? I'm getting tired of dropping this pan constantly and I can't drive it because I'm afraid I'll ruin the transmission from running low on fluid. It's not like it has a dipstick so you can't easily check it to see if you are low on fluid or not.
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Re: Leaking Transmission Pan. Any Advice?

Postby ZooNoob » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:01 pm

I wish I could help you out, I'm in the middle of hunting for a leak on my 01 rodeo. I have to add fluid every oil change if not sooner! and I dont have any puddles forming, its litterally diaspearing on me. I'm putting mine on a lift tomorrow so if I find anything I'll let you know.
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