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  #1  
Old 08-04-2012, 06:34 PM
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Default Transmission Leak

I'm getting ready to put my '59 on the road after a two year resto but it has started leaking from the bell housing. I did put a new front seal in about a year and a half ago when I put the motor back in. I had been running it occasionally and hadn't noticed any leaks until recently. I took the inspection plate off and it's leaking from behind the flywheel right in the center of the bell housing. The odd thing is that it is sporadic. One day I'll start it and it won't leak at all, the next day it will be pouring out. Does it sound like the seal went bad or could it be something else. Both plugs on the torque converter are tight and I didn't notice any leaks when I had the converter out. Hopefully one of you transmission experts can shed some light on it before I spend money having a shop look at it. Thanks.

John
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2012, 02:31 AM
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John, I assume we're talking about a COM. The front pump seal goes around the converter 'sleeve' and it retains trans fluid.

I know you are a seasoned mechanic of over forty years. So, you already know the seal is very common and only worth a couple bucks. The real money comes from charges for hoisting the car, disconnecting the driveshaft and exhaust, then pulling the trans, then all that reassembled.

The seal iself, is for the front pump, right behind the converter and easily changed once it is exposed.
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I hope this helps. - Dave
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2012, 11:07 AM
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Dave,

Thanks for the detailed pictures. I did replace the seal as I mentioned so I was wondering if it could be something else, perhaps the sleeve on the converter. Transmissions are not my area of expertise.

John
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2012, 12:51 PM
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John, I wish I had better news but there isn't anything else there. Of course, troubleshooting without actually seeing the problem is nearly impossible. I have heard of torque converters leaking but that almost never happens. When you take it apart I'm sure you will see what's really going on.

Whenever I pull a trans, I always do it by removing the torque converter nuts. Re-assembly is too easy to mess up using any other method. Besides, that's how they do it at the factory. - Dave
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2012, 01:39 PM
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The only good news is that it happened before I put the exhaust system on so it should be less work to get it out.

John
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:04 PM
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John, I hope you find the problem right away. The outer surface of that converter spline is hardened. If you find a score or nick, stone it out. - Dave
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2012, 02:23 PM
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Will do. Thanks for the heads up.
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2012, 01:19 PM
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Well it looks like the problem is more serious than just a front seal leak. If I run the engine long enough trans fluid will start to come out the dipstick tube. I figured something was wrong when I filled it to the fill line and a couple of days later it was halfway up the dip stick. I dropped the pan and it was loaded with sludge. I cleaned as much of the visible parts as I could but I suspect that it's clogged internally. After I put the pan back on I couldn't put fluid in. It would just sit in the funnel. The only way I could fill it was to have it running. I filled it to the fill line, drove it around the block and there were no fluid leaks. After a few hours I checked it again and fluid was way above the fill line and it started to leak from the front seal again. Other than drop the trans and get it professionally looked at are there any other suggestions. Despite the fluid problems it seems to shift ok.

John
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:17 PM
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John, is there a possibility that silicone-based fluid was mixed with a conventional type? And... it seems strange that fluid wasn't coming out of the breather before the fill tube.
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  #10  
Old 08-12-2012, 02:51 PM
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I've been putting in Type F. The car hadn't been driven since 1990 so I'm not sure what was in it before. Most of the original fluid came out when I removed the cooler lines. Is there any way to flush it out.

John
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