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9/22/10 2:00am - Original Message: 'Transmission leak'
VeteransVette73
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Flat Rock, MI - USA

Vette(s):
L48 coupe, red on red.

Joined: 4/4/2010
Posts: 14

When I bought the car it had a transmission leak on the exhaust.  The pan gasket had postal strings between five of the pan bolts and I assumed someone held the rubber gasket to the trans and never took them out.  I repaced gasket and filter and had no leaks.  I started it today and had trans fluid blow out of the trans dipstick on high idle.  The car did sit for 10+years.  Any ideas? 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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9/22/10 7:12am - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19459
Couple o ideas...
Is the trans overfull? Check it before starting it next time. It should only be above the "Full Hot", or upper line about an inch. Then start it, and see how far down it goes. With the fluid hot(operating temp), the level should be no more than halfway up into the cross-hatch area, or in between the low & high marks. Trans fluid expands when it gets hot, and 400s tend to run a bit hotter than others...
One thing that could be happening is the torque converter draining back into the pan after sitting, as in overnight. This is a major problem with the 400. It the fluid level is too high to start with, and the converter drains back overnight, then there is waaaay too much fluid in the pan on start-up, and they can "burp" like that.
Another thing it could be is the vent tube for the trans is stopped up. You'd be surprised at the bugs that can crawl up in the tube and make nests, blocking any air flow thru the tube, especially if the car sat for a long time like that. The vent tube is on the top of the trans, and is usually a plastic tube that extends from the area above where the front edge of the pan is. Some have metal tubes, but most are plastic. With the fluid level at the correct level, you can use an air blower, and blow gently(15-20psi) down thru the filler tube to determine if the vent is stopped up. BE warned, tho...if the tube is stopped up, blowing air into the trans can cause the fluid to spit back out at you IF the air doesn't clear the blockage from the vent.

There could also be a problem with the fluid pump. When they warp, it can do the exact same thing...


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Joel Adams
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9/22/10 11:13am - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
yostusota
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
Good call on this one Joel..I actually have nothing to add..!
Rich


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9/22/10 12:34pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
VeteransVette73
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Flat Rock, MI - USA

Vette(s):
L48 coupe, red on red.

Joined: 4/4/2010
Posts: 14
Thank you for the quick response.  When I bought the car it had sat for long periods and the fluid did settle back into the pan.  A local shopkeeper and collector of Vettes told me to drive it and the seals might "soften" back up and keep the fluid in the converter and that seemed to work until it sat for over a month.  I will check the breather line also but suspect the trans needs to pulled in the spring. 

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9/22/10 6:35pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
yostusota
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
I don't think the trans would need a rebuild ..as long as it shifts ok and goes into gear right away it should be ok..unless it doesn't then you can have all kinds of fun with it..either way will be good..there is a lot of stuff out there for the 400..I have used in the past a chemical additive called Trans X..only need a little bit and it does wake the seals up inside..that's the last chance stuff that let's you know if the trans internal seals are getting weak..if it works I mean..don't use it unless it doesn't shift right or acts up..
Rich

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9/22/10 9:46pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19459
Yeah...pour some of that stuff right in there...it's good for business....


Seriously tho...a lot of additives that you can buy to soften/swell seals do work. The problem is...the seals will continue to get softer, and swell bigger, until they fail completely. There's nothing in the chemical make-up of that stuff to tell it when to stop swelling the seals. It's definitely a last resort deal, imo, if you're trying to sell it, or just want it to stop pee-ing on your floor until you get time and $$$ to fix it. (no disrespect to Rich, or anyone else that uses stuff like that...)

There's no seals that hold fluid in the converter, so that's a bust. If the converter is draining back excessively, it's either the pump bushing(that the converter rides in), or a worn pressure regulator valve. Either of these things will allow air to enter the converter when at rest, and then the fluid just basically flows right out of the converter, right back into the pan(think of a straw full of water, with your finger over one end. When you remove your finger, the water runs out...same principle). This can also force leaks in places that don't normally leak, due to the high fluid level. A "full" 400 will have the fluid exactly at the height of the pan rail...right where the pan bolts up to the case.
Too high a fluid level CAN cause a situation where the pump can create an air bubble, and pump it backwards into the pan...that will spit fluid out the filling tube. But....it will also spit fluid out of the vent tube first...unless the vent is stopped up...
Adams' Apple2010-09-22 19:50:51

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Joel Adams
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             NCRS

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9/22/10 10:41pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
yostusota
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
That's what I meant..last resort..sell it and let the next guy fix it!!  Definetely job security!!!!  don't use it if it shifts right and goes into gear normal..easy diag for people that don't have pressure gauges!!
Rich
 


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10/31/10 12:07pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
CCasey
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New Albany, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Coupe / Snowcrest White / L48, 350 / Comp Cam / Edelbrock Heads / Cyclone Intake / Holley Carb / Holley Fuel Pump / Patriot Headers / Dual Exhaust / Magnaflow Mufflers / 1964 Coupe / Riverside Red / L76, 327, 365hp

Joined: 8/17/2010
Posts: 173

My '80 Vette has 28K miles.  I have a transmission fluid leak that I can't seem to fix.  I have replaced the pan gasket and replaced the front seal but it still leaks.  The leak is about where the tranny and oil pan meet and a littlle towards the driver's side.  Any ideas?  Thanks.                                    Chuck



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10/31/10 1:43pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
bio11
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Oklahoma City, OK - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LS5 Convertible,Auto.Targa Blue with Black Interior.

Joined: 4/1/2007
Posts: 432
I have seen them leak where the shifter shaft goes in the side of the tranny. If it's not the pan gasket that may be where it is leaking. 

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10/31/10 1:46pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
CCasey
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New Albany, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Coupe / Snowcrest White / L48, 350 / Comp Cam / Edelbrock Heads / Cyclone Intake / Holley Carb / Holley Fuel Pump / Patriot Headers / Dual Exhaust / Magnaflow Mufflers / 1964 Coupe / Riverside Red / L76, 327, 365hp

Joined: 8/17/2010
Posts: 173
I'll check that.  Thanks.

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Chuck

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10/31/10 6:06pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19459
That was my suggestion, too...check selector shaft for leaks. It can leak past the shaft seal, and run forward, and drip off the front of the trans. The seal is replaceable in the car.




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Joel Adams
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10/31/10 6:37pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
CCasey
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New Albany, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Coupe / Snowcrest White / L48, 350 / Comp Cam / Edelbrock Heads / Cyclone Intake / Holley Carb / Holley Fuel Pump / Patriot Headers / Dual Exhaust / Magnaflow Mufflers / 1964 Coupe / Riverside Red / L76, 327, 365hp

Joined: 8/17/2010
Posts: 173
Thanks, Joel.
 
Will do.


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Chuck

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10/31/10 6:46pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
CCasey
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New Albany, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Coupe / Snowcrest White / L48, 350 / Comp Cam / Edelbrock Heads / Cyclone Intake / Holley Carb / Holley Fuel Pump / Patriot Headers / Dual Exhaust / Magnaflow Mufflers / 1964 Coupe / Riverside Red / L76, 327, 365hp

Joined: 8/17/2010
Posts: 173
I just checked around the selector shaft.  It seemed dry to me.  But it is wet at the front of the fluid pan.  But I have changed that gasket already. (?)

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Chuck

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10/31/10 9:59pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19459
The pan may well be leaking, regardless of changing the gasket before.
Have you checked to see if the pan bolts are loose?
What kind of gasket did you use, cork, paper, etc?
You say the trans has had the front seal replaced, but was the pump resealed at the same time? There is an o-ring around the outside of the pump that can leak, as well as the bolts that hold the pump to the case. IF you are 100% certain the leak is NOT coming from the pan, I would suggest removing the dust cover, and looking to see if the leak is coming from the pump area. Normally, a front pump seal leak will show more on the passenger side, since the fluid gets slung over to that side with the engine running. A leak around the pump o-ring will simply run straight down, and then run along the edge of the pan.
I hope it's just the pan gasket leaking.

Adams' Apple2010-10-31 20:00:57

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Joel Adams
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11/1/10 12:47pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
CCasey
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New Albany, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Coupe / Snowcrest White / L48, 350 / Comp Cam / Edelbrock Heads / Cyclone Intake / Holley Carb / Holley Fuel Pump / Patriot Headers / Dual Exhaust / Magnaflow Mufflers / 1964 Coupe / Riverside Red / L76, 327, 365hp

Joined: 8/17/2010
Posts: 173
I drove about 10 miles to get it warmed-up and then I let it sit for more than 5 minutes with the engine running.  No leak.  But when I turn the engine off and let it sit for a while, that's when I get the leak.

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Chuck

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11/2/10 12:19pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19459
Best suggestion I have is to clean the area really well(brake cleaner works nice), and drive it again.  Then get it up in the air(if possible) and see if you can locate the source of the leak. The front driver side only has the shifter seal, or the pan, that could be leaking, unless it is actually leaking from the front pump area....

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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
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(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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11/2/10 12:24pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
CCasey
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New Albany, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Coupe / Snowcrest White / L48, 350 / Comp Cam / Edelbrock Heads / Cyclone Intake / Holley Carb / Holley Fuel Pump / Patriot Headers / Dual Exhaust / Magnaflow Mufflers / 1964 Coupe / Riverside Red / L76, 327, 365hp

Joined: 8/17/2010
Posts: 173

I'll be checking the pump today.   Thanks for the tip.



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Chuck

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11/3/10 3:29pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
CCasey
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New Albany, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Coupe / Snowcrest White / L48, 350 / Comp Cam / Edelbrock Heads / Cyclone Intake / Holley Carb / Holley Fuel Pump / Patriot Headers / Dual Exhaust / Magnaflow Mufflers / 1964 Coupe / Riverside Red / L76, 327, 365hp

Joined: 8/17/2010
Posts: 173
I finally got the car up on a rack and checked the selector shaft.  It definitely was leaking around that seal.  The seal is now replaced and we're going to take the car out for a drive, bring her back in, let it sit overnight and check it again in the morning.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  I'll check back when I know if it's fixed or not.  Regardless, thanks for the tips guys.  I appreciate it.

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Chuck

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11/3/10 9:34pm - Reply: 'Transmission leak'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19459
Clap Clap Clap
Hope that takes care of it!


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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
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(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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