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  #1  
Old 02-05-2005, 03:08 AM
pawoSD's Avatar
Dieselsüchtiger
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,092
Transmission is acting not so good...what happened...help!???

Our 1983 SD's transmission seems to be degrading as of late, when we purchased the car last august the entire engine/tranny/everything was bone dry, no leaks at all, anywhere, truly amazing. It stayed that way up until recent, when the tranny began to act pretty slippery, it slides its way between gears, and I inspected it underneath and there was tranny fluid ALL over the rear of the pan, and the upper sides of the tranny itself! (Now a 2 foot diameter circle of fluid on driveway from it!!) Its literally dripping back there now! What failed? I was guessing perhaps the rear-shaft seal? But that still would not explain why the transmission slips so much, I adjusted the modulator to be firmer, and it made an ever so slight difference but not much. Also, when for instance, slowing down to go into a turn around 15-20mph then going back on the throttle, it revs way up (3-4k rpm) right away as if it lost "grip" inside or something, this rev is accompanied by a loud whistle and squeal from the tranny, it will only go from that if you completely let off and then reapply the throttle Whats wrong?! This transmission was running so smooth and good up till just recently....now its leaking like a faucet and has all these probs! It lost a quart of fluid within the past few days alone, and also the fluid smells burnt and is a much darker red than the fluid drawn from my 82 for a comparison. Also it takes a long time to engage Drive, if that helps too, I'd say sometimes 4-5 seconds....if you don't wait it will just rev up and not engage till you let off the pedal. Something bad must have taken place in there, during the past 7 months we never saw a single drip nor did we ever have to add virtually any fluid. Is this tranny on its death bed? If you drive very gently or like you stole it it does ok, its the normal driving where it slips bad and acts up. Help???
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-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 83k - mine - (OC-85,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 13k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 179k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 131k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 51k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 57k - Brothers (OC-64,000)
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2005, 07:56 AM
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Location: Littlestown PA ( 6 miles south of Gettysburg)
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Too bad,
You sound as if you know what you're doing, so I apologize if I'm stating the obvious...
No.1 item on any transmission complaint is to check the fluid level. With the new leakage, have you been keeping the fluid level correct? I assume you have, since you mention the color and odor of the fluid, but its always the first question.
As for the leaks, I can't see them from where I am sitting. I would suggest a thorough cleaning of the case, Its easier to see them that way. Another trick is to place a piece of paper under the car ( newspaper works fine-- I recommend the Baltimore Sun, as it is particularly suited to this purpose, but any newspaper will work). The fresh drips will spot the paper and give you some hint of where to look.
Changing the fluid never hurts--don't forget to drain the torque converter.
At this stage of things clean fluid and a can or two of trans medic can't hurt, and may help.
Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2005, 08:10 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
At this point in time here is what I would suggest. This is a temporary trial type fix and not what I suggest long term no matter how successful it is.

Be ready to drive your car around as soon as you do this... circulation is key to the possibility of a short term fix connected to a long term maintenance service.

Place enough Trans-X into the transmission to give your trans the Percent solution recommended on the bottle. On my 81 wagon it was two of the size bottles ( metal cans ) of Trans-X. Then top off the trans correctly by reading the dipstick.

Go out and drive your car around in various situations including putting it in reverse regularly. Drive it at least an hour checking the fluid level every 15 minutes....

The Trans-X is billed as a varnish cleaner AND leak stop... so it may swell up your leaking seals enough to give you a break timewise to schedule the proper maintenance ... taking out the bad seals and doing a fluid and filter change... and this way the varnish build up should also be evacuated with your fluid when you do that. Otherwise you will have a new filter, new seals, new fluid but the varnish will still be stuck in those tiny orifices in your trans valve body.

I think the Trans-X is about $8 a can now. All sorts of regular autoparts shops and perhaps Walmart carry it. It is in an electric blue can. You can read about it by doing a search on this forum.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2005, 10:38 AM
pawoSD's Avatar
Dieselsüchtiger
 
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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I am assuming from what I have read in other threads about tranny issues that a clogged up filter in there/or bad fluid could cause the misshifting and problems its having, so I will try a Trans-X treatment once I order a filter/gasket and such items soon.... My main issue is figuring out how that happened so suddenly, I mean the thing never leaked even a drop prior to recently, now it leaks a very significant amount, could a seal have simply "suddenly failed"? From my observations the leak is all on the rear side of the tranny, the torque convertor housing and such areas are still extremely dry and clean....about 3/4 of the way to the back of the tranny it becomes wet, it drips off the back of the pan, as well as all the mounting brackets back there....What seals/locations for potential leaks are there in that vicinity? Hopefully Trans-X treatment will help it out...
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-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 83k - mine - (OC-85,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 13k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 179k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 131k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 51k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 57k - Brothers (OC-64,000)
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2005, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: central Texas
Posts: 17,277
Suddenly ?????????????

Your car is 2 DECADES plus HOW MANY YEARS old ?
LOL
what you did not know is that it has been planning this leak for the last 2,436 miles... it just did not tell YOU that....
Over filling or underfilling can cause stuff to happen earlier than it should... or plain old rubber finally gives way... sounds like it may be an access hole for the shifting mechanism , speedo cable or something like that... some of those things may can be fixed without taking out the trans...

Clean your trans with a power washer , let it dry, take it for small test drives around the block or blocks and keep checking it until you isolate the spot it is leaking from.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2005, 11:55 AM
Cateaux's Avatar
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Location: Baton Rouge & New Orleans, Louisiana
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Does the leaked fluid cover both sides of the transmission or only one? If it's only on one side, then I would suspect something like the neutral safety switch or speedo input, as Leathermang suggested. If there's fluid everywhere back there it might be the pinion seal on the tailshaft of the transmission (where the driveshaft & trans meet). Nothing slings fluid quite like a spinning driveshaft . You'll definitely need to do some cleaning to see where the fluid is escaping, but if you don't have access to a power washer you could use shoprags to clean the areas around anything that could leak. Once you've given it the TransX treatment, the leak is found and repaired, and you have fresh fluid and a new filter, you'll be able to tell whether you need to start saving up for a transmission rebuild.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2005, 12:45 PM
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Posts: 10
Your leak may be your only problem and the other symptoms like trans noise and sloppy shift could be caused by being low on fluid level.
I recently replaced a water pump which caused the transmission to lose a pint or so of fluid from disconnecting the trans cooler lines. After the water pump job I drove the car and noticed a delay when going from park to drive or reverse. Also had a bad whirring noise from the tranny and shifts were sloppy. The trans was perfect before the water pump job. After the car was driven and at temperature, I checked the trans fluid level, added a pint to bring it up to normal and the trans was back to perfect. All the the noise, delay in going into gear and sloppy shifts were caused from being a pint low on fluid.
Since your tanny was fine before the leak, I would suspect that you are running low on fluid from the bad leak and that all your noise and sloppy shifts are not a tranny problem,,,just low on fluid level.
If it were mine, I'd take it to a trusted shop and get it diagnosed before it becomes an even more expensive problem.
Just my opinion, Tom
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2005, 07:01 PM
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Dieselsüchtiger
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,092
Yeah the fluid level was right up where it should be (I added some and then tested it) and it made no difference....

As for the seal, I think I can safely assume the rear shaft seal as the fluid is all over both sides of the back of the transmission, as well as coating the entire drivers side underbody of the car!!! That would mean the shaft is flinging it as it spins clockwise in drive, meaning that fluid would be flung along the driver side of the car, which it is.....we'll do the fluid/filters/trans-X shortly, hopefully that will make a difference.
__________________
-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 83k - mine - (OC-85,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 13k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 179k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 131k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 51k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 57k - Brothers (OC-64,000)
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2005, 10:07 PM
Brandon314159
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I know this is probably something you checked but has your pan taken any hits lately from the road?

It might be worth it, while you have the pan off to do your filter and check things out in there, to have a good look at the pan and check for small holes/bent-ness that would allow leaking.

Hope your flaring dissapears as that concerns me more than drippyness
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2005, 11:11 PM
pawoSD's Avatar
Dieselsüchtiger
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,092
When I was under there I inspected the pan and such for damage but there's not so much as a dent in it....where would I be able to find Trans-X, is this stuff available at most auto stores? Any specific good places to go to find it? Also I am looking for some diesel purge....where could I get that, last time I checked fastlane it said unavailable....
__________________
-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 83k - mine - (OC-85,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 13k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 179k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 131k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 51k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 57k - Brothers (OC-64,000)
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  #11  
Old 02-05-2005, 11:20 PM
VeeDubTDI
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Trans-X isn't going to fix a leak that big. One of the seals on my SDL sprung a leak a few months ago and got progressively worse over a two week period. You could see a steady stream of trans fluid on the road wherever I had driven and I would have to add 1 - 2 quarts per hour. It didn't leak with the engine off. The odd behavior and slipping in the transmission is due to low fluid and possibly low fluid pressure.
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  #12  
Old 02-05-2005, 11:24 PM
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Dieselsüchtiger
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,092
Yeah I was thinking that the leak would spur loss of pressure as well, aside from whever else is wrong in there, my dad just wants to bring it to a local mechanic we know (he's real good at this stuff) and see if he'd be interested in working on it, otherwise we'll bring it to the dealer....they fixed mine (leaking) a little over a year ago, and its run great ever since.
__________________
-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 83k - mine - (OC-85,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 13k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 179k - dad's (OC-182,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 131k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 51k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 57k - Brothers (OC-64,000)
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