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  #1  
Old 01-20-2008, 08:39 AM
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Exclamation Please Help - w107 280sl transmission fluid leak from torque converter grate??

Hi again, helping a friend get his w107 280sl (M110) 1975 back on the road. We want to get the transmission leak fixed as its getting bigger so started working on it trying to find a leak cleaned it up and found drops of ATF fluid from the grate where the torque converter is.

Q1. Could the plug be the cause and need a new washer? or is there another place here where it could leak from? It seems to leak the most when starting from cold then slows but will continue to leak.

Q2. Also when measuring the AT fluid when hot what should the reading be? When we did this it is well below the bottom line on the dip stick and when cold all the way up well past the top line??

Any tips would be fantastic


-------------------------------
W107 280sl (M110) 1975
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2008, 11:52 PM
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Unhappy some pics...

Ok we had a look for the drain plug at th TC but could not see anything, anyone know where to look for the drain plug? Anyway I thought some pics might help explain the prob...





Any tips ...
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2008, 12:24 AM
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looking at the pics, the torque converter is dry which would suggest that the fluid is leaking out around the shaft seal running down the back plate and dripping out of the grate which is a much more likely scenario than the plug in the TC leaking.

if you look through the hole on the bottom grating and turn the TC then you will see the drain plug in the TC its a small screw with an allan key (or hex key) hole in it.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2008, 01:50 AM
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The prescribed method for turning the torque converter is to turn the engine with the crankshaft bolt, probably a 27 mm. The fluid level would be higher when warm so you are not getting good readings. The fluid level is to be checked on a level surface, car at operating temperature, in park, engine running, using a clean cloth.
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Old 01-21-2008, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanyel View Post
The prescribed method for turning the torque converter is to turn the engine with the crankshaft bolt, probably a 27 mm. The fluid level would be higher when warm so you are not getting good readings. The fluid level is to be checked on a level surface, car at operating temperature, in park, engine running, using a clean cloth.
Hi deanyel & thanks for the response, just to clarify I am getting a low reading at operating temp (about 1.2 inch below the min line) which I think is ok?

Re the drain plug, I will double check but I think I did notice fluid on the flywheel hence my thinking it may be the drain plug? It has occurred before on my w114 where for whatever reason the crush washer was not replaced but I am sure the grill was removable anyway will take another look and report back once I find the drain plug...thanks for the info so far any more tips are very welcome...
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2008, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by body_infinity View Post
Hi deanyel & thanks for the response, just to clarify I am getting a low reading at operating temp (about 1.2 inch below the min line) which I think is ok?
No, not OK, too low, if it's a good reading. It's not always easy to get a good reading. Get the dipstick clean, push it in all the way, hold it there for a few seconds, pull it out and inspect both sides in a good light. You should be close to the top mark.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanyel View Post
The prescribed method for turning the torque converter is to turn the engine with the crankshaft bolt, probably a 27 mm. The fluid level would be higher when warm so you are not getting good readings. The fluid level is to be checked on a level surface, car at operating temperature, in park, engine running, using a clean cloth.
I thought that transmission fluid drained back into the pan from the cooling lines and torque converter after the engine stops and everything cools down, which would make the level in the pan, measured on the dipstick with the engine at rest, higher. So if you start the engine and measure as described, that would immediately lower the reading mark as fluid is pumped out of the pan and into the converter and lines. Does the fluid level then get higher as the transmission warms up, and if so, why? (I'm not disputing what you say, I just don't fully understand).
And I've always been frustrated trying to read a transmission dipstick while the engine is running, fluid splashing all over in there from, presumably,engine vibration and fluid movement from the transmission pump. Why don't 'they' provide a marker that clearly identifies the correct level when the engine/transmission are cold and 'at rest'?
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2008, 11:11 AM
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Hi Donbryce

you are right that the level does increase slowly as the transmission oil drains back into the pan from the components of the transmission and cooler when the engine is off. when you start the engine the levels drops to the lowest point it will be on the dipstick and some cars have a cold transmission oil level mark on one side and hot on the other. the hot is higher as the oil expands slightly as it gets hot so the level goes up again by about an inch from the cold side.

you should really only take a fluid measurement after about 20 miles of driving with the car in either park or neutral

cheers
Barri
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2008, 03:16 PM
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spirited drive for 15 minutes, fluid up to temp, with engine on, after idle for 60 seconds, after shifting through all the gears (2X,s) in park test fluid, should be right at or slightly ( very slightly) above or below hot line. No compromise
Torgue converter plug washer could be suspect but unlikely unless used a less than advisable washer , needs to be copper crush. I think it is a 5mm hex
make sure its not blow back from the front lines?
Are you sure its not power steering fluid blow back.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2008, 08:20 PM
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If the torque converter drain plug hasn't been touched in a while, it's not the source of your problem, unless of course, it's been there a while and he is only noticing it now.

When correcting fluid level, resist the tempation to put in any more than half a pint of fluid at a time. Let the new stuff warm up a little before retesting the level.

Like the panda said, run through the gears once or twice before checking the level at idle.

Like the other fellow said, make sure you've got a clean rag. A little bit of lint goes a long way to a problem.

-CTH
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2008, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meltedpanda View Post
spirited drive for 15 minutes, fluid up to temp, with engine on, after idle for 60 seconds, after shifting through all the gears (2X,s) in park test fluid, should be right at or slightly ( very slightly) above or below hot line. No compromise
Torgue converter plug washer could be suspect but unlikely unless used a less than advisable washer , needs to be copper crush. I think it is a 5mm hex
make sure its not blow back from the front lines?
Are you sure its not power steering fluid blow back.
Hi, a strange thing today I noticed smoke on the exhaust pipe and above it was drops of ATF coming from the power steering box and thought of your comments re power steering fluid blow back? but we are sure the drips are originating from behind the grill at the TC could power steering fluid drip down into the TC grill - anyway still trying to get to the TC drain plug very hard to turn the pulley tried even the power steering pump very hard so getting a friend to crank it while I look for the plug very slow!

Re the fluid measure - we do this after 20 min; the check with the dip stick shows it to be slightly under the min mark, are you saying it should be at the max line? I will try and get pics anyway just to clear this up, thanks to all again for the great info.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2008, 10:04 PM
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If you can't turn the crankshaft just hit the starter until it happens to line up. Yes, the fluid level should be at the top line, not the bottom line.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2008, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by body_infinity View Post
Hi, a strange thing today I noticed smoke on the exhaust pipe and above it was drops of ATF coming from the power steering box and thought of your comments re power steering fluid blow back? but we are sure the drips are originating from behind the grill at the TC could power steering fluid drip down into the TC grill - anyway still trying to get to the TC drain plug very hard to turn the pulley tried even the power steering pump very hard so getting a friend to crank it while I look for the plug very slow!

Re the fluid measure - we do this after 20 min; the check with the dip stick shows it to be slightly under the min mark, are you saying it should be at the max line? I will try and get pics anyway just to clear this up, thanks to all again for the great info.
well mine kept showing up over by the right side of the car, I don't know how it gets there but it is definitely ATF from the PS.
Is your level in the PS resevoir low? These leaks can be tricky
I use a thicker fluid in my PS tank so I know that is what mine is ( suppose to stop leaks but only slowed it)
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07 Lexus RX 350 - Lexi
14 38HP John Deere 3038E Tractor -Mean Green
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2008, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanyel View Post
If you can't turn the crankshaft just hit the starter until it happens to line up. Yes, the fluid level should be at the top line, not the bottom line.
No luck with trying to get the TC drain plug tried and tried with the starter will try again with a helper....while I was under there I did notice that the flywheel was dry in some parts and a wet section which makes me think again that it could be the drain plug, re the plug should it be closer to the engine or more towards the rear of the car? on my old w108 the grill actually comes off ! much better design personally - will keep trying anyway, thanks for the info so far.

PS I checked th PS fluid it looks fine so I guess its the AT
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2008, 10:05 AM
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The TC drain plug shows up in the window in the grate on the transmission casing. You can't miss it - you've got to be looking in the wrong place.
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