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  #1  
Old 11-02-2001, 09:42 PM
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Transmission fluid purge?

On my 85 380 SE. Same sat idle for more than three years and I recently drained the trans and installed new filter and gasket kit. Fluid seemed quite clean and gasket looked new. Anyway, included with the kit were two small flat washers and one larger copper seal. Seeing no application for the aforementioned items I did what any novice/nitwit would do, I did not ask what they were for and completed the project without using them. Tranny shifted tons better than previous with the exception of a 2-3 flare. Today (2 weeks after change) after a short trip, I notice MAJOR trans fluid on ground, and after getting vehicle on ramps, I crawl under and inspect undercarriage. The rear passenger side of the trans pan was drooling fluid, and I mean drooling! Too late to do anything but put the drain pan beneath. Question-Is is possible to have incapacitated/disabled the trans gasket/seal by improper/ or too much torque ? If so, could this be the demon behind my problem? I had to walk away from it all and will get with it over the weekend. Thanks much
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Old 11-02-2001, 10:04 PM
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Can't comment specifically on the 380SE, but if your transmission pan gasket is a thick rubber thing with a groove that fits over the pan lip (like my '82 300D) - then you can definitely split it by overtorquing the pan bolts.

In fact my transmission was slowly leaking fluid due to the old gasket having been split at some point - either with age, or more likely due to an overtorque situation. The pan bolts don't need much torquing - something like 12 ft-lbs comes to mind. Just snug, not too tight.

Maybe someone with a reference can give you the proper torque, and I think you'll be OK with a new gasket. And hopefully they can explain the washers & seal.

Ken300D
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Old 11-02-2001, 11:31 PM
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There should be one silvery looking seal and one copper, both the same size, about 3/4 the size of a dime. The copper one is for the plug in the trans pan, the silvery (aluminum) one is for the drain plug in the torque converter.
The trans pan bolts are torqued to 8nm, the drain plugs are both 14 nm.
No idea what the large copper one is for.
Check out the trans pan gasket closely, it may be reuseable. Sometimes if over-torqued, they will "roll" towards the inside of the pan, you may be able to straighten in out and retorque the pan bolts and be OK.
Gilly
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Old 11-03-2001, 08:20 AM
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Thanks so much for the information. My hopes are now high that something major is not wrong and the proper use of a torque wrench might straighten things out Gilly, I did not drain the torque converter due to not knowing how/where to access the drain plug and also not knowing the proper tool to use. I am still awaiting the cd rom for my vehicle and knowledge is limited without it. Thanks very much, Rainman
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Old 11-03-2001, 05:47 PM
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Rainman:
The drain plug in the torque converter is accessed through a gap (hole) in the bottom of the bellhousing. How this usually occurs in a shop situation is the car is raised up and the engine rotated by using a 27mm deep socket, usually a short 1/2" drive extension, and a long 1/2" drive breaker bar or long ratchet, The engine MUST be rotated ONLY clockwise, oriented at the front of the engine. If you go too far, DON'T rotate the engine backwards, go around again. It helps to have someone rotating and someone watching for the drain plug.
If you can't secure the proper tools, you can attempt to do this by having someone "bump" the starter with the coil wire disconnected to prevent the engine from starting. This is extremely frustrating, but patience will eventually prevail. Most critical to have a good "bumper" who won't crank it after you shout "Eureka!". Or if you have a remote start switch, this will work a little better that the bump method, as the bumping input is much shorter than using a second person on the actual ignition switch.
As long as I'm thinking of it, the ATF you used should have been DexronIII/Mercon, if you used the wrong stuff, you may want to go ahead and replace it all again, I would say go ahead and reuse the filter.
After you've drained it all, put in 3 quarts of ATF, then start the car and finish refilling with the engine running. It will take at least 6 1/2 quarts, on your car may be more like 7 or 7 1/2 total with everything drained out.
Gilly
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Old 11-03-2001, 05:50 PM
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Rainman
One other note. The hole for access to the drainplug is visible if you are standing under the trans pan looking towards the engine, not the big hole you see looking the opposite direction. That big hole is for accessing the torque converter to flex plate attachment bolts, for removing the transmission.
Gilly again
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2001, 06:57 PM
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Dan/Gilly, thanks very much for your help. I did in fact split the gasket/seal by improper torque when I did the original change. This a.m. I crawled back under the car (what's a lift?) and got the pan back off. I was happy when I saw the split in the seal but not real happy when I saw pretty large pieces of ?cardboard? in the bottom of the pan. It's only been three weeks since I had the pan off previously so I guess some major work and expense might be ahead. Anyway, I got everything back together and after some drops here and drops there I had her buttoned up pretty well I skipped the torque converter drain because the rain which was falling was running down the drains and right onto me as I was laying under the car. By the time I was done it was raining so hard I was breathing through a straw to keep my head out of the water! I was a happy man when I saw no leaks under there! Thanks again for your time and info, Rainman
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