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  #1  
Old 01-08-2003, 02:12 PM
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front pump seal on W126 transmission

Hi there you transmission experts,
back in September, my '87 420 SEL had the ring gear replaced. At that time, the MB service manager had recommended to replace also the seals at the end of the engine and at the front of the transmission, i.e. front pump seal and rear main seal.
It was done. But there remained one leak at the driver side of the transmission which I wanted to address with a regular transmission service (fluid, filter and pan gasket) plus B2 piston (see previous post).
The mechanic who looked at it yesterday tells me it is leaking from the front.
I can see fluid here (which I believe is the torque converter?).
Does this indicate a leaking "front" ? I cannot see any liquid coming down before that. From there it splashes a little on the front end of the pan.
Your advise is very much appreciated because I would like to take it to the MB service department and verify that the tranny does not leak at the front.
Thank you for your help.
Reinhard Kreutzer
Attached Thumbnails
front pump seal on W126 transmission-fluid-torque-converter.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2003, 10:42 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
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If you look up into the bell housing, several of the pump bolts will be visible, behind the torque converter. If you see signs of any ATF, the leak is most likely the pump gasket/O-ring, or the torque converter seal. In rare cases, I've also seen the converter drain plug seal leak, so it's worth a look. If this area is dry, the pan gasket is obviously the next thing to check. Keep us posted.
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2003, 11:13 PM
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Thanks ILUVMILS,
I have tried to read up in the archives about the transmission but my understanding is not that great (yet).
I assume the round piece with the opening and the black plug is the torque converter.
To look up into the bell housing, does that mean I need to take off the oil pan first or do I look through this "grille"? To look through the grille, I would need to take off the cross member, right?
If it is on the outside, my little camera can probably get a shot at it. Just tell me where to point or feel.
Thanks a lot for your help. I have an appointment with the MB shop that installed the pump seal on Friday morning and I would like to know how a pump seal leak looks before I talk to them.
Thanks again
Reinhard Kreutzer
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2003, 01:40 PM
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If your picture was from the opposite angle, you would see the large opening in the grille. That opening allows access to the torque converter drain plug. The torque converter is the part you see inside the grille. With a bright flashlight you might be able to look between the torque converter and the front of the tranny housing for leakage as described by ILUVMILS.
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2003, 03:20 PM
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Thanks Mike Tangas and ILUVMILS,
I went under the car took out crossmember and took the light along with the camera.
This is how it looks and unfortunately, it leaks.
Now what are my options:
Car got a new ring gear on 9/05/02 with 46,330 miles on it.
At that time the dealer also replaced "front pump seal".

1. Am I correct in assuming that this is the one leaking now?

I had the car inspected by the same dealer on 8/26/02 with 46,322 miles on it. Not a word about a leaking transmission.
A day after the repair when I asked to put it back up on the lift to look for the mounting of the lower engine panel, they show me the leak on the side, but not to worry, I can have it fixed at the next service.

Now the car has 47,509 miles on it or 1179 miles with a new pump seal, that is now leaking (assuming point 1. is true)

Now what are my options?

a. drive it and add fluid
b. do main seal again?
c. rebuild transmission, if it has to come out anyway and get the dealer to pay part of it?
d. should I change the service provider?

What do you think.
Your help is very much appreciated.
Reinhard Kreutzer
Attached Thumbnails
front pump seal on W126 transmission-leaking-pump-seal.jpg  
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2003, 09:03 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
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Reinhard, the answer is very simple. You say that you had the car "inspected" on 8/26/02. Can I assume this was related to the ring gear problem? If so, any ATF leaks at the front pump area should have been discovered and noted on the repair order. A ring gear inspection requires the technician to look in exactly the same area as your current leak! If there was no leak prior to the ring gear/pump seal/rear seal replacement and it now leaks, it's must be due to defective seals or workshop error. Either way, it's not your problem. It's obviously a warranty situation. As far as having the transmission re-built, that's up to you. The amount of dis-assembly required to re-seal the front pump is nothing compared to a re-build. I doubt the dealer will share the cost of this with you. They should however, fix the ATF leak if it is indeed the front pump which you just paid them to re-seal. By the way, the service manager did the right thing by advising you to replace the rear main seal and transmission seals during the ring gear job. These parts are costly to replace due to the labor involved in removing and re-installing the transmission. Good luck
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2003, 09:53 PM
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Thanks ILUVMILS,
I also think the shop should warrant a seal for more than 1200 miles and I will find out tomorrow...
As I understand it, most of the work is in the removal of the transmission, thats why I thought of a rebuild.
As far as I can tell, the trans. works fine and the passengerside does not leak. Only that little siverdollar next to the modulator(?) and the pan, which is what I wanted to address now. And while having the pan off, replace the B2 piston.
But maybe it is best to keep these items separate and have them just fix the seal. Can I trust that mechanic with more work is really the question.

As an aside, some people recommended to leave the seals alone. Just my kind of luck.
Thanks again
Reinhard Kreutzer
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2003, 01:48 PM
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Well, here is the result of my discussion with the MB dealer.
Yes, they are responsible for that front pump seal leak and they will be paying for that.
Now they took a very close look at the transmission and besides the leak next to the modulator they say there is another leak at the filler and the kick-down solenoid also "looks wet".
So they now quote $ 700 for the B2 piston replacement and all the leaking seals, or $ 900 for above plus all other seals replaced that don't leak now but might be leaking once the others are replaced.
There argument is that you fix one and now the next weakest will leak etc. unless you replace all at once.
The $ 900 still leaves one seal out as you need to replace that from the inside of the transmission. Warranty is 1 year.

A factory rebuild transmission is $ 1,930 incl. tax. Warranty is 2 years.

They would pay for the R&R of the old/rebuild transmission as they have to do that anyway to get to the pump seal they are responsible for.

So is that my best longterm option to get a rebuild now although this transmission has only 47,500 miles on it?

The torque converter would still be the old one. ($ 1,450 plus tax for a new one)

What do you think?
Thanks for all your help.
Reinhard Kreutzer
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2003, 02:13 PM
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There is no way I would replace a tranny with 47k miles if it was performing properly. These babies can easily go 250k miles and still perform flawlessly. Just have them replace the front seal "under warranty - their dime" and keep your $$ in your pocket where it belongs.

The "kick" down o ring is easy but because it "looks wet" is no cause for concern in my opinion. The leak at the dipstick is probably nothing to be concerned about either. I think they are blowing smoke because they hate to eat the cost of replacing the front seal that they messed up on to begin with.
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2003, 02:32 PM
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Thanks, engatwork
it is somewhat courious that all these leaks appear, while the pan that I suspected to leak is supposed to be fine.

You hit the option I didn't mention, i.e. have the front seal fixed for free and then worry about the leaks later. Either have someone else do it or live with it.

Any other opinions, please. How many are driving around in a somewhat leaky transmission?

Thanks again.
Reinhard Kreutzer
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  #11  
Old 01-10-2003, 05:17 PM
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I have an always present droplet of ATF hanging from the bellhousing. It never seems to drip or leave drop spots on the driveway. I figure it is a weeping front seal, but I'll let that sleeping dog lay as my fluid level does not drop.

The kickdown solenoid has an o-ring and a crush washer. Very easy DIY. The fill tube has either an o-ring or a crush washer depending on the tranny I believe, again another easy DIY.
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2003, 07:58 PM
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Thanks Mike Tangas,

so it is 2:0 for having them do the front seal and then me do the kickdown solenoid and the filler tube. Do you need to take of the pan and the exhaust to get more room or can it be done with the exhaust still there?

And what about that leak that started it all (see attached) Does anybody know what is behind there? (They said 2 o-rings but I cannot see anything on the MB Electronic Parts Cat.)

And then I still have to deal with the B2 piston, which is the scariest part. But that could may be dealt with at the next transmission service.

Thanks for all your help.

Reinhard Kreutzer
Attached Thumbnails
front pump seal on W126 transmission-cropped-transmission-leak.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2003, 12:07 AM
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reinhard,
I got to agree with mike and iluvmils, get the shop to fix thier mistake, then do the B2 when you get the chance. I have found most benz transmissions might have a drop here and there but the best way to determine if you have a problem is to keep a track of your fluid, you don't have to worry if it can go 30000 miles with no top up (1 pint or less).
martin
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2003, 10:56 AM
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Thanks Martin,

so it's 3:0

I went to the library and got a book on transmissions and start to become more comfortable with the thought of replacing some outside seals. (Somebody had cut part of the MB section out of that Chilton. Can't believe an MB driver could do that. Photocopies are 25 cents at the library. He ruined the book for all others.)

On the other hand, it's kind of intriguing to think that, do to some circumstance, you get the R&R for free and only have to pay for the part, albeit it's an expensive part.

I don't drive more than 4,000 miles a year, as I have a Mazda Miata and a motorcycle to move also. Based on that, my current tranny should last a long time, if milage is the only criteria. It will sure get regular service. But does age play a part?

Thanks again.
Reinhard Kreutzer
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