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Leak at transmission/final drive seam
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satchmo
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:50 am    Post subject: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

1990 Multivan with about 200K miles, original automatic transmission, and stock engine. Over the last several hundred miles it has developed a leak at the seam between the transmission and final drive.

Photo shows ATF weep at the seam. This small amount of ATF showed up within 30 minutes of cleaning the area. Engine was cold at the time. The fluid eventually works its way around the pan and drips off either the dipstick tube or the front of the transmission.

ATF level is still in the normal range (measured with engine running, warm transmission, on level ground) but is on the decline since the leak appeared.

Just wondering what are the most likely causes, what is the best approach for diagnosis, and must this be remedied prior to a planned 2000 mile trip?

Thanks in advance for your input,

Satchmo


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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

There is a large O-Ring that seals the trans to the cast iron final stage section.
It looks like yours is starting to fail.
A larger amount of leakage would be an issue for real, on a long trip.
If youíre dropping the trans unit to replace that O-Ring, you may want to consider replacing the o-ring for the Governor cover, the two o-rings that seal the 2nd gear brake band piston cover, and the two different sized seals on the piston itself.
Pan gasket, filter, and fluid to go with that.
If all those seals are original, itís time.

https://www.vancafe.com/010398007B-p/010398007b.htm

The kit above is out of stock, but I showed it as a way to see some of the parts you would want. That large o-ring to the right is the big sealing one, it is available by itself, and between auto trans part suppliers and Porsche dealers, you can put together a kit of your own even with VC being out of stock
The paper gaskets are used on either side of the end plate/separator plate , which is the part you see once the transmission is removed from from the final drive.
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'68 Westy- my first VW and vehicle/Bus- long gone.- sold it to a traveling Swiss couple....
'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
'69 Semi-Auto Stick Shift Beetle, my wife's first car= yep. still long gone....
2017 MINI Coopers, our current DDs
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

See if you can pickup a gasket kit plus all the shaft seals from a transmission parts jobber in a city near you. Either install them ahead of time or at least carry them with you in case the leak gets out of hand.

FWIW, I usually use a tiny bit of silicone on the large O-ring to help it seal.
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satchmo
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

Thanks, Type7.

I assume the whole transaxle has to come out to replace the O-ring, right? From what I can see in the Bentley, one cannot just remove the transmission from the final drive in-situ.

Satchmo

jlrftype7 wrote:
There is a large O-Ring that seals the trans to the cast iron final stage section.
It looks like yours is starting to fail.
A larger amount of leakage would be an issue for real, on a long trip.
If youíre dropping the trans unit to replace that O-Ring, you may want to consider replacing the o-ring for the Governor cover, the two o-rings that seal the 2nd gear brake band piston cover, and the two different sized seals on the piston itself.
Pan gasket, filter, and fluid to go with that.
If all those seals are original, itís time.

https://www.vancafe.com/010398007B-p/010398007b.htm

The kit above is out of stock, but I showed it as a way to see some of the parts you would want. That large o-ring to the right is the big sealing one, it is available by itself, and between auto trans part suppliers and Porsche dealers, you can put together a kit of your own even with VC being out of stock
The paper gaskets are used on either side of the end plate/separator plate , which is the part you see once the transmission is removed from from the final drive.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

satchmo wrote:
Thanks, Type7.

I assume the whole transaxle has to come out to replace the O-ring, right? From what I can see in the Bentley, one cannot just remove the transmission from the final drive in-situ.


It would be very hard for someone who was a novice at this with only a floor jack to do the lifting to be able to pull the automatic section alone without bending the pump shaft. Not very easy to remate the two sections either. Whereas it is fairly easy to remove and replace the transaxle as a complete unit.
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

satchmo wrote:
Thanks, Type7.

I assume the whole transaxle has to come out to replace the O-ring, right? From what I can see in the Bentley, one cannot just remove the transmission from the final drive in-situ.

Satchmo

jlrftype7 wrote:
There is a large O-Ring that seals the trans to the cast iron final stage section.
It looks like yours is starting to fail.
A larger amount of leakage would be an issue for real, on a long trip.
If youíre dropping the trans unit to replace that O-Ring, you may want to consider replacing the o-ring for the Governor cover, the two o-rings that seal the 2nd gear brake band piston cover, and the two different sized seals on the piston itself.
Pan gasket, filter, and fluid to go with that.
If all those seals are original, itís time.

https://www.vancafe.com/010398007B-p/010398007b.htm

The kit above is out of stock, but I showed it as a way to see some of the parts you would want. That large o-ring to the right is the big sealing one, it is available by itself, and between auto trans part suppliers and Porsche dealers, you can put together a kit of your own even with VC being out of stock
The paper gaskets are used on either side of the end plate/separator plate , which is the part you see once the transmission is removed from from the final drive.


I have previously removed just the transmission section from the final drive several times with no damage or worries to the pump shaft or other parts .
BUT, I had my Vanagon on a lift, the trans supported by a transmission jack, and the engine and final drive supported by a screw jack stand.
I would not want to try this with just jack stands and on the ground...

You have to lower the transaxle enough to clear the body, so it will move away from the transaxle , at a controlled angle, which prevents any damage to the inner metal pump driveshaft .

Otherwise, take the whole transaxle out, having unbolted the torque converter from the engine, and support the engine from above while using some type of jack for the transaxle ( a low ,rolling hydraulic one from Harbor Freight comes to mind)
Hereís how I supported the engine when I had the whole assembly out.


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_________________
'68 Westy- my first VW and vehicle/Bus- long gone.- sold it to a traveling Swiss couple....
'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
'69 Semi-Auto Stick Shift Beetle, my wife's first car= yep. still long gone....
2017 MINI Coopers, our current DDs
Ď84 Tin Top - Hilga....Auto
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satchmo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

Sadly, I have neither a lift nor a floor jack for a transmission only removal. I'll probably put up with the weep until cold weather sets in, then settle down for long and leisurely transaxle pull.

Thanks for all your help.

Satchmo

PS: I did find a transmission gasket set at No Name Garage in Oregon, so that is definitively a positive in my column.
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:17 am    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

satchmo wrote:
Sadly, I have neither a lift nor a floor jack for a transmission only removal. I'll probably put up with the weep until cold weather sets in, then settle down for long and leisurely transaxle pull.

Thanks for all your help.

Satchmo

PS: I did find a transmission gasket set at No Name Garage in Oregon, so that is definitively a positive in my column.
Okay- Do buy 3 new torque Converter bolts for the job. Sometimes the head of your old installed bolt will be a bit rounded when you start the job, and fresh bolts with no damaged heads are less stress to tighten up when rebolting the TC back to the engine/drive plate.

8mm x 1.25mm pitch x 10mm long. Flange Head on the bolt. Available from Metric Hardware Suppliers and from our usual VW Vendors. 10.9 metric grade is nice to get versus the lower, common 8.8 DIN. For Reference,,,,,,below

https://www.mcmaster.com/metric-flanged-hex-head-c...llimeters/
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'68 Westy- my first VW and vehicle/Bus- long gone.- sold it to a traveling Swiss couple....
'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
'69 Semi-Auto Stick Shift Beetle, my wife's first car= yep. still long gone....
2017 MINI Coopers, our current DDs
Ď84 Tin Top - Hilga....Auto
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

I'd have no problem driving 2000 miles with that little bit of seepage. Bring some spare ATF and keep an eye on the fluid level at least once a day. Don't be tempted to overfill it. Check it hot with the trans in park and engine running.
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
I'd have no problem driving 2000 miles with that little bit of seepage. Bring some spare ATF and keep an eye on the fluid level at least once a day. Don't be tempted to overfill it. Check it hot with the trans in park and engine running.

Interesting... My problem is that with my luck it would get worse... requiring a long tow... Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed
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'68 Westy- my first VW and vehicle/Bus- long gone.- sold it to a traveling Swiss couple....
'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
'69 Semi-Auto Stick Shift Beetle, my wife's first car= yep. still long gone....
2017 MINI Coopers, our current DDs
Ď84 Tin Top - Hilga....Auto
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

I have never seen one leak between the halves that it failed
as a result. Take a shot glass and fill it with water. Pour it on the floor. That would be 1 ounce. The transmission service is 3 qts. Thatís 3 x 16 oz that would have to run out. Itís not going to happen. 2000 miles is roughly 10 fill ups. Thatís like nothing.

But, your certainly welcome to postpone your trip and not use your van during the best time of the year. I tried.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

You might check the bolts holding the to units together to make sure they aren't loose and letting the o-ring work a bit as a result.

I think it is possible that your o-ring might still be the original factory part and thus has cracked with age.
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satchmo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

Just a follow-up post to update things.

At the time of this writing, I have not fixed the leak. I made the 2000 mile trip fully loaded, over the Rockies, in 100 degree plus weather and had to add perhaps 4-6 ounces of transmission fluid total. The transmission is working fine.

I keep some cardboard under the van while parked in the garage to prevent the leaked oil from spreading too far. This will have to do for now. The engine oil pressure is beginning to be a concern, so a bottom end overhaul is in the near future. I'll address the transmission leak at that time.

Thanks for everyone's advice and assistance.

Satchmo
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

satchmo wrote:
Just a follow-up post to update things.

At the time of this writing, I have not fixed the leak. I made the 2000 mile trip fully loaded, over the Rockies, in 100 degree plus weather and had to add perhaps 4-6 ounces of transmission fluid total. The transmission is working fine.

I keep some cardboard under the van while parked in the garage to prevent the leaked oil from spreading too far. This will have to do for now. The engine oil pressure is beginning to be a concern, so a bottom end overhaul is in the near future. I'll address the transmission leak at that time.

Thanks for everyone's advice and assistance.

Satchmo
Ok then, sounds like a plan. Sorry to hear about the oil pressure becoming an issue though. Crying or Very sad
_________________
'68 Westy- my first VW and vehicle/Bus- long gone.- sold it to a traveling Swiss couple....
'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
'69 Semi-Auto Stick Shift Beetle, my wife's first car= yep. still long gone....
2017 MINI Coopers, our current DDs
Ď84 Tin Top - Hilga....Auto
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

So, I was right. Cool
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Leak at transmission/final drive seam Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
So, I was right. Cool
And/Or he doesnít have my luck with Automatic Transmissions.... Wink Wink Wink
_________________
'68 Westy- my first VW and vehicle/Bus- long gone.- sold it to a traveling Swiss couple....
'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
'69 Semi-Auto Stick Shift Beetle, my wife's first car= yep. still long gone....
2017 MINI Coopers, our current DDs
Ď84 Tin Top - Hilga....Auto
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View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
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