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Dumping transmission fluid out of vent


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Panelbeater
Novice

Apr 7, 2015, 8:02 PM

Post #1 of 9 (1248 views)
Dumping transmission fluid out of vent Sign In

1997 Ford Explorer XLT 4ltr SHOC
Hello to everybody
After initially purchasing the car with 190,000 kilometres on the clock I had the oil and filters changed in both engine and box.
After less than 15,000 kilometres I am having problems with auto transmission
The first incident was after coming up a steady climb of about 3000 feet with five passengers and luggage. A friend following pulled alongside and said that we losing oil, I got out and looked underneath to see that transmission oil was dripping. I thought OK everything is good on temp and pressure of the engine and the transmission is performing normally I will carry on to a flat bit of road less than 1 kilometre away.
I stopped at the flat section and got out to look closer at the problem and to my surprise the transmission was dumping all its fluid out onto the road.
The car was transported back to the transmission repair shop and the analysis was that the front pump seal had gone. But the condition of the box was good in general. As the box was out we decided on a complete rebuild and a reconditioned torque convertor.
Some 400 kilometres, later again after a short steep hill and parking the box dumped all the oil out through the vent pipe this time.
But I notice that there was water in the oil (Gone Milky)
So back to transmission shop, analysis was the oil cooler in the radiator had failed, a new radiator was fitted, oil and filter change and the shop proclaimed that no damage was done to transmission.
400 kilometres more, same short hill and parking the box dumped all the oil out through the vent pipe. This time the oil is normal no water in it.
Back to the transmission shop, they suspect the torque convertor as overheated.
It is being stripped down as I write. I have spent my life as panelbeater in the motor trade and have full knowledge of the engines and manual boxes. But not auto boxes.
But logically something is telling me from the start this is an internal pressure problem in the box.
Need help or suggestions this is cost a fortune.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 8, 2015, 4:00 AM

Post #2 of 9 (1232 views)
Re: Dumping transmission fluid out of vent Sign In

Trying to follow sequence here. Trans now overhauled also mixed with engine coolant then new radiator?


Unfortunately engine coolant in transmission fluid can be fatal again right away if that's what happened. Coolant level would likely be low and trans fluid would check too full before it blew out and you wouldn't probably check after the work too soon.


IDK but you may be up for another overhaul. If you work this fairly hard a lot I'd use a transmission oil cooler that isn't involved with the radiator at all.


At some point of trans being too full of whatever or from very excessive heat it would purge out oil at weakest link or some had a relief valve. Only an in person inspection is really going to know for sure.


BTW - Hard to dump ALL fluid out of an auto gear box as you put it as it would stop pumping when the pick up screen was higher than the oil/fluid level in the pan/sump you may call it. Most would still be in the thing of no use to run/drive and as pressures go off and too low high risk of slipping which is fatal fast unfortunately,


T



Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Apr 8, 2015, 4:34 AM

Post #3 of 9 (1226 views)
Re: Dumping transmission fluid out of vent Sign In

If the cooler leaked into the transmission, the transmission is done. It needs to come apart and overhauled. No question about that. The clutch and band material are contaminated.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Panelbeater
Novice

Apr 8, 2015, 10:16 PM

Post #4 of 9 (1196 views)
Re: Dumping transmission fluid out of vent Sign In

Hi thanks for your suggestions, the transmission shop has said that the torque converter is the problem and it is being replaced. Should get the car back tomorrow so we we see if it is or not.
I had another suggestion that it could be related to TCC slip and it causing overheating, sounds logical.
Please for give my general expression of dumping ALL the oil out. But it did get rid quite a lot when rad cooler went.


Panelbeater
Novice

Apr 8, 2015, 10:21 PM

Post #5 of 9 (1195 views)
Re: Dumping transmission fluid out of vent Sign In

Hi thanks for your input.
I to was concerned about the box but the transmission shop assures me the box is OK. They say that the torque converter is the problem and it is being replaced. Should get the car back tomorrow so we we see if it is or not.
I had another suggestion that it could be related to TCC slip and it causing overheating, sounds logical.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 9, 2015, 2:00 AM

Post #6 of 9 (1183 views)
Re: Dumping transmission fluid out of vent Sign In

Just general on fluids, heat and expansion: Note even engine coolant says or a mark for full when cold or hot. Same for all things that hold a volume of a fluid. It has a range where it will work properly and if by heat it's really way too full either purges that out and or a problem occurs.


How much in an automatic transmission a torque converter adds to fluid temp IDK of a constant. Heavy loads, ambient temps and extended time usually involved. Converter slips on purpose when stopped but shouldn't be a wearing concept at all but some heat from that until lock up then less heat makes sense to me.


It's always flowing from front pump to either or both a cooler in radiator or additional one as well to moderate the temp of fluid. That failed and engine coolant and transmission fluid mixed and you are being told it's only a converter now? Discretesignals (DS) said and agree that contaminated goes along thru entire transmission of clutches, bands as well now contaminated. How long those could work properly is a wild guess now IMO.


It's unfortunate that cooler in radiator happened AFTER a rebuild job if I read this in order. Now you probably are in trouble for another whole job or rebuilding the transmission so can't know from here why this shop is blaming just the torque converter?


T



Panelbeater
Novice

Apr 9, 2015, 6:49 PM

Post #7 of 9 (1164 views)
Re: Dumping transmission fluid out of vent Sign In

I agree with you on this Tom.
But as it stands we get the car back tomorrow and I am going to take it to another shop that has been highly recommended. If he suggests a stripdown even though the box is performing well (Which we will find out tomorrow), I think it would be the right way to go. It should a least stop anymore damage being done and possible save the replacement of some parts hopefully.
Thanks again for your input and kind regards


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 9, 2015, 11:13 PM

Post #8 of 9 (1158 views)
Re: Dumping transmission fluid out of vent Sign In

Still trying to make some sense of this. I somewhat think this trans (any fluid holding gearcase anywhere or anything) has to vent to accommodate expansion of the fluid/gear oil if the case to air out and draw back air as needed to keep pressure over the oil in a case even with atmosphere. Follow me so far?


So, some that might be exposed to heavy dirt, being under water may use a hose or snorkel type something higher up than right on the case like a funky bolt or a mushroom type cap.


Dipstick tubes in this case in NOT the vent TMK.


If anything I suggest paying attention to that vent on yours however it's configured that it works. Reason: It may have built up more pressure than the cooling system, blew back some into radiator then when cooled (always cycling from warmer to cooler) sucks back coolant would explain both the violation of the radiator trans fluid cooler and contamination. Radiator probably when warmed up is stays at about 15PSI and if venting in there was excessive could bust that.


So if that's where the problem all began it's still lurking! New redo every week isn't going to fix that so it has to be checked out IMO now as this mess isn't going away for you and dinky things like that are easily overlooked.


What would be weak spots? That front pump seal would just like a water pump to cooling system if you pumped up pressure way to high it is usually the weak link and would blow coolant out.


These things are working all together and just expected to work and forget about them. It matters and would explain this nightmare.


Your trans now has had coolant in it and I don't think we'll know or anyone if it can work properly now for a time or begin to fail again soon. Plain redoing it now if needed and might be makes me want to know it's vented properly.


This is general for gearboxes as said. Also the reason you can and frequently check fluid level with engine running at which time there isn't any pressure in that air above fluid level at all and really shouldn't be ever. It's blown out vent twice now so there's the clue to fix before this is ever going to end.


How long this trans will last without more than changing out all fluid that was mixed is a guess. With that in it's history it doesn't bode well for dependability to me anyway. Also not so sure if it's behaving when inspected for driveabilty anyone is going to make a call and be sure.


All that CHECK THAT IT VENTS PROPERLY!


T



Panelbeater
Novice

Apr 14, 2015, 8:14 PM

Post #9 of 9 (1120 views)
Re: Dumping transmission fluid out of vent Sign In

Hi
Thanks to everybody for all the feedback and suggestions. I am pleased to tell you that we found the problem. It was a problem with the torque converter.
As most of you say, you don’t like recon converters but sometimes finances dictate what you do. I paid the price this time. The box was opened and checked and new filter and oil and another converter. Apparently a fault was found with the converter on a further internal inspection.
The car has been tested on some very tuff gradients with a load and no problems.
Thanks again for your help






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