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 transmission dripping ugh...

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Posts : 52
Join date : 2013-09-05
Location : TX

PostSubject: transmission dripping ugh...   Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:50 pm

Hey guys, this problem started last summer sometime and has just gotten progressively worse. At first I just noticed the smell, but couldn't see any dripping or leaks. A few months ago, it got to the point where I was topping off the trans fluid with maybe half a quart every 3 or 4 weeks. Anyway, I looked up the info here about the trans on my 94 RMW and it said on the list of issues, that sometimes a leak near the front can be some kind of pump bushing coming out? I have never heard of that, but I'm no expert by any means.

At first I had thought the pan gasket was bad, so I changed that out, but it only drips while running and a bit after. It doesn't drip nonstop. The car has 95k miles on it, so I guess I'm just surprised that the transmission would start leaking like this. The solution for this, on the sticky, said you have to have the transmission pulled and rebuilt. Which is obviously not good. Is there anything else I can check before spending major cash? On a side note, does anyone know someone reputable in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that can do this kind of work?

One side note, does the trans dipstick on everyone's car twist several times instead of being flat? It was that way when I got the car and I don't get why they would have designed it that way, or what's the purpose?

Lastly, my ultimate plan for the car was, at some point, having it converted to a 6 speed manual. If this trans needs to rebuilt, would it be easier/cheaper to just have it replaced with the manual? Has anyone here had that conversion done?  Thanks much.

.....oh, I just remembered, when this first started I took the car to a local place to have them look at it, and diagnose why the trans was dripping. They were the ones that said the pan gasket needed to be changed out, and was going to charge me like, $300 or some ridiculous amount. Another reason why I am looking for someone with a good reputation, to help me with this.
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phantom 309


Posts : 5786
Join date : 2008-12-28
Age : 108

PostSubject: Re: transmission dripping ugh...   Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:21 am

where exactly does the oil drip down from?
there is a rubber bushing/grommet that the dipstick tube goes into.
can you get the car onto a hoist and look whilst its running?
Use a can of spray parts cleaner to clean off suspect area's.
I personally will clean an area where there's confusion on the leaks source,. and then throw a handful of flour at the area. fluid leaks migrate from the source aided by all the airflow coming under a car, same situation at the front of engine airflow from fans and driving at speed, pushes fluids everywhere.
Pump bushing leaks are usually contained by the inspection cover and drip from the small hole in the bottom of the cover, but again the airflow under the car spreads the oil out and rearward.
Does the fluid level just keep dropping or does it settle down after a while at a lower level? Have you ever noticed any slipping of the transmission at all?

There have been numerous sedans and wagons that have been converted, in todays market, i guesstimate if you pay someone to install the common mix of new and used parts, it will be roughly 2.5 times the cost of rebuilding your auto transmission. That estimate is NOT including installing a more optimal rear axle ratio.
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Posts : 93
Join date : 2015-10-10

PostSubject: Re: transmission dripping ugh...   Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:37 pm

If the trans only leaks while it’s running, it’s probably not the pan gasket.
But, removing the pan and gasket, cleaning the pan and magnet, replacing the filter and reinstalling it shouldn’t run much more than $100 plus perhaps new fluid.

It is not unusual for the pan to become wet from oil leaking from another location such as the front or rear seal.
I’ve personally had the rear seal leak on a few GM automatics over the years, and that is easily diagnosed by a wet front part of the driveshaft, or wet floorpan in the area, if the leak is bad enough.

The dipstick on these transmissions is fairly long, and I’d assume the twists are there for strength, and to ensure it will navigate the turns in the dipstick tube.
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Posts : 52
Join date : 2013-09-05
Location : TX

PostSubject: Re: transmission dripping ugh...   Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:56 pm

Thanks for the replies. I did clean up the underside trying to locate the drip before, and it seems it is coming from the very front of the pan. And yes, the fluid level keeps on dropping the more I drive it, if I don't keep topping it off. Each trip, I usually look under the car and there's maybe 1/2 an ounce of fluid drips, plus whatever I am losing while driving. But like I said, it doesn't drip constantly after it's turned off.

And thanks, I didn't realize there was a rubber grommet at the dipstick tube, I will look more closely in that area. That would be a nice surprise, if that were the culprit. I have not noticed any transmission slipping or anything at all. It has always shifted fine since I got it at 45k miles. It has about 95k now, about 5 years later.

As far as doing the 6 speed manual, I have seen a few examples on youtube, but most looked like dyi jobs, so that cuts the cost greatly. I have some gearhead friends, but they are more into hot rods, so I'm not sure if they could help me out with a relatively modern car.

I guess I will check under the car again, and if it's definitely not coming from the dipstick tube, i'll see if I can get a few estimates on a rebuild and decide what I want to do. It just seemed like this was a good time/excuse to upgrade to the third pedal. I still can't believe they never had a manual option for the Impala SS. If they had, the swap would be so much easier...
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