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Unread 08-18-2014, 03:16 PM   #1
Wordgie
Registered User
1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Central Florida, FL
Posts: 72
Chronic Output shaft seal leak

'99 TJ Sport
4.0/Auto

Shortly after getting my Jeep about 7 years ago, I noticed a small leak from the transmission. I felt around and noticed it seems to be around the pan so I changed out the gasket and the filter while I had it pulled apart. That worked for a while but it came back.

About three years ago I took it to a local shop where they changed several seals including the output shaft seal. This worked until I found another one. This one was attributed to the pan gasket. so it got changed again. Yep, back again.

I really thought it had something to do with the cooling line letting fluid back into the transmission and then finding its way out the weakest seal. Turns out all that was fine, but due due to the kick down cable not working properly and overall abuse, I ended up doing some damage to the trans and had to have it rebuilt.

During the rebuild they traced the leak back to the output shaft seal and of course that was changed. I got home and let it sit overnight and dammit, it was back. Real small leak and I thought maybe it was residual so I hosed it down real good and took a long drive. Sat overnight and it was still there so I took it back and they replaced it under warranty.

It's back again, this time looking a little more extreme. I usually have a dot smaller than a dime overnight, now I have a slight trail.

So here's the question....what's the deal? Is there a trick to installing those things that the trans shop should, but doesn't about? Is there one brand of seal better than another?

I'm seriously debating taking to a Jeep dealership and letting someone who knows the product work on it.

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Unread 09-05-2014, 11:47 AM   #2
Wordgie
Registered User
1999 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Central Florida, FL
Posts: 72
Here's what had happened. In case someone finds their way to this thread by way of googling output shaft seal leak, I'll lay it out there.

I had the trans shop perplexed as he looked all over the transmission to find the cause of this leak. He ended up doing some research and found out the transfer case adapter, the little piece between the trans and T-Case went bad.

I have several theories about how this went bad, but I keep going back to when I was changing the exhaust and let the drivetrain drop pretty far and suddenly after pulling the skid plate. Then there's old age.

Anyway, irregardless, he found that if this piece goes bad it causes a vibe which will eventually cause the output shaft to wobble, in turn breaking the seal. The bad part is, they can no longer get this part from Jeep but managed to find one in their inventory.

They called me on Tuesday after taking it for a test drive and said I could come and get. I just them keep it overnight since the leak shows up after parking it. Wednesday evening tolls around and I pick it up. All dry so far, take the long way home and park it. Thursday morning all dry. I take it out Thursday evening and run it on the interstate. This morning, no leaks. It's looking up!

What I noticed is everything seems tighter. It seems to shift better and looking back I did notice a vibe, especially at idle. It was small but it was there. It seemed much smoother.

So unless something big happens when I get home this afternoon, we'll just say that adapter was the problem.
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