Unidentified Leak or 2 - JeepForum.com

 
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-13-2016, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
AZSobo
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2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Somewhere in the desert west of New Mexico and east of California.
Posts: 95
Unidentified Leak or 2

I've got a leak(s) and it's getting worse - I've been losing coolant, so theres that. Plus a while back a mechanic told me the front transmission seal was leaking but it was only a drop every month or so and the level never went down so I let that go.

The underbelly of my Jeep was kind of grimy so got that mostly cleaned up to help track it down, looked this morning to find a puddle.

It is hard for me to i.d. what it is though, on the metal tray I have under there, it looked darker, but wiped up on a paper towel it looked kind of light pinkish I guess, but didn't smell like tranny fluid, didn't have any smell and much lighter than current trans fluid. I'm running Zerex G-05 which doesn't really have any smell or color for that matter (translucent yellow color) so I think that is what it is.

The bell housing had a little wetness (wiped before taking pics) but the trans pan and skid plate were pretty much soaked with what I think is coolant.

On top of transmission - shift cable/throttle valve lever area had some grime that may or may not have been left over from before the cleansing which does smell like transmission fluid.

I know my transmission needs a new pan gasket (filter and flush). May or may not need front seal.

Could my coolant leak be from rear freeze plugs?
That was my initial thought but I thought for how soaked everything behind bell housing is, that the bottom of the bell housing would have been wetter. And, what could be leaking on top of the transmission? That line (radiator ?) in last pic is wet at the threads going in but hard to tell if it cause of leak or from the leak but it doesn't look like leak but idk.

Thanks for any thoughts.
























2001 Jeep Wrangler Sport, 4.0L, 30x9.5 15 Tires on Alum. Rims, Tomken Bumpers front and rear - Everything else Stock
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-13-2016, 07:04 AM
bobjp
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In my opinion, transmission fluid has a very distinct smell. And coolant tastes sweet if you put a little on your finger and touch it to your tongue (then wipe it off).


That looks like a transmission fluid leak, but it appears to be coming from further back on the transmission. Perhaps that front seal is leaking, but you've also developed a leak further back.

97 TJ sport.
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-13-2016, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
AZSobo
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Location: Somewhere in the desert west of New Mexico and east of California.
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Still can't tell. It definitely looks like it's leaking around the pan and wouldn't be surprised to find out that front seal is bad, the last time I checked the level it was good but that was before the major leakage. Haven't driven it long enough to get transmission hot since - heck, I just moved it from inside the garage to the driveway earlier and it found more puddles.
It looks like transmission fluid, no smell though and that has a distinctive smell still though I'm coming up short on coolant, drove 100 miles and lost 3/4" +/- in expansion reservoir. But, a little was drained out to do a pressure test recently and I just filled it up without burping it so some of it could have been from that. With the coolant, my first horrible thought was cylinder head but no oil in coolant or coolant in oil, can't see a crack from oil fill cap and it's running good. Especially don't want 2 major repairs at one time, I hate it but probably going have to take it to a shop and don't have a 'trusted' mechanic to take it to, so there's that, plus Phoenix shop costs are $100 + per hour. That trans seal is listed as a 5 hour job on alldatadiy...for a what, a $20 seal.

Just spit balling - if the trans cooler in the radiator had a leak, would coolant go in transmission or t-fluid in coolant? I have one of those steel radiators, not a huge fan but haven't wanted to change it as long as it's holding up.

2001 Jeep Wrangler Sport, 4.0L, 30x9.5 15 Tires on Alum. Rims, Tomken Bumpers front and rear - Everything else Stock
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-09-2017, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
AZSobo
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Somewhere in the desert west of New Mexico and east of California.
Posts: 95
The major leak was the gasket on transmission pan. I wanted to get the transmission chemically flushed anyway so that was that. I didn't know but a flush doesn't include filter/gasket, which makes no sense to me. The shift shaft seal was leaking on the top so they did that too.

I asked them to pull the inspection plate on the bell housing to look for a leak on trans front seal, said nothing about it when I picked it up but I saw a little wetness on the bell last night so that could still be an issue, not sure if they didn't look or did and didn't see anything, I haven't been able to get in contact with the service writer yet. This is a shop that appears to be decent, highly rated and seemingly trusted on google and yelp but at $120 an hour, you'd think they'd want to find as much to work on as possible.

The coolant issue is still vexing. Have put about 150 miles on it since picking it up, coolant down in overflow about an 1/8" which is better than before**.
Not that I want it to be but after reading countless forum threads, cylinder head or head gasket would be likely suspect however:
They did a 2 hour plus pressure check on coolant system and it held good. Before I took it in, changed plugs - all looked consistent, did a compression test, with a less expensive Autozone Innova cylinder leak tester, values were higher than should be (120-150psi) (cheap tester?) but well within 30 psi max variation. #1 170, #2 172, #3 175, #4 169, #5 172 and #6 175.
No visible oil in coolant, no visible coolant in oil and looking into oil fill can not see any problems.

I did notice a little dried coolant on various parts under and around the coolant overflow, need to thoroughly inspect the overflow and that hose (both look good but worth taking a close look). My luck dried up years ago so I'm not holding my breath. Could just be from when they did the pressure test, slopping coolant.

Besides any thoughts, I'm still going to need someone to do the front transmission seal and whatever is wrong with coolant unless it something simple. As much as I hate it, I'm limited, beyond my control in what I can do with vehicles - if anyone knows a good, reliable mechanic in the Phoenix area I'd appreciate a shout out. Looking at what could potentially be wrong between that front seal and possibly a head gasket or head replacement, I'd really like to find someone who knows their stuff, comes highly recommended and works out of their garage to help cut that labor cost down. I know, but dreaming is still free.

2001 Jeep Wrangler Sport, 4.0L, 30x9.5 15 Tires on Alum. Rims, Tomken Bumpers front and rear - Everything else Stock
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