New to me 98-Jeep GC Laredo 5.2 2WD... leak help - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-07-2021, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
Laffinmann
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New to me 98-Jeep GC Laredo 5.2 2WD... leak help

Hi there..

My Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 5.2L 2WD came into my home just over a year ago. My father in law actually gave it to me for $10!!

The Jeep runs well, has gotten me from Texas to Florida and now back to Colorado and is also my daily driver. She has 134,000 on the engine now.

She has always leaked and now is time to tackle the issue as I finally have a garage to work in.

She burns oil, went through nearly 4 quarts driving from Naples FL to Denver CO plus a bottle of power steering fluid.

Thinking the leak could be power steering fluid I replaced the hose and cleaned up the return hose. Dosent look like anymore leak from that as I havent had to fill up the power steering fluid this week and levels are about the same.

Still the same leak though, lowest part of the engine under the transmission is where the drops leave the vehicle. The fluid has a reddish tinge to it so I'm thinking transmission oil. My father in law also thought it was leaking transmission oil.

The attached pics show where the leak is coming from before hitting the ground. I have ben unable to trace where its actually coming from though.
Its before the transmission pan and after cleaning up the pan and bolts I'm not seeing any leak from that.

Where should I look next? This leak is driving me nuts trying to find it.

Thanks for any help and advice!!

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post #2 of 23 Old 05-07-2021, 03:45 PM
zjosh93
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Looks like it's leaking from the transmission front seal (torque converter seal) and the engine rear main seal. Both are common leaks. Easier to do them both while you have the trans down. When you do the torque converter seal, check the front pump to make sure the gasket isn't leaking. It's rare but mine was leaking from the front pump gasket and I replaced the front seal twice before figuring it out.

Might also be a good idea to replace any core plugs (freeze plugs) on the back of the engine too.
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post #3 of 23 Old 05-07-2021, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
Laffinmann
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Thanks Josh!

I know the transmission was replaced at some point, have no idea when, probably 5 to 8 years ago.

I have to read about those leaks you mentioned and research more to decide if its out of my scope or something I can do on my own in a garage with only ramps to use.

My previous experience is with smaller engines, I would routinely break down the motorcycles I owned but havent had much experience with cars/trucks.
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-08-2021, 10:47 PM
CountryZJ
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Like josh said it looks like a rear main seal leak best way to find out is to use some UV dye and add it to the oil and then run it for a week then use a black light underneath and see if there is any dye if there is you know it's the rear main seal if there isn't then it's the transmission leaking
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post #5 of 23 Old 05-09-2021, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
Laffinmann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryZJ View Post
Like josh said it looks like a rear main seal leak best way to find out is to use some UV dye and add it to the oil and then run it for a week then use a black light underneath and see if there is any dye if there is you know it's the rear main seal if there isn't then it's the transmission leaking
Thats a good idea, I just ordered the dye and light so I can check. It'll be here later in the week and I'll report back with my findings.
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post #6 of 23 Old 05-14-2021, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
Laffinmann
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I used an orange dye and added it to the engine oil.
Its been a couple of days and no sign of orange glow with the IR light.

But...

There is a green glow and its lighting up in the fluid leak in the photos posted above and looks to come from up in that area connecting the transmission housing and the engine oil pan.

I'll wait a few more days and see if any orange dye starts to show.
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post #7 of 23 Old 05-15-2021, 04:07 AM
V8GCZJ
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Take the inspection plate off the the lower transmission(front), Then you should see if it's the trans or rear main. Also if that's trans fluid it looks real dirty. Look at the fluid on the stick and see if it looks the same.
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-15-2021, 06:54 AM
jeepjeepster
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Odd that it goes through that much engine oil. A 5.2 with such low miles shouldnt use that much oil. Makes me wonder if thats a bad engine oil leak.

I would love to have a 2wd 5.2 ZJ. Very nice

1994 ZJ-I6 w/270,000 mi
1998 ZJ 5.9 w/66,000 mi Slate Black
2004 KJ w/108,000 mi
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post #9 of 23 Old 05-16-2021, 02:44 AM
Timo_90xj
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4 quarts of oil for roughly a 2000 mile drive? That is nowhere near normal for these engines, find where it's leaking from. If it was burning that much oil, it would show as blue(ish) smoke from the exhaust.

I was about half a quart down on the oil level in the 5.9 with 7500 mile oil change intervals, using 5W-30 or 5W-40 full synth.

1998 Grand Cherokee 5.9 LX daily driver, 1.75" BB, 32" KM2s, HPD30 Eaton e-locker/D44a stock LSD, 4.56 gears, custom- fabbed tube bumpers and tube fenders,...


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #10 of 23 Old 05-16-2021, 10:21 AM
CountryZJ
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Mine is like a quart low after 7500 with a rear main leak
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post #11 of 23 Old 05-21-2021, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
Laffinmann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8GCZJ View Post
Take the inspection plate off the the lower transmission(front), Then you should see if it's the trans or rear main. Also if that's trans fluid it looks real dirty. Look at the fluid on the stick and see if it looks the same.
The transmission fluid is pretty dirty and its on my list to change. Just bought a new spring to replace whilst I have the transmission pan off and some Valvoline MaxLife ATF to replace the fluid. Will also adjust the bands whilst I'm doing this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepjeepster View Post
Odd that it goes through that much engine oil. A 5.2 with such low miles shouldnt use that much oil. Makes me wonder if thats a bad engine oil leak.

I would love to have a 2wd 5.2 ZJ. Very nice
The jeep is running well, just this leak but has plenty of power and is reliable. It went through a lot of oil on the long drives but in general day to day use its not really going through oil too badly, nothing like a quart every 1000 miles

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryZJ View Post
Like josh said it looks like a rear main seal leak best way to find out is to use some UV dye and add it to the oil and then run it for a week then use a black light underneath and see if there is any dye if there is you know it's the rear main seal if there isn't then it's the transmission leaking
After adding the Orange dye it looks like the green dye that was already in there is losing its green-ness so now I'm thinking the leak is oil and not transmission. I really dont know so I'll give it another week and check again.
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post #12 of 23 Old 05-21-2021, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laffinmann View Post
The transmission fluid is pretty dirty and its on my list to change. Just bought a new spring to replace whilst I have the transmission pan off and some Valvoline MaxLife ATF to replace the fluid. Will also adjust the bands whilst I'm doing this.


No, no and again no. Use ATF +4 and nothing else.


Quote:
After adding the Orange dye it looks like the green dye that was already in there is losing its green-ness so now I'm thinking the leak is oil and not transmission. I really dont know so I'll give it another week and check again.
If it's leaking motor oil into bellhousing, it's more than likely either rear main seal or camshaft rear cover plug.
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #13 of 23 Old 05-21-2021, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
Laffinmann
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Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
[/B]No, no and again no. Use ATF +4 and nothing else.

If it's leaking motor oil into bellhousing, it's more than likely either rear main seal or camshaft rear cover plug.
Thanks!! I was wondering about that. My owner manual says Dex2 or ATF+2. Just thought it means they can be mixed. I'll get +4 this weekend and start working on it Monday.

Thanks again for that quick save
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post #14 of 23 Old 05-21-2021, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laffinmann View Post
Thanks!! I was wondering about that. My owner manual says Dex2 or ATF+2. Just thought it means they can be mixed. I'll get +4 this weekend and start working on it Monday.

Thanks again for that quick save

Atf4 is the latest and updated recommended fluid. Any brand will do as its a proprietary recipe from Chrysler.


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post #15 of 23 Old 05-26-2021, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Update..

The green dye leaking from the underneath is definitely from the transmission fluids, the orange dye, added later, went into the engine oil and there is no sign of orange dye leaking just the green dye on the bottom of the engine that looks like it comes from the upper part that connects between the oil pan and transmission pan.

I have the transmission pan removed (old fluid drained and green with my UV light), a replacement with drain plug, rubber gasket, rtv black gasket sealant and ATF4 transmission fluid at the ready. Also replacing the spring and doing the internal bands whilst the transmission pan is removed.

Now knowing the leak is transmission fluid what would be the recommended next steps and parts I should replace?

Thanks!!
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