PDA

View Full Version : Fluid Leaks



Rekabeduts
12-05-2004, 12:38 AM
I've had some starter problems so my Stude (w/289) has not been driven in about 2 months. I know I need to get it fixed, but haven't had time due to work and travel. Anyway, I've tapped it (and a few nearby areas when I missed) with a small hammer and pole, a couple of times to try to "persuade" the starter (it worked once), and today, tried again after moving the powershift trans through its gears to roll it back in the garage. The car has always leaked a little trans fluid and oil and hasn't leaked much while sitting, but today I found about a pint of trans fluid under it in a pan I keep under the car after tapping and moving the gears. I wonder if moving the trans gears could have caused a gush of fluid after sitting so long? Has anyone experienced an increase in leaks when tapping on the starter? The Trans seal is only about 2 years old, but maybe the sitting and tapping has affected it. Anyone had this experience?

Thanks, Hank

Sonny
12-05-2004, 01:31 AM
Not no, but hell no, it didn't run all that fluid out 'cause you tapped the starter Hank. BUT, if the front pump seal is bad, (leaking), and there was fluid pooled in the bottom of the bellhousing, then it might be possible that you caused that fluid to run out of the engine/bellhousing joint when you tapped on the starter. The front pump seal may be newer, but I'd check it out again. Is any of the shift arm seals at the side of the transmission leaking?

The other thing is, mebbe the starter quit because it's full of transmission fluid? I know that ya don't wanna hear this, but it looks like you're gonna have to drop that starter either way. Don't forget to check the starter solenoid too, it can cause the starter to work intermittently.

One last thing, shifting the transmission, (moving the car is absolutely no help), with an automatic would mebbe only help get the car started if the neutral safety switch is bad. If the neutral safety switch is bad, then sometimes, (if you're REAL lucky), shifting it into neutral might help. Otherwise, to test the neutral safety switch, just use a jump wire across the terminals on the safety switch, make SURE that it's in park, then try starting the car.

You may be confusing that technique with what you can do if the starter drive teeth are stuck in the flywheel of a manual shift car. You can put a manual shift car in first gear and rock the car to try and release the starter drive teeth.

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Rekabeduts
12-05-2004, 08:48 AM
quote:Originally posted by Sonny

Not no, but hell no, it didn't run all that fluid out 'cause you tapped the starter Hank. BUT, if the front pump seal is bad, (leaking), and there was fluid pooled in the bottom of the bellhousing, then it might be possible that you caused that fluid to run out of the engine/bellhousing joint when you tapped on the starter. The front pump seal may be newer, but I'd check it out again. Is any of the shift arm seals at the side of the transmission leaking?

The other thing is, mebbe the starter quit because it's full of transmission fluid? I know that ya don't wanna hear this, but it looks like you're gonna have to drop that starter either way. Don't forget to check the starter solenoid too, it can cause the starter to work intermittently.

One last thing, shifting the transmission, (moving the car is absolutely no help), with an automatic would mebbe only help get the car started if the neutral safety switch is bad. If the neutral safety switch is bad, then sometimes, (if you're REAL lucky), shifting it into neutral might help. Otherwise, to test the neutral safety switch, just use a jump wire across the terminals on the safety switch, make SURE that it's in park, then try starting the car.

You may be confusing that technique with what you can do if the starter drive teeth are stuck in the flywheel of a manual shift car. You can put a manual shift car in first gear and rock the car to try and release the starter drive teeth.

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Rekabeduts
12-05-2004, 09:00 AM
Thanks Sonny, I know that starter is gonna have to come out. I called Stephan Allen and they gave me a price of about $175-$200 for a re-build. They don't have all the parts, and may need to raid their Stude farm out back if needed.

I was just looking underside again, and see more trans fluid gathering to drip near the bolts on the bottom of the trans fluid pan, below the horizontal seal, although it looks like the leak could be coming from above that seal. I started looking at the torque converter housing on the drivers side, which seems oily where it faces the oilpan. I had previously tapped on the bottom of the converter by mistake and noticed the leak. when I looked at converter housing on the passenger side out of curiousity, I noticed that on the lower rear corner, there is an opening and I can see a bit of the flywheel. I'm note sure if something should be bolted there, or was removed and left off. The opening looks like maybe it should be there, all the bolts around it are tight. Should I be able to see the flywheel itself? If not I wonder what I need to fix it.

Thanks again.

Roscomacaw
12-05-2004, 02:33 PM
Actualy, technically speaking, it's not the "flywheel" you see thru that opening, it's the torque converter. And yes, there's supposed to be an opening there. There's supposed to be a little L-shaped deflector piece attached to the two bolts at the front of that opening but even when it's in place, you can still readily see the torque converter as that sheet metal deflector doesn't entirely cover the hole. That hole, along with a couple towards the backside of the bell housing (the big cast iron housing that sets between the engine and the transmission and houses the torque convertor) serve to allow airflow over the torque convertor as a mean of keeping the transmission fluid cool. The spinning torque converter serves as the "fan" - as it spins - to circulate the air and thus cool the fluid as it flows thru the torque convertor.
I found it a bit hard to believe, as you said earlier, that you'd "tapped" the torque converter by mistake initially. That being because you'd have to have tapped thru that cooling outlet in the bellhousing to do so.
First thing I'd try is simply snugging up the bolts on the pan of the tranny. Since you can SEE fluid dripping from that area, I doubt it has anything to do with the starter.
If it's got a Powershift, the car's a later one, check the tightness of the B-nut that secures the filler tube to the tranny pan. That's another possible source of a leak.
RE-reading your initial post, I see that you used a rod and a hammer to "tap" the starter "and a few other things" as you state. If you inadvertently whacked the corner of the tranny oil pan one time, I could easily envision it causing a leak at the pan gasket.
I don't think I need to tell you that the hammer and arbor method of troubleshooting and repair isn't exactly "mechanical etiquette". Not to say I personally HAVEN'T resorted to some degree of such in a pinch, but you lay yourself open for more woes when you do so.
'twere it me, I'd take the starter off and see if the brushes were shot in it before I'd hand over $175 bucks for one. Replacing them isn't the easiest thing to do, but I'll bet a local unit repair place could do that for a whole heck of alot less![^]

Miscreant at large.

Sonny
12-05-2004, 05:46 PM
quote:Originally posted by Rekabeduts

Thanks Sonny, I know that starter is gonna have to come out. I called Stephan Allen and they gave me a price of about $175-$200 for a re-build. They don't have all the parts, and may need to raid their Stude farm out back if needed.

I was just looking underside again, and see more trans fluid gathering to drip near the bolts on the bottom of the trans fluid pan, below the horizontal seal, although it looks like the leak could be coming from above that seal. I started looking at the torque converter housing on the drivers side, which seems oily where it faces the oilpan. I had previously tapped on the bottom of the converter by mistake and noticed the leak. when I looked at converter housing on the passenger side out of curiousity, I noticed that on the lower rear corner, there is an opening and I can see a bit of the flywheel. I'm note sure if something should be bolted there, or was removed and left off. The opening looks like maybe it should be there, all the bolts around it are tight. Should I be able to see the flywheel itself? If not I wonder what I need to fix it.

Thanks again.


You're very welcome. Bob covered a LOT of my answer to you, but just to add a bit. First, tighten all the tranny pan bolts, (but don't over tighten them), as well as the big nut you can see on the pan where the dipstick connects to it. Second, get yourself some spray cans of "brake clean", (normally used for brake stuff, but awesome for completely eliminating grease and oil while leaving the surface spotlessly clean), spray ALL over the bellhousing and transmission, cleaning all grease and oil off. Third, after it’s completely clean and dry where you’ve sprayed, put something absorbent under the car, (a big brown paper box that's been disassembled works great), under the area from about the middle of the oil pan to just about 6 inches past the rear end of the tranny, (where the drive shaft yoke goes in). Then, it's just a matter of time before the car tells you exactly where it's leaking, no chasing, no wondering.

As for the new starter, Stephen Allen is a GREAT place to find/buy something, but I would very seriously try to find someone local to rebuild that starter, like Bob suggested. I know that Stude International sells a rebuilt starter for $25.00 cheaper and has the entire rebuild kits for $75.00, brush kits are around $7.00, your call…….

In any event, I recommend spending some time under your car, tightening and cleaning so your efforts aren't diluted by trying to "chase" the leak or leaks. Please let us know what you find.


Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com