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View Full Version : T-86 3 spd common leak areas? Now W/pics!



sbca96
07-15-2007, 05:20 AM
OK, lets just say that you have this T86 3 spd that you hate for many
different reasons, and you have already spent 800 dollars a few years
back for a rebuild, clutch and such for it .. now, since you have been
under the car for the last 8 months you have noticed its ALWAYS got a
drip/drop of oil coming off of it .....

What are the simple things you can do to slow/stop the leak without
spending more than 10 bucks on it? Anyplace to retorque? Some place
I should look at? I am considering one of those sealer additives, I
have had reasonable success with them for engine/auto trans seals.

Thoughts?

Tom

'63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires

blackhawk
07-15-2007, 10:04 AM
quote:What are the simple things you can do to slow/stop the leak without spending more than 10 bucks on it? Anyplace to retorque? Some place I should look at?Tom - I don't think there is anything you can just tighten. These small leaks are usually due to worn seals on the shift levers or a bad seal on the output shaft at the rear of the transmission. Dale

wally
07-15-2007, 11:48 AM
A leaky seal, especially one that has recently been replaced, can actually be a sign of a bearing(or bushing) that is worn out. The seal can't quite control the oil as it should, because of excessive movement in the shaft. Also, what about your fluid levels? Are they too high, and causing oil to be thrown around violently inside the case?

sbca96
07-15-2007, 06:06 PM
Honestly I dont even know where you add fluid to this trans. I havent
had any interest in learning about it since its going to the dump as
soon as I put the T56 in the car. I am just tired of the leaks. I
will find the fill hole (unless someone wants to point me in the right
direction) and add some seal restorer. Its got maybe 500 miles on it
since the rebuild.

How many sticks of dynamite you think it will take to blow it up?;)

Tom

stude_s
07-15-2007, 06:40 PM
Tom,

Iíd go with three. Just to make sure you donít have much shrapnel to pick up![}:)]

bams50
07-15-2007, 08:50 PM
If I was closer I'd be glad to take it off your hands- no dynamite needed!

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2358680/1

Roscomacaw
07-15-2007, 10:16 PM
It has two, square-head plugs on it's pass. side. The upper one is the fill place. Fill it til it starts to piddle back out.[}:)]

While dynamite would be satisfying, I'd opt for a sledge. DHS takes a dim view of exploding car parts of late and you might find you'd have to hock your Avanti to help pay for your defense lawyers.[B)]

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle
http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/906179/2006/12/7/truckonhill3.jpg

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

skyway
07-16-2007, 01:53 PM
Not real sure why you are so down on the T-86, but two additional suggestions.

1) There is a vent up high on the trans case. If clogged, the added pressure WILL encourage leaking in all sorts of odd places.

2) The OD solenoid shaft should have a little bitty metal/rubber/spring seal up in the trans housing. These often go bad and/or missing over time. If the leaking is from the solenoid drain hole, you can either replace the seal, or there may even be room to install 2 seals in opposite directions.

Oh, you can also try to snug up the bolts that hold the OD case via the one inch thick block that the solenoid fits into, and onto the rear of the trans case.

By the way, isn't that T-86 a little puny to be behind that big time engine of yours? Even if it has the straight cut first gear, I'd think you are on borrowed time. A friend of mine went thru a lot of T-86's behind his stock 289, until he wised up and went with a T-85.

Alan
07-16-2007, 06:33 PM
Tom, While you are under the car taking pictures, take one or 2 of the transmission side where the shift rods go through into the trans. Also of the trans to bell housing mating area. I can't see how you are the only person that has a rare T-86 in an Avanti, when they were never an option.:D

sbca96
07-16-2007, 09:26 PM
From what I have read (and I was surprised myself) the BASE trans for
the Avanti was a 3 spd manual, the T-86. This is the trans that made
the base R1 so darn slow in Motor Trend articles. Unless its a T-85,
that was the base trans, but I have read "T-86".

It has no OD.

http://www.theavanti.com/transmission.htm

http://www.theavanti.com/62_autocar.htm

"There will be a choice of three transmission systems. The standard manual gearbox is a three-speed Warner T-86 with a 3.31 to 1 final drive ratio. One option is the Warner T-10A with a 3.73 to 1 final drive ratio. This is a four-speed box with fairly wide ratios; the other option is a Borg-Warner automatic transmission."

Tom


quote:Originally posted by Alan

Tom, While you are under the car taking pictures, take one or 2 of the transmission side where the shift rods go through into the trans. Also of the trans to bell housing mating area. I can't see how you are the only person that has a rare T-86 in an Avanti, when they were never an option.:D

Alan
07-17-2007, 12:53 AM
[:o)] Humor me[:o)] Take some pics.

sbca96
07-17-2007, 03:32 AM
I will after the wifes surgery tomorrow, when shes sleeping. Its back
down on its tires again (which are low - BTW[B)]), so I have to jack it
back up in the air to take the pictures.

Tom


quote:Originally posted by Alan

[:o)] Humor me[:o)] Take some pics.

skyway
07-17-2007, 09:03 AM
Sorry to have assumed you had an OD transmission. With a straight 3 spd, I understand your desire to change it out. Leakwise tho,I'll still stick with my suggestion regarding the gear case vent.

I'm at work, and can't do the research, but my memory was that the Avanti base trans was a non OD T-85. This kinda makes sense, as the T-85 was used behind supercharged 289's in the 1950's. Also, (and I may be thinking of OD cases again) I think there are a couple of different (and confusing) numbers on the trans. Something like one "T" number on the shifter cover and another "T" number on the trans case.

Finally,speaking of shifter covers, aren't T-86's top loaders and T-85's side loaders? If so that is an easy way to determine what's in yours. Seems as if there has been question in Turning Wheels thru the years as to whether Studebaker ever really sold one with a straight 3 spd? Maybe you have the ONE!

sbca96
07-17-2007, 04:47 PM
Part of my apprehension in swapping it out, BUT since I hate driving
it with the current trans, it makes sense to dump it. The linkage is
most definately on the side - two separate rods. I took pictures in
the garage just a few minutes ago and will post them later. I need to
get the car out of the garage. Curious. Is there an access in the
floor to get to the drain/fill plug or do you have to magically pour
the additive against the pull of gravity? I dont have an Avanti only
manual, but my Hawk had a floor door.

The trans is leaking WHILE sitting in the garage, so I dont think its
a venting issue. Thats why I was thinking bolt or something. There
is a pool of goop on the floor JUST to the back of the bellhousing. I
would assume its a front seal, but would that leak while undriven??

Tom


quote:Originally posted by skyway
Finally,speaking of shifter covers, aren't T-86's top loaders and T-85's side loaders? If so that is an easy way to determine what's in yours. Seems as if there has been question in Turning Wheels thru the years as to whether Studebaker ever really sold one with a straight 3 spd? Maybe you have the ONE!

skyway
07-17-2007, 06:12 PM
Ok, I'll stop harping on the plugged vent idea. Seems to me that it would not leak while sitting unless its already over filled.

Don't have enough time under Avanti floors to know about access
panels, but I do know it sure is crowded up in the trans tunnel. My usual tool for filling manual tranmissions is a suction gun with hose attached.

sbca96
07-18-2007, 12:59 AM
As requested, here's the pictures of the ugly thing (whatever it is) :

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/avanti_problems/3SpdManual/T86Trans_001a.jpg

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/avanti_problems/3SpdManual/T86Trans_003a.jpg

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/avanti_problems/3SpdManual/T86Trans_004a.jpg

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/avanti_problems/3SpdManual/T86Trans_005a.jpg

Where it usually drips .. though everything is wet.

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/avanti_problems/3SpdManual/T86Trans_006a.jpg

Tom

Alan
07-18-2007, 01:54 AM
Thanks Tom. You have a genuine T-86 there but it looks like a rear main oil seal leak. Get down and get a little oil from the floor on your finger and smell it. Don't think it will smell like trans oil.

sbca96
07-18-2007, 03:46 AM
Nah, thats what I though, and YES I did have a nasty oil leak from the
vent tube on the passenger side (RTV! ick!), but the oil thats on the
ground is THICK and gooey. Its gotta be coming from the trans. No?

So this a rare deal then? I have always thought I had a "collectable"
Avanti being that its a 3 spd manual. I guess I would have to get a
build order for it to see if its original, or swapped in at some time?
As much as I dont want to "lose" a rare Avanti to mods, I cant bring
myself to keep this ackward, clumsy, and inconvenient transmission. If
it was something WORTH keeping ... but this car is begging for a T56.

Tom


quote:Originally posted by Alan

Thanks Tom. You have a genuine T-86 there but it looks like a rear main oil seal leak.

Alan
07-18-2007, 11:08 AM
Stick your finger in the thick gooey stuff and put it under your nose. Your neighbors will think you are getting some strange stuff. But the nose is the best way to tell.

sbca96
07-18-2007, 12:17 PM
It doesnt smell like engine oil. I have plenty of engine oil leaks,
and those are thin and consistent with engine oil. This stuff is just
like rear axle oil, thick, gooey and sticks to the floor. You can see
the difference when you try and wipe it up. The rag will stop dead.
I think that the trans DOES have engine oil on it.

Tom

Alan
07-19-2007, 11:57 AM
Tom, Found my Avanti workshop manual. Seems the T-86 was the standard trans for Avanti's. The book does not show a T-85 of any kind. Just T-10 and Auto. Checked a dealer order sheet, 3 speed is 17A, Auto is 19 and 4 speed is 20. The auto was a $220 option and the 4 speed was a $189 option. Power steering was $86, option 34. Cousin Hugh Studebaker had the only 3 OD Avanti, but he died in 75 and I don't have a serial no. for the car or know who it went to after that.

sbca96
07-19-2007, 12:21 PM
I was shocked as well when I read that. I thought that it was 4 speed
manual or Powershift ONLY. When I went to pick the car up, I put it
into 1st gear and it backed up!! I was in shock. I thought that some
numbnuts had swapped out the 4 spd for a 3spd, and I found the info in
some publication that the T-86 was the "base" trans.

I guess this is a history lesson for all.

Back to the leak .. its dripping where you see in the picture, but its
on the passenger side of the car - not in the center. Ideas? Could
the drain plug loosen?

Tom


quote:Originally posted by Alan

Tom, Found my Avanti workshop manual. Seems the T-86 was the standard trans for Avanti's.

Alan
07-19-2007, 03:44 PM
Check the oil pressure gauge hose.

sbca96
07-19-2007, 05:14 PM
Just humor me on the T86 being the culprit here. Its not engine oil,
its too thick. The oil pressure hose area was most definately ONE of
the oil leaks I have fixed. But, as I mentioned there is no oil off
the drain plug on the PAN now. The front of the pan is moist from the
front seal, but this goop is awful thick, and not consistent with the
oil thats in the crankcase.

Since I have a good idea of where its leaking now, I will get under it
tonight and do some more research.;)

Tom


quote:Originally posted by Alan

Check the oil pressure gauge hose.

Alan
07-20-2007, 02:13 AM
Tom, You are not going to think what you have to do to fix a gear oil leak from the trans. bearing retainer and throw out collar as humorous. With the Avanti you usually have to remove the motor and trans. Since there isn't enough room in the X-member to drop the tranny.

StudeRich
07-20-2007, 02:38 AM
It appears to me that some tranny guy put all the gaskets ie: the front bearing retainer, center adapter, tail housing, all of them in dry, like they always do with no sealer. If he even put gaskets in there, because they all look like they are leaking. UGH, not good news!:(

Think about it, a high performance car with high mileage and that wimpy trans. it must have gone out in the first 20,000 miles and been changed 4 times by now! Now you know why Allstate Tire, gave away those no power steering and no 4 speed R1 Avantis!
Yours either is not one of them, or had the P/S added.

StudeRich
Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

wally
07-20-2007, 03:24 AM
Maybe it is leaking at the countershaft bore at the transmission/bellhousing mating surface. The countershaft supports the cluster gear, and is not quite a press fit into the corresponding hole in the front of case on the standards I have worked on. They require some kind of sealant, maybe one of the varieties of Locktite, such as shaft n' bearing mount. My advice here is generic in nature--that is, if the t-86 doesn't have a countershaft bore at the trans to bellhousing surface, disregard this. All of my GM standards do, though, and they can leak.

sbca96
07-20-2007, 03:55 AM
Thanks guys for all the replies, thats the info I was looking for. So I
took the distributor cover off again to check the oil pressure line,
its dry still. That was the source of a nasty leak. I tightened the
pipe plugs on the trans, and checked at Kragen for a seal restorer for
manual tranmissions - doesnt seem to be one. There doesnt seem to be
a leak from above, the rear main IS wet, but its not running down the
rear of the pan like you would expect. I think it might be the front
seal of the trans. As far as pulling the trans, it seems that the
trans shop that did the trans "rebuild" didnt have to pull the engine.
I know because they only charged me the standard R&R fee. It LOOKS
like you can simply remove the driveshaft, and shove the trans back in
the spot above the X-member, and then forward to drop it out. When I
got the car first gear was blown up. Surprised?

http://hometown.aol.com/sbca96/images/Avantinewimages/avanti_problems/3SpdManual/T86Trans_007a.jpg

Tom

StudeRich
07-20-2007, 02:06 PM
Tom; all Borg Warner Standard Trans. have no front seal. I wonder if it is overfilled? Have you removed the fill plug to see if any oil runs out?

Also it may have the wrong lube, some people use engine oil, but I use the recommended GL4 Gear Oil, Sta-Lube still makes the correct GL4 only, not GL4/GL5, or GL5 that has extreme pressure additives that are not good for older trans. (and Overdrives, which I know your's isn't.)

StudeRich
Studebakers Northwest
Ferndale, WA

mbstude
07-20-2007, 02:13 PM
quote:checked at Kragen for a seal restorer for
manual tranmissions - doesnt seem to be one.

Pour in a can of brake fluid, that always makes seals swell up. :D;)

Matthew Burnette
'59 Scotsman
'63 Daytona
Hazlehurst, GA

Cruising the Proving Ground Test Track
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j209/mbstude/provingground2.jpg

gordr
07-20-2007, 03:31 PM
Tom, I think Wally has nailed it. These trannies use an oil-return thread on the input shaft, not a seal, and the normal oil level is too low for a static leak to occur there, unless you were to park on an extreme downgrade.

But the cluster shaft does simply press-fit into the front of the case, and that fit isn't always tight. Also, Avantis tend to get driven hard, although I know you'd never do that. :D

Put a heavy load on the tranny in first or second gear, and you develop side thrust between the main drive gear and the front cog on the cluster; that puts side force on the cluster shaft, and "works" it in that hole in the front of the case. Before long, that hole is slightly ovaled out, and will leak.

Maybe you can slide the tranny back far enough to reach in with an educated finger and apply a gob of silicone or Permatex #3 to the area in question.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

sbca96
07-20-2007, 05:03 PM
My fingers are completely uneducated in regards to this trans. Thanks
all for the input. I am tempted to move up the T56 swap.

Tom


quote:Originally posted by gordr
Maybe you can slide the tranny back far enough to reach in with an educated finger and apply a gob of silicone or Permatex #3 to the area in question.