TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Monday evening, I'm driving my Bird back home from school (appx 60 miles), and while driving on the freeway, I notice wisps of smoke coming from my bird in my rear view mirror. Mind you, I know my Bird already leaks oil and some ATF so I didn't think much of it.

Fast forward to when I stop at my freeway exit and I see smoke coming up from either side of me. A few minutes later, I'm home and I go to pop the hood. As soon as I do that, the smoke just begins billowing from the engine compartment. I check the top end of the engine bay for the source and find nothing. I lay down on the floor to see the bottom, and what do I see? Fluid dripping down the bottom end; about a drop a second, perhaps more. I swipe some fluid up off the floor with my finger and it's red. An obvious dead giveaway that it's ATF fluid.

Posting the issue on the TCCOA FB page, some people have said it's likely the tail shaft seal. I'll look around for some threads first for DIY, but I just wanted to share with everyone first before I start asking for help :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,726 Posts
Fluid flows down and back (when moving), the tailshaft seal, yoke seal, pan gasket, fill tube, front pump, cooler lines, etc are all places for it to leak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,764 Posts
In what order is the easiest to hardest to replace / fix?
I'm not sure where the front pump is located (I have a manual) but repairs at all the points of leaking mentioned require you to be underneath the car. From what i can see, the transmission doesn't need to be removed either and the most involved one is probably the tailshaft seal replacement which will require you to drop the driveshaft which in turn requires you to temporarily drop the differential (just leaving it to dangle on the axles will give you enough clearance to pull the driveshaft back without messing with the fuel tank).

You shouldn't ask what is easier harder but instead jack up the car and look yourself for the source of the leak. Brake Parts cleaner + paper towels should help you remove the old oil and discern new leaks from just old accumulation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
Front pump seal is behind the torque converter, which would require removal of the trans.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,769 Posts
Check to see if the tail housing is loose. :)

I had vibration issues, which loosened the bolts, which leaked very profusely, lol.

The vibration issue was the OEM driveshaft, which is the first replacement part anyone should buy. :)

In my case, it took out the DS, Ujoint, diff, and wheel bearings.

Oh, and the transmission was toast from being run with the fluid too low.

1qt is too low...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
448 Posts
I swipe some fluid up off the floor with my finger and it's red. An obvious dead giveaway that it's ATF fluid.
You're right. But check your power steering level; it should take Mercon V too...
Five seconds and you can check it off your list. (I had the steel section of my PS line under the motor rubbing against the oil pan; it eventually wore a hole in the line just to call attention to itself. Imagine my relief it wasn't my freshly rebuilt transmission!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
yep, depending on where the leak is under the car, i would definitely start with the power steering system. i know my rack blew out a seal on the inner tierod, and it dripped like crasy. otherwise from front too back, behind the power steering would be the pump seal between the engine and trans. then it would be the trans pan, then the tailshaft/output seal.

hopefully its the power steering, since its a lot easier to replace a pump/steering rack/lines. well, maybe the pump... the lines and rack take a bit more effort since their hidden in a tight spot between the subframe and engine... its a lot easier to just drop down the subframe for the rack.

and of course if its the front pump you'll have to separate the trans and engine, dropping the trans out of the car to slide off the torque convertor and access the pump.

trans pan, and tailshaft/output seal would be the easiest, but like mentioned above, if it is a broken or loose tailshaft from the driveshaft vibration, the driveshaft must be replaced or theirs a chance a bad Ujoint or shaft could crack your trans case and cost you a whole lot more then just a good $300 aftermarket shaft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,647 Posts
If it's the rear tail shaft seal, just get a new one from a ford dealership, i did it with mgino on his 96. Its pretty simple drop exhaust, drop the tank or diff, pull the driveshaft out, remove the VSS sensor, and undo the 4 or 5 bolts that bolt the tailshaft in, clean the contact surface, throw in the new gasket, reverse assembly, then check trans fluid once its back together and add as necessary, sounds worse than it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I guess the first thing I should do is clean up all the mess and then see where the drips come from to make sure what it is I need to get replaced. Hopefully it's not the bell housing or anything that requires dropping the trans. If that's the case, it's going to a shop when money is available....

Check to see if the tail housing is loose. :)

I had vibration issues, which loosened the bolts, which leaked very profusely, lol.

The vibration issue was the OEM driveshaft, which is the first replacement part anyone should buy. :)

In my case, it took out the DS, Ujoint, diff, and wheel bearings.

Oh, and the transmission was toast from being run with the fluid too low.

1qt is too low...
You had 1qt of ATF in your trans when it died? Or if I'm not understanding you correctly, I added 1qt of ATF to compensate for what I lost.

yep, depending on where the leak is under the car, i would definitely start with the power steering system. i know my rack blew out a seal on the inner tierod, and it dripped like crasy. otherwise from front too back, behind the power steering would be the pump seal between the engine and trans. then it would be the trans pan, then the tailshaft/output seal.

hopefully its the power steering, since its a lot easier to replace a pump/steering rack/lines. well, maybe the pump... the lines and rack take a bit more effort since their hidden in a tight spot between the subframe and engine... its a lot easier to just drop down the subframe for the rack.

and of course if its the front pump you'll have to separate the trans and engine, dropping the trans out of the car to slide off the torque convertor and access the pump.

trans pan, and tailshaft/output seal would be the easiest, but like mentioned above, if it is a broken or loose tailshaft from the driveshaft vibration, the driveshaft must be replaced or theirs a chance a bad Ujoint or shaft could crack your trans case and cost you a whole lot more then just a good $300 aftermarket shaft.
You're right. But check your power steering level; it should take Mercon V too...
Five seconds and you can check it off your list. (I had the steel section of my PS line under the motor rubbing against the oil pan; it eventually wore a hole in the line just to call attention to itself. Imagine my relief it wasn't my freshly rebuilt transmission!)
I have standard PS fluid in my PS sytem and it's never leaked (yet). The reservoir is still at the same level I saw it at last time.

If it's the rear tail shaft seal, just get a new one from a ford dealership, i did it with mgino on his 96. Its pretty simple drop exhaust, drop the tank or diff, pull the driveshaft out, remove the VSS sensor, and undo the 4 or 5 bolts that bolt the tailshaft in, clean the contact surface, throw in the new gasket, reverse assembly, then check trans fluid once its back together and add as necessary, sounds worse than it is.
That does sound pretty difficult, lol.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,769 Posts
You had 1qt of ATF in your trans when it died? Or if I'm not understanding you correctly, I added 1qt of ATF to compensate for what I lost.
No, I was a Qt low, every day, for a week. (at the end of the day)

This is not good for our transmissions; even if you top it off daily, it will kill it in a short while. About a week, for me. :)

I totally agree, you need to get under it, wash it off a bit, and look at it carefully.

Don't pressure wash it; it has a big leak somewhere, and those work both ways, lol.

I don't use a lot of pressure unless it's coming apart.

Remember, the glues in a tranny are Water Soluble. :)

The main things are going to be the pan gasket, the shaft where the shifter attaches, the fill/dipstick tube, the tail housing, the tail seal/bushing, or the TC/front/pump area.

Everything except the front pump area stuff can be fixed in the car; you have to pull it (or the engine, lol) to get there.

I'd find a driveshaft, if you haven't replaced it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
You're making me want to jump on upgrades I had planned for much later on to happen now...

Not saying it's a bad thing, but I wish I could do these upgrades right now. I'm just now getting back on my feet after having been out of work for 4 months. I need to get my monthly living expenses in order first. I was going to get a PI intake as my first upgrade, lol.

Speaking of drive shafts though, where can I get one (I've yet to search since like I said, it wasn't even on my radar just yet).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,716 Posts
Speaking of drive shafts though, where can I get one (I've yet to search since like I said, it wasn't even on my radar just yet).
There's a few real good aftermarket choices out there, but if you want to spend as little as possible try to look for a DS from a Mark 8 that features the one-piece aluminum one. IIRC, they were only available for like one year (93 ?) before going to a 2 piece design.

The stock steel shafts that MN12s came with are junk and replacing it with a quality one-piece shaft should be very near the top of any upgrade list.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,769 Posts
We had a group buy from precision shaft technologies a few years back; they honored the GP price then, anthough I bet they can't now. :)

http://pstds.com/

Our shaft specs are in the drivetrain section in a sticky. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
w00t! Thanks for the info guys! I'll be reading up on all this over the next few days and see if a drive shaft upgrade is doable for me. Otherwise, I'd have to wait on that until it is doable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,716 Posts
w00t! Thanks for the info guys! I'll be reading up on all this over the next few days and see if a drive shaft upgrade is doable for me. Otherwise, I'd have to wait on that until it is doable.
You won't believe how smooth the car feels after the DS upgrade. It's one of those things where you always heard/felt these weird things going on while driving on the stock shaft without being entirely sure what it was, then suddenly it's gone after the upgrade. And you think to yourself, "How the hell did I put up with that nonsense all this time before?" lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Ok, I went to that website, but it only showed part availability for Mustangs and no prices were listed. Would the Mustang DS work on our cars? I imagine it would since many Mustang parts are interchangeable, but that info isn't listed on the website.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
This weekend I plan on getting under my Bird for some clean up of all the mess that's under there. Afterwards I'll give her a 20 - 30 min drive around town take her back up on the jack stands and hopefully be able to find where the leak(s) are coming from. I'm hoping it's the tail shaft and / or the trans pan as these don't require the trans to be dropped as previously stated by others here.

Oh, and I'll be sure to take before and after pictures as well as pictures of where I see any fluid dropping from.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top