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Odor backing up trailer- Transmission?

Discussion in '2nd Gen - 2003 - 2006' started by csanch40, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. csanch40

    csanch40 Member

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    This weekend I noticed an odor when backing up a small trailer. I'm not the most experienced so it took me a few cracks to get the trailer in the driveway.

    My first and more cynical guess is that I heated the tranny up from the multiple attempts. I've read about fluid "puking" before in these trannys but I am not sure. The trailer is so light so it makes me slightly confused as to why this would happen.

    My second and optimistic guess is maybe the wheels on the trailer had some bad bearings or need replaced and that what I was smelled.

    Any thoughts or similar experience would be so helpful.
     
  2. Yupster Dog

    Yupster Dog Full Access Members

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    The small trailers are hard to control, the bigger the trailer the easier it gets.
    The small trailer with no real weight significance would not have anything to do with the tranny.
    Get up under that truck and look around for wet spots or lets the smell lead you to see what you can find.
     
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  3. Randy-IA

    Randy-IA Active Member

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    What he said^^

    If by small trailer you mean something with small tires I'd hazard a guess that the bearings got hot. Those small wheels spin really fast going down the highway. And with small, usually ignored bearings, it's even worse. Those little bearings need good fresh grease often, like before each use. Once the tires get up to relatively normal automotive sizes the number of rotations per mile is reduced substantially. Bearings can be ignored for a few miles longer.

    But remember, unused grease dries faster than grease that is in constant motion. it also has a tendency to separate the solids from the oils (which is why it dries out). Years of heavy construction work is my experience with grease. With that said...grease equipment AFTER use while everything is still warm from use.
     
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  4. Hamfisted

    Hamfisted Full Access Members

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    How many miles on your Expy and what year is it ? Have you checked or changed the fluid in the tranny lately ? What's it look like? Is it still bright red? Or is it brown and smells burnt ?
     
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  5. JamaicaJoe

    JamaicaJoe Full Access Members

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    Probably your trailer bearings.

    However my 01 Expy started to get brake drag on the right rear axle at 80K. I only noticed it when moving some stuff, had the rear hatch open and the odor wafted in. I then had the parking brake serviced twice thinking it was dragging in the high hat. Continued to have intermittent overheated disc and then had right rear axle seal leak causing frightening plume of smoke. I then had both rear calipers changed and as well all the rubber brake hoses all around. The problem has not returned. The hoses as well as the caliper pistons can swell up.
     
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  6. csanch40

    csanch40 Member

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    It's an 04 with 154k.

    Fluid is bright red and looks full. The next time I have trailer hooked up and I get a burning smell I will try to hunt it down.
     
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  7. Randy-IA

    Randy-IA Active Member

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    Might want to carefully check brake disk temps after driving a good distance, maybe ten miles without using the brakes a lot. Then try to come to a stop with just very light braking, like coasting up a hill. If you have a brake dragging you'll know it, you'll smell it, but if it doesn't get hot enough to smell, put your hand close to it, just don't burn yourself. Obviously if you have a temp gun use that instead of your hand...I'm old school, I still like burning myself to find out how hot something is.:anitoof: :banghead:

    FWIW -

    My 04 had a front caliper that was stiff but it still moved somewhat. Occasionally it would get hot, but not all the time. Last month when I put all new disks and pads on it I found that that side (right front) had worn the outer pad down to metal, the inner pad still had about a quarter inch of material. So either the pad itself was stuck or the caliper wasn't sliding correctly.

    I should have changed the slide pins at that time but didn't, just polished the roughness smooth and the dried grease off and over lubed them. Maybe when it warms up again I'll remember to get new pins and bushings to put in there.
     
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  8. JamaicaJoe

    JamaicaJoe Full Access Members

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    Definitely check those disk temps. My right real wheel disc was like 900 to 1000F at times. The last time I stopped in front of a fire station and asked a fireman to put a blower on the wheel so I could get home.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
     
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