Strange Transmission Problem and Random Leaking

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TheDoug

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This all started when I added the PPE Transmission pan. I paid a shop to install it and all seemed fine for a couple days. Then I got to leave for a road trip vacation to the grand canyon from the DFW area and less than 2 hours I feel a surge in transmission and then notice smoke at rear of vehicle. Stop at next safe place and see fluid dripping down on all the exhaust and it had also reached the muffler. I had some tools and dropped the skid plate and tried to see where it came from. It was so messy I really couldn't tell but I did notice some pan bolts were loose. Anyway, since its Sunday no one is open so I stay in a small town hotel with Ford dealer. Monday morning I have it looked at and tell me bolts were loose and fluid was fine. All is fine now... drive it home and keep driving around town for months.

Fast forward to road trip to Louisiana last weekend and 2 hours in it starts smoking a gain with fluid leaking. This time it was not as much when I stopped and looked. Was an hour from where I was going so I got going again after a quick stop and everything was fine. Then it was also completely fine on the 3+ hours raod trip home.

Any thoughts on the random puking of fluid?
 

Hellwig

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Fluid was overfilled and expanded too much when being hotter than usual. Fluid level of 10R80 has to be inspected when transmission reaches working temperature, which is 210ish F. And because you replaced OEM pan with an aftermarket item, the OEM gauge stick may be useless. You have to test with slightly more or less fluid to see at what level the tranny will work normal.
 
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TheDoug

TheDoug

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Well they told me it was checked at temp but I wasnt there to watch. So who knows.

So if it's overfilled and bolts are torqued to spec, where is fluid escaping?
 

Hellwig

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Well they told me it was checked at temp but I wasnt there to watch. So who knows.

So if it's overfilled and bolts are torqued to spec, where is fluid escaping?

I read a post related to your question here long time ago. But I don't remember the details. Sealed pan with proper torqued bolts doesn't mean the fluid can't go through. If it were me, I would take half quart out, and do a test. If still leaking, I will take another half quart and then test again. Or simply switch back to OEM pan, if the PPE pan is not that expensive.....

Usually, PPE pans hold more fluid than OEM design. When the fluid in PPE pan gets hot, it will need more space to expand than OEM. So even if the mechanics inspected the gauge at 210F and made sure it was at the correct level for OEM pan, the transmission could be still overfilled. If you want to keep the PPE pan, you have to test with less fluid.
 
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TheDoug

TheDoug

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Thanks for the info guys. If anyone else has something to add please let me know.
 

GixxerJasen

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I have nothing to add, but why did you change your transmission pan?
Better cooling, has a drain plug so you can change fluid later without pulling the entire pan, supposed better quality. There's even a larger capacity pan available as well. Read below thread for more.

 
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TheDoug

TheDoug

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Better cooling, has a drain plug so you can change fluid later without pulling the entire pan, supposed better quality. There's even a larger capacity pan available as well. Read below thread for more.


You hit the nail on the head... :up:
 

BMW2FORD

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Sounds like most likely it was overfilled. All automatics have an air vent on the top of the trans for expansion and contraction with temp changes. Trans fluid is hydraulic based so it expands greatly with higher temperatures and when a trans is overfilled, the fluid climbs too high into the rotating parts when hot. It then foams and comes out the vent. Trans will also slip since the fluid has air in it and can’t work well hydraulically to apply and keep pressure on the clutches. I think if you get a shop use to the 10 speeds and they properly set the level at 205-210 you should be good.
 
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