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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

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Old 08-03-2012, 03:15 PM
ExcursionV10 ExcursionV10 is offline
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1997 E350 with e40d transmission fluid leak

My '97 E350 sat for a couple of months and I came out one day and noticed that allot of fluid had leaked from the transmission pan. Each bolt around the pan had a dot of fluid on it and it appears that it evenly leaked all the way around the pan.

I've searched for answers and the only thing that makes any sense is what I keep hearing from many e40d owners that after sitting for awhile, the torque converter leaks back into the pan.

Answers or opinions?

Since I drive this van in demanding conditions in the desert on terrible roads, I went ahead and got an aftermarket high-capacity pan but haven't installed it yet.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:17 PM
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Mine never leaked from the pan....but I have a PSD so it makes more Torque = Heat..... I added a extra in line HD cooler and it stopped......It was pissing from the seal behind the TC due to overheating...Luckily I have a B &M Deep pan with the drain plug and I switched out the fluid Pronto....I have the Metal rubber coated tans pan gasket which is infinitely re- usable ...2 years later so far so good....but I use Semi Synthetic Mobil ATF....I would like to go full synthetic , but that will happen after I grenade this trans and Install a BUILT one ....then Mercon V or Amsoil
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:36 PM
avenge avenge is offline
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The fluid will rise when sitting but it sounds to me like either the bolts are loose or gasket may have hardened/dried up.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:43 PM
ExcursionV10 ExcursionV10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avenge View Post
The fluid will rise when sitting but it sounds to me like either the bolts are loose or gasket may have hardened/dried up.
Yeah, but all of them? Evenly? It has to be one or the other though, right? So I'm thinking drop the pan, put the new high-capacity pan on and I should be good, right?
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ExcursionV10 View Post
Yeah, but all of them? Evenly? It has to be one or the other though, right? So I'm thinking drop the pan, put the new high-capacity pan on and I should be good, right?
Sure why not, oil can leak from above or just one area and make it look like it's leaking all over. I'd replace the gasket too if you're doing the pan. And of course more oil.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:43 PM
Vanaddiction Vanaddiction is offline
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You should consider a molded rubber reusable pan gasket from a 4R100. You will need to use a pan that does NOT have flanges around the bolt holes, which are there to center the cork gasket. If your aftermarket high capacity pan is cast aluminum it should work with the rubber gasket, but you will most likely need longer pan bolts.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:12 AM
ExcursionV10 ExcursionV10 is offline
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Okay, guys help me understand this: So I started the van and ran it in neutral for 5 minutes last night and now today the fluid levels on the dipstick are not only back to normal but HIGH?! I can't seem to wrap my head around this... I would have climbed under there and started on this by now but I'm in southern Baja California and it's infernally hot here right now. Even at night...
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:49 AM
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It has to be driven at least 10 miles, checked on level ground. Otherwise you're checking it cold when all the fluid has drained back into the pan and will give you an incorrect reading. Why worry about the level now if you're changing the pan?
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:56 AM
95e150CW 95e150CW is offline
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Hmm, not to be rude, but are you sure you are doing the check right? Most people turn off the engine and then check, which is wrong and will give you a false high reading.

You start the engine, hold the brake, run through all the gears long enough to hear them engage (usually just a second or two), shift into park, set the parking brake, and leave the engine running. Then go check the fluid level. Unless you have been driving for about 20 minutes, you use the 'cold' indicator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1997 Ford Service Manual
Fluid Level Check
NOTE: If the vehicle has been operating for an extended period at high speeds or in city traffic during hot weather, or pulling a trailer, the vehicle should be turned off for about 30 minutes to allow the fluid to cool before checking.
Under normal circumstances, you do not need to check the fluid level of the transmission, since the vehicle does not use up transmission fluid. However, if the transmission is not working properly, for instance, the transmission may slip or shift slowly, or if you notice some sign of fluid leakage, the fluid level should be checked.
It is preferable to check the transmission fluid level at normal operating temperature after approximately 32 km (20 miles) of driving. However, if necessary, you can check the fluid level without having to drive 32 km (20 miles) to obtain a normal operating temperature if outside temperature is above 10°C (50°F).
With the vehicle on a level surface, start the engine and move the transmission gearshift selector lever through all of the gear ranges allowing sufficient time for each position to engage. Securely engage the transmission gearshift selector lever in the park position, fully set the parking brake control (2780) and leave the engine running.
Wipe off the fluid level indicator cap, pull thefluid level indicator (7A020) out and wipe the indicator end clean. Put the fluid level indicator back into the fluid filler tube and make sure it is fully seated. Pull the fluid level indicator out and read the fluid level.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:45 PM
ExcursionV10 ExcursionV10 is offline
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Well, how's this for a bump?

Had to leave the van sitting for 4 months and every drop of trans fluid leaked out. How is this possible? What is causing this? I installed a new high-capacity, finned pan with new gasket and still the fluid leaks out when it hasn't been started. I'll notice after two weeks that all the bolts have a dot of fluid on them and another week or so later it starts dripping.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:34 PM
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Mark Kovalsky Mark Kovalsky is offline
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I'm curious why a high capacity would help with a leak. Or for that matter, help with anything else. I don't see where a finned aluminum pan helps anything except the bank account of the company that made it.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:40 PM
Vanaddiction Vanaddiction is offline
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Drain plug loose? That is the only way every drop of fluid could leak out.
Make sure your bolts are long enough to tighten up with out stripping the threads out of the case, and not so long that they bottom out in the holes that are closed on top. If you do strip some get your self a thread repair kit.
If you used a new cork or composition gasket forget about it, you will continue to have leaks. Those gaskets only work on pans with a "rib" and even then they leak eventually.
Some cast alum pans have an O-ring seal in a groove in the pan rail, in place of the gasket. Mag-Hytec is the one I'm thinking of, pricey but a good idea.
Either use the Ford reusable rubber gasket, or seal it with RTV, your pan leaks will be over. (If you use RTV alone you'll have a heckuva time ever gettin' that pan off)
In all cases keep in mind the bolt length, bolts that hit bottom before squeezing the gasket will leak.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:40 PM
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