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Old 01-19-2009, 09:41 PM
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Rear main engine seal going bad?

Is this the sign of my rear main engine seal going bad?

I have a 1992 Aerostar with the original 3.0 engine and 2WD Automatic A4LD with 127,000 miles. I am starting to notice trans fluid in my oil when I change it. I am also noticing oil on my trans dipstick. Also when I am cruising down the Interstate for a few hours Oil/Trans fluid will start leaking out and hit the exhaust creating a smoke trail as I move down the road. Any advise is greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:04 PM
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probably a worn bearing/bushing in torque converter and TC seal or tranny front pump seal.
about the time they go, 16 years and 127k miles

you can try Valvo Maxlife engine oil and a can of transmission seal improver. make help for a few months.

nothing like new seals and bearings/bushings.
when you do the rear engine seal, Plastigage the rear main bearing for wear.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:09 AM
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The front tranny seal has nothing to do with the engine rear main seal. it's your tranny seal that has gone bad on you.

If you see tranny fluid in the engine, that means only one thing, your modulator has gone bad and your vacuum line has been sucking tranny fluid into the engine. Replace it ASAP.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:29 PM
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Okay, so let me get this straight. The reason I am seeing Trans fluid in my oil is because my Transmission Vacuum Modulator Valve, seen as #8 in this diagram -----> Ford Aerostar Has ATF In The Intake has gone bad and now that vacuum line is sucking trans fluid into my engine?

Now I'm not 100% sure if there is oil in my trans fluid, I was just judging by my trans dipstick. I will have to take the trans pan off and inspect the fluid if I have to.

Now If I am seeing trans fluid leaking from the bottom where the bell housing and the back of the engine connect, what would be causing that leak?
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:51 PM
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copper hit the nail on the head
i forgot about the vacuum modulator on pre 96 Aero auto trannies.

if your motor oil level is increasing and there is no white foaming, it's a failed vacuum modulator diaphram. pull a spark plug and look for black oily deposits on it. if oiled, going to need to do a solvent injestion cleaning, Berryman B12 or Seafoam.
vac. mods. are a service replacement item, also replace the vacuum line to it. oil destroys them.

the leak at the bell housing can be caused by a number of factors.
vacuum hose feeding the tranny vacuum modulator is leaking out the ATF.
leaks from front seals on tranny, either converter or front pump seal.
leak from lose tranny dipstick tube in tranny case.

if more than 50k miles on ATF, time to change it and filter. see tranny gentle flush full 11 qt change.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:07 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback!!!, I am going to take it to the local Trans shop here in town. I already talked to the guy and he knew exactly what I was talking about and said it was a total with labor $80 to fix. So I am going to let them take a look at it and have them check the bell housing leak while they are at it.

16 years of Chicago winters with no garage and a ton of road salt has sure taken its toll on this van, but I'm going to stick with it because its been a loyal van.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:31 PM
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Well guys, after taking the van to a local trans shop to get the modulator fixed, now there is another problem. The modulator was replaced but now the trans will not shift out of 1st!!! Then they said they were going to need to rebuild my trans!!! So I got my Aero out of that shop and limped it to a trustworthy mechanic, who suspects they messed something up when replacing the modulator. Anyone else have an issue similar where the trans will not go out of 1st gear??? This is another can of worms I cannot afford to open. And the most annoying thing is that the trans shifted fine through all 4 until I took it in.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:31 PM
xlt4wd90 xlt4wd90 is offline
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It seems that the guys who replaced the modultor may have done something wrong. Someone posted a picture of that part and its associated parts, and pointed out that it was very easy to lose the shift rod that the modulator actuates when it's doing its job. Since you're not shifting out of 1st, that seems to be the most likely suspect. I would go back and complain until they can at least get it back to the state it was BEFORE they worked on it.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:13 PM
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When you remove the modulator, there is a black pin about an inch long and 1/8" in diameter. It's so easy for that pin to get lost. That pin must be reused with the new modulator. Without it, the transmission won't shift out of 1st gear until you reach a ridiculous speed.

I suspect the guy who first did your tranny lost that pin. Either that or the vacuum line was totally destroyed by the tranny fluid being sucked into the line.

It's probably best if you check both yourself. The modulator on the 3.0L is a piece of cake to remove. One single retaining bolt on a clamp (similar to what holds down the distributor, but much smaller) and you can pull it straight out to check for that pin.

Also, check your fluid level since you do lose some fluid when you remove the modulator.

Good luck.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:03 AM
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take it back to the tranny shop the messed up the replacement of the vac. modulator.
they must be some dumb mothers if they don't know the signs of a missing vac. mod. shift rod or they have damaged your tranny deliberately.

this is not the time to be a nice guy. demand to see the owner over the service manager unless it's a chain. if so, then demand to see the regional manager, no the local sad sack that can't run this shop.
tell them you're not going to quit shouting until they fix your tranny correctly for which you have already paid for. they released it as repaired. DON'T pay them another cent.

if you can't get above the local manager, start lighting the phone lines up.

Take NO KRAP

Start with your State AG for Il.

Consumer Fraud Hotlines
Illinois Attorney General - Hotlines, Helplines and TTY

(800) 386-5438 (Chicago)
(800) 243-0618 (Springfield)
(800) 243-0607 (Carbondale)

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.g...s/conscomp.pdf

use these cases for heavy ammo
auto repair complaint - Google Search

Lock and Load. Switch to Full Autagetum. Light 'Em Up.

as you can tell, I get irate when i see cosumers treated and used like a shoe dirt mat. just hate going to my Dodge service shop and see the way they work women over for extra bucks.
wouldn't go there, but they have the best Cummins/Dodge warranty mechanics in the area.

the second time in on the same problem and they know it's going to be a bad day. Third time in, they run, out the back door.


click this link for info on vac. mod.

Ford Aerostar Has ATF In The Intake

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:43 PM
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thanks for the support 96 4wdr, but this whole repair so far has cost me nothing, the owner at the trans shop let me take the van off the property with no problem. I now regret even bothering with it because I may have just done this to myself. This shop is a small but from what I hear a well known/trusted shop. I know the village police cars are worked on there and the shop is always busy.

Let me say again why I took it in, I noticed my oil had a 'redish' color to it, but I wasn't burning trans fluid out of my tailpipe. So I posted here and what I understood was that the 3-4 inch vac hose connected to the modulator was sucking trans fluid into me engine and that that hose is NOT supposed to have trans fluid in it. SO I went out disconnected the hose and sure enough trans fluid came dripping out. SO that made me feel that I had a blown out modulator. A quick call to the shop and it was no problem... within a few days I drop the van off and I also had them look and fix the slop I have in my shifter. So I'm feeling good, its Friday and I'm waiting for them to call me back... but no call, very late that night I drive by the shop and see if the van is outside and sure enough it is outside. So I wait for the weekend to pass and call up when they open on Monday. The first thing the owner says to me is that my van has major problems, and the fluid is dark and its going to need a rebuild for at least $800.

Well I immediately told him to forget about it and that that trans has never slipped once on me. He kept on insisting that something is burning up inside and now after changing the modulator the trans will not shift out of 1st. Well I told him I don't have the money to rebuild it and that im going to have to limp it home and wait to see what to do with it. He was cool with that and let me take the van without paying $ 0.01 and what I did instead was nurse it to a highly knowledgeable mechanic and as of now I am waiting for him to get it up and see what the heck the trans shop did. I HOPE they just forgot/lost the shift rod because that is cheaper than a rebuild.

But if it is the shift rod I'll just let it lie and take the free modulator repair, but this hasn't been fun.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:00 PM
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****UPDATE****
I talked to my mechanic today and unfortunately the shift rod was in place, but my mechanic told me that the trans shop may have put the wrong modulator on and he has one already on its way and it will be here at 2:00PM at the latest. I hope that putting the wrong modulator on is causing the problem, but I also hope that by them doing this that my perfectly good trans is now ruined.

ALSO... There seems to be a contradiction between the trans shop and all of you guys and my mechanic on the subject of trans fluid being in the vac line. The trans shop says there IS supposed to be fluid in the line, but all of you and my mechanic say there IS NOT supposed to be fluid in the line. Now if my trans is screwed because of all this I have no choice but to go back and demand them to replace my trans, OR settle it in small claims court. (I know its pathetic to go to court over a 16 year old vehicle, but this was a completely functioning vehicle up until I took it in.)

So I'll keep my fingers crossed that its a small issue, but we'll see what the future holds for me.

Thanks guys,
-Carcrazy-
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:41 PM
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Take some comfort in the fact the transmission is a pretty tough device. From what I've been reading all you have done so far is limp home in first gear. I haven't seen anything that would constitute major damage - even if they did put in the wrong modulator, its no different than driving around in first gear. No reputable shop would say its normal to find ATF in a vacuum line, because its not true. Something's wrong with that outfit. Wait and see what happens with the correct modulator. I expect you will find the tranny shifts just like it did before, maybe even better!

Let's hope for the best....
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:18 AM
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Ford Aerostar Has ATF In The Intake

Questions and Answers

Ford Aerostar Has ATF In The Intake

Q. Dear Sir, I am hoping you can help me with a problem I am having with my automatic transmission. My 1993 Ford Aerostar has a 4.0 liter engine with 188,000 miles on it. An automatic transmission, fuel injection, P/S, AC and cruise control. I am adding a quart of transmission fluid every two weeks and there is never anything leaking under my van.
Ford Aerostar Has ATF In The Intake

I changed my thermostat this weekend and when I pulled the air intake hose off I found what I believe to be transmission fluid in my throttle body. I wiped the throttle body clean and ran the van for about one half hour. I pulled the air intake hose off again and found fresh red fluid.

I am thinking my transmission fluid is some how getting into the throttle body and burned through the engine. Is this possible? If it is, how would this happen? If I am barking up the wrong tree please lead me down the correct path.

Very sincerely,
Jana

A. On the right side of the transmission is a Vacuum Modulator Valve (7). This determines the shift points under different loads by using engine vacuum.

There is a vacuum line connected to it from the intake manifold. Inside is a diaphragm that, when broken, allows transmission fluid to be sucked into the intake manifold. If you unplug the vacuum line at the Vacuum Modulator Valve and there is transmission fluid in it. Replace the Vacuum Modulator Valve.

Be careful you don't lose the shift rod (8) and that you insert it into the new Vacuum Modulator Valve.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:16 PM
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****UPDATE****
Well guys, I got my Aerostar back and now it shifts better than it did BEFORE I took it in originally!!!!

It turns out that the Spoul Valve was stuck and it actually had burrs on it. (That's scary) But my mechanic was able to get it out and he had to machine it and that was all good. Now the modulator the trans shop put in was also screwed up, when you gave it vacuum it wouldn't move until you gave it a lot of vacuum. So my mechanic put a new modulator in and that one moved perfectly.

So all in all it took 1 week, a lot of questions and $155.00 to get the modulator fixed, but its all good now and well worth it.

Thanks for all the help guys!!!!!
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:16 PM
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