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Old 12-08-2013, 03:30 PM   #1
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Oil leak up front

First post after searching - this leak is definitely not RMS, back of the valve cover, pressure switch, or oil cap.

Just bought this 2001 with 125k miles, 4.0, automatic. Completely stock. Dealer replaced the heater core, a/c coil, and fan switch before we bought it. Everything else appears to work as intended.

The engine was steam cleaned and detailed and looked immaculate. No noticeable leaks when I looked under the front and rear bumpers. After the 20 mile drive home, I've got a leak!

It looks like an oil and water mix - not pure oil like is on the dipstick, not as thick or as strong-smelling as on the dipstick. The oil is all over the tie rods, steering damper, and lower frame bits (short arm?). There is no oil on the power steering box (not that far forward), none on the back of the engine, and none higher than the oil pan. It does not appear that the pan is leaking as the oil is on the frame lower than that. Dipstick does not appear to have water on it and coolant is clear and looks oil free.

There is some accumulation at the bottom of the radiator - is there an oil cooler? There are two small lines running toward the radiator, not heater tubing, I'm thinking oil cooler.

So, I'm hoping for some guidance on where to look or other common failures. I've got a dye kit on the way (for fun and teaching my daughter in any case) and will clean / inspect but would like to narrow down if possible.

TIA,
Tom
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
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The bottom lines on the radiator are the oil cooler lines from your automatic transmission. You may have a split line, bad cooler or bad/loose fitting.

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Old 12-08-2013, 07:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply.

Appears to be tranny fluid (kind of smells like oil but thinner). I was expecting the usual red ATF with a hydraulic oil smell - guess this Chrysler stuff is s little different.

Now, any guidance on what to check first? Replace the hoses and clamps (easy), give the fittings a turn or two (easy)? Replace the radiator (not so easy or cheap)?

Thanks again,

Tom
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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Easy fix with 3 feet of new hose, $6.

I'm liking how easy the TJ is to work on!

Tom
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toma nova View Post
Easy fix with 3 feet of new hose, $6. I'm liking how easy the TJ is to work on! Tom
You replaced it with transmission fluid hose and not just regular pressure stuff right?
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:26 PM   #6
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You replaced it with transmission fluid hose and not just regular pressure stuff right?

Yep, says transmission on the hose, Advance Auto only had two sizes - 5/16 and 3/8.

Case of Castrol ATF+4 on order (plus a few more quarts) and a Wix filter for a change and flush in the next couple of weeks.

Tom

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