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Old 02-22-2011, 09:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 371
Transmission leak diagnosis help needed

I read with great interest the thread about the leaking transmission and how it turned out to be the output shaft seal because it seemed like it may have been my issue.

Now I'm not so sure.

Here's what I have going on:

About a year ago I took it to one of our local holes and sunk it pretty good. I checked all my fluids and found that the tranny was a little watered down so I set out to change the fluid and filter. Along this time I noticed a leak and figured the new gasket would take care of it. Wrong. After going through 2 attempts (and 2 gaskets), I finally put some RVT around the bolt holes and along the rim of the pan. This worked.

The leak was coming from the dead center of the rear of the pan, or so it seemed. I had no fluid along the lip above the pan and it appeared as if nothing was coming the top of the tranny. The pan had a slight bend in this same location so I did my best to straighten it and loaded some RVT in it

Fast forward to this year. I moved the Jeep to the driveway, which is on a pretty severe incline, and noticed the leak returned. Very small, just a slight drip throughout the day, but over a few weeks it made a sizeable puddle underneath. It appeared it was coming from above the pan lip, but in front of the trans mount as the front side of the mount was wet. It didn't look like any was coming around the pan bolts or the rear of the pan as these areas were dry.

After reading the other leak thread, I thought maybe my issue was the output shaft seal, but I haven't had any responses to my questions in the threads so I sought help from a local trans shop. He said it could be the seal but gave me another possible scenario. Something about a valve in the torque converter.

He said that if the valve goes bad, it will allow fluid to leave the converter and go back into the pan. This, of course, will cause the fluid to leave somewhere so it usually comes out the top side. He gave me a test to conduct on it. Check the level and make sure it's got enough to make a trip. Drive it around and check the fluid again. It should be the same level, then let it sit and check it again. If it's higher then the problem is the valve.

I did that today and there was a difference, but not a huge one. I now have the Jeep sitting on level ground and so far no leak.


1. Could it be the gasket/pan?
2. Output shaft? What else should I look at to determine if it is?
3. Torque converter valve? Anybody experience this before and if so is it a problem with TJ's?
4. Any other places to look at?

Thanks for any input you can give me!

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Old 02-22-2011, 10:01 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 268
it could be coming from the tail shaft housing to case gasket /sounds like the shop was refering to the convertor drain back valve however if that is the case the oil would be about four inches over full before you started it and you would notice a definate lag between starting engine and putting into gear

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Old 02-23-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 371
Originally Posted by herbie View Post
....sounds like the shop was refering to the convertor drain back valve however if that is the case the oil would be about four inches over full before you started it and you would notice a definate lag between starting engine and putting into gear
That sounds about right. Yesterday when I went to back out of the driveway, there was a lag. No big rev like it was in neutral, just took a second for it to engage. Last night the level was just, like maybe 1/8", above the max line. This afternoon when I got home (almost 24 hours later), it waqs well above the max line, going into the crooked section of the dipstick.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:36 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 371
I've tried Google and can't find any form of write up to fix it myself. I have no prob spending the $125 to get it fixed, but if it's a simple bone head fix, I'd rather do it myself and save the coin for more important things.

Anybody got any ideas?
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:37 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 8,424
Mine was coming from the tailshaft seal and would leave puddles everywhere. I replaced the seal when I pulled the transfer case to put in the sye kit. And also replaced allthe front seals on the t-case and resealed the case after I took it apart. When I put the t-case back in I seal the t-case to the trans. Its been dry for ovef a year
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:18 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 37
I have had 2 of the 3 problems you are asking about. Tailshaft was leaking slowly, replaced the seal and the problem was fixed.

Also had a leak where the shifter rod enters the transmission. My Jeep is used primarily for trail use only, so it is parked for weeks at a time. After it was parked for a couple of weeks it would start leaking. Finally had a mechanic explain to me that the fluid would eventually leak out of the torque converter, overfilling the transmission, the fluid would rise to the shift rod and leak. The fix was going to require a tear down of the tranny. I just start the engine and let the torque converter fill up every week or so. Keeps it from leaking. You may have the same problem, but your converter may be leaking down much sooner than mine. I had a hard time making sense of it when mine started leaking. No leaks when I parked it, but it would start leaking when it had been parked for some time. Had me baffled for a while.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:12 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
I have a minor leak coming from the belly pan trans mount. Curious on your thoughts. My rig is a '94 YJ I can snap a few pics and post, but do you guys think this is the same issue? I'm pretty sure it's not coming from the transfer case, but more likely the transmission. It's shifting fine, and only leaks a little bit. I want to get it fixed sooner than later.

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