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1st Gear Transmission Slip after Fluid Change and Leaking around Gasket

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by luvmonterey, November 14, 2017.

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    1. luvmonterey

      luvmonterey Member

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      Hi All. I recently changed the transmission fluid and filter on my '94 with 79K on a Jasper rebuilt transmission. I am having two issues. First, is that since the fluid change, whenever I am in a stopped position on a hill or slight incline, particularly when the transmission is cold, and put my foot on the accelerator, the transmission does not seem to engage the first gear. If I take my foot off the brake, the truck will roll backwards. Once the RPM's increase to about 2500, it will slam into gear with a jerk. This didn't happen prior to the fluid and filter change. This is really disconcerting. I did overfill the transmission with fluid, but I syphoned the extra out, and each time I check the fluid level now, it appears to be ok. Any ideas as to what is causing this or how to fix it?

      NOTE: Just looked at some old threads, and realized that the filter I installed did not have O rings. They may have been in the package, but if they were, I completely missed them. Ugh! Can't believe I did that! Could the lack of O rings on the filter cause the slipping problem? All was fine before the filter and fluid change.

      Second issue is that fluid seems to be leaking around the pan gasket. The pan's gasket surface seems to be ok, and I torqued the pan bolts to spec. I have never used gasket sealant, but I am now wondering if I should have used it. What is the best way to seal the pan so that fluid doesn't seep or drip out?
       
      Last edited: November 14, 2017
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    3. arco777

      arco777 Elite Explorer

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      Check the old filter if it's still in the trash - if the filter's o-ring style gasket isn't on it, then it may still be in the transmission pickup bore. It usually takes a little effort to get the old seal out of the trans pickup bore. Worth opening up again though, sounds like whatever is going on in your trans could cause damage if you don't remedy it.

      What sort of gasket are you using? I have had mixed luck with rubber gaskets. Composite (re-usable) style gaskets work better as long as they're in good shape. I have had best luck with cork gaskets (just have to be careful not to over-tighten). If you can't get a good seal with cork, you're doing something wrong. Check the flatness of your trans pan around the bolt holes. Soft gaskets can allow the stamped steel pan to distort around the holes due to over-torque, then you don't get a good seal at all.
       
    4. luvmonterey

      luvmonterey Member

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      Trash went out today, so the old filter is gone unfortunately, as is the packaging with O rings, if they were included. Guess I need to buy a new filter kit. The gasket is fiber (composite?) non-rubber or cork. I cleaned and inspected the pan, and the mating surface appeared to be in good shape. I believe my manual said to torque the bolts to 97-120 inch lbs, and I set them at 110. Should I go with less?
       
    5. Rhett

      Rhett Let Them Eat Cake Elite Explorer

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      Progressively torque them. If you don't it'll leak, I hope your Jasper trans pan was machined straight....

      Here you go:
      Gaskets & O rings: Transmission Part by Bulk Part

      Bulkpart carries both types of gaskets (cork and fiber). I've never had a problem with the uprated fiber one. They also sell the o-rings on the same page. As for the filter - if you have a 4WD you have the long pickup tube. 2WD is short tube.

      Remember to measure your fluid level with a hot transmission, shift thru all gears and then check fluid level. If it were me I'd re-do the filter, gaskets and o-rings. Then pay careful attention to how much fluid came out when you drop the pan (probably a couple of quarts), and keep in mind that there is still quite a bit of fluid in the torque converter, cooler, and lines. So be cautious when adding. Do not drive it until you're sure you have the fluid level within spec on the dipstick. The A4LD is super-finicky about fluid levels.
       
    6. arco777

      arco777 Elite Explorer

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      I'm sorry, I was thinking of a different type of transmission entirely (likely E4OD) which uses a different style setup. I just changed my trans fluid/filter today to install a PML deep pan. I think you would have noticed if you forgot to install o-rings on the filter, as without them the only thing that holds it in place is the bolt. Without the bolt the filter will still stay in place by o-ring tension. I imagine you would have very weak line pressure without them.
       
    7. luvmonterey

      luvmonterey Member

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      Thanks for the info. I am guessing that I managed to over torque the pan bolts at some point in the past and that is the reason for the leaking. I ordered a new pan with a drain plug from the big site today, and am going to replace the filter and fluid again, this time with the o rings. Going to be super careful to torque properly this time!
       
    8. luvmonterey

      luvmonterey Member

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      I’m almost positive that I didn’t install o rings on the new filter, and I’m hoping that is the reason for the slipping when cold. What brand of fluid do you use? I tend to go with low cost “house” brands from Walmart or the auto parts stores for most of my fluids. I figure that they are probably manufactured by one of the name brand manufacturers anyway, and as long as I’m using the correct type, they won’t affect the performance and life of the parts. At least that’s what I tell myself!
       
    9. arco777

      arco777 Elite Explorer

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      I'm sure that would cause serious issues if you don't replace those o-rings soon.

      I used Valvoline Dex/Merc (blue bottle) for a long time (~$21/gallon here) and it worked fine. The transmission supply place near me had a deal on their house branded Dex/Merc fluid that I couldn't pass up (~$3/qt) and they stand behind it so I'm giving it a shot.

      If you read on Bobistheoilguy.com forums, there is info that supports that some house brands are really good as fluids go. I think Wal-Mart's is one of those in some cases that meets all specs.
       
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    10. Rhett

      Rhett Let Them Eat Cake Elite Explorer

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      I use Valvoline MaxLife ATF (red bottle).

      If you don't have the o-rings in it'll shift wonky, at least that's what I've seen. Also -- the 1-2 shift is vacuum controlled -- I hope your vacuum modulator is working well, too. You can pull the vacuum line leading to the transmission (the line is under the hood) and see if it has any fluid in it. It should not.
       
    11. luvmonterey

      luvmonterey Member

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      Thanks. I will check the vacuum line for fluid. Not sure which line it is, as there are several, but hopefully I can figure it out. I really overfilled the transmission, so it’s possible that I may have damaged something as a result.
       
    12. arco777

      arco777 Elite Explorer

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      The modulator line runs from the vac tree on your intake through a 90 degree elbow to a hard (steel) vac line which runs down the firewall to the trans tunnel, which goes to the vac modulator on the passenger side of the trans. Look near the catalytic converter. I have more luck accessing the modulator itself through the access panel in the floor under the carpet.
       
    13. luvmonterey

      luvmonterey Member

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      Thanks!
       
    14. luvmonterey

      luvmonterey Member

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      I picked up a Motorcraft transmission filter kit today and it includes a cork gasket, which is all twisted up. Any suggestions as to how to flatten it out so that I can install it on the pan? Should I use a layer of gasket sealer between the pan and gasket to keep it flat and in place when I install it on the transmission? I don’t want to screw things up this time around! Thanks!
       

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    15. luvmonterey

      luvmonterey Member

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      I picked up a Motorcraft transmission filter kit today and it includes a cork gasket, which is all twisted up. Any suggestions as to how to flatten it out so that I can install it on the pan? Should I use a layer of gasket sealer between the pan and gasket to keep it flat and in place when I install it on the transmission? I don’t want to screw things up this time around! Thanks!
       
    16. arco777

      arco777 Elite Explorer

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      You dont need to use sealant but you can if you like to help hold it in place. As long as the cork isn't damaged you should not need to flatten it either.
       
    17. roscoe 0202

      roscoe 0202 Elite Explorer

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      if you are worried about the twisties in the gasket soak it in hot water.
      roscoe
       
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    18. luvmonterey

      luvmonterey Member

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      The big site sent me a box of brake lines instead of the new transmission pan, so I’m going to have to wait until after Thanksgiving to drop the old pan and replace the filter, o-rings, and gasket. Their records indicate that I was sent a trans pan, not brake lines, so when they get sent back, I’m sure I will have to fight with them about getting credit, as they will never be a pan returned. Ugh!
       

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