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97 V8 AWD help diagnosing leak from accident

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by EY LeBlanc, September 10, 2019 at 9:53 PM.

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  1. EY LeBlanc

    EY LeBlanc Active Member

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    Accident was November 2018 and vehicle has been sitting since with me starting and moving it once every two months.

    Accident was backing into a wood light pole at about 5 mph right at the rear tail light. I drove it 120 miles after the accident and parked it. Felt Ok driving. Now I see a leak that is accumulating on the plate that protects the drive shaft. I think the plate is at about the back edge of the front door. Kind of looks like oil. Accumulated underneath the car.

    Any ideas? Plus any guestimates what it would take for a shop to fix it....

    I bought another 97 v8 AWD which is my daily driver. I'm looking at another 97 on Saturday but need to know what issue is with the accident vehicle...

    thanks - Einar

    20181112_183858.jpg

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  3. 974X4BLACKSPORT

    974X4BLACKSPORT Active Member

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    Start by putting a metal pan underneath to catch the fluid drops, this way you can look at the fluid more close to identify it. Additionally take a flashlight and look around the driveshaft seals and the transfer case, might also be a good idea to take some pictures and store them on a computer for closer look.
     
  4. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    the transfer case is above that skid plate
    The t case or the transmission could be leaking in that area, only other fluid that passes by that location is fuel and I can already tell you that is not fuel
    It looks redish which would = leaking t case or transmission

    The skid plate comes off with 4ea 10mm bolts.
     
  5. EY LeBlanc

    EY LeBlanc Active Member

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    thank you 410Fortune. Exactly the type of help I'm looking for. I've said before that this site is split into people doing their own repairs (not me) and people that use the local shop but get tons of very useful advice from this site (me). You have helped me several times in the past.
    410Fortune - what is the best case and worst case if its a transfer case issue or a transmission issue. Since it needs a bunch of body work also I may just opt to get rid of it... So I'm looking at another Gen 2 V8 AWD for sale on Saturday.
     
  6. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    how many miles on the truck?

    Normally the transmission and t case do not leak much fluid from this area but since it was rear ended

    Worst case would be a broken rear tailhousing on the transmission, which is why the fluid would be leaking back there after you move it around.
    The tailhousing can be removed and replaced with another one.
    I do not think fixing that truck is worth it because its getting older and has rust issues, with the amount of damage I see its hard to tell if its worth pulling out the dents and putting her back on the road.
    This leak may be the deciding factor.
     
  7. EY LeBlanc

    EY LeBlanc Active Member

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    That was my thoughts. Also there is another Gen 2 V8 AWD with 110k for sale in PA.
     
  8. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    My guess would be it's just a seal that needs to be replaced. If that's the case the cost to replace a seal would be minimal. I seriously doubt you relatively minor accident broke anything.

    If you're taking it to someone to be repaired, be there to see where the oil is coming from once that plate is removed. there are seals for both the front and rear driveshafts. The seals are inexpensive and easy to replace.

    When an old vehicle sits without being driven seals dry out and begin to leak.
     
    Last edited: September 11, 2019 at 7:07 PM
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  9. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    @koda2000
    I believe I'm seeing the rear CV joint of the front driveshaft there, could be among four seals:
    Transmission output shaft, in Adaptor, T-case input shaft seal, T-case output shaft seal, or T-case front output shaft seal. The replacement seal I received for T-case input shaft had two sealing lips: one facing toward transmission, to keep transmission leakage out of T-case, and one facing into the T-case to prevent leakage out of it. Seal lips only seal in one direction, the lip facing the fluid. I worked with the damned things for many years. imp
     
  10. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    From looking at what's wet in the photo, I agree it appears like it might be the seal on the front DS yoke of the t-case that's leaking, but there's wetness on the center and rear of that plate too, so it needs to be visually verified that it's coming from the front t-case yoke. I replaced the rear DS t-case seal on our '00 AWD and it was pretty easy to do. I also rebuilt the front DS CV joint, which was also pretty easy. I can't imagine the front seal would be much different to replace, but I don't recall what the front yoke looked like. The rear yoke just had a nut in the center of the yoke. Removed the nut and the yoke came right off, popped out the old seal and tapped in the new one, refilled the t-case with Dex/Merc ATF. Leak gone. I can't see a shop charging more than an hour labor (plus parts and materials) if that's the problem.

    OP - If your no longer driving this truck, why are you worried about the leak?
     
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  11. EY LeBlanc

    EY LeBlanc Active Member

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    the Gen 2 V8s major components have long lives. They are also now so cheap they are almost disposable. Both of the 97 V8 AWDs I purchased with 105k or less, I paid $1000 or less.

    I figure with two functional I'm set for the rest of my life. Now, I don't have two functional. I have the one in this posting with leak and body issues. Then their is a creampuff 1997 with 110k miles for sale in PA.
     
  12. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I know the comforting feeling of have a spare vehicle well. My spare was my '01 Sport Trac, but that's down for count right now an will be until at least winter/spring. The only "spare" vehicle we have right now is my hot rodded '54 F100 pickup, which isn't a daily driver with no heat or A/C yet. At the moment my '01 EB and my daughter's '00 Mountaineer are working flawlessly (finger's crossed) so I hope they wont have any serious problems before the Sport Trac lives again.

    You still didn't answer the question re the banged up '97. If you're no going to repair it, why keep it or fix the leak? It's not like it's a parts truck for you if you don't work on vehicles. Paying a body shop to fix the '97 is definitely not worth the money. It's only value now is a part's vehicle or scrap.
     
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  13. EY LeBlanc

    EY LeBlanc Active Member

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    Before seeing the leak a week ago, I only saw body work and really the body work is the rear taillight. I thought getting the tailling off and replaced might give me a functioning vehicle. I replaced the drivers side rear window. Getting the bumper off is just the one nut in the accident area. Might need someone to cut if off. Tail light hopefully some hammering / pulling (??????) can get the replacement (which I have) to just sit in that area and function. Rear hatch has damage but I think I can get it to close.

    So bottom line is I was thinking (except for leak) its not far from being the spare. Now this 97 v8 creampuff with 110k is appealing. I ran a carfax and this woman brought it to a ford dealer every three months.........
     
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  14. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Well then pull the trigger on the "cream puff" though I suggest you move up to a 2000-2001. They have the least problems of all the Gen II's, being the final years.
     
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  15. EY LeBlanc

    EY LeBlanc Active Member

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    I've bought at auction which is how I've paid so little for low mileage cars. If I look on Craistlist and there are many Gen 2 on craigslist, prices are much higher. Not high but higher. I'm not wedded to 1997s.I'd rather a few years younger but I can only buy what is for sale.

    Govdeals.com now rarely has a gen 2 v8. Still gen 2 v6 but few v8. Most municipalities have gotten rid of Gen2

    So what YOUR thoughts on reasonable price for 97 v8 AWD 110k with monnroof and great carfax.
     
  16. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    $500-2000 depending on tires, rust, seats and overall condition
    $1000 sounds like a steal for ANY 5.0 Explorer with under 150K miles
    You can probably sell your 97 for $1000 to somebody looking for the drivetrain (Ranger, Early Bronco, hot rodders like me!)
    I have been known to keep a few spare vehicles :)
     
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  17. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    It really varies by location. Where I live (GA) there's not much demand for the AWD's and the RWD's seem to bring equal or higher money. I recently saw a beautiful 2000 RWD EB V8 with only 143k in Atlanta. This truck looked almost new, super clean inside and out with an asking price of $1995.00. I would have asked $2900 for that truck. Most of the average Gen II's in my area are nothing to write home about and have asking prices of between $1200 and $1700, some more, some less, but nothing I'd consider. Being in NY the AWD's are worth more then the RWD's. Low miles are a huge plus of course and hopefully will have less rust damage. Look at your local craigslist to get an idea of what's available and what prices people are asking.
     
  18. EY LeBlanc

    EY LeBlanc Active Member

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    NYC has less snow than most of the northeast but its still the northeast. We have snow and salted roads and rust. I bought the 97 AWD v8 with 69k miles this Jan for $1000 off of craigslist. Hadn't been driven in two years. Mostly sat in one place. has rust underneath. I reached just underneath by door and metal came off... Owner thought fuel pump was shot but it was just the relay. My shop replaced breaks and I picked up near new tires from a junk yard (this website was a help with that).

    I've driven many night time highway miles north to Boston and west into PA during snow storms and love the AWD. I've passed many SUVs and trucks that have slid off the road. Even had a truck fishtail in front of me.

    Though Govdeals.com rarely has a gen 2 v*, craigslist still has a bunch...
     
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  19. EY LeBlanc

    EY LeBlanc Active Member

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    Couple more pics. Leak on ground and underneath vehice.

    IMG_2731.JPG

    IMG_2722.JPG
     
  20. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    that is a pretty good leak for it to be just a seal
    how long was it sitting there?
    How many miles on it?
    Did you remove the skid plate yet?
     
  21. EY LeBlanc

    EY LeBlanc Active Member

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    135k miles.
    Car is 250 miles from my house in girlfriends driveway. Also not insured or inspected so "driving"is only back and forth in driveway.
    Accident was 10 months ago and I just noticed leak - probably because I didn't put the car back in the exact same spot.... So don't know how long.
     

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