94 Eddie B, Help! ATF Leak (Smoking!) when towing + other ?'s Please Help! | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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94 Eddie B, Help! ATF Leak (Smoking!) when towing + other ?'s Please Help!

mawrazen

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Atlanta, Ga
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94 Eddie Bauer
Help!

My truck has some issues! I have a used 94 Eddie Bauer with 220k on my V6 with 2wd. I have solved my modulator valve problem thanks to this site, but still cant find an answer to my most pressing problem.

If my post is long I apologize. I'm a newbie trying to save my truck.

While towing my boat, I have developed an ATF leak at highway speeds especially while downshifting. I just towed a boat from Atlanta to Mt. Pocono PA. I never though I'd Make it!

When traveling down the highway while towing, I started noticing smoke behind the car.

If I was smart I probably would have conceded defeat and stayed at the local motel. But I was in the middle of nowhere with only a quickie mart at my disposal.

The phenomenon seems to only happen when under load. I believe it may be the Overfill on the trans is dumping ATF on the Cat and Exhaust system. I have searched this site and can't find a definitive answer.

I wiped the fluid off the underside of the truck especially the cats and exhaust. I added ATF and was able to make it to PA. (I-77 North and I-81 were a B***H). I took it slow and only saw smoke in the lower gears. OD seemed OK.

Here are my questions:

Was I boiling my ATF out of the Overfill?

What class of Transmission cooler is needed? I'm thinking a high performance Class III

Will the Trans cooler solve the problem?

Why is OD not recommended for towing? It was the only gear that didn't cause a leak.

Other issues:

The CEL light used to come on after 3 hours at highway speed and the truck would stutter and run rough. MPG plummets.
While towing it comes on after 20 Min's. Had a shop check codes OBD-2 they said its pretty generic and recommended a new CAT system. From this site I have learned it could be:

MAF, O2 sensors, Fuel Pressure Regulator, Camshaft position sensor, EGR position sensor or even a clogged Cat.

I don't want to pay a shop to replace things that are fine. I can do the work myself but buying parts that you don't need is expensive.

What is the best way to troubleshoot this problem?

I have some other questions but I will post another day.

Thanks in advance to all who respond. I appreciate your time and others I'm sure will learn from your answers.

Mark From ATL : )
 


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Fordmandan87

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in process of purchase
how heavy was your load?
 




Fordmandan87

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to answer you question about od it is not reccomended for towing because it adds extra strain to your already weak tranny. it also makes it easier on the engine because of those lovely couple hundred rpm that put your 4.0 in its optimum power band (fyi od is just a planetery reduction on the drive gear same gears + planetery reduction = od
 




Fordmandan87

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what gear set do you have?
 




mawrazen

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94 Eddie Bauer
Thanks Formandan,

I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner, I have been fixing 2 cars. My X and my wifes Sebring convertible. I have successfully gotten rid of all the Cel codes but 341 (the octane jumper). I tried Seafoam and the TPS mod and really felt a difference. Haven't had a Cel since I stopped towing the boat. I have purchased a trans cooler yet to be installed. The stock 3 speed tranny w/ OD seems fine now after adding some fluid and conditioner. I wont tow the 19 ft ski boat w/ V6 inboard (2000+ lbs?) untill I install the cooler.

New questions:

Should I add Seafoam tranny cleaner before I get the fluid changed?

Any other easy mods that might help performance or MPG?

I've considered upgrading to 8mm performance spark plug wireset and maybe a digital coil w/ computer interface. Any benefit to making these changes?


Thanks to Y'all

Burping the system fixed my fluctuating coolant gauge and no heat phenomenom.

Thanks to everybody on the Explorer forum. You Rock!
 




PTBishop

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check to see it's not coming from between the transmission and the engine. front pump bushing, seal and torque converter may need to be replaced. it happened to me after towing a boat, under load and hot. the fluid thins out and sprays all over. your X is not meant to tow anything that big, you really should be using a full size truck for that application...tow ratings are really a lot of BS when it comes to cars now a days
 




mawrazen

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94 Eddie Bauer
Thanks for the replys!

I haven't noticed a leak since getting to PA. I added a Hi performance trans cooler in line after the radiator pass through and original trans cooler. I now how 2 trans coolers after the radiator. I will try towing today through the mountains to bring the boat to the lake about 52 miles round trip. This should be a good test!

After solving all cel codes, seafoam treatment, Oil change to synthetic and tps mod I got over 21 MPG combination city and highway driving.

I will update the post after towing and have some highway miles on a tank.

Thanks to all. My quest for 30 mpg has begun!
 




project92

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try this go up a big hill and kick it in passing gear run it hard for a little bit... if it start leaking it's build pressure up keep doing that and it'll burn your truck up one way or the other.... mine did the same thing on tranny #2 as long as you drove normal no problem as soon as you passed somebody(2 lane roads) it would leak fluid drove it 3 month like this till got another tranny...
 




mikeinri

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I'm not an expert, and don't want to steer you in the wrong direction, but I have over 270,000 on my original A4LD with just the original cooler and no mods of any kind.

I have towed boats and utility trailers with this truck for the entire 8 years I've owned it. Over mountains and hills, on long drives to Florida from New England, etc. Used OD the whole time (except when really climbing), NEVER had any problems.

I only one time had tranny fluid come out as smoke, and it was from the overflow tube. The reason I know this is, I had the fluid changed at Pep Boys a week before. When I got it home, I checked the fluid and noticed it was overfilled. I stupidly left it that way (should have disconnected one of the rubber cooler lines to let some out), and towed a utility trailer full of firewood with the A/C cranking on a 90+ degree day, over hills, etc. The engine was overheating (another long story), so the tranny wasn't effectively being cooled and blew fluid out of the vent tube.

I immediately stopped and checked the level, it was back down to normal. After letting it cool, I've never had a problem since.

I guess the point of this story is, yes it could be something bad (like a seal), but it could also be just a case of an overfilled pan, coupled with overheating (stressing) the tranny. Never, ever, ever overfill an auto tranny.

Good luck, hope this helps.

Mike
 




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