AWD transmission leaks into Transfer case? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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AWD transmission leaks into Transfer case?


Active Member
August 6, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Kennesaw, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 Sport Eddie Bauer
Have a 99 AWD V8 Mounty with 55,000 on it. Was going to change fluid in my transfer case last night, and when I pulled the top fill plug, about a quart of fluid came out? I noticed that had been a minor transmission leak was now much more severe, had a lot of transmission fluid on undercarriage. I think transmission is leaking severly into the transfer case, and filled it up. Has anyone heard of this happening. It almost would mean the rear transmission and front transfer case seals are both leaking. Is this a problem with the 4R70 transmission? Transmission was down a quart, and had to add fluid after all this.
Is it an indication of more severe problems or just a couple of bad seals? Trnasmission shfits fine. I do have a whine on acceleration, which I understand is normal? on the AWD.


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i took my '00 mounty into the dealership about 2-3 weeks ago and they looked at my tranny, it had been shifting really wierd around 40-45, the mechanic said the tranny was leaking into the transfer case, he evened out the fluids, and if it continues, he will replace the "seal" that is between the trany and the transfer case...thats all that he mentioned about it to me

btw mine is a AWD too w/ a 5.0L

If it is anything like the V6 transmissions there is only a seal on the transfer case. If both of you hadn't said the same thing, I wouldn't have thought it possible. Fluid level is usually below the shaft. You must go up a lot of hills!

There are a lot of hills where I am, north of Atlanta. Some are pretty steep. But no off roading with it. I'll have the transmission shop save the seal, if they can remocve it without much damage, so I can see what it looks like. They said there is just one seal. I think the transfer case has a vent at the top, and this is probably where I was getting fluid on the bottom of the car, since the case was severly overfilled. I'm curious why it would fail with under 55K miles.


transmission fluid can fill the transfer case? cus i have fluids coming from both ends of the front shaft, and recently started to hear a steady whine comming from the front once i pick up speed. >_<




A quart in the t case is about right. I think its official capacity is 1.25 quarts. Its highly improbable that the transmission could leak into the case.

Judging by your pictures, and your whine issue, I'd say your pinion seal is leaking, your front differential probably needs gear oil ASAP. It will continue to leak until the seal is replaced, so you need to continue to add gear oil to it and get the seal fixed soon. Not adding oil could mean disaster for the front differential.

Yeah, the transmission seal can leak tranny fluid into the transfer case. On my Mounty, which I sold about a year ago, it happened twice. First time was as described in the post above, and I had the seal replaced by a tranny shop. Then it failed again about 6 monthes later, and I had it replaced by Ford. It seemed fine after that. If your tranny fluid is low, that is the first indication. if the xfer case has too much fluid, like mine did, that is the second indication. When I pulled the fill plug on the xfer case, fluid should be even to the top. But instead of being even it was above the top, and about a quart of fluid came out.

Where can you buy the seal

I have a 2001 AWD V8 exploerer. It was leaking fluid everywhere. I opened the Transfercase check plug and almost 2 quarts came out everywhere. I am assuming that the seal between the trans and the tranfercase went bad. Is this hard to replace and where can you get the seal from? Or is there another problem. Truck has 112000 miles on it with no problems.