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Transmission Questions

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TheFlash300 Avatar
TheFlash300 Dave Gutknecht
Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA   USA
1979 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Lil Spit"
Last week I topped the Transmission with oil (Redline MT-90https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CPCBEQ/ref=s9_dcacsd_dcoop_bw_c_x_1_w) prior to a 90 mile drive for winter storage.

During the drive I smelled oil on the exhaust pipe, not terrible, but enough to annoy me. I stopped in a parking lot but could not find any significant leaks..also challenging to get under the car without ramps or lifts, so I continued. Upon arriving at my destination I got the car on jack stands and inspected for leaks.
Two things I found, fresh gear oil at the rear end of the trans with dripping on the exhaust and engine oil around the bell housing. See attached photos.

I am looking for advice for what I need to do to address these leaks, my knowledge of these transmissions is limited

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
Could you have over filled it. If the car is not level when you fill it this is possible.

You could also have a blocked vent. The vent hole is on the top of the transmission.

Smithisretired Avatar
Smithisretired Michael Smith
Wells, Maine, USA   USA
Assuming you did not over-fill the gearbox, it would appear that the rear oil seal on the transmission tail is leaking.

The engine oil around the bell housing is most likely coming from a valve cover gasket that needs to be replaced.

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Lizzard d id
san jose, ca, USA   USA
Fashion a cover bit of tin to keep the oil drips off of the exhaust pipe , then monitor your lube use . If you have to add a touch of oil once a year thats one thing , if you need to put in a quart every 100 , that a whole nutter thing .

SpitMan Avatar
SpitMan Doug Walls
Brandywine, Maryland, USA   USA
1970 Triumph Spitfire MkIII "70 Spit"
1998 Chevrolet Corvette "Silver Fox"
2007 Chevrolet Silverado
2013 Chevrolet Malibu "Pearl Baby"
Seems that maybe you overfilled it. I had that happen to me when I first re-installed the transmission after repairing it. Oil will leak out the bell housing due to this.

As for the rear seal; I notice an oil track on the bottom of the transmission. It is possible that when the oil dripped out at the bell housing it tracked along the body of the trans and was caught at the rear of the transmission making it appear to be a rear leak. Open up your oil plug and feel if the oil is right at the plug level. If it is then, if memory serves me correctly, it should be a little below the oil plug opening. Someone may want to chime in on this from the specs. in the manual but I think that is the rule of thumb.

spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
In reply to # 1500446 by SpitMan Seems that maybe you overfilled it. I had that happen to me when I first re-installed the transmission after repairing it. Oil will leak out the bell housing due to this.

As for the rear seal; I notice an oil track on the bottom of the transmission. It is possible that when the oil dripped out at the bell housing it tracked along the body of the trans and was caught at the rear of the transmission making it appear to be a rear leak. Open up your oil plug and feel if the oil is right at the plug level. If it is then, if memory serves me correctly, it should be a little below the oil plug opening. Someone may want to chime in on this from the specs. in the manual but I think that is the rule of thumb.

Doug,
The correct fill level is even with the bottom of the fill plug opening. With the car level the oil is put into the opening and any excess is allowed to drain away before the plug is re-installed.
Trying to maintain a level "a little below" the plug opening would be much harder than simply keeping the oil at the level of the bottom of the hole.
If you overfill the gearbox and stuff the plug back in quickly the excess oil will find its way out. Most often through the front scroll seal, but other leaks will take their share too.
All the best,
Paul

rcharris Rod Harris
Fort Collins, CO, USA   USA
I also have a ‘79 1500 with scroll seal.
If that gearbox were over-filled then it would definitely leak into the bell housing.

IIRC there is less than a vertical inch between the filler plug and bottom of the scroll seal. But 1” would be a lot of over-fill.

rc

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Greg1835 Avatar
Greg1835 Greg S
Rudolph, Wisconsin, USA   USA
There have been a number of posts about people having issues with oil leaks when using synthetic oils. Could this be a contributing factor?

spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
In reply to # 1500565 by rcharris I also have a ‘79 1500 with scroll seal.
If that gearbox were over-filled then it would definitely leak into the bell housing.

IIRC there is less than a vertical inch between the filler plug and bottom of the scroll seal. But 1” would be a lot of over-fill.

rc

Rod,
Yes 1" would be a lot of overfill, but it doesn't represent a lot of nose down attitude of the car. A bit of overfilling, and some nose down parking can lead to oil leakage that looks terrible, but isn't serious at all.
All the best,
Paul

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TheFlash300 Avatar
TheFlash300 Dave Gutknecht
Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA   USA
1979 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Lil Spit"
Thanks for all the feedback guys.
I did install lowering springs at the same time, so the car now has nose down tendencies. I cannot recall if I filled the trans with the car level (on jack stands) or at final ride height. I will monitor oil situation and react accordingly.

In reply to # 1500573 by spitfire50
In reply to # 1500565 by rcharris I also have a ‘79 1500 with scroll seal.
If that gearbox were over-filled then it would definitely leak into the bell housing.

IIRC there is less than a vertical inch between the filler plug and bottom of the scroll seal. But 1” would be a lot of over-fill.

rc

Rod,
Yes 1" would be a lot of overfill, but it doesn't represent a lot of nose down attitude of the car. A bit of overfilling, and some nose down parking can lead to oil leakage that looks terrible, but isn't serious at all.
All the best,
Paul

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