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Old 03-16-2008, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Where is my C6 leaking from?

UPDATE: Pictures below (scroll down)

The C6 in my 67 Country Sedan is leaking pretty bad.

Bad enough that it gets on the exhaust, then smokes off. (The smell is delightful!). Bad enough that I usually have to check it and add fluid before driving it every weekend.

I've been under the car cleaning up some so I can actually figure out what's going on, and this is what I've seen:
  • It's definitely leaking from above the pan gasket.
  • There's a steel line that I believe is a vacuum line coming to the back of the trans. On the trans side, it's a rubber hose, and there's no hose clamp or anything on it: just hard tube into a rubber tube. (If it's a vacuum line it shouldn't have fluid in it though, right?)
  • The speedo cable is the primary suspect. For a while it was resting on the exhaust and the rubber tube that covers it got cooked off. Under the rubber tube there's a metal sheath that I guess the cable spins inside (?).
    • Is there fluid in the speedo cable?
    • Is it possible to just replace the outer rubber section?
  • Hard to tell, but it looks like there might be some leaking around where the shift linkage goes into the case.
Are there common places that C6s leak from?

Anyone had to chase down a leak of their own?

Thanks
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Last edited by madscience; 03-22-2008 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Added pics in later post.
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

OK....

A few assumptions here......

It is leaking ONTO the exhaust not somking OUT OF the exhaust right?.... if OUT OF the exhaust then it would be a busted vacuum modulator diaphram.... about a $20 piece. It may be where the "vacuum line" you were are referring to is coming from it is operated by vacuum as the name suggests and the line goes from the modulator to the intake. It controls shifting and has a diaphram inside of it. If the diaphram ruptures the vacuum sucks transmission fluid up the vacuum line and into the intake where it is burned in the combustion chambers and out the exhaust. If it is getting "ON" the exterior of the exhaust then it is an external leak obvioiusly. check the cooler line fittings and make sure they are tight (use line wrenches or risk rounding them off) Check if there are any soft lines which have been spliced inline with the cooler lines and check for leaks on them and that the clamps are tight. Follow the cooler lines all the way to the radiator and check for leaks along the way.

Is the leak coming from the front or back of the tranny?... if from the rear could be as easy as a rear seal (drop the drive shaft and replace) if the front, like out of the bell housing, then it is either a front seal or pump seal.... neither is easy and requires removing the C6.

If it is leaking from the shift lever bushings or from a seal then you can try a can of transmedic stop leak or similar product.... but if you are losing a lot of fluid as you suggest it probably wont work well. These products contain seal conditioners that cause old seals and brittle gaskets to swell back up and thereby "stop" leaks...if the seals and gaskets are old enough to have cracked then these products probably wont do anything for you but it doesnt hurt to try.

Speedo cable......shouldnt be full of tranny fluid... and if that is where it is coming from should be fairly obvious.

Before doing anything put the front of the car on jackstands and spray the undercarriage and tranny with full strength simple green or purple power etc...let sit, then hose it off..... then once it has dried.... chock the wheels, fire it up and crawl under for a look see.... when you see the bright red stuff you have found the leak and can go forward from there...

Good luck

Keith/Bumble
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Old 03-16-2008, 06:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

Ok, so...Yeah, it's leaking ON the exhaust.

I spent the rest of the day cleaning under there (probably removed a good 20lbs of gunk).

I think I've got a couple of things going:
I think the modulator is/was leaking. I was poking at it and noticed that the diaphragm looking thing (external to the trans) that screws into the trans housing was loose, so I tightened it back down.
^^ There was fluid in the vicinity of this, as the whole trans mount was wet with fluid.

The speedo cable is definitely dripping fluid onto the exhaust. It's definitely coming out of the section where the rubber was burned off.

You say there shouldn't be any fluid in the cable, so does this mean some internal seal is toast?

I think the pan gasket might be seeping some, too. After cleaning everything up, there's still a lingering fluid around the gasket.

I put some leak-stop stuff in it a little while ago, so we'll see if that helps.

Thanks
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

There could be fluid leaking from around where the speedo cable goes in. If it's like the cruiso which it probably is just pick you up a new O-ring for it. That's all that is on those to seal them.
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

I would agree with Deb... probably an o-ring on the speedo gear. although you mention it is coming from the exposed cable.... tighten up the pan bolts across the pan, one bolt then the opposite one etc. Make sure you tighten the lines etc then look for other leaks. The speedo drive is held in by 1 bolt... pull it and check the seal. If you want to replace that speedo cable (I certainly would) you should be able to get one for $15-$20 at your local parts place but they are a bit of a pain to run..... thank God its a Galaxie and there is room under the dash... try it on a Mustang Falcon or God forbid a Pinto..... you can invent new cuss words getting to the back of a dash with big hands. In the mean time get some paint thinner or serious degreaser, and clean the stuffing out of it. Then scuff it (the cable and shielding ) with some 500 grit paper for adhesion and smear it up really good with some RTV till you can get it replaced.

Keith/Bumble
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumblebee View Post
..... thank God its a Galaxie and there is room under the dash... try it on a Mustang Falcon or God forbid a Pinto..... you can invent new cuss words getting to the back of a dash with big hands.
Keith/Bumble
I invented some trying to get my speedo cable hooked up because of the darn swingaway garbage in the way. In the end I disconnected it from the transmission and pulled the gauge cluster out to get it on there. I could get contortioned enough to take it off just fine but getting it back on was another story. That's why it stayed disconnected for 20 yrs. I couldn't get it hooked back up so decided I just didn't need one. Of course most of that time the car wasn't driven anyway so not a big deal. After a couple years of driving without when I did get it back on the road I decided I should hook it up. Still ended up doing some mcguivering with a washer and piece of ink pen to get it working but it's still going.

Deb
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

"mcguivering"??? Wow Deb, I'm impressed with that one. I thought that was my exclusive saying. Never heard anyone else use it before.

One more place to check is where the shifter linkage enters the case. 2 o-rings in there that can fail. 1 on the shifter, 1 on the kickdown lever shaft. Kind of a pain in the ass to replace too. If I remember right the pan has to come off and the valve body removed to get the shift lever out. Good time to do new filter and fluid and a shift kit if that is where the leaks is.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

I just skipped all teh replies you got so I can tell you that i'm 80% sure without reading more that you have a leaky front seal.... Pain in the butt but likely the problem...

The shift lever seal is an often leaker but that truely depends on cornering and the level of fluid as compared to the level of the shift arm....


FE
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

Thanks for all the help.

Re: The speedo cable
It's not leaking around where the cable meets the case. In fact, that's the cleanest part of the whole transmission.

Are you saying that an internal o-ring around the speedo gear is leaking and letting fluid get in the cable?

I'd much rather replace an o ring than the whole speedo cable.

Now that I've got the whole thing nice and clean, I'll put some miles on in and see what's dirty (didn't get a chance after all the cleaning this weekend).

Oh one more thing: What's the toque spec on the pan bolts?
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

I will agree with FE on this one. Secondly, there is no way that the fluid is coming out of that cable. I have NEVER seen it happen, EVER. What has probably happened is the cable where it is unshielded has gotten fluid on it/ in it and it keeps weeping out.
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Old 03-22-2008, 08:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

Some updates:

I re-torqued all the bolts on the pan. I didn't have a spec, but I went for a good, snug fit (not super-tight) in an alternating pattern. One of the bolts on the very back was barely finger tight, so I'm sure that contributed to the leaking.

Despite the experts being sure it wasn't/couldn't be leaking from the cable, I've got some pretty compelling evidence to the contrary:


^^^ That's my speedo cable with the outer sheath burned off. The exhaust is the thing in the foreground. And it shouldn't be the pan leaking, b/c the cable's above the pan and too far away.

The cable is dry from where it meets the trans up to right around that point. Here's the end at the trans:



I'm pretty sure the wetness on the tranny mount is from what was leaking out of the pan.

So, if there shouldn't be fluid in the cable, is there a seal down by the drive gear that needs replacing, or what?

Thanks.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

Hey Mad... That cable is shot bro...... As far as the cable is concerned a flexible shaft runs through and spins in that mangled mess that you call a speedo cable. The shaft is squared on the ends where it engages the speedometer on one end and the speedo gear on the other. I dont remember there being an O-ring on the shaft on the tranny end (other than to seal where it plugs into the tranny) but the cables are graphite lubricated not trannny fluid lubricated. As bad as that thing looks replace it.... sure it is a pain in the a** but you wont have to worry about it anymore after that. It may be possible that you have some fluid bypassing the gear and getting into the cable but the only place I have seen a cable leak before is at the o-ring seal where the cable actually plugs int the tranny. Replace it bro.. a relatively cheap part and a 6 pack later she will be good as new.

Keith/Bumble
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

The funny thing is, the speedo works pretty well. It bounces a little at low speed, but that's it.

Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. I've done speedo cables before and they're really awful.

There isn't anyone who makes an electronic sending unit kit, is there?

Guess it's time for a big dash-off day. There are a few things I needed to do in there anyway.

(Hook up radio, fix tailgate switch, wire up a new wiper switch, hook up volt gauge...)
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

you could do an electronic one but you would have to switch the speedo out for an Autometer round gauge.... Between dumping $300 for a speedo/sender combo and building a custom dash I say change the cable for $15 and be done with it.

Keith/Bumble
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Where is my C6 leaking from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madscience View Post
Some updates:


I'm pretty sure the wetness on the tranny mount is from what was leaking out of the pan.

So, if there shouldn't be fluid in the cable, is there a seal down by the drive gear that needs replacing, or what?

Thanks.
I'm with you on the wet tranny mount, probably the pan leak. Is the trans over full? Is it possible you have the wrong dipstick for the tranny? I'm just taking some wild guesses here. That's the only way I could see fluid getting in there is the trans is too full. But who knows, sometimes cars can do some weird thing and never do it again.

Deb
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