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92 Ranger Trans Leak

dinosore

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Hello TRS. Im a first time Ranger owner. I just picked up a 92 Ranger 3.0L v6 2wd. It runs pretty solid...some shaking while idling at stops. I have noticed that my transmission appears to be leaking. I say this with hesitance. My truck is running a Mazda M50D-R1 manual trans which I have read is known for leaking oil from a rubber plug in the top cover (which i don't know where they are). I also know these trans use A/T fluid ( correct me if I'm wrong). The leak does not appear to be reddish like I'd expect as in general A/T fluid is red. The leak is a black oily color. I have wiped down the area to try and degrease is and find the leak from a seam but cant find it. What are your thoughts on where to go from here. I attached some photos, although they are poor quality.

Thanks for any and all help



 
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buckshotmudder

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The three plugs are on the top side behind where the shifter goes in. Take off the boot and you can see them. That is normally where these trannys leak from. If the trans is overfilled it will leak more than normal. My owners guide for my 91 says 5.6 pints which is 2.8 quarts of Mercon. Your photos are exactly how mine looked when it leaked. I did the doorman cap replacement. I should mention an easy way to refill it to take a piece of garden hose and tape the end up and shove it down through the engine compartment to the tranny. Then take the tape off and stick the hose into tranny fill hole. Put a funnel on other end.
 
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PanamaExpat

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Have you checked the transmission fluid level and condition? You may have a leak and the fluid may be in need for a change. What color is the fluid in the trans?

WELCOME TO TRS!
 

dinosore

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Thanks all I found the above link through trolling the forums...I also found a similar one on ranger-forums. Im going to clean the trans with brake cleaner and replace the three plugs and drain and change the trans fluid. Then try and drive it and see if I dont see any more fluid leaking somewhere.

In case someone else stumbles on this thread here is another write up on the rail plug job...
http://www.ranger-forums.com/drivetrain-tech-37/m50d-r1-5-speed-manual-transmission-warning-notice-fix-130140/
 

Charles (in GA)

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For filling of the fluid, the best thing I have found is a CRC Sta Lube SL4344 pump.

http://www.crcindustries.com/ei/content/prod_detail.aspx?PN=SL4344

Easily found in auto parts places and online. It comes with a hose end that has teeth and catches in the threads of the filler hole and makes filling the trans easy. Use Synthetic fluid. If it come out dirty, fill it, drive it a week and dump it and do this a couple of times. I change the trans fluid every 20,000 mi (every second oil change)

I install new shifter rail plugs every 80K to 100K and recently replaced the shifter bushings, they were "gone" and really need to be replaced about every 100K mi or so.

Attached are some pics from my last shift rail plug replacement, easily done from underneath.

Charles

 

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Charles (in GA)

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A few more pics from the underside. Use a straight flat ended punch that just fits in the hole in the plug to install them. When you push on the punch, it tends to stretch the plug, making it thinner and it slides in easily. When you release pressure on the punch, the plug reforms to size and is a tight fit, makes it very easy. Clean out the holes in the trans with something to degrease the hole and leave it very clean and dry, such as naptha on a clean shop towel and use your pinkie to push the rag in the hole. Put the plug in dry, it will stick tight to the hole and not move or creep or leak.

Charles
 

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dinosore

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thanks for those flicks. that helps alot. I am haveing trouble finding either of the steel plugs people have mentions as well as the rubber plugs at any of my local stores.
 

buckshotmudder

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thanks for those flicks. that helps alot. I am haveing trouble finding either of the steel plugs people have mentions as well as the rubber plugs at any of my local stores.
I got my doorman plugs at NAPA.
 

rboyer

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One method i've used alot for filling those transmissions is to unscrew the fill plug, take out the three screws holding the shifter stub down (while in neutral!), and fill it from the top until fluid starts to pour out of the fill hole. Nothing beats topping off your transmission fluid while you're sitting in the driver seat!
 

dinosore

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I called my napa they say they don't got that size from dorman or dana ...the smallest they said they carry is 18mm which is to big. They say they may have a brass plug that'll work but I'm hesitant about using brass.
 

scotts90ranger

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brass is fine, there isn't pressure there, my rubber plugs had 200k miles on them and were fine... my rebuild kit came with the core plugs so I put them in...

Your napa is apparently lazy, ours has gotten us 9/16" steel freeze plugs at work for plugging fuel injector holes (for propane only engines)
 

Charles (in GA)

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Just go to the Ford dealer and buy the rubber plugs. They are easy to install, no issues with trying to drive them in being so cramped under the vehicle and no risk of problems if they don't drive in correctly. The rubber plugs will last a hundred thousand or so. Last ones I bought were pricey, $7 or so each, but so what, there are only three and its only once every several years.

I use Synthetic Amsoil ATF and would not consider anything else. I change my fluid every 15K or 20K miles. Might seem like a lot of money, but fluid is cheap and transmissions are expensive.

Charles
 
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dinosore

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thanks. i actually used the freeze plugs and silicone method but while trying to be careful to not get debri in the trans while degreasing the area so the silicone could stick i didnt feel as if the area was clean enough to work. did it anyways gave it 48 hours to dry and still had a leak from one. so pulled em all out and went to dealer order three rubber plugs for 3 dollars total they came in the next day and its done. changed fluid and everything is running perfectly.
 

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