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1996 Impreza Brighton - 5-sp trans leak between engine and trans


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64 replies to this topic

#1 kickascii

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

I'm guessing front seal, right? Are there any step-by-steps or write-ups for my transmission removal?

I'd like to get the trans off to see exactly where it's leaking. If it is the front seal, realistically, how hard and how many hours can I look forward to fix. I may just get a used tranny.

Just started leaking yesterday on the exhaust pretty bad. Puddle under my car in the garage now. :(

Happy New Year! LOL

#2 grossgary

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

are you positive it's leaking between engine and trans? the side cv axle differential seals can leak transmission gear oil too.

amazing thread if you want to replace it yourself:
http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=90182

#3 davebugs

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:51 PM

My first guess would be baffle plate/oil seperator plate.

If so it's a simple fix, but a decent amount of work.

#4 kickascii

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:03 PM

I'll have to post a pic, but it definately looks like its coming from between the bellhousing and back of engine; not the axles on the side....

#5 kickascii

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:05 PM

My first guess would be baffle plate/oil seperator plate.

If so it's a simple fix, but a decent amount of work.



But it's gear oil, not motor oil.....

#6 CoupedUpSubie

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:12 PM

There are two scenarios, lift and no lift. If you have a lift and transmission stands and what not then by all means dropping the transmission is easy. If all you have is an engine hoist(also two strong guys, chainfalls, comalongs, heavy equipment) then pull the engine out instead. From there you can either pull the trans or replace the seal if that is whats needed.

#7 davebugs

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

But it's gear oil, not motor oil.....


Somehow I missed that....

#8 kickascii

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:26 PM

There are two scenarios, lift and no lift. If you have a lift and transmission stands and what not then by all means dropping the transmission is easy. If all you have is an engine hoist(also two strong guys, chainfalls, comalongs, heavy equipment) then pull the engine out instead. From there you can either pull the trans or replace the seal if that is whats needed.


REally? Pull the engine to get the trans out? If I were replacing the clutch, would you recommend the same procedure? I dont have an engine lift, so that would be tough.

#9 CoupedUpSubie

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

Dropping the trans and realigning it on jack stands is a huge pain. And I just pulled an engine to do the clutch. Also as mentioned the separator plate on the backside of the engine is a common leak spot if it hasn't been replaced. If you are confident the leak is from between the engine and transmission then pulling the engine makes sense. Also these engines are pretty light as they are aluminum.

A few recommendations:
Do your best to undo the axles from the trans. It will make getting the nuts off 10x easier.
Remove hood, airbox, windshield washer tank, and battery.
PB Blaster will be your friend.
Make sure you have an assortment of extensions as some bolts are buried under wires and other components making it a pain to get to. A universal joint for a 3/8" drive is useful as well.
Inventory and track all your nuts and bolts as it is easier to put back together.
Take your time and think while you do the job, it is easy to over look small things.

#10 Subaru_dude

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:30 PM

I had a '95 Brighton Legacy that had a leaky input shaft seal. Trans grease all over the exhaust and all the stinky smoke. When I pulled the trans out, all I did was fill in the small gap between the input shaft and the sleeve with some kinda sealant, can't remember exactly what I used. I let it sit for a day and installed the new clutch, put the trans back in (definitely would have been easier to just pull the motor. I originally thought the trans was bad but it was just the clutch). Even with the extra play from the worn out input shaft bearing, it didn't leak a single DROP for a few thousand miles. The trans did fail, another bearing in the trans gave out and it caused the clutch to fail because the input shaft wasn't even coming out of the trans straight, busted the clutch disc.

If it's just the seal I would NOT split the case to replace it, or even pull the trans. The sealant worked great for me and I believe a member from Australia had tried this before with success. Maybe it was Phizinza? But anyhow, all you would need to do in that case would be pull the motor and seal around that shaft. Make sure there's not TOO much play in the input shaft though...

#11 grossgary

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:34 PM

REally? Pull the engine to get the trans out?

if you need to pull the transmission then the transmission needs to come out. i would not pull the engine, sounds like a lot of extra work, but there are many compelling reasons to not drop a trans too.

I would drop the transmission from underneath. seems even more logical if you don't have a lift. Though if you have a lift you can snake chains around the engine to use the lift to remove/install a transmission underneath the car without pulling the engine.

These things are awesome for scooting engines/trans around and the last magazine I got yesterday in the mail had them for only $7.99 or $8.99:
http://www.harborfre...olly-93888.html

the fastest *possible* is the transmission, it *can* come out much quicker than the engine. just basic logistics and math...fewer parts to remove.

I use *'s to qualify because pulling a transmission is annoying because you have to work under your car and devise solutions for removing, installing in a confined space. it is very easy to hate the task so you'll hear strong opinions to the contrary. Removal is generally easy, can drop it by yourself. Installing is much more difficult and very much aided by an extra hand or two.

If you have physical limitations or are going to need to lie on freezing cold concrete or aren't good at figuring out a way to hold the trans to remove/install...then you're going to hate working under the car.

If you have an engine lift you can also pull the engine/trans together but you need lots of room to lift up to get the entire lump to clear the radiator at a steep angle.

If I were replacing the clutch, would you recommend the same procedure?

in that case the transmission does not have to come out, you just need access to the clutch which is given by removing the engine. so engine removal is often the chosen way there. then you're also provided easier access to timing belts and headgaskets for folks that also want to address those common maintenance items.

#12 grossgary

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:38 PM

Wow, really, sealant? So they leak around the OD and not the ID, I would have never guessed that.

If simply sealing the shaft is an option I'd begin to wonder if you can even unbolt a bunch of stuff and lean the engine forward/pull the transmission back and gain enough access to seal that? Probably not enough room to slide the clutch stuff off.

#13 Subaru_dude

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

Wow, really, sealant? So they leak around the OD and not the ID, I would have never guessed that.

If simply sealing the shaft is an option I'd begin to wonder if you can even unbolt a bunch of stuff and lean the engine forward/pull the transmission back and gain enough access to seal that? Probably not enough room to slide the clutch stuff off.


You might get away with leaning the engine forward, I think you can use the starter hole to get to each bolt on the pressure plate. I would think it would be pretty darn tight. And I think the shaft having grease on it keeps the sealant from actually sealing to it, but forms tightly around it and thus keeps grease from getting past. I would imagine the chunk of silicone or whatever I used probably spun around in there being it was so greasy. I don't even think I bothered to spray in there with brake cleaner.

#14 kickascii

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:20 PM

How common is the input shaft seal failure? I guess it could possibly be engine oil, but it stinks like gear oil.

I cleaned the bottom of the trans up where fluid was dripping and while the car was on jack stands, I idled it in 3rd gear. Then just idled in neural.

AFter about 30 minutes of idling, I finally saw fluid starting to (slowly) travel on the bottom 'ear' of the front of the tranny/diff.

Does this help at all?

#15 CoupedUpSubie

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:01 PM

Dumb question. What is the fluid level in the transmission? If it is leaking as bad as you make it sound you should be low pretty soon. Check fluids, that will tell you what is leaking.

#16 Fairtax4me

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:14 AM

Woah, woah..... Woah!
1. Check the drain plug first. Is it tight?

2. If it is the front seal, pull the trans and replace the seal. It's not that hard. All you need is a floor jack and jack stands.

3. I dont see how putting sealer around the input shaft would work. You can't get to the seal to apply sealer without splitting the case. Not to mention the oil drips from the weep hole in the case at the lowest point of the seal housing. If you seal over the weep hole the oil will eventually fill up the housing and start pouring out onto the pressure plate, which will then ruin the clutch disc. So you spend 4 hours removing and reinstalling the trans to get what? A few thousand miles maybe, if youre lucky, without a leak, then you have to replace the clutch, when it only takes another hour, maybe two, to split the case and put a new seal in.

Search for Gloyale's easy transmission front seal replacement thread.

#17 kickascii

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:16 AM

Thank you all for the help so far. I've gotta work this week, but I'll nibble at getting the trans out hopefully by Friday. I've gotta go away this weekend, so priorities may override the subie till next weekend.

I'll keep you all posted.

The clutch is working fine, but should I replace it while I have the trans out?

#18 grossgary

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

The clutch is working fine, but should I replace it while I have the trans out?

I would, the job is such a pain and time sucker I'd rather be done with it.

If you want the car another 100,000 miles or so then the original stuff probably isn't likely to make that, might as well be done with it.

If it's a rusty beater and you doubt it'll last long, they reuse them or inspect and then make the call.

I'd replace the throwout bearing, pilot bearing, and clutch retaining clips and reseal the separator plate on the back of the engine with the new metal one while it's apart.

have those parts on hand and if you reuse the clutch, install those parts. if the clutch/pressure plate make you want to replace the clutch, then buy a clutch kit and return the parts since the kit usually comes with those.

#19 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

You realize you will have to completely disassemble the transmission to get to that seal right?

Just wanted to make sure you aren't over your head with this one. Pulling a transmission is a lot easier than taking it apart and putting it together correctly.

You should be prepared to do the rear input shaft bearing also. You will need access to a press to do that one. They are the most common failure points on these transmissions and if the input shaft is moving enough to damage the seal then the rear input shaft bearing is probably on the way out. For the $40 price of the bearing it's a no brainer.....

At my shop it's about $900 to change the rear input shaft bearing, all the seals, R&R the tranny and a new clutch..... this isn't a small job. My turn-around on these is usually 1 day.

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 02 January 2013 - 12:00 PM.


#20 kickascii

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:04 PM

This is my beater with 286,000 miles on it so I'll probably just put the clutch back in. It only has about 40k on it (my friend sold me the car so I trust him). I bought it for $250 and I've put 35000 miles on it so far. All I've had to do was a right-front axle and I voluntarily replaced the shifter bushings. All of that was simple.

I've taken the trans out of a car before, and it's not too bad. Now, taking it apart is another story. It I find the tranny to be leaking, I might just find a used one.

#21 Subaru_dude

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:00 PM


3. I dont see how putting sealer around the input shaft would work. You can't get to the seal to apply sealer without splitting the case. Not to mention the oil drips from the weep hole in the case at the lowest point of the seal housing. If you seal over the weep hole the oil will eventually fill up the housing and start pouring out onto the pressure plate, which will then ruin the clutch disc. So you spend 4 hours removing and reinstalling the trans to get what? A few thousand miles maybe, if youre lucky, without a leak, then you have to replace the clutch, when it only takes another hour, maybe two, to split the case and put a new seal in.

Search for Gloyale's easy transmission front seal replacement thread.


Doesn't matter if you can IMAGINE it or not. Maybe you should try it before you go nay-saying. Why do you need DIRECT access to the seal to apply sealant? Just squeeze a whole tube in the sleeve and you've probably got it. Seal the weep hole as well and whaddya know!! No trans grease on the pressure plate!!

Always trying to find problems... it's amazing some people ever get anything fixed.

#22 grossgary

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

Doesn't matter if you can IMAGINE it or not. Maybe you should try it before you go nay-saying.

you're both right and i see no need to argue or get huffy at each other. it's a great fit for some situations and i'm glad you stepped up as the only person to try it and share that experience, good to know! yet it's a limited experience - one incident but only a few thousand miles. there rarely is a one-size-fits-all solution.

if it were 10 years ago when i had more time or on a rusty beater about to die i'd do what you did.

if it were a car i wanted to keep another 150,000+ miles, or it was a 2005, or in my life situation now where opportunity costs are much higher, i'd like to hear more success stories and longer mileages to dissuade me from a new trans or fuller rebuild.

#23 kickascii

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:52 PM

ok, so everything is off and transmission is not seperating from engine. Let me review:

(2) bolts at top of trans
(2) nuts at bottom

correct?

Nothing else is attached to the trans. I have a floor jack attached to the bottom of the trans and a come-along strapped around the trans holding it to the jack. I have another jack ever so slightly pushing on the front of the engine to tilt. I can have my friend pull on the jack (attached to the trans) and the drivers side has a small gap between the trans and the back of the engine, but the passenger side will not budge.

Tips?

#24 Crazyeights

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:02 PM

Stuck on the dowel pin? Perhaps try some penetrating oil, and then carefully work your way around the gap with a couple of pry bars.

#25 CoupedUpSubie

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:05 PM

Make sure the engine is high enough for the studs in the engine mounts to clear the crossmember. When I pulled one I brought the engine and trans up then just put a bit of pressure on the trans with a jack.

It is possible that they are stuck together with a bit of corrosion. Once you make sure its high enough you can insert a small prybar into any gap you have and use it to push the engine away from the transmission.




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