: Phaeton hemorrhaging oil from engine/trans main seal area?!?!

05-31-10, 02:05 PM
Just seems to have started today, I was getting ready for my trip from Morristown back to Chattanooga, did one last fluid level check. Noticed the engine oil was a bit low, not too unusual. Started it up to check the trans fluid, went in the garage for something, came back out & noticed a large puddle forming under the car. Oil.

Now, since I've been in Morristown, I'd noticed it leaking a little trans fluid, which simply *should not* be happening, as I had the trans rebuild 5 months & 1,500 miles ago. The oil appears to be leaking from the main seal where the trans meets the back of the engine.

I don't know all that much about engine/trans gaskets to be honest, what the hell could be causing this? it doesn't appear to be leaking from the intake manifold/valve covers/etc. Just right around the trans. The whole bell housing has an oil slick on top of it. The speedometer cable where it bolts to the trans is covered, everything.

This sounds like the fault of the trans shop, no?

Only problem is, though it should still be covered under warranty, I'm in Morristown... about 150 m.i. away from the shop & leaking oil like the damn coast.

Ideas? How could this seemingly pop up overnight? It seems to leak mostly after it has been running, then tapers off as it cools down. Right after I shut it off, the oil leaks out so fast there's a glob forming on the driveway before it even has time to sink in. I need this to be dealt with ASAP so I can get back to Chattanooga.


05-31-10, 02:43 PM
Good grief, what a stroke of unfortunate circumstances lately with your Phaeton. (However, I viewed the updated photos since the miraculous repair and it looks exceedingly fantastic - couldn't detect or notice the repair/respray.)

Wish I was in a position to offer technical advice. I just wouldn't drive it until you can get it back to the shop who did the rebuild. I'd call AAA or whatever your road service may be to at least get you and the Cadillac home.

So sorry to hear of the trouble. If it were mine, I would have some serious questions for the transmission shop (not to be accusatory at this point) but that issue defies the care and manner in which you drive and maintain your exemplary fleet of remarkable Cadillacs.

05-31-10, 04:44 PM
I've been there Ben, had my car fixed and drove it home and found another problem and got stuck in that loop for a few months at a time. sometimes when it rains, it pours.

As Cadillac Fan said, you need to tow your car someplace to fix it, the best bet is the garage that did the work. If you have AAA you should get free towing, but I think it's "within 150 miles" so hopefully you are not that far away. There is no reason it SHOULDN'T be covered under warranty under a mere 1,500 miles. Keep us posted. This is heartbreaking news.

05-31-10, 04:46 PM
Try retorquing the bolts on the bell housing. They may have loosened as the reinstalled trans settled in. If that doesn't help, then the rear main seal must have been installed wrong or is defective in some way, in which case I hope you have extended towing with AAA.

I'm really sorry to hear about this latest trouble with the Phaeton. May just hasn't been her month. On the up side, I see your Eldo sold!


05-31-10, 05:12 PM
There is only a few sources of oil back there. If it is on TOP of the bellhousing, it isn't the rear main seal. Has to be rear of the intake, valve covers, or the oil pressure sender, if that is where it is on the 425, I can't remember...

06-01-10, 09:09 AM
Please elaborate. What does an oil pressure sender look like? I saw a wire harness in the area right above the main seal. Though I checked the back of the intake manifold & couldn't see any oil that far up on the engine, just right around the trans & maybe around that wire harness. And of course this had to happen on the trip when I accidentally left my service manual in Chattanooga.

Guys, I don't have anything close to AAA. Though I did get on the ATRA website (the shop that did the trans was ATRA affiliated) Closest shop is about 25 miles away, though it should be covered under my warranty if it's trans related. Keep in mind, I still don't know why I saw some trans fluid leaking a couple weeks ago....

Right now I'm thinking I'll just have to take it to a local shop, have them take a look at it & see what's wrong, then go from there.

06-01-10, 11:04 AM
I was able to top of the oil & drive it to a local shop without any trouble. So it's in the process of being processed.. Before it even got moved in, a guy that worked there came out to take a look at it & said he thought it was the intake manifold gasket, or oil sender (good call, Jay).

Now, if it's the intake manifold gasket, they'll obviously have to remove the intake manifold to fix it.... I still have the modified 472 intake manifold from NightWolf.... they said if the part didn't need any modification & was in good condition they'd put it on while they were in there. But wasn't there some hitch in using that manifold? No EGR or something? I hope I can get an answer on that before I take it in & have the shop tell me it won't work. It would be nice if Rick still dropped in here from time to time, but I remember hearing some talk around here on the subject from others who were thinking about the swap.

If it's the oil pressure sender, that's an easier fix, right? This is the first time I've had to deal with something of this nature.



06-01-10, 11:04 AM
There is only a few sources of oil back there. If it is on TOP of the bellhousing, it isn't the rear main seal. Has to be rear of the intake, valve covers, or the oil pressure sender, if that is where it is on the 425, I can't remember...

This is exactly what I thought too. If there is oil on the top of the trans then it isn't the rear main seal. The oil pressure switch is in that area and it is in a very very vulnerable position and it is quite possible to bump it or crack it during a trans change. That stuff isn't too hard to see if you move the air cleaner out of the way. The switch is pretty high so it would be easy to wipe it off and determine if that is where the leak is.

06-01-10, 03:10 PM
Well, I got it back from the shop. It was the oil pressure sender. $80 fixed.

Then I was driving it home........ Now the transmission won't shift out of first gear. I pulled over & checked the trans fluid, and it was about a pint too high. Now, for the last couple weeks while I've been in Morristown the trans has been leaking. I've been topping off the fluid, though I don't see how I could have made an error that great. I know about what temps to check it at, etc. The shop said they hadn't added any, so I don't know. Moving along.

I got home I did the only thing I could think of. I got a clear plastic tube, & started siphoning fluid out. Got it to where it's supposed to be, took it out for a test drive, & it still won't shift out of first. Now, my first sign of trouble was when I picked it up from the shop, shifted into drive, and it made a larger than normal *clunk*

Did I kill my trans? I still don't know how it got that much fluid in it, but of course after I emptied out the excess, I saw a few little bubbles on the dipstick in the fluid. Please tell me how to remedy this...

Well, the cat just pissed on the floor next to my chair (how nice), be back later.....

06-01-10, 03:31 PM
The tranny is ran off a vacuum line that goes to the intake. You should see it coming from the pass. side of the tranny, up by the oil pressure sensor to the carb or intake. They probably forgot to connect the vacuum line back up.

06-01-10, 03:32 PM
Thanks for the tip, I'll see if I can see it.

06-01-10, 05:26 PM
Yup, that was it... Still don't know why it was so full of fluid. But it works now, it was disconnected at the trans. I put it back on & added a hose clamp.

Thanks for the advice.

06-01-10, 05:31 PM
Glad it was the sender. Between everyone around here, we can usually figure things out! :D

I had the 1st gear only on my 71 once after an intake swap. The trans WILL actually shift... at full throttle only. I had knocked the vacuum line off at the trans so it wasn't readily noticeable.