Persistant Leaking
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  1. #1
    83CADMAN's Avatar
    83CADMAN is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Question Persistant Leaking

    The Seville repairs are finished! Rusted wheels, front brakes along with rear air struts. Gave it a good cleaning inside and out while I was at it.
    Now to get back to the 83 Eldorado...
    When I went to retrieve it from the warehouse I noticed quite a puddle of transmission fluid on the floor. I spread some litter and moved it next door into the shop and got under it. It was all wet under there with fluid. I wiped everything off the best I could and let it set overnight. The next morning a closer inspection reviled the pan gasket seeping. It had been leaking before for a while and I had previously tightened all the bolts thinking I had stopped the seepage, but I guess not. I had a shop flush the Transmission about 2 years ago and supposedly they replaced the filter and gasket. You’d think a gasket would last longer.
    Damit! I’m not looking forward to the gasket R&R. Any tips out there guy’s?

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  3. #2
    83CADMAN's Avatar
    83CADMAN is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Angry Re: Persistant Leaking

    I don’t FU@#*! Believe it!!!!
    I got up real close and spotted a small piece of gasket material sticking past the pan flange. I used my handy scraper and was able to trim a sliver off. On the bench in good light I could see that the gasket was cork, very flat, dried out and so brittle it crumbled in my fingers. NEW GASKET?? I think not. Those bastards reused the old gasket when they flushed the fluid. WTF! I bet when I open it up I’ll find an old dirty filter as well. So mush for quickie lube quality service. They couldnt find their ass with both hands on a good day! Never again will they touch any of my rides! Ever!
    Well at least it will get done right this time by my own hands.
    Any advice on draining fluid and filter replacement on this transmission?

  4. #3
    the recluse is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    Depends on how long the car had been sitting, and if tightening the pan didn't destroy the gasket; I think the pan bolts are only supposed to be 15# but don't quote me on that.

    I'm not familiar with the '83 as to any cross members being in the way or not (there isn't any on my '91), but the pan gasket should be pretty straight forward, i.e. nasty and messy.

    Fluid drain: jack the car up in the front and undo the pan bolts toward the rear of the car. Loosen the bolts in the front and the fluid will start to seep. Loosen a little at a time as this will regulate the rate of flow!

    Filter just pops off and presses on.

    Have fun

  5. #4
    83CADMAN's Avatar
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    Thanks recluse. You are right, there are no cross members in the way. Good tip on draining the fluid. I wasn’t quite sure how to do that, no drain plug.
    And that gasket has to be 20 years old!
    A friend suggested “peening” the bolt holes slighty. Ever hear of that?

  6. #5
    the recluse is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    Yeah, it's a process of dimpling the bolt holes to gain surface area for torquing and/or sealing around gasket. Not necessarily a bad idea, but not really advantageous if you are using a rubber gasket in place of the cork. Besides, a little RTV (black) will take care of minor gasket mating problems.

    Some problems with peening is if you do it too much you stretch the metal and it may buckle when retightening, opening up another can of worms...

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    83CADMAN's Avatar
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    Good to know. I called the local GM parts house and was told "the parts are discontinued".
    I did find that NAPA has a gasket/filter kit for around $25.
    A parts/beer run and its time to glove-up.

  8. #7
    drewsdeville is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    The first problem is that whoever did it before used a cork gasket. They always leak fairly quickly, regardless of who installed it.

    If you plan on keeping the car for a long time, I highly recommend getting the GM gasket, (even if you have to search, someone still has some) which is rubber w/ a steel insert. The gasket will outlast the vehicle and is always reusable when the pan is dropped as long as you don't physically damage it.

    The rubber or cork gaskets that come with the cheap filter kits are garbage.

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    the recluse is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    ^^^Agreed.

    When I replaced my filter, I wound up reusing my factory original gasket over, which, as Drew stated, means they probably ditched the original and used the gasket in the kit.

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    steelybill is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    I use my top-side oil change rig for my boat, to suck the oil out of the pan (most of it) before dropping the pan. Never did like the "oil bath"

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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    You say an OEM gasket could outlast the car! I wonder what the odds are to finding a decent reusable OEM at my local U-PULL yard. The last time I was there I spotted 4 or 5 80’s Eldorados. A makita with a drive attachment will make quick work of it, and my time is cheep. I bet if I find one it will only cost a buck or two. With this recession going on its like Simi-retirement around here, so it will give me something to do Saturday.

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    carnut is online now Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    Once the pan is off, use a small ball peen hammer to flatten the area around the bolt holes. Then I use yellow 3 M weatherstrip adhesive to secure gasket to pan, have 2 beers allowing said glue to skim over then reattach the pan. Use a star pattern on the bolts when tightening and a short ratchet handle, dont over tighten! I also spray BRAKKLEEN on the pan gasket pan surface prior to glue. Make sure when you remove the filter that the o ring comes off with it. Seen many with 2 or 3 o rings on the filter!

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    daniel58 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    Well just to add to the comments. I use the gaskets suppied with the filter kit, NAPA is my vendor don't recall them being cork. Never had a problem, however I do change fliud and filter more often than most every 20k. Also I would add, use a straight edge to check for flatness when using that hammer on the pan, I like the flat part of the hammer as opposed to the ball with a flat backup, another hammer or a piece of metal clamped up in a vise will work.

  14. #13
    83CADMAN's Avatar
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    Thanks carnut and daniel58. I like the tips about the adhesive tape to hold gasket in place and the use of a straight edge to true the pan flange, they are good ones. The kit I was quoted at NAPA does include a rubber gasket. The gasket that is currently on my car is cork and man is it old. I really don’t think they replaced it when I had it serviced 2 years ago. Obviously someone had installed a cork gasket at some time though.
    My concern would be the exposed internals of the transmission to the brakekleen over spray. I suppose a clean rag with brakekleen applied to it would work to wipe the surfaces.
    My visit to the bone yard wasn’t a total waste. I did pull a couple of transmission pans and found the gaskets unusable. They were simple rubber gaskets and severely compressed. I guess I’ll buy new.
    There was a new addition to the lineup in the yard, an 85 “Commemorative Edition” badged Eldorado. The car was the “Touring Coupe” (heavy sway bars and no padded roof or opera lights), white exterior with no striping, (coupe’s are normally black on black with a red pin stripe) and a two tone leather interior scheme, dark blue lower and white upper on the doors and seats with a white headliner. The options were minimal on this car, but it did include the power moon roof and it certainly had a unique cool factor to it, especially the two tone Interior. I’ve only seen single color interior schemes on this era of Eldorados.
    I don’t know why this car was tossed but overall the condition was pretty good and there were a lot of new stuff on it, front axles, brakes, hoses, belts, plugs, wires, cap and rotor. Of coarse by the time I got to it several of the parts were already pulled. I think I’ll go back for the axles.

  15. #14
    the recluse is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    I think Drew and I weren't considering the trans difference between the '83 and the '90-'91. The 4T60 was standard in both (although the '83 did have more options for trannys) but the gasket tech may have changed from those years. You might want to look into the '90-'95 4T60 and see if the gaskets are different.

    I'm looking for parts for my '91, any in the yard up there?

  16. #15
    83CADMAN's Avatar
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    Re: Persistant Leaking

    Seams to be a rash of caddies in the yard these days. I saw 5- 80 to 85 Edorado’s, about a half a dozen 89 to 91 Sevilles/ Eldorados, A couple of 80’s FWB’s, a shit load of late 80's Devilles, and one N* Eldorado. I spotted an old 70’s Eldorado convt. in the pre-yard, waiting prep. Too bad so sad.
    Quite a few 80’s Camaros.

    So the Transmission in my 83 is the same as the one in my 91?

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