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Old August 23rd, 2009, 07:32 PM   #1
deathbypsi
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Default A4LD question

My 90 B2 has a rebuilt A4ld that I thought puked out the front pump seal about two months ago. I was driving the truck 40 miles each way to and from work for a while , at least 35 of those miles are on the expressway.Truck has stock 3.73 gears and 33" tires.
Two months ago it started smoking bad about 4 miles from home and by time I got home the trans was pissing fluid out at the front coming out of the bell. I thought I killed the pump seal and parked it.
Well two weeks ago I decided to move it around the yard and notice it wasnt leaking....took it around the block and still no leak.....filled the tank and been driving it daily for the last week and a half with not a drop to be seen.
Well today I decided to take it out for some mild wheelin at a local spot and after getting it home I noticed it was leaking again.

Does this sound like a seal problem? Some people say it sounds more like an over heating issue. Where is the vent on these trans? Would it spill out near the front of the trans and look like a pump seal leak?
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 07:56 PM   #2
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The vent is on the top of the case and most likely has a tube that directs the vent down by the manual arm. Sounds like when the trans reaches a certain temp it starts leaking out the front. This can be caused by any number of reasons. Let's start with the cooling system. Check the coolant level first. Make sure your thermostat is working properly. Make sure you do not have a partially kinked cooler line. If possible flow check the cooler in the radiator. Do you have a trans cooler on this? If so make sure the fluid goes into the radiator then the cooler and flow check the cooler. It's possible the cooler in the radiator will quit flowing when hot. You can replace the radiator or bypass it with a heavy duty cooler. The builder could have put a crappy gray seal in it, or scarred the pump bushing. Was the converter replaced after the overhaul? Excessive conver slippage could be an issue here as well.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 03:28 AM   #3
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Truck has a real temp guage and runs at 190 95% of the time,hottest it gets is 220 when pushed hard. Truck has a brand new 91 Explorer HB rad and a tight clutch fan. Still use the factory trans cooler but with a 8" Thermacool electric fan behind it to pull max air thru it when speeds are slow. Trans lines are new and have no links. I dont see a lack of fluid flow being the problem or lack of cooling but I could be wrong about the cooling.
The trans was rebuilt before I bought the truck so I know nothing about it that other than it has been rebuilt.

If you click the link in my sig you can see pix of how the cooling system and trans cooler are set up.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 09:32 PM   #4
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Looks like you have a nice setup. 220 is pretty hot. If there is a grey seal in there It would not do well at that temp. You can try bypassing the radiater and run the cooler only. make sure the fan runs all the time. Odds are the trans has a garbage grey seal in it. Pull it. Make sure you check the hub on the converter for wear. Even if they replaced it during the rebuild they could have put the pump bushing in a little crooked or even scored it. The hub will tell you. When you have the seal out inspect the bushing.HTH
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Old August 27th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #5
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If you blow air in the dipstick tube does it exit the vent?
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Old August 27th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #6
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Truck has a real temp guage and runs at 190 95% of the time,hottest it gets is 220 when pushed hard. Truck has a brand new 91 Explorer HB rad and a tight clutch fan. Still use the factory trans cooler but with a 8" Thermacool electric fan behind it to pull max air thru it when speeds are slow. Trans lines are new and have no links. I dont see a lack of fluid flow being the problem or lack of cooling but I could be wrong about the cooling.
The trans was rebuilt before I bought the truck so I know nothing about it that other than it has been rebuilt.

If you click the link in my sig you can see pix of how the cooling system and trans cooler are set up.
220 is hot for a trans.

FWIW, the A4LD is a total pile of shit for a trans - I had one, puked numerous times on me like you said, and in the end it needed a bell housing because the pump bushing is finished in place. Do some searches on TRS and you'll come up with the info to figure out what the deal is with measuring your bell housing...but if you're eating pump seals over and over, I'll bet my bucks that's what it is.

And, FWIW, the swap to an M50DR1 isn't that bad if you get all the pieces from a doner truck.......swapped one in 3 years ago and havent had a lick of transmission issues since
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Old August 27th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #7
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I would agree the A4LD and all variations of it are junk. Not sure what you mean by "the pump bushing is finished in place" ?
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Old August 28th, 2009, 03:38 AM   #8
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I drove the truck around yesterday for a while and it didnt leak a drop again.

The 220 was the water temp not trans temp btw.

I will check the vent this weekend. Im just hoping to get a couple more outings from it before I rip it apart and drop my 5.0/c4 in so I guess I will just trailer it instead of driving to and from.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #9
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I would agree the A4LD and all variations of it are junk. Not sure what you mean by "the pump bushing is finished in place" ?
The bushing for the pump has to be machined after its pressed into the bell housing....that's what the "finished in place" nomenclature means.

You can replace them without machining, but the trans will likely eat pump seals every 5-10k.....
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Old September 15th, 2009, 08:23 PM   #10
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i hear so much bad about the a4ld but its mostly about luck and how warm it gets i added an aftermarket cooler and i ran the same a4ld in my 94 ranger for 3-1/2 years and it finaly gave up the ghost on me earlier this year.. i ran 35s with 3.27 gears 35s with 4.10 gears and now 37s with 4.56 gears and i am by no means easy on it..
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