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Olds Hydro oil leak, be scared...very scared!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jakespeed63, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Hey Boys and Girls, Happy Saturday morning. :) Perfect day to get involved in a weekend project. :eek:;) Couple weeks ago had to fix a trans leak for one of my good customers. so Thought would do a little tech piece for those of you whom may want to do the same. The patient is a 1960 Olds Super 88 Hydro, so this will not apply to the later model "Slim Jim" Let me start with the fact that, the fluid was not super burnt and with some prior throttle linkage adjustments, it shifted fine. This is very important and will get back to that later
    I verified that it was the front seal leaking by removing the lower inspection plate, cleaning off the front of the trans and running it, on jack.
    [​IMG]
    I recommend draining the fluid and removing pan first. If there are big piles of clutch or metal particles, may need complete open heart surgery. Also highly recommend draining the convertor. When the lower flywheel cover is removed, you will see a drain plug. All this will make the job less messy. So naturally clean the pan and replace the filter.
    [​IMG]
    The factory manual shows a slick tool that supports the engine, from down below. Was going to fab one up, but my pals at Paragon Customs, had this bar on their shelf, so rigged up a few HD ratchet straps down around the oil pan to secure the engine. IMPORTANT/SAFETY FIRST!! Please secure engine and double check before unbolting cross member. Engine WILL drop down and could kill you.:eek:
    [​IMG]
    I happen to have a nice HD floor model trans jack, but a good floor jack will work. May want to fab up a larger diameter plate to halp support this beast. Another ratchet strap around the trans is not a bad idea to also help secure it from slipping sliding. This bitch is heavy, so do not attempt without proper tools or a good friend, like NADS to help you. Alright, this article is more about the seal job, most of you know how to yank a trans, but please use common sense and be careful!!:cool::cool::cool:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Now for the ugly part.:eek::eek::p With any transmission, cleanliness is next to Godliness! Damn, this lump was grungy. 50+ years of W.V. road grime.coal dust and grease. Block off all the opening so as not to get ANY water inside.
    Worth noting...a 50 year oil leak sure does help preserve the floor boards. Owner recently pull up all the carpet and they where very solid. Very unusual for a West Virginia car. Like my hometown of Cleveland, them suckers POUR the salt on the roads in the winter. OK, back to business.
    [​IMG]
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  2. To access the front seal, you must remove the T/C. And to do this, it must be disassembled. With the torque converter nuts removed,(mark their location) the front cover can be removed and finished draining. Worth noting, is to mark the two halves, so they go back together the same way they came apart. Also make a note and marks where the T/C to flex plate nuts will live so when you put the two halves back together, you make provisions for them. they will end up being 90 degrees apart. Look at flex plate after removal for reference.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    There are several tight and tiny snap rings, so I also highly recommend a few good quality snap ring pliers, before you start this job. You will thank me, in the long run. Even if you need to run down to Sears, well worth the investment.
    With the front cover removed, you will see a small snap ring on the input shaft. Remove that and set aside in clean container. I always lay out ALL my parts in the order, they where removed, for easier assembly.

    [​IMG]
    Now the front turbine can be removed.
    [​IMG]
    One more snap ring
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]Now remove these thrust washers and bearing. Again, lay all these parts out in order on clean shop rag or container, so you can install them correctly.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. This liittle snap ring can be very tricky to get out of the groove. One more reason to have all the proper tools. I honestly did use a dental pick and screwdriver, but do not recommend it. I have allot of experience. A novice can either poke a hole in his hand, get frustrated fast OR lose a snap ring when it go flying across the shop.:eek:
    [​IMG]
    Now you can slide the rear section of the T/C off the input shaft and access the front trans seal. Again, please lay all your parts out on a clean surface, in order for future assembly. This job is a good time to become anal retentive. ;)
    [​IMG]I have this handy dandy seal tool, but when using, be careful not to get in too deep and damage the front bushing.
    [​IMG]
    The owner supplied the new seal kit. There are several suppliers like Fatsco, that can provide these parts. Do not have this info handy, PM me and will find out.
    [​IMG]
    I opted NOT to get into the front of the trans and split the case. It was not leaking and why open up a can of worms. So go ahead and install new front seal. Large o-ring is for T/C halves.
    [​IMG]
    VERY IMPORTANT! These style snap rings are beveled and only go on one way. If you install it ass backwards, the pliers will not be able to grip the ring in the future. Also worth noting, at this time, is ALL snap rings have a "sharp" side and "dull" side. Sharp side always goes against outside or thrust side. Dull or rounded edge may allow ring to pop off the shaft.
    [​IMG]
    OK, not going to bore y'all with assemble pics. Put all the pieces back in reverse order and with a little attention to detail you should be fine. Use some light W/B grease or white lithium on ALL the mating thrust surfaces!! This also helps keep things in place while assembling. Install the large o-ring on the T/C cover and loctite and torque all nuts to 10lb ft. Also highly recommend torquing pan bolts to 10lb ft as well.
    [​IMG]
    Naturally, you are going to replace the rear seal, while you have it out. Again, be careful not to damage the inner bushing. A little grease/white lube on the rubber, is a good idea too. With the plug turned at the top fill the T/C with 2 quarts of fresh fluid, before installation!!
    [​IMG]
    Finally back in! This trans takes 11 qts of fluid, when fully drained. Add slowly, can always add more. easier than overfilling.
    [​IMG]
    So now on to the linkage adjustment. Sorry did not take any pictures of this. First item to get correct is the rod down from engine to trans. With rod disconnected, at the top, push it down against its stop. Now with carb linkage also pushed against its stop, make sure pin can slide through. If not perfectly aligned, adjust clevis.
    Other TV/carb linkage adjustments are crucial to performance. Will try and snap some more pics this weekend. Without them the explanation will not make much sense. Good luck. PM me with any questions. Time for a 2nd cup of coffee. :)
    JT
    Orlando Misfires C.C.
     
  4. BADBIRDCAGE
    Joined: Feb 13, 2010
    Posts: 63

    BADBIRDCAGE
    Member
    from Virginia

    Thanks for a quite informative article on this subject. Second garage I worked at had a guy that was a Hydromatic specialist. His shop did all the Cadillac and Olds hydros in the area. It has been so long ago that I don't remember anything about them any more. That's too bad for me as knowledge, coupled with timing and the ability to perform mechanical tasks, really is everything.
     
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  5. "Doc" Parsons
    Joined: Jun 26, 2005
    Posts: 342

    "Doc" Parsons
    Member

    Man that was great! I needed that right now
    "Doc"
     
  6. michaelmoore
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 97

    michaelmoore
    Member

  7. Quote= That's too bad for me as knowledge, coupled with timing and the ability to perform mechanical tasks, really is everything.[/QUOTE] :):):)

    Truth be told, even with years of experience, had to refer to books. owner ponied up for the factory service manual. Worth its weight in gold. DO NOT recommend CR Rom versions, for sale on the net. Wiring diagrams and trans hydraulic schematics SUCK! Very grainy and blurred when you blow them up.

    JT
     
  8. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,691

    pitman
    Member
    from Hampsha

    Thanks for this walk thru! Good info here on technique for reassembly.
     
  9. Small snap rings, throttle linkage clips, c-clips, anything like that... a mechanic that I used to work with called them "Jesus clips".
    As in, "Jesus, where'd THAT one fly off to..???

    GREAT tech piece. A ton of ass-saving tips and tricks there. Thanks for posting.
     
  10. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,079

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  11. JT, what kind of fluid is good for old hydramatics? I've heard "any Dextron will work" and "type F is best" etc...
    I wanna service my Caddy, but don't wanna kill my trans :eek:
     
  12. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,788

    wvenfield
    Member

    I did the front seal on my 56 Pontiac two seasons ago. I hope to never have to again. I was also wanting to clean the front end up a bit also so I just pulled the engine tranny in one piece.

    I will note that the diagram in the old Motors manual sucked. Luckily I know two old timers (one retired tranny expert) that still knew these forwards and backwards and had him make sure I got it all back together right.

    The other helped me get the cables right (along with a couple guys here). I can do the linkage in my sleep now but I hope to never have to pull that beast again.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Have always used Dexron, but am a member on the Classic Olds board and will verify with some of them. Seemed to work great in this slush box.
    Going to try and snap some pics on Sunday of the linkage, so y'all can see the proper adjustments. This Holiday coupe "stack Shifted" so bad when the new owner got it. After making all the linkage adjustments from the factory manual, it worked 100% better. Ernie was super pleased.:)
    JT
     
  14. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,520

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    Cool thread, I had fun helping you......even if it nearly killed me.

    Thanks for putting that up for all thre Hydro guys out there.
     
  15. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,119

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    I had a 59 motor and trans in my 53 88 and I got lazy and had a shop reseal the trans,since the trans came out of a junkyard where it sat for many years water ran down the vent on top pf the convertor and rusted the convertor housing around the front seal so I had to come up with another and it did not leak again.
     
  16. Ramblur
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,101

    Ramblur
    Member

    Great Job! Not that I see myself dealing with any hydros in the near future,
    but I sure wouldn't be afraid to attempt after seeing this. Thanks.
     
  17. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,438

    oldcarfart
    Member

    I was always told to hold a rag near snap ring being removed to "lesson" the "JESUS!" clip effect (as in JESUS, where the hell did that fly off to?)
     
  18. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,438

    oldcarfart
    Member


    I was told type F, also noted that type F acts as a performance fluid in many transmissions, cheaper than "race fluid".
     
  19. Cratethis
    Joined: Jun 5, 2010
    Posts: 23

    Cratethis
    Member
    from N. Ky.

    So... are ya able to post this up yet?
     
  20. Sorry Fella's, having some computer problems. Should be able to post those pics within the next few days. Look who's dropped the ball??? :eek::eek:
    JT
     
  21. Cratethis
    Joined: Jun 5, 2010
    Posts: 23

    Cratethis
    Member
    from N. Ky.

    No big deal. I just got my Olds 88 and have the service manual, but would like to see a real person walking through it. The book is good, but what you've already laid out is great!
     
  22. Good tech. I worked on these transmissions back in the 60s and can verify that everything in them goes together one way and in a specific order. On the truck version we used engine oil for fluid. They aren't rocket science but as you said it's a good time to become anal retentive.
     
  23. truman3
    Joined: Apr 4, 2011
    Posts: 8

    truman3
    Member
    from TEXAS

    I just did this on my 62 Caddy... Mine had a small leak and a friend, with a nice shop offered to help me.... Did exactly what was shown in the beginning of the post, no problems and everything went back into place and the leak was gone.

    When I left the shop I did notice a slight vibration. I drove on home, parked it and took it out a few days later and the vibration is still there. Not better or worse. It seems to be noticable in 3rd or 4th and come "in and out" with acceleration meaning vibrates faster with accel and slower when I let off...

    Is this drive shaft? U-joints? Any pointers on where to start?

    And then a couple of days ago I notcied another leak. This time a foot or two behind the first leak putting it near or behind the pan, etc. The first leak was where the trans mounts up and this one is mid way and a bigger leak for sure... Got under it in my garage and couldnt locate the leak as there is a lot of crap under there but the pan is wet. Any reason for this? Any pointers?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  24. Hey Truman, the leak MAY be easier to track down, than the vibration. Was reviewing the pictures, and thinking that maybe one of the cooler lines has a hair line crack/split or came loose, where it screws into the case. May need to get it back up on jack stands, waste a few cans of brake clean, run it, while watching for any seapage. Please be careful to have it properly supported!!

    As far as the vibration issue, while it is up in the air, double check the driveshaft. Did you happen to maybe lose one of the tiny needle bearings out of the u-joint cups??? try rotating shaft 180 degrees on the rear axle yoke as well. Otherwise, short of taking it to a shop and having the balanced checked, wonder if a thrust washer is in backwards. DId you mark the convertor and re-assemble exactly the "clock" position it came apart?? Good luck, keep us posted.

    BTW...apologize for dropping the ball and not following through with details of throttle linkage adjustments. MY Olds has been stored in a wharehouse for almost two months and been super busy with my recent marriage and "honey do list". Gotta get the new Mrs. T all settled in, then it will be back to business as usual. :D

    JT
     
  25. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,094

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Did you possibly overfill slightly and it is spitting out the breather tube on top and running down the case? Just a thought.
     
  26. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,094

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    Nice tech article. Torque converter is not a torque converter, simply a 2 member fluid coupling. Most people think converters and fluid couplings are same, but not so. NO STATOR!

    Those snap rings can be a bear. I primarily work with single and dual range (single coupling) hydros and they are less trouble as far as fluid coupling disassembly. Just need to remember the check valve direction. But they are more difficult putting back in car, especially with the o-ring type flywheel gasket. Did one on my Hudson Superjet and used the Chevy rectangular cut o-ring and vaseline. Somehow it stayed where it was suppose to. It really is suppose to be a square cut o-ring, but couldn't get it anywhere.
     
  27. bigec
    Joined: Sep 16, 2007
    Posts: 68

    bigec
    Member

    great info!! any suggestions on finding a manual for these. i have a 60 also. my problem is slow shifting..seems like a couple seconds inbetween gears before it actually fully engages. would that be an adjustment?
     
  28. Providing the internals are still OK, may be as simple as making the proper adjustments. Home computer has crashed, so very limited at work, with what I can do/post. PM me your address and I will old skool xerox pages and send them to you.

    JT
     
  29. Just to bring y'all up to speed...I recently rebuilt the engine in this olds. Last week I had to remove and tear down, due to a internal noise problem. Long story short, the thrust surface on the crank was damaged and all the metal particles caused bearing damage throughout the entire engine.:mad:
    So, wonder why the transmission could have caused this?? Did not have any problems after last years trans repair. And, the machine shop made no indication of relative problem or damage, when we did the crank. Hell, they only turned it .010 (rods and mains)
    Cannot think what may have caused the problem. Whole job went together without any extreme difficulties.
    Any of you Olds guys had this happen to you?
    JT
     
  30. ratt7
    Joined: Sep 23, 2005
    Posts: 362

    ratt7
    Member

    Great tech pictures, always helpful !
     

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