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Old 06-14-2012, 09:33 PM
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T-350 Newly Installed is leaking BAD

Hello all, I have a 1988 Chevrolet C-1500 with a 1997 Vortec 350 Motor with 90,000 miles on it. I also just recently put in a TH350 automatic transmission that was rebuilt a year ago according to the owner and sat in his barn afterwards. After installing the tranny, a sleuth of problems started mainly the tranny leaking like crazy. When i filled the tranny up the first time, i put about 11 quarts of transmission fluid in it. The transmission was bone dry when i installed it so i figured it would need the extra for the torque converter. Needless to say, when i drove the truck, fluid sprayed out of the kickdown cable seal, so i pulled it out and put some teflon tape around it and reinstalled it, which stopped the leak. After refilling it (about 3 quarts) i drove it again and it leaked out transmission fluid again. This time, it came out of the rear driveshaft seal. After replacing the seal and yet again refilling it, i drive it again this time with smoking (fluid getting on header pipes) and even more leaking but now, i can't get very far because the truck starts to surge after about 15 minutes of driving. After pulling over and looking under the truck, i saw transmission fluid all over the left and right side of the transmission and the top of the dipstick tube and a steady stream coming from the driveshaft yoke. After doing a bit of research, i find that an output shaft seal is to blame for the yoke leak. But why does my truck surge after a little driving? I am so sick and tired of trying to figure out what is wrong with my truck its taken a toll on me and my wife. I used to love driving it but now i dread getting behind the wheel of it for fear it will break down on me. Its my daily driver but i also loved racing it. It was fast enough to beat an IROC-Z once. I just want my baby back. Without all the leaks and surges.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:55 AM
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Sorry to hear of all your troubles but that is a price we all have paid trusting other peoples word, I know I have paid the price several times.

One problem with the seals is they dried out while sitting, especially if there was no fluid in the tranny at all when you got it. This also brings up a concern about any internal O-Rings, gaskets, etc., they may be dried out and cracked too. The surging may be caused by low fluid levels but it could also be caused by internal leakage somewhere. It sounds like you bought it as a "rebuilt" tranny, I doubt that can be verified. There are plenty of TH350's out there or you could tear it down and rebuild it yourself if you feel comfortable doing it. I think either way, to get rid of your problems, the tranny will need replaced with a known good one or the one you have will need disassembled and gone through.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:42 AM
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Oh man that isn't what I wanted to hear but it makes sense being that it was unused for a long time. Thanks for your input
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:37 AM
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is there anything to pour in to help revitalize the seals? Im about to install my rebuilt th400 and its been sitting for awhile.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 0trbo4myCHEVUICK
is there anything to pour in to help revitalize the seals? Im about to install my rebuilt th400 and its been sitting for awhile.
yeah there is, all of you old timers will remember this one, even though we wont do it,because this a 'short fix',meaning it will last long enough for it to get out of your driveway when you sell it !! BRAKE FLUID, I've never used it but some of the old timers (I mean OLD) swore by it.. This is really for laughs for us old guys. but there are some products on the market out there, but I personally havent tried them so I could not advise you on this myself, anyone else who has used any of these products care to weigh in on this ?? I would like to know myself
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0trbo4myCHEVUICK
is there anything to pour in to help revitalize the seals? Im about to install my rebuilt th400 and its been sitting for awhile.

If the tranny was rebuilt only a year ago, even say 3 years ago and was strored inside, the seals wouldn't be dried out yet. Of course the rebuilder would have used Tranjel on the seals during reassembly helping preserve them.

Pull the tranny, tear it down and rebuild it. Its not that hard.
If you were near me, you could bring it to my place and I would walk you thru it.

I think someone has given you a line of BS. I know its never happened before but there is always a first time.

EDIT: I've taken some trannys apart where the owner has used Lucas additive and the seals were very soft.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0trbo4myCHEVUICK
is there anything to pour in to help revitalize the seals? Im about to install my rebuilt th400 and its been sitting for awhile.
I wouldn't woory too much about your tranny if you know for a fact it was rebuilt. The problem comes when people trying to sell you something throws out a bunch of BS just to get you to buy it. The only reason the seals came up in this thread is because the OP was saying his tranny was leaking BAD and from some seals. His tranny was either not rebuilt or it sat somewhere for a long time and the seals dried out. As far as using something on the seals to preserve them, all shops and competent people do, it's the incompetent ones that you have to wonder about. We see it everyday.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:03 PM
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what's weird is it all started after i went from the original 350 small block (88 model truck) to a vortec 350 small block (97 model truck). after swapping motors, i reinstalled the original tranny which was a 700r4. The truck ran fine the first day i drove about 45 miles and then the transmission blew the kickdown cable seal. After replacing the seal, i refilled it yet again and drove it and the transmission wouldn't shift into 3rd, blew the kickdown cable seal, and started leaking from the pan gasket. At that point, i removed the transmission and bought the 350 turbo (60$) from a friend and had the same issues happen again, except for the slipping. i cannot find an output shaft seal without having to buy a kit and im afraid that if i just replace the seal, that something else will blow. I have thought about getting a rebuild kit from summit which comes with upgrades to make the tranny beefier. Any suggestions as to what course i should take? Also, i should add that the kickdown cable isn't hooked onto the stud on the throttle body its just hanging out of the way. I wonder if maybe there is something im not doing right when i'm driving because i let it shift into 3rd gear and just keep a steady foot on the gas pedal without stomping on it, i wonder if that is when the seal bursts....
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevyman87
what's weird is it all started after i went from the original 350 small block (88 model truck) to a vortec 350 small block (97 model truck). after swapping motors, i reinstalled the original tranny which was a 700r4. The truck ran fine the first day i drove about 45 miles and then the transmission blew the kickdown cable seal. After replacing the seal, i refilled it yet again and drove it and the transmission wouldn't shift into 3rd, blew the kickdown cable seal, and started leaking from the pan gasket. At that point, i removed the transmission and bought the 350 turbo (60$) from a friend and had the same issues happen again, except for the slipping. i cannot find an output shaft seal without having to buy a kit and im afraid that if i just replace the seal, that something else will blow. I have thought about getting a rebuild kit from summit which comes with upgrades to make the tranny beefier. Any suggestions as to what course i should take? Also, i should add that the kickdown cable isn't hooked onto the stud on the throttle body its just hanging out of the way. I wonder if maybe there is something im not doing right when i'm driving because i let it shift into 3rd gear and just keep a steady foot on the gas pedal without stomping on it, i wonder if that is when the seal bursts....

Rebuild it. For 60 bucks, do you really think you got a rebuilt transmission?

All the other stuff is just coincidence.
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