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Old 07-19-2019, 02:06 PM   #1
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5.9 Cummins - what fluid is this leaking?

Hi! Thanks for taking the time. Two years ago I bought a 93 ford Cummins diesel from a catholic school. 120k miles. Runs great. Drove it on a 100mile round trip over two hours at one time. No problems until I noticed a significant puddle of what I originally thought was oil from the blowby tube. Upon further inspection saw that it was actually coming from a few inches over where there is what looks like a 4”x6” panel with four bolts attached to what I think is the transmission. I checked the transmission fluid and it is low when it wasn’t just a few months ago. Can anybody help? Thanks again
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:08 PM   #2
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On mine there is an open hole there. When I first noticed it a couple of weeks after I got my bus I thought I might been vandalized, and all my transmission fluid would leak out if I put the transmission in gear. So I didn't put it in gear for a while.

Finally I contacted a retired Allison guy who now sells NOS parts for obsolete Allisons looking for a plug. He said there was no plug, and the threads inside were a BlueBird thing not an Allison thing. He wasn't sure what the threads would be for, but thought it was probably for something used to calibrate the tach.

There is nothing that comes out of that hole even when I put it in gear. By sticking my finger in the hole and feeling around, I can tell that it's only slightly oily in there.

I assume that your's leaks more and someone has put that patch on there to stop oil from leaking out of a bad crankshaft seal, but you'll have to get someone with real mechanical experience on a Cummins to confirm that. I'm moderately mechanical, but had never even seen a Cummins close up before I got this one.

Oh, just reread your post and want to say that my transmission fluid was never low, and if what's leaking out of there is very black, yours is not transmission fluid either.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I donít fully understand. Are you saying that panel is a patch and not part of the original transmission? Im not even fully sure it IS the transmission housing. The fluid that leaks from that corner bolt is a really dark brown...? The oil level is still good. Also, unless you are talking about the blowby tube (that thick plastic/rubber tube in the vicinity), thereís no other hole I can stick my finger in.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:40 PM   #4
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The panel on the fotos is on the tranny, located as it is just behind the engine's bell housing.
My first thought was a blown main seal, but the mating surfaces look dry.
That sole drop on the bolt head doesn't look like it could contribute to a considerable puddle, but hard to tell from a distance.
In the first foto, it looks like the bolt may have backed out a little. I'd take a socket to the other 3 first, just to get a feel for the torque, then try tightening the oily one.
No offense, but was the tranny at operating temps when you checked it's level?
Finally, I'd give the puddle a nasal appraisal. Compare it's odor against the engine & tranny dipsticks.
If your engine oil isn't very old, it could still be brownish instead of black. And with a 6 or more gallon capacity, that little loss wouldn't register on the stick.
Brown tranny fluid, on the other hand, has been badly over-heated and needs replaced PDQ.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:41 PM   #5
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No, that's not the transmission housing. That's the bellhousing. The transmission is on the other side, away from the oil pan. And I'm not sure that patch isn't original.

It may be what that retired Allison guy would call a Ford thing, but I'm sure there should not be much of anything coming from there.

What color is your oil? Has it been in there long enough to turn dark like it always does or is it still lighter?

Edit: I suppose it is possible that I am a little turned around because my BB is rear engine, but I don't think that patch, or whatever it is, is on the transmission. And I am very sure that mine just has a threaded hole there, which is just a little too large to take an oil pan plug and nothing comes out of it.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:25 PM   #6
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this is the housing that the torque converter is in. The "patch" is a factory access plate.

Looks pretty dry under there to me. Define significant puddle, a few feet in diameter? and few inchs?

Color and odor as suggested compare to engine oil on dipstick and also compare to transmission oil on its dipstick. From this location it could be either leaking and most likely is nothing to be worried about unless it really is a big puddle.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:53 PM   #7
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After looking carefully at these photos again and crawling under mine, I don't think your leakage has anything to do with the transmission. It's too far away. There is no fluid in my torque converter housing, or bellhousing, whatever you want to call it. I am pretty confident that it will turn out to be engine oil. But, as I said I am not an expert, and I am still hoping a Cummins expert will sign on to this discussion
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:57 PM   #8
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Looks like a rear main seal area to me.
Its REALLY common for the rear main to leak.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:00 PM   #9
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Yeah, it looks too far from the transmission. In my REBB it's the front seal that leaks very slightly at 90,000 miles, but then it's almost 25 years old.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gs1949 View Post
Yeah, mine leaks very slightly at 90,000 miles, but then it's almost 25 years old.
The bus I have right now is the only one I've owned that doesn't leak there.
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