Question about fluid level in a Torqueflite

str12-340

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I'm just about finished installing a freshly rebuilt 42RH (A500) in my 70 Dart. I put part of a quart in the torque converter when the trans went in and then put about 5 quarts down the dipstick hole, until it came up to the full mark on the dip stick (yeah I know that mark is there for running hot in Neutral, but I had to use some indicator, just to get a fresh dry trans and motor going).

Nothing seamed to leak, but every time I went into the shop to work on the car, there was a small puddle of trans fluid on the floor. I could work for a hour and no drips or maybe just one. Leave it for 24 hours and there's a little puddle. I have searched all over the trans and can't find any leaks above the pan, but the pan rail at the joint between the case and the pan is wet and it apparently drips off the pan edge because no fluid on the lower part of the pan. I tried tightening the pan bolts a bit and they seem tight.

I concluded that the new pan gasket was leaking. I got a fancy LubeLocker pan gasket from Summit and am in the process of installing it. I got the pan off and one thing that I noticed is that only about a half inch of the dip stick sticks out of the case, so the fill level when running is well above the pan gasket. Are all Torqueflites like this? I presume when the car is off that fluid drains down and the level is even higher.

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george joseph reid

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You are correct on Convertor drain back. Common on most Mopars. Sonax makes a new and improved pressure regulator valve to address that and other issues. The dip stick and tube look like it is not all the way in. Is it an Oring style? Good chance that is where the leak is. Pull and check.
 

a-bodyguy

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that is correct
convertor drain back very common
shift shaft seal maybe
 

Demonx2

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Mine leaked like what you are describing too. It was the dipstick tube seal so make sure the tube enters the case straight on and is fully seated.
 

str12-340

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Like I said in the original post there is no indication of anything leaking above the pan gasket - it's all completely dry. But then again we haven't started the car so we might discover leaks when everything is under pressure. The leaks I have now are just when sitting in the garage.

I'm still looking for an answer to the original question: when a torqueflite is properly filled, is the pan gasket below the level of the fluid in the pan area?
 

Mopar69gts

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Like I said in the original post there is no indication of anything leaking above the pan gasket - it's all completely dry. But then again we haven't started the car so we might discover leaks when everything is under pressure. The leaks I have now are just when sitting in the garage.

I'm still looking for an answer to the original question: when a torqueflite is properly filled, is the pan gasket below the level of the fluid in the pan area?
Yes
And your dipstick looks normal
About 1/2" showing.
 

Mopar69gts

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Oh and you'll probably need to add some more fluid.
I think my 904 took 9.5 quarts with a stock pan.
Info I found on fluid capacity on a a500
Says 10 quarts total after rebuild.
I'd start with 8 in the pan 1 in the converter.
Check it right when you get it running in neutral.
You don't want it low sucking air that can cause damage quickly.
 
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george joseph reid

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Still think the dipstick is not correct. Here is why, to get the fluid to read on the stick the level would be above the pan rail and up in the tube. A pic of the tube on the top would verify if it is in all the way. Wrong tube and stick maybe?
 

RustyRatRod

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Be careful of saying there's no fluid above the pan rail. I've seen time and again what people thought were pan leaks or elsewhere and it was the dipstick the whole time.
 

Mopar69gts

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Still think the dipstick is not correct. Here is why, to get the fluid to read on the stick the level would be above the pan rail and up in the tube. A pic of the tube on the top would verify if it is in all the way. Wrong tube and stick maybe?
Yes there is fluid in the dipstick tube
And a lot more over night once the converter drains back.
 

george joseph reid

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Little back story. was fighting a leak on a cable shifted 63 727 in a 63 Belvedere. Over the course of a week it would leave about 2-3 qts on the floor. It was coming from the park cable housing area. New seal gasket ect still leaked. It was basicly a combo of convertor drain back and weeping up the cable jacket crimp area. First thing was the Sonax pressure controll valve for the drain issue and then seal the cable with heat shrink with the sealer inside it. Did the valve first and it took care of 90% of the leak. Then the cable mod. Now no more leak. Those cables are hard to find and expensive if you do. No repops I know of so just NOS or Gamble on used.The Sonax valve addresses the drain issue and the lazy cold start put it in gear and wait or put in neutral to get the juices flowing. Other issues it take care of also. Go to their site for more info.Even my 92 Ram Cummins has the lazy engagement after a day or 2 but no leaks.
 
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