Need some help. 98 Continental transmission fluid leak, pretty confused here

Lincoln Continental

  1. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother LVC Member

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    Well thanks in advance to any help I can gather from you all. Well heres the issue and info:
    1998 Lincoln Continental
    transmission fluid leak:
    On a recent trip to Cleveland approx 130 miles away, I made it about 100 miles weather was fairly warm outside (80 or so) going down the highway check transmission pops up on the display. I stop at the next rest stop and check the fluid as this has happened 3 times previously within the last 6months. Normally I add a bit of fluid and it runs fine. Well at the rest area I check the fluid and the stick is "bone" dry. I then notice a little bit of smoke arising from the bottom of car. I look below and a puddle of tranny fluid is gathering and coming out hot "boiling on the ground as it collects. Not a huge pile but the size of say a softball in diameter and not deep. Anyways so I add some stop leak as I have before and add a quart of tranny fluid raising the fluid level to the full mark.
    I drive down the highway and about 20 miles later the "check transmission" signals again. I stop check the fluid and it continues to drip and more smoke, I believe the smoke is due to the fluid hitting the exhaust heat shield. And the stick again registers empty? I add another quart. I drive a bit further maybe 30 miles, I stop check the stick...again dry and a puddle collecting?? Okay also I added mecon 3 as this is all that I could find at any gas station, a total of 3 quarts of it between all stops. Well afternoon come and we decide to head back. I add more stop leak and we make it home without having to add any more fluid.
    Well I get up today and drive maybe 30 miles and I check the fluid and it is low again, and it is dripping again....
    It only drips after being driven for 30 miles or so. It only drips when I am idling and for maybe 10 minutes after vehicle stops. It does not drip to my knowledge when vehicle is not being operated and sitting still. I am very worried any advice! Thanks
     
  2. pokeeto2

    pokeeto2 Active LVC Member

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    Did you check around the transmission pan. Maybe it needs a new gasket. If it is wet or if it's dripping around the tranny Fluid pan ( It's at the bottom of the tranny, can't miss it!!!) you just need a new gasket.
    Careful though when using Mercon 3.
    Ive seen some of these cars suffer with noise in the tranny & later fail when thats used in the long run.
     
  3. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother LVC Member

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    How hard and expensive is replacing the gasket by chance? Thanks for the reply!:)
     
  4. MichiganTeddyBear

    MichiganTeddyBear Dedicated LVC Member

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    should be fairly inexpensive for a gasket and filter, and if your a diy'er, not much trouble to change... can get messy tho, seems like non of the makers ever puts a drain plug in the trans pan. so to drain it, typically you remove all but a couple bolts, drop a corner of the pan and let it drain out that corner, then pull rest of bolts and pan down. filter should be changed at this time, usually easy to get to, once pan is off.

    Also check for other seals that may be leaking, or even leaking transmission cooler lines/fittings... trans cooler lines/fittings usually wont leak if the vehicle is not running, but can leak like crazy when it is
     
  5. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother LVC Member

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    WEll I guess theres nothing left to do but get my butt under the car and get to work. I definetely am a do it yourself 'er as I like to know it gets done right and learn along the way..LOL I may take pics as I go and post a little tutorial to help others and hopefully save myself and others some cash! Probably gonna get working on it in a few days! Thanks again all!:)
     
  6. pokeeto2

    pokeeto2 Active LVC Member

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    Well, just be sure that it is leaking around the pan, before buying a gasket/filter. If this is the case, here in CT at a nearby Autozone, a filter with a gaskets went for me at $18.75. Comes with a new tranny filter and a gasket. The gasket is folded and sometimes it's tricky to keep it flat on the pan when putting it back. I never searched if it is sold separatly but it could be, and it might be cheaper, but if the leak comes from that area, & if your comfortable doing things yourself, & your are cracking it open, might as well just change the filter too. It's not a hard job, just messy if not careful. It should take under two hours to do. Like said, make sure if this is were the leak is coming from.
     
  7. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother LVC Member

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    Another question approx. how much transmission fluid will I need to refill it once I empty the fluid? Thanks
     
  8. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother LVC Member

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    Well I got a chance to take a look underneath today and its not just the gasket pan it appears the main front seal also.:mad:
     
  9. pokeeto2

    pokeeto2 Active LVC Member

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    Well, what ever amount comes out, drain them in any old tranny or oil Quarts. Lets say if ya fill five of them. Go out and by Five Mercon 5 bottles and always 1 extra just incase. Just an example.
     
  10. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother LVC Member

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    Hello all well I have a few more questions, I need to replace the transmission at least this is what I have been told by the dealership. Couple questions all:

    #1 the front seal is leaking can it just be replaced? If so how much should that cost?
    #2 The dealership wants $3000 to put in a refurbished transmission is that sound right?
    #3 Is it possible to put in a transmission by myself? Dificulty?
    #4 a local mechanic wondered if this vehicle required a "special" tool? He said it was very expensive and certain model Continentals depending on year required it and he does not have it if it does.

    Also what model tranny is in my car continental..its a column shift

    Thanks again all to the best forum on the net!!
     
  11. MichiganTeddyBear

    MichiganTeddyBear Dedicated LVC Member

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    as far as specifics like whether or not special tools are needed, or the exact pn of the trans, I can't help ya...

    but a trans swap can be done by a diy, but it probably is a monsterous job on the FWD cars. I am not positive, but it may require basically dropping the engine tranny combo out of the bottom of the car. that probably requires special tools or jigs.
     

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