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Thread: Shop for 4.0 rear main seal

  1. #1
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    Shop for 4.0 rear main seal

    03 TJ 4.0 manual transmission.
    From the location I think it's the rear main seal, common on the 4.0.
    But I swear the oil smells like transmission fluid so maybe the front input seal. Standard transmission not auto.
    Just can't do the work I used to on my jeep with my bad back.
    Recommendations?
    Thanks
    Randy
    03 TJ... front and rear ARB. 4:56 gears, 4.5" lift, Warn 5 on 4.5 hub conversion, 33" TrXus Mud Terrain, heavy duty SYE, Tummy Tucker, winch, front and rear tow hooks.

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    Call doug at performance auto 825-7870. great work, on time and always affordable. He is qualified to identify and address ur issue. Good luck.
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    Had Christianson auto do mine. 1 month later it's leaking again. All sorts of excuses not to honor the warranty.
    N7TJX

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    Sure it isn't the oil filter adapter? or valve cover gasket? both can seem like the rear main seal as the oil tends to travel back there when driving. Both are pretty cheap to swap.

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    Not the oil filter adaptor, might be back of valve cover where I can't see it to well.
    I'll have the professionals look at it.

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    Check around the distributor seal too. I was about to replace my rear main seal in my '97 TJ, but in cleaning up the block discovered that the leak was coming from the distributor and running down the block. Much easier to replace than the rear main seal. I've heard the oil pressure sensor can be a weak point also.


    Best, J4R

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    Did a little more looking and those places look okay also. The two grommets on top the valve cover are weeping but not enough for what I see underneath.
    Talked to Doug at Performance Auto, going to swing by today on my way to work and he'll take a quick peek.

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    Is your transmission fluid really bad? Your transmission could be be overheating and pushing oil through your vent tube down and around your bell housing. If your transmission fluid is really bad it could easily be mistaken for motor oil.

  9. #9
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    Changed my transmission fluid May 2017, gets changed every three years. No deep water crossing. Last change I saw nothing suspicious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattxj View Post
    Is your transmission fluid really bad? Your transmission could be be overheating and pushing oil through your vent tube down and around your bell housing. If your transmission fluid is really bad it could easily be mistaken for motor oil.
    Here is a wild one, maybe.
    I have a belly up skid plus an enginge skid plate that attaches to the belly up and goes almost to the radiator and is almost frame to frame wide. Been on for about 12 years now.
    Is the lack of air flow causing my transmission to overheat, and if so how do I know? Oil changes look fine, always shifted crappy from the day I bought it.. I did switch to Royal Purple syncromesh maybe 4 years ago and that helped it shift better.
    Now as for the oil i I see it's been a weep for about 10 years but just this last year has turned into a really really slow drip.

  11. #11
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    Yesterday I took off the engine skid so whoever looks at my Jeep can have a better view.
    If the leak goes away I think I have my answer.

  12. #12
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    How's the fluid level in the transmission?

    Skid should not affect airflow. If anything it should channel more air along the sides of the transmission.
    Reno4x4Garage.com - CNC plasma cutting, welding, tube bending and custom 4x4 fabrication - (775) 771-2734

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    I'll double check it this weekend and give update

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    Hey Velvetant. For some reason I think you are the one who called me over to this forum years ago from Pirate or maybe JeepForum. Anyway, I have an '03 TJ also and first got a RMS leak maybe 8 years ago. I replaced it and within a year it started leaking again after several months, stared off super slow, but now its as bad as the first time. I've read some stuff that once they start it's hard to get them to stop even with a new seal. Not sure if they end up marring the crank or what but there are reports out there of others having it leak after a replacement. I keep a pan under it, because its probably a drop or so every night. I probably should have changed mine again, but way to lazy now adays. When I was diagnosing mine, I laid under there with a spray bottle of simple green and cleaned everything up spic and span and then wedged a little wad of paper towel into that small opening between the cover plate and bell housing. Took a few days, but soon enough the paper turned oily and all the exterior surfaces were dry, so it wasn't coming fro up top. Anyway, I do hope if you figure it out. I've been tempted to do mine again, but damn, I swear I installed it correctly, but was kind of let down when it started up again.

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    I keep hearing the horror story of people replacing it and it starts leaking again. Makes me not want to spend the money to fix it.

  16. #16
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    I had Jeep replace my RMS under warranty on a 04 TJ and it started leaking again 4 months later. I put a engine skid plate on and that kept the oil from dripping on my garage floor. It never leaked enough to add oil between changes so I didn't worry about replacing the RMS ever again.

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    What oil do you run? Going to a thicker weight will slow down the drip.

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    Fluid level in transmission is good,
    I run Mobil one 5-30 extended mileage.
    Looking around now that the engine skid is off I can see the oil pan gasket is leaking about a third of the way forward but I don't see any oil on the block coming down from the top.
    I have an appt this Friday to have it looked at.

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    I'd run 10-40 and maybe even put a quart of 20-50 in.

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    The shop that looked at it says it's the oil pan gasket and drain plug, not coming from main seal. So I tightened up the oil pan bolts a little, some seemed loose. Got a new drain plug and cleaned up everything. I will keep an eye on it before I put the engine skid plate back on.

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    Those bolts should not be too tight, I believe the spec is only 7 ft lbs for the smaller and 10-11 for the larger bolts.

    I would consider switching to conventional oil, my 4.0 always leaked synthetics a tad. I switched to Napa Conventional and no issues, just changed every 4K miles. People say not to switch from synthetic and vice versa but I never had any issues and put almost 100k on the motor since switching. I ran 10w30 for what itís worth, both synthetic and non. I also replaced the team main seal myself. Itís time consuming but cheap and relatively easy to do if you are mechanically inclined


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  22. The Following User Likes jsipe007's Post:

    Dennis (February 5th, 2018)

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    Quote Originally Posted by velvetant View Post
    The shop that looked at it says it's the oil pan gasket and drain plug, not coming from main seal. So I tightened up the oil pan bolts a little, some seemed loose. Got a new drain plug and cleaned up everything. I will keep an eye on it before I put the engine skid plate back on.
    Sorry to be a pessimist, but I'd bet money this doesn't solve your drip.

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    Not at all, I'm pretty sure it'll still be there.

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    Pull the pan, pound the holes the bolts go through flat again, replace gasket, and don't over tighten bolts.
    It's not the problem, it's the solution, that counts.

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    Still leaking, haha.
    But now that everything is clean I can tell it's coming from the pan about a third of the way forward from the rear.
    Needs to go in the shop for a few things anyway so I'll add that to the list.

  27. The Following 2 Users Like velvetant's Post:

    CashMoney (February 12th, 2018), Dirtydonky (February 11th, 2018)

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