Decisions, decisions.... - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
94-98 Powertrain Discussion of components that are directly involved in the power production and all that is needed to get and keep the truck moving . Engine , Transmission Ect...NO ADVERTISING

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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Decisions, decisions....

Not positive, but I think I've got tranny fluid coming out the inspection cover in the bell housing. It's leaving a spot on the ground. I have had a very small leak at the line coming off the heat exchanger where it goes under the truck forever, and I suppose that could have worsened and is blowing back under the truck when I drive, but if not then I have a 2nd leak.

This is a problem because the tranny would have to come out and I don't have a good place to tackle such a job right now. So, it would have to go into a shop. That creates a new problem because I am not near a shop I trust. Further, I start to wonder if it's foolish to pay $1,000 for somebody to pull the tranny and transfer case and fix a few seals without just doing a rebuild since it's already out. I'm at 163,000 miles right now. I've got about 130,000 on the BD torque converter and valve body and other goodies.

The trans has never slipped or skipped a beat, and I've never overheated it or run it low on fluid. I have serviced it religiously, in fact just did it again like 5,000 miles ago. I could ignore it and continue to add fluid if necessary but I like to repair things and don't like my truck to make a mess of driveways, etc. My truck has never leaked anything onto the ground since I've had it, so this is new.

The more I think about it, the more sense a rebuild seems to make. But then I start wondering about spending $5,500 - $6,000 for a tranny on a 23 year old truck, and how much sense that makes. And then there's the fact that the oil pan should be replaced if I pull the tranny since there's surface rust on it and I should tackle that at that time.

I'm torn. I don't know what kind of commitment I can make to this thing. The clear coat on the hood is gone, so I want to have that painted, too. But then I think I should just have the whole truck painted at that point. You see where this is going....

I'm back to considering a brand new dually and just moving on from this old gal. Her age is becoming a concern for me.


'97 3500 4x4 CC DRW, 4.10, Banks PP, BD tc, vb, eb, 60# springs, Torqloc, gauges, Weatherguard, B&W...
'92 CC W350 DRW sold '92 CC D350 DRW sold '12 Laramie CC 3500 4x4 SRW sold
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 11:12 AM
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Might just be a rear main seal. And not a front pump seal. Unless you can actually discern the fluid 100%.

That being said my old 99 had a valve cover gasket leak at the back corner drivers side, which seeped down into everything else.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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It is 100% ATF.

'97 3500 4x4 CC DRW, 4.10, Banks PP, BD tc, vb, eb, 60# springs, Torqloc, gauges, Weatherguard, B&W...
'92 CC W350 DRW sold '92 CC D350 DRW sold '12 Laramie CC 3500 4x4 SRW sold
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 08:02 PM
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How much is it leaking? You can buy a lot of replacement ATF for $5000.

97 3500, 2 WD, G56, slightly bombed, 1.3 million miles. Started the second million on 8/24/13
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 08:21 PM
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Changing a front pump seal is not a $1k job. It's a couple hours at most for R&R of the trans and about 10 minutes to R&R the pump and replace the seal. Almost any competent shop can have that done quickly without any issue.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 09:19 PM
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I normally get rid of a vehicle after 2 big repairs back to back. iirc you are in that boat.

I re did my front pump seal, rear main, oil pan and serviced the transmission on my 94 about 2 years ago, i dont remember the cost but everything was less than $500. Parts through the dealer and Cummins. Did it in my drive way in a weekend.
If you want to upgrade the flexplate/torque converter now is the time. I wouldn't replace/rebuild a transmission unless it was really old or giving me signs of failure...

The return $$$ on a new truck is horrible, but if you are looking to get out of tinkering and something more comfortable the story changes....

Daily driver/ workhorse: 1994 2500SLT 4x4 Auto. Hewitt EGT, Boost, Trans gauges, Under hood Mech FP gauge, Trident fuel lines, Tork Tek OFV, Mag-Hytec DD Transmission Pan, Ford manual hub conversion, Diamond eye 4" turbo back, 37337 Upgrade. 260K

98 2500slt 4x4 ECLB moldy G56, south bend clutch 3rd gen trac bar , boxed control arms, billet tappet cover w/ dual breathers trident fuel lines, Tork Tek OFV, 4' stainless side dump with muffler 240k
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thor363 View Post
Changing a front pump seal is not a $1k job. It's a couple hours at most for R&R of the trans and about 10 minutes to R&R the pump and replace the seal. Almost any competent shop can have that done quickly without any issue.
You should definitely come and open a transmission shop and I will happily pay your couple hours time and parts. Meanwhile, in the real world, it's $1,000 to R&R the trans/transfer case and fix the leaks. I don't control what the shops charge, but I have already talked to them.

'97 3500 4x4 CC DRW, 4.10, Banks PP, BD tc, vb, eb, 60# springs, Torqloc, gauges, Weatherguard, B&W...
'92 CC W350 DRW sold '92 CC D350 DRW sold '12 Laramie CC 3500 4x4 SRW sold
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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How much is it leaking? You can buy a lot of replacement ATF for $5000.
I know. This is all new so I need to troubleshoot it myself as best I can, which is also getting an idea of the rate of loss. I was down in LA with a trailer last month and I suspect that's when it started leaking, because I was under the truck before that trip and it was not wet like it is now.

There are a number of scenarios I am considering, I just need to do what's right for me. One of them is canceling some of my trips and parking the truck for the winter, buying another rig to get around for the time being, then next spring/summer fixing it or whatever.

The price of the new trucks really pushes me towards keeping this, but I just don't want to spend a lot of money on it then have it start nickel and diming me to death every year. It's painful when that starts happening with old trucks, not just financially but the stress and what not.

'97 3500 4x4 CC DRW, 4.10, Banks PP, BD tc, vb, eb, 60# springs, Torqloc, gauges, Weatherguard, B&W...
'92 CC W350 DRW sold '92 CC D350 DRW sold '12 Laramie CC 3500 4x4 SRW sold
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alanack6795 View Post
I normally get rid of a vehicle after 2 big repairs back to back. iirc you are in that boat.

I re did my front pump seal, rear main, oil pan and serviced the transmission on my 94 about 2 years ago, i dont remember the cost but everything was less than $500. Parts through the dealer and Cummins. Did it in my drive way in a weekend.
If you want to upgrade the flexplate/torque converter now is the time. I wouldn't replace/rebuild a transmission unless it was really old or giving me signs of failure...

The return $$$ on a new truck is horrible, but if you are looking to get out of tinkering and something more comfortable the story changes....
Like you, I get rid of things when they start to show me that they are going to turn into money pits. This truck would be hard for me to get rid of. I have grown attached to it.

I prefer to do the work myself but don't have an indoor shop right now. I have actually been looking around for a warehouse or something to rent temporarily so I can tear it apart, but no such luck. Not only would I pull the tranny and fix the leak, but I'd replace the oil pan, tear apart the front axle and replace the ball joints, and do some other stuff. I really need to take this truck out of commission for a while and give it some love. It's not bad by any means, but it's just that after 23 years and 165k miles, things are starting to happen, you know?

'97 3500 4x4 CC DRW, 4.10, Banks PP, BD tc, vb, eb, 60# springs, Torqloc, gauges, Weatherguard, B&W...
'92 CC W350 DRW sold '92 CC D350 DRW sold '12 Laramie CC 3500 4x4 SRW sold
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-16-2019, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownbear View Post
Like you, I get rid of things when they start to show me that they are going to turn into money pits. This truck would be hard for me to get rid of. I have grown attached to it.

I prefer to do the work myself but don't have an indoor shop right now. I have actually been looking around for a warehouse or something to rent temporarily so I can tear it apart, but no such luck. Not only would I pull the tranny and fix the leak, but I'd replace the oil pan, tear apart the front axle and replace the ball joints, and do some other stuff. I really need to take this truck out of commission for a while and give it some love. It's not bad by any means, but it's just that after 23 years and 165k miles, things are starting to happen, you know?
Its up to you, the oil pan is easy to do with the transmission is out. Drop the pick up tube in the pan and it slides out the back.

I spent $5000 slaping a g56 in my 98 i paid $1500 on the truck.

Beauty is in the eye if the beholder, i've owned my 94 since '13 and put over 100k on it, beating the crap out of the truck, overloading it, and it still never let me down. I wouldn't sell that truck for 20 grand.

A new truck will drink a lot more fuel, cost more to insure, be harder to fix ect ect.
Its a lot cheaper to pay a good shop a few grand here and there to get some odds and ends tied up.

I can afford a new truck, but I would put in a new engine and transmission before i bought a new one.
Its your money and more importantly your time.
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Daily driver/ workhorse: 1994 2500SLT 4x4 Auto. Hewitt EGT, Boost, Trans gauges, Under hood Mech FP gauge, Trident fuel lines, Tork Tek OFV, Mag-Hytec DD Transmission Pan, Ford manual hub conversion, Diamond eye 4" turbo back, 37337 Upgrade. 260K

98 2500slt 4x4 ECLB moldy G56, south bend clutch 3rd gen trac bar , boxed control arms, billet tappet cover w/ dual breathers trident fuel lines, Tork Tek OFV, 4' stainless side dump with muffler 240k
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 01:04 AM
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I concur fully

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-17-2019, 10:31 AM
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Ya know, I know that feeling exactly all too well.
I buy a truck that the PO claims was the best thing they ever had. Test drive is all good. Hand over the cash, get home and all of a sudden the little dodge problems just happen... its literally like they transform into crap boxes overnight. So I know exactly what you mean by not wanting to mess around with it and its gonna just be one thing after another. Unfortunately, it's like a relationship with a woman. you gotta really love your old truck, but if she starts treating you like crap and you're just an ATM with legs, it's best to cut the old pig loose and go get a newer model. 😉

2002 ram 2500 quad cab shortbed ST. Red, 4x4, nv4500 swap 24v, 66mm silver bullet, 100hp injectors , fass titanium 150, 4" exhaust, guages. 190k miles.
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