Water in transmission, question about cleaning.

Al Harvey

Active member
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Dover, TN
Pulled the drain plug on the transmission and water then the nasty fluid came out. There is some minor rust on the gears. Everything else seems fine inside it. Does anyone know if it would hurt to fill it with purple power and let it soak for a bit then drain and rinse it out? Trying get all the sludge and nasty fluid out. Any advice or ideas would be appreciated.
 

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poppop

Well-known member
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I don't think it will hurt a thing. Let it soak and pressure wash it best you can, blow out good and get some lube in it and rotate it. They get water in them around the shift lever when the book get cracked.
 

ducer

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Ober, indiana
I would use diesel fuel before I used anything water based. With as much rust as I see in there I would also disassemble and rebuild or at least replace the bearings. :doh: Why add to problems by using a waterbased cleaner? Also I think purple power will attack alloys so that may leave your brass and babbit bushings eaten out further compounding your problems. Then there is the issue of the rust flakes acting as a nice abrasive. Hope this helps.

Denny
 

Carl_in_NH

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Wilton NH
Good clean pump diesel will be fine; it's what we've used for years to clean out the gear cases of many old industrial machine tools before replacing the oil.

As for diesel being abrasive, think about injector pumps - they have profoundly small clearances and are lubricated by diesel fuel only. It's just not a problem (again, talking about good, clean pump fuel - not some slop laying around).

I'd worry much more about using something like Purple Power with lye in it - which might be great on surfaces, but I wouldn't want it in my bearings.
 

Al Harvey

Active member
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Location
Dover, TN
Good point I didn't think about the injector pump. I'll try that this afternoon since I just filled all my diesel tanks and cans.
 

retired wrench

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Monticello In
If this is a running vehicle put the diesel in it and run it around a little. If not I would wait till it is running. Do this several times as the rust will be dislodged by running and you dont want that floating around in there.
 

o1951

Active member
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Bergen County, NJ
My vote is for ATF. Detergents will help dissolve sludge. When using ATF, and especially diesel, do not load it heavily. The film strength is not there. Can damage bushings, etc. I jack vehicles up and run through gears under no load. I do not put a load on trans until I have correct lube installed, and then change it again after about 50 miles. I look at drain oil and decide if I have to change it again in another 50 miles. Written by an old geezer who may or may not know what he is talking about. Use at your own risk
 

Al Harvey

Active member
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Location
Dover, TN
Well I've rinsed it through with diesel. I filled it up and turned the input shaft by hand then drained it. The more I thought about it I've decided to find a shop to take it apart and check it out. I've already got all the seals and gaskets but don't feel comfortable enough to disassemble it. Might as well get it done right the first time.

I do like the idea o1951, makes sense not to put the load on it. The one thing I've learned in life is that the previous generation has a pretty good idea of what they are talking about. It's better to ask and learn, then to just learn on your own the hard way. Kinda like the day I woke up and realized my dad got really smart over night some how. He finally knew what he was talking about. Well actually I guess I finally realized I didn't know everything and admitted it. I'm sticking with he got super smart overnight. lol
 

jonesal

Mission Specialist
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Brookings, SD
Doesn't the TM say to flush with diesel? I know all the auto and tractor manuals from that era say to flush with diesel. I had a similar situation on my 1950 JD tractor and a good diesel flush did the trick. All the rust may be a problem down the road but you never know - you may get lucky and it will run forever.

Al Jones
'55 M38A1
 

6x6guy

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McHenry, Il.
I had a soft top on a 2.5 ton truck in storage after a while the stitching pulled out and created a funnel of sorts that centered over the transmission shifter allowing water to enter. Replaced the fabric top and some time later during a road trip - noticed a slipping clutch and smell of burning 90 weight due to the water in the transmission, and making a phone call - drained and installed new fluid and was on the road again. When back at the shop drained the fluid again and installed new 90 weight. a couple of short trips latter - transmission problems developed- and the trans was replaced- after checking the surface rust was still present and contributed to the failure of the transmission bearing.
 
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