2004 4.7 RFE45 - tranny leak dripping on passenger cat - Jeep Garage - Jeep Forum

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Old 04-19-2017, 10:12 AM
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2004 4.7 RFE45 - tranny leak dripping on passenger cat

I have been losing tranny fluid as evidenced by drips on driveway and occasional smoking of fluid dripping on cats.

There are drip points around weep hole and bolt areas where tranny mates engine.
I put catch tube and bottle in weep hole and it comes up dry - so not shaft seals, torque converter or tranny cover plate. Not rear engine seal either.

Completely cleaned underside and it's not pan or pan seal.

Last time out, drove about 10 miles on highway and when smoking started I pulled off to level ground.
Looking underneath with engine running in park, I could see fast drip of fluid on passenger side cat - not a steady flow and no squirting anywhere.
Checked level and added a quart - loss is 1 qt. every 15 to 20 miles.

Went home and put front up on ramps and with engine running went under - no dripping, but underside was awash in fluid again.
having just added fluid may have temporarily affected whatever is going on.

Diagnosis - something above, and possibly forward, of cat is leaking and flowing backward when driving, especially at highway speeds - an increase in pump and/or cooler line pressure?
Upper cooler line connection on tranny completely dry.
Lower line connection wet and so is about 10" of the line.
Anything else around this area?

Is the lower the cooler return line or the supply?
No leak evidence of water or fluid at the radiator connectors.

175K and no shifting / driving issues unless fluid drops 2 quarts.
Now checking level daily and no issues at all but fluid loss.
I keep cats clean, but they should never get hot enough to flash the fluid.

Fluid is always fresh as continued adds have diluted any old.
But changing both filters and gasket this weekend.
Will clean everything again, including cooler lines and connections this time.

Has any one else had this particular problem?
Can any one confirm the line or connector is leaking?
Please no speculation, I have ruled out many sources, surely someone has had this experience.

Thanks

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Old 04-19-2017, 08:54 PM
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Re: 2004 4.7 RFE45 - tranny leak dripping on passenger cat

The upper cooler line is the outlet going to the cooler,
so the lower is the return from the cooler.
I remember that i had a slight leak, which dripped on one of the cats, but because it was so little fluid, i never looked really deep into it. This was after a "professional" rebuild. This rebuild didnīt work out and after 6 months or so i did it myself. I think that the leak on mine came from the torque converter seal.
Are you sure that there is not a pin hole in the lower cooler line?
If you donīt find anything, you could remove the engine to transmission structural cover, it will give you a view to the front of the torque converter and also into the bell housing.
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:03 AM
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Re: 2004 4.7 RFE45 - tranny leak dripping on passenger cat

Thanks for the line info.
Because it loses so much fluid so fast, it must occur when the tranny heats up and is circulating through the cooler.
Does not seem to leak when cold.
So you must be right, leak in lower return line as it is wet.

I did rule out torque converter, shaft and cover disk leaks as I tapped the weep hole and ran a catch line to a bottle strapped to front axle shaft.
Nothing came out, also rules out any rear engine seal leak.

Looks like only way to see it leak in action is a camera or put rear on lift so it can be run through gears although there would be no load.
Might not be good idea with qudradrive, so shop lift woul be advised.

First I will clean an inspection the lower line.
If nothing, then drive short distance, stop and check by running right side up on curb.
Ah fun.
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