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Thread: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

    Hello all. I'm feeling a little disappointed. Yesterday I noticed oil on the garage floor. Clean new gearbox oil. There are drips on the metal plate that bolts to the horn ends but I can't figure out where it's coming from. I've read articles and watched videos online about common VW oil leaks but nothing seems related to my leak. Most are related to engine leaks anyway. I know it's gearbox oil from the smell. If anyone reading this can identify possible places where it could be coming from that would be a big help. I hope it's not serious. I haven't even got the engine started yet or taken the car anywhere! Here are some photos of the leak. You can see the drips on the plate. Along the top of the plate is wet too but everywhere above that is dry. It's definitely not coming from the tiny crack between the gearbox and engine.



    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

    I've got something similar, mine is coming out of the joint between the box and the axle tube, then it runs onto the horn forks and onto where your oil is.
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  3. #3

    Re: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

    Is it on both sides of the transaxle or just one? It's fairly uncommon that the drive flange seals leak, but it's been known to happen. Did you recently fill the trans with new oil? Did you maybe overfill it? I'd clean off everything you can (carb or brake cleaner works nicely) from both the trans and the frame horns. Put a row of paper towels down both sides of the transmission between it and the frame horns. Check next day to see where the leak is springing from - that'll save some headaches actually trying to trace it. The paper will tell you within a couple inches of where it's originating from.

  4. #4

    Re: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

    Thats the one! the drive flange seal!!
    Follow my Avante Build - Target = Stoneleigh 2012 Definitely!!

  5. #5
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    Re: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

    OK I'll try the paper towel trick. I did fill the gearbox about 6 months ago but this is the first time it has leaked.

  6. #6

    Re: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

    Uless there is a hole in the alloy case it can only be the flange seals or input shaft seal.



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  7. #7
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    Re: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

    Peter, do you know what would be involved to rectify either of those two things and how easy it would be to do?

  8. #8

    Re: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem


    To change shaft seal you will need to remove the engine and clutch thrust bearing. the seal sits in the rear of the gearbox, just dig it out and carefully insert the new one nice and square.(no need to drain oil)
    The side seals on a IRS, you will need to remove the drive shafts by unbolting from the gearbox flange and then remove the side coves with the drive flange and strip it to replace the seals. (drain oil first)
    (on swing axles the seals are located in the outer ends of the axle tubes outboard of the bearings).



    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK

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  9. #9
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    Re: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

    Presumably though the oil level should be waaaaaay below the level of the input shaft? So if the oil is migrating from the input shaft oil seal the gearbox must be seriously overfilled?

    (bearing in mind that Giles hasn't driven the car anywhere yet, so the oil wouldn't have been thrown around inside)

    So my money would be on one or both side covers being the cause. Even if this is the case, the internal oil level may be above the level of the driveshaft oil seals, which are probably not designed to stop anything but splash lubricant from escaping. I have had an almost identical problem on my (Alfa) gearbox for several years, which has only finally been put to bed this year. I'm not suggesting that your gearbox is at the wrong angle, just that it may be overfilled with oil.

    Good luck finding the source. Degreaser, followed by paper towels as suggested by Rick is your best bet I think.

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  10. #10

    Re: Gearbox Oil Leak - Identifying Problem

    Check level by removing the filler (#29) plug in the left side of the box.
    The oil level is just below the drive centre line, so oil could leak out from the drive shaft seal on the IRS.
    Leaking from the bell housing however would indicate the output shaft/overfill senario fits.



    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
    Some people see things as they are and ask why? I dream things that never were and ask, why not?” JFK

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