Transmission pan replacement with Chrysler ATF RTV. How to handle drips?



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Thread: Transmission pan replacement with Chrysler ATF RTV. How to handle drips?

  1. #1
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    Transmission pan replacement with Chrysler ATF RTV. How to handle drips?

    I've replaced the transmission pan two times already. The first time the generic gasket had holes that were misaligned and it wrinkled and leaked. Badly.

    So I bought some fresh black RTV, cleaned everything up really well, applied the RTV to the pan, let skin over for 15 minutes, cleaned off the sealing face as well as I could, then applied the pan without moving it around, tightened the pan bolts up to around 2-3 ft lbs, let cure for 2 hours, then finished torquing to the specified torque. This behavior has always worked for me when sealing with RTV. But I still have a very slow drippy leak, maybe 1-2 teaspoons per day.

    I think that the problem was that I let the tranny drip for "only" 4 hours before reinstalling the pan. But it was still dripping slowly. I wiped up inside as far as I could and hurried to get the pan on, but I'm sure that a tiny bit of ATF dripped down in the 10 seconds it took me to mount the pan.

    So, I bought a tube of Chrysler ATF RTV. I'm scheduled to drain and replace the pan again. But I don't want to do it and get the same results. I may let the pan drip overnight this time, but if it's still slowly dripping, what can I do? How long do I have to wait for the system to stop dripping? Forever? Will the torque converter, cooling lines, etc. keep dripping for a long time?

    Really, I just want to do it right this time, without leaks. So if I had an idea of how long is long enough, that would help. Or is the ATF RTV less susceptible to this kind of contamination of the surface with some liquid ATF? (I cleaned before with a paper towel sprayed with brake cleaner).

    Also, the Chrysler tube says to just apply, install and torque. Is there no time for skinning the RTV before installation or set time before final torque?
    2006 Chrysler Town and Country Limited with 90k miles.

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  3. #2
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    Best to follow the instructions.

    The transmission shops seem to bolt things up pretty fast.

    I have some Permatex Ultra Black. It says, after applying the RTV: "Assemble parts immediately. Finger tighten bolts until material begins to squeeze out around flange. Allow to dry for one hour, then retighten 1/4 to 1/2 turn".
    That would work okay if the bead of RTV is uniform all around, but watch out for the area that has less RTV. A good quality gasket seems to be the easiest way to go, considering that you have drips to contend with.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 112,920 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 311,200 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 251,430 kms

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    I used permatex grey on my pan. I let it drop about 40 minutes while I hacked up the old pan to fabricate a bracket to mount the wiring harness to my new pan, then stuffed a paper towel up inside the back where the drip was coming down and thoroughly cleaned the transmission sealing surface. Then I applied RTV to the pan only, and immediately before installing yanked the paper towel out (ensuring all of it came out) and fitted the pan straight away. I tested the technique first and I found I had about 20-30 seconds after the paper towel was removed before any ATF would drip down to the sealing surface so I know the surface was still clean and dry.
    Mine is dry as a bone after 8000km.

    Where exactly is your leak? Could it be the solenoid pack?

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    Skip the RTV. Scrape it all off—every bit of it. Get yourself a good quality pan gasket. Don’t even consider a cheap cork gasket, or anything that’s folded in a box. Good rubberized composition gaskets (usually black in color) are available. If you can’t find one anywhere else, a transmission shop will probably sell you one. Most of these have a few “small” bolt holes to keep the gasket in place with a few bolts, until you get all the bolts in place. If not, use a very small amount of quick dry automotive adhesive on the pan side only, not on the transmission side. Don’t use any other sealant or RTV. The gasket does the sealing.
    Tighten the bolts firmly, but not over tight. I go around the pan three times. If you are not comfortable concerning the “tightness “of the bolts, use a torque wrench, still tightening the bolts progressively. Do not overtighten the bolts! The next time you drop the pan, the gasket will stay attached to the pan and you will be able to reuse it—typically 3-4 times or more. If this still drips, then you have a bad pan or damaged mating surface on the transmission.

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    I have since using imo the best oil/trans pan gasket never used rtv or any type of sealant. The gaskets i buy at times are from different named companies but they are rubber gaskets with metal washer type inserts that prevent over tightening . I always look around to do my best in staying away from those cork cork/rubber mixed gaskets.

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    After a couple of gasket tries (including two "professional" ones), I bought a tube of ATF RTV and followed the directions. Namely, clean the mating surfaces, spread a 1/8" bead, bolt it up. No wait, no endless fiddling around to stop that annoying post-transmissional drip, just spread the RTV and bolt it up. ATF was still dripping out when I bolted it together.

    And no leaks. None. At least from the pan; i did discover a leak from the solenoid pack and replaced it, but that's a different story.

    There's a reason Chrysler used ATF RTV as OEM. It's apparently idiot-proof.

    Some have good luck with gaskets, some don't. And yes, the cork gaskets and the gaskets packed with the filter in the kit from NAPA are not the best. There apparently are good gaskets out there, but I got tired of experimenting with it. So far, I haven't heard of a single leak with the ATF RTV when applied according to directions (no waiting to skin, just slap it on there, like Permatex Right Stuff)

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    check your solenoid pack , maybe it's a gasket leaking

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    The time I changed my ATF for the first time in our school shop, I removed the pan, used a 1+ putty knife to clean the transmission mating surface and pan mating surface, then throuoghly cleaned the pan and magnet in our parts cleaner. I laid down a bead of blue RTV on the pan, placed the rubber gasket on top of the bead, inserted the bolts, then put another bead of RTV on top of the gasket - a 'gasket sandwich', if you will. I replaced the filter. I did not wait any time for the RTV to skin or anything, just reinstalled pan and refilled with ATF. I never had any leaks. Given that I did not read any directions/procedures, and it was my first time doing AT service, I'd say I got really lucky! I did read warning after the fact that one has to be careful not to use too much rtv as if a piece breaks off inside the pan, it can cause issues. What I did do wrong was use the incorrect ATF given to me by the local parts store. I can blame only myself for this as as previously stated, I did not read any procedures. I learned shortly thereafter about ATF+4, but that's a whole different story but thanks to the advice on this site, I escaped without any damage to my transmission.


    2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS 1.8L DOHC VVT 42 000Km (bought new)

    2006 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L 250 000 Km bought in 09 - 77K Km. Headrest DVDs, bluetooth, GPS, 2 amps, EQ, four 6 x 9, two 5 1/4, 4 tweets, MTX 8" sub tube, tranny pan drain plug, trans out, trans pan, oil pressure and water temp gauges, Magnefine trans filter, 5K OCIs, zero rust

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    You also should never use rtv/or any other sealany on both sides of the gasket. The next person that services this pan will be thanking you.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hodges710 View Post
    You also should never use rtv/or any other sealany on both sides of the gasket. The next person that services this pan will be thanking you.
    Why? I recently had the transmission serviced at a transmission shop. I explained how I had done it previously and they seemed fine with that. When they were done, I asked the technician how the pan removal and filter change went. He said it went fine, "no problems". The first time I had the transmission service done at CT, I came out in the morning and most of the AFT was in a pool under the van. It had to be towed. The service manager said that the tech had only used the gasket, no sealant. I thought I'd be sure I didn't have to do the job again. Also, I had no trouble removing the rtv that was on there when I did my own service.


    2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS 1.8L DOHC VVT 42 000Km (bought new)

    2006 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L 250 000 Km bought in 09 - 77K Km. Headrest DVDs, bluetooth, GPS, 2 amps, EQ, four 6 x 9, two 5 1/4, 4 tweets, MTX 8" sub tube, tranny pan drain plug, trans out, trans pan, oil pressure and water temp gauges, Magnefine trans filter, 5K OCIs, zero rust

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