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RE: Washing Transmission

>     I just got my used 012 trany and it's really gunked up on 
> the outside.
> What should I do for cleaning, anything that I should watch 
> out when it
> comes to getting water in?  I was inclined to just hose and 
> sponge, maybe a
> little brass brush to clean th gunk.  Also it's covered in some stanky
> greasy fluid, real nasty smelling, almost like low tide.  
> What is that?

That smell is the smell of the high pressure lubricant components of hypoid
oil ... I would be a bit concerned about the guts of a tranny that was
coated with the stuff ... can you tell where it was leaking from?  It could
be that a drive flange seal, or perhaps the tranny input shaft seal allowed
the lubricant to leak out.  This may mean that the tranny was run without
the full complement of fluid ... or it may mean that the stuff leaked out
the vent hole on top of the tranny while it was stored ... hopefully you'll
be able to tell if the stuff is fresh or caked on ...

As long as the tranny has the drain plugs, drive flanges and the speedo
drive unit in place you should be able to clean with impunity.  The only
thing to beware of is the vent on the top of the tranny ... don't let any
water or cleaning solution get in there.  My recommendation for a cleaner is
some stuff I get from COSTCO called "Grease Eater" or similar ... that stuff
works well for getting just about any grease off, without having to do a lot
of scrubbing.  I use it to clean the insides of my wheels ... even after a
CV Boot has caused a good coating of grease to be applied.  

I would imagine that you are already planning to replace the tranny fluid
... it is a whole bunch easier to fill the tranny with the recommended
amount of fluid while it is sitting all by itself than it is to do when
installed.  I'd recommend that you drain the tranny now (and that you
illuminate it with some hot lights like 500W halogens to get the oil flowing
a bit better).  Leave it "dry" until right before you're about ready to
install it ... that way you don't have to worry about the fluid leaking ou
if you happen to tilt the tranny up on its nose.  

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)