Bernie Benz b.benz at
Mon Mar 29 01:25:43 EST 2004


I thought that I had purposefully avoided a pissing contest with you, but
failing that and in the interest of keeping the list banter lively;

> From: Brett Dikeman <brett at>

>> You've known that you have had a shaft seal leak for how long, and what had
>> you done to correct it?
> It appeared to be a very slow leak and the transmission was filled to
> overflowing shortly after the leak was noticed.
With the addition of how much fluid?  And the previous check was how many
miles previous?

>I was already weighing options for how to deal with the problem before it
> seized.  Obviously I miscalculated on how much time I had to take care of it.
An incalcuable guess.  Close monitoring was in order.
>> If nothing, why had you not added 1/2 can of engine
>> seal restorer when first discovered, and an especially easy task having just
>> changed fluid.
> Because I did not believe engine seal restorer was proper for a
> transmission and the mechanic or two I discussed it with felt the
> same way.  Transmissions are for the most part unvented(save the tiny
> little vent up top) and obviously run at temperatures well under that
> which engine oil does, so it was unlikely the ingredients in the seal
> "restorer"(which is actually a seal "sweller") would not "burn off"
> or evaporate.
Our beliefs and experiences are indeed all different, are they not?
>> If this seal treatment doesn't do the job in 1K miles the seal's
>> broke!  Replace it!
> Under 1000 miles were put on the car from when the leak was noticed
> to when the transmission seized.
The key word being "noticed".
>> Why did you change fluid?
> Because it had never been changed and I knew some fluid had leaked out.
Additions as required were in order.
>> Is your normal parking spot on a smooth pad where you can easily and often
>> monitor for fluid leaks of all kinds?
> No. I do periodic undercarriage inspections.
Meaning every? Or every other?
>> A clean heat shield is enough, and it is there primarily to protect the CV
>> joint, not the tranny seal.  The tranny seal should be well cooled by the
>> circulating tranny fluid, if any.
> If that is the case, why is the failure rate for the right seal
> higher than the left, which is not exposed to exhaust heat?
The left half of the dual exhaust passes equally close the left CV joint
without the advantage of a heat shield on that side.  Your under car
inspection frequency is what?

> And last 
> time I checked, my tranny fluid doesn't circulate after I park the
> car.
How does one check that?  Certainly it does not, without fluid.
>> "jethot coating" is best used on fat wallets, not your current problem.
> I'm sorry, but I'll trust the opinion of a man whose livelihood is
> fixing these cars, and is widely respected as the best mechanic in
> the northeast, over your opinion.
The sorrow is all yours, as is the option.
> Coatings are not a joke; ask anyone who has used them.  When applied
> to the inside+outside of exhaust components, it significantly lowers
> their surface temperature and underhood temps; it is superior for
> street applications compared to wrapping, which causes the metal to
> get hotter and can also cause problems if you go through puddles with
> the exhaust hot.  Both have proven results with lowering underhood
> temperatures dramatically(which increases component life throughout
> the engine compartment) and wrapping is sometimes preferred for race
> applications if the exhaust specs are restricted, since you loose
> some interior diameter with a coating.
> The right front engine mount is also shielded and even has a duct
> system that uses the duct for the oil cooler to cool it.  Yet on
> virtually every I-5 Audi, that engine mount fails numerous times over
> the life of the car while the driver's side mount keeps on keepin'
> on.   The turbo bypass hose is shielded from the exhaust but gets so
> cooked it needs replacement on a regular basis.  You draw your
> conclusions, I'll draw mine.
As we both have done.

You write to your benefactor, Mike Sylvester:
>I'm slowly peeling back the layers of
>dirt, sand, oil and cramolin, and how bout that, there's a tranny
>under there! :-)  Once I have it cleaned out I will take a complete
>set of pictures since we occasionally get "where is..." questions,
>and the Bentley diagrams can be hard to read.
The true picture becomes evident!  No photos necessary.

> Brett

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