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Overfilled Transmission Fluid? #5381639 03/20/20 08:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 627
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Fitz98 Offline OP
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I have been chasing a very slow transmission fluid leak on my 98 Expedition 5.4 4x4 and have not been able to isolate it until now. It leaks while sitting. I used a scope and it appears as if the leak is a seeping type leak, not a dripping type and might be where the transmission filler tube goes into the transmission, or possibly even the upper tube connection. It is a 2 part filler tube. One short part is pressed into the transmission and the main filler tube inserts into that.
[Linked Image]
I had a new main filler tube installed, but it appears as if the mechanic who installed it did not fit it all the way in.
[Linked Image]
The top of the filler tube neck is bent from mechanic trying to hammer it in, so I imagine he had a hard time to reinstall it, plus the upper mounting bracket does not line up with the block hole, so the tube is floating.
I noticed the leak after changing the fluid and gasket when I had a radiator problem. I had another thread about this, thinking it was a gasket or pan problem.
The leak appears on the rear of the pan, but it also feels wet on the top of the transmission where the pan mounts, so I think it is a traveling leak on top of the transmission, following the slope of the pan until it reaches the back of the pan, where it can accumulate enough to make drops.
I consulted a transmission shop, and he said it may be overfilled, which does make sense considering that the dipstick readings would be too high if the tube is not seated all the way. Transmission tech told me I should just level the vehicle and loosen the pan bolts until the fluid stops running out, keeping the upper limits of the cold fluid level at the top of the pan. I did this and ended up removing about 4 quarts.
Does this seem like a good approach? Letting the fluid drain out until level with top of pan? I leveled frame as a reference for level and drained from the back of the pan.

Re: Overfilled Transmission Fluid? [Re: Fitz98] #5381657 03/20/20 08:44 PM
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philipp10 Offline
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I would try removing the tube and filing off any burrs and make it slide in properly. I am assuming there is an o-ring in this seal? If not, you need to figure away to get it sealed. Then at least your fluid level can be checked and it won't be leaking.

Re: Overfilled Transmission Fluid? [Re: Fitz98] #5381875 03/21/20 08:13 AM
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Gebo Offline
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If I removed 4 qts of ATF from my transmission, I'd be nervous. It looks like your transmission holds between 9-10 qts total.


I'd take it back to the guy who tried to fix it the first time (if you know he is capable) or to a Ford Dealer. From what all I am reading in
your thread I think it's time to go to someone different.


'98 LEX LS400 305K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 70K

Shell Gas and Truck 5W-30
QS HM 10W-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: Overfilled Transmission Fluid? [Re: Gebo] #5382084 03/21/20 12:07 PM
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Fitz98 Offline OP
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When I drained and refilled, I filled using what I thought was the correct amount of fluid based on drain and refill specs, but I also drained torque converter. When I started truck, ran selector through gears and put in neutral to check fluid, there was none showing on dipstick. I kept adding until dipstick level reading was accurate while running in Neutral. It seems now that what I thought was accurate on the dipstick couldn't have been. It seemed like an unusual amount to keep adding over a typical drain and fill volume. I don't recall how much. Looks like a 17 quart system on the 4r100 with a 4.5-5 quart drain and fill including filter. I am thinking to drain the rest of the fluid from the pan into a separate container and measure how much comes out. If 4-5 quarts, I should be in the right ballpark.

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