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Old 10-13-2016, 11:54 PM   #1
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Oil dripping from bottom of torque converter

Just started having a problem with oil dripping out of the threaded drain hole on the bottom of the torque converter. I have a custom Freightliner chassis and a Cummins 360hp Diesel pusher with an Allison transmission. Driving a 40' 2008 Damon Tuscany Class A motorhome. First noticed oil on the front of my toad. Looked underneath and noticed oil coming from bottom of the torque converter. Took it up to Camping World and was told the problem was the crank case ventilation system. Explained about the oil coming from the threaded hole and they said it was just an inspection hole and it didn't need a plug of any kind. So, I figured they knew what they were doing and had them do the crank case vent system repair. About $700 and 2 days later, they said it was good to go. Got back on road for about 200 miles and stopped to take a look underneath. Sure enough, oil was dripping out of that hole again. But it was worse. Called Freightliner and they said it might be a blown rear main seal but that was just a guess for now. Anyone know of this threaded inspection hole on bottom of the torque converter? Should it be plugged? How endangered is my bank account?
Thanks for any advice...
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:08 AM   #2
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There is a hole in the bottom of most bell housings, some are threaded some are not; they should be open.
If you get engine oil out of the hole , rear main engine oil seal , is the most likely culprit ; transmission has to be removed for the repair. Some Cummins engines there is a cup type plug at the back of the cam shaft that can leak, same result , trans has to come out. The shop won't be sure till they remove the trans , that's why they say it's a guess.

I'll say here that if the crankcase breather system was plugged , that may have caused the seal to fail.
If there is transmission fluid coming out , then the front , transmission pump seal or the torque converter would be the issue.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothership66 View Post
Just started having a problem with oil dripping out of the threaded drain hole on the bottom of the torque converter. I have a custom Freightliner chassis and a Cummins 360hp Diesel pusher with an Allison transmission. Driving a 40' 2008 Damon Tuscany Class A motorhome. First noticed oil on the front of my toad. Looked underneath and noticed oil coming from bottom of the torque converter. Took it up to Camping World and was told the problem was the crank case ventilation system. Explained about the oil coming from the threaded hole and they said it was just an inspection hole and it didn't need a plug of any kind. So, I figured they knew what they were doing and had them do the crank case vent system repair. About $700 and 2 days later, they said it was good to go. Got back on road for about 200 miles and stopped to take a look underneath. Sure enough, oil was dripping out of that hole again. But it was worse. Called Freightliner and they said it might be a blown rear main seal but that was just a guess for now. Anyone know of this threaded inspection hole on bottom of the torque converter? Should it be plugged? How endangered is my bank account?
Thanks for any advice...
For starts, NO, that hole should not be plugged.
There are three possibilities for signs of oil dripping from that hole.
1/ High crankcase pressure. Assuming CW has addressed the breather and all is well there, next step,
2/ Leaking rear main seal. Not real likely as these seals are not prone to leak, but could it be? Sure. Big job. Need to remove the transmission, oil pan and replace the seal. Couple grand, just guessing.
3/. Over filled crankcase. Check the oil level to see if it is over full. If it were mine, I would drive it, keeping a close eye on the oil level over a 3-4K mile drive and watch for the leak. You might just find the oil level will settle out some where below the full mark and the leak will stop.

Before you throw a bag of money around, try number three. Don't worry about the level being a 1/4 to 1/2" below the full mark. You're a long way of running low on oil. If the oil level is too high it tends to flood the seal to the point where it can't control and begins to seap.
If the oil leak continues to drip from the threaded hole, revert to number two through your best service shop.
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:06 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replys! Freightliner did also suggest keeping an eye on the oil levels. It would be safe to drive, just add oil if needed for now. Didnt have any problems till after an oil change last week. I'll check it cold tomorrow and see what the dipstick reads. Just can't believe I just dropped $700 for what seems to be nothing. Thanks again for the advice!
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Old 10-14-2016, 01:20 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replys! Freightliner did also suggest keeping an eye on the oil levels. It would be safe to drive, just add oil if needed for now. Didnt have any problems till after an oil change last week. I'll check it cold tomorrow and see what the dipstick reads. Just can't believe I just dropped $700 for what seems to be nothing. Thanks again for the advice!

Don't feel bad, there was another recent case almost identical to yours where the rear seal was replaced not once but twice due to an overfilled crankcase. Not saying oil level is positively the problem, but before you drop anymore coin, just make sure oil level is ruled out. Your first clue would be, like you said, it all started right after an oil change.
Keep us posted, good luck.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:16 AM   #6
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Too late to get your 700 back, but you're better off taking these types of issues to an Cummins dealer or a truck shop...I will say rear main seal failure is rare on these engines.

Any rate, you have to be positive the leak is coming from "inside" the flywheel housing, I've seen oil leak from higher up, like a rocker cover, allow oil to run down and somehow get into flywheel housing looking like rear main.
You need to to look at top of engine as well....
Spray a couple of cans of Brakeclean over area and up in the threaded hole to wash it out. Then run engine at high idle like 1200 rpm for 30 so mins, if rear main is leaking it'll show back up..get a flashlight and peak in there...of course make sue oil level is correct.

BTW, the crankcase ventilation CW told you was issue is located up near/behind oil filter a long way from the flywheel housing....

EDIT: reread your post, you say issue didn't start until recent oil change, ideally, you should drain oil, add correct amount, NOT what dipstick says is full, but what Cummins says capacity is. Which engine is it? ISC,ISL, other?
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:34 AM   #7
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Which engine is it? ISC,ISL, other?
Based on year and HP, I think 6.7 liter ISB.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:43 AM   #8
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Based on year and HP, I think 6.7 liter ISB.

For this time period it's probably this ISC:

https://cumminsengines.com/showcase-...es=100#ratings
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:11 PM   #9
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yeah, probably right (especially considering size of that thing). I think the ISB was only 340 about then. Strange they were that close.
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:08 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replys. The leak seems to have slowed down. For what that is worth. But we're still working our way towards a Cummins service center to have it looked at. I believe the engine is the ISC. Haven't had much time to search that info down. Once again, thanks to all for the great advice!
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:56 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the replys. The leak seems to have slowed down. For what that is worth. But we're still working our way towards a Cummins service center to have it looked at. I believe the engine is the ISC. Haven't had much time to search that info down. Once again, thanks to all for the great advice!

Good luck, piece of advice, stay clear of the place that charged you $700 to work on your crankcase breather. IMO, you got hosed there.
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Old 10-15-2016, 07:11 AM   #12
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Good luck, piece of advice, stay clear of the place that charged you $700 to work on your crankcase breather. IMO, you got hosed there.
I agree. I have only gone to that place once and that was to replace my AC plastic enclosure. Once I saw their prices and marketing plan, I avoided it like I did to West Marine when I owned a boat. these places can not compete with an informed and educated shopper who knows what the price should be.

I can't imagine what their service is like.
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