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Old 04-04-2017, 07:38 PM   #1
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Transmission fluid in radiator

Someone please tell me what's going on! !!!?!
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:42 PM   #2
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Transmission cooler is leaking. Radiator shop can fix.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:44 PM   #3
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Radiator?
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:50 PM   #4
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Radiator?
What the hell....why not help the poor guy lol
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:50 PM   #5
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I'm hoping it's transmission fluid! Smells like it, no water in oil, no water in transmission fluid,water in heat exchanger has a brownish, yellowish gunk in it. Engine runs smoothly, no smoke, not idling rough, no noticeable leaks around the engine, your comment makes sense. I'm grasping for straws, looking for reassurance that it isn't a blown engine.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:57 PM   #6
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Trying to rule out blown head gasket, is there a way to tell if it's oil or transmission fluid?
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:08 PM   #7
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What make and model of engine? Does it have an engine oil cooler in the fresh water loop?

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Old 04-04-2017, 08:13 PM   #8
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It's a 5 cylinder 70 hp '84 Pathfinder with 3500 hrs on it. It has a transmission oil cooler in the fresh water loop.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:16 PM   #9
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I'm hoping the problem is the transmission cooler is leaking into the heat exchanger
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:18 PM   #10
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Pictures of what you are talking about.

After rereading this thread, I have no clue what you are trying to describe.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:19 PM   #11
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If tranny cooler is on FW loop, it certainly can put tranny fluid into the coolant. What kind of tranny? Post a few photos of the rig.

Some tranny coolers are pressurized with fluid, some are not. Thus the question.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:28 PM   #12
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This is an SUV (car), isn't it?

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Old 04-04-2017, 08:28 PM   #13
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That pretty much sums it up!!! I'm trying to figure out what is causing the brownish, yellowish gunk that smells like transmission fluid in the heat exchanger. The fact is that the heat exchanger cools the transmission fluid so somewhere during that cooling process transmission oil is getting in the water of the heat exchanger.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:29 PM   #14
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It's a diesel engine in a trawler
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:33 PM   #15
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Cars with automatic transmissions have a tube going thru one of the radiator tanks that cools trans fluid or warms it in cold weather. It's somewhat common the have the tube fail from corrosion/rust. If it's an '84 radiator, the better fix is a new radiator. If too much water gets into the trans, lack of proper lubrication will ruin the trans.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:35 PM   #16
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From what you're saying, it's most likely the internal transmission cooling circuit in your heat exchanger has developed a leak.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:48 PM   #17
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Just bought the boat, don't know when coolant was changed, all of you have made some good points, thanks so much. Now i have some direction to go in besides the battered mutterings of my mind! I will keep you posted. Let's call it a day and have a tall cool something or other! Thanks again, I am feeling like the signs aren't pointing to a blown engine!
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:59 PM   #18
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:00 PM   #19
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If you take a sample of the contaminated coolant you could bring it to a place that does oil analysis they could tell just what kind of oil/ fluid it is. The local caterpillar dealer can tell you where to have it tested. That way you can know where to look for a leak.
Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2017, 09:16 PM   #20
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We've arranged for a diesel mechanic to come out tomorrow, great suggestion! I will keep you posted, until then I'm going to go play some trani / heat exchanger/blown head gasket blues on my saxophone!
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