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2001 Xterra 4x4 automatic, yellow af
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so i picked up an 01 X 4x4 automatic for about $1,500 bucks a few weeks ago.
Dude says its leaking oil. So i get the pressure washer and clean it up so i can find the leak and fix it..
I find that its leaking tranny fluid between the oil pan and the bell housing.
So, transmission output shaft seal, correct?

I put it on the lift and tear everything apart. Boy, is there a LOT of stuff to come off under there.
I replaced the seal, did the rear shocks while it was on the lift as well. Finally have it mostly back together, after dropping a flywheel flex plate bolt into the bell housing and having to re separate the tranny from the engine to fish it out...

I noticed that there is a vacuum line with a bracket hanging down now, and i have no idea where it came from. I should hgave taken pics, but didnt think to do it.
The bracket has a hook shaped end and a mounting hole, and there is a vacuum line attached.
Any idea what this is? Ill post pics if needed, but i figured someone knows without pics what this hook shaped thing is.

Today i am going to re install the starter and finish buttoning up everythin g. I have to put the torsion bars/brace back on and whatnot still. This has been the hardest project ive ever taken on.
Any advice or comments will be greatly appreciated as far as to what the lines hanging down are...
If you need pics, theres one on here. Search transmission lines hanging and youll see the exact same part there...
I bumped the thread trying to get a response..

Thanks all.
 

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2001 Xterra 4x4 automatic, yellow af
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So i found out after doing some research that the offending part is a transmission vent tube thingie. It gets bolted to the bell housing with the end pointing down.
Sorry for not researching it a little more first.
Like i said, NOOB questions.
Flame away..
 

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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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3,347 Posts
I'm new here, too, after just buying my '01 X with 204,ooo miles. Glad you figured it out. When I'm under there changing the fluids, I'll look for that to see if it's still attached on mine. See, it wasn't a waste of time after all!
 

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2001 Xterra 4x4 automatic, yellow af
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UPDATE!!!

Got her all buttoned up after doing the transmission output shaft seal, as its an automatic.
On the loft, running, no leaks. Yay!

Drove it to get it tagged and when i got back to the garage...leaking the same way, from the same spot.
I wanted to shoot myself in the face! After 4 days of replacing that seal, it wasnt the problem, im thinking...
Either that or there is something damaging it upon installation??

I have had this thing naked underneath for four days...I just got it back together and am about to tear it right back apart here in a few days. Im going to pressure wash the underside really good while its on the lift, and let it dry. This way i figure i can chase this leak down the right way.

Another update will follow with pics. I guess ill ask for input, comments, and you guys can flame me too if ya want...lol

XzachX
 

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I also have a leak in the same spot. It didn't look like ATF though; it just looked like dirty motor oil. I currently have the transmission out (rebuilding) so I am looking into the leak source. I first suspected the rear engine main seal (RMS or "rear oil seal" in the service manual) which it seems you replaced though you called it the "transmission output shaft seal", correct? I'm now suspecting that the "oil" was coming down from a head gasket leaking coolant and oil, mixing up with years of engine grime, landing on the starter, getting flung around in the bell housing and coming out of the bottom.

Here is my thread: Rear Engine Oil(?) Leak Investigation

How did your bell housing look? If you're seeing ATF then maybe the transmission "oil pump housing oil seal" (sits between the torque converter and the transmission oil pump) is leaking. Maybe that is what you changed?

Aside from an RMS leak, another common one is a pan gasket leak just 1/2 inch below the RMS. This is usually resolved by dropping the oil pan and replacing the gaskets (front and back) and gasket maker (along the sides); replace the pan too if it's rusted. The manual say to lift the engine to do this but most people do it by dropping the front differential and other things in the way as here: DIY front diff drop down.

If you pull the transmission again, you'll be able to inspect the rear oil pan gasket but ideally, replacing this gasket with the oil pan in-place isn't a good method (despite what the FSM says) as the rear oil seal retainer would need to both be put on horizontally while pushing vertically down on the new rear oil pan gasket. I imagine when doing this, you'd accidentally push the gasket into the oil pan or deform it while pushing horizontally on it.

I'd be interested to hear what you find, will you post in this thread? If not, put a link here to wherever you post so we can follow.
 

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2,105 Posts
Don't rule out the valve cover gaskets. They fail frequently and are known to dump oil down the back of the engine and around the bell housing. Gravity, fan blowing etc.
 

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2001 Xterra 4x4 automatic, yellow af
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So the transmission went out on the way to the parts store...
Its back on the lift and the old tranny is out laying on the ground. I found a junkyard donor for $250, and hes giving me the WHOLE TRUCK with a good motor and transmission.

Picking up the junker on Monday and will swap the tranny and torque converter.

Whats the secret to posting pics?
Any comments, feel free to flame away.

Also note that when i removed the tranny this time, the seal id installed was around the torque converter, not where id put it...so it obviously wasnt seated correctly and came back out causing the same leak id just fixed...

Live and learn i guess...
 
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