98 plymouth voyager 4cycl trans fluid in radiator


Old 03-18-04, 06:26 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Skillman, NJ
Posts: 18
Question 98 plymouth voyager 4cycl trans fluid in radiator

I have a '98 Plymouth Voyager Van (4 cyl.); Automatic. Transmission suddenly started shifting poorly and we found it had no transmission fluid in it. Long story short: Trans fluid is showing up in radiator; The trans coolant line seems to go directly into the upper area of the radiator very near the main filling spout. Does the radiator in this vehicle contain a compartment internal to the radiator housing that the transmission fluid goes into that should be separate from the compartments that the radiator (antifreeze) goes in? If so is it correct to conclude that because I've found the transmission fluid disapearing from the transmission, and re-appearing as a mixture with the antifreeze in the radiator, that this implies the radiator is shot and needs to be replaced?

Are there any unexpected complications that I might run into if I try to replace it myself?

Thank you,
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Old 03-18-04, 06:39 PM
Desi501's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Boynton Beach Florida
Posts: 2,207
You seem to have the problem figured out pretty well. Your biggest headache will be to get all that oil and sludge completely out of the rest of the cooling system. Many, many flushings later, you'll still be fighting the oily residue. Don't forget to completely flush out the trans also. Pressure from the radiator can push pack into the trans when engine is shut off.
Old 03-19-04, 12:47 AM
mike from nj
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other than sabatoge, a failed radiator is the only thing it can be.

you got good advice,
it will take forever to get the fluid out of the coolant, and if the hoses feel any bit soft at all---replace them now. this also makes it easier to flush the block and heater core(s) with a garden hose and strong soap. no matter what you do, there will still be a few drops of atf that floats up to the top of the radiator, just keep wiping them away with a rag after you flush and it will eventually stop. the thermostat might be affected too.

ps. the radiator cap rubber swells too from the trans fluid, just like all your hoses will.

and that trans fluid should be changed at least twice, just pop a cooler hose off, point it into an antifreeze jug and start the car in park, run it until it's empty. after you do this twice, then drop the pan, and do the filter and fluid. it is way cheaper than a new trans.

the radiator takes a little work to get out, but it's not impossible.

ask away

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