96 Caravan fluid leak

Old 03-08-07, 08:00 PM
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96 Caravan fluid leak

The driver's side of my 96 Caravan is leaking some fluid. Under the driver's side there is a pan that looks as if the gasket is old and leaking. I'm not even sure what this pan holds. Transmission fluid, perhaps?

I routinely change my own oil, but how much trouble would I be getting into if I were to remove this driver's side pan to replace the old gasket?
Old 03-08-07, 08:17 PM
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You are not sure if it's oil or tranny?

Your oil pan is where you remove the old oil from, so if it's not this, then it's your tranny pan.

If it's tranny pan, and easily accessable (without removing crossmembers);

drain fluid

remove bolts

carefully remove pan (have plenty of towels underneith you)

Might as well clean the tranny pan magnets while you are there.

Clean and replace pan gasket

Install in reverse order

Top off tranny fluid.

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 03-09-07 at 11:40 AM. Reason: Fixed simple typo.
Old 03-09-07, 11:41 AM
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Side note: Your pan may not have a drain plug, in which case you carefully loosen the pan bolts until the fluid starts running out the gap and go from there.
Old 03-09-07, 01:02 PM
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If you use a pre-made gasket it WILL leak again. Mopar Transmission pans need to be sealed with ATF resistant RTV. Ya need to clean pan well and apply 1/16" layer of (Mopar) ATF RTV on the pan and reinstall. You also need to make sure you don't get RTV in bolt tread holes (Especially blind holes) or you will strip out the treads. The treads will stip out becaue if there's RTV in there it can't compress. Other wise it a easy job, but messy.

Also, use only ATF+4 ATF or you will be have transmission shift problems. Valvoline makes a ATF+ avalible if you don't want to get Mopar ATF

Old 03-09-07, 06:53 PM
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Absolutely agree with DKM. It is very crucial to use ATF+4 only in these transmissions. The dipstick in this vintage vehicle will say to use ATF+3 Type 7176. Chrysler has discontinued this transmission fluid and has replaced it with ATF+4. It is safe to add ATF+4 to ATF+3 units, but not the other way. I am not aware of any aftermarket companies yet making this fluid so you will likely have to get it from the dealer. You can get your ATF RTV and even your filter, if you are so inclined, while you are there. I havent looked for it anywhere else since I work at a Dodge dealer. If it has a cork/rubber gasket by all means throw that thing away and just use ATF RTV as DKM stated. The pan may be a bear to get off if it has RTV on it, but a little persistance and a pry bar on the lower right corner it will pop loose. To refill after trans service it will take 5 quarts +/- 1 quart.
Hope this helps ya,

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