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Anyone have any ideas? I recently purchased an 85 Nissan pickup and when i was changing the transmission oil something didn't seem quite right. the fluid that came out was whitish looking and didn't feel like oil at all. It looked like something like dishwater or chalk water. Is this just really really degraded oil or maybe something added by the last owner to make a bad tranny work well temporarily. any ideas? thanks
 

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I had the oil changed in my 84 Toyota 4X4 a couple months ago and they checked the oil in the transmission, transfer case, and differential case. The oil in the transmission case was white, like you describe. They said it was because the oil was worn out and needed replacing. I guess I should get around to doing that.:S
In your case, I don't think the previous owner put it in there. I think it was just never changed.
 

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White milky oil is a sign of water getting mixed with the fuilds. Any spring floods nearby? Maybe someone got rid of a flood damaged vehicle.

Dont let the bad fluids turn you totally off, It could have been an open pressure point that let water in when driving in high water as well.

Change it, check it a month down the road. If its milky then you know you have an issue.
 

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I agree with Gary. White or discolored oil is a sign of water in the oil. This is either caused by, as Gary said, maybe a flood or driving through water, or more serious, a cracked head or cracked block. This would allow water from the water jacket to drain into your oil.

I would do as Gary suggests. Drain it, and then check it in a month. If it comes out milky again, you know you have a serious problem.
 

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Murdock said:
I agree with Gary. White or discolored oil is a sign of water in the oil. This is either caused by, as Gary said, maybe a flood or driving through water, or more serious, a cracked head or cracked block. This would allow water from the water jacket to drain into your oil.

I am not a mechanic but I can't see how a cracked block or head would allow water to be introduced into the tranny. What am I missing?
 

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65284 said:
I am not a mechanic but I can't see how a cracked block or head would allow water to be introduced into the tranny. What am I missing?
:eek:

I didnt see we were talking about a transmission.... I just read oil for some reason... Sigh... Reading comprehension anyone? :confused:
 

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automatic transmission or standard???

if its a stick shift, drain the bad oil, fill it with good oil, drive it about 25 miles and while its still hot drain it and refill it. It might be a good idea to do that again and put in a bottle of lucas oil conditioner. Ive never seen gear oil "wear out" and turn white. thats water. for water to get into a manual transmission you may have a cracked case, perhaps they bottomed it out and banged the truck off a rock. there may even be a hole in it.

if its an automatic, drop the pan, change the screen, put it back on, fill it, run it till its hot, drain it, repete till the fluid is clean. if you have no drain plug in the transmission pan, dont bother putting a new gasket on the pan IF your old one is in one piece, so what if it leaks a bit your going to drain it anyhow. on your last drain, put in a new screen, a new gasket and seal it up nice and tight. refill it and dump in some lucas auto trans conditioner.

water can get into an automatic from the bottom of the filler tube, where it sticks in the transmission, if the O ring is gone or bad, it will let water in, or as said before, a flood will have gotten water in the dipstick tube.

in any case if it shifts good after you do all this you may be ok. water will do less dammage to a manual than an automatic. but if water is in a manual then you have a cracked case.

be prepared for either kind to go boom on ya soon... water=bad.
is there water traces in the motor oil too?

Ive got an 85 nissan with a 5 speed that will be getting parted out in april, more than likely unless gas goes up more then i will have to patch it again for another year.

IF it runs good, the trans is no big deal, a dime a dozen in a junkyard.
 

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First and most important question is, automatic or manual transmission?
In 30 yrs. of auto repair I haven't seen white trans oil. If it is an automatic water from the trans cooler which is in the radiator could be the problem. If that is the case you might be in for trouble as antifreeze will ruin the seals and delaminate the clutch plates in an automatic.
If it is a manual it could be water coming in from the vehicle being in deep water and water coming in the vent on the trans. If this is the case drain the trans before driving another inch and refill with the PROPER fluid. Be sure to READ and find out what the PROPER fluid is.
 
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So- yes the tranny is a manual. I havn't driven it much since i changed the oil and replaced with new oil. I replaced it with 80w-90, as per the manual. In the few miles I have drove (its an extra vehicle), the transmission seemed a little tougher to shift but not unusable. That is why I had originally suspected foul play. There doesn't seem to be any fluid leaking out from the tranny. I will be putting on about 50 miles this weekend, if it still works ok should I worry or are my transmission's days truly numbered? The body of the truck is a rusty but decently solid and there are only 97000 miles on the odometer. I paid $475 for this truck. Any more solid advice from this great forum?
 

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change the gear oil again and note the color condition...
refill it. water traces will make the oil foam. (I think I remember that right).

if you dont have any leaks, and it shifts ok, and the oil comes out clean....
i wouldnt worry much.
I would drain it after 50/100 miles and see what color it is.... and just to clean out the water bubbles.
 

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Look at it this way, a used trans or repairing your trans would probably cost more than you paid for the truck. Draining the oil again would be cheap insurance. The contaminated oil might have caused some damage already causing the hard shifting. Another alternative is to use synthetic gear oil which usually flows easier and offers superior protection.
You said your manual recommends 80-90 which I believe is correct,BUT does your manual spec whether it is GL-4 or GL-5? There is a difference in the additive package that will effect the brass parts in the trans.
As I said before water in a manual trans usually enters through the vent as all trans have to be vented to releive pressure from heat buildup. Many trans have a hose on the vent to keep it high so water doesn't enter. If the hose breaks it makes it easier for water to enter. Some also have little ck. valves that allow pressure to vent but prevents anything from entering.
 

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While expensive, a couple ounces of "ER" might help solve in part the hard to shift aspect of your problem, ER is about $125.00 per gallon, and worth every penny, it will inthe end increase the mileage from most vehicles when used in good working condition motors, rear ends and trannys. It may or may not cause damage to your particular applicatin read on the bottle before taking my word for it.

ER goes to the heat, and lubricates allowing better action of moving metal parts.


Just my added thoughts to what everyone else has written.

William
 

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All long as we have alot of experts here talking about transmissions let me ask a question.


Wife's 1994 Ford F-150, straight six with automatic. 2.5 years ago she called me from a parking lot 70 miles away and said the truck had left a trail of fluid behind it and would'nt shift. I drove to the lot and saw maybe a hundred foot trial of red.

It was about empty. I added 4 quarts and it has driven fine ever since.


Until yesterday. Same 70 miles away, in a service station she'd stopped at she notice a large pool of red fluid. Empty again. Added fluid and runs fine.

Never happens to me. What is she doing? It leaks some. Always has. Is she letting it get low and then it heats up and spews forth? Is the vent clogged by a muddauber?
 

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Limit her driving to a 69 mile radius.
Where is the fluid coming from, in other words what is the exact location of the leak? Is it pushing out of the dipstick or leaking past an external seal on the trans? A clogged vent will definetly cause problems.
 
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