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95 escort manual trans

06-23-2010, 01:02 PM
My escort is leaking tranny fluid under my dash on drivers side. The floor mat is wet with red fluid. Any ideas? Sorry it's a 1994 escort.

06-23-2010, 04:02 PM
i think thats impossable!!you sure its not dexcool
does fluid feel like oil??or does it smell sweet like anti-freeze??

06-23-2010, 08:09 PM
I know it's impossible since the transmission is outside the car. It's red and oily.

06-23-2010, 08:35 PM
Red oil (Dexron/Mercon III ATF in fact) is what is normally used in the manual transmissions, and if the tranny was overfilled (or its little breather tube got plugged up) the oil has been known to wick its way up inside the speedometer cable and pee out at the top end, right at the back of the speedometer in the instrument cluster. This hasnt happened to me (yet), but a couple of other posters have reported it as a problem.
I would think the amount of oil would be small, but it would drip down onto the carpeting, and it sure would be red oil. Somewhere on the manual transmissions there should be a vent tube, with a tiny filter on the end of it. That might have gotten clogged, and the heat from driving would certainly make the oil expand. The automatic trannies also have a rubber vent tube, but if it gets clogged the oil filler/dipstick tube would also serve as a sort of vent. I've got an Escort LX with the 5 speed transmnission, and two of them with the automatics.
If thats what it turns out to be, please let us know.

06-23-2010, 09:14 PM
Thanks, that make sense. Now the only question is, where is the vent tube and how do I top up the fluid i've lost so far?

Thank you

06-24-2010, 10:00 AM
Topping up the manual transmission fluid is one of the more difficult Escort jobs if you ask me.
Its easy to state: Remove the electrical connector from the VSS, unclip and remove the speedo cable from it, then undo the little bolt (10mm) that clamps the VSS to the tranny case, and work the vss up and out. You add ATF until the level is at the top of the gear on the VSS.
Doing this may be NOT easy.
Since the VSS is often firmly corroded into the tranny case, it probably wont just come out. If you can rotate it, the only thing holding it in is the rubber "O" ring. Some folks have been able to turn the VSS with vise grips (on the aluminum part, not the upper plastic part), some have not been so lucky. One guy had to drill his out, thread the hole in it, and pry it up with a slidehammer. This of course destroyed the VSS and put aluminum shavings into the differential.

I have 3 Escorts & taken all 3 of the VSS's out; but in each case the transmission was sitting on my workbench. For one of them I had to use an old wood chisel to force it up, after heating the tranny case locally and quickly with my oxy-acetylene torch. Then I made sure I had sanded off the corrosion, and smeared the sides of the VSS with silicone grease to prevent more corrosion, before I put it back in.

I dont recall the vent location, but since the automatics do have vents, the manual trannies would need them as well. On the automatic transmission the 12" rubber tube of the vent is attached to a tube fitting that sticks up from the rearward upper part of the transmission. A nylon cable tie held the end of the vent tube up above the top of the tranny - so the tube would never droop down low and siphon fluid out.
It might be necessary to remove the battery and the battery tray to be able to see it. Having the battery out would probably also make it easier to get to the VSS to work on it from above.

06-29-2010, 11:51 PM
Had that problem. An internal seal on the vehicle speed sensor is blown. The fluid is siphoned in by the speedometer cable and exits at the back of the speedometer. Resolution is to replace the speed sensor. Note that there are two types, RED gear and WHITE gear. Be careful not to ruin the end of the speedometer cable during reinstalation. Avoid overfilling the transmission and account for thermal expansion at higher temperatures. Overfill it, and you'll be back to square one quite soon.

Not too long after that, I started getting black fluid at my feet. That was the clutch master cylinder. (not to be confused with brake master cylinder)

06-30-2010, 10:49 PM
Where is the clutch master cylinder located?

07-01-2010, 09:28 AM
You'll have to remove the battery and push-rod at the clutch pedal. Follow the hole at the firewall inside the car, to the long cylindrical item with hard lines coming out of it, at the bottom of the firewall in the engine bay. Hard lines run down to it, from the brake master cylinder which of course is at the top of the firewall.

It has a tiny corner reserved in the brake master cylinder reservoir. That back corner can be bone dry while the brake reservoir appear to remain 3/4 full. (it's compartmentalized) So during the bleeding process, you'll need to keep that reservoir full at ALL times. Add as the level drops even the slightest. Probably won't be necessary, but you can also opt to replace the slave cylinder too. During the bleeding process, push that slave cylinder piston back in prior to closing the bleed valve. That forces out a lot more air that would otherwise remain in the system after bleeding. To avoid creating bubbles in the hydraulic system, the clutch pedal should be pumped SLOWLY. If it has been pumped fast, then the vehicle should sit for a few hours, to overnight to allow those bubbles to coalesce.

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