The powerglide in my 68 El Camino has developed a leak. I suspect it is the front pump seal, because I rarely drive the car, it just waits in the garage until the next car show, and the seal has probably dried out. Because I will only drive it a few miles, and then put it away again for months, what I have been doing is topping it of before I drive it. It performs well when I do drive it. I have been using transmission fluid with stop leak when I top it off, but my garage floor is a mess. I'm not worried about the mess, but I am about the tranny. I am going to ruin it by doing this?
I wouldn't think you would ruin the trans as long as your keeping a close eye on the fluid level and only driving the car a few miles now and then, but if you just happen to lose too much one day when your driving just a little bit too far, you probably will cause some premature (68?) wear or damage to the internal components. It's also got to be annoying to clean up the trans fluid on the garage floor. What about a drip pan? Better yet, if the car isn't going anywhere for the next couple of weeks or months, yank the trans and have it fixed, changing a front seal wouldn't be all that expensive if you pull/re-install the trans (maybe you could replace the seal yourself). Then when the spring gets here, you'll be able to drive more than just a couple of miles, and enjoy your 68 327 Elky the way it should be...crusin' in it!
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Thanks for the reply! I figured I would have to pull the trans, but that is not easy by yourself. And even if I got it fixed, I wonder how long a new seal would last, just sitting like the car does now. It might be a year before I take it out again! I know I should exercise the car once in a while, but anything could happen once I get on the road. Where I'm at now is "is it worth it"?
A couple years ago on the way to a car show 6 miles down the road I got challenged by a late model (90s) Pontiac Firebird Formula 400. Was 5-6 lengths ahead of him at 100 MPH before I had to shut down for a stop sign. So the trans is still in good shape. Maybe I'll pull it if I break it!
FYI: the car has 86,000 original miles
A Powerglide is not so big that it's hard to handle by yourself if you just have a small ($25) floor jack. The front seal is pretty simple to install and the new seal materials ( your parts guy will know which ones don't dry out) will last for years, even when sitting for long periods of time. I'd replace it so I wouldn't have to worry about it. Think about the mess the next time you decide to launch it and the seal disintegrates and you puke all of the oil out in about a block. You're left sitting, embarrassed, mad, and worse, with a huge tow and repair bill.
OK, thanks for the advice. When I pulled the engine to rebuild it, I pulled the engine and trans as a unit, split 'em in the garage, did the motor, but I only replaced the rear seal on the trans. Should have done the front, too!
Stop leak kills a transmission. It makes the seals soft, like coolant got into the trans. If anything don't bother with the powerglide, those suck unles they're in a drag car under 3k lbs. Get a 350, it'll be one of the best upgrades you can do for yourself. and seals don't dry up, the springs inside go bad. if a seal dries up it's been sitting since about 1492.
Why don't four cylinders ever want to race a truck?
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