2001 Celica transmission cooler leaks - Toyota Celica Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-25-2020, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Default 2001 Celica transmission cooler leaks

I had cooling issues. It's a 1zz engine with A/C and U341E A/T.

Wound up replacing the engine coolant radiator. I assumed swapping trans cooler lines was a no brainer.

Yet, here I am.

It's a very flexible rubber pipe going to a metal elbow with a flare that mates with a flared, threaded component that disappears into the plastic radiator sump. There are two of these, I assume (again) in and out, although I don't know which.

Sealing the threads is pointless - the way it works is, the flared pipe and the conical stub mate perfectly, then are forced together by screwing down a cap with a hole in it the pipe feeds through. Tightening this cap hydroforms the flare to mate with the cone. There are no gaskets, o-rings, or crush/compression washer components to this item as far as I can tell from the factory service manual, the internet, and what parts catalog stuff I can find (and the old ones I took apart).

If you put the flare end in cocked up at all, you will ruin it, so I feel like I had it pretty well centered. If you overtighten the cap, you can cause a small split in the flare or the pipe, causing a leak. (They can be pretty small, from doing these fittings on carburetors and hydraulic lines).

Today, I am going to put a camera in the engine compartment to see if fluid is spraying under pressure, or if it is plip plipping. I am unsure because I can see on the clean new radiator and the bottom supports some staining, but it has been raining constantly while I work on this, so there are other variables.

What I do know, is taking a piece of white toilet paper, and doing a wipe test under the fittings, I get either a dot where the pipe exits and a dot at the exposed threads, or I get a thin line at the threads on both. Wiping again, I may be getting another dot, with rain confounding everything it has been hard to tell.

Side issue - I know I lost fluid. I swapped coolers when the radiators changed. Plus whatever initially leaked during the maiden low speed / high speed extended interstate voyages. I am having the WORST time trying to read the dipstick. The oil is very smeary on the stick. Putting it in backwards from how it normally rides provides more of a vee shape, but I am very concerned about overfill.

Checking it after I add is useless, all I see is bright red. Have to drive it a bit.

I am checking it twice. First on cold, start car, run through R and D a couple of times, stop engine, check stick to see fluid between bottom two V chunks on the stick.

Second, go drive until I feel the transmission has sufficiently warmed to operating range, pull over, engine running, check to see fluid between top set of V chunks on stick.

I *think* this is the correct method.

Opinions on either topic welcome, I'll update when I know something else.

Current plan of action:
If it is just weeping -
  • Maybe add something to the sealing surface like locktite, or find a conical washer.
  • Maybe, and I don't like this, but swap an old pipe set off the old rad and see what happens
If it is spewing under pressure -

  • going into town and see if I can get two more pipes either made or ordered.
  • Get some optics and inspect the cooler side more closely for burrs, nicks and deformities.

that's all I got. Here is a screencap from the manual or two:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cooler reinstall.jpg (124.4 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg trans cooler exploded.jpg (43.5 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_4000.jpg (285.9 KB, 3 views)
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-08-2020, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry i didn't update this.

The camera demonstrated no spewing / leaking. You could observe a red line forming at the bottom of the upper threads, and nothing at all on the lower one.

I am still fighting the dipstick, but for the time being, I've let this one kind of lie.
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