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Hi, back again, I'm afraid.

I tightened the handbrake as per RAVE but I'm not convinced that it is working properly. If I pull the lever up to the second click, which is as far as it now goes, then it holds the car. But if I am driving along and I pull up the handbrake then the car doesn't really slow down very much. Probably about the same slowing down as when I lift off the throttle, when travelling at about 10 mph. The car will eventually stop, but the performance isn't especially good, from what I can see.

I took a couple of pictures of the rear of the transfer case, which shows oil around the bottom of the case. This oil is also on the handbrake drum but I don't know if oil has got into the drum without stripping it.

I did try holding on the handbrake while travelling but it hasn't made any difference, so I am not sure if there actually is oil inside the drum. I couldn't smell overheated oil, anyway.

So, how difficult is it to change the seal, or gasket, at the back of the transfer case ? Does the gearbox need to be taken out to do it ?

Pierre3.

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Dead easy. All you need to remove is the brake drum, it can even be done with the brake shoes in place. Off with the propshaft and move it to one side, off with the drum, big nut in the centre of the drive flange, drive flange off, seal dust cover off, lever the old seal out and, as they say in all the best books, reassembly is the reverse of the above.

Don't forget, it isn't oil its ATF, one of the slipperyest substances you can find so any of that on your brake shoes and it won't work well. ATF is also good for high temperatures so you wont smell burnt oil as you'll probably never get it hot enough.

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I forgot to download the pictures of the back of the transfer case.

I am sure that the leak is not from the upper square plug [a filler plug ?], and also I am not convinced that the oil is from the oil seal in the centre of the casing where it connects to the drive out of the transfer case. Looking at the most of the oil it appears to be coming from the bottom of the joint in the transfer case.

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Pierre3.

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I'd say it is coming from the filler plug. Give it a blast with brake cleaner to wash it all off, then take it for a run and have another look. Don't forget that airflow under the car will spread it around too.

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Hi Richard, thanks for the suggestion. I can't see how the joint in the casing could leak as it looks fairly permanent to me, but I suppose, like everything, if there is a seal or gasket in the joint then it could well be a failure point.

I will have another root about this afternoon provided the weather stays fine.

I checked the handbrake adjustment again, but this time I tightened the adjuster nut up to about 35/40 nm, then released it the regulatory number of turns and I would say that it appears more effective now. I wonder whether the suggested tightness of 25 nm's, on an old brake drum, might be too little to work effectively. Perhaps with a new drum, shoes, and springs 25 nm would be fine. Although, I thought that I read that it should be 35 nm.

I also changed the accumulator, so now the pump doesn't run until after the third time of pressing down the brake pedal. Funnily enough, the pedal pressure seems a bit better, as well.

Lastly, I changed the radiator cap for a new one, and I noticed this morning that the engine temperature is now slightly lower than before, but this just might be that the engine hadn't been running long enough. I will wait to see whether there is any difference when I take it out for a longer run tomorrow.

Pierre3.

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The joint on the transfer case doesn't use a gasket, it uses a layer of RTV so if it didn't leak originally, it won't leak again unless it is disturbed.

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Thanks for the advice. I had the gearbox oil changed last Spring so it is possible that, for some reason, the filler plug has been leaking. I probably need to take it out and see if there is a seal inside the plug, to seal the threads. Or failing that I might just put in threadlock, which also seals threads.

If the worst comes to the worst, I will wrap some plumbers PVC thread tape around the filler plug.

Pierre3.

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The filler thread is tapered so it seals as long as it is done up tight enough. There is no seal or washer, it just needs be done up to 30Nm.

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And I suppose it’s almost impossible that it could be over filled?

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If it was overfilled, the excess would be spat out the breather pipe. Pipe ends up on the LH side of the bulkhead. The gearbox one is there too and if you overfill either gearbox or transfer case, the excess dribbles down the LH mudflap. I found that when I overfilled my gearbox as the difference between the min and max marks on the dipstick (on a GEMS) is only 250ml and not a litre as I assumed.....

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I made the same assumption the first time I topped up the P38 auto box. With the t-case I’m not sure it’s even possible to over fill as you normally top it until it runs out the same hole as you fill it with. I just threw that in in case it’s actually possible to add fluid through a higher location.

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To state the obvious, transmission fluid not gearbox oil in the transfer box and auto gearbox.

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Harv does make a point of interest. If I want to get comfortable access to the transfer case then I need to jack the car up and put it on axle stands. This means that the car is then sloping forward and will take in more ATF than if it was level, say on a lift. I was wondering about what would happen, as well. But now I know the answer.

I must check the ATF level as I think that it will need a small bit to replace what has leaked out.

Incidentally, my P38 managed to pass its' retest today. the reason that I say "managed" is because of the number of plonkers that it took to pass the ABS brake test:
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Nothing like have most of the "testers" looking at the brake result readings !!!! This is what we have to put up with in Ireland.

Pierre3.

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Not just Ireland, if you pick the wrong MoT test centre here, you can run into problems.

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Gilbertd wrote:

Not just Ireland, if you pick the wrong MoT test centre here, you can run into problems.

At least in the UK if you don't like the MOT result there are plenty of other centres where you can take the vehicle for a second or third or fourth opinion.

In France there are plenty of CT stations & you only need a test every two years (motorcycles don't need any test). Even if you fail unless it's a dangerous fault you get issued a CT for two months giving you time to get the repair done & return for a retest just on the failure points.

It sounds like test centres are thin on the ground in Ireland.

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Nigelbb, that's exactly the problem. Because the government here were short-sighted about car tests they sold the whole caboodle to a Spanish outfit called Aplus, and between the dumbass transport minister at the time, agreed to let Aplus decide on how many test centres to open. So of course they only opened enough to keep them totally booked out all the time.

I have actually emailed two transport ministers, over the years, pointing out that as the population increases at about 5% a year then the car ownership does the same, but the government is not telling Aplus that they need to operate more testing centres. As with any outsourced business in Ireland the decisions to actually provide a service that works for customers is dominated by profit, and only profit.

Pierre3.

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I decided to check the filler plug, the other day, and I did get a bit of a turn on it. So maybe there was a slight leak from it. As Richard suggested I sprayed the whole underside of the transfer case with brake cleaner and dried it off with a cloth, so hopefully I won't find ATF on the underside when I next get a look. The weather has been too bad to get under the car outside on the drive so I will have to wait for better conditions to get a butchers at it.

Pierre3.