1954 auto.transmission leak fix

I'm looking to fix a little leak in my 54' automatic transmission caused by seals. I would like to know if there is a specific product to fix those kind of leaks or if any can do. 

Thanks in advance 



  • 54coupe54coupe Posts: 177Member
    Are you looking for a "mechanic in a can" fix?

  • Max162Max162 Posts: 33Member
    The leak comes from the seals that may be a little dry. I did ask to the previous owner that has made the entire restoration of the car about it and told me to search for a auto trans. additive for fixing the said leak. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • squirrelsquirrel Posts: 168Member
    It's not easy to fit a mechanic into a can. I doubt you'll get an additive to fix the seals for you. You can give it a try, there are several stop leak additives available in the "snake oil" section of most auto parts stores.
  • Max162Max162 Posts: 33Member
    I do agree, a mechanic is hard to fit in a can. I simply want to reduce the frenquency of adding fluid every time I stop.

  • squirrelsquirrel Posts: 168Member
    Try stop leak (or a teaspoon of brake fluid), but don't be too disappointed if you need to actually fix the seals by replacing them. There is more to it than just "dry rubber"

  • 54coupe54coupe Posts: 177Member
    Some of these additives work by softening the seals. If you leave them in, they soften them until the seal falls apart. If you use this kind of product, and it works, drain and change to fresh trans fluid, so the additive is gone, and doesn't mess up the seals by making them too soft. Then plan on changing them at a convenient time in the not too distant future. Remember, the additive is a "Band Aid" until you can do it right.
  • onerare39onerare39 Posts: 1,019Expert Adviser, Moderator
    When looking for seals, remember that Hudson used two different transmissions in 1954.  The standard Dual-range Hydramatic and the replacement Borg Warner (DG-200).  Make sure you know which one you have before you start looking for seals.

    A fire destroyed the Hydramatic transmission factory on August 12, 1953. 
  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,482Senior Contributor
    edited June 26

    If its just a little leak don't put in those Stop Leak products, instead slide a small pan available at any Dollar General under where you regularly park. If any consolation,  modern Transmissions in Hot Rods & Classics that set a lot drip from the seals too. Do check it occasionally though.

  • Max162Max162 Posts: 33Member
    Got some update for the transmission leak and it looks like I got to fix it by changing any seal. Thanks to your advices, I didn't put any additives as I had the feeling that it wasn't a going to fix it anyway (it was a good call from you). Unfortunately, as day goes by, it seems that I'm losing more trans. fluid and I still need to find the exact place where it leaks.

     Right now I have a guess the leak is between the torque converter and the transmission, but I'll have to crawl under the car to check it closer as I want to make sure I get the right seals to fix it properly. My transmission is a Borg Warner DG-200. I'll give an update when I'll have more info on this issue.
  • GlowplugGlowplug Posts: 1,784Expert Adviser
    Mike Madden of Knoxville Tenn. redid his DG-200 might check with him. 
  • Ol racerOl racer Posts: 2,482Senior Contributor
    edited July 2


    If the leak is pretty bad its probably coming from the front seal and requires removal from the car to replace. If the transmission works good otherwise, I suggest having it repaired unless your capable and have a trans jack, stands, etc.

    Many Trans shops are reluctant to do 'major' repairs on an older Trans since they don't have the Manuals, Senior Mech's have retired, and/or a Source for necessary parts, however, if your Trans works good and just needs a front Seal its a simple replacement job for them. Shops may say cant find a new Seal or Torus Gasket but our Club has a Source for whatever Parts needed. The Supplier for Seals,  Gasket and whatever parts needed is Dave Edwards  781 449 2065 www.autotrans.us.

    Additionally, Most Towns/Cities have a local Tranny Shop and if you obtain the Parts they have the Equipment to do the Job, and R&R a Front Seal doesn't really need a Manual for an experienced Tech. I would replace the rear seal too....Lastly, If the BW Trans has other problems and needs rebuilt, I suggest find a more durable Hydro to rebuild.

  • Ken U-TxKen U-Tx Posts: 3,702Senior Contributor
    Plusieurs marques de voitures britanniques ont utilisé la boîte de vitesses automatique Borg-Warner DG-200. Ma suggestion est d'appeler un atelier de réparation spécialisé dans les Jaguars plus anciens, ils pourront peut-être vous aider. Britannicar à Lachal, QC semble être fortement recommandé: http://www.brittanicar.com/index.php Bonne chance!

  • Max162Max162 Posts: 33Member
    edited July 5
    After some further tests and diagnosis, I will indeed need a new seal to stop the leak between the torque converter and the transmission.

     From the infos that I've found so far, I'll need the Front Seal # CR21100 (Timken 470898) or any front seal that will do the job nicely. I wonder if Dave Edwards have it as I've checked the web site and haven't seen it yet ( that can also be me being blind ).

    Thanks for your advices, it has helped me a bunch. 
  • Max162Max162 Posts: 33Member
    Update : I've changed the front seal, and yet the tranny is still leaking at the same place.

    While I looked into the transmission's shop manual and into my old student modules to find any clues of this mystery, I've remembered that the transmission fluid needs to be cooled on modern automatic trans. to prevent fluid to overheat. I've checked under the hood and found nothing that tells me that there's a cooling system for the fluid so far ( either a smaller external radiator next to the main radiator or hoses from the auto. transmission going into it ) .

    Well...that's a bit odd to me...

    I'm wondering if there is a way for the transmission fluid to cool off, if not, could the fluid overheat be the cause of the leak. Any expert advices would be grateful.

    Thanks in advance,

  • squirrelsquirrel Posts: 168Member
    Having a torque converter instead of a fluid coupling makes a difference in how much cooling a transmission needs. Also it was common on early transmissions to use air cooling, instead of liquid cooling.

    A random internet quote about a GM car:

    "In 1954 a heavy-duty Hydra-Matic conversion package was available. It has an external transmission oil cooler, larger annular pistons, a modified engine water pump, and some other parts. It was intended for police cars, taxis, and road mail carriers. it could not be used on air conditioned cars. The cooler mounted on the transmission."

  • Max162Max162 Posts: 33Member
    I've done some more research and found out that the transmission is indeed cooled by air. Then there's only three more symptoms for me to check according to the shop manual :

    1-Leaking collector ring gasket,

    2-Leaking front pump-and-collector ring assembly or

    3-Leaking torque converter.

    Though knowing that the tranny is old, I would have to pinpoint the problem in order to get the right parts needed. The leak seems to happen when the transmission is hot, as I always lose some fluid after I shut the engine off. I'll continue the research on my side.
  • Max162Max162 Posts: 33Member
    I did sent it to a local garage and they saw the problem : the transmission fluid was indeed boiling inside the DG-200 auto. tranny without any way to cool it off. I know it should be cooled by air, but I'm wondering if there is a way to stop the fluid to boil inside without having lose fluid pressure inside the transmission. If possible, I would like to know how the tranny cools off by air. It might help me to get a clue to this mystery.
  • Ken U-TxKen U-Tx Posts: 3,702Senior Contributor
    If the transmission fluid is getting hot enough to boil, which is in excess of 500F for clean, uncontaminated ATF, you have internal problems with the transmission, probably slipping bands and or clutches, or some other high internal friction cause, and the transmission is about to fail.
  • charles4dcharles4d Posts: 499Expert Adviser
    Hudson's  don't  leak they just mark their spot
  • Max162Max162 Posts: 33Member
    charles, unfortunately it's not a tiny leak it's a big one everytime I shut the engine off after a ride, whatever the distance. The tranny works fine when having enough fluid in it, but the leak is big enough to spread all over the car's underside while riding. There must be a way for the transmission to cool off somehow but I don't know how so far...
  • Max162Max162 Posts: 33Member
    edited October 17
    Transmission Update:

    I've made a ride with my car recently and the transmission has gotten hot enough to be smoking alot, even refusing to shift to direct drive.I managed to drive it back home but I got scared when it happened, not gonna lie. For sure the leaking issue is this there and I'll have to keep Molly ( that's the name of my 54 Super Wasp ) inside of my garage until I come with a solution for this.

    Right now I may have 3 options :
    1. fixing the actual tranny ( wich is a DG-200 3 speed automatic ) might be the simplest of them, but I'll have to pin-point the overheat and leaking issues, find the proper parts and get a good transmission shop that is willing to work on it.

    2. Swap the DG-200 for the Hydramatic ( the original auto transmission for Hudson ), but it will not be and easy one as I'm aware that it's not just the tranny that I'll have to change.

    The third option is more of a question; Is it possible to change the automatic transmission for a standard ( manual ) one with overdrive of the same year ( 54 ) or would it be as difficult or worse than  maintaining the acual tranny/ swaping it for a Hydra? Any advices from the experts on the subject are welcome.

    Thanks so far for your past advices, even though I didn't answer them, as I was busy lately.


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