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Thread: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

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    Moderator drooartz's Avatar
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    Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Did a drain and refill on the Datsun 5-speed in the Morris today, and now the transmission is leaking past the drain plug a bit. Enough that I need to sort it out.

    I've got it in there tight, but now thinking I need some sort of sealer on the threads. It's a male pipe thread, similar to the diff drain (no washer or shoulder on the plug). Something like Permatex thread sealant? Other thoughts?

    In other 4-door Sprite news, I also installed a rebuild diff and redone driveshaft. I've now been through pretty much all of the mechanicals other than the engine, and that was rebuilt by the PO and runs great. Just need to sort this trans leak and I'm ready for the driving season.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - driving in 2019?
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

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    Jedi Warrior BlueMax's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Remove plug, clean it well then wrap clock wise with Teflon tape three wraps, then rethread back in.

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Drew, same issue with Bugsy’s 5 speed. When I pulled engine for paint the tranny tunnel was full of oil and not engine oil. Hoping I didn’t ruin Tranny as a result of running low on gear oil. And all of that oil stayed in the tunnel and did not leak down on the garage floor. I think that may have been cause if my strange whining sounds. Tranny is out for a rebuild/ teardown to make sure all us ik befire I put it back in the car after painting is finished.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Moderator drooartz's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Thanks. Going to pull the plug in the morning and let it all drain, then clean and wrap with the teflon.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - driving in 2019?
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Well, I know why it's leaking now. I must have overtightened the plug when I first replaced it -- there is a crack in the case where the plug goes in. Major disappointment. No idea if that's repairable or if I'm done.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - driving in 2019?
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Crap. Crap and Double crap. Give Rivergate a call they were able to supply a complete front bellhousing for me. I HTH that isn’t my issue.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Gosh dang! (also known as: euphemism). I assume that it's repairablel by cleaning, then welding, then (presumably) tapping. Good fortune, and the only advice I've got is that some problems go away when you throw enough money at them. Hopefully, this won't be an excessive amount. Doug
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

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    Yoda
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    I was going to advise against over tightening....too late. Before you panic completely visit you local friendly auto parts store and hopefully they might have a product that will help out. JB Weld??? Something that would wick into the crack????

    Kurt
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Obi Wan Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    A good welder likely can repair it. I once cracked the cast aluminum sump on my 190SL and took it to a recommended welder. He whipped out his acetylene torch and welded it right back. I said "I thought it had to be TIG welded." he said " Nope. You just have to know what you are doing."
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
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    http://enfoprefect.org

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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    The biggest problem in getting something like a trans case welded is getting it clean inside the crack. It will probably take a lot of work with small grinders to open up the crack enough to get it welded.
    Good aluminum welders are difficult to find.
    After welding, you could have the hole retapped for straight threads and use a standard oil plug with crush washer
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    It was not my most shining moment that's for sure.

    I've got a spare 5-speed on the shelf, likely plan is to prep that one and swap it into the Morris. Once the cracked one is out I can assess. I have a friend that is a car restorer and aircraft welder -- might bring it by his place for a professional opinion. Will probably also drop Rivergate a line to see if they have a replacement case (since the internals of my trans are really good). Just getting my options together.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - driving in 2019?
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

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    Yoda
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    I have a case from a junk transmission. Haven't looked to see if all the bearing bores inside are good. If you are desperate I'll check it out.

    Kurt
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    And if he doesn’t Kurt I may need one for same issue.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Wanted to mention that I think what Bayless had done was what is referred to as aluminum brazing or soldering. If you could get all the grease out [can't see how one could do that....maybe flush with a solvent] you could maybe do that with the trans still in the car.
    I've done a lot of welding over the years and I would attempt it. The main worry to me would be getting the trans cleaned out with no residual explosive gasses inside.

    Kurt
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Moderator drooartz's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Quote Originally Posted by nomad View Post
    I have a case from a junk transmission. Haven't looked to see if all the bearing bores inside are good. If you are desperate I'll check it out.
    While not desperate, mine will need a new case. My internals are in great shape, but I'm reasonably sure the case is now junk. If your case is in good shape let's PM and talk deal.

    My current plan is to pull the trans out and swap in my spare -- then try and repair or re-case the broken one, hate to waste those good internal bits and I may still need that spare one for my Bugeye.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - driving in 2019?
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Drew, my tranny is out and undergoing an autopsy. Supposed to have a call in status by end of week. When I pulled tranny tunnel was full of 90 weight gear oil so it was leaking from somewhere but too heavy to make it too the ground in the garage. I’ll need to make some decisions after I get results back. Thanks for the offer. I’ll let you know.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Jedi Trainee Joe Schlosser's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    If my memory is correct the Datsun/Nissan transmissions we are talking about were noted for leaking at the rear seal. Guys running the A series engine In GT5 and then GTL always had trans seal issues at the drive shaft.
    That type of leak would put in the middle of the Tunnel with no place for it to go.
    Joe Schlosser
    SCCA National License, Retired
    60 Bugeye, since 1966
    SCCA FP, sold but not forgotten

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Got initial autopsy results today. Looks good inside w minimal wear but he has not removed the main shaft yet. Rear seal may have been compromised as I used Paul A’s rear mount with Gerard’s Kit and it was a bitch to get it to fit and I could have torqued that rear seal. I will be reinstalling with Gerard’s recommended modifications and his rear mount kit which will raise rear of tranny about an inch which also tilts the engine a little more forward. I had issues with getting LCB Header to fit and GR Starter only had about a 1/2” of clearance in the right rear quarter of the engine compartment. Again I did not do the actual Install as I was in the middle of getting a house ready for sale last year. More to follow.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Yoda
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Well, I know I need the rear extension because the drive shaft sleeve bearing is not available and never has been. Always a new rear case was sold by Nissan. The trans i need it for had a drive shaft bearing out when I got it and the bearing is pretty loose. That is why the one I need it for eats rear seals. Have had other things on my mind. I'll look that case over.

    Kurt
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Leaking 5-speed drain plug

    Autopsy Follow Up. May have found reason for the whirling sound

    So far I have actually discovered the transfer idler gear was on backwards, and was not aligned with the mainshaft and layshaft gears. Assuming this gear had run for its whole life by turning (and seating in) in one direction and was then asked to push the other way, it could certainly explain a noise. It is all I have found so far, but it certainly is an assembly mistake by the last guy. Since it not something that is done wrong with any frequency, it would be hard to say 100% that this would cause a noise.

    I have looked for any signs of cracking on the drain plug area and see nothing. I will look for a shorter version, something that uses an Allen wrench to remove, which would be a very short plug.

    I would need your driveshaft if I am going to check for the rear bushing condition.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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