Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
the car belongs to my wife's sister. it is a 1992 toyota tercel....i believe it is called gear oil. it leaks inside the car between the gas pedal and the brake pedal is at. It only leaks if you drive the car around for a while but doesn't if you just leave the car on. it smells like motor oil. the little thing that goes into the transmission that is located behind the engine on top of the transmission as in the picture. not sure what it is called but i just heard my dad's boss (works at a transmission shop) call it a bullet. i have replaced the o ring that goes around it and the o ring that is inside and it is still leaking. i am just a beginner at this so i do apologize for anything i have said that is wrong, but Could anyone give me an idea of what the problem is?


 

·
TN's ex-Local Buddhahead
1992 Toyota Paseo
Joined
·
389 Posts
Wow, that's unpleasant... sorry to hear that, bud...

I'm going to say with the info presented so far, that gear oil is working up through a worn speedo drive cable, and leaking behind the gauges, all the symptoms fit. Replace the speedo cable (lucky for you, some recent posts show good info on just how to do that), and see if the problem recurs. Remember, that there maybe be residual oil from the first failure, so a drip isn't necessarily a no-go on the cable.

I'm not aware of any other component that could be a route for oil into the passenger compartment. Coolant, sure, but not oil. Luckily, the cables are pretty cheap, and the work to swap one is minor in the big picture.
 

·
Premium Member
'91 MR2 Turbo
Joined
·
19,831 Posts
Are you sure it's not brake fluid?
Doesn't seem likely that trans fluid would work it's way all the UP the speedo cable into the cabin. Brake fluid could be leaking from the backside of the master cyliner and down the pedal(or even the clutch pedal if it's actually the clutch master ifit a manual trans).
Just a thought.
 

·
TN's ex-Local Buddhahead
1992 Toyota Paseo
Joined
·
389 Posts
Are you sure it's not brake fluid?
Thought about that too, Jedi, the location fits. But the smell part, and the fact that it's actually leaking onto the driver's foot, doesn't. If anything, since the master works in compression, not tension, wouldn't the leak travel behind the pedal, not atop it? The pivot is above the master in a Toyota, correct?

noobie, here's a quick way to figure out what it is. Toyota manual trans use gear oil; it stinks like sulphur. If that's what it is, then it's the cable. If it doesn't smell very strong, but burns slightly when you touch it onto your tongue, that's brake/clutch fluid (can't be the clutch master, leak is in the wrong place). It can't be anything but those two fluids; give it a look-see. ;)
 

·
Banned
93 tercel
Joined
·
430 Posts
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
The only thing that would leak into the floor would be the heater core.
leaks don't go up cables:lol:
thanks I needed a good laugh today:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I also think it's brake fluid. If it's from the heater core, it would have a sweeter smell to it. Basically smell inside the radiator (when engine is cool of course) or the overflow tank next to it and compare it to the smell of the liquid on the floor of the car. But definitely not ruling out the heater core - but from my experience, it usually leaks onto the passenger side.

It could also be power steering fluid. But I'm not too sure exactly how the steering system works. But engine oil, definitely and most probably not.
 

·
TN's ex-Local Buddhahead
1992 Toyota Paseo
Joined
·
389 Posts
@4speed: think things spinning in the transmission would cause, I dunno, pressure? Like your spinning coolant pump rotor and your turbocharger impeller do? It's only about a foot up it's gotta travel... think about it.

I've wrenched on motorcycles, ATVs and watercraft as a certified tech for nine years, bro -- I've seen way more unlikely scenarios stump me before. But the truth is the truth, so we'll wait for the verdict. I'm armchair-wrenching on any forum... just with better tools than the average poster. ;)

@sam: coolant does have a sweeter smell, and is a little slippery, to boot. But in my Paseo at least, when the core failed in 2003, it leaked in the passenger well, not the driver's. Brake fluid is probably the most compelling fluid other than trans oil, but I need the results of the checks I mentioned. Brake fluid is also a lot less slippery than esp trans oil between the fingertips.

My Paseo's brake seals are 18 years old, and still fine... including stints in Hawaii, Phoenix (8 years there), and here in Seattle... so if it's leaking, you either got really unlucky, or someone tried to mess with it. Oh btw 4speed... I lived next to Metrocenter, close to 35th Ave and Peoria. :D

See if it leaks with repeated brake pedal application while sitting still in the driveway. You mentioned it only happened after a drive. Is your brake fluid reservoir empty? If should be low by now if it's brake fluid. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
it is not brake fluid for sure i know that. i constantly been checking it and it is at the same level as i first saw it. also when i twisted of that cap as in the picture you can see above the fluid if filled all the way up which my dad's boss said that is not suppose to happen. I currently checked where the cable connects to inside the car behind the gauges (the speed cable i think that is what it is called.) and there is oil there where you pull out the cable. So could it be the cable itself that went bad? only leaks on the driver side.
 

·
TN's ex-Local Buddhahead
1992 Toyota Paseo
Joined
·
389 Posts
Bingo. Replace the cable. It's supposed to be dry on the gauge side at all times. Cables are pretty cheap, so at least after this messy ordeal, the fix is probably a twenty-spot and 45 minutes. Cool. :thumbsup:

Only thing is to try to clean as much of the residual oil up as you can -- whatever's still sticking to the drip path down to your foot, will take time to all drip out.

What could've happened, is the gear drive on the trans side got damaged somehow, through either heavy wear or age or both (esp if the sealed lube inside the cable dried out and was binding), allowing flung oil to creep up the cable.

However, if Toyota cables are anything like Yamaha or Suzuki speedo drive cables, the drive core (the core inside the sheath that spins) is a square section coiled wire, and over time, it'll twist into a sort of wide-pitch helix, like a drill bit. That shape can pump oil up the interior of the cable if the seal on the trans side is compromised, even if there isn't much pressure in the trans to push its way through.

@sam6140: the power steering rack is way too low, and none of the plumbing enters the firewall, so we can rule out PS.

Still, this is a weird one, huh... chalk up another one to the notebook. I used to document *everything* not mentioned in the service manuals when I was wrenching in shops... and boy did it help both speed, and CSI-ing oddball problems. ;)

Edit: one more thing, dagr8noobie... looking at the posted photo of the trans cable end, there's a part that the cable screws onto? Looks aluminum, with a 10mm retaining bolt.

Look up the piece for a '92 Tercel... is it a separate component? If it is, then *it* could contain the seal that failed, not the cable. So before buying a new cable (honestly though, may as well do it; my original one isn't leaking but it sure is noisy), look the part up on a Toyota parts fiche like 1stToyotaParts.com, and see if it can be swapped, and replace both. I'd hate for you to do all that work, and get a leak all over again. ;)
 

·
TN's ex-Local Buddhahead
1992 Toyota Paseo
Joined
·
389 Posts
Hey dagr8noobie, just thought of one more thing...

If you have a hard time getting a rag or whatever to soak up all the oil still in the dash, try this: When I used to diagnose a gasket failure on a motorcycle crankcase, I would clean up any grime until the suspected spot was clean, then spray a cheap foot spray (like a Walgreen's version of Dr. Scholl's, or similar) until a white coat formed. Oil soaks brown/tan on the powder, and gives away the leak's exact location.

You can do the same, just not to *find* the leak, but actually to help soak it up. Spray in the footwell above the pedals a bit, and whereever it lands, it'll soak up any oil that's sticking there, locking it up so it won't drip as much. No one but you will know it's there, and it's not harmful to anything. Plus as a bonus, your footwell is now fresh and fungus-free. :thumbsup:
 

·
N/A bites
Paseo
Joined
·
5,859 Posts
Normally leaks like this are brake/clutch cylinder leaks. I can't see somebody mistaking coolant for dirty oil plus the heater core is toward passenger side. It's very hard to imagine trans fluid going up the cable especially with that vent shown in the picture next to the cable.
Is this a manual trans or auto?
Can you get some pictures of above the drivers feet? I'm talking about the car under the dash but if you want to include your sister that's cool too.
I'd like to see if it shows a path the fluid is coming from.
 

·
TN's ex-Local Buddhahead
1992 Toyota Paseo
Joined
·
389 Posts
As in forensic investigation, go with what you know to be true.

There is oil at the gauge side of the cable. We know there is never supposed to be any fluid there, much less enough to get between fingertips and feel, as the OP did. There is no way brake fluid can get to the inside of the cable end when it's installed, unless you put it there.

Also, a leak in the brake cylinder is easy to spot, as you can inspect the cylinder from the footwell. Again, it's not going to travel between the accel and brake pedals, but straight down the firewall, not atop the feet. TercelGTS also doesn't account for the fact that the brake fluid level has remained the same prior to and during the problem, which would be odd indeed if it's claimed to be the source.

The only possible source of any fluid to the back of the gauges and that cable end, is of course the cable. The only thing the cable is attached to, is the transmission, which has plenty of oil. Perhaps it's the vent not working properly, that's a source of pressurization in the case? This is a possibility, however I've not seen much mention of transmission vent failures causing similar problems; if links exist, please post them.

Still convinced the leak, the primary focus of the OP, is via the cable. ;)
 

·
TN's ex-Local Buddhahead
1992 Toyota Paseo
Joined
·
389 Posts
I haven't seen an oil pressure sending unit with a hard line to the dash, since the '70s (abandoned by OEMs for obvious reasons -- not nice getting scalding oil on your feet). An oil temperature unit would be like any other 12V sending unit, a threaded fitting with wires. Since this is a 1992 Tercel, I doubt it has a engine oil supply to the dash. Even so, it wouldn't explain oil in the cable end.

Eh, by da way... I'm from Maui, MR2Jedi... L'luna grad '88, right on. :D

Also grad MMI in Phoenix, in 1997 with good marks. I highly recommend the school if you're looking to become a powersports mechanic.

Any other ideas?
 

·
Premium Member
'91 MR2 Turbo
Joined
·
19,831 Posts
I haven't seen an oil pressure sending unit with a hard line to the dash, since the '70s (abandoned by OEMs for obvious reasons -- not nice getting scalding oil on your feet). An oil temperature unit would be like any other 12V sending unit, a threaded fitting with wires. Since this is a 1992 Tercel, I doubt it has a engine oil supply to the dash. Even so, it wouldn't explain oil in the cable end.

Eh, by da way... I'm from Maui, MR2Jedi... L'luna grad '88, right on. :D

Also grad MMI in Phoenix, in 1997 with good marks. I highly recommend the school if you're looking to become a powersports mechanic.

Any other ideas?
Hey Bruddah, I'm from Ewa Beach on Oahu.
Thanks, but I'm a carreer Executive Chef for the past 32 yrs.
I enjoy mechanics, mostly just the modding part, not the diagnosis and repair part.. uhg!

Ideas? Well, if the Master Cylinder or clutch master reservoirs are not getting low, he's not loosing coolant, and he doesn't have a mechanical oil press gauge, that only leaves tranny oil.
Unless a rat has crawled up into his dash and is pissing all over his feet!
 

·
TN's ex-Local Buddhahead
1992 Toyota Paseo
Joined
·
389 Posts
Hahaha! Yup, friggin' rats making anykine... ass why hahd... :D

And eh... props for being in culinary so long Jedi, that is *not* a career for weaklings. Have two classmates, one in Vegas, one Maui, busting serious okole but getting paid... wouldn't want their hours.

Ok gang, back on topic... diagnosis is a passion of mine, I love puzzles and better yet, sharing the solutions to help people save cash and time. Post up if you wanna call me out -- I don't take it personal as long as we all learn something new and useful. ;)
 

·
Banned
93 tercel
Joined
·
430 Posts
I haven't seen an oil pressure sending unit with a hard line to the dash, since the '70s (abandoned by OEMs for obvious reasons -- not nice getting scalding oil on your feet). An oil temperature unit would be like any other 12V sending unit, a threaded fitting with wires. Since this is a 1992 Tercel, I doubt it has a engine oil supply to the dash. Even so, it wouldn't explain oil in the cable end.

Eh, by da way... I'm from Maui, MR2Jedi... L'luna grad '88, right on. :D

Also grad MMI in Phoenix, in 1997 with good marks. I highly recommend the school if you're looking to become a powersports mechanic.

Any other ideas?
haha! I have my oil pressure gauge in the dash!:thumbsup:
 

·
TN's ex-Local Buddhahead
1992 Toyota Paseo
Joined
·
389 Posts
haha! I have my oil pressure gauge in the dash!:thumbsup:
4speed... if you read what I posted, I clearly say 'an oil pressure sending unit with a hard line to the dash'. Meaning a supply of oil, from the oil galleries, to the gauge in the dash, which is super-old-school. You can only get oil scalding your feet, also mentioned in the post you're quoting, if a connection at the back of it leaks... meaning the hot oil will drip right onto your feet. We're trying to figure out why oil would drip onto the OP's feet, which is why I mentioned it in response to Jedi's reply.

The picture you posted, is of a gauge that is electrically-metered -- the gauge itself never touches oil, so it can't be the OP's problem. This is how all modern cars monitor oil pressure (and temperature)... so I have no idea what you're trying to prove.

Read what's been posted thoroughly, before calling me out, please. Thanks. :rolleyes:
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top