Can an overfilled transmission cause ring and pinion problems and noise? - Focus Fanatics
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
kaptinkool
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Can an overfilled transmission cause ring and pinion problems and noise?

2 months ago I had a used transmission installed into my ford 2004 2.3L zx5 and everything was running smooth until about 3 weeks ago when I started noticing a noise simillar to a wheel bearing sound starting at 30-40mph, whihc was more audible while breaking until the autotrans downshifts at a complete stop.

My mechanic (same one who swapped the trannys) informed my that the noise was coming from my transmissioon. He said it was likely the ring and pinion (if I remember correctly), he isolated the sound by touching a long screwdriver to the skinny part of the tranny (the part you could wrap your hand around, a noivce like me might say it looks like a bottleneck without knowing the right terminology) and I could hear a clunky noise through the screwdriver that would have sounded like a whine when carried through the axle.

after checking my fluid, I now realize that the fluid level is a little high, and i feel as if he may have overfilled it when he did the swap, he also managed to overfill my coolant reservoir, and with the wrong color fluid as well.

what I am wondering is if whether or not the humming may be due to the overfilled tranmission, the level of fluid covers the entire dipstick, but does not go over the wire, so i'd say its a half inch over per the dipstick's measurement.

and if so, is it too late and has damage been done? should I get the fluid drained before trying another transmission swap, the part is still under warranty, but I hate taking another $300 gamble with labor costs for a used part.


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Old 09-18-2013, 03:06 PM   #2
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also, the fluid looks rather bubbly on the dipstick
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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Overfill in my opinion wouldnt cause your trans to be making any noises or cause it to fail

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Old 09-18-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
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Sounds to me like your mechanic needs a new source of used transmissions. I'm not too familiar with the auto trannys in these, but my manual transmission had the differential fail in it. It made clunking noises that changed with speed, and eventually it started making grinding sounds as the gears slowly chewed themselves to pieces.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
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I agree though, overfilling wouldn't do much harm.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:15 PM   #6
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If overfilled enough so that the rotating mass is whipping through fluid you can damage clutch packs from them hitting wonky from the air in fluid, other than that, no, the differential and geartrain there will not be hurt by that.

There is a three gear train to the differential (no 'ring and pinion') that begins to gradually make a whine on Focus ATX at over 100K miles. It will get increasingly louder but car will still run forever like that. I've been driving one for years like that. The noise will show up first at say a slow roll in a parking lot, or at very low speed decel.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:12 AM   #7
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no ring and pinion.. The differential is very small in a front wheel drive car.
The four bundled differential gears are set in a square. and under two inches across.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:33 PM   #8
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Would a bad ring and pinion diff in my trans whine in neutral

Ive had 2 conflicting diagnoses from mechanics: one says its a bad left wheel bearing(but i just had that bearing replaced) the other says its the ring and pinion. The one who made the bearing diagnosis said he knows its the vearing and not the differential because it continues to whine in neutral. He also thinks it makes more noise on turns, but im not convinced.

Who should I believe? The bearing guy is also friends with the scrap yard i bought the tranny from, and may be covering his buddy's kester so he dont gotta replace the part under warranty, whilst making a quick buck.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:04 PM   #9
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Thread has been merged from two discussions of the same topic...

As stated before, kaptinkool, there is no ring and pinion in a FWD transaxle.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:43 PM   #10
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even if it is the final drive gearset, or the bearings that support it, putting the car into neutral won't disengage those parts from the axles

those parts all keep turning is the car is moving, being in gear doesn't matter
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