Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

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jmassad
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Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by jmassad » Sun 3. Oct 2010, 20:23

I've got a 1958 Mercury Monterey, Merc-O-Matic auto (push button) transmission behind the 383 cubic inch, 312 HP engine.
I have a transmission oil leak in what appears to be the vacuum modulator. I see the part on my car, and compare to pictures on the internet and it certainly appears to be the vacuum modulator (my shop manual will be coming in soon, purchased from ebay). This part (I assume it is the vacuum modulator) is leaking transmission oil onto the back/center of the intake manifold, oil is red so I know it is trans fluid. My questions: a) I assume this is the vacuum modulator? and b) where can I find a replacement part for the vacuum modulator? I am having one heck of a time finding this part for my Merc. Been searching on the internet for days. Can I use an equivalent Ford or Lincoln vacuum modulator? If so, which one? Any ideas are badly needed! Thank you so much.

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Re: Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by keithol » Mon 4. Oct 2010, 18:53

I checked in my 1960 Motor's flat rate & parts manual ,but no numbers were listed for that application . I also checked a 1963 manual , but only found one for a two speed . What I did find out is that they where called a throttle valve diaphragm assembly back then. The vacuum modulators purpose is to regulate shift points along with the governor and manual throttle linkage. It has a diaphragm ,and when it cracks or ruptures ,fluid is drawn into the intake manifold. You could plug the line to prevent further oil loss, but your shift points would be very high and very harsh. Maybe your best bet would be to remove the modulator , bring it to a parts store, dealership, or a transmission shop. They might be able to supply you with one of the same dimensions. Usually the only difference would be the shift points, and some are adjustable.

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Re: Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by Theo » Tue 5. Oct 2010, 08:26

I second "keithol". Take the modulator to the next competent trans shop. They usually have conversion and compatibility charts. If you're lucky you'll pick one up for a few bucks right away.
Inspect the line connected to the modulator. I once had a similar problem w. all the side effects keithol described. In my car the modulator was connected w. steel tubes which went into transition w. rubber hoses. The oil leak had caused the rubber hoses to grow fat like hot spaghetti which as a result slipped off from their steel tubes.
Make sure to check or replace any rubber hose line that might connect to your modulator in some way or an other.
Good luck.
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Re: Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by jmassad » Tue 5. Oct 2010, 15:54

Thanks to both of you for your replies. Well, I am in a pickle. I took the car in to a shop that I thought knew what they were doing. They have had the car for 8 days. I took the car in for a trans oil leak. They replaced the gaskets and seals saying if they fixed one and had to drop the trans down anyway, may as well replace all the trans seals and gaskets. That seemed reasonable and I said OK. Well, they have been re-installing the trans, re-connecting the cables, etc and now they can't get the car out of park. The car was fully drivable and shifted fine when I dropped the car off - it only had a trans oil leak. They have been trying to get this cable to connect to the trans for two days. When you release the Park lever, by pulling it toward you, the car is supposed to be taken out of park (i've got a push button trans). The car will not get out of park when you pull the Park lever toward you, the cable is not working (it worked fine when I dropped it off). So, I need advice please, I am totally new at the classic car game, and this is my first experience. Do I: a) cut my losses and get my car back now, negotiate a discount for the work they did, and take it to a transmission expert that specializes in classic cars, OR b) let them finish the job since they are in so deep? I could use some advice from this forum. Thank you.

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Re: Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by Theo » Tue 5. Oct 2010, 18:28

Sorry to hear about your problems w. the shop. It's very hard to evaluate what's up. I'm not a trans expert and no lawyer. Out of my stomach I would say that it's the shop's obligation to make things at least work the way it used to do.
Negotiating a discount isn't a good idea I think. I wouldn't even pay a dime unless they fix the trans. They obviously messed it up. Maybe it's just a minor thing they missed, maybe not. Tell them to fix it and don't let them talk you into s.th. else.
Just my 2 cts.
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Re: Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by Theo » Wed 6. Oct 2010, 04:25

Maybe it's just a linkage adjustment problem?
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Re: Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by jmassad » Wed 6. Oct 2010, 14:36

Thank you Theo. They fixed the cable problem, now we can get it out of park. I drove the car around for a good while before I left the shop, ensuring it was shifting well, into/out of park, etc.. The one part they could not fix, which I knew from the beginning, was the trans leak from the top, a small unit that sits up top, hovering just behind/beside the intake manifold. It looks like a vacuum modulator, but I understand Merc did not have vacuum modulators until 1961. So, it is some type of throttle valve shift diaphragm, because it has a tube/line that connects down to the transmission. Anyway, I'll take care of that leak on my own, taking my time, finding the part, and finding the right people to fix that. Am I allowed to post pictures here? I'll try to take a picture of that part and upload it. The trans leak is slow from that part, and it's accessable, so I'll just handle that later. The Merc is home and I want to enjoy her, we've got her in a car show this weekend down in Austin, Tx. Thanks again.

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Re: Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by Theo » Wed 6. Oct 2010, 15:45

Glad to hear that they found the problem. Off course you're allowed to post photos. We would love to see your photos. Just see how it works here. It's really easy. If you need further assistance just let me know and I'll be happy to help you. Enjoy your car.
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keithol
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Re: Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by keithol » Thu 7. Oct 2010, 10:27

I have a 58 383 in my junk lot, it is pretty much intact as yet. I went out and took a look I was amazed at how much I had forgotten about pushbutton transmissions ! What I saw and then remembered was the diaphragm that is set up hooked into the vacuum line from the manifold for the start system. With the pushbutton transmission you have to turn the key on just to on (not start), then you press the neutral button to engage the starter. To prevent the starter from engaging when simply putting the transmission in neutral the engineers designed a diaphragm switch that would open the circuit when the engine had vacuum above cranking speed vacuum. I think that is the device you are looking at, and of course it has no connection to the transmission. I think the shop you were using was correct in stating that the '58 had no modulator. The car I checked had a vacuum line to the brake booster on a tee right at the manifold , and another line going to the starter lockout diaphragm switch , from there lines went to the vacuum wiper motor , and the heater control system, no lines to the transmission . My guess from way up here in the north country , is that someone found an empty pipe ( normally open to vent the transmission ) and hooked into the vacuum lines. I remember some ford built transmissions had such a vent , but its been too many years to remember them all. I would disconnect the line , plug the end leading to the engine , and leave the other end open to the atmosphere , or better yet remove the line from the transmission. Good Luck !

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Re: Transmission leak / '58 Merc Monterey

Post by jmassad » Fri 8. Oct 2010, 18:04

Keithol:
Thank you for your response and detail. I am awaiting my 1958 Mercury shop manual (bought on ebay). Once I get it, I will go to the mechanic armed with as much info as possible, as well as the excellent input I have received here. I appreciate you taking a look at your 58 Merc. Do you plan to restore it? Thanks again.

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