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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a used 97 Escort LX about 2 months ago.
Found Trans Fluid in my coolant reservoir, maybe less than a 1/4 inch layer. I'm assuming this means there is a leak in the trans cooler line inside of the radiator and that I'm going to have to replace the radiator (or can I get this repaired for cheaper?).

I also have a small leak on the trans cooler line (in between the trans and radiator), so I am planning on replacing the cooler lines as well. Might as well do it all in one shot. The trans cooler lines seem to be a discontinued part, and hard to find. I did find some used lines, plus a "newer" radiator for $125 for the pair. This seems pretty fair.

Any other ideas on diagnosis, or where to find the trans cooler lines? I did consider fabricating my own, but I have never done anything like that before, and if the used lines look good, then that seems like a better bet.

Also, how can I tell if I have coolant in my trans fluid? Just figuring it could leak both ways right?

Any help, advice, and/or pointers is appreciated.
 

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You are going to have to flush the transmission, and change the transmission filter as well. Probably needs it anyway. I would go with the used transmission cooler lines. I assume that the bad part is the metal part? If the flexable parts leak, you can replace them with fuel line.

Personally, I wouldn't trust a used radiator, but that's just me.
 

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You do know that you could probably make your own cooler lines if you wanted to, using some new tubing and one of these:



Having said that, I'd probably go with some used tubing if I could get it and it looks OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I was thinking about trying to make my own. Wasn't sure how hard it would be. I am skeptical of a used radiator as well, but I'm getting one for $30 from a "U-Pull It" Salvage yard, so I figured I'd give it a shot.
I actually patched part of the metal line with some fuel line, but I see another rust spot that could potentially become a problem, and I figured while I'm replacing the radiator might as well put in some better lines.
 

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If you end up making your own, see if you can get some stainless steel, so you won't have to worry about rust again (assuming you live someplace that gets snow, or something).
 

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Uh... If transmission fluid is in your coolant overflow, than coolant more than likely got into your transmission. Happened to me once with my old car, had to replace the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The dealer that I got the car from a few months ago said that they put a "new" transmission in. So I'm hoping that if I put in a new radiator, flush the coolant system, then flush the transmission, that I will be okay. Should be a full days work, but if it all works I will be happy.
 

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There is nothing disastrous about having coolant in the tranny - if you dont leave it there long enough to cause rust or to gum up in the valve body. It will take a couple of iterations of flushing to get the muck cleared out however.
 
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