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Robotics Engineer
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Problem identified: Defective / Poor Quality CV Axles from Advance Auto Parts (Buyers Beware)

Hello everyone, I was driving my well maintained 1992 Dodge Stealth RT NA last night and at the light right as I was accelerating from a stop I heard a loud bang and lost all control to the transmission. From the point of accelerating to where it broke down was maybe no more than 5 feet.

At first I didn't see anything broken underneath or leaking, however on the tow back to the house it was leaking transmission fluid everywhere.

I have my shop looking into re-manufactured and/or specialty shop pricing for me, as I am too busy to tackle this myself.

100K miles on the transmission with new fluid, filter, etc.

I do accelerate pretty hard occasionally, but we are talking about a ~220HP DOHC NA here....

Any thoughts, has anyone else heard of this before? The only thing remotely close that was done to this vehicle was the CV axles, by a professional shop.

I am not even upset, the confusion is just overwhelming. I've heard of performance guys cracking the bell housing on automatics in turbo conversions and such, but this is a bit odd to me.

Rolls in park, rolls in every gear essentially (even reverse). When running and attempting to shift into park you can hear the parking pawl click a bit indicating something is spinning, but never engages. (that is my assumption)

Thoughts? I want to keep her, love this Stealth.
 

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Robotics Engineer
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559 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
My best guess is that it could be a cracked kick-down switch or maybe solenoid. (that's the hope at least). I haven't done anything stupid in this car, like neutral drops or anything... so really still stumped how.

Engine mounts are in good shape so there shouldn't be excessive vibration being transferred to transmission leading to a metal fatigue.

I'll lift her up when I go home after work and have a look to see where the leak is originating from. Good news is that there was no broken bits of aluminum anywhere and no hanging CV axles.
 

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3SNY - HondaTurtleFTW
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4,752 Posts
Re: Automatic Transmission "Exploded"

I'm no expert on automatic transmissions but it sounds like a torque converter issue. That's where the atx-motor joint is, and the only feasable place, at least to me, for there to be a leak without visible carnage.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
 
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I know the FWD manual transmissions are really bad about blowing up the front diff and breaking a hole through the case, but I hadn't heard of the ATX doing this.
 

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Robotics Engineer
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559 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Going home with some kitty-litter and I'll feedback some updates on my findings.

A few guys on the 3SGTO Facebook group are hinting at the front differential blowing out. Apparently the diff pin loosens and performs instant suicide on the transmission.

I'm shocked that I'm not that upset yet... hasn't sunk it.
 
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I know the MTX does that frequently, just hadn't seen the ATX do that. Usually its on a high rpm clutch dump.
 

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Premium Member
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A few guys on the 3SGTO Facebook group are hinting at the front differential blowing out. Apparently the diff pin loosens and performs instant suicide on the transmission.
Yep, that was me...

Any FWD with an open diff can fail, wheel spin is usually what gets them... I've seen soccer mom minivans blow the diff all to hell driving in snow. The one wheel peel stresses the diff spiders beyond design tolerances.
 

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i did this to a atx once lol
 

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Robotics Engineer
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Discussion Starter #9
At least I'm not the only one with this experience... Finally sunk in this weekend, but I'm going to dust my shoulders off and fix it.

I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. I was about to accelerate from the light, and the road was not even at that location. Had a rising uneven slop to it for that 5 feet distance. Probably all the power went to one side which was too much stress for the diff. I can see how that's possible.

My big question is, if I'm going to rebuild it's probably the best time to upgrade the differential. for FWD auto what would you guys recommend the OBX, Quafie, or new factory differential?
 

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Premium Member
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My big question is, if I'm going to rebuild it's probably the best time to upgrade the differential. for FWD auto what would you guys recommend the OBX, Quafie, or new factory differential?
If there is one available for the application, and it's in the budget. There is no question... Quaife is by far the best option.
 

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1G Foglights b!tches
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I ran a LSD insert in the front diff in my AWD trans. Got it from Jeff Bush on facebook. Worked very well for me and it's less than 200 bucks.
 

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Robotics Engineer
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559 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I ran a LSD insert in the front diff in my AWD trans. Got it from Jeff Bush on facebook. Worked very well for me and it's less than 200 bucks.
That's ballsy. Trying to convert an open diff to a clutch pack style LSD is a recipe for disaster. You're essentially using the face of the gear as the friction face. Metal shavings will wear down your transmission like rubbing sand on your car paint. It's not worth the momentary savings when you're talking about the time, money, and frustration of replacing a transmission.
 

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Robotics Engineer
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Discussion Starter #13
If there is one available for the application, and it's in the budget. There is no question... Quaife is by far the best option.
What type of differential is the Quaife? clutch pack?
 

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Robotics Engineer
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Discussion Starter #14
well... turns out it was indeed the BRAND new aftermarket $130/per side CV axles.

Take a look at the attached picture. Appears as the leak is originating from the differential seal seating location.

 

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Premium Member
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well... turns out it was indeed the BRAND new aftermarket $130/per side CV axles.

Take a look at the attached picture. Appears as the leak is originating from the differential seal seating location.

Wow... Fine Chinese steel there. Provided you can get the piece out, you may have gotten lucky. Probably need to pull the other side out and knock it out from the back with a skinny punch or screwdriver that you can get by the carrier pin.
 

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Robotics Engineer
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Discussion Starter #16
Wow... Fine Chinese steel there. Provided you can get the piece out, you may have gotten lucky. Probably need to pull the other side out and knock it out from the back with a skinny punch or screwdriver that you can get by the carrier pin.
should have seen my heated FB post when I discovered this... definitely cheap impurity garage. Reaching out to the company I bought these CV axles from to get my money back and potentially have them pay for the subsequent labor and any damages.

If I can't get the old CV axles back from the shop (probably recycled already) or factory CV axles, where does everyone buy theirs from?? I heard Cardone makes a good pair. I know 3SX has some, but where do they get their inventory from?
 

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OMG I'v never seen an axle break like that , and on a stock car at that wow
 

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Robotics Engineer
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Discussion Starter #18
OMG I'v never seen an axle break like that , and on a stock car at that wow
This one has excellent compression and is well maintained. except for slightly dried valve stem seals. The only thing I've done is delete the cat. Other than that, this car is completely stock haha... stock auto. Don't be surprised.. companies are getting cheaper by the day. Trump was a good kick in the ass for everyone, about time.
 

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Robotics Engineer
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Discussion Starter #19
The story continues. AllData told the shop to fill on Park not Neutral. Car is back in the shop. This will hopefully be the last time I let anyone else do work for me.

The difference is 2 quarts. Maybe I should make a post to alert other owners on this mistake in AllData, since not all owners work on their own cars. I should of known better, but when you trust a shop and you're really busy you don't question their work or have time to in the first place.
 

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Money pit owner.
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2 quarts is huge!
 
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