transmission breather - has the Challenger got them?

froggy3240
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transmission breather - has the Challenger got them?

Unread post by froggy3240 » July 29th, 2015, 6:59 pm

I was doing a 180,0000 km service on my 2003 PA Challenger 5 speed manual, found the oil in the transfer case to be grey in colour, obviously water has gotten in. My question is does the transfer case and gearboxes have breathers on them like the diff's do. I have extended breathes on both diffs,

Peter Aawen
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Re: transmission breather - has the Challenger got them?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » July 29th, 2015, 7:32 pm

Yep, just like anything else that has rotating machinery with input &/or output shafts exiting the case while everything inside is turning in oil, there's gotta be breathers on each case or the seals would blow out!!

If you are ever going to enter any water much deeper than a 4" deep puddle, you should probably fit extended gearbox & transfer case breathers as well as diff breathers, or you might end up with water being sucked past seals designed to keep oil IN & not really made or meant to keep water out; which is almost certainly what's happened to yours!! If you don't have any other concerning signs & symptoms besides the grey sludge (it's not oil any more!!) yet, then drain both either or both of them ASAP & refill them with fresh oil of the appropriate quality & grade, then do it again in 500km or so, sooner if anything starts making sick bearing noises!! Who knows, you might be lucky enough to manage dodging the bullet of water damaged bearings & gears etc!!

But while you are fitting extended breathers, have a look at where the fuel tank breather sits & opens to the atmosphere!! Most fuel tanks have a one way valve on a breather tube that opens to the air up somewhere near/just above the filler cap for the tank. While the filler cap itself shouldn't let any water in if you do happen to hit water deep enough to cover it (duct tape/seal it if you get a chance before entering the water), the Fuel tank breather tubes pretty much open straight to air apart from those one way valves/filters - & the valves are often just paper element or similar material filter arrangements anyway, so the very first time the element gets wet it's goop!! Dunk the open end of the breather tube under cold water when you've got a relatively warm half-filled tank & you know what's gonna happen - it'll suck water or mud into the fuel!!! Yeah, I know you aren't planning on driving thru water deep enough to cover the end of the tank breather, but you really shouldn't be driving thru water deep enough to cover the diff & Gearbox/Transfer case breathers either & you've found out what happens there - and besides, there's always the chance (however slight) that you might just happen to accidentally drop a wheel into a hole you thought you'd miss or didn't know was there, or get stuck with a rising water level.... Apart from covering your butt if you do plan on driving thru potentially deep water, extending the breathers allows for cooler fresh air to equalise the pressure in all these things instead of the hot & dusty stuff that's found down at the usual breather outlet height AND it covers you for those 'Ooops!' moments when you come across something you didn't expect, like a deep hole in the middle of a creek, or the rising tide you weren't expecting just yet!!

So you should really fit not just raised diff breathers, but also raised gearbox, transfer case, AND fuel tank breathers if you plan on using your 4WD off the beaten track - ideally, you should use a purpose designed breather cap made of that blue gortex type material or similar (material that will let air in/out but won't let water in) or one of the specifically made sintered metal type breathers. The old school method of using a length of petrol hose with a paper element placcy fuel filter on the end really doesn't work too well in the long run, except it can be handy as a very short term emergency solution - the paper elements suck moisture out of the air (or get dunked in water when water from rain or spray flows in) & you can end up with bits of soggy paper clogging your fuel filter or damaging gears!! :eek:
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froggy3240
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Re: transmission breather - has the Challenger got them?

Unread post by froggy3240 » July 30th, 2015, 5:35 pm

Thanks Peter for your post, I do have Parana diff breathes that are mounted under the bonnet. I've checked my DVD service manual, could not find any breathes on the gearbox or transfer case. Couldn't really see any when I was changing the oil. Any idea on where to find them ? Never gave much thought to the petrol tank breather but am pretty sure it's near the filler cap.

Peter Aawen
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Re: transmission breather - has the Challenger got them?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » July 30th, 2015, 8:10 pm

You won't be able to see breathers from underneath the vehicle, altho if there is an OE extended breather on either you might be able to see a small dia hose jumping from the side of the box/es over to the trans tunnel or chassis while you are underneath. If there isn't anything to see from under there, you might be able to see them while leaning over the back of the engine bay while under the bonnet, but you may hafta resort to lifting the boot/s on the gear/trans selector lever/s to see where they are on top of the g/box &/or transf case - once you have an idea of where they come out of the boxes, if they are anything more than just a nipple type on the top of the box you should be able to trace any hose etc to where it sits on the firewall or inner guard.

Good Luck!
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

froggy3240
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Joined: December 9th, 2010, 9:29 pm
Location: Lithgow

Re: transmission breather - has the Challenger got them?

Unread post by froggy3240 » July 31st, 2015, 7:19 pm

Thanks Peter, hope to get a chance this weekend to have a better look, will post my findings.

Richard

backintoit
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Re: transmission breather - has the Challenger got them?

Unread post by backintoit » September 11th, 2015, 7:39 pm

Hi all,

For those with PC's are you able to indicate where I can find the front diff breather (and don't say on the diff haha) Can't seem to see it from under the vehicle and couldn't see anything obvious from looking down also.

In regards to the gear and transmission breathers (there's two right? One for the manual gears and one for the high/low range box) do I also need to remove the boots inside the vehicle to get to those. If so how?

Cheers

Mark

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