View Full Version : Pink Trany fluid

10-03-2004, 12:47 PM
First I know that it is water and replacement of tranny fluid is required. I just want to know how serious of an issue this is as far as damage to tranny. How rugged are these tranies and were would the water come from if not from the cap? 95 pro 19 LT-1. Thanks

10-03-2004, 01:28 PM
I've had this happen in the past and have drained and refilled the fluid without any evident side effects. Don't know if there is permanent damage or not, but for a 14 year old boat, the transmission doesn't seem to have any issues. Fairly rugged.

The water probably came from the cap, or I believe that there is a vent at the top of the transmission as well.

10-03-2004, 01:39 PM
Is this the first time you have seen pink tranny fluid? When was it changed last?

The amount of damage depends on how long it stays in the transmission when it has water in it. Water by itself isn't a good thing for the tranny, but running it that way is worse. When water and oil are together and there's a lot of motion through them, it whips the two into an emulsion, like mayonnaise. This makes it hard to get it all out once that's attempted. The big problem is that the oil film is weaker and won't reduce friction effectively on the parts that move against others. If the pink goo is really thick, you have a good amount of water in there and you'll need to flush it out at least a few times.

Before starting the cleanout process, disconnect the lines to and from the oil cooler, then clear them out and clean out the oil cooler. Have the oil cooler tested for leaks. Get as much of the contaminated oil out of the tranny and fill with fresh oil. Reattach the oil cooler and lines, then run it. You should be able to flush it a few times and get most, if not all, of the water out but make sure it looks clear red when you decide to stop flushing. You need to remove as much contaminated oil as possible every time you add new oil. Buy it in gallon jugs and it will be an easier job.

If it didn't come from in through the cap, it probably came in through the oil cooler. If this wasn't drained every winter, it could have frozen and a seam split. Not a big thing to have repaired. Take it to a radiator repair shop. They can pressure test it and resolder it for you. Shouldn't be much more than $20.

10-03-2004, 02:33 PM
Thanks guys I am a pretty good motor guy but trannies are not my bag...Thanks for the advice..

T Scott
10-03-2004, 09:17 PM
When I change the tranny fluid on my boats, I use a small pump that attaches to my corless drill to suck out the old fluid. They are only 6-7 dollars and can be found at any home improvement store. Very Handy !!

11-08-2004, 11:57 AM
When I winterized a few weeks ago, the trany fluid I took out was pink also. Not white and frothy, just pink when it should be red. I presume that means water. But, how did it get in? Is there another way besides the tranny cooler?
This is the boat, 1995 PS190, LT-1, which had the mysterious overheating problem early in the summer (the one solved by "pouring beer on it." I suspect the cooler might have had an internal blockage which was removed by the high pressure air backfeed. I wonder if there is any connection?
Any hints? Basically, is there another place where water can get into the tranny fluid other than the cooler?
Jim G.
By the way, Jim N, I winterized this season without using any antifreeze; just draining the engine as much as I could. Hope this is OK.

11-08-2004, 12:53 PM
What high pressure air backfeed? You mean you blew compressed air into the front end of the cooler? That should be OK. The only other, somewhat easy, way for water to get into the tranny is through the overflow valve on top if the bilge was totally flooded. Other than that, if it had a bad gasket on the case, you'd have tranny oil in the bilge.

If you want to check the oil cooler, you can get the Shrader valve and other fittings at most hardware stores. so you can plug one hole, add a fitting that the Shrader valve threads into and pressurize it (not too much) with a compresser, then dunk it in water to look for bubbles. Otherwise, a radiator shop can do it and repair it, if needed.

You pulled the lowest end of the hoses off too, right? You should be OK if the water gushed out of the petcock hole on one side and the knock sensor hole on the other. Why don't you list what you removed and opened, just out of curiosity.

11-12-2004, 04:45 PM
If you remember my posting in the summer, I finally solved an overheating problem by doing a number of things in between tests. One of them was to take the intake hose off from the raw water pump intake and blow air back through the intake system, the hoses, tranny cooler and intake filter, to exit out the intake strainer. I did not put a fitting on the hose, and did not put a lot of pressure on it. I just blew more air through it than I could the old fashioned way. There were no noticible obstructions.
I certainly did not flood the bilge, and there was no sign of tranny fluid in the bilge, so, I presume, you are saying that the only other suspect is the tranny cooler itself. Probably cheaper for me in the long run to just replace it.
When I winterize, if you remember, I usually suck up about 5 gallons of 1:1 green antifreeze/water mix. I wanted the rustproofing it provided, and I recycled it in the spring. This year, I just removed the petcock and knock sensor, the hoses from both sides of the tranny cooler and from the raw water pump intake. I cannot break loose the plugs at the back of the manifolds, so they are still closed. The boat is in the garage where it usually stays above freezing. I put two 40 watt trouble lights under the engine cover, and propped it open with a piece of 2x4 so it will dry out. The lights keep it 20 degrees F. warmer inside than outside (I put the sensor of an inside/outside Radio Shack electronic thermometer inside the engine cover). But, I am still concerned about not having rust proofing inside. I have helped a friend fix his boat in the spring when it overheated because the thermostat was rusted shut. It happens.
Your thoughts?

11-12-2004, 06:19 PM
The green anti-freeze you use is environmentally safe, right?

Personally, unless the oil cooler is smashed, I would take it to a radiator shop. If they can fix a radiator, they can fix an oil cooler. I would really get those plugs out of the manifolds, too. A lot of sand and silt can accumulate there and eventually hamper the flow.