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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While replacing Trans Fluid, my brother-in-law and I noticed a crack in the transmission housing. It is near the drain plug/trans mount.

I guess I should take a picture. How bad can this be? It scares me, so I'm currently putting it on my "things to ignore" list.

BIL also suggested that there's "an awful lot of engine movement" when shifting through the gears. He's a manual trans guy with zero experience on ATs, so I have to ask about that also--how much movement is too much?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If you're wondering

142,000 miles. Never had to do much to it. Just did some suspension work. I've flushed the trans twice and never overheated.
 

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This is not my area of expertise, but one thing comes to mind.
Have you checked your motor and tranny mounts?? If one is cracked
or broken, it could put undue stress on the tranny housing and may
have caused it to crack. This may be the cause of the "engine movement"
your bro in law mentioned.

Should you be scared?? I have no idea. If its not leaking, it will be OK for a bit.
But what happens if you are 100 miles from anywhere and it cracks wide open
and then spills all its fluid before you notice?? Now you are in the middle of no
where with a dead tranny. Food for thought.

Im must throwing out what came to mind. Im sure you will get more
suggestions in this thread.
 

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Wow! man, if that's not some bad luck...

Personally, if it were my rig - it wouldn't go on the 'ignore it' list mainly due to the location and the fact that it's on such an expensive part with relative ease of access.

First, i'd check the transmission/motor mounts for cracks/wear. @142k (if they are original) i'd replace all.

Second, I'd see about the possibility of a very skilled tig welder to weld the cracked area and perhaps a fabed L shaped support bracket to assist with any stress on that area. Welding aluminum isn't for a novice and a tig welder I would say is a must.
Maybe a worker at a high-end muffler shop needs some weekend cash and a 6pack?


Here's to hoping that you caught it early!
 

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TIG weld

My welding instructor at the local community college could lay down a bead that looked it was drawn with a marker, just a perfect line. He taught night school for the extra income. Might I suggest you check out your local trade school for that type of expertise?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That black metal piece that covers the lower torque converter... I should be able to pull that off w/o fluid going everywhere, right? That should give me a good look at the crack. If it's not too bad, I was thinking about JB Weld-ing it. Although, it's an awfully thin gap... The support bracket idea is genius, and based on what I've seen you posting around, I'm already pricing the four mounts. I guess I need to find a competent welder.

Thanks for your help. I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

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That black metal piece that covers the lower torque converter... I should be able to pull that off w/o fluid going everywhere, right? That should give me a good look at the crack. If it's not too bad, I was thinking about JB Weld-ing it. Although, it's an awfully thin gap... The support bracket idea is genius, and based on what I've seen you posting around, I'm already pricing the four mounts. I guess I need to find a competent welder.

Thanks for your help. I'll let you know how it turns out.
The black cover is just an access panel for removing the bolts that attach the
torque converter to the flex plate.
No fluid will leak out.
 

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Definitely. best of luck and please let us know the outcome.
By the way I got my mounts from rockauto.com
Total for trans and 3 others was roughly 130 shipped
Im doing all the motor mounts a week from now. ill report back with my results.
 

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jwpowell, im having trouble seeing that crack. In the past ive had luck with cleaning the surface as good as possible, using brake cleaner to clean inside the crack and patching it with JB Weld.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
WD-40, Duct tape, and now, JB Weld!

Ok, well it was tough to get up-close in-focus pictures (until I found the macro setting on my camera), but here's some more views of the crack (tee hee), and the repair. As you can see, I took the JB Weld route, and I think it was the right choice. Every oil change, I can take a look at it to see how it's doin'. If it ever looks like it's going to come apart, I can worry about trying to weld a support to it. But really, I think the "duct tape fix" is gonna' be fine.

I used a jack to put a little upward pressure on the trans to see if the crack moved at all. It did not. I also did the same on the other side of the crack at the motor mount. Also, no movement.

I used a wire brush and some sand paper to try to abrade around as much as possible, and then cleaned everything with brake kleener.

I'm going to wait a few more hours before I drive it, but I don't think I'm going to notice any noticeable changes until I do the motor mounts.

If I ever get any problems, I'll update this post.
 

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Hey JbPow....I mean JwPowell ;)
Nice job there. As I was looking at the pictures....(of course I looked at the pictures before reading - it's EOC afterall)...I was saying I hope he jacked the trans up a little bit before doing that job. Indeed you did.

Nice work!

Let us know how it holds up.
I thought of you at my last oil change - as I was inspecting my own E at the same joint I noticed what appeared to be the same crack, but mine appeared to be just part of the casting process.

It didn't look as severe the first pictures you posted, but looking at the 1st and 2nd picture above - that's nasty.

Again, well done.
 

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One good thing about the plastic metal/epoxy coating - if the crack does propagate, it will be obvious. The coating will either detach or crack.
 
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