When John Hartwig, the Quality engineer for the 6F50 transmission, was notified of a CQIS claim for a transmission leak on an Explorer at Brighten Ford, he jumped on the opportunity to investigate it in person. John drove out to the dealership with Matt Staley, team coordinator for the Warranty & Test Garage.
The dealer detected the leak and the bottom of the transmission and thought it was coming from the converter housing casting. John and Matt reviewed this situation with Rex Thompson, the Parts/Service director and Jim Lyle, the Service technician. Through testing the team determined the casting was not the source. They then removed the torque converter and analyzed the hub seal. No signs of damage were found.
John and Matt then asked the dealer if they could bring the transmission back to the Van Dyke plant for a full analysis. They contacted Erik Kreiger, the FCSD zone manager, and were given the go ahead.
So John and Matt loaded the transmission into their vehicle and brought it back to the plant. Analysis started immediately. The transmission was first brought out to the water dunk tank to check for leaks and none were found. The team then worked with Alan Bradstreet, the test engineer, and put the unit through our final test stands and back through air leak test. Still no leak.
The team was perplexed, but they know that sometimes a very small void in a transmission component will not leak unless it runs in a vehicle for a period of time and gets hot enough to open up the leak passage way.
So, the techs in the warranty and test garage installed the transmission into a car and drove it for 50 miles. No leak. Drove it another 50 miles. No leak. Drove it 50 more miles. No visible leak.
They removed the transmission from the vehicle and when they looked at the bell housing portion of the converter housing, they saw transmission fluid around the perimeter, as you can see in the picture.
Bingo! The root cause was a minute leak in the torque converter weld seam. The team replaced the part and brought the transmission back to the dealer to be installed back into the customer’s vehicle.
The Van Dyke team is now working with the supplier to understand the root cause of the leak and ensure corrective actions are put in place to prevent any more customer issues.
Thanks to the Van Dyke team and Brighton Ford for going further to find and fix this customer’s issue. All this work was done around the clock in a 24-hour time frame. Additional thanks to go out to Kevin Collins, the Warranty & Test supervisor and the techs who completed this analysis so quickly: Cody Flannery, Matt Abramowicz, Rod Dunlap, Jim Mahoney and John Krisciunas.