I recently changed the transmission fluid, filter and gasket on an old (1986) Chrysler 5.2L v8. Initially there were no leaks, but after a couple highway drives (about 50 to 60km each) it started leaking again. Would it be normal to need to re-tighten the bolts after a couple drives or is this a sign of another problem?

Below is the background of my issue, this was my first time doing this kind of work.

The transmission fluid began leaking from around the edges of the pan about 2 years ago. It started with a with a tiny drip and got progressively worse over a couple years. I kept topping up the trans fluid until I had a chance to fix the issue.

After removing the pan and draining the fluid, I thoroughly cleaned the pan with rags and I used my thumbnail to scrape off a few tiny bits of the old gasket stuck to the pan. Likewise I carefully used a clean rag to clean the outer edge of the transmission where the pan is bolted on.

Finally I laid the new gasket over the bolt holes on the pan, threaded the all bolts through the gasket a couple of turns to hold everything in place, and then re-attached the pan to the transmission. I used a torque wrench and torqued the bolts to 96in/lbs as specified in the Haynes manual I have.

Based on my inexperienced eye, everything looked to be in excellent condition. There is some minor discoloration in a couple spots around the extreme outer edge of the pan but this didn't progress even halfway to the bolt holes and it wasn't deeply pitted or seem like anything unusual considering it's over 30 years old.

  • Some need it some don't, I would re tighten it.
    – Moab
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 16:37
  • 1
    I agree with @Moab a retorque could be in order. Realistically, though, the tranny pan is a place I would use some very good sealant like The Right Stuff. When used correctly, seals transmission pans the first go around without issue. Just a thought for the future. If a transmission pan is even slightly warped, it will have a tendency to leak. This could have been the issue in the first place. A good sealant will solve the issue. Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 19:54

2 Answers 2


there is a specific tightening pattern when tightening transmission bolts. If you do not follow it, some of the bolts will be too loose. The gasket should have come with a tightening pattern and probably listed the inch-pounds each bolt goes to.


Having worked in a transmission shop , I can promise the most likely problem is over-tightening; it crushes the gasket too much which then leaks. As noted , it is very important to manufacturer's instructions,

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