The gasket around the top of the transmission pan can develop cracks and allow fluid to leak out. A leaking transmission can quickly turn into a serious problem and lead to expensive repairs. You need to take off the transmission pan and replace the gasket as quickly as possible to seal the pan and stop the leak. This is a project a beginning mechanic can do in an hour or so without any help. If you have a leaking gasket around the transmission pan on your Ford explorer, here is how you can replace it while working in your driveway in an afternoon.

Remove the Transmission Pan         

You will need a 15mm socket and ratchet and a catch basin. The catch basin is necessary as a lot of transmission fluid will leak out when you remove the pan. The catch basin should be big enough to hold at least 8 quarts of fluid to catch all the fluid that will drain out.

Remove 13 of the 15 bolts connecting the pan to the transmission. You want to leave two bolts in place at the back of the pan while you position the catch basin. Put the catch basin at the end of the transmission where you have removed all the bolts. As you loosen the remaining two bolts, the transmission pan will dip down and the fluid will start flowing out. Let as much fluid pour out as possible.

Place a jack under the transmission to hold it up while you remove the remaining two bolts. Remove the last two bolts and carefully lower the jack while pouring the rest of the fluid into the catch basin. Take the pan out from under the Explorer so you can work on replacing the gasket.

Install New Gasket

Pull what remains of the old gasket off of the edge of the pan. Some of the material from the gasket might stick to the edge of the pan and you need the surface on the pan to be completely clean. Clean off any remnants with a putty knife. Place the new gasket on the perimeter of the transmission pan.

Crawl back under the transmission and make sure the surface of the edge of the bottom of the transmission is also clean. Set the pan into position. You should use the jack to hold the pan up while you replace the bolts.

Replace Transmission Fluid

Pour in a fresh supply of transmission fluid. Remember, you will need eight quarts. The Ford Explorer uses Mercon-V transmission fluid. To find out more, speak with a business like Newton Tire Company.