stumped by source of "fish oil" smell in 97 Ranger 5-speed

Maybe someone has already experienced this one. I have a 97 Ranger 5-speed with approx. 90k miles. Since I bought the truck, it has consistently, but intermittently, had an odor in the cab of the truck
which occurs generally only after driving for at least say 5-10 minutes. I'm 95% sure this is an ATF smell. I say this because I stuck my nose over a bottle of the Mercon ATF, and it smells exactly the same. It is not a "burnt" smell at all, just oily. At first I thought it might be brake fluid leaking from the slave cylinder. Now the slave and the clutch have been replaced, but the smell remains. I believe there is a slight leak at the transmission extension housing seal, but it is very slight, less than a half pint every thousand miles. And YES I have visually checked the 3 infamous shift rail plugs and they are high and dry. My question: could the slight leakage at the rear trans seal account for this persistent (and fairly strong) odor?
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If it is flinging atf on to your exhaust pipe someplace that might be it.
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"Scott" <homealone.com> wrote in message

If that's truly what's happening, check the power steering. The PS systems on these use Type F
CJB
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"oily_boot2" wrote: 97 Ranger 5-speed 90k miles
Since I bought the truck, it has often had a "fish oil" odor in the cab after driving at least 5 minutes. I'm 95% sure it is an ATF smell. Any suggestions? _______________________________________________
ATF: Smell dipstick on PS reservoir for comparison. Look for ATF dripping from PS pump or hoses. COOLANT: Smell radiator coolant for comparison. Look for reservoir overflow, radiator leaks, or heater core leak. OIL: Look for oil drip from valve cover on to exhaust system. AC: Open evap drain port. Flush out box with vinegar or mild bleach water if it has mold inside. Blow out lint and dust from heater core. FOOD: Shampoo carpeting/upholstery, clean out defroster vent. BRAKE FLUID: Smell reservoir for comparison. Look for fluid dripping from master cyl, brake lines, hoses, and vacuum booster. CLOTHING: The rubber/plastic in some tennis shoes made in Asia has a definite fish oil smell. It fades with time. Some of this material is in auto floor mats too. GASOLINE: Probably not - smell is distinctive.
Some gasolines will put out an exhaust smell like epoxy resin when the engine is running. Sometimes a cat converter puts out a smell, but usually like rotten eggs, not fish.
Good luck.
Rodan.
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Is this a diesel converted to run on cooking oil? If it is, perhaps the previous owner got his oil from fried fish place. ;-)
Jeff
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