VW incontinence problem

My 1988 Automatic VW Vanagon very recently sprung a significant spillage problem. Has driven beautifully for a few months. When getting a CV joint replaced, the mechanic mentioned a slight leak on the tranny case. A few weeks later, smoke was billowing out the back. Saw a deep red fluid pooling below. Drove to a car wash to hose it off and find the original leak. When I stopped the van, fountains of the deep red fluid (later id’d as ATF) spurted out around the tranny case seal. Took it to another mechanic and he said the ATF was coming up out of the dipstick/filler neck. Said I need a new Transmission. That’s it. NO explanation. I have driven it since (has NO power, still goes into all gears, ATF surely does come out of filler neck) and smoke still billows.

What a sad van I have.

What is going on???

Do I really need to spring over $2000 for a new tranny? Is it the tranny seal? I have a basic idea re: the oil cooler and maybe it failed? Seems like no one can give me definite answers…

check for blocked vent,and get a reading of actual trans temp,is it overfull?

just some WAG.