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rear main seal oil leak?  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 08-06-2013 12:16 am
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rossjfox
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Can someone help confirm if the oil leak I have is from the rear main seal?

Here's what I know: I have a series II engine with the newer (non-rope) seal. About 2 months ago it developed a significant oil leak noted after returning from a 500 mile round trip to Jensen East. The leak is on the passenger side and threw oil all along the underside of the car on the passenger side. I cleaned off the majority of the oil and watched as I've driven the car since. I can't see where it's coming from, but oil is pooling on the engine (in one of those cooling fin / valleys) under the starter.

The car otherwise seems to run fine, but transiently at Jensen East the clutch would chatter on take off as if it were slipping. This has since stopped, but maybe it was a result of oil on the clutch from a leaking rear seal?

So what do you think? Does this sound like a rear main seal gone bad?

Thanks,
Ross

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 Posted: 08-06-2013 12:25 pm
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jcdean
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Check the crankcase ventilation. Sounds to me as if you are blowing oil out there.

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 Posted: 08-06-2013 12:33 pm
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MikeIsotech
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Another place can be from where the distributor enters the block. I've had oil get past the o ring that should seal but didn't.

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 Posted: 08-06-2013 12:54 pm
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Dan (Florida)
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It doesn't sound like a main seal leak.  The rear main seal is in front of the flywheel and should not leak into the clutch area. What could leak are the flywheel bolts which could leak  into the clutch area if not sealed properly on install.  I would think that this would cause a lot more clutch slipping than you indicate.  A rear main seal  leak could be thrown by the flywheel into the starter housing and leak out the bottom of the starter but probably wouldn't pool on the side of the engine.    My guess is to feel up under the distributer and under the oil filter and oil cooler adapter. I eliminated the oil cooler adapter as a constant source of leaks.  The oil cooler doesn't seem to be of much value on a street engine and can be eliminated easily.  The distributer also has an oring that  can and will leak  and can leak right through the distributer shaft and out the cap.  Search there before pulling the transmission.  Also check the port above the starter where the oil pressure gauge taps off. Its pretty obvious if it leaks, and leak it will.

 

hth   Dan

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 Posted: 08-06-2013 02:07 pm
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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Ross, have to agree with Dan, probably not the main seal look at the oil pressure pickup adapter or crank venting, the oil cooler sandwich plate has a gasket on the back side if you havent changed that in awhile that could be it as well, (replacement Gasket, off a FRAM oil filter PH3682).

Good luck.  Brett

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 Posted: 08-06-2013 09:18 pm
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pbahr
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Hi Ross,

Oil leaks are a bummer to find but the previous posters have identified the likely sources.  I vote for the distributor or the nylon tubing that goes to the oil pressure gauge.

I suggest high-pressure wash all the oil from that side of the engine and put in some leak detector dye beachworldclassics4u and run the engine a bit.  A UV lamp will find the leak for you.  Total cost less than $50.  Repairs would be another problem.........

YELODOG

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 Posted: 08-08-2013 01:40 am
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rossjfox
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Thanks. The engine is dry under the distributor, so I don't think that's the source. But I'll look closely at the vent and oil pressure tap.

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 Posted: 08-11-2013 10:51 pm
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rossjfox
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I cleaned off the engine with degreaser and water and then watched closely while it was running. Sure enough, the oil was leaking from the oil pressure gauge hose. That should be a relatively easy fix.

Thanks everyone...

Ross

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 Posted: 08-12-2013 04:22 pm
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pbahr
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Good work Ross.

Easy to attach at the engine end but the other end attaches to the gauge under the dash.................

If the hose is still flexible, you might be able to cut it and just re-attach.

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 Posted: 08-12-2013 07:30 pm
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rossjfox
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It feels pretty brittle and new ones are only $27 at the club store. Easy decision to remove and replace.

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 Posted: 08-12-2013 08:34 pm
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pbahr
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May be a bit difficult to get under the dash to fit that end....

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