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Cam Cover Oil Leak  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 05-28-2007 10:57 pm
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dciaccio
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Experts:

Here is a real puzzler.  My lower cam cover had a leak.  I replaced the gasket with the rubber seal.  After a few hours of running, all seemed fine.  Now the drip once again reoccurs on the exhaust pipe off the lower corner of the cover.  I thought my workmanship was faulty.  However, after cleaning the area, running the engine, then inpecting with a mirror, the oil is coming from the middle of the cam cover and migrating down the cover to the lower end.  The oil seems to accumulate in the middle rib indentation, just left of the JH emblem.  It then overflows to the next lower rib indentation and proceeds back the lower corner of the cover.  I have thoroughly cleaned this twice and found the ribs above are clean and dry.  The bolts are sealed and dry.  The leading edge of the cover gasket is dry.  This leads me to the unlikely question, could the cover have a hairline crack in this location?

Any thoughts would be appreciated on this puzzler.

I can email a photo of the cover where I have marked the location of the first oil accumulation if desired by anyone.

Thanks as always for the help.

Dave Ciaccio    #12248

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 Posted: 05-29-2007 04:16 am
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Art DeKneef
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It's possible there is a crack if the cover has been severely overtighten. Another possibility is that the valve cover is warped.

Art

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 Posted: 05-29-2007 04:49 pm
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Jim Sohl
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Dave, remove the cover, wash throughly with solvent followed by hot soap and water.  Dry very throughly, preferably with blowing air.  In a darkened room, hold the cover up to a bright light.  Any pin points of light, no matter how small, will leak.  A more remote possibility is that a leak from casting porosity, or a crack, leaks under the paint and comes out some distance from the source.  In any event, a leak through the cover is not unpresedented, just a little rare.

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 Posted: 05-30-2007 12:01 am
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Judson Manning
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Dave,

The original design is just plain flawed and that's exactly why the cam cover design was revised with the introduction of the 910.  At best, you have a 50/50 chance of totally eliminating the oil leak no matter what solution you try.

I know it's embarrassing to have that puff of smoke every once in a while and no one likes the little puddle of oil that collects in the garage.  However, there is an old joke about British cars:  Once a British car stops leaking oil, it means it's out of oil. 

A guy I know had an MG in his shop for a couple of years without an engine or trans.  They just kept pushing the shell around the shop as space required.  Every time they did, they found another puddle, almost like the car seeped oil from it's pores.

Another way of looking at it, think of those little drops of oil as an 'offering' to the motorsport gods.  To me, the leak is very small price to pay for an otherwise perfect engine. 

Judson

Last edited on 05-30-2007 12:04 am by Judson Manning

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 Posted: 05-31-2007 12:14 am
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dciaccio
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thanks Art.  This is very interesting to learn that it is a possibility that the cover could be cracked.  I did not overtighten it to my knowledge.  I was thinking of cleaning it from the top and then using a high temp sealant on it to see if it stops as a test.

Dave ciaccio

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 Posted: 05-31-2007 12:20 am
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dciaccio
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Jim and Judson- thanks for the reply....I do need to get more cardboard under the car...between the MG and the JH, it gets black in a hurry!

Dave

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 Posted: 05-31-2007 01:53 pm
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Jensen Healey
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We once repaired a holed oil pan with Permatex blue while on a camp trip. The owner drove the car for several years with the replacement pan in the trunk but never installed it because the repair never leaked.

Jack up the left side of the car as high as possible to drain oil out of the lower cam cover.  Clean the area well with acitone or naptha after removing any paint. Any oil in the crack or hole needs to be removed. Let dry.

Dab on the blue with up and down motion to check adhesion. Smear to a pleasing profile and let dry overnight.

Good luck!

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 Posted: 05-31-2007 02:33 pm
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Judson Manning
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Also keep in mind the cam cover castings weren't the best even when new.  I remember a story about Harley-Davidson, back in the AMF years when casting quality was so bad the engines woud leak worse than a British car!

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 Posted: 06-01-2007 02:24 am
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dciaccio
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Thanks to all!  Permatex Blue it is!  I will let you all know how it turns out.

Dave

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 Posted: 06-08-2007 10:15 pm
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dciaccio
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Success!  You guys are the masters.  I used the good ol' JB Weld on the one recess in the cam cover that was leaking. That was it!  Fixed!  The casting was defective, but not no more.

Thanks again all.

Dave Ciaccio

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