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Old 03-18-2010, 08:40 AM
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Mystery Oil Leak - Fixed Itself??

Wondering if any of you have an opinion on this or possibly experienced it yourself. I've got a 92GTZ with the HO Quad. It is a totally new engine with only about 20k miles on it (was installed prior to my purchasing the car). I didn't drive it more than a few miles after I purchased the car before putting it in the shop for some major body work. In the few miles I did drive it I noticed an oil leak coming from the oil pressure sender. Not an uncommon occurrence. Put on a new sender, problem solved. But, that’s not the issue now.
I finished the body work and started driving the car as my daily driver. Parked it in the garage after the first day home from work and by the next morning I had a 12” circle of oil under the front end of the engine (pass side). I searched best I could without tearing into it or removing and parts and it appears to have originated from somewhere around the right side engine mount, perhaps from the timing chain cover seal (to the cover or housing to the block – hard to tell). Everything above that point is completely dry and still looks factory new. The oil ran down the side of the engine and was dripping off the right side frame rail. I did pull the IDI to double check the cam carriers and confirmed everything on the top end is perfect.

Didn’t have time to tear further into the issue that day and had to drive it to work the next day. Brought it home that night, same thing but a little less oil this time. Now I had every intention of tearing into the right side of the engine on day 3 (yesterday) and guess what – totally dry. No more oil leak. What the hell? How did an oil leak that severe just solve itself. So I got to thinking…….hmmmm….

When I was doing the body work I had the car tilted in all sorts of strange angles to get access to what I was working on. First, tilted to the right (driver side up in the air) probably at least a foot and a half. Sat that way for about 2 weeks. Then I had the rear end up in the air at least a foot and a half, maybe a little more. Then I had the front end up in the air at least a foot, maybe more. The car sat in each of these off angles for days/weeks while I was welding, painting, etc. Then I finished the BIW work, dropped her on the ground and drove off.

So, what are the odds that I got a slug of oil into a bad place? Perhaps overfilled the timing chain housing? Sounds reasonable, but why wouldn’t the timing chain housing just drain the oil back to the pan? Something/somewhere else? It’s a mystery. I’m glad to not have any more oil stains on the garage floor, but I’m not comfortable not knowing what caused it especially if it might come back. Thoughts???
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:46 AM
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well no help in solving the issue but i just got over a leak that droped hand sized puddles in my garage at school but when i park any where else i cant find any oil what so everand it lasted for about 2 weeks but now theres nothing???? my level didn't change much if at all on the dip stick, but the weird part is i have the GM dealer do my last change a few days before it started.....good luck in finding the leak i gave up
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:58 PM
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Question.

Did you refill your oil each day after noticing the leak? IE: topped it off.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzukiGhost View Post
Question.

Did you refill your oil each day after noticing the leak? IE: topped it off.
SGR - nope, didn't need to. Checked it and it wasn't low - at least not enough to worry about. I had just changed the oil before I parked it in the shop and started the body work & strange girations/rotations of the body. I really wonder if I somehow got a half quart of oil somewhere where it didn't belong and then it just ran out. Based on the size of the stain on the garage floor over day 1 & 2, I would say it was about 1/2 quart. I just can't figure out where it would have sat on the right/front side of the engine that it wouldn't just run back into the pan rather than all over my garage floor.


On the plus side I expect to be dropping this engine/tranny to swap with another GTZ I purchased, that is if it ever shows up. That's another story all together. Once I have it sitting out in the open in the shop hopefully I will be able to get a better look at what the point of exit was.
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:51 PM
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Check the passenger side oil pan bolts on the end. Where the pan gets flat. Also double check your oil filter for snugness and drain plug. Maybe check your lower timing cover bolts too.

Remember , general rule of thumb on HO and W41 Quads especially. These are very high vibration motors. Just a tad past finger tight doesn't get it on these cars.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:31 PM
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I'm not really sure if it's realavent but I had a oil leak on my LD9 after doing the chain, and i thought it was the crank seal but it turned out to be the bolts that hold the motor mount on at the lower timing cover. I guess they go through to the pan I removed the bolts and used some pipe dope around them to solve the leak. All has been well since. May be the wierd angle caused a shift for a slight leak and resealed from those bolts.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzukiGhost View Post
Check the passenger side oil pan bolts on the end. Where the pan gets flat. Also double check your oil filter for snugness and drain plug. Maybe check your lower timing cover bolts too.

Remember , general rule of thumb on HO and W41 Quads especially. These are very high vibration motors. Just a tad past finger tight doesn't get it on these cars.
I agree about those pan bolts. I’ve seen them leak there before too. Also I’ve had those 4 bolts, and half the timing chain cover bolts vibrate loose even though I tightened them to the torque specs listed in the service manual. This was of course after I also installed a poly insert in the top engine mount, and a “Fast Forward Performance” dog bone with hard poly busings in it. A little loc-tite fixed them up though.

The only other cause that stands out to me is, maybe the person who built the engine got one of the cam tower to timing chain housing gaskets on backwards. I’ve read that if they are installed backwards they will leak.

Kevin
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:01 PM
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Mystery Leak is Back

OK, the mystery leak is back. But not quite as bad as before. I had the front apart to change struts and stab bar end links so I went ahead and pulled the splash sheild and snapped a few pics. The pics are looking upward at the front of the engine in the area of the front engine mount attachment to the block.

The source of the oil leak is right around the area where the front engine mount attaches to the block. If you look close at the photos you will see that just above the mounting bolts everything is dry. This doesn't make any sense to me since the chain housing is supposed to be sealed around this area.

Has anyone ever had a leak in this area. Any thoughts?




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  #9  
Old 03-20-2010, 09:04 PM
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I've seen numerous heads blow the gasket out right there. If you pull your IDI cover off and look down on the head near the casting number, is it wet with oil?
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-1991 Quad 442 W41............-1990 Quad 442 W40HC
-1991 Quad 442 W41 C41......-1988 I Series Clone
-1991 Quad 442 W41 C41......-1994 GA SE OHC HO
-1992 Achieva SCX C41.........-1992 Achieva SCX (WT)
-1992 Achieva SCX (NB)........-1992 Achieva SCX (WT)
-1990 Quad 442 W40............-1988 I Series 4Dr(Race)
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:27 PM
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No, already pulled the IDI. All is dry. This is a totally remanufactured engine with around 15k miles on it. Most of the engine still looks factory new.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calais_man442 View Post

The only other cause that stands out to me is, maybe the person who built the engine got one of the cam tower to timing chain housing gaskets on backwards. I’ve read that if they are installed backwards they will leak.

Kevin
I thought I read that also, if the gasket(s) between the tc cover and valve cover would cause leaks in that area, if the gasket(s) were in backward's.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:37 PM
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Update on the mystery oil leak. Earlier I posted that the leak has slowed considerably (now I get about a 2inch circle of oil after an overnight park v. the 12inch). After completing the strut & stab bar replacement job I refocused my attention on tracking down the source of the leak. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
It appears that there may be several sources of the leak. First I found that the genius who installed the new engine neglected to attach the ¾” oil drain hose that runs from the bottom of the oil separator to the pan (nipple next to oil dipstick attached at the pan). All the other hoses for the separator were attached so it was functioning correctly. That is to say that it was effectively drawing oil saturated blow by gases from the crank via engine vacuum, separating the oil from the gases, sending the gases back into the intake stream and then conveniently blowing all the raw, separated oil all over the engine under the intake manifold. Well, at least the new starter won’t be rusting anytime soon. A mess yes, but not the root cause of the oil I find dripping off the front engine mount U-bracket.
Second, I traced the upper most wet appearing oil marks to the height of the exhaust cam carrier on the back side facing the firewall. There is a clear trail of fresh oil running from the cam carrier joint to the head down the backside of the cam chain cover. Naturally it couldn’t be the cam carrier top, it has to be the carrier to the head that is leaking. It still seems hard to believe that this source could generate that much on the ground, but perhaps. Question is why would a totally rebuilt (professionally done crate engine – not the same source as the geniuses who installed it) leak at this joint after only 15k miles? Has anyone had this issue with leaks in this area or in general with a rebuilt crate engine?
I am still considering the possibility of dropping the entire engine/trans combo out the bottom along with the cradle so I can inspect the situation more closely. Again, I still cannot believe the cam carrier could be the sole source of such a large leak. I am suspecting there must be something else not quite right as well. Plus, I have noticed that the 5-speed seems to be leaking oil as well. I think its coming from the case halves joint, but its hard to tell for certain. Is this joint known to leak? They did put a new clutch in when the engine was installed, but I don’t think the trans itself has ever been touched (or removed for that matter). It has ~128k miles on it. Additionally I need to do some sand blasting and repainting on the left and right cradle supports. The 15+ years of MI salt covered roads has taken its toll.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:10 PM
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Great new clues. This now sounds like you may have a stripped out cam carrier bolt hole or two on the exhaust cam tower. The holes in the head seem to be notorious for stripping out. I’ve heli-coiled plenty of them! The bad part here is if it is indeed a stripped out bolt hole, you have to pull the cam carrier off to get access to fix it.

Put a socket on the cam bolts near the leak and give them a good snugging. You’ll probably be able to tell if they are stripped. They won’t feel right when you try to turn them. They are suppose to be 11ft.lbs., + 75*, so they shouldn’t move if they aren’t stripped. I usually find that they strip out when I go to stretch torque them the 75*.

I can write up how I go about fixing these in the car if you end up needing to fix some of them.

Kevin
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Calais_man442 View Post

I can write up how I go about fixing these in the car if you end up needing to fix some of them.

Kevin


That would be great. I assume I may be crossing that bridge in the near future.

Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:44 PM
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Engine Is Now Out

OK, finally got the point in the GTZ resto where I pulled the engine/trans as a complete unit.

http://bstuff.com/index.php?showtopi...st=80&start=80


I am still trying to track down the exact source of the oil leak so I can solve it. I pulled the front engine mount. It appears as though the leak might be coming from the timing chain cover, but not sure that is real source of the leak. Looks like there is a chance that the oil may be coming from the head to block joint. I don't see much/any trail of oil residue above the head/block joint.

Has anyone ever had a head gasket go bad at and leak oil externally? I know some (all?) of the block to head oil passages go very near the outer perimeter of the block/gasket.
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