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  #1  
Old Jan 9th, 09, 01:42 PM
jcuttito jcuttito is offline

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Default Please help! odd SBC oil leak

Hey everyone. I'm having a really weird oil leak coming from the passanger side of the motor. I just put a LT4 Hot Cam in my 350 and put in all new gaskets and seals to correct the issue at the same time and I'm stumped. It seems to be coming from the oil pan area. It drips of the starter bolts, and sometimes even the lower radiator hose if I really get up on it. I've already put a new oil pan gasket on and it subsided for a while but it's back. It only happens when I really get up on the car and I smell it cooking on the headers and it even gets up into the fender only on that side. Things i've already checked: Distributor gasket, oil pressure sending unit, timing chain seal, valve cover, and like i said new oil pan gasket. Is there such thing as a Dipstick tube seal or gasket? I'm wondering that or if my rear main seal is starting to go. open for suggestions, thanks
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  #2  
Old Jan 9th, 09, 02:06 PM
jeremycam jeremycam is offline
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

The lower half your engine is leaking, correct? You may want to check brass freeze plugs on the side of your engine with a flash light. Is this in a car or truck? Wipe down the old burned up oil on the engine surface. Sometimes you just half to get dirty to find what youre looking for. Otherwise the engine runs good too?
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  #3  
Old Jan 9th, 09, 03:08 PM
ssdoug ssdoug is offline
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

check the bolt on right front at the fuel pump pushrod ?
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  #4  
Old Jan 9th, 09, 03:23 PM
alanrw alanrw is offline
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

I would clean everything up really good. Engine clean and wash it off.I think there is a product that you put into the oil which shows up under a black light for detecting oil leaks. This should pinpoint the problem.

Not sure about freeze plugs as they are more related to coolant leaks. Any possibility it is coming from where the head meets the block on the outboard side?

alan
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  #5  
Old Jan 9th, 09, 06:48 PM
jcuttito jcuttito is offline

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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

just got back from a drive where i didnt get up on it at all and i didn't have an issue with the oil burning smell. its squeezing it's way out of somewhere only on a hard accleration. i will look for a freeze plug problem and also where the head meets the block. any way to check the cam plug with the tranny still on the car? probably not but i know some of you more experienced dudes have some cool tricks. is a leak where the head meets the block a common problem? head gaskets are only about 8 months old. dont even wanna think about taking it all apart again.

the engine runs aboslutley awesome it just leaks everytime i floor it. 350sbc, 9.4:1, vortec heads, air gap manifold, Lt4 hot cam w/ 1.6s, 650 holley DB, th350 and 3:90 gears. the motor is in a '77 oldsmobile omega. i did think about the fuel pump pushrod hole and stuck a bolt in there. i had it up on the lift at my school and cant really pinpoint anything with the headers and starter in the way. this is just a really odd leak. thanks for the replys!
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  #6  
Old Jan 9th, 09, 07:46 PM
BPOS BPOS is offline
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

Your leak is most likely coming from your intake gasket at the rear. Run your finger along the intake/block seal area on the pass side and you'll most likely find oil. It took a surprisingly large bead of RTV on the back half of the block to seal mine up.

Also - are what are you using for breathers/PCV? another area to consider.
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  #7  
Old Jan 9th, 09, 08:29 PM
deerhunter deerhunter is offline
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

If it is dripping from the lower radiator hose it about has to be coming from the front of the engine. For starters, did you damage the timing gear cover when you changed the cam? This happens quite a bit if you remove the cover without lowering the oil pan. Another place, do you have the right thickness on the front oil pan gasket, the rubber part? There were two thicknesses. Did you put a new seal in the timing chain cover where the crankshaft goes through? Are you using a chrome pan? I have had best results from them by taking sandpaper to the gasket surfaces and using silicone between the pan and gasket. The bolt for the fuel pump rod has already been mentioned but have you checked around the fuel pump itself? I have seen those gaskets get damaged when trying to install the pump when the rod is being pushed out by the cam lobe. That is about all I can think of right now.
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  #8  
Old Jan 9th, 09, 08:50 PM
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.gearhead. .gearhead. is offline
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

I had the exact symptoms, and the leak was coming from a valve cover breather, dripping down the rear of the valve cover. Just a thought.
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  #9  
Old Jan 9th, 09, 09:13 PM
67CamaroRS/SS 67CamaroRS/SS is offline
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

I agree with deerhunter. If you are getting oil on your lower hose, then it's leaking from the front and being blown back to the starter area. I had the same issue as you. If I drive normal, no leak, but the minute I put her through her paces, she leaked. They make two different thickness front seal 1pc rubber pan gaskets. The earlier engines(55-74) use the thinner front seal(part #OS34509T). The later engines(75-on) use the thicker front seal(part #OS34510T). If you have an earlier engine, unless you are using an OEM pan or the original, you need to call the manufacturer and ask whether or not it uses the thin or thick front seal. Most tell you in the instructions. For example, my 67 has a 71 small block, but I run a Milodon 7qt pan that requires the thick front seal. You can't assume because when you look at it, it appears to be making the proper contact. The difference is significant, but with the pan bolted up, it's hard to know for sure. Also, did you make sure you used RTV on the corners of the of the gasket? Some can get away without it, but I haven't seen one that could. Mine has ALWAYS required RTV.

Also, like SSDoug said, check the bolt hole on the front of the engine that leads to the fuel pump push rod. There should be a bolt in that hole. Even if there is one, pull it and inspect the threads. Clean and reinstall with some sealer.
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  #10  
Old Jan 10th, 09, 06:03 AM
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seeburg220 seeburg220 is offline
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

Run the engine and warm it up...Take a Q-tip, and run it under the front lifter galley seal, underneath of the front of the intake manifold (between the heads at the front of the motor). Pay close attention to where the front of the intake manifold mates with the sides of the cylinder heads. That seal between the heads, on the front of the engine/manifold, is a notorious spot for leaks.

Mine leaked there, but you could never see it leaking, even when running - but it did. I had changed out my oil pan gasket 3x and was convinced it was leaking at the front of the oil pan. It wasn't!

Did you use a cork or rubber seal under the manifold in front, or just a bead of silicone. The seals are crap. Only use a bead of silicone.

Good luck and I feel your pain, believe me
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  #11  
Old Jan 10th, 09, 06:19 AM
onovakind67 onovakind67 is online now
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcuttito View Post
It seems to be coming from the oil pan area. It drips of the starter bolts, and sometimes even the lower radiator hose if I really get up on it.


Do you have your bolt in the right hole? There are two holes very close to each other.

Oil tends to migrate aft from the point of the leak, so I would concentrate my efforts on the forward most area that's getting wet. If your lower radiator hose is getting oiled, you've got a leak somewhere in that area.
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  #12  
Old Jan 10th, 09, 08:19 AM
jcuttito jcuttito is offline

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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

You guys are awesome.
For my oil pan, the block is a factory roller cam block, I bought a Fel-Pro oil pan gasket for a 1987 Camaro with a 350 in it. It was the thicker gasket for later models. My pan is the stock (aluminium?) one that came with this crate motor in 2000. When I dropped the intake manifold on, I put new intake gaskets on, and I prefer to make the seal with a bead of RTV so thats what I did. I've done it a bunch of times so I don't think its coming from up there. I hate to rule out most of your suggestions because they are great and I will certainly triple check everything and keep them in mind.
I think we are on to something with the fuel pump. I have a cheap block off plate and the included gasket plate on it because I'm running an electric pump. I took the rod out when I installed the electric, and maybe that is causing way too much pressure in the fuel mounting area and pushing out the sides of the plate on hard accleration, and then finding its way all the way to the headers/starter area?
Thank you Team Camaro for your time with this one, esspecially since it's not a Camaro!
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  #13  
Old Jan 10th, 09, 11:32 AM
jcuttito jcuttito is offline

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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

Just to let everyone know, I found the problem. It was infact the fuel pump block off plate. I started the engine, popped the hood and watched around the suspected area and pressed the throttle lever on the carb. At about 3000rpm its very obvious that the oil is pushing its way out of the sides of the plate. Not sure if the plate or gasket is to blame, but either way I've been wanting to going back to the mechanical fuel pump, so now is a good time. Thanks again for all your input everyone.
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  #14  
Old Jan 10th, 09, 06:39 PM
deerhunter deerhunter is offline
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Default Re: Please help! odd SBC oil leak

Thank you for letting us know what you found. A lot of times the poster gets hints and fixes the problem but never posts the results. By posting the cure to the problem, someone using the 'Search' method will find answers a lot easier. Glad you are getting your leak fixed.
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