How do I stop this persistant oil leak fom the front oilpan gasket? (pics) - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Jim
 
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All right, here's the story:
newly rebuilt 305, the builder used a 3 piece cork/rubber oil pan gasket set. It leaked ever since I first fired the engine. I finally get around to swapping in a new fel-pro 1 piece rubber pil pan gasket and the damn thing still leaks.... the front timing cover is new and in good condition and the oil pan is good too. I used a little bit of The Right Stuff, at the corners and along the top-side of the gasket in front where it contacts the front cover. The leak was and still is located at the bottom center of the front cover, above the pan gasket.



should I carefully hammer the pan up in this spot with a broad chisel?
should I clean it and try to seal it from the exterior?
I really don't want to drop it again....
I don't want to over tighten the front oil pan bolts...

1968 Coupe, 327ci basketcase project
1986 Chevy Stepside, 305ci/300hp
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 04:35 PM
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Jim,
This is probably gonna sound stupid, but I had a similar problem. Brand new crate motor and an oil leak! After going back to the shop twice, we discovered that we used the wrong PCV valve. Too much pressure caused a leak at the pan. I couldn't believe it...but as soon as I changed the PCV valve...no more leak! I posted the issue here...somewhere. (See "My new motor leaking oil" posted 03/09/04)
I hope your problem turns out to be as easily fixed!

Steve W
1968 Camaro Convertible
1966 GTO Convertible
1995 Harley Road King
"You can't always get what you waaant..."

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think I have too much pressure because I have my right side valve cover open to air and the left side has PCV. it also leaks at idle.

1968 Coupe, 327ci basketcase project
1986 Chevy Stepside, 305ci/300hp
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 05:05 PM
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I had one do that to me years ago and I did exactly what you are thinking. I used a flat wide nosed "punch" and just tapped on it enough to fix the problem. Your pan/timing cover might be slightly out of shape if someone has removed the timing cover without removing the pan (like for a cam change or timing chain repair).

Royce (NO XQSSS) Bradley

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 05:37 PM
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I can't really tell from the picture but it may be coming from the balancer. Sometimes you have to sleeve the crank where the balancer goes thru the cover to get it to seal correctly.

EricE
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 05:40 PM
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JIM68 -

Looks like a chrome oilpan and timing chain cover...if it is, more than likely they are your problem. I have had an awful time with chrome pans & covers. Poor fit.

Just my $.02.

Bill
Classsic Performance & Restoration


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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 05:48 PM
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Jim,

I agree it looks like there is a stain of oil above the lip of the timing cover. If this is the case the problem is the crankshaft balancer probably has a groove worn into it's sealing surface. For under $10 you can buy the sleeve to press onto it and replace the timing cover balancer seal.

If that's not the problem it's like the others have already said, chrome parts are prone to leaks like this. That's a good choice in the one piece gasket, it should've fixed the problem if it was truly the problem. I've had good luck with Aviation form-a-gasket on chrome part, but I limit my chrome to valve covers and then it's not my first choice. Chrome does a poor job of dissipating heat.

Dave
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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i honestly don't believe it's from the timing chain cover because the oil is not leaking down the front of it. I can see I steady drip when the motor is on and it is coming from the seem between the pan gasket and timing cover.



i'm going to mess with it tomorrow
and yes the SOB (engine builder) put the wrong balancer on my engine so I had to put home made timing tap on it.
imagine the fun i had trying to start it after I set the ignition timing with respect to the wrong balancer's TDC mark. From this point on I will always put my thumb over the #1 spark plug hole and have someone spin the engine... actually my uncle said they make a whistle to screw in there, so you can just wait until it blows.

[ 03-29-2004, 08:47 PM: Message edited by: JIM68 ]

1968 Coupe, 327ci basketcase project
1986 Chevy Stepside, 305ci/300hp
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 07:25 PM
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i have never seen that whistle tool, that's a good idea. i'm going with the chrome parts as the problem too, they're a pain in the butt with sealing. my chrome tranny pan gave me all kinds of trouble until i had a shop scuff up the sealing surface. apparently that worked and gave the gasket enough to grab onto, no leaks since. i don't see why that wouldn't work in your case too, just a hassle to drop the pan again.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 04, 07:51 PM
 
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i also vote timing cover.. I had the same problem on a 355 I used to have.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 04, 02:41 AM
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Bill
 
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Jim,
Stupid question, but are you sure it is the correct oil pan gasket ? Try sliding a feeler gauge between the pan and the gasket, right where it is leaking. If you can get one in there, you have the wrong gasket. There are two different ones with different thickness front seals.

Bill Koustenis
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1971 Chevelle "Heavy Chevy" original owner


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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 04, 08:41 AM
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if it was the wrong gasket, he would have about a 1/8" gap there.
i'd go with the balancer sleeve ans see if that works- or, since it's the wrong balancer, i'd get a brand new balancer to match the timing marks- as long as the engine wasn't balanced with that balancer or something.

you don't plan sincerity.
you have to make it up on the spot.

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 04, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well I just wiped the oil clean and started her up. I let it run at high idle for 5 mins and no sight of oil drips. So i drove it for 10 minutes and can back home to check. Still no sign of the oil leaking. After letting it sit and cool down, it started to show oil...

1968 Coupe, 327ci basketcase project
1986 Chevy Stepside, 305ci/300hp
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 04, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Well you guys who guessed the timing cover were right! It is DEFINITELY leaking from the front of the timing cover and dribbling down to the front of the oil pan... darn it.



this also explains why the first shot i took had darker oil leaking even after I just did the oil change.
Thanks for all the help guys it always helps to have a multiple of suggestions even after I think I know what the problem is. [img]graemlins/clonk.gif[/img]

Now let's talk about how I solve this leaky front cover...

1968 Coupe, 327ci basketcase project
1986 Chevy Stepside, 305ci/300hp
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 04, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Question

can I do this fix without taking the front cover off and compromising the integrity to the new oil pan gasket?
I could just try to replace the front cover seal at the crankshaft right?

1968 Coupe, 327ci basketcase project
1986 Chevy Stepside, 305ci/300hp
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