Oil Leak (again) - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 05, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Oil Leak (again)

Well Iíve been fooled with the old whereís the oil leak coming from. Iím going to include some history for the sake of future searches. I had a local shop rebuild the short block on my í69 about 2 years ago, I did the rest. Shortly after running it awhile I noticed I had a serious oil leak and traced it down to the rear seal or pan gasket. I pulled the pan with engine in the car and found that the rear seal had been installed with one half facing correctly towards the front and the other half facing towards the rear. Well thereís the oil leak. That fixed the leak for a long time and all was well. Well the leak came back recently and I figured it was the pan gasket as you know itís not all that easy replacing the oil pan with the engine in the car and I figured my handy work had just finally went bad. So I buy a new oil pan thinking the old one might be a little tweaked along with the $40 Felpro one piece gasket and a new $25 super deluxe Felpro rear seal. Now with about 40 miles on the second repair the leak is back with the annoying drip about the size of a quarter on the floor. Iím guessing with the cleanup I did it took sometime for the oil to find itís way to the floor.

Okay now I am looking all over the place and as hard as it is to see it appears that the rear cam plug may be leaking. I can see something wet there for sure and I guess it could even be coming from a galley plug. Would the engine shop have pulled any of these plugs? I had new cam bearings installed. If that is the problem can I fix it with the trans out and engine in car?

Thanks

Robert

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Last edited by rojo; Dec 5th, 05 at 08:31 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 05, 06:24 PM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

yikes... I'll throw you this: a leaky main seal or oil pan leaking onto the flywheel can throw a lot of oil around. It wouldn't surprise me if some settled in the cam plug.
If the shop put in new can bearings, they had to remove the rear cam plug.
A proper block cleaning would always include removing all the oil gallery plugs, and brushing and solvent flushing the oil gallery's.





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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 05, 06:29 PM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

Get some of the dye that you can see under a blacklight and eliminate the guess work. It sounds like you've been through enough stress.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 05, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

I have used the dye and blacklight only to determine that it looked like the culprit was the seal or pan gasket. It worked well to determine that the leak was not coming from up top. No doubt the oil gets swirled around by the flex plate as it has also made its way over to the bottom of the starter. I'll do another clean up and add dye again and concentrate on the cam and galley plugs. I guess I'll just have to watch for it before it gets to the crank area.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 05, 08:02 PM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

Yeah, just one test drive should be enough.

I missed your earlier posts.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 05, 08:53 PM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

Try new valve cover gaskets. I had a leak that I swear was the rear main seal. Traced it down to leaky valve cover gasket.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 05, 09:00 PM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

What pan do you have?

I once purchased a Moroso pan for a BB,..part number 20451,..it had an incorrect radius at the back and wouldn't seal, even with the $40 one-piece blue pan gasket. BTW, though we're not to slam manufacturers, I will say that I was extremely disappointed with Moroso's non-existent customer service and would suggest Milodon instead...if not GM.

And yes, oil that hits the flywheel will sling everywhere.

Is there oil weeping from the boot on your clutch fork?

Oh well, I went back to a GM pan (which required a new pump and pick-up since the old ones were welded together), the blue one-piece gasket, some RTV in the corners, and no leaks. This after two engine pulls to ID the problem.

Good luck!
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 05, 04:36 AM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

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Originally Posted by rojo
I'll do another clean up and add dye again and concentrate on the cam and galley plugs. I guess I'll just have to watch for it before it gets to the crank area.
Good choice. Go for a nice 25-30 mile drive and check.

Is the PCV system working? If the crankcase is building pressure and three's no relief, this event could be helping to shove oil out from the crankcase.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 05, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

There is no oil up top so I think the valve cover gaskets are okay.

The oil pan is a Milodon and it "appears" to be sealing as I've been looking around at it with one of those little round magnifying mirrors on a telescoping rod. The trans is an auto so with the cover off there's a little more room to look around.

The PCV is hooked up and should be working but I'll admit I haven't actually double checked it. I'll check it and proceed with the dye.

Thanks guys.

Robert

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 05, 11:08 AM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

Robert -

I don't know if this is the answer to your problem or not, but...

Last summer I pulled my motor to repair a pesky oil leak. I was certain it was coming from either the rear of the pan gasket or from the rear main seal. I replaced both and was extra dilligent in reassembly. All appeared well...for about 2 days. Then the leak was back.

To make a long, frustrating story short(er), the leak was coming from the passenger side rear of the intake manifold in the corner. I thought for sure I had used enough RTV, but I hadn't. (TWICE!!) I was surprised how much sealant I needed in that corner to prevent a leak, and I was also surprised how much oil leaked out of there.

Worth checking out.


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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 05, 12:36 PM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

I feel company in misery here as I will be pulling my engine for the 4th time this winter to address the fateful SBC rear main/ pan gasket leak.

I have gone through 5 one-piece pan gaskets, 2 different oil pans, 2 sets of rear main seals. I have tried the dye, I have tried providing additional crankcase ventilation and I still have a leak.

This is definitely a SBC (w/ 2 piece seal) flaw. I made a list of possible sources/ causes and I will address every one on the list (ie, replacing plug in block under passenger side head to see if that is it), reassemble and cross my fingers.

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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 05, 03:29 PM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

Oh yeah, this topic hits a tender spot with me also. It's a little tricky to build a leak-free engine.

One thing I see that happens all the times is people (yeah, I did this) don't put the rear main seal halves in correctly. It's very easy to just grab the seal half and push it into the half-circle in the block, but when you do that you will usually shear off a small piece of the inside sealing edge of the seal. There is a small odd-shaped piece of plastic included with every rear main seal and it needs to be used to protect the sealing edge of the seal. If you don't use that little tool, you'll be pretty much guaranteed to get a rear main leak.

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 05, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

I did use the handy little plastic tool to slide in the new seal. Now whether or not it did its job I'm not sure. The seal went in somewhat easy.

I'm going to start from scratch with an open mind and start from the top and work down. Tonight I put in 3 1oz bottles of the UV dye from Napa and ran the engine for a good while. I'll do the clean up next then run the engine and start checking with the light. I hate you guys have had or are having similar problems, I guess that's just part of the hobby.

Robert

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 05, 05:35 PM
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

One question, are you guys offsetting the parting line in seal? Meaning are you not lining the rear seal up with the parting line in the rear main cap. Are you putting any sealer on the tips of the two halves of the seal? (where they come together). OK, maybe it was more than one question.

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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 05, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Oil Leak (again)

Royce,

Yes and yes. The instructions on the seal package even say the same. I don't think that used to be the case.

Thanks

Robert

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