Front side oil leak on a 97 z-28 - Team Camaro Tech
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Old Jan 21st, 08, 03:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 20
Front side oil leak on a 97 z-28

Ok, tech specs first:

97 z-28, auto, 120ish k miles.

We recently had the water pump replaced (ah the joys of 3.5 hours labor paid for a water pump, thanks, Chevy ) and now the car has a slow oil leak down the front side (belt side) of the engine.

First, does the gear driven water pump have a seal or seals that could have been injured or need replaced as well?

Second, does the drive gear on the engine itself travel through a seal that might account for the oil leak?

Finally, I see most of the oil around the flywheel pulley shaft -- is this engine's front seal a culprit for slow oil leaks that seem most leaky after a drive?

Thanks for looking.
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Old Jan 22nd, 08, 01:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 97
Re: Front side oil leak on a 97 z-28

Quote:
Originally Posted by R4g3fist View Post
Ok, tech specs first:

97 z-28, auto, 120ish k miles.

We recently had the water pump replaced (ah the joys of 3.5 hours labor paid for a water pump, thanks, Chevy ) and now the car has a slow oil leak down the front side (belt side) of the engine.

First, does the gear driven water pump have a seal or seals that could have been injured or need replaced as well?

Second, does the drive gear on the engine itself travel through a seal that might account for the oil leak?

Finally, I see most of the oil around the flywheel pulley shaft -- is this engine's front seal a culprit for slow oil leaks that seem most leaky after a drive?

Thanks for looking.
Yes to your first and third sentences! It is possible to damage your seal by the water pump but I would opt for your third sentence and being the culprit. The good news about the front seal is you can pull that off and replace it with out having to pull the entire timing cover off. I would change that seal first. Get under the car and look up into the water pump area. Maybe you did damage that seal since you noticed the oil after you changed the water pump. I would say wash the engine in that area fist and maybe you can spot where the oil is leaking but as we all know the opti does not like water (thanks again chevy) so that's probably out of the question. Now the bad news! If the front seal in not where the oil is leaking from then you might have to pull the water pump off and change that seal or worse if the timing cover seal is leaking then you'll have to pull off the entire front engine. Try to clean the area as best you can first and maybe you can spot the leak and hopfully it won't be the timing cover. Good luck.
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Old Jan 23rd, 08, 10:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 20
Re: Front side oil leak on a 97 z-28

Thanks for the input. I got as far up under there as I could (I contend that nobody should be slender enough to fit under a camaro, especially in the 25 degree weather I was operating in ) and it seems like most of the oil is in the front main seal area, it's all concentrated midline to the engine and I don't seem to see any of it on the lovely and touchy distributor system.

A follow up question then -- on the LT1 v-8, is the front main seal a solid seal, or is it a sort of two piece action like some older school v-8's?

Thanks again, and here's crossing my fingers so that the timing cover seal is ok!
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Old Jan 24th, 08, 03:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 97
Re: Front side oil leak on a 97 z-28

It is only a 1 piece however you have to buy that piece as a kit. Checker auto parts has the kit and it's less than $20. It provides all the seals for the timing cover and your water pump and harmonic balancer. If it's mid way as you say the you may have to replace the seal to your water pump. The kit comes with those gaskets also.
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Old Jan 24th, 08, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 20
Re: Front side oil leak on a 97 z-28

That water pump is more trouble than it's worth, in my opinion. Was the horsepower savings actaully worth the hassle of having a gear driven water pump that required extra seals?

Thanks for the info. I think I'll be taking this one to a reputable service guy -- I don't have a lift or the time to leave the car up so i can get that water pump off again. Maybe I can find someone that will cut me a deal on parts.
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Old Jan 25th, 08, 03:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 97
Re: Front side oil leak on a 97 z-28

There is no benefit to the water pump being there. The pump is still being driven off the motor and an electric pump will only save a couple hp. It's not the parts that will cost you it's the labor is where they will get you. Good luck.
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