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Discussion Starter #1
406 sbc. New motor. Oil pressure is about 75. I initially torqued to 12 ft-lbs on small and 18ft-lbs on big corner bolts. Had an oil leak which I figured was coming from the oil pan seal. Loosened the bolts and retorqued to 84in-lbs for small, and big corner bolts to 168in-lbs.

Leak seems to be worse when I shut the motor off.?.?

Am I using the right torque specs? Any other ideas?

It's the thick blue fel-pro gasket. Stock oil pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I originally started with the thin seal. Oil was POURING out upon start. I think my block is from the early 70s. When I say "stock oil pan" I mean I didn't update it with moroso, etc. It was in good shape with straight lines.
 

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I originally started with the thin seal. Oil was POURING out upon start. I think my block is from the early 70s. When I say "stock oil pan" I mean I didn't update it with moroso, etc. It was in good shape with straight lines.
Block doesn't matter - they're all the same; only the pan front seal radius matters (2-1/4" vs. 2-3/8"). :thumbsup:

:beers:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So thin seal leaked a ton. Thick seal maybe only leaked a drop or two at first. Now it's leaking more. And a lot more after I re torqued to the values mentioned before. I'm thinking I should try higher torque values. 12 & 18 ft-lbs maybe?
 

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What part# Fel-Pro ?? Where exactly is the leak coming from ? Back of motor ?? Front of motor ?? What I thought was an oil pan gasket leak turned out to be my rear main seal!!
 

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I'd put strong money on the timing chain cover.

Here is a Mr. Gasket cover that was source of a leak I was chasing down:



I put a small flashlight behind the oil pan seal groove to highlight the massive gaps between the spot welds on the timing chain cover. This picture was not taken with a flash, the bright light is the flashlight behind the cover.
 

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You can leave the engine in. A little tricky with the oil pan, you have to loosen the pan to get the timing cover in place.

The reason I would be leaning towards the timing cover is that those blue 1 piece oil pan gaskets from fel-pro are basically fool proof and, the aftermarket timing covers are all spot welded as opposed to the factory seam welded covers so, a leak with a spot welded cover is inevitable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Fool proof, huh? We've obviously never met!

After looking at things more, the passenger side is where the vast majority (if not all) of oil is. Here's a pic of oil splashed on headers.



Here's a pic looking up under the fuel pump. Looks like oil is splashed around pretty good, but the balancer is dry. (When I used the thin front seal, the balancer was soaked and sprayed oil everywhere.):



You said all spot weld covers go bad, but this is a brand new motor. I suppose there's no way to judge when it'll go bad if it was a piece of crap when it came off the manufacturing line.
 

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No, They don't go bad. It's just a poor design that even crankase pressures will force oil between the spot welds.

My other thoughts are the dip stick provision. Is the passenger side one plugged properly. Also check to see if any galley plugs are leaking.

I still doubt it's the pan gasket, even if you just snugged the pan bolts it wouldn't leak that much.
 

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Does that block have a bolt infront of the fuel pump push rod? If so does the bolt have Permatex 2 on the threads cause the hole goes all the way in. Some people use the hole with a longer bolt to hold up the fuel pump rod when they install the fuel pump.
 

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Does that block have a bolt infront of the fuel pump push rod? ...
We may just have a winner here :thumbsup:

In the photo posted there is a bolt in the 'lower' hole, and it's hard to see the 'upper' hole clearly due to sway bar, but ... it sure looks like there's not one in the upper from several close perusals of that photo :noway:

Maybe someone goofed and stuck the bolt in the wrong hole, wouldn't be the first time I've seen that happen ...
Easy to check anyway.

Oh, and I agree with the info on these junky 'bling' parts from some suppliers - they just seem to be getting worse by the year.
I hardly ever use that stuff anymore, just chrome/plate/powder coat OEM or go with paint most of the time now.
 

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Boucher421, I am looking up a Fel Pro gasket for a Chevy 400 engine and have a question. What side of the engine is the dip stick on? The Fel Pro 1886 is on the drivers side. When I looked up a gasket for a 400 engine Fel Pro 1880 came up. Both have the thick front seal. The 1886 gasket is for 1986-1997 305 ci and 350 ci engines. The 1880 gasket will fit 1975-1976 4.3 engine, 1975-1979 350 engine, 1976-1979 305 engine, and 1975-1979 400 engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Cdminter - for the life of me, I can't find the felpro receipt. Sorry. It's a drivers side dipstick if that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've made a bit of progress in the search for the oil leak. While the gasket looks a bit wet around the seam, I think it's only accounting for a drip or two (at least during idle). After tracing the oil drips from the bottom-up, I see two pools of oil on top of the back of the block.




The passenger side seems more significant. I tightened the oil pressure line and distributor clamp. Is this a common place for oil to pool? How tight does the distributor clamp need to be?
 

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Boucher421, I am looking up a Fel Pro gasket for a Chevy 400 engine and have a question. What side of the engine is the dip stick on? The Fel Pro 1886 is on the drivers side. When I looked up a gasket for a 400 engine Fel Pro 1880 came up. Both have the thick front seal. The 1886 gasket is for 1986-1997 305 ci and 350 ci engines. The 1880 gasket will fit 1975-1976 4.3 engine, 1975-1979 350 engine, 1976-1979 305 engine, and 1975-1979 400 engine.
Cdminter -- please follow this link (long) from the Fel-Pro eCat. I hope it helps:

http://fme-cat.com/PerfApplication.aspx?brand=FEL-PRO&engineMF=Chevrolet&engineFAM=V8 Small Block&prodCat=Oil Pan Gasket Sets&subCat=Performance&partType=Oil Pan Gasket Set &disp=262, 265, 267, 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350, 400 Engines, and Race Engines&ga=Y
 
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