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Discussion Starter #1
If you guys remembered I had the rear main seal replaced on my 383 a couple months ago. The car was a mess under the chassis from the trans dust cover on back. It seemed fine for a while (hadn't really checked that close after the repair to be honest - I was confident that we got it), but I just noticed the oil is back and just as bad as before. I'm getting really po'd and I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Here's what I've done so far:

Replaced oil and trans dipsticks with the Lokar ones - verified they are sealed real good.

Replaced valve cover gaskets (2x to be sure) now have the solid core Felpro gaskets installed (the good ones)

Inspected the rear of the intake manifold - there are no drips at all in this area.

I put a paper towel "diaper" inside the dust cover and taped the drain hole shut to see if oil was or was not dripping from the rear main. There was none - it's dry inside.

The only place I can see even the slightest trail is from the oil filter down the side of the pan. I am changing the oil and filter today and will watch for it to come back. the old filter gasket looks fine and it was tight.

The oil under the car starts in the area of the dust cover, spreads out all over the trans oil pan and goes mostly down the passenger side of the car - cooking on the exhaust, dripping off the subframe connector and floor pan. this is driving me nuts - especially since I spent so much time getting the undercarriage perfect.

Thanks,

Eric

ps. i run that B&M blue colored tranny fluid, and I suppose it is POSSIBLE that if the tranny is leaking the blue fluid could be turning yellow from disolving the black undercoating, but I don't really think so.

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68 Camaro with 383 small block. ET - 11.9's at 112 mph and never trailered.

The combo:

10.3:1 KB pistons, Eagle cast crank, 5.7" SIR rods.
Trick Flow 23* heads ported 2.055 intake, 1.6 exhaust.
Comp Cams 282s mechanical cam with 1.6 rockers.
Victor Jr intake and Holley O-3310 carb.
1-3/4" Hedman Headers, full length Flowmaster exhaust.
TH350 trans, 3000 stall, 3.55 gear.
CE subframe connectors, drag shocks, SSM lift bars.
 

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The only spot that was wet was the oil filter? Is there a second gasket stuck up there that hasn't been noticed. It'll leak like that. just a thought.
 

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is it seeping out along the oil pan rail? the oil pressure sender behind the intake? head gasket(seen that once or twice)? front seal behind balancer?
give it a really good cleaning underneath, and take it out for a short spin and see where it all starts- before there is too much oil under there. this stuff can get aggravating in a hurry, and is almost always something that is cheap or free to fix.

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1971 Nova(looks like 69 camaro from underneath!)
355sb, vortec heads, HOT cam,T-10 tranny, 3.70 gears 16X8" IROC wheels. 12" Corvette brakes on the way.
see pics here http://community.webshots.com/user/novaderrik
 

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My brother used one of those new Felpro
one piece oil pan gaskets on his 350 sb and it leaked around the "chrome" timing cover. He called Felpro and they laughed and said he should use a factory cover, that it wouldn't seal on the chrome one for whatever reason. He had to pull his fresh motor he had just put in and repalced the pan gasket with the old style seal, no leaks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Am also using the Felpro 1 piece oil pan gasket. Its new from when we did the rear main. I DO have a chrome timing cover, but it doesn't seem to be leaking from there or the front seal.

NovaDerrick - please explain the head gasket idea for me . . . this is a real possibility - one that I haven't thought of. Where exactly would the head gasket leak oil? From the oil return holes in the back of the head? That would make it run down and off the oil filter, wouldn't it?

I'm also wondering if it could still be the valve covers. Maybe I should get some thick cork ones and seal it up with RTV. I noticed that the gasket seating surface on the heads is machined real smooth, maybe the gaskets I'm using don't work well with a smooth seating surface.

Thanks
 

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i really don't know WHY a head gasket would leak oil- it isn't under pressure as it drains back- but i have seen a few of them that seep it out along the edge. I guess it might have came from a valve cover or something, but i usually clean things up real nice when trying to find leaks like that, and have seen a couple that have no oil anywhere but along the bottom edge of the head gasket. engines can do weird stuff sometimes.

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1971 Nova(looks like 69 camaro from underneath!)
355sb, vortec heads, HOT cam,T-10 tranny, 3.70 gears 16X8" IROC wheels. 12" Corvette brakes on the way.
see pics here http://community.webshots.com/user/novaderrik
 

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I know this is a dumb question, but just to eliminate any weird possibilities, is the trans sealed up ok? My speedo sender was leaking pretty bad on my '69 4-speed and it tended to leak forward onto the lowest part of the trans when sitting, then back all the way along the bottom of the car to the back.
On my 4-sp at least, it looked a lot like engine oil until I found my trans level was going down all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The trans is pretty good for the most part. I had a drip from the speedo cable, but think I have that fixed now. There was also a small drip from the trans rear seal, but both drips were obviously blue in color and the mess in definately yellow. Not to mention engine oil keeps going down, trans fluid is staying up.

I'm starting to suspect valve covers or head gasket like Derrik mentioned.
 

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I had a similar situation with a brand new crate motor, same area and all. The issue with mine was the plug that covers the oil galley right above the oil filter. I had a hard time believing it was an issue, but I pulled it out, put some teflon on it, and screwed it back in, tightly. Fixed the issue.

Another point regarding the Lockar that you should be aware of, I have on on my car too (nice looking piece!). the installation instructins said to put a small amount of sealer on the base of the dipstick before installing it, which I did. I was out for a ride and let the car run at about 4k RPM for a few seconds (ten?) and a big puff of oil smoke came out. The cause was a loose header bolt where it connects the Lockar. The dipstick came out a little bit. I think the increased crankcase pressure when I was in the throttle forced the oil out, because the rest of the way home it didn't smoke. I tightened it back up, and it was fine. Something to keep in mind.

Mark

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69 SS, ZZ430 Look-alike, Tremec TKO, Hotchkis Suspension
 

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The shop I use will put some kind of dye in the oil and use I think a black light (or some other kind of light) to spot where it's coming from. No idea how hard this would be to do at home.
 

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Yes, Eastwood also sells the kit, I believe.

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Rick Dorion
69 RS Conv,355,M20,4.10's and I don't worry about stone chips ( yet ).
 

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Clean off the engine and sprinkle it around the seals with talkum powder and run the car around town a bit. You can see where the oil is coming from fairly quickly. You smell a bit like a baby but that never bothered me. I have been a Mr Mom for 2 years.

-Mark.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RickD:
Yes, Eastwood also sells the kit, I believe.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You can buy this dye from Napa if you have a local Napa. Works great...Just buy a black light from Home Depot for $20 and you're all set.

Let me know if you want the NAPA part number. I've still got the empty bottle in the garage.

-gw
 

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As stringr69 suggested talcum powder.

I use flour, works very well for me. Won't have to worry about smelling like a baby.

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Everett 68/350/PG/11.90/115mph
 

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Everett, I thought the flour was for the "big girls" ? LOL


I couldn't resist ! Sorry Eric68, good luck with the oil leak.

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Drew

69' X-11 350, Turbo 350, Factory Air, PS, PB, 12 Bolt (410 gear) & NOT AN SS
 
D

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On my 350 I installed new aluminum valve covers with cork gaskets and they leaked really bad. I switched to rubber and installed loc-tite non hardening gasket sealer and I still had a leak. Put a mirror on the back of my intake and ran for about 5 minutes. The leak was coming from the intake manifold and was running between the aluminum head and block. Very hard to find until I shut the engine off and saw the oil squirt out a gap between the head manifold and block. Sealed it up and it's dry as a bone. It looked like it was coming from the base of the head.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Still leaking. Looks like there might be some fresh drip down the side of the block near the freeze plugs (not from them, just near them) in addition to what I saw on the oil filter.

I think I'll pull the intake and valve covers this weekend. I'll also use some thick cork valve cover gaskets and RTV them on. That should eliminate any possibilities left on the engine. It almost HAS TO BE one of those two things since I have verfied everything else.

If this doesn't do it, then comes the dye test.

I'm wondering if when I rev the car the HV oil pump doesn't fill up the heads with oil and make the valve cover gaskets leak. I've never sucked the pan dry though, even when a quart low on oil.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

[This message has been edited by Eric68 (edited 08-07-2002).]
 

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You did check the fitting on the block for the oil pressure gauge right? I didn't notice if you mentioned that. This is obviously under high pressure and only leaks when the motor is running.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well you'd never guess what I found today. Transmission fluid on the undercarriage. Since I caught it right after I cleaned up it was still blue in color.

I replaced both the rear transmission seal and what I believe is the real culprit - the vacuum modulator. It looks like it was leaking from the O-ring that seals it.

The engine oil I found is probably a very small leak and is probably coming from either the valve cover or the intake. Both come off this weekend.

Thanks for the help.

ps. That oil sending unit connection was sealed really good last winter - I used both the teflon tape and pipe dope on it because it started dripping on me last year.
 

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I'd take another look at the oil pressure sending unit, if you are seeing oil on the filter, I'd bet a buck that this is where it is coming from. I thought mine was sealed too, but pulled it out and redid it. No more leaks, it was not obvious. Try wiping everything down really well, then drive the car. Wait until it cools, then carefully start rubbing the block, etc, from the bottom up. You'll be able to find it. It gets a little more complicated if it is a leak that occurs under pressure, because it sprays as it comes out.

M
 
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