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EyeDoc1
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Name : Christen
Location : Vancouver, WA
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PostSubject: Mystery oil leak   Mystery oil leak EmptySat Oct 05, 2019 4:02 pm

It may be a mystery to me, but the forum will hopefully help out. I've had a small leak that's gotten worse on a 1998 Riv with 187,000 miles on it. I've replaced both valve cover gaskets and just replaced the lower intake manifold (LIM) gasket along with the throttle body gasket and a new coolant elbow. Leaks are sometimes tricky since a leak at point A manifests itself at point B. This one appears at the front on the motor, in the vicinity of the power steering pump and/or the water pump. Since I've never replaced either, and both appear to be working just fine, I don't know if either part, if removed, has any sort of gasket that would fail and leak oil. Obviously a water leak at the water pump leaks...um...water. It's oil, not power steering fluid, so that's not likely either, since the oil is clean, and I just changed the oil yesterday. Would either unit cause a leak or would it be something worse, like something behind the timing cover, which would scare the bejesus out of me. Any pointers would be appreciated.

Regards,

Christen
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: Mystery oil leak   Mystery oil leak EmptySat Oct 05, 2019 9:58 pm

Try using a dye kit for whatever system you may think is leaking.

So, if you want to check for engine oil leaks you can buy the appropriate dye and the lamp w/plastic glasses that help you see where the leak is coming from.

Once you get the Kit and if you find it is not engine oil that is leaking, then you can get the dye for whatever system you want to try next and still use the glasses and the light.

The kits can be relatively inexpensive yet very useful for finding leaks in areas where it could be more than one thing possibly leaking. Just do one at a time and give the dye the recommended time to work.
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EyeDoc1
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Name : Christen
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PostSubject: Re: Mystery oil leak   Mystery oil leak EmptySun Oct 06, 2019 12:28 pm

I have tried the UV dye to no avail, BUT, to be honest, I'm not sure I knew what I was looking at or where, nor did I clean the undercarriage.  I am going to remove the rear lifting eyelet or shackle as my days of motor pulling are at an end.  What I FAILED to do was completely clean the undercarriage, and I guess I gotta get it up on ramps and painstakingly clean the front of the motor from underneath to pinpoint the source of the leak.  Any idea if you can get an oil leak from the power steering or water pump, or are these component without any passageways for oil?  I don't want to pull parts for the sake of pulling, replacing/cleaning, and bolting back on.  Any info you or any other forum members can supply on these two issues would be appreciated.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Mystery oil leak   Mystery oil leak EmptySun Oct 06, 2019 8:17 pm

It's a pain to completely wash the engine and then to diagnose a leak but it is a bigger pain to do unnecessary work that requires you bend over fenders or pull the engine.

The heads have oil passages.

No kidding your best move is to clean the engine, put dye in the oil, run it a few miles and pull into your garage and hit it with the UV light while wearing those fashion accessory contrast glasses.  

At least you can see the effing oil.

I posted elsewhere about a radiator leak I had where there was a hairline crack in a tank that opened only under pressure. It opened such that it only leaked when hot and above idle, and it peed on the ground, careful to avoid any part of the engine compartment.  It was a small leak.  It took me *years* to figure that leak out.  I used dye and what not BUT since it was not splashing in the compartment the dye did not help.  I was diagnosing something else, had warmed up the car, blipped the throttle (via the cable under the hood) and WHIZZ a little stream went from tank to ground.  

My GM dealer's service manager and I had a good laugh about that one. Even though I had dye in teh system there was no trace of the leak. At lest that does not happen with oil leaks.

I promptly overhauled the cooling system (new hoses, stat, new Valeo radiator it has 2 extra rows) and have not had to talk to the cooling system since.

Albertj.


Last edited by albertj on Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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EyeDoc1
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Name : Christen
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PostSubject: Leak may be coming from the front crankshaft seal???   Mystery oil leak EmptyMon Oct 07, 2019 2:57 pm

Cooling systems are problems, in and of itself.  The more I think about this mystery leak, (and nobody ever weighed in on this topic), the power steering pump and/or the water pump probably have NO oil passageways to leak onto the ground and are merely bolted to the engine block. Period.  If it's not valve cover gaskets, LIM or the aforementioned parts, that leaves a likely possibility that it's the front crankshaft seal that has decided to bedevil me.  Meaning pulling the tire, plastic panel, and getting the bolt to come loose by air tool or "bumping" the starter.  Once the bolt is free, I can borrow a harmonic balancer puller from AutoZone or O'Reilly parts and have at it.  In the write up on pulling the harmonic balancer, one recent post mentioned the harmonic balancer "spinning".  I can't quite understand what the guy meant by the harmonic balancer "spinning" since I assume you're just using the puller to remove it from the spindle, for all intents and purposes, and that force is operating perpendicular to the block.  And there's some difference of opinion between a 1/4"-28 thread or a 4 or 5" carriage bolt vs an M6-1.0 thread.  Not familiar with the metric measurements, but I'm sure the local hardware store has what I'd need, and maybe this is used IF you are using a steering wheel puller and having it do double duty in place of the properly designed harmonic balancer tool.  As for the front crankshaft seat, is there any special tips or tricks I need to know, beyond lubing the rubber seal parts with a good sticky grease? I've seen videos where people put a little gray sealant on the outer race, and that smacks me as being unnecessary and downright injurious, if you ever have to remove it.  Any help, as always, is appreciated.
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EyeDoc1
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PostSubject: Re: Mystery oil leak   Mystery oil leak EmptyTue Oct 08, 2019 5:00 pm

So I crawled under the '98 Riv and noticed oil leaking in the vicinity of the oil filter.  I then sprayed some Gunk Engine Cleaner (Gel) and thankfully the stuff seemed thick enough that it wasn't dripping in my eyes (yes, I wear safety glasses), waiting the requisite time, and hosed it all off.  Today I'll probably see more (but it's raining, and I'm a fair weather part changer). So since the oil is right there, front of the engine, passenger side, firewall, and between the power steering pump and the oil filter mounting thingy, I'm starting to think that hey, oil leaks when the car is off.  If that's the case, could it be that there's a gasket on the part that holds the oil filter?  I looked on Rock Auto and ran across a multi ported gasket called the Oil Filter Adapter Gasket, P/N Mahle B31639, that'll set you back a whopping $0.22 or a Few Pro 70644 at $0.45.

Mystery oil leak B31639-ZZ1-08-18-14__ra_t

I looked in the ultimate parts manual, but for the life of me I didn't see this, and will be looking at the factory service manual (FSM) next.

Anyway, does anyone know a good write up on replacing this gasket?  I haven't seen anything, but would appreciate being pointed in the right direction.  I gonna assume you're gonna be draining the oil, because if it's leaking when the car's not running, the oil level might be at a point where it's seeping out, or oil passageways dump oil back down toward the filter.  Again, no mechanic, just a shade tree part changer intrigued by the challenge of seeing if I'm smarter than the guys that bolted these things together.  Any assistance, as always, is appreciated.
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EyeDoc1
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PostSubject: Another request for comments on an oil leak   Mystery oil leak EmptyThu Oct 10, 2019 7:40 pm

Update.  Well, the factory service manual, Vol 3, page 6-66 shows removal of the oil filter adapter gasket as a simple 4 bolt removal process.  Simple, but not easy.  Use a 1/4" drive and 13 mm sockets along with ratcheting box wrenches and 3 of the 4 bolts are relatively easy to remove from underneath (always 1 bolt that takes the same amount of time as removing the other 3, or more).  Be prepared for a messy oil mess, even though I drained the oil and removed the filter.  The hardest thing you'll be doing is trying to removed the old gasket.  Oh the paper part comes off easily, it's that silicone stripe that's left.  That thing is good night nurse trying to get off.  FORGET Permatex 80652 gasket remover.  Worthless as the stuff come out of the 4 oz tube like an oil colored goober that refuses to stick to the metal for a chance to chemically at least attempt to dissolve the residue.  52 years of using Permatex products and this stuff is a clunker.  So it's razor blades and scraping with a little light sanding that'll set you back a good hour to an hour and a half.  After examining everything, I think I'm gonna pull the crank pulley off and examine that seal for serviceability.  Since I've never removed the front engine cover, is it possible for the leak to be emanating from behind the cover and seeping down?  If so, perhaps it's just time to call it a day and send this rig off to Fiddler's Green.  I've no idea, once removing the cover, what a shade tree part changer could do there.  Obviously I'm gonna instill some dye, but stuff where the timing chain resides tends to scare the bejesus out of me.  Any comments would be appreciated.
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albertj
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albertj

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PostSubject: Re: Mystery oil leak   Mystery oil leak EmptyThu Oct 10, 2019 9:25 pm

EyeDoc1 wrote:
Update.  Well, the factory service manual, Vol 3, page 6-66 shows removal of the oil filter adapter gasket as a simple 4 bolt removal process.  Simple, but not easy.  Use a 1/4" drive and 13 mm sockets along with ratcheting box wrenches and 3 of the 4 bolts are relatively easy to remove from underneath (always 1 bolt that takes the same amount of time as removing the other 3, or more).  Be prepared for a messy oil mess, even though I drained the oil and removed the filter.  The hardest thing you'll be doing is trying to removed the old gasket.  Oh the paper part comes off easily, it's that silicone stripe that's left.  That thing is good night nurse trying to get off.  FORGET Permatex 80652 gasket remover.  Worthless as the stuff come out of the 4 oz tube like an oil colored goober that refuses to stick to the metal for a chance to chemically at least attempt to dissolve the residue.  52 years of using Permatex products and this stuff is a clunker.  So it's razor blades and scraping with a little light sanding that'll set you back a good hour to an hour and a half.  After examining everything, I think I'm gonna pull the crank pulley off and examine that seal for serviceability.  Since I've never removed the front engine cover, is it possible for the leak to be emanating from behind the cover and seeping down?  If so, perhaps it's just time to call it a day and send this rig off to Fiddler's Green.  I've no idea, once removing the cover, what a shade tree part changer could do there.  Obviously I'm gonna instill some dye, but stuff where the timing chain resides tends to scare the bejesus out of me.  Any comments would be appreciated.


No kidding, your best move is to clean the engine, put dye in the oil, run it a few miles and pull into your garage and hit it with the UV light while wearing those fashion accessory contrast glasses.

The engine crank seals are one piece and last a very long time. I have heard, however, that a bottle of stop leak and a 100+ mile cruise the same day can work.
The consequence is that quite some time later the seals will shrink again. Eventually (some years) the stopleak quits working.
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