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How can I fix this oil leak?

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  • How can I fix this oil leak?

    Ok, so I've finally tracked down the oil leak. It's right below the chain tensioner (which I thought was the source of the leak, but have since replaced it and checked). This is the drawing I've come up with to help describe the location. Truthfully I don't know what the piece that the water pump bolts to is called, but it's the seam between that piece of aluminum(?) and the block. If someone could tell me what is going on in this area that would be quite helpful.

    I'm assuming its a gasket of some sort that has let go, and someone actually put some silicon on it in the engine's past, but now it's leaking from behind that. The rate is probably a very small "drop" every minute or so while it's running, and an unknown rate while parked (but some - enough to foul the garage floor). I'm guessing it would be pretty involved to get at this location (perhaps removing the engine? ugh).

    For those trying to picture this, I'm looking from below, on the passenger side, through where your AC compressor is located (mine is removed) and just above the bracket that the ACC bolts too.
    Last edited by Beau; 04-09-2004, 09:01 AM.

  • #2
    It's the timing chain cover. PITA to replace.

    You can try silicone, but you have to clean the area first. You might also want to try one of the oil additives that help seal leaks.

    Do not click
    At least it's German


    • #3

      That is EXACTLY where my engine was leaking, and it started very soon after I built the engine, not more than 2000 miles.

      First off, you need to know that to fix it "right" would involve pulling the timing chain cover. Some would disagree, but in my opinion to pull the timing chain cover you really also need to pull the head and oil pan. HUGE job. Trouble is, after doing all that, how do you know it isn't STILL going to leak? I assembled my engine with the utmost care and still got a leak there.

      What I did, was buy a Permatex product that is designed to stop leaks without disassembly. Check out:

      You just spray this stuff onto a hot engine, in several quick coats. It dries quickly in a clear rubbery like coating. For me, for the time being, it has stopped the leak.

      Couple of cautions. First, I don't know how long it is going to last. Might be permanent, who knows. Second, you have to complete degrease the area before you spray this stuff on. I used brake cleaner. And third, your leak sounds a bit worse than mine was, but as long as you can spray the stuff on while the area is still oil free, it should still work. There is no pressure there, just seepage. And that is what this stuff is DESIGNED for, so I think you have good odds.

      Bottom line is, you really have nothing to lose by trying it. Trying to fix that leak by changing the gasket is to me, almost unimaginable.


      • #4
        Im not a big fan of additives in oil...especially not the leak stopping kind....

        Try again with the mike said...its the timing cover gasket....clean it up really good....and re-silicone it...and let it dry real good...


        • #5
          Thanks guys. I figured silicone like products were probably the way to go; like I said someone had already done this somewhere in the car's past. I'll have to give it a go, otherwise I'm going to be forced to let it leak until I decide to rebuild the engine because as I suspected, going in after that is WAY more work than I'm willing to do for a small leak. I may have over stated the rate at which it leaks. I was under the car while it was running and was able to wipe the oil away and then after probably 2min, it would be wet. It's not really fast enough to lower the oil level on any substantial basis. It's more that I'm sick of having it cover everything under the car and leave a spot on the ground everywhere I go.

          I'll let you know how I make out in the future, thanks again.


          • #6
            By the way Beau, where does your leak run to before it drips from the car? On mine it follows the seam between the engine block and upper oil pan, runs through the bellhousing, and drips from a lug protruding from the bottom front of the transmission. At least I think it does....

            The reason I am asking is I am beginning to wonder if there might be another leak.....


            • #7
              No, mine runs right down the seam onto the bracket that held the AC compressor, then either leaves from there (and hits the ground - parked) or will run onto the steering rack and then dissipate back over everything else. Relatively speaking, it's pretty clean. My transmission is quite dry. I'm planning on removing that A/C bracket, and that might change it's path. I can see how it might take a turn at the oil pan and head back, but I'm guessing mine just gets tripped up... my oil pan is very clean right now because of another project, however the AC just came off and so there's a lot of grease there - maybe the oil is attracted to it!

              Oh, and I don't have the under car plastic guard thing on, perhaps aerodynamics has something to do with.


              • #8
                I've recently "fixed" a leak similar on the other sied of the engine above the alternator.
                It got "wet" looking after a few days, so only a tiny leak.

                Brake cleaner and then a healthy smear of silicon sealant along the seam (with a warm engine). So far, a week later it's still dry!

                Ever since I've had this car, I've been tracking down leaks - almost three years.

                I've had leaks everywhere, but after each clean and repair (sometimes involving stripping loads of stuff off the car) it takes progressively longer for leaks to appear so perseverence is the key.

                One plus point - you do end up with a very clean engine bay, and know how to take everything apart!
                Scottish Cecotto


                • #9
                  Leaks are a huge pain in the ass with the S14. My engine is brand new, and I knew they are leak prone so I assembled it with the utmost care, yet I have had at least one leak in the first 2000 miles.

                  I have heard from a few guys with high mileage cars who claim they have never leaked a drop. I always wonder if they have ever even looked under their car!

                  Probably the smart thing to do is just ignore them unless there are large quantities involved. In particular, since so many of them seem related to the timing chain cover. Pulling that thing off would be a job.