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Oil leak getting worse-OHV

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by Dono, July 25, 2011.

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    1. Dono

      Dono V8 Limited turbo and retired SC 4.0 OHV Elite Explorer

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      Ok, Im posting here since Im concerned I might be trashing my torque converter.

      Some history- I installed new heads, cam, valvetrain...... A week or so later an oil leak started at the rear of the motor. My first thought was that it was the lower intake oil valley.

      This weekend (as the leak is getting pretty bad) I pulled apart the lower intake. I could see right away that that isn't the problem.

      Oil seems to be originating from the motor/bellhousing area. The way the dripping is happening, the bottom of the bellhousing/motor gasket line dripps oil right across the bottom. Oil drips a bit heavier from the starter.
      From being on the highway, the whole back of the truck is oiled up (From the beginning of the bellhousing back). I guess this is great for rust prevention, but still not a good thing.

      Oil sending unit? I can't see where it is laying under the truck with a trouble light. Rear main? Seems like a lot of oil for that.

      With the oil leaking, Im concerned I'm going to take my starter out, and if the oils coming from rear main, I might be taking out my torque converter.

      So now what? I've never had the motor out of the vehicle, and am not a mechanic. I don't even know where to look. All comments appreciated.
       
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    3. Dono

      Dono V8 Limited turbo and retired SC 4.0 OHV Elite Explorer

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      As Im thinking........Could the oil sending unit created a leak like I described?
       
    4. ranger7ltr

      ranger7ltr Elite Explorer

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      I'll bet the leak is oil from the valve covers...

      Did your truck have the torque spreaders on the valve cover bolts? I know mine didn't and even though I tightened the bolts down and swore up and down that I had them leak free...

      Until I installed the spreaders under each bolt the leaks continued...Check the picture...It is circled and has an arrow pointed to it...
       

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    5. Dono

      Dono V8 Limited turbo and retired SC 4.0 OHV Elite Explorer

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      No spreaders on mine. great thing to use, for sure.
      I was sure the leak was coming from the back of the lower intake. The leak started after I did all the work, so I figured for sure it was something I did wrong. Had a close look, and the top is dry, no oil leaking on the exhaust manifolds.

      Took it to a shop and up on a hoist it went. The guys at the shop are sure its rear main. They want $650.00 plus.........

      ugh
       
    6. ranger7ltr

      ranger7ltr Elite Explorer

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      Ouch that seems like a lot...

      You mentioned earlier that you had done some work on the engine... Was the engine leaking oil before the work was done? Since I can't see the oil leak I can't call BS on the shops' diags...

      But if the rear main seal area was not leaking before the top end work was done and the torque spreaders are not in place I sure would get a set of them from Ford and install them before dropping large cash to fix this new issue...

      BTW the mating point between the engine and the tranny is exactly where my oil leak was seemingly coming from...And I installed a new shortblock and new heads and I really thought I was screwed...Until I fixed something I didn't think was broken... Then my oil leak and an unmetered air leak have both gone away...

      Oh and if your sending unit is leaking that will end up in the same area...The fan wash will blow it to the same area as well... But you should see oil on the power steering rack boot and the plastic loom cover for the starter wiring...

      Man let us know what solves your issue...
       
    7. Dono

      Dono V8 Limited turbo and retired SC 4.0 OHV Elite Explorer

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      I'd agree with you that we always need to look in the last area we worked at.

      I have been all over the valve covers and lower intake and am sure that its bone dry up top. The leaking is so bad, that even backing up my driveway to get the front end on cardboard I have engine oil drips all the way up the driveway. I'm not even sure if the oil sending unit could leak that bad.
       
    8. RomeovilleIL

      RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

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      Might be a dumb question - did you change the oil and filter while doing the top end work? You might be leaking around the filter. Happens regularly enough the gasket from the old filter stays stuck on the engine. The new filter is installed over it and have a bad leak quickly develop between the two seals which is often mistaken for a rear main leak.
       
    9. Dono

      Dono V8 Limited turbo and retired SC 4.0 OHV Elite Explorer

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      Not a dumb question at all. Yes, I changed the filter (Again) to make sure that it wasn't the filter seal causing the leak. I made sure there was no filter gasket left behind when I removed the not so old oil filter. I also used a high quality K&N oil filter just to make sure.
       
    10. shadowless127

      shadowless127 Well-Known Member

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      I would think if the rear main were leaking you would have noticed it prior to your work, or at least while you were doing work. The leak could be dripping from that rear main area, but the fluid could be traveling along a line or pipe from somewhere else before expelling at the rear main area; much like a bead of water travelling along a hose before dripping off far down.
       
    11. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    12. Delta_1980

      Delta_1980 Member

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      yep valve cover gaskets ..... right out the back, down the block, onto the ground. install a set of "spreaders" and get rid of the cork gaskets if you have them. go with the rubbers from fel-pro.
       
    13. jd4242

      jd4242 Explorer Addict

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      dude just pull your trans out!!i can pull one in less than 30 mins.it didnt take you long to do the motor work so im sure you can have it out and back in ,in one day,screw $650!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!just hope its not the oil pan.ps if it was the lower intake you would have a vacuum leak bad!!i say you blew the main out driving it hard after all the new work!:rolleyes:but like said check all simple things first
       
    14. Dono

      Dono V8 Limited turbo and retired SC 4.0 OHV Elite Explorer

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      Im thinking I should have pulled the motor the first time. Again, lesson learned.

      I am just getting some vandalism fixed at the body shop, then I'll decide what to do. I just dont want to end up bench pressing my tranny. It would crush me, and I don't heal as fast as I used to. Working on your back under a vehicle is not fun at all.

      I could get the truck high enough, but balancing the tranny on a jack to move it around can't be easy. Then I'm in to a tranny jack, and thats more expense for a 1 time job.

      I'm waiting on the guy that did my transmission work to get back from holidays and see what kind of cash he wants. Suprisingly enough, I'm running in to quite a few shops that won't even look at this type of a job.

      Sorry JD, I'm being a bit of a suck on this one. I'm still thinking about doing the job myself though. I'm just concerned that things could go horribly wrong in a real hurry trying to balance that tranny once the bolts are out.

      I am liking the new power the motor has though. I just installed a big ass Amsoil filter with 3" drain pipe. Looks pretty mean. Way more filter than I need, but as long as I was modding, what the heck!
       
    15. Nedwreck

      Nedwreck Active Member

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      Unhook the battery and pull the starter.

      If the flywheel is drenched with oil streaking from the center outward on the flywheel, think rear main seal.

      If the oil isn't on the flywheel or only on the outer edge, it's probably not a rear seal.

      (that's how I check mine anyway)

      I killed one maybe two starters due to oil leaks - it was the extreme rear of the valve covers. Did you maybe check the back of the heads with your hand to see if they're oily?

      Just some thoughts - you know what they say about free advice. :D

      Hope it helps.
       
    16. ragajungle

      ragajungle Well-Known Member

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      An idea about the trans jack... Instead of that what some have done is pull the carpets up, open the shifter lever pan, balance a 2x4 through the front windows and suspend the transe with a nice tow strap... jus and idea.

      I just wen through this last summer with my b2. I did the upper lower intakes and bam! rear main goes out. The only thing I can think of is that since the newer gaskets on the top end are stronger the next "weak link" is the rear main/oil pan where the blow by escapes..
       
    17. Dono

      Dono V8 Limited turbo and retired SC 4.0 OHV Elite Explorer

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      Ok, I think I'll pull the starter myself next week for a look.

      I've ran my fingers around the back of the heads feeling for oil to make sure the leak isnt from the valve covers, and I dont feel any oil.

      Also, Im not understanding the 2x4/tow strap. So, your saying the tow strap will go in the shift lever pan and around the tranny?
       
    18. Mudboy

      Mudboy Active Member

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      yeah, if you have steel it's even better or pipe., it doesnt give as much as wood
       
    19. Corik

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    20. Corik

      Corik Member

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      so Ranger7 These right? I have an oil leak too from the exact same spot and noticed that some were a little loose. so I tighten them. I couldn't get to them on the other side though unless I start taking stuff apart

      What did you do exactly? Is installing the spreaders all you did?
       
      Last edited: August 5, 2011
    21. Dono

      Dono V8 Limited turbo and retired SC 4.0 OHV Elite Explorer

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      OK, I hate to say this, but...........It could very well be valve cover gasket. :(

      After all this, now I can feel oil along the back of the passenger side of the valve cover around the joint area of the lower intake manifold.

      I am going to try to re-use my felpro rubber gaskets. recomendations on RTV anyone?

      I could just goop black rtv on top and bottom of the gasket and re-seat valve cover. I know on next removal that thats the end of the valve cover gasket though.

      The valve cover is tight, and torqued to spec. when i re-installed last time. I was so careful reinstalling the lower intake and valve covers the second time to make sure nothing leaks from that area, Im still wondering what else could be wrong.

      The torque spreaders would be great, but I couldnt find any at the auto bone yard.

      I'll try to take it apart tonight. If it wasnt for that stupid EGR tube, the job would be easy. Since its passenger side, I might see if I can get it apart without taking upper intake off. But then, it will be so tight to work, I might not have enough room to really see whats going on.
       
    22. cloaked_chaos

      cloaked_chaos Elite Explorer

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      My oil pressure sending unit cracked one day while driving down the highway. I lost about 3/4 of my oil within two miles.
       
    23. Dono

      Dono V8 Limited turbo and retired SC 4.0 OHV Elite Explorer

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      I think it's the valve cover gaskets all right. My lower intake is not happy. Even though I always torqued to spec when installing, one of the valve cover bolts wouldn't tighten. Stripped threads in the lower intake. I used a slightly longer bolt, and it tightened.

      I also used black RTV around the back of both sides of the valve cover gaskets. When the valve covers have to come off again, I'm going to have a bit of a mess on my hands.

      I think I'll pick up a new/used lower intake off ebay and be ready for the next time valve covers have to come off. Also, I'll keep looking for torque spreaders.

      Long story short, I think the leak is fixed. Thanks so much all!
       

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