Suspsected rear main seal leak | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Suspsected rear main seal leak

keith_h

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer XLS
2001 4.0L 4 dr XLS Automatic transmission ~140K miles

I have been seeing some drips coming from the area where the engine and transmission join. It is definitely engine oil that is dripping. I have checked the valve cover gaskets and head gasket and they are all dry. The oil pan is nice and tight so about the only thing left is the main rear seal. Also given the age and mileage the seal leaking doesn't surprise me.

This is our tow vehicle and we had hoped to keep it another year or two. We have a couple of longer trips in the 1.5K-2K mile range planned for this year. The first in early May. My concern is the seal failing further and ending up with problems out on the road. To date the dripping isn't enough to even register any real loss between oil changes. Replacing the seal is not the type of work I do anymore so I have gotten estimates that seem to be running around $900. While that is still less than a new truck it is a lot for a vehicle of this age.

Would it be worthwhile to try the engine oil stop leak products? My assumption is the seal will continue to deteriorate. Is this a big enough issue that it can cause problems on the road like I suspect?

Thanks for your thoughts.
 


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lobo411

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1996 Explorer 4.0 OHV
Bars Leaks Rear Main Seal Repair seems to have worked for my leak. YMMV.
 




Flash

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Bars Leaks / Rislone should work.

Worked for me when I swapped in an engine that had been sitting around for 2 years and I stupidly didn't change the seal when it would have been easy.
 




morbid81

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1998 5.0L AWD Eddie Bauer
i use the same in mine and get everything out i put in at every oil change
 




keith_h

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Thanks for the replies. I'll give The Bars Leaks a go and see what happens. If this gives me another year or two it will be great.
 




keith_h

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Thought I would update my results.

It took me a bit to get things done but the Bars Leaks appears to have stopped the leak. I didn't see any improvement for the first couple of weeks (drove a few hundred miles) but after my round trip from NC to IL I haven't seen any drips. So, knock on wood, I have bought another season or two of use.

My only new problem is what I suspect is the U joints going bad. I get an occasional bump through the floor boards and hear a corresponding pop from back end when I first take my foot off the gas to decelerate.
 




Flash

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Sorry, no kludge repairs for a U joint.
 




DjDom

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My only new problem is what I suspect is the U joints going bad. I get an occasional bump through the floor boards and hear a corresponding pop from back end when I first take my foot off the gas to decelerate.

Ahaha, I have the exact same problem right now.

I should really get my new u joints..
 




keith_h

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Sorry, no kludge repairs for a U joint.

I didn't suspect there was. It has only popped a few times over the last couple of days. I just need to decide when I'll throw it up on the jack stands so I can get under there and work on it. I just don't look forward to laying on my back under the car with the southern summer weather solidly in control. :)
 




CaliNick25

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98 Explorer Xlt
Keith did you say it took a couple hundred miles for the leak to stop? just curious cause i just added rear main stop leak to my 98 sohc about 100 miles ago, and im still seeing drips. not much, but i still want it gone without pullin tranny.
 




keith_h

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Keith did you say it took a couple hundred miles for the leak to stop? just curious cause i just added rear main stop leak to my 98 sohc about 100 miles ago, and im still seeing drips. not much, but i still want it gone without pullin tranny.


It took me more than a couple hundred miles to see the leak stop. I can't say for sure when it stopped but by the time I got to Illinois on my trip it had stopped and I haven't seen a leak since (850 miles one way). It is possible the leak sealed up in those first couple hundred miles and it just took a while for the residual oil to work its way out but I have no way to verify that. My feeling is if after 500-1000 miles you still have the drip it isn't going to work.

One thing I have read is it works best if you put some highway miles on it so you might want to try that.
 




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