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Thread: Oil leak

  1. #1
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    Oil leak

    Motor oil has been leaking on my garage floor for several years now. Supposedly it's the rear main bearing oil seal
    which is leaking. Are there any possibilities that oil seal will completely disintegrate and I will have a massive oil leak in the near or far future? I only need to top off the crancase every 4-5 weeks or so.

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Oil leak

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan
    Motor oil has been leaking on my garage floor for several years now. Supposedly it's the rear main bearing oil seal
    which is leaking. Are there any possibilities that oil seal will completely disintegrate and I will have a massive oil leak in the near or far future? I only need to top off the crancase every 4-5 weeks or so.
    Drips of this kind are common as the crank seal (and oilpan gasket, etc.) shrinks/cracks and deteriorates over time. So long as it's just a few drips (and so long as you're faithfully checking the oil level) I would adopt a watch and wait stratgey - and not be concerned. The leak could get worse, but you can deal with that when/if it happens!

  3. #3
    DonTom
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    Re: Oil leak

    "Drips of this kind are common "

    Do you know if rebuilt engines usually have a new rear main seal? I have a rebuilt 400 CID small block (from GM) with less than a thousand miles on it and it seems to have a leak under the flywheel cover. It's about a year old and is in my 1978 RV that isn't used all that often.

    Does lack of use dry them out? Does being parked for months out in the cold weather that sometimes gets below zero F. have a negative effect on such seals?

    -Don-


  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Oil leak

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "Drips of this kind are common "

    Do you know if rebuilt engines usually have a new rear main seal? I have a rebuilt 400 CID small block (from GM) with less than a thousand miles on it and it seems to have a leak under the flywheel cover. It's about a year old and is in my 1978 RV that isn't used all that often.

    Does lack of use dry them out? Does being parked for months out in the cold weather that sometimes gets below zero F. have a negative effect on such seals?

    -Don-
    Many times, rear seals get revised on later versions of a given engine type (as with other parts that get updated/changed). And yes, lack of use, temperature, etc. can have an effect.

    But the thing to bear in mind is that all engines eventually drip/seep - at least, a little bit. So long as it's notmore than a little seepage/some drips on the floor (and not a steady drip/enough toleave a small puddle, etc.) I would not consider this a problem - or anything other than normal.

  5. #5
    DonTom
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    Re: Oil leak

    Well, I noticed the oil drips on the driveway after bringing the RV back from a smog test. However, I let it idle in front of the house for several minutes while I checked the tranny fluid and then went to find some to add, as the engine was still at idle. But it was engine oil, not tranny oil, that was leaking and I could see the oil dripping from the flywheel cover even after the engine was off for a few minutes. This engine is a fairly new rebuilt 400 CID short block.

    This is the RV I used to mention on CompuServe, where I took out the carburetor and put in MPFI. BTW, it passed smog with flying colors this time, it was close to failing last time right after I put in the MPFI. Lowering the fuel pressure did the trick , it was running too rich before.

    We will do a 100 or so mile test ride in the early spring. If all looks good, we are going to take the RV through Yellowstone and then to Cody, Wy a few weeks or so later. Now, we have a cover on the RV, getting things ready for the expected very cold winters in this area of Nevada.

    Tom especially likes to visit old famous cowboy towns. Cody (named after Buffalo Bill Cody) is a Town that we have not yet been to.
    -Don-
    Many times, rear seals get revised on later versions of a given engine type (as with other parts that get updated/changed). And yes, lack of use, temperature, etc. can have an effect.

    But the thing to bear in mind is that all engines eventually drip/seep - at least, a little bit. So long as it's notmore than a little seepage/some drips on the floor (and not a steady drip/enough toleave a small puddle, etc.) I would not consider this a problem - or anything other than normal.

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Oil leak

    If you have an actual steady drip that's something worth checking into. Could be a leaking rear seal - or oil pan gasket. Or it could be the oil filter gasket (sometimes these get crushed when the filter is turned on too tight, etc.). In any case, I'd get underneath there (or have someone else do that) and find out where it's coming from~!

  7. #7
    DonTom
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    Re: Oil leak

    It's coming out the small hole on he flywheel cover, so I assume it's the rear main seal.

    -Don-l


    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    If you have an actual steady drip that's something worth checking into. Could be a leaking rear seal - or oil pan gasket. Or it could be the oil filter gasket (sometimes these get crushed when the filter is turned on too tight, etc.). In any case, I'd get underneath there (or have someone else do that) and find out where it's coming from~!

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Oil leak

    Hopefully it's not the rear seal; can be a real PITAS to fix that...

  9. #9
    DonTom
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    Re: Oil leak

    "Hopefully it's not the rear seal; can be a real PITAS to fix that"...

    No, it will be very easy. I will pay somebody else to do it! I don't want to try to do that job under a RV. It's a job for the local truck shop.

    I have never changed a rear main seal and don't want to start such a job under this RV in the dirt on the side of this house. Of course, the HOA won't let me do it on my driveway.

    I do have the service manual so I have an idea how the job is done, but like you say, it will be a PITA.

    Anyway, I have the RV all covered and drained and all set for the ice cold winters here. I always do this just before DST ends. I probably won't even start the engine again until spring time. I have the RV covered, drinking water drained out, battery disconnected. Next spring & summer, Tom & I plan on getting a lot of use out of this RV.

    You know we are getting old together. When we first met, I only had a CA Class 4 drivers license, motorcycle only. Tom taught me how to drive a car right after we met, but even after I got my class 3 (car) license, most of our longer trips were via motorcycle.

    But come to think of it, we didn't have any doggies to take with us back in those days. So maybe there's more to this than old age.


    Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative.
    --Maurice Chevalier


    -Don Quoteman






  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Oil leak

    No, it will be very easy. I will pay somebody else to do it! I

    Hey now, it's too early to make me spill my coffee all over my lap!

  11. #11
    DonTom
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    Re: Oil leak


    Eric,
    How about uploading that pix of you on your motorcycle (as in your avatar)in a message here so we can all see what you and your bike looks like?

    -Don-[

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