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Cam box seal replacements

My '87 930 has oil leaks from what appears to be the rear of the cam tensioner boxes. The oil originates up high at the rear of the boxes and runs down the back and side of the cam box. The oil is ending up on the exhaust and smoking - especially after shutdown.

What is involved in changing these seals. I realize the cams will need to be retimed.

One shop quoted me $1400. That seems high??

I had the engine out all winter and just put it back in two weekends ago, so I'm not too interested in pulling the motor again if I can help it.

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks.

Kirk
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:39 AM
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I think you are referring to where chain housing meets the engine block?

If so, you should be able to replace the seal with the engine in the car; though as you say, cams will need to be re-timed. The "stuff" inside the chain housing will need to be removed & timing chain loosened then you can juggle the housing out & replace the seal behind.
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:52 AM
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I think you are referring to where chain housing meets the engine block?

If so, you should be able to replace the seal with the engine in the car; though as you say, cams will need to be re-timed. The "stuff" inside the chain housing will need to be removed & timing chain loosened then you can juggle the housing out & replace the seal behind.
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:53 AM
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The amount of time you will save by removing the engine just over the amount of time you will spend finding wiggle room to do everything can not be underestimated.
You have to remove the chains from their sprockets which means every rocker arm shaft is going have to be removed to prevent the valves hitting the pistons when timing the cams.

Are both boxes leaking?
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:37 AM
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Also a thought

This could be a rocker arm shaft seal as well... at the end of each cam tower it has the ability to leak on the high side and make you think it is the cam box seal. Just a thought.. may want to make sure. This happened to me and i thought it was the same thing. You can tell if you remove the valve cover gasket and feel for oil on the outside edges of the rocker arm shaft.

Best of luck,
Bryan
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:52 AM
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It looks like both housings are leaking, although the driver's side is worse.

Does $1400 sound reasonable? I should have done this while the engine was out........live and learn I guess.
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:35 PM
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I would jack up the rear of the car, remove the bumper and turbo and lower the back of the motor about 7" onto a jackstand and do it with the engine in the car.

It's easy that way... just sit on the ground behind the car and work on the chain cases - they will be right in front of you.
If it was rockershaft seals oil would be dripping from the bottm edge of the cam towers, not the chain cases.

You probably have a leak at the triangular rounded paper gasket that goes between the cam tower and the round cam thrust plate, the oring that goes around the thrust plate and seals it to the chain case, or from one of the blobs of JB weld type epoxy that should be smeared over the end of the thick shaft the chain tensioner runs on where it is pressed into the back side of the chain case.
Old 03-31-2010, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFairman View Post
I would jack up the rear of the car, remove the bumper and turbo and lower the back of the motor about 7" onto a jackstand and do it with the engine in the car.

It's easy that way... just sit on the ground behind the car and work on the chain cases - they will be right in front of you.
If it was rockershaft seals oil would be dripping from the bottm edge of the cam towers, not the chain cases.

You probably have a leak at the triangular rounded paper gasket that goes between the cam tower and the round cam thrust plate, the oring that goes around the thrust plate and seals it to the chain case, or from one of the blobs of JB weld type epoxy that should be smeared over the end of the thick shaft the chain tensioner runs on where it is pressed into the back side of the chain case.
thats how i did mine the last time. the drivers side chainbox will leak after a while just due to the heat cycling from the turbo being so close. Loosen all the rockers then have at it. way easier than pulling the engine again.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:05 PM
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How difficult is timing the cams?

I realize I need a few special tools.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk911SC View Post
How difficult is timing the cams?

I realize I need a few special tools.
Its not difficult, but unless you've done it before or are fairly handy with these engines, I wouldn't recommend it. Correct cam timing and setting valve lash on these motors is very important.

On the other hand, if you're itching to learn about these motors, dig in. Lots of help on this list.
Old 04-02-2010, 05:51 PM
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I just did this. Got over 20K on my rebuild before the first little weep of oil started from the infamous cam/chain box covers. It really wasnt that bad with the engine in the car. Some pics:







Make sure you read up on cam timing. Also important to get the valves adjust properly. No biggie...just take your time and read up! I also used Hylomar Blue "Racing" on the gaskets (chain cover and box to crank case).
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:33 PM
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Kirk, I have the tools you need to do the timing if you want them (cam nut tool, dial indicator gauge and z block holder). Let me know if you decide to do it, I can either drop the tools off or meet you somewhere. If you want help with the process, I can assist as well depending on timing. I did it this winter and it's simple after you've done it once.

Let me know, you're only 30 mins from my place.
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Old 04-03-2010, 04:48 AM
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As for you original question $1,000 for dropping the motor is the going price around my hood. And $400 is 3.... hours so seems fair to me. I always make a big list while the motor is out so I spend a lot more than necessary
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Old 04-03-2010, 04:30 PM
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I had the same leak,

I removed the turbo, exhaust, tin, cam covers, chainbox cover then had the car flat bedded to my mechanic (I get 3 free tows a year with my insurance). He replaced the seal and set the cam timing, then I put it all back together. Total cost was about 2 hours labor and the seals, about $200 all together. I am confident dropping my engine and I really wouldn't bother doing it for this, very accessible.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven c View Post
As for you original question $1,000 for dropping the motor is the going price around my hood. And $400 is 3.... hours so seems fair to me. I always make a big list while the motor is out so I spend a lot more than necessary
A $1,000 for dropping a 911 motor?! Geez, I not bragging here, believe me, but dropping a motor in 3 1/2 hours is not out of reach for anyone technically inclined as long as you plan everything out. But that is another subject I guess.
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:09 AM
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Thanks for the input guys.

I think I'll tackle this one with Mark's help (and tools).

I can't justify $1,400 to replace $10 worth of gaskets!

Kirk
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WERK I View Post
You have to remove the chains from their sprockets which means every rocker arm shaft is going have to be removed to prevent the valves hitting the pistons when timing the cams.

Are both boxes leaking?
That's a good point. What I did was set cylinder one to TDC, then go around and back all of the valve rocker arm adjusters all the way out, before I broke everything down. I was VERY, VERY careful as I turned the engine over (clockwise) as I went through the motions. Perhaps it was "luck", but I didn't run into any trouble with valve to piston interference.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:05 PM
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Jeff,
Do you have the stock cams? With stock cams, because of their relatively low lift, you might be able to back the adjusters all the way out to get by. I'm not sure.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:26 PM
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Jeff,
Do you have the stock cams? With stock cams, because of their relatively low lift, you might be able to back the adjusters all the way out to get by. I'm not sure.
Hi Dave, I am running SC cams. Final timing for each side ended up at 1.7MM for the right and left bank.
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Old 04-06-2010, 02:44 PM
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Well, after a years delay I finally decided to do this repair.

The triangular gaskets were leaking badly, and some of the epoxy blobs on the cases were cracked/missing and weeping oil as well.

Before I dismantled, I set the engine for TDC using the crank pulley marker. Camshaft keyways are pointing straight up. I put light scratch marks across the end of the cams, and the sprockets to align with the pin that is placed in the sprocket. I figured this would allow me to realign everything exactly upon reassembly.

Everything is proceeding nicely, using Curil-T as an extra measure; used JB weld on the back of the boxes; new gaskets/seals; chain ramps; cleaned all parts; etc. Put in the "new" recommended oil line restrictors as well.

Will I still need to retime the engine once everything is put back together? Engine is still in the car, and access to cylinder #1 is pretty limited.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:54 AM
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