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Location: 88 924S in Essex, UK
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Oil leak - pt#1 - front of engine

I'm in the middle of changing belts and can see quite a bit of oil in the area above the crankshaft seal and behind the auto-tensioner - I can't make out where it's coming from - any ideas?

One photo shows the area above the crank...

Steve


another shows beneath the crank - I think I have a small oil weep here ..





Does anyone have any suggestions as to the likely cause of that oil leak at the front -- It almost seems like it's leaking from the side and coming down & around the front of the block. The alternative is that its the crank leaking ...but if that is the case, why is most of the oil going up and to the right of the engine behind the tensioner?


Finally, the last photo shows an oil leak around where the dip-stick goes into the block. I don't think that this is connected to the one at the front - any comments on what is likely to be causing this mess at the rear?



Last edited by sdelasal; 12-20-2008 at 09:36 AM..
Old 12-20-2008, 08:44 AM
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As far as the front goes, I have never seen a car that didn't have some oil in that area, but I'm sure someone will say it's the front main seal, which happens. It doesn't looks to bad to me though...

As for the dipstick area- there are two big orange seals on that oil fill canister (black thing you pour oil into)- one at the top and one at the bottom. By the looks of all the oil on the plastic, I'd bet the top one is loose. There are three allen bolts holding it in. Also, you might want to check to make sure that dipstick it seated in the block correctly- it looks as though it may be riding up a bit. That would cause oil spray it is wasn't seated down tight. It is just pressed in there, and there is a bracket near the top that bolts to... I think it's the intake manifold. Check that..


Good luck.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:20 AM
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The leak on the front around the belt tensioner is probably the top most balance shaft. You need to pull that rear belt cover off to verify.

The side of the oil pan can be a few things, like Schumi said the air oil separator o-rings will leave drips down the side of the pan. Other possibilities are seepage through the oil pan gasket and the upper balance shaft cover is leaking, possibly at the rear o-ring seal. Spray the area off well with brake cleaner, drive the car around and see when it comes back.
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Past worth mentioning - 1987 924S, 1987 944, 1988 944T with 5.7L LS1
Old 12-20-2008, 10:31 AM
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If the front balance shaft seals are leaking, the oil will run down the front and look like it's comming from all kinds of other places. Same with the front cam seals.

It could also be an external oil leak at the oil cooler housing cover gasket. Part of the main oil circuit is built into the front side of the housing to feed the oil filter/oil pressure relief valve, and operate the oil pressure sender. Mine was leaking in this manner when I replaced the seals (luckily not into the coolant or at the cooler element seals yet).

As for the side, either the AOS seals, the dipstick seal, and/or the balance shaft housings, like has been said. Reach up and poke at the rear circular plug at the rear of the upper balance shaft housing. If it feels, loose, the O-ring is shot. Both of mine are leaking badly and I'm planning to do them next week, so keep an eye out for a picture thread on that job. You have to pull the intake manifold off to get at the balance shaft housing, as well as the AOS seals, so you might just want to just plan a job to tackle both. The only way I sealed my dipstick perfectly was to clean it really well and pack the joint with grey RTV. The o-ring that is supposed to go there didn't really do too well. I would only suspect the oil pan if it keeps leaking after fixing those.

Just for the heck of it, check that the oil pan bolts haven't backed out. They are only supposed to be torqued to 6 ft.lb. and can easily come loose...at least that's what I found on mine when I got my car. 3 were totally missing and at least half a dozen or more were on their way out, too. I'm thinking locktite would be a really good idea for those and whoever replaced the gasket last (I was told it was replaced) didn't use any.
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Last edited by HondaDustR; 12-20-2008 at 02:17 PM..
Old 12-20-2008, 02:12 PM
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leaks stink

If the front balance shaft seals are "weeping" and the Crank seal is leaking. I would pull all the seals at the front of the engine. I mean how far behind can the others be? In other words, do em all while you are there. Think about the water pump too unless you have paperwork to prove it is recent.
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Last edited by SolReaver; 12-20-2008 at 05:32 PM..
Old 12-20-2008, 05:29 PM
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Yea its really not much more work from where you are right now. Removing that rear cover is just a matter of pulling the balance shaft sprockets off and taking the gears off the crank. This can be a little difficult, but nothing a gear puller wont make short work of. Your basically 90% there with the belts off.
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:32 PM
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I'm considering doing the seals on the upper balance shaft but the crankshaft - i'm not so sure... reason being it looks like i'd have to remove the rad fan, then the rad and so need to drain all the coolant too - then there is the question of locking the crankshaft - would putting the trans in 1st gear be adequate ? or am I likely to break something in the driveline? Hence the inclination to leave the crank seal alone! Chicken eh!! Steve
Old 12-21-2008, 12:51 AM
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Steve,
A flywheel lock is the best way to go.

I have reviewed a couple of your past posts and someone has "worked" on the car, maybe causing additional damage. Referring to the cam belt spring tensioner on your 1987 924S.

Your front crank photo shows rust. This may just be surface but it may cause you a nightmare of problems getting the front crank bolt out and replace the seal and oil pump gear if ANY grove appears.

I have done mine without the lock. Brake on, in gear, shove a big metal screwdriver between the starter ring and clutch housing, use a big locking pliers to hold, get a 1 meter braker bar, attach socket, gently remove big crankshaft bolt-HA.
Reverse steps-Remember the big crankshaft bolt is torqued at 150 Foot Pounds or 205 Newton Meters (Nm)

Chicken? No, just understand what to expect.

GL
John_AZ
1988 924S 58.7K + 1987 924S 112.8K DD

Last edited by John_AZ; 12-21-2008 at 06:26 AM.. Reason: oil pump gear replace
Old 12-21-2008, 06:23 AM
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The radiator does not need to be removed to take those gears off the crank, only the radiator fans which is easy (6 screws, 3 on top, 3 on bottom..fans come right out from the bottom). The crank bolt can be a bear to get loose and i really recommend a flywheel lock. But i figure its worth doing everything now so you dont have to deal with another oil leak 5k miles down the road.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:16 AM
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ANother question ... Can I simply change the upper right balance shaft seal without pulling off the crankshaft sprocket, and the lower balance sprocket in order to remove the rear timing cover etc etc.? It's unclear to me from reading other posts whether I can just replace the upper balance shaft seal without removing everything else. Steve


EDIT: Looking at receipts, the PO had the lower balance shaft seal repalced about 2 years ago. Pump was done 15K ago - albeit 7 years! I have all new rollers ready to go.

Last edited by sdelasal; 12-23-2008 at 01:20 AM..
Old 12-22-2008, 04:51 PM
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posibilities

You Could just pull the pulley and do only one of the seals...I guess...SURE...However, I would do em all because If one has gone bad, the others may not be far behind. Professionals replace all of the seals AND the waterpump on every timing belt job. (all the idlers too)

I am a fan of "if it aint broke, don't fix it", and am currently running on new belts with all old components. (don't try this at home folks, special circumstances) However...If I had some seals go bad, I would go in there and do em all. It is possible the engine overheated or that the seals are original. In any event, if one of them is leaking, the rest cannot be far behind. They were probably all installed at the same time, are all the same age and have undergone the same amount of service, use and or abuse. Oil will destroy your belt, and then mate, you are screwed.

Seals are relatively cheap. If you search the forum you can find some instructions for making home made special tools for installing them, and you are already here. I STRONGLY recommend you spend the extra few hours and..what? 20-30 bucks? to do em all while you have the puller out.

While I am thinking about it...Are you using new rollers? you should be. How does the waterpump look? snap a few good closeups of the base, would ya? Do we know how old any of the components are? Get a FWLock. Honestly, I can't imagine removing the CS bolt without it (It is a Mother!) Check around.
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There may be nothing quite as expensive as a cheap Porsche: Ruby Red 84 928S : White 87 924s 2.5L NA (Blinky) M44/07-43H10676 spoiler delete - 046/2B - Belts 9/12, Clutch and OC seals 8/08 andd Red 94 Del Sol: Please put your Make, Model and Year in Sig. Try not to break more than you fix.

Last edited by SolReaver; 12-22-2008 at 07:20 PM..
Old 12-22-2008, 06:55 PM
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Change them all. The ones that aren't leaking now will start sooner than you'd like, and it's kind of a pain to strip down the front again for something you could have easily fixed the first time in. As far as I know, the rear half of the belt housing does have to come off to get to the seals, and that won't come off without pulling the front crank pulleys, which is a piece of cake with a breaker bar, a flywheel lock, and a standard gear puller.


If you like pictures, I took a bunch when I did mine.
Balance Shaft seals! (dialup-ers grab a beer)
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Last edited by HondaDustR; 12-22-2008 at 08:52 PM..
Old 12-22-2008, 08:50 PM
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Nice photos Honda guy - I guess the real problem is that (1) I don't have a flywheel lock and (2) prices for parts or the tool are so bloody expensive here in the UK - i.e. 75 i was quoted (~$110) for a seal set - .... I don't know a source for a flywheel lock ...and then there will be additional costs of those sleeve type components which have a tendancy for a ring to form from the oil seal - well they run about 25 each over here i.e. $40. In the past i've used business trips to the US to source parts but those trips have dried up with the economic situation in detroit!

I guess that given I need to remove the crank pully to be able to remove the rear timing cover in order to change the one seal that is leaking, then I may as well replace the crank seal too. So, I need to figure out how to get the crank nut off. ... Starter Motor? Steve

Last edited by sdelasal; 12-23-2008 at 06:03 AM..
Old 12-23-2008, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdelasal View Post
Nice photos Honda guy - I guess the real problem is that (1) I don't have a flywheel lock and (2) prices for parts or the tool are so bloody expensive here in the UK - i.e. 75 i was quoted (~$110) for a seal set - .... I don't know a source for a flywheel lock ...and then there will be additional costs of those sleeve type components which have a tendancy for a ring to form from the oil seal - well they run about 25 each over here i.e. $40. In the past i've used business trips to the US to source parts but those trips have dried up with the economic situation in detroit!

I guess that given I need to remove the crank pully to be able to remove the rear timing cover in order to change the one seal that is leaking, then I may as well replace the crank seal too. So, I need to figure out how to get the crank nut off. ... Starter Motor? Steve
I know people have successfully removed the crank bolt by putting the car in 5th gear, pulling the parking brake nice and hard (and/or having someone stand on the brake pedal), and blocking the wheels to hold the crank. The trick would be getting it torqued properly afterwards, which is 158 ft.lb.
I've also heard you can jam a screwdriver between the flywheel gear teeth and the bellhousing if you have a helper. There's also bracing a long breaker bar against the ground and clicking the starter, but I would only try that if I was desperate.

Yeah, be careful when you install the crank seal. It's a little tricky to tell if it's seated fully and squarely all the way around when installing it. If it's not, it'll leak.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:12 AM
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Borrow

Try borrowing a FWLock. You only need it for a few days. Sometimes people loan em out. Doesn't our sponsor ship across the puddle?
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There may be nothing quite as expensive as a cheap Porsche: Ruby Red 84 928S : White 87 924s 2.5L NA (Blinky) M44/07-43H10676 spoiler delete - 046/2B - Belts 9/12, Clutch and OC seals 8/08 andd Red 94 Del Sol: Please put your Make, Model and Year in Sig. Try not to break more than you fix.
Old 12-24-2008, 04:49 AM
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Well the story continues. I put the trans in 5th and cranked on the nut with my lad on the brake pedal .. pretty easy the crank nut popped off.

So this is what I find.. Plenty of oil around the crank seal but I can't figure out if it's coming down from the alternator side of the engine, behind the alternator bracket perhaps from the sump gasket. Alternatively, it's being 'wind blown' up from the crank pulley and over towards the alternator/sump area - defying gravity!



It's pretty clear that the source is not the upper balance shaft which has only a small weep of oil showing. The oil leak does look worse than the pictures suggest.


Thanks for all your advice and happy christmas. I'll probably be banned from the garage for a day or two to 'help out' and get into the 'christmas spirit'!
Old 12-24-2008, 08:57 AM
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Well, it definitely looks like something's leaking at the crank, whether it's the shaft seal, the oil pump drive o-ring, or both. Oil, especially if it's synthetic, has a nasty ability to creep and crawl across parts in all kinds of directions and distances from where it's actually leaking. That could be from the oil pan gasket, or it could be running along the oil pan gasket from somewhere higher up in the dipstick tube/AOS seal area, but that seemed more to tend to creep back toward the flywheel end on mine. Or it could be drawn up from the front crank seal. The seams at the oil pan/crankcase/gasket assembly could be enough that the surface tension of the oil just pulls it up like those little capillary tubes in chem lab. Dirt and drime will only help this process along.
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:31 AM
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Replace the oil pump sleeve gear!

HondaDustR has it right.

I can only stress often that if you do not replace the oil pump sleeve gear if it shows any depression from the old seal however minor you will be repeating your work and not going to get a "half".
Also, the lads foot on the brake may not be enough to properly torque the crank bolt upon assembly.
Also, do not forget the "O" ring and the order of the pullys or you will enjoy your workshop floor again.

Groove exaggerated by white light illumination.



GL & Happy Holidays to all
John_AZ
Old 12-25-2008, 09:45 AM
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okay well it's now all apart. Unfortunately, I have the characteristic 'ring of wear' on the oil pump gear sleeve - I was wondering... is it possible to source a seal where the lip seats on a different, unworn, part of that sleeve? Steve
Old 01-12-2009, 11:54 AM
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No
But you can order a new sleeve

In your pics it looks like the AOS is leaking, upper balance shaft is seeping, crank front oil seal is leaking badly, and the oil pan gasket is seeping a bit. Oil pan gasket is a super PITA, but the rest are pretty easy (from the pics it looks like an N/A, so the AOS is easy). I'd do all of them but the oil pan gasket at this time. Lots of times you can put the 15 or so hours into changing it just to find it leaks worse afterwards because you left a tiny speck of dirt in the way or let the seal slide a bit while installing it.

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Old 01-12-2009, 01:24 PM
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