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Old 05-20-2006, 04:19 PM   #1
Plays_With_toys
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Default What seal is this? (w/ pics)

Well, this oil leak has been getting on my nerves for a few weeks now. It burns off oil everytime I shut the car down, so I'm ashamed of my "smelly car" everytime I park. I took these pictures to show where the leaking is coming from. I'm running Castrol GTX high mileage 10w-40, and yes, I know, the fram is coming off very soon. Up near my college, there are no stores that sell purolator filters.



It looks like, from the pictures, some of those lower bolts connecting the two halves are not tightened all the way, I'm going to check that later today. But what seal is this, and how hard is it to replace? Things I'd have to look out for, things I can fix while I'm in there, etc... If I have to pull the crank pulley when I'm in there, I may just replace it with a perrin lightweight....
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Old 05-20-2006, 04:21 PM   #2
Russell Rogers
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your oil pump seal is leaking. itss behind the water pump. take it to a shop
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Old 05-20-2006, 04:26 PM   #3
2.5WagonGuy
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looks like the valve cover gasket to me, my car was doing the same thing
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Old 05-20-2006, 05:08 PM   #4
Plays_With_toys
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Its not the valve covers, because this is on the front of the motor, and the valve covers are to the sides. I've replaced those recently as well.
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:23 PM   #5
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Had a similar leak on my car. I thought it was the front main seal or oil pump seal but after removing the timing belt cover I ruled those out since both were clean. It turns out it was power steering fluid that was leaking from the front of my power steering pump, dripping down the front of the timing belt cover, and collecting right where your leak is. Could be something to check. Are you low on p/s fluid?

JD

Last edited by Dobes; 05-21-2006 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 05-20-2006, 07:04 PM   #6
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i know, but when my valve covers were leaking the oil was blowing around under the car, when i replaced the valve cover gaskets the leak was fixed
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Old 05-20-2006, 08:43 PM   #7
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off topic.. PS.. get rid of that fram filter.. worse thing you can put on your car.
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:29 PM   #8
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I agreed with Dobes.

It's the Power Steering fluid. you must have a leak in your reservior or a bad P/S pump. It happened to mine and i was also curious about it. Until i check the fluid that's drip to the ground, It didnt smell like oil and a different color. I knew it was the Power Steering.

Check your Power steering lines to see if theres a leak there. And most of the time, It's probly a seal or the pump is bad. i need to get mine fix also lol.
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:53 AM   #9
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ya my power steering is leaking tooo
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:22 AM   #10
Plays_With_toys
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Default

Hmmmm.... I didn't think it'd be power steering since my hydraulic lash adjusters would act up, and I'd add just a little oil, and poof, they'd stop clacking. So I thought for sure it was oil. But I'll touch the drops and see what kind of viscousity they have, check the dipstick and see what color the oil is there, since this fluid is dark black, and also check some of the lines. I'll look around the valve covers (easy to do since they are a bright blue gasket). Thanks for the prompt replies as always!
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Old 05-21-2006, 10:24 AM   #11
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Yeah, at first i too thought it was the oil. But maybe yours could be something else.
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:04 AM   #12
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In regards to power steering versus oil, you could clean the entire REALLY REALLY well and watch it closely for where the oil starts to leak from/accumulate.

But inspecting the fluid will probably tell you.
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:05 PM   #13
Plays_With_toys
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Powersteering looks to be topped off. Oil is pretty dirty (probably the fram), so I'll change that out, and clean the area really nice to find out where its coming from. I looked at where that piece of the motor goes (the panel) and it sits behind most of the pulley assembly, so I imagine if it is that seal, it'll be a real PITA to change out.
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Old 05-21-2006, 12:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTWagon_Phreak
In regards to power steering versus oil, you could clean the entire REALLY REALLY well and watch it closely for where the oil starts to leak from/accumulate.

But inspecting the fluid will probably tell you.
+1

That's how I found out some of the fluid on my steering rack was actually oil blowing back from the drain plug.
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Old 05-22-2006, 11:40 AM   #15
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Alright, today I'm going to hit the engine hard with the degreaser and figure out where the oil is coming from. I know its oil for sure now, because my oil was topped off and after a cruise with some local subaru guys, it was alot lower, and all over the underside. Also my lifters were making noise until I topped it off.

It looks to be either that front seal, or the oil pan itself. After that cruise, the headers were covered in a thin film of oil, and following along the oil pan back towards the y pipe it got sludgier and then the most oil was collected on the y pipe itself.
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:31 PM   #16
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Your front engine seals are leaking. Make sure you replace the timing belt at the same time to prevent spending more money later.
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:27 PM   #17
Plays_With_toys
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Yeah... timing belt and front seal were replaced at 123k miles. I'm at 137k now. So that really sucks... Maybe they have a longer than 12k mile warranty...?

Last edited by Plays_With_toys; 05-22-2006 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:27 PM   #18
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i have the same leak, let me know what you find out.
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:14 PM   #19
Plays_With_toys
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Default

geez. I just looked through the service records. The front crank seal has been replaced 5 or 6 times, and the front timing belt cover seal has been replaced 3 times. Is this normal? Seems like the oil leak was a consistent problem.
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:37 PM   #20
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it's the cam seals.

if they aren't done with the timing belt, they will leak in time.

thus you have a bleeder.

i do too.

i'm gonna fix mine in two weeks when i'm back in NC.

while you're in there, make sure to change all 5 seals, that way you won't have to go back in.

edit:
use either a felpro or OE seal. the rest will still leak like a bish.

Last edited by ooberdoob; 05-22-2006 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:44 PM   #21
Plays_With_toys
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Default

This is sounding more and more fun. Seems my motor has a problem with seals. I also know the cam seals were replaced twice (since the timing belt was replaced twice). Well... I'll call around see what it costs to get the seals replaced, or what a timing belt job costs (and then I'll ask if those seals are replaced in that maintenance).
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Old 05-22-2006, 08:53 PM   #22
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dealer hear told me $700

eitehr learn how to do a timing belt or bend over.

i'm choosing to learn.

i'm goin gto school for automotive anyhow, so it's not really a big deal... i'm really antsy to do it, i just need to get to NC to do it.
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:30 PM   #23
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^^
Where in NC?
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Old 05-22-2006, 10:17 PM   #24
Subietonic
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It's likely the O-ring gasket and rear case seal on the Oil Pump. Plan to replace both the O-ring and reseal the back of the Oil Pump case, as well as the front main seal since you've got it apart anyway and you'll likely ruin the FMS when you re-install the oil pump. Might as well do the valve cover gaskets while you have it apart since most of the stuff will be out of your way.

Check out this article on the repair vs replacement process... http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/OilPumps.pdf

Here's the timing belt guide for:

SOHC - http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/2.2SingleOverWin01.pdf

DOHC - http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/2.5Timing.pdf

HTH
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Old 05-22-2006, 10:28 PM   #25
Subietonic
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I've never known a 2.2 SOHC to have so many issues with its seals. Sounds like someone (Dealer tech?) didn't know what they were doing when the previous seals were replaced. Especially with those few miles on a 96. Only exception would be if it is consistently run low on oil as the seals will dry out/crack/leak if not properly lubricated from the back side.

Good luck with your repair. It's fun. I believe your 2.2 is a non-interference engine so you should not have any issues with the cam pulley alignments like you do on the new 2.2 SOHC and 2.5 DOHC engines.
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