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Old 09-22-2003, 05:44 PM   #1
whitet777
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Question EJ22 Mysterious Oil Leak

I have a 98 OBS 2.2 w/ 93,000 miles on it. For about the last 4,000 miles I have noticed a burnt oil smell at stop lights and occasionally see smoke coming from under the hood. When I crawled under the car, it was obvious that oil was dripping on the Y-pipe in front of the catalytic converter.

I first thought it may be the valve covers like everybody says, but can not diagnose that for sure. I saw that the rear of the timing belt cover had some oil on the rubber seal, but then again, there were mysterious drips coming everywhere at the lowest elevation on the engine. I probably only see 1 drop of oil on the asphalt a week, so it is not a major leak.

Are there any tell tale leak points on the EJ22 to help narrow my search? I am thinking valve covers or front main seal. Might possibly be head gasket though on driver's side.

What I could really use is a couple things:
-A pdf file of the engine oil passages in the car like from a tech manual or service manual so I can understand where the oil is supposed to be.
-Part numbers or a good place to buy valve covers and bolt O-rings.
-Where I can buy dye to help diagnose the oil leak.

Thanks for the help guys
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Old 09-22-2003, 11:16 PM   #2
tbd
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Default same issue w/ me

i just picked up a 97 obs w/ just over 100k that has that same drip on the y pipe. have'nt yet diagnosed it though. i may try one of those high mileage oils w/ seal conditioners to see if it helps at all. potentiall cheap fix? funny as my 196k & 110k 95's have no leaks whatsoever, but those are different motors.

keep ya posted.

tony

p.s. judging by the smell from mine, i suspect that the fluid may not be engine oil, but infact transmission fluid? drips would tend to fall forward if coming to a stop.
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Old 09-23-2003, 09:08 AM   #3
whitet777
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Tony,

I did buy some Bars Leak oil leak sealer and it does seem to be helping. I only get a faint oil smell now. The product says it can take 250 miles, so it may take some more time to fix it. Just remember this is a temporary fix only. Careful not to buy a product with parafin waxes or something that could clog your filter or small oil passages.

I know my smell is oil because I can see the oil leak. Also, I have a manual transmission that I know is not leaking. I think that the wind blows the oil back from the valve cover area and onto the the Y-pipe. I was tempted to fabricate a guard that keeps that from happening.

Tim
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Old 09-30-2003, 02:43 PM   #4
whitet777
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Well, the car is smelling now more than ever. I don't think the Bar's Leak worked. Time for Valve cover gaskets and O-Rings.
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Old 09-30-2003, 04:57 PM   #5
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My 99 Impreza L was leaking transmission fluid from the front and rear of the transmission case. The tranny fluid was dripping down onto the Y pipe and it smelled at stops.

I would double check that it is engine oil.
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Old 09-30-2003, 05:10 PM   #6
whitet777
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My tranny seems very dry to me. Was yours an automatic or Manual? Plus there is oil on the passenger side cylinders and valve covers.
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:30 PM   #7
tbd
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Default fluid on the head sounds like motor oil alright

you suppose the gasket you want might be in here? there are a bunch of rubber grommets & seals that can leak also, not sure if they are in here.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=33620

tony
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Old 09-30-2003, 10:50 PM   #8
whitet777
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That gasket set is a little overkill. I just bought 1 valve cover gasket and 3 o-rings for the bolts for $20 for the local Subaru dealer. I hope it works.
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Old 10-02-2003, 11:55 AM   #9
K Rock Impreza
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I have the same problem, at a light I would get smoke coming from the hood and I would smell it too. I have a '97 L with a 2.2l engine. I have found oil where that rubber seal and oil burnt on the header. But after searching here for a while back I found that those symptoms are usually a result of an oil crank oil seal. Thats what I'm doing today is changing that along with my timing belt. Hopefully that'll fix it.

CJ
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Old 10-02-2003, 12:11 PM   #10
whitet777
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K-Rock, let me know if you crank seal replacement works. I will probably have to do that next, but just wanted to test the easiest replacement first (valve cover gasket).
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Old 10-02-2003, 04:09 PM   #11
K Rock Impreza
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Right now I'm outside working on it. It is a bitch to get to. I am changing all my belts while I'm at it. The timing belt looks like its brand new but I don't know when it was replaced because I bought my car from a dealer and all that information is unknown to me, but I'm replacing it anyhow.

Taking the seal out is difficult if you don't have a seal puller. I don't have one so I had to use a screwdriver and some other tools to get that sucker out. Looking at it, it needed to be replaced.

If you're going to replace it yourself go buy a chain wrench that can fit the crank pully, cause I bought one thinking it would but it doesn't. I made a hook type thing that I attatched to it to make it work, so its all good.

Now going to put everything back together.

I won't be able to drive the car yet because I also need my front left wheel bearing replaced and I had to wait till tomorrow to order the parts.

So when everything is fixed I'll let you know how it is.
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Old 10-02-2003, 04:14 PM   #12
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K Rock, are you doing this with a service manual? Thanks for the update.
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Old 10-03-2003, 12:12 AM   #13
K Rock Impreza
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I'm using a Haynes Legacy Manual cause everything is identical. I couldn't find an Impreza one, and I don't think they make one. Inserting the new crank oil seal is quite difficult because there is no space to work with the radiator being in the way. I was very careful because I didn't want to bend any of the fins.

I havn't finished it today because I had class, and I won't be able to get back to it till Monday. But I installed a new timing belt , which was difficult getting on and lining up as well.

So all I have to do is reinstall everything back. I'll let you know sometime Monday or Tuesday

CJ
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Old 10-03-2003, 01:19 PM   #14
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leak sources

Piston Pin access plate on the back side of the block

Crank Seal

Valve cover gaskets and spark plug tube bonnets. start there, and you might want to replace the cam seals while you are in there.

JEREMY
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:41 PM   #15
Hawk296
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I had the same problem on my EJ18. started just as you described and over the months progressed much worse, I ended up loosing 4 quarts of oil on a 250 mile drive. It was dripping from the bottom of the timing cover and would flow back onto the y part of the exh. manifold and smoke.

. I removed the oil pump, and there is a little o-ring which is prone to leaking also. I replaced this (it was in bad shape) cleaned everything and reapplied RTV around the perimiter of the oil pump and reinstalled with a new front crank seal.

This did fix the problem. I beleive it was a combination of the o-ring and crank seal as they were both in bad shape.

Everything was fine until about 20k more miles when my cam seals started leaking, I then just put a brand new 2.5 liter engine in. No more oil leaks!
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Old 10-03-2003, 04:02 PM   #16
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Sorry I haven't posted..
My car is a Manual.
I also have a minor leak from the crank seal. Since I just dropped $1100 on the tranny repair, I'm going to monitor this one for a while and then have the timing belt and crank seal replaced.
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Old 10-03-2003, 04:58 PM   #17
whitet777
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I will replace the valve cover gasket this weekend, but feel in my gut that it is the crank seal. I need to replace the timing belt too, so I will do the crank seal then.
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Old 10-04-2003, 05:18 PM   #18
Flexy
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Guys stop using synthetic motor oils!!!!
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Old 10-04-2003, 05:29 PM   #19
Karl
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What does synthetic oil have anything to do with this?
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Old 10-04-2003, 06:51 PM   #20
whitet777
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I don't use synthetic oil!

I replaced the valve cover gaskets today. Easiest job ever, but didn't stop the oil leak. I did pin it down to the front crank seal though I think. I needed to replace the timing belt anyway. I will let you guys know.
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Old 10-05-2003, 04:04 AM   #21
HndaTch627
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Quote:
Originally posted by Flexy
Guys stop using synthetic motor oils!!!!
umm yeah, not sure how you are going to jusitfythat statement but synthetics do not go past seals any easier then natural oils, synthetics will however go past rings easier then natural oils.
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Old 10-06-2003, 07:03 PM   #22
K Rock Impreza
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Ok, I finished up replacing the crank oil seal, timing belt, a/c belt and the alt. belt. I drove it around the block after a 15min warm-up/idle, because I havn't started it up in a couple days. No signs of oil anywhere. I do smell a slight oil burn, but I think thats the caked oil thats still on the header cause I didn't find any signs of oil anywhere.

Tomorrow I'm going to start working on replacing the wheel bearing so when its all said and done I'll update you and let you know if I find any signs of oil.
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Old 10-06-2003, 07:07 PM   #23
whitet777
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K Rock,

How long did it take you to do all of that?
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:02 AM   #24
K Rock Impreza
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like a days work, but it was over the span of a week only because I was really busy. the a/c belt and the alt. belt is super easy to replace. the crank oil seal and the timing belt too a while because it was in a cramped space. also i've never done this work on any car before so this was my first attempt.
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Old 10-07-2003, 02:01 AM   #25
Tim Sanderson
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I wonder if it would'nt be easier to just pull the oil pump to replace the oil seal. I suppose the oil pump gasket is expensive (as are all stealership parts). It seems like that would be a heck of alot easier then trying to get that seal off and on.

Tim, if you need any help, let me know. Should'nt take too long.
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