Ferrari Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to All! Some weeks ago

Hello to All! Some weeks ago I reported that my recently self-serviced TR had re-developed an oil leak somewhere around the front main seal. I was not happy needless to say. My initial observations were made with a trouble light and trying to see up in there around the cam belt covers. Most of the front lower half of the engine was damp with oil. It also appeared that the right side cam belt had shifted towards the rear of the motor - very scary. Well today I removed the exhaust system and some other items but decided to take another look before going any farther. I loosened up the rear cam belt covers and using a probe light I peered inside. The belts appear dry, as do the cam bearings. And I was mistaken about the right side belt being shifted back...it is right where it should be - WHEW !! The oil is definately coming from somewhere in the center of engine or up near the top. I am tempted to start her up and watch, but the thought of laying under there prying around with the cam belt covers and stuff while the motor is running sounds a bit daunting. Maybe I'm just getting too old for this stuff. But since the cam belts look good and dry, I'm tempted to just live with the problem. It was suggested to get some oil dye to trace the leak. Sounds like a good idea. I would like to hear other's experiences of diagnosing oil leaks while under a running car. Keep in mind that I work alone on my back, with the car up on jackstands in my little shop. No power tools - strictly caveman stuff. What sources for oil leaks are there near the front-center of a boxer 12? Can main seals lead a significant amount of oil or only a trickle - I put a new seal in recently. Any advice is welcome.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I would use the oil dye. Whil

I would use the oil dye. While you may live with the leak, I think you should definitely try to find where it is coming from......that way you could watch it more closely, and at the same time, be assured it isn't something serious.

So the belts, and cam seals are dry......what else is left? That leaves the front seal, front cover gasket, and the water pump (this one being the most remote possibility).

Is this the same kind of leak that you had before? You state "....somewhere around the front main seal". There is nothing there to leak BUT the main seal...it would seem to me.....I do hope I am wrong. This could leak a little, and not get on the belts, due to the timing belt lock ring (big washer). If all else is dry, then the only other possibility would be a crack in the front cover!!!!!!!!!!!

Is it possible that this is the SAME leak as before, and never was the front main seal?
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes Henry I agree with you...I

Yes Henry I agree with you...I should at least know what is leaking no matter what I do. I'll wipe everything down clean, and put some dye into the oil, and start her up. Your last question is a possibility...I may not have fixed the "actual" leak before when doing the service. It is a pretty good leak, leaving a spot on the floor about 4 or 5 inches in diameter after a couple of days on the painted floor! Whatever it is only leaks when the car is running or has been driven. Because when I clean the spot up and the car sits, no drips. I am now contemplating what it would take to replace the main seal with the engine in the car. As I recall you can't get the cam belt covers off as there isn't enough room to slide them forward off their studs, at least the left side cover. If a stud is just a hair too long I may consider grinding it a tad shorter so long as the retaining nut still has something to hold on to. Dog-gone-it if only Ferrari had allowed one more inch of room up there! I have also thought about the oil being over-filled. When I changed it I don't recall how much I put in. I had it about centered between max and min at last check per normal procedure. My thinking is that maybe if there's too much that oil could drain back from the tank into the block and ooz out the main seal. Does this sound possible? My dipstick length from the cap seat to the MAX mark is about 8 inches, and the MIN mark is 2-3/8 inches beyond that, could this be verified as correct for a TR? Thank You....I'll keep you posted.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lenght is 8 inches to MAX, and

Lenght is 8 inches to MAX, and 10 3/8 inches to MIN........I measured from the inside of the cap, as you did.

When I check the oil, with the engine cold, it shows well BELOW the MIN. This is normal. The oil should be checked after the engine has been run, and then shut off.......it is then between the marks. Even when full, on a warm engine that was just shut off, the next morning, it will show below MIN.

Hence, oil DOES go into the block at rest......this is also true of the Boxer. This alone shouldn't cause a leak through the seal. If it did, then you would get drips of oil, while the car is sitting.......which you don't.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jeff: I just got back from wo

Jeff: I just got back from working on the TR engine. I looked closely at the front, thinking "oil leaks". Some other oil leak sources are: trans/block junction.......there is no gasket there, only a layer of sealer....this is just below the main seal; and, oil filter housing, as it attaches to the trans case. Other sources include the oil pump cover, and those crankcase hoses, but both of these are off to the sides, and not in front of the engine......I assume that your leak is in the center of the front, of the engine.

One more thought: I noticed that the left sided timing belt is closer to the engine than the right one. Hence, if a main seal leaks, one could possibly see the LEFT belt wet, with the right one still dry. So, it would be the left sided belt that one would check for any oil. The covers, do not protect the belts from a bad leaking main seal at the crank.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank You Henry for checking t

Thank You Henry for checking the dipstick. At least that's out of the way. And you make a good point about engine-off oil back flowing into the block, I should be seeing oil leaking at shutoff, not running. So that's not it. When you say "crankcase hoses" do you mean the drainback hoses out the bottom-front of each cam cover? Mine are fine. That's a good point about checking the left cam belt for oil as it's the first thing the oil will come in contact with at the main seal. Hopefully the local Auto-zone carries the dye to check for oil leaks...but other's say it's a dealer only item. We will see tomorrow. Since I already pulled the exhaust off I really don't feel like starting the car tomorrow....the neighbors may not approve. But I'm not re-installing it just for this, so loud it will have to be. Whatever the oil leak is, it is inside the belt covers. It seems to be running downhill and dripping out the small drain holes in the bottom just below the exhaust cam sprockets, as well as out the front center area at the crank. I'll keep you informed.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jeff,

Most NAPA stores carr


Jeff,

Most NAPA stores carry the UV dye...And I got my UV light from Eastwood Company. The stuff works amazingly well.

Best of luck...

Regards,
David
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Jeff,

Agree with usng Dy


Hi Jeff,

Agree with usng Dye, it's definately not a dealer item. I have a TR engine out for service at the moment, in case you need any detailed pics of the front.

Regards, JRV
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank You Dave and JRV. In my

Thank You Dave and JRV. In my small town (Population about 12,000)we don't have a Napa store or hardly anything else of value. Hopefully our Auto-Zone will carry it.

I still have detailed pics of my traitorous engine during the service, if something isn't clear I'll be calling on you JRV.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank You JRV. Wow check out

Thank You JRV. Wow check out the cool blue silicone hoses! I went to Autozone, they don't carry the oil dye. I'll at least clean the motor up and bolt up 4 bullit mufflers to the headers to keep the noise to an acceptable level. I'll try other sources for the oil dye tomorrow.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
JRV: Are those aluminum cam s

JRV: Are those aluminum cam sprockets? If so, what is their advantage?........outside of the obvious, being weight reduction.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Henry,

yes I believe they a


Henry,

yes I believe they are annodized (hardened) aluminum, I'll double check tommorow. I would think heat disapation qualities would be a reason to use them rather than wieght. Direct heating of the belts has been shown to be a factor in durability & life span. With the change to closed belt covers heat became a bigger issue.

Regards, JRV
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well...I just couldn't wai

Well...I just couldn't wait for the oil dye...so I started her up and watched. It looks like the cam covers near the front are damp, so I carefully tightened the bolts just a bit and wiped clean. Started up and warmed up to oper. temps, cooling fans came on. I watched carefully but couldn't see anything. Rev the motor up a few times, check again...nothing. Shut her off, and check again...nothing. Many gasket edges are looking "shiney" again so I wipe everything down again. Start up....rev a bit, dive under and watch. I pulled the rear cambelt covers back and stick the probe light in there, can't really see anything. Shut her off again, watching again. Now I think I see something. It looks like the edge of the right side cambelt cover is getting damp near the crank, but not quite. It looks to be directly below the water pump. I wipe it clean, do some other things, and check......again the area under the water pump looks damp with oil. Is this possible? I didn't think that water pumps would leak this way? Or could it still be the main seal and the crank rotation is slinging the oil towards the right?
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Henry,

checked the cam gear


Henry,

checked the cam gears, they are steel with a coating, I'm thinking maybe the coating is silver cadium? It's a semi-gloss finish.

Regards, JRV
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I used the dye and ran th

Well I used the dye and ran the engine till good and warm....rev'd her up a bit too. Using the ultra-violet light I didn't see anything, so I'm gonna let it sit over night and try again tomorrow. By looking at the drips, it's definately inside the cambelt covers....so my mind is made up.....out comes the motor.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If the drip is inside the camb

If the drip is inside the cambelt covers, then why aren't the belts getting wet? Is it BOTH covers, or only one? Can you remove the left cover, with the engine in the car........I know one cannot remove the right one.

Could it be a leak through the bolts that hold the cam pulleys? How did you seal them?
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The oil seems to run down hill

The oil seems to run down hill inside the cambelt covers and out the little drain holes just below each exhaust cam sprocket. And it drips out at the center where there is a slight gap between the left and right halfs. I tried to remove the left cover before the service last time and couldn't do it because of interference with the oil tank. I never tried the right side. I'm fairly sure it's the crank main seal again, there just isn't any other source that would leak at the center of the motor. The oil doesn't seem to get on the belts or sprockets, perhaps there isn't enough swirling air in there to whip it up. Never the less, I'm replacing the belts...no use taking chances. As for the cam pulley retaining bolts, I never removed them, they were nice and clean as I recall. I've heard that there is an o-ring that can leak there. Either way I've gotta quit my belly-aching and just drop the motor again - darn.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I meant to say: remove the ri

I meant to say: remove the right cover, with the engine in the car. You would have sight access to the main seal area.

When I installed my main seal I did note that I was able to see about 1/4 inch of the "inner" portion of the seal........it flipped over. I used a screwdriver and gently pushed it back. I then wondered if the spring came off, so I took the front cover off again.........spring was intact. I re-installed it, and again, a small portion flipped over.........I pushed it back, and will take my chances.

This was even with the front cover off, which you did not have to do. Removing the front cover allowed me to install the OD, of the seal, into the cover, without worrying about the inner (ID) of the seal. Trying to install the seal, in both the inner crank (ID), and outer portion(OD), in the front cover, is very tricky.....I think.

Next time, I will machine a "seal installer", to prevent the inner lip from herniating out. I think that you will really need something like this to prevent this from happening AGAIN, since you will, again, be trying to install the OD and ID of the seal at the same time.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had a piece of exhaust pipe

I had a piece of exhaust pipe flared until it matched the diameter of the steel ring portion of the seal. So when the pipe was against the seal and centered, it did not touch the I.D. or the O.D. of the seal. How far can you push the seal into the front cover? Is there a lip to prevent it from going all the way through?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top