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ARGH! Big oil leak! Anyone who has had the timing belt covers off?


adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027623 posted 10/21/11 08:27 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
So I pulled up to work yesterday, doing the cool down thing. The oil light flickered then went out, I let it idle for a bit more watching closely and it didnt' come back on... Didn't think anything of it really... Came back out and there was a HUGE oil puddle, proably 2-3 qts worth. So I got the little jack out put more oil in and started it. It's leaking on the pulley end of the motor. I pulled the driver front wheel, and that plastic panel that hides the crank pulley. fired it off again. It looks like the oil is coming from behind the pulley, a little to the left (front) and below the pulley, but above the cylindrical portion of the oil filter housing... It was dropping probably 3-4 large drops per second. How deep is the front main seal? Is the oil filter housing part of the oil pump?

I haven't been into the front end of these yet to know how the different timing panels and what not lie... and where an oil leak of that magnitude could originate...

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strokin4dr
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027631 posted 10/21/11 09:01 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Does the car have the balance shafts still? If they have been previously eliminated then it could be that the block off plug, which is in the location that you are referring to, could have backed out.
Only way to know for sure is to just go ahead and pull the timing cover. Good luck.



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adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027635 posted 10/21/11 09:13 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
hm... I'm not sure if the balance shaft is there or not, though I would assume it is. Surely without it there would be noticeable vibration it runs pretty smooth. It's awefully close to the crank as well. (of course it could be running down and pooling behind the crank... Is there a place it could be leaking in that region that the timing belt would stay dry?

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transparentdsm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027641 posted 10/21/11 09:31 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
i have the balance shafts out of my car and mine runs smoother that a friends who has the shafts. its all a matter of how the work is done. im thinking it is you main seal. under that pully on the crank there is a rubber O gasket that if it isnt pushed all the way in it will rub and rub and take a few months before it will blow out completely. i had this happen last time i changed out my camshafts and the cam gear was rubbing and i drove it for 6000 miles then pop oil start to come out everywhere. if you do change that you have to pull the timing belt and eveything in there so i would just replace everything with something new if it wasnt already done.



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adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027647 posted 10/21/11 10:01 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Yeah that's kinda what i was expectin for leak...

How is that oil filter housing attached? Is it built into the oil pump? or is it basically the lower timing cover? Now I gotta get the car home... I *think* timing belt and what not should be fairly new. Mitsu did a pretty good job making everything accessible on these cars...

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transparentdsm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027655 posted 10/21/11 10:21 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
the oil filter housing is attached to the oil pump with 4 bolts, but there is no need to remove the oil filter housing if it isnt a balance shaft elimination leak. you take off the lower timing cover, remove the timing belt and then pull the crank bolt and sprocket off and thats where the main seal O ring is. if it is faulty you will see a metal O around the crank. that O should be black or brown rubber. if it is bad when you change it out make sure that you put oil resistant silicone all over the outer side of the new O ring before install to prevent oil leak again. take a large socket and press the O ring seal all the way in. everything is really easy to get to and to answer the question about the oil on the belt. ive had puddles in my lower timing cover and by the time it reaches the cam gears there is nothing on it. when you pull the timing cover off you will see where all the oil has went to. it will be disgusting.



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adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027656 posted 10/21/11 10:36 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Ok so i'm assuming the front main seal lives in the oil filter housing then, and the timing belt housing covers the bolts for the oil filter housing?

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boostedinaz
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027658 posted 10/21/11 10:48 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
In any case you NEED to pull the timing cover, clean everything behind it, and start the car up to see where it is leaking. It could be the balance shaft seals, the front balance shaft tensioner bolt, the main seal, the front case itself, etc...

If you are worried about running the car then pull off the timing belt and use a drill (not an impact) to spin the oil pump. With a decent drill you should be able to build some pressure to spot the leak.

In any case of oil hit the timing/balance shaft belt they need to be replaced.



Michael
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transparentdsm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027662 posted 10/21/11 11:10 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
thank you mike i have trouble typing what im thinking sometimes. and i forget little thing like that.



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boostedinaz
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027671 posted 10/21/11 12:13 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I had a similar issue when working on a locals car. It leaked like crazy from the same area. The first big leak was the balance shaft belt tensioner bolt. It was bairly snug and had no RTV on it. Fixed that but it still had a really slow leak that wouldn't show at idle. I left the whole timing side covers off and drive around the neighborhood for a bit. Finally noticed that the oil pump gear was wet. Pulled the gear and replaced the seal behind it. Car never leaked a drop after that.

Another one I did was a crack front case. Guy got a little to eager while putting it on anc cracked it but not enough to see the crack. Put a drill on the oil pump and let it fly after about 30 seconds the oil start to leak from right below the water pump. Replaced the case and no leaks.

They can be a pain to find but cleanliness is the key. Clean every thing then start watching for leaks.



Michael
The rebuild of 1101

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jepherz Galant VR4.org Moderator
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027793 posted 10/21/11 07:12 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
You mentioned the timing belt was dry, are you sure it isn't just leaking from around the oil filter housing?



-Jeff
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Barnes
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027795 posted 10/21/11 07:15 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
My bet is also on the oil filter housing. It is about the only thing on the car that can fail so dramactically fail and dump that much oil that quickly. It is really common as well. And *especially* if the t-belt is dry, I highly doubt the front main has failed.



-Jon Barnes
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Edited by Barnes (10/21/11 07:37 PM)

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MuffinMan7580
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027797 posted 10/21/11 07:33 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
+1 for checking the sandwich cooler on the oil filter housing (if you have it). If that's it, it's just 4 bolts holding the housing on, and much easier to replace than timing/balance shaft belts.



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Barnes
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1027799 posted 10/21/11 07:38 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Super quick easy check: drain your oil, and remove your oil filter. If the oil cooler, which is directly under the filter, is loose, you have found your problem.



-Jon Barnes
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adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1028487 posted 10/24/11 04:46 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I grabbed the filter (it's tight) and put a wrench on the exposed bolts that you can get to on that housing and everything was snug. I finally have time to mess with this... I'm going to try to limp it home tonight and tear it apart...

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Barnes
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1028493 posted 10/24/11 04:59 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
You have to take the oil filter off to really tell if the oil cooler is held down tight.



-Jon Barnes
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chrisfullwood
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1028604 posted 10/24/11 11:28 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
you might check your low oil level sensor, its right next to the oil filter. Mine came undone, and blew out 5qts of oil in no time. coated the entire underside of my car.

just a thought.



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adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1028677 posted 10/25/11 08:29 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Quoting Barnes:

You have to take the oil filter off to really tell if the oil cooler is held down tight.




Oh that's interesting... I'll check it out

I had a good chance to put it up on stand and put a good eyeball on it. Oil is definitely coming out of the timing cover. After limping it home this time the timing belt was soaked in oil. So it appears it is the front main or somethinginside the timing covers. I'm gonna have to find a good impact to get that front pulley off so that help me up from going any further...

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transparentdsm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1028678 posted 10/25/11 08:39 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
go on ebay they have a breaker bar for these motors. click get that save your self time and frustration.



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adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1028693 posted 10/25/11 09:29 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
frustrating, we're in process of installing a CNC mill in my shop (had to run some beefier wire) could just build something like that SUPER easy. Truthfully it wouldn't be that bad to even do it by hand once the pulley is off...

Eh maybe I'll impact it off then by the time I'm putting it all back together we'll have the mill running and that'll be our first test piece...

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transparentdsm
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1028698 posted 10/25/11 09:58 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
there you go. i have an impact and that just makes it easier. like zero effort at all.



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adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1035242 posted 11/21/11 11:07 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
Yeah 2 impacts guns later and it was still on there... we fired up the CNC mill and machined a bracket to hold the crank in place... got the crank pulley off, timing belt, and balance shaft belt. It should be interesting trying to get the actual front main seal off... i think I'm going to end up pulling the oil pump cover off in order to replace that seal. from the first glance it isn't obvious if it's the main, or the oil pump, or the silent shaft that is leaking... It's pry better to do all of them at the same time.

Also the lower timing cover is chewed all to hell... the "seal" that lives behind that cover got misplaced the last time someone bolted it down causing a 1/8" gap between cover and block... That's enough to cause soem serious contact... So lower cover is smoked... Anyone have one laying around they'll sell me for cheap? I'm gonna go beat downthe door to all the local junkyards, but now sure how hard they are to come by...

I suppose I'll put a new belt on it too... I believe that this belt has 20k on it... I wil pry leave the water pump though...

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adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1042085 posted 12/26/11 11:07 PM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
I under estimated the complexity of this thing.. Beginning to think I should have just pulled the engine out... That front balance shaft is a PITA... Any tips on how to hold it in order to remove the sprocket? the oil pump silent shaft has a window that you can stick a screwdrive in to lock it up, but I can't find anything like that for the front shaft... And it sits above the frame so I can't get an impact on it...

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shawnpepper
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1042323 posted 12/28/11 09:35 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post      
seems like you have let your engine down more, have you removed the two other engine mounts and removed the stabilizer running from the radiator support to the subframe, should give you enough room. but ive never removed the balance shafts with the engine still inside the car. worth a shot.

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adowdell
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Galant VR-4 org Post #: 1043181 posted 01/02/12 08:23 AM     Remind Me!  Send Private Message   Edit Post   
OK so I used the "baby belt" with a pair of vice grips held tight and turned until it backed up against a pinch point and got that front sprocket nut off. As I pulled the sprocket off the seal came out with it... I think I have found the leak... So I dropped the driverside front subframe support, and dropped the pan. Yes it is necessary to drop the subframe support to get the pan off. And yes it is required to drop the pan to get that front case cover off that contains all of the seals. Then when I tried to slide the cover out I found out the rear balance shaft is NOT the same as the driven sprocket shaft. The rear balance shaft (silent shaft) spins off of the other oil pump gear that is driven by the sprocket. I needed about 1/2 inch to pull the case cover and balance shaft assembly out... So i got a BFH and pounded the folded seam of chassis out of the way and had perfect space to pull it out.

So there she sits, with virtually the entire driverside of the engine bay dissassembled lol...

I have the seal kit and will hopefully get around to cleaning components this week and maybe putting it back together this weekend...

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