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jrhone

Oil Leaks...What are my options?

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Just got my 02 back from the shop. Swapped in a new Guibo, bled the brakes, clutch and some minor things. The big thing on my plate now is my oil leak. Mechanic says its coming from "all over". oil pan, front engine cover, and its about $2k for him to redo it all. Sounds steep. Another mechanic said it was just the upper timing chain cover leaking and he didnt think it was coming from anywhere else. If it is coming from alot of places he said the only options were to basically disassemble the engine and reinstall all the major gaskets...true? He implied that it wouldnt be easy. Also said that if it was attempted to be done, the head gasket could be damaged and that would be another expense so he said he would just pull the head and then redo all the seals. I bought this motor for $900 4 years ago and have driven over 75k miles in that time...so I'm not really gonna plop down $2k on this engine. My initial thought is to go back to the 1st mechanic and verify that it is indeed just the upper timing chain, he installed the engine and I trust him. If its coming from "all over the place" whats the best way to replace all the seals?

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i'm looking at doing the same job myself (including installing a new head).

Since I don't want to pull the engine, and also since I am on a college student budget, I'll be doing with a good friend of mine in his shop over thanksgiving break. Should take less than 3 days between the both of us to swap the head (with new gaskets), timing cover gaskets and seals, timing chain, and oil pan gasket.

It's not a HARD job, just a messy one and made far easier with a second pair of hands and a garage to do it in. 2 grand sounds like a lot to do it, but it is time consuming for the shop, hence the high cost. I say find a fellow 02'er nearby and pay them to help you do it for cheaper, and you'll learn a thing or two. to get at the front timing cover you have to remove the radiator, fan, etc etc, hence the amount of time it takes. Also, once you start digging, you will find more problems that need to be fixed.

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I think it'll be fair straightforward. I did the head gasket a few years ago. Just wondering if that sounds right for ally gaskets to be leaking like that or is it really the upper timing cover and the rest blow by.

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The uv dye and blacklight method is the easiest way to find the source of leaks. Clean your engine first, with steam if possible. The gaskets are easy if you are not rushed and have a place to work.

Have you tightened up all the cover bolts and done an oil/filter change with the proper weight for your climate?

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Give the engine a thorough degreasing with Gunk or something similar, then watch the engine after it warms up to see where it starts weeping oil. It might be the top front cover which isn't too bad. Even an oil pan gasket isn't that bad a job. Stay away from the guy quoting $2000 for the reseal job.

It's not really a hard job. You just have to thoroughly degrease all mating surfaces with carb cleaner on clean rags after you get all the old gasket material off. Be careful not to gouge the aluminum covers with metals scrapers. Also be really careful tightening any of the front cover bolts or oil pan bolts if you do it yourself. They are really easy to strip if you over tighten. That goes for any bolt on the engine block covers and oil pan. I believe they're all 5-7lbft. You need a good gasket sealer, either Loctite 518 or Hylomar. The 518 you have to get online. Local shops don't carry it but I have seen the Hylomar around a few of them. Happy leak hunting.

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Front head cover's easy- cleaner and RTV are your friends.

And a too- tall cover will make the valve cover gasket leak-

until you use RTV, and then it cleans right up.

Exhaust studs are a bit of a pain, but not the end of the world.

Front main is a pain, but only to get to- once you're there, the seal's not

very hard at all.

Rear main is a beyoootch.

And the pan gasket leaks a lot less than most people think.

t

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