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jrhone

Is the lower front engine cover gasket hard to replace?

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Thanks for the UV dye and UV light tip. Got a $10 light and $6 dye and ran the engine for a few minutes and the oil came out of the front lower engine cover area. Very front corner of the engine. I tightened the bolt a bit but that didnt help. I also think my oil pan gasket is leaking as well. The upper timing cover is not leaking a drop and thats where 2 mechanics swore it was coming from. Another mechanic said its not only coming from upper timing cover but "Everywhere" and would need $2k to "seal it all up". So if its the lower front cover gasket, how hard is that to replace? Oil pan gasket?

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Here is the leaky area...the yellow/green line is the oil leaking out.

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The leak is ONLY from the front and along the oil pan on the front. From above the engine, cant tell if thats leaking from the front then traveling down the side of the oil pan, or if the oil pan is leaking as well. I think its the front cover.

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It's an absolutely horrible job, but doable (no special skills required). I did mine out of the car (wanted to pull the motor anyway) which made it a lot easier. You have to remove the harmonic balancer / pulley, the accessories, water pump, the upper front timing cover gasket, the lower front timing cover gasket (and main seal), etc. You will likely ruin the head gasket "lip" in the process and then will replace the head gasket (or leak like crazy there). You also need to keep track of the timing cover bolts... they're not all the same length and re-install isn't symmetrical so you have to know.

You should use aviation sealant (form-a-gasket) on all gasket surfaces when re-assembling after cleaning them up, you'll need pretty much a complete gasket set since the upper front timing cover comes off, and I'm not kidding, plan on replacing the head gasket as it's very hard not to nick or tear the "lip" piece (truly an unfortunate design on the M10 and M30).

The oil pan can stay on, but the "lip" gasket issue exists there as well.

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While "in there" consider replacing:

- timing chain guides (they're cheap plastic)

- timing chain (they stretch after a long while)

- timing chain tensioner (for completeness)

- front main seal (well, no choice there really)

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I had a leak in the same area along with the upper ft cover. I only replaced the upper gasket but here's what worked for me for the lower leak...

I cleaned up the area real well with brake cleaner. I then put a bit of sealant over the outside of the gasket seam for a length that extended above and below the leak area. Let it dry 12-24 hours and then ran the car. First time, I found I had stopped most but not all as I had not gone far enough. So, cleaned again and then applied some more. That worked. It's been 1500miles since I did that and I don't have a leak there anymore.

My thought at the time was -- I had nothing to lose and no downside to trying.

Byas

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Drop the front subframe with engine and tranny. Take care of all engine seals and do your 5speed conversion at the same time. Be done with it. No easy way around doing the lower cover. Going to be along winter. Did it last year with the block in the car.

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so as noted above it's not a 1-hour job with (1) 10mm spanner

and a screw driver. You keep your oil changed and full, and

wash the motor every 6 or 12 months depending on your miles and

climate. Yer done.

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I would honestly just leave it like that, I made the mistake of replacing those gaskets but didn't use form-a-gasket and it still leaks. Now I just take it as part of the car's character. All my cars leak oil and its always a witch hunt that ends up being too expensive for a few drops now and then.

I just slide a cardboard piece below the engine so it doesn't stain the floor.

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Doing it in the car is quite a whoopin!! I did it and the opil pan while in the car. Would have been both quicker and easier to have just pulled the motor out and do it right. Only takes about an hour to ubolt and pull the motor. Even less if you have a buddy help.

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