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Common Places For Oil Leak

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A real b*tch leak is the crank seal where it passes through the lower timing cover.  You have to take out the Jesus Nut to remove the crank pulley, and best to get the radiator out of the way first.  The torque spec is "gutentite" which is a lot.... I forget the exact number right now.  30 or 36 mm nut, can't recall which.

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  • 3 years later...

182, while it's not uncommon for the oil pan to leak, it's a lot MORE common to come from the joints at the front cover, the exhaust bolts, etc-

make double sure it's not any of those before you attack the oil pan.  Often when the oil pan's the culprit, you can see why from the outside,

or by pulling a bolt or 2 off- if it's reassembled by a gorilla, the flange of the pan gets so distorted that it doesn't seal well.


Fuzzy, fix your exhaust studs.  It's a pain, but not too hard, and it makes a hellacious, stinky mess.






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I've never heard of that before. 

It's called the 'search', my son...

I think it's one of the 101 2002 tips, which predates Al Gore, if not the internet.

4 of the exhaust studs go through into the head, and if the threads aren't sealed, oil leaks down them.

If one gets loose or falls out, you get real insight into what true incontinence really is.

It's harder than it seems to reseal them, because it's hard to get them clean, so they can really seal.

It wasn't one of BMW's best executions.


However, that first picture looks more like:

the upper head bolt in your pic (yep, oil goes behind that, up into the head)

the oil pressure switch,

the distributor o- ring

or the valve cover gasket.

Or a combination of several of those...




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Just for the fun of it ,I did a search on the subject  and  Toby is spot on 

After reading the threads I learned something new.  I've been chasing an oil leak ,and after a valve cover gasket replacement it slowed tremendously  but not completely 

Makes me think I need to look at the studs now


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Another very common leak point is the upper timing cover.  After 40+ years I am sure the head has been off the engine at least once (maybe even twice).  If the head has been surfaced and they did not have the upper cover attached to it at the same time the cover and head are now different thicknesses. There will be a gap that the valve cover can't seal. It is possible the head and cover aren't even from the same engine. This same problem can happen if the block and lower timing cover are not the same height. 


My answer to "Common places for oil leaks"? Is YES.  On a 40 year old engine start with all seals, then move to all gaskets, while you have the covers off look for cracks. That should just about cover it. 

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You can get a leak from under the outside headbolt at the back of the engine if the head is replaced and the ground washer underneath the bolt is inverted. This bites into the aluminium head a certain way over the years and can leak loads if disturbed. You can back out that headbolt on its own and apply some permatex black RTV under the washer and headbolt before retightening in a couple of stages back to whatever the old school max torque is (ignore the angle stuff here for a single bolt and no disturbed gasket). 

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