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Slow oil leak-spark plug?


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I have a 1973 2002. I have a recent slow oil leak showing on the ground, front of engine. Noticed unusual residue around the #2 spark plug. Could the plug be involved? (In front end photo its about two week's accumulation on the ground. I had driven the car, but was putting it back in same spot). Last photo is from underneath the engine. 


Thanks Randy




Under engine.png

Edited by rjscott


'73 02 Atlantic

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From the pics I would say the likely culprit areas to check would be:

 - Oil filler cap

 - Valve cover, particularly over where the upper timing cover meets the head

 - Upper timing cover to head

 - Timing chain tensioner plug


Start with looking for loose bolts and then move on to replacing gaskets.  Good luck!

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I wouldn't call that slow. Potential culprits are front cover gaskets, rocker cover gasket and the top studs for the exhaust manifold. I would treat the engine to all three before you get an oil fire on the exhaust manifold. 


Instructions for all will will be on this site. A few complications and quirks but nothing difficult or expensive. 

rtheriaque wrote:

Carbs: They're necessary and barely controlled fuel leaks that sometimes match the air passing through them.

My build blog:http://www.bmw2002faq.com/blog/163-simeons-blog/

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Lord-A-Mercy looking like the Exxon-Valdez under and inside of your engine bay. Step one - get some old shirts and get to cleaning your engine bay. Otherwise it is anyone's guess as to where it's leaking. Like others said I would look at:


  1. Valve cover gasket - is it on snug?
  2. Oil filler cap - is the o-ring inside the cap old and shitty and brittle? 
  3. Top exhaust studs on the exhaust manifold - were they sealed with loctite?
  4. Front cover gasket
  5. Crack in the head - say a prayer it ain't. 
  6. Oil pressure gauge by the distributor


Once you have the engine bay looking fresh creep under your car with a flashlight and start hunting. If you can't find anything turn the car on with the hood up and watch for oil on the exhaust manifold. If you see smoke, turn the car off and inspect the above mentioned spots. Don't drive it like this otherwise you risk burning the whole car to the ground. 

Edited by silasmoon
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Now now.


All my cars leak, except for one.


None has caught afire yet.





  • Like 1


Stop reading this! Don't you have anything better to do?? :P
Two running things. Two broken things.


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