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Old 11-18-2012, 03:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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V8 oil drip from seemingly inaccessible area

I can't stand to have oil drip on my shop floor and it's one of those hang-ups I have (you might ask yourself why I own british cars then).

On my V8 I have wetness ahead of the oil filter that is collecitng on the AC compressor but it looks like the wetness is coming from above it and is only making the compressor messy.

Is there a common V8 oil weeping culprit in that general area and if so is there some trick to gaining access to address it?

Knut
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would think maybe the head where it meets the block. You would have to remove the head and re-seal.

But that's just a guess! Try one of those angled mirrors on a stick to see if you can locate the source:
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you positive it's engine oil? Could be the compressor leaking and collecting dirt that makes it hard to determine the type of oil.


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Old 11-19-2012, 05:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You might try checking the oil pressure idiot light sender. They tend to crack and leak. It screws into the side of the block just forward of the oil filter. I've replaced a couple of them and it's quite a pain to get to...IIRC, we had to remove some of the turbo plumbing, the oil filter mounting plate and the left motor mount to get there but I'm not sure there isn't a better way to access it.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You might try checking the oil pressure idiot light sender. They tend to crack and leak. It screws into the side of the block just forward of the oil filter. I've replaced a couple of them and it's quite a pain to get to...IIRC, we had to remove some of the turbo plumbing, the oil filter mounting plate and the left motor mount to get there but I'm not sure there isn't a better way to access it.
Are you referring to item #12 in section 17.06 of the parts catalog? If so it looks similar to the oil pressure idiot switch on one of my other cars that also has frequent failures. Guess it's time to get a scope and peek up in there and confirm the suspicion before I start a tedious task of getting in there. If anyone has special tricks for getting at this, please sound off.

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Old 11-20-2012, 01:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Knut,

No it's #9 on that page, oil pressure switch, tell-tale lamp. It is similar to a lot of others. I found a cross at NAPA that worked ok.

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Old 11-20-2012, 04:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Knut,

No it's #9 on that page, oil pressure switch, tell-tale lamp. It is similar to a lot of others. I found a cross at NAPA that worked ok.

Jim
Got it. I have a couple different parts diagrams and for some reason one of my diagrams shows this part as #12 and another shows it as #9. Either way I know which one you're referring to.

Getting at it sound slike a lot of fun the way you describe it... For the NAPA cross did you just take the part in and they matched it at the counter or did you specify some cross reference that this matches up with?

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Old 11-21-2012, 05:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just took it in and they matched it up, sorry I thought I kept the part # but can't find it now.
FYI, the same sensor is used on the 4 cyl and is supposed to activate the low oil pressure light if the pressure falls below 20 psi (1.4 BAR switch) above 1600 rpm but not
sure if rpm threshold is the same on the V8...
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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So I had a chance to take a cursory look with my borescope this weekend to see if I can better locate the source of the wetness. The wetness is a bit widespread so it's hard to tell where it is coming from (might have to clean it all up so I can better see the source), but it almost looks like it is coming from a seam in the primary oil feed passageway from the pump to the top of the oil manifold that the oil filter screws into.

It's a little hard to see in that area, but is there indeed a seam and gasket in the oil passageway near the front cover for the oil passageway leading to the top of the oil filter housing? If there is a seam and gasket there, is it a common oil weeping area? Looks pretty tight to get at it to do anything about it, so if this is somethig the team has experience with I'd value the inputs.

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Old 12-03-2012, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So I had a chance to take a cursory look with my borescope this weekend to see if I can better locate the source of the wetness. The wetness is a bit widespread so it's hard to tell where it is coming from (might have to clean it all up so I can better see the source), but it almost looks like it is coming from a seam in the primary oil feed passageway from the pump to the top of the oil manifold that the oil filter screws into.

It's a little hard to see in that area, but is there indeed a seam and gasket in the oil passageway near the front cover for the oil passageway leading to the top of the oil filter housing? If there is a seam and gasket there, is it a common oil weeping area? Looks pretty tight to get at it to do anything about it, so if this is somethig the team has experience with I'd value the inputs.

Knut
I realized from my description above that it might not be clear what seam I'm asking about, so I marked it on the image below. Is that indeed a seam with a gasket and if so is it serviceable?

Knut
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'd say from the diagram you posted and others in the front cover diagram that its an o-ring at the back of the front cover. That looks like the passage from the oil pump (in the cover) to the filter. Seems like it would be fairly high pressure in there... Unfortunately looks like no fun to get to it since its not part of the oil filter adapter assembly.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi guys,

I had a chance to tear into this a little today and since wetness usually originates from above and collects in variopus places lower down, I started at the top and pulled the plenun off to get a better look at some things (plus I have some other work to do anyway).

It is pretty wet at the front of the engine under the plenum in the vicinity of sensor 11 in the figure below. That sensor is a coolant sensor so it is not the culprit, but I would guess the sensor next to it marked "See 17.07/07a" could be a culprit if it is an oil sensor. Unfortunately, when I go to section 17.07 and section 17.07a in the parts references there is no sensor indicated in that section and only the instrument cluster is shown in that section. Also, in section 17.07 there is reference to an oil pressure transducer, but it also stipulates prior to '98MY (I have a '02).

Can anyone tell me what this part is, what the proper part number for it is so I can order one if it's the culprit, and whether it is a common source of wetness? Are there other common culprits in this general area that i should instead be looking at? It's a little too wet in this area to readily determine a source since everything looks wet (and it all of course collects int he bottom).

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Old 12-14-2012, 05:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The sensor you mention is also a coolant temp sensor. I think it's used by the temp gauge.

Post pics of the leak
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The sensor you mention is also a coolant temp sensor. I think it's used by the temp gauge.

Post pics of the leak
OK -- so below are a couple pics of the messy area. The wetness is not very localized and it's generally messy around the area of the inlet port for the front left cylinder. You can also see what looks like a splatter pattern where wetness has blown over the horn on the water pump.

The first pic is of the area with the most mess and the second pic is just a larger view of the region. The third picture is of the plenum port that mates with the inlet for the cylinder where the mess is.

So the following is my working theory at the moment: I have been running with sustained periods of boost and I have been getting a bit of oil in the intake from the valve cover breather (in fact I also have wetness running down the side from the air filter that I'm cleaning up). I suspect the plenum has not sealed properly with the gasket around the inlet for the front left cylinder and the gasket is wet and dirty all through that area, and the plenum port for that area also has wetness as shown in the last picture. I suspect the wetness is actually blowing out from the plenum rather for some reason seeping inward from somewhere nearby. That might explain the expanse of the mess, the splatter pattern, and the difficulty in finding a specific area where it might be weeping from.

If others have better ideas, I'm all ears. I'll be getting comfy with a toothbrush and degreaser to clean all this mess up and make it all pretty again.

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Old 12-16-2012, 08:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Check the sealing surfaces of the plenum and the head for flatness. Replace the gaskets. Were the bolts holding the plenum tight when you removed them or were any loose? Smoke test the plenum after reassembly. Be sure to properly torque the plenum. Be careful when replacing the plenum to not catch or pinch any wiring. I had EGR problems after pinching and damaging the wires. Sometimes what looks like oily wetness is the remains of a coolant leak. Pressure test the cooling system. Are you ever topping off the cooling system? Examine the plenum for cracks.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:13 AM   #16 (permalink)
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OK, I'll bite. Why do you own British cars then?
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Is your plennum black?

There isn't anything normally under oil pressure under the plannum that would cause oil to spray. Oil seepage could happen from the valve cover, crankcase breather cover (part coils bolt onto), crankcase breather to valve cover hose, and valve covers.

You mentioned wetness running down the side from the air filter. This is not good sign. Oil in the air boxes is a sign of excessive crankcase pressure. In a V8 Esprit, most common cause is piston/ring damage.

Before cleaning anything, I'd do a compression/leakdown test. I suspect you'd find something on the side of the oily airbox.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:48 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Is your plennum black?

There isn't anything normally under oil pressure under the plannum that would cause oil to spray. Oil seepage could happen from the valve cover, crankcase breather cover (part coils bolt onto), crankcase breather to valve cover hose, and valve covers.

You mentioned wetness running down the side from the air filter. This is not good sign. Oil in the air boxes is a sign of excessive crankcase pressure. In a V8 Esprit, most common cause is piston/ring damage.

Before cleaning anything, I'd do a compression/leakdown test. I suspect you'd find something on the side of the oily airbox.
My plenum is indeed black, so hope that didn't throw folks off.

I've gotten things cleaned up a bit since my last post and it's still not clear where the dampness is coming from, so I'm assuming it's coming from everywhere possible and checking and tightening all the bits in the area. Some fasteners did not impress me with being torqued to spec and the hose clamps for the crankcase breather to valve cover hose were outright loose.

I checked my compression a little while back and it all looked dead on, but I'll check again as part of the pre-season routine (want to take a look at the plugs and such anyway). The amount of wetness in the air filter box is not much, but a little oil goes a really long way to make a tremendous mess.

Thanks for the thoughts and ideas. I think I'll have the under-plenum dampness cleaned up and sealed up after I finish re-torqueing everything to spec and reassembling it all. Will keep the team posted on whether my issue persists and what I discover about it.

Knut
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