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Old 10-12-2010, 11:27 PM   #1
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What part is oil leaking from?

Hi my 97 TJ is leaking oil from the part across from the drain plug. The pics show about two weeks worth. I want to learn how to do my own repairs through manuals and online info. Is this a serious or common problem and is it a difficult task for a newbie? I'm not sure where to start.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:40 PM   #2
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That's a rear main seal leak which is very common with the 4.0 motor, and not considered a serious problem. For 2 weeks worth, that isn't much oil, I would just keep an eye on your oil level. If it gets worse think about fixing it.

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Old 10-13-2010, 04:42 AM   #3
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Thanks Pokey! I just purchased the 97 Wrangler Manual you suggested.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuJu97 View Post
Hi my 97 TJ is leaking oil from the part across from the drain plug. The pics show about two weeks worth. I want to learn how to do my own repairs through manuals and online info. Is this a serious or common problem and is it a difficult task for a newbie? I'm not sure where to start.
Rear seal leak is common as already said. Fairly expensive to fix, about 5 hours of labor, I believe, for Jeeps with a manual transmission. Had mine replaced under warranty. I notice it is leaking very slightly again.
Worse when you park up hill, as I do, (oil against seal while parked) or overfill the crankcase with oil, which I don't.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:52 AM   #5
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I don't have a FSM, but use various sources of information for doing repairs.
My sources:
- this site
- mechanic friends
- other vehicle sites
- my Owner Manual
- Haynes Manual
- Chilton Online (available on my computer using a library card # from a local library) Check your local library for this type of FREE service.
- Auto Repair Reference Center (ARRC) which can be accessed per this Thread.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:02 PM   #6
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Just purchased a 97 TJ for my son with the 4.0 automatic. Oil leak looks identical to the submitted pic by JuJu97. Any idea how expensive to have the local mechanic fix? The leak is not bad, again looks like the pic above. Only have had the jeep about a week and the check engine light just now came on. Any and all input is appreciated. Thanx!
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:29 PM   #7
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I haven't gotten around to doing mine yet since it's not activelly dripping or leaving a spot, but Daily Driven TJ has a write up on replacing the rear main seal:

[Repair] Rear Main Seal Replacement
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:21 PM   #8
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I'm gonna go ahead and beat the dead horse here...rear main seal leak. I have the same leak goin on right now. But i dont wanna tackle this problem yet and havent had time to go to a friends place back in the quad cities (2.5 hrs from here) to have him do it...so i put some mobil synthetic 5w30 in there and it almost stopped the leak for the time being.

Definitely not a fix...just a temporary thing til i get it done
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:36 PM   #9
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My DJ's had a rear main leak for 7 years... it's over 400K and if I pull it I'm gonna replace it. Not worth the trouble for a slow leak at all. just get an oil change pan to toss under there when you park
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:40 PM   #10
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its not a jeep if it doesnt leak
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwrangler View Post
its not a jeep if it doesnt leak
You have it all wrong.

Jeeps don't leak, they just mark their territory.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:23 AM   #12
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I had some oil around that area and wiped it clean....since I put in Royal Purple about 2k miles ago, its still clean in that area(minus the mud).
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:26 AM   #13
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I have been a mechanic for 30+ years and I just replaced the oil pump in my 03, as a newbie unless you have a friend make that a good friend who is a mechanic I would not attempt this. It sounds so simple but it is infact its kind of involved you have to drop the exhaust the starter the skid plate (to get to the muffler bolts you may need to jack the engine slightly you will need quite a few tools and if you don't clean and I mean really clean the gasket surfaces for the seal and the oil pan gasket you may have a worse leak when you are done. I am with the rest of the crowd the leak is not bad let it go, just watch the oil level if its marking the driveway slide a piece of plywood cardboard or carpet under it. Good Luck.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:30 AM   #14
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There are lots of writeups online to do the job, and its not that difficult if you can read and follow directions, most with detailed pictures. That said, I do agree to not really worry about the leak if it is that small. Both my TJs leak at the rear main. You do have to remove the starter (good practice for when you have to replace yours) You have to drop the skid (6 bolts, takes 5 minutes) Remove oil pan (other than a ton of bolts, not difficult) Replace a gasket (oil pan) (you need to know how to do this anyway) I have replaced 3 exhaust manifolds and have never had to "jack" my engine to remove exhaust bolts. This is a job that you have to be pretty careful and precise with removal and installation of the new main seal, but as long as you take your time it can be done for 50-60 dollars versus 500.00 at a shop. You said you want to learn, research write ups and make sure you have the tools and time and do the job.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:39 AM   #15
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Looks as if the consensus is that it's not a major issue and unless its leaking badly, just put a pan/cardboard underneath. My concern is that the check engine light came on last night when we were driving it around town. I checked the oil level this morning and the drips are not bad. Is the check engine light normal when this happens? has this happened to anyone else's with the 4.0? Again.. this is for my H.S. son and want to ensure the vehicle is safe for daily commuting. Thanks for the input as always!
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:51 AM   #16
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Have Autozone or whoever run the code on the light. Is your level and oil pressure ok? The rear main leaking will not in and of itself cause the light to come on.

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