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Old 05-31-2011, 01:29 PM   #1
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oil leaks, I need some opinions please

Hi guys,

I know that everyone is going to say "use the search function! there's plenty of oil leak related threads." so I just want to clarify that I have read everything I can, and now I just want to run it all by you to see if I am overly paranoid or if i can relax about the leaks. My TJ is a 98 4.0 manual with 105,000 miles on it. My question is, do I need to worry about the leaks listed below or are these "normal"?

1. the rear main seal - I know this one is normal. I am getting enough of a leak to see seepage all around the seal and oil is running onto the trans but it isn't enough to make a drip on the ground yet... How hard is it to replace the rear seal? Can I drop the oil pan and replace the lower half of the seal, or is it a one piece which requires more work?

2. head gasket - my block is "damp" on the passenger side right at the head/block seam, and the dampness runs the entire length of the block. Everything I've read suggests that this is semi-normal. Some guys say to leave it alone, others say to pull the valve cover and valve-train and re-tighten the head bolts. I'm also wondering if part of the leak could be from the front of the motor, near the water pump/thermostat housing area, and oil is just running backwards on the block.

3. oil drip around the water pump/timing chain cover - I just noticed yesterday that there is a small oil trail running down the front of the block and onto my oil pan which looks like it is coming from the water pump/timing chain cover area. I haven't had time to really look at it, but does the timing chain gasket usually leak?

Given all of the leaks I listed, I never see a drip under the Jeep and my oil level usually is about 1/4 quart low by the time I change the oil every 5,000 miles. Also, I am running synthetic 10w/30 which I have been using since I bought the Jeep when it had 70,000 miles on it. I can't stand oil leaks, so should I be proactive and try to fix these or are they something to just live with unless they get worse? thanks.

Dan

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Old 05-31-2011, 02:55 PM   #2
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Imo. Clean everywhere the best you can and check back to make sure where the leaks are coming from. As for fixing them. If you have the ability and tools to fix the head gasket that will be the one to cause future problems and the quickest. The rear main is quite an under taking and if you watch the levels u might just have to live with it.

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Old 05-31-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan188 View Post
Hi guys,

I know that everyone is going to say "use the search function! there's plenty of oil leak related threads." so I just want to clarify that I have read everything I can, and now I just want to run it all by you to see if I am overly paranoid or if i can relax about the leaks. My TJ is a 98 4.0 manual with 105,000 miles on it. My question is, do I need to worry about the leaks listed below or are these "normal"?

1. the rear main seal - I know this one is normal. I am getting enough of a leak to see seepage all around the seal and oil is running onto the trans but it isn't enough to make a drip on the ground yet... How hard is it to replace the rear seal? Can I drop the oil pan and replace the lower half of the seal, or is it a one piece which requires more work?

2. head gasket - my block is "damp" on the passenger side right at the head/block seam, and the dampness runs the entire length of the block. Everything I've read suggests that this is semi-normal. Some guys say to leave it alone, others say to pull the valve cover and valve-train and re-tighten the head bolts. I'm also wondering if part of the leak could be from the front of the motor, near the water pump/thermostat housing area, and oil is just running backwards on the block.

3. oil drip around the water pump/timing chain cover - I just noticed yesterday that there is a small oil trail running down the front of the block and onto my oil pan which looks like it is coming from the water pump/timing chain cover area. I haven't had time to really look at it, but does the timing chain gasket usually leak?

Given all of the leaks I listed, I never see a drip under the Jeep and my oil level usually is about 1/4 quart low by the time I change the oil every 5,000 miles. Also, I am running synthetic 10w/30 which I have been using since I bought the Jeep when it had 70,000 miles on it. I can't stand oil leaks, so should I be proactive and try to fix these or are they something to just live with unless they get worse? thanks.

Dan
1) you have to replace the whole seal it is one piece.

No experiance with the other two, but I would suggest getting a good engine degreaser and washing the whole engine down till it looks just about new, and then see where the oil is coming from. I've seen oil run in some wierd directions.
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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Regarding the RMS, if it is that slight I would wait until you have to get in that area to do something else, like replace a rusty oil pan or change your head pipe or run into a trans problem.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:48 PM   #5
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thanks for the info guys. I will go ahead and clean the engine to see where the leaks are starting. I read about UV dye that can be added to oil so that the leaks show up under a black light. I was thinking of doing that too.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:33 PM   #6
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Valve cover is common. Leaks all down the side of engine. Hard to tell until cleaned up.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:59 PM   #7
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Agree 100%. You need to start with a clean slate so to speak. Get all the old stuff off.
Then start watching for leaks.

Ours looked like it was leaking from everywhere when we bought it. I mean the engine, trans/trasfer case, shields, rear diff, were all soaked. Couple of hours and 3 gallons of Purple Peril degreaser later, found it had a horrendous valve cover leak.

Was running down the block on both sides, and then blowing back over everything.

Replaced the gasket and it's dry as a bone now.

If you have a pressure washer all the better, if not go to the car wash. Soak it down with degreaser, let it sit a bit, give it another soaking. Then fire up the spray wand and blow it all off. Just try and shield the distributor cap. Otherwise you may end up with a no start from moisture in the cap.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelby427
Agree 100%. You need to start with a clean slate so to speak. Get all the old stuff off.
Then start watching for leaks.

Ours looked like it was leaking from everywhere when we bought it. I mean the engine, trans/trasfer case, shields, rear diff, were all soaked. Couple of hours and 3 gallons of Purple Peril degreaser later, found it had a horrendous valve cover leak.

Was running down the block on both sides, and then blowing back over everything.

Replaced the gasket and it's dry as a bone now.

If you have a pressure washer all the better, if not go to the car wash. Soak it down with degreaser, let it sit a bit, give it another soaking. Then fire up the spray wand and blow it all off. Just try and shield the distributor cap. Otherwise you may end up with a no start from moisture in the cap.
Couldn't of said it better

Looks like I found something to do this week. I tried simple green, but it did not work all that well. The stuff you mentioned works good? Where can I buy?

Thanks
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjeeper10
Valve cover is common. Leaks all down the side of engine. Hard to tell until cleaned up.
Yeah that's where my current leak is... It gets all over everything else. At first I was thinking I had the dreaded main seal leak but I'm pretty sure that's not the case. We'll see once I get it degreaser and the gasket replaced.

-Wes
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KP Texan

Yeah that's where my current leak is... It gets all over everything else. At first I was thinking I had the dreaded main seal leak but I'm pretty sure that's not the case. We'll see once I get it degreaser and the gasket replaced.

-Wes
Same here, I was ready to write the main seal off. I had read somewhere like shelbys comment, on how their valve cover gasket was leaking really bad. The oil is everywhere. I have higher miles and do think I have some minor leaks elsewhere but the valve cover is most likely the culprit in most of my mess

I just drained and re sealed my front diff last weekend. That was leaking pretty bad also.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:16 AM   #11
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PP can be bought at Advance. It is some strong stuff, use it straight.


And it is a Jeep, they leak. They are ornery, obnoxious, cantankerous, PITA'S at times.
But they at least aren't Hummers.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:22 AM   #12
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And once you got it clean, go around all the bolts, gaskets compress over time, bolts will then be slightly loose. A little snug on em can go a long way.

And whoever the idiot is at Chrysler that came up with the idea of using a push in plug on a diff cover should be strung up. Had to be an accountant. "Oh look we'll save 10 cents in manufacturing by doing this"

That nincompoop should be forced to go to every jeep with one, remove the cover, weld in a proper bung, add the bolt, and clean up the mess on his own dime.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:13 AM   #13
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^^ rant alert
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelby427
PP can be bought at Advance. It is some strong stuff, use it straight.

And it is a Jeep, they leak. They are ornery, obnoxious, cantankerous, PITA'S at times.
But they at least aren't Hummers.
Will have to give it a shot
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:15 AM   #15
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And once you got it clean, go around all the bolts, gaskets compress over time, bolts will then be slightly loose. A little snug on em can go a long way.

And whoever the idiot is at Chrysler that came up with the idea of using a push in plug on a diff cover should be strung up. Had to be an accountant. "Oh look we'll save 10 cents in manufacturing by doing this"

That nincompoop should be forced to go to every jeep with one, remove the cover, weld in a proper bung, add the bolt, and clean up the mess on his own dime.
Yeah, that's what I was wondering: has anybody had success by simply snugging up on the valve cover bolts? As for the rubber plug in my Dana 35, mine has leaked slowly since I changed my oil out a month ago....I'd much rather have a normal threaded plug to throw some teflon tape on, but now I've got to either go to the dealer and get a new one or try to clean up the area and use some silicone on it when I put it back in.

-Wes
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Old 06-01-2011, 02:03 PM   #16
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Thanks for the comments guys. I will clean her up this weekend and see where the leaks are starting. As for the rubber plug in the D35, I guess you guys just weren't as lucky I was when I found my TJ with a D44! haha. Just kidding
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:10 PM   #17
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TAs for the rubber plug in the D35, I guess you guys just weren't as lucky I was when I found my TJ with a D44! haha. Just kidding
Oh, shut up!

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