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Old 07-05-2018, 01:53 AM
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New YJ Owner with a question

Picked up my 87 Wrangler Laredo YJ today. Has the 4.2 I6 with auto transmission, 133,000 miles, and is unmolested. I mean completely unmolested, with the exception of 30s mounted up. Like it just came out of a time capsule. Everything works, right down to the analog clock in the dash. Even has the Owners manual in the glove box. Not a single area of rust. Did all the recommended checks before purchasing and found nothing to cause concern.

I understand that I have a 31 year old vehicle, and I have never seen a 31 year old vehicle without some sort of fluid leak. This one is no exception. For the most part the underside is clean, but I noticed today when I got it home that it was leaking some oil from somewhere on the engine. Not a great deal of oil, and not a heavy leak, but we all know how oil on the ground looks like a lot because it spreads out.

I am going to crawl under it tomorrow and determine where it is coming from, and if I can't see it then I will take it to the Jeep dealer and let them find it for me.

How many of you have YJ's with small oil leaks, or would it be easier to ask how many of you do not have any oil leaks?

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Old 07-05-2018, 06:38 AM   #2
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It's the rear main seal.
Pretty common for every heep.
It's an overall easy job to do but it won't last for a long time. Mine started dripping again after several months.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZombiePopper View Post
It's the rear main seal.
Pretty common for every heep.
It's an overall easy job to do but it won't last for a long time. Mine started dripping again after several months.
Makes sense, it drips down from the area just forward of the bell housing and drips onto the exhaust, not the manifold, but at the first rearward bend of the exhaust at it heads to the rear of the Jeep. Not enough of a drip to get any burnt oil smell or to even smoke, just enough to mess up my new driveway. Back to the Harley days of keeping a drip pan under it.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:54 AM
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Another thing that I noticed is that the oil pressure gauge fluctuates based on engine RPM. Never noticed that on any other vehicle I have owned, but it has been a long time since I have had an old vehicle that is more mechanical than electronic. Freaked me out on the way home from picking up the YJ because I knew about the oil leak. But on retrospect I imagine that is just the normal operation of the oil pressure gauge.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:58 AM   #5
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I have a small leak at the RMS as well. So, yes, it is common.


I'm waiting to fix mine because I'm going to do a WHOLE bunch of other stuff while I have the oil pan off and the RMS is just one of those things.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:36 AM   #6
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Yeah the oil pressure will fluctuate with the rpm's on pretty much any vehicle.
But as long as it doesn't drop real low you're fine.
As @Camper_Bob mentioned,
When you do the RMS it's a good time to sleeve the balancer, replace oil pump, replace timing chain, replace water pump, replace timing cover, replace oil pan & other gaskets, etc while you're there since you have it all tore apart anyway. Doesn't make sense to tear it apart multiple times.
So it's a good time to start saving up cash & parts to do it all at one time.
Nice jeep btw I've always had a soft spot for the Laredos. And it seems like you got a great one to boot.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:07 PM   #7
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Yeah the oil pressure will fluctuate with the rpm's on pretty much any vehicle.
But as long as it doesn't drop real low you're fine.
As @Camper_Bob mentioned,
When you do the RMS it's a good time to sleeve the balancer, replace oil pump, replace timing chain, replace water pump, replace timing cover, replace oil pan & other gaskets, etc while you're there since you have it all tore apart anyway. Doesn't make sense to tear it apart multiple times.
So it's a good time to start saving up cash & parts to do it all at one time.
Nice jeep btw I've always had a soft spot for the Laredos. And it seems like you got a great one to boot.



That's pretty much my list! LOL!
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Old 07-11-2018, 10:32 PM   #8
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Another common place to leak is at the rear of the valve cover.
I'd replace the VC gasket before tearing into the oil pan/RMS and timing cover.
Get the blue Fel-Pro VC gasket. Once you have your new VC gasket in place, head to the quarter car wash and clean up the oily areas so that you can see exactly where any leakage is coming from.
If you end up doing the RMS, search this forum for the 'shop kinks' to make the job easier and more chance of success. Just enter RMS in the search box.
Again, a blue Fel-Pro pan gasket.

I guess it's as good a time as any to do the timing chain and sleeve the vibration dampener while you have the pan off. I wouldn't bother with the water pump unless you're having cooling issues.

Let us know what ends up working for you.

The only Harley I ever owned that leaked was a rigid tin primary panhead. All the rest I bought new (except one I built from a pile of spare parts and titled as a 1998 homemade) and they were all meticulously maintained. My last Road King had over 105K miles on it when I sold it.
All that said, I can't stop this doggone YJ from peeing oil onto my garage floor.
No drip pan, but a new piece of cardboard every couple weeks.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:25 AM   #9
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Mine was leaking toward the rear of the motor in the same area as yours when I got it, I was told it was RMS but when I went to install it found that it was the oil pan gasket and since I had the RMS already bought I went ahead and installed it. It's not a bad job but when you remove the rear main bearing block check to see how much wear is on the bearing. I ended up putting a set of mains plus rod bearings in since I was there. I also replaced the front seal and crank pulling, it's been a year and I park it on concrete every day without leaks.

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