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So it's been two whole weeks since I've had to fix my 2004 Wrangler Rubicon. Way overdue! Which would be why I'm suddenly seeing oil spots in the garage. Here we go again! So I crawled under the Jeep and pretty much determined the leak is the rear main oil seal.

So I did what we all do and went to the source of all wisdom and knowledge... YouTube. The videos I watched made it look pretty do-able by someone not scared to get his hands dirty. But I've never tackled the rear main oil seal before.

So for anyone whose done it... are the YouTube videos accurate? Is it fairly simple? Especially Wrangler TJ owners... can you get the oil pan out without taking off the exhaust. That part TERRIFIES me! There's no way I'm getting that off and back on without complications.

Or is it actually worth $500 to have a mechanic do it? From what I've read, that's $50 in parts, $450 in labor. It kills me to pay that much if it's labor I can do myself.
 

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Better to just let the jeep mark it’s spot unless loosing sig amount of oil


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If everyone could do it, they wouldn't be charging $450 in labor. I am in agreement with Digger84. Mine gets to mark it's spot after a long drive. So, I keep a large piece of corrugated box under the center (on top of a rubber mat). Keep in mind that a single drop of oil on the floor can spread out to several inches. If it is seepage it's more of an aggravation than a real issue. If you can tell the difference on the dip stick in between oil changes, then it is time.
 

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I did two in one day many years ago when I had a garage and was a helping out friends. The first one was the learning one as I had never done a 4.0 rear main before. It took me about 2 hours having purchased ALL the parts and tools prior to starting. After the first one was done, the 2nd one took about 30-45 minutes because I was familiar with the process. They aren't hard, but I would advise watching at least 5 different U-Tube vid's first and purchase the complete rear main seal gasket that includes the pan gasket also. There is a small tool that pushes the top half of the seal (IF you have a 2 piece seal) out of the block and allows the new one to be rotated back into the slot. BUT, watch several videos first to become familiar with the job and with any surprised that MIGHT pop up. You will be very glad you did.
 

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No you can't drop the pan without dropping the exhaust mid pipe and you also have to pull the starter which is no big deal. What concerns you about dropping the exhaust? The fasteners rusted pretty good? The nuts on the muffler studs are usually the most corroded on any Jeep. Take a look at those and weigh your options. On an 04 you would be pulling the 4 bolts at the manifold flanges and the 2 Muffler nuts. At that point, the mid pipe is only held up by the hanger on the transmission. Usually you can just let it swing around on the hanger and move it when needed. Some folks have trouble punching out the upper seal half. You would only have trouble there if you didn't have the proper tools, which are a 7/32 Pin Punch & a hammer. I think it's smart to do it yourself. With the pan off, you have a great opportunity to inspect the bottom end of your motor. Like checking the timing chain, loose fasteners, oil pump pickup, bearing wear & thrust.
 

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Try this first, it cured my BMW's bad rear main seal leak which suddenly started leaving a big mess on the garage floor.

I bought it used and continued using the Castrol synthetic oil on its oil cap against my feelings about synthetic engine oils. Especially since they're known for being more prone to causing RMS leaks.

My local German auto shop quoted a four-figure amount to fix it. 🙄

After a lot of research I changed the oil to Mobil Super 10W-30 which is a high mileage conventional oil with extra seal conditioners. The leak completely stopped within 4-5 days. Totally. It's been two years since that and no leaks and the engine's still running great.
 

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Mattaeus isn't the first I've seen post that the starter has to be removed but I've never had to touch the starter the few times I've had my oil pan off. I use 1/4" drive sockets and an extension with my ratchet and can get to all the bolts/studs easily.
 

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I purchased a roll of this. PIG oil mat It is perforated so I pull off a section and place on the garage floor where my Jeep leaves it's mark. The mat is heavey enough it will stay in place. Then after a period of time depending on how much your Jeep marks just replace with another section of mat.
 

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The TJs tend to have the rear main seal leaking eventually. Not really a huge concern unless it becomes a heavy leak. Best to fix, but the job to fix it yourself isn't super difficult, but not very fun.
 

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Switching to a different type of engine oil to cure the RMS leak as described in post #6 above must be unthinkable for some lol.
 

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Mine leaks less with Castrol vs Mobil 1. Every Jeep is different;)

I did my valve cover gasket last year and it helped a bit, but the RMS was getting worse.
I finally did mine over the course of a couple evenings.

First was removal, 1 exhaust bolt had to be cut off. Then no problem.

Felpro gasket and seal.

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Mine leaks less with Castrol vs Mobil 1.
Mobil 1 is a synthetic which tends to leak more. The above Mobil Supreme recommendation is a conventional engine oil which has additional seal reconditioning additives. I wouldn't run Mobil 1 either if there was a RMS leak.
 
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