[V8] the endless, ongoing saga of my (oil) leaking V8....and update

Roger M. Woodbury rmwoodbury at downeast.net
Thu Mar 11 11:00:21 EST 2004

Well, I had yet another visitation with my V8 yesterday late in the
afternoon.  The news appears to be good.  Better than good, actually.

For those of you who have suffered through this endless agony of the search
for a simple oil leak, that has turned into a major subsystem and timing
belt overhaul, I can cheerfully report that the end may be in sight, and the
light at the end of the tunnel might actually NOT be a locomotive.

After getting every thing back together, and finding still, that the oil was
leaking from somewhere in the front of the right side cylinder head, the
only remaining test that could be done, was to run the engine up to full oil
pressure, and watch for a leak using a dye that would show, ultimately where
the leak was coming from.  The fear was that the cylinder head had a rough
place in the casting that had finally let go, OR that the head had been off
at some point prior to my owning the car, and the head had been reinstalled
without properly cleaning out the stud holes creating a hydrolock that had
cracked the block over time and mileage.

Neither of those terrible (terminal) things appear to be the situation.  The
oil is still leaking, but appears to be coming from a different place than

So, it seems that the original oil leak had come from a head gasket that had
given up...we could see a place where the seal on the head gasket seemed to
be very thin and weak, perhaps from manufacture of the gasket.

And this new, lesser leak?  Well, what the wrench was going to do, was to
button it all up, without the front camshaft timing belt covers in place,
and run the engine again.  He (we) suspect that the newly installed right
side camshaft seal is defective, OR perhaps was improperly installed.  It
seems that the leak may be from that point, because when the wrench took off
the front cover there was some oil inside, as well as leaking around the
back of the cover.  Everything else....head, block, etc, was bone dry.

Right now, I am optimistic.  I may have my car back, complete with new Euros
soon....and since the engine will be to all intents and purposes, completely
resealed, with new hydraulic pump, new waterpump, new timing belt and a
partridge in a pear tree...all NEW, NEW, NEW....what a fine, sweet running
car she will be!


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