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Thread: Lower Oil Leak

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    W/S, NC

    Lower Oil Leak

    Hey guys,

    Looking for advice on a leak. Seeing if my train of thought sounds right.

    Just picked this car up. PO did VCG but doesn't look like he RTV'd where he should have and it's already seeping. I plan on doing that and Vanos rebuild real soon. I've done CCV, Vanos line, and Viton OFHG so far in regards to common leaks, among other things. Cleaned everything up real well. Degreased engine, dropped skid plates and cleaned off a couple pounds of accumulated sludge and got it all looking fresh. There is currently no oil leaking down the sides of the block.

    While the car was on ramps for about a week as I casually did the OFHG and CCV, I had drained the oil. I noticed it would still leak about a quarter to half dollar size drop of every few days. Most of it looked to be from the area around the bell housing and rear of oil pan. I saw drops of oil accumulated on some oil pan bolts just forward of the bell housing as well as those you access thru the bell housing. So I'm thinking oil pan or RMS.

    After cleaning everything and driving the car, it's still leaking. I can already see fresh oil seeping from the passenger side of the oil pan where it meets the block, and fresh oil leaking again in the area where the bell housing meets the block. This is dripping onto the skid plate and making a mess again.

    I'm leaning towards the oil pan being my main leak but I wouldn't put it past the RMS to be leaking too. I'm assuming it's the pan since it was still leaking steady after I had drained the pan but it was up on ramps. I would think with the car not running, on ramps up front, and the oil drained, the RMS would be too high up to leak. Therefore the leak would have to be back of the pan where the little bit of oil that didn't drain would sit and drip out.

    The only place I haven't inspected yet is the rear of the head, but, even if it was VCG which I haven't done yet, it wouldn't actively be leaking like it was when the oil was drained and car was on ramps.

    Also, PO also said he ran Mobil 5w30 High Mileage with 5k change intervals. I've switched to Mobil 0w40. Figured I'd throw that in.

    What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Madison, Alabama
    What is the highest area?

    Both leaks are a Pain. I dread the day I have to do my first one
    Family that races together stays together
    2005 330Ci 6MT SGM (x2)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Tampa, FL
    VCG gaskets can make a mess and look like a lot of things. Do the VCG first, since they're easy and see if some of the rear engine leak goes away. VCG on my dad's E46 M3 has made a royal mess of everything. I would not have thought it could make such a mess.
    '04 330i ZHP sedan | Mystic blue | Alcantara | 6MT | 109k
    '98 740il | Schwartz 2 | Sandbeige | 237k | m-pars | lowered on Bilsteins w/ B&G springs | nav | bluetooth | aux | sirius | TV module w/ rev cam | V1 w/ Stealthone | PDC | shades | CWP | folding mirrors
    '00 540i sport | Titanium silver | Black | 120k | nav | bluetooth | TV module w/ rev cam | aux | sirius
    '85 Mustang GT convertible | Medium charcoal metallic | Gray | 5MT | 215k | one owner, all original

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    W/S, NC
    Thanks for the replies guys. VCG, Vanos and Anti-rattle done and most definitely verified it's the oil pan at the low side, from front to back. Worse at the back.

  5. #5
    I was gonna say, sounds like oil pan gasket!

    That is a fun one to fix. I did mine on jack stands which is doable. Just make sure your not directly under the front subframe when you lower it lol

    When I got my ZHP, PO did valve cover, but I had a leak at the filter housing and on the pan. There are some pictures in my build thread showing what the oil leak looked like. Mine was worst on the passenger side at the rear.

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