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Thread: Chasing down oil leak

  1. #1

    Chasing down oil leak

    I just had my Ď03 ZHP sedan (140k miles) at a local Indy shop for unrelated issues and while it was there they raised concerns over a few leaks that they spotted. Now I was aware of a slow oil leak that left a few drops in my garage and required topping off my oil every ~1k miles. Iím also aware that I havenít cleaned the underside in way too long so a lot more than I see on the floor could have built up on various parts (shame on me). They are citing the oil pan gasket, crankshaft seal (front), and VANOS line as the culprits with a reference to a ďpossible OFHG leakĒ for which they recommend re-eval after the others are dealt with.

    Now this is a pretty well recommended shop, so Iím hesitant to second guess, but Occamís razor makes me think it would make more sense to start with the OFHG before diving into more expensive and labor intensive repairs like that pan gasket or crankshaft. I understand the filter housing gaskets are very likely leak sites - and have seen several accounts where the OFHG was leaking onto the oil pan and front of the block, which would explain all of the leaks they brought up with one source rather than 3+ leaks.

    Am I crazy? Would it be obvious that itís the other sources on their own, not runoff from the OFHG?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    4,245
    Depending on how dirty things are, it can be hard to pinpoint the leak. If you can go under there safely and inspect yourself once you've removed the underpan, then you can see for yourself.

    You are correct though that it might come from above (OFHG). If I remember right, when my OFHG started leaking, it came down to the floor. I guess that is how I knew.

    Not sure what a crankshaft seal leak would look like.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    5,825
    My mechanic replaced the Vanos oil line and OFHG on my ZHP at 144k miles. I noticed some oil spots on my driveway. Those 2 repairs were the fix. I paid $430 OTD but I believe the labor rate has gone up. It was $85 at that time, 3 hours billed.
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    150,000 miles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    17,157
    Yup, start easy and build up, or btr yet, find the source instead of them guessing. Btw, ofhg leak usually means the exhaust smokes grey smoke.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin TX
    Posts
    5,825
    Replacing the oil pan gasket requires to lower the subframe. It's a good idea to replace the engine mounts and steering coupling at the same time.
    2005 IR / black / 6MT
    150,000 miles

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by fredo View Post
    Replacing the oil pan gasket requires to lower the subframe. It's a good idea to replace the engine mounts and steering coupling at the same time.
    ^ ^

    I did this job and also installed an oil pan baffle while I had it out.

    It’s a bitch to do, but you bite the bullet and do it. If you have access to a lift, great. If not it sucks even more, but it’s doable.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Fried_Chicken View Post
    ^ ^

    I did this job and also installed an oil pan baffle while I had it out.

    Itís a bitch to do, but you bite the bullet and do it. If you have access to a lift, great. If not it sucks even more, but itís doable.
    Exactly why Iím stalling. I donít have the stuff lying around to make the oil pan job anything less than a huge pain in my ass;, and I had actually been thinking about a baffle after reading your thread but definitely donít have any welding gear (or talent). Thatís why Iím hoping itís worth doing the easier jobs now and putting off what will ultimately for me require outside help until Iím ready.

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