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Still undecided on oil leak


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I have had a leaky oil pan gasket since buying my truck in 2014. It has basically leaked the exact same amount every oil change and has not gotten worse. Trying to decide when to take the time to fix. I know it’s not going to go away but need to have some encouragement because I have put it off and put it off because I don’t like horsing around with heavy engines and such! 

I do have a lazy streak! Lol.

 

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Well,

Probably 3-4 quarts every 5k miles. Here is how I've confirmed this.

I have been changing oil every 5k miles since I bought the truck. I've put 30k miles on this truck so 6 oil changes have been 3gallons in, 2 to 2-1/4 gallons out. Every oil change is exactly the same.  The crazy part of it is that the dipstick reads about 1/2" over the safe mark every oil change. I don't know if it has the wrong dipstick or not. I know the 98's had a tsb about wrong dipstick from factory but I didn't think that applies to the 02's. It might change about 1/4" on dipstick between oil changes and honestly I don't see much oil on my driveway either. 

No blowby with 115k miles so I am having a hard time believing that 3-4 quarts gets out of the oil pan without soaking down the rest of the underside of the truck or puddling up in the driveway. 

I have also re-torqued the oil pan two oil changes ago and it seemed to not help. It cut down a few small leaks in front of pan but rear of pan is still leaking in what seems like about the same rate based on what get's drained. 

 

Probably way more information than you really wanted here but this has been my observations over 4 years and I'm getting to a point with this truck that it's something I need to get it fixed. 

 

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I'm in the same boat, but only loose about a quart every 3 to 4k miles, but its messy under there. 

You either drop the tranny, or you can lift the motor slightly, but take the shroud off the radiator, maybe even the whole radiator needs to come out or the fan hits it. I want to do it. But it's a process.

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On 3/30/2018 at 6:30 AM, woodtrucker said:

The crazy part of it is that the dipstick reads about 1/2" over the safe mark every oil change.

 

You not allowing enough time to drain. 

 

On my truck typically I set up to do oil changes on the weekend. So at the end of the first day at home I pull the plug and filter. Then go to bed. Get up the next morning its had all night to drain all the old oil out all night long. Then reinstall the oil filter and plug and refill with 11 quarts its right on the full mark. Doing this way you will notice the oil is just lightly tinted black being there is so little old oil left. 

 

If I a do it Jiffy Lube style and then refill I'm the same way about 1/2" over the full mark every time because there was that extra quart of old oil still in the engine. You will also notice the oil turns black instantly on first start.

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My 01 and 02 take 11 qts. to fill. Always change my own oil and always fill the filter too.

 

About the pan leaks; There has been 3 occasions my pans on both trucks started leaking. Even the one I bought with 200k miles (had a mess under there) stopped leaking by just re ..torquing the pan bolts. just don't go over factory specs on the amount of torque and you should be good to go.

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The way I read your posts you assume the amount of oil being lost due to the amount drained at the change. That tells me you are running 3-4 qts low at the end... keep putting this off and it's not an oil pan gasket you'll be fixing, it will be a motor rebuild. With only 2 gallons of oil in the motor the first thing you'll likely do is damage the wrist pin bushings from excessive heat. That will cause piston slop and you'll score the cylinder walls. 

 

3-4 quarts of leaking oil is a LOT of oil. Do you have a HUGE mess on the bottom of the motor?

 

How are you pre-filling the oil filter?

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Well I thought everybody put 3 gallons in. So I guess I'll scale back to 11 quarts and that should put me much closer to being right on the dipstick. 

The leak is what I can't really figure out. I always fill the filter before putting it on and no the engine isn't a big mess on bottom nor do I have a lot of oil laying in the driveway. In fact, my pontiac gxp lays down a bunch more oil than my truck ever does in the driveway. 

 

The only place that seems to be wet is right around the back 1/4" of the perimeter of the oil pan about 1" up the bell housing alhtough it runs down the bottom of bell housing and drips off the bottom of bh. Everytime I get under it I do see droplets on several of the pan screws and the bottom of bell housing. I also usually see a drop off the small pvc that I routed straight down from the crank case breather. I didn't do the hose mod to back of engine. I just connect up a couple pcs of pvc and run it straight down the front of the engine and it drops right out. Still gets a little film on steering stabilizer but not much. 

no blow by

no blue or white smoke ever

 

I don't know if it's rear main seal. I would think oil would be half way up bell housing if so and I only see oil like I said, around where the oil pan sits and a little above the pan height but not much higher. 

 

Honestly it looks a little better under the engine as far as leaks after I re-torqued the pan bolts and resealed the power steering pump/vac pump. It seem to improve consumption a little but still too much. 

 

 

 

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How are you prefilling your filter? Virgin oil is dirtier than you think and it's generally not recommended to prefill a filter, unless you take your time for it to soak outside in. If you're filling the center you're pushing dirty oil thru your motor and it can cause excessive wear. 

 

It takes a lot of burning oil to see it in the exhaust, more than 1qt per 1K miles. 

 

 

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How does the tappet cover gasket look? Anything coming from the driver side of the block? It's a common leak point if it's still OE. They get brittle with age. 

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On 4/7/2018 at 7:58 AM, Tom Robarts said:

When you account for the oil removed, do you drain the filter too?  The filter would hold a quart of used oil.

Are you topping up... adding oil between changes?

 

Not topping between changes. And I may not have actually included the filter. oops. But if filter uses a quart that's still roughly quart and half to 2 quarts leaked. I will pay more attention next change and let it drain longer. Probably will redo oil pan gasket at that time anyway so it will need to drain well anyway. That should solve the problem. I don't see any oil anywhere else except an occasional drip from the evap line. 

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1 hour ago, woodtrucker said:

Not topping between changes. And I may not have actually included the filter. oops. But if filter uses a quart that's still roughly quart and half to 2 quarts leaked. I will pay more attention next change and let it drain longer. Probably will redo oil pan gasket at that time anyway so it will need to drain well anyway. That should solve the problem. I don't see any oil anywhere else except an occasional drip from the evap line. 

A couple quarts of oil leaked would be very noticeable, not just a wet spot on the pan. 

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