Oil Leak: Rear Main Seal - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


SOHC - 2.3L & 2.5L Lima Engines Discussions and Topics specific to the Lima 4 cylinder engines

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 06-05-2012
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 11
Oil Leak: Rear Main Seal

Hey all, I figured I would try out the forums to see if I can get some ideas on this problem. Ideas that don't involve spending tons of money too.

I have a leak in my rear main seal. It was spotted by a mechanic when I had him look it over before buying the vehicle. So, I knew what I was getting into, more or less. Not long after getting the truck my Dad (who has helped me with a lot of the work on this truck) put in synthetic oil--Amsoil 5W30. During the summer of 2011, the leak appeared to be going at 1 qt. every 500 miles. I tried some of the No Leak Engine Oil Treatment that Gold Eagle makes. No luck with that, although it might have slowed the leak some (to 600 or 700 miles per qt).

At the end of the summer, I put SeaFoam and Marvel Oil into the crankcase to try and clean it out, as well as start using Amsoil 20W/50. Come Christmas time, I changed the oil (to get all the gunk cleaned out by using the SeaFoam and Marvel) and put in all Amsoil 20W/50. Over a few months my oil appear to slow to around 800-1000 miles per qt.

Finally, just last month, I put in a treatment of the Bar's Rear Main Seal Repair. That was a bad decision, but I figured I would try it. Now, I am leaking at more like 1 qt every 400 or 450 miles. I can also see that a leak is coming through the oil pan seal on the passenger side. The exhaust pipe has a solid black coating on the inside (which may be normal), but I have heard that means you are burning oil.

Any recommendations? I called a couple places for quotes on replacing the oil pan seal and the rear main seal. One guy said he wouldn't do it all... claimed he was interested. Another place (Midas) said it would be a $600-$700 job. The dealership in town quoted the job as two jobs and came up with a figure of $1500-$1600. I really don't feel like paying more than a week's pay for this job, especially considering I am only working this job 12 weeks out of a year, and I am a full-time college student.

I know most of you will probably say the quick fix is no fix at all, or even worse. And, I have already seen that to be true to some extent, but surely there is something I can do without spending 100's. Or, maybe someone knows of a good shop (one that won't mess up the job--that's mostly what I am afraid of) around my area that can do these kind of things without totaling breaking your wallet.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-05-2012
djfllmn's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: York, PA
Posts: 5,796
i wouldnt trust midas to do anything to my truck...and youre gonna pay anywhere you go to get a rear main replaced...big job
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-07-2012
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 11
Yeah... I am afraid to let any mechanic touch it, especially at their prices. And, I know it's reasonable to expect replacing the rear main seal to be expensive. If I knew some place was going to do a really good job of it and for a good bit less than a grand, I would probably take it.

I blame an auto shop for messing this thing up in the first place. The previous owner had a new transmission and clutch put in not long before he sold it. The guys who did that job either were idiots for not replacing the rear main seal when they took the transmission off, or they were idiots and messed up the new seal.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-07-2012
rolsmojave3's Avatar
Level III Supporter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,852
I would find a local mechanic who does work on the side. Ask around, you might be surprised on what you find.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-07-2012
marc83's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tyler,TX
Posts: 407
Mines been out for years and because its so labor intensive I plan on replacing mine when my clutch goes out but as far as I know there is nothing to stop the leak.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-09-2012
97ranger xlt's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mass.
Posts: 459
here's a cheap experiment. drain out the synthetic and put in dino castrol 5w30 and see if the leak slows down...
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-09-2012
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 11
Is the dino Castrol 5W30 organic, or the synthetic stuff?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-09-2012
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 11
Never mind... I needed to be educated on that term "dino."

I really don't want to put an organic oil in there. I can't see any good qualities in an organic oil. Not only do they have much shorter drain cycles, they also gunk up the valve cover of your engine. That was the case in my brother's 3.0L Toyota Camry, although that engine also had a special problem with getting crudded up, I hear.

As I see it, Amsoil is the best oil there is, best on the engine that is. And, even if it's leaking out, it's still doing good for my engine.

Apparently, synthetic oils leak much more easily though? Why is that? Is it just a matter of viscosity?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-10-2012
97ranger xlt's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mass.
Posts: 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by kd0lhRanger View Post
Is the dino Castrol 5W30 organic, or the synthetic stuff?

dino is conventional oil ie non synthetic. your truck is 21 years old - definitely does not need synthetic. it survived plenty of years without it, why change now?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-11-2012
pcollins's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Walworth, NY
Posts: 493
Not to mention such thick oil. 20w-50 is way to thick. I know your trying to stop the leak but at the same time your starving the top end of oil during start up.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-11-2012
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 11
I'm starting to think that the whole oil leak is in the oil pan seal, not the rear main seal. Or, at least the oil leak I am observing is only in the oil pan seal. How can you tell the rear main seal is leaking?

What I can see is oil residue and drops around about 1/3 of the oil pan seal, including the back side up to the bell housing of the flywheel. But, if there was a rear main seal leak, couldn't I see oil residue on the flywheel? Wouldn't it get into the clutch area or the transmission? I understand the flywheel is on the inside, but I have had a look at a section of it when I had the starter motor off last year.

It just seems like the rear main seal is something entirely internal to the engine/transmission housing, so if it leaks past the rear main, it's gotta leak out the oil pan seal too, unless it gets into the transmission, in which case you would see it on the flywheel.

20W/50 is not that thick when you consider it's synthetic AND Amsoil synthetic on top of that. (It doesn't break down at high temps and it still runs at low temps.) I feel much safer putting 20W/50 Amsoil in there than I do about putting dino 5W/30 in it.

It's probably a safe bet that this engine never had synthetic oil before I got it. And, now, if it is the oil pan that is really doing the leaking, look where conventional oil has taken it.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-11-2012
rolsmojave3's Avatar
Level III Supporter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,852
20w50 is 20w50 weather it's synthetic (Amsoil really isn't any better then other syns) or normal.

The easiest thing you can do is get a UV oil dye kit. Put some dye in, let it run (don't drive, can smear oil/dye making it very difficult to figure out) then park it. Get out the light and start looking for the highest sign of the dye.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-12-2012
pcollins's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Walworth, NY
Posts: 493
If it is the oil pan gasket the oil is Not the cause of the leak. Sold my last ranger with nearly 200k miles on the clock and dry as a whistle all around the engine and I always used Quaker state 5w-20 conventional. Gaskets don't last forever though.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-12-2012
97ranger xlt's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mass.
Posts: 459
Quote:
Originally Posted by pcollins View Post
If it is the oil pan gasket the oil is Not the cause of the leak. Sold my last ranger with nearly 200k miles on the clock and dry as a whistle all around the engine and I always used Quaker state 5w-20 conventional. Gaskets don't last forever though.
x2 on the above. i really don't know why people put synthetic into a 21 year old engine that has only run diino its whole life. you're just begging for leaks....
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-12-2012
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 11
97ranger xlt, I see your point, as leaks in vehicles often only pop once you switch from conventional to synthetic.

However, there was a lot more to the choice than the leak. Synthetic oil doesn't break down like conventional oil. I wonder how many people's valve cover chambers and crankcases are crudded up with chunks of the stuff. I have seen, first hand, the bad results you can get from using conventional oil for a long time. In addition, the leaks that pop up after switching to synthetic can be brought on because the conventional oil leaves deposits that block the seal from getting lubricated. Given that I wanted to start fixing some of the problems this vehicle had when I bought it, I wanted to clean the inside too, not knowing, though, how bad it might be. (And, I've done more than just switch to synthetic.)

The result has been a truck that has performed quite well, besides various parts that were old going out and the bad spark plug job I did when I was replacing them. It has made an 850 mile trip between Iowa and Texas 4 times now, without breaking done. And this after the mechanic who initially looked at it before I bought the vehicle told me it wouldn't hold up to that. Mind you, before a good bit of work was done on it, but no engine overhaul.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-12-2012
buckgnarly's Avatar
Member
iTrader: (11)
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: West Topsham, VT
Posts: 1,709
20-50 weight and you are afraid to run non synthetic oil?.I don't run that heavy in my bike or diesel in the Summer!..... Hope you don't run that in the winter in that poor engine!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-12-2012
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 11
I run it in the summer up in Iowa and in the fall and spring down in Texas, and then briefly in the winter up in Iowa for Christmas break. Of course, this last winter was crazy warm. Maybe you'd have to see it to believe it, but the truck runs fine. Starts up great, even with all that heavy oil in there. The engine's never been extremely powerful, but I can and have put it through the paces, running it up to 4000+ rev's, where it literally roars.

I took another look underneath today and noticed the little slit in the bell housing, just after the engine. I could see the flywheel up in there, nice and clean, no oil stains to be seen. Took the rubber plug off the side of the clutch housing and no oil to be seen through that window also. I am pretty sure it's just the oil pan seal, and it opened up more after I added the Bar's Leak stuff.

I'm having a guy look at it on Saturday. He works at the Dodge dealership, but also does work on the side and has worked on Ford's before. He sounds fairly knowledgeable and experienced, and he charges about half the rate of a shop. I got some of that UV dye stuff coming and maybe I'll just pop that in the crankcase before he looks at it.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-26-2012
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 11
Update

Hey, just thought I'd throw a conclusion on here.

The guy I was talking about came by this Saturday and replaced my oil pan gasket. He also had a look toward where the rear main seal was and told me he really didn't think my rear main seal had an issue. Anyway, he put that new gasket in there, along with Gray RTV silicone (for sealing rear differential gaskets). 150 miles later... no problems, although more time will really tell if that's solved my oil leak problems.

And, for all of you who are so concerned about the oil I put in my truck, I put 5W/30 in after the oil pan job. You can bet it's nothing other than Amsoil. I am almost beside myself, though, that I got duped into putting partial synthetic in. Oh well. That will be rectified with the next oil change.

Hey, rolsmojave3, your suggestion was a good one. I had heard about this mechanic (Spencer Eubanks) before you made the suggestion, but you made me want to try out the idea even more. This guy's great (what I've seen so far). Charges for about half the hours of the standard job length, and at about half the rate. And, he comes right to where you are... well, if you live in Cedar Rapids.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-26-2012
rolsmojave3's Avatar
Level III Supporter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,852
Sweet. I was actually looking at a truck in Cedar Rapids on craigslist!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rear main seal leak...Need some help! cchsbuzz19 Drivetrain Tech 17 05-08-2012 08:25 AM
rear main seal pwrranger88 4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech 4 10-13-2009 03:20 PM
Leaking oil, possible rear main seal? FireRanger 4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech 9 08-17-2009 11:50 AM
help with leaky rear main seal cajunman50 SOHC - 2.3L & 2.5L Lima Engines 2 04-20-2008 10:13 PM
rear main seal still leaks :-( stockranger 4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech 8 05-26-2007 04:59 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:10 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.