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  #1  
Old 08-07-2009, 12:24 AM
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Sporadic Massive Oil Leak (long)

Ok...so I took the new 116 for it's first road trip to Atlanta last weekend. The car has been running great since I've got it. It had a couple of semi-major oil leaks before the trip from the oil pan gasket and valve cover gasket, but I repaired those a couple of weeks beforehand and it had stopped all my dripping.

I had driven about 150 miles at an average speed of 70ish and I pulled over to a rest area. When I came back to the car, I noticed a HUGE oil puddle under the car coming out around where the tranny and engine meet. Of course I freaked out...checked the oil and it was about a quart low. I refilled and went on towards Atlanta stopping about every 30 or 40 miles to check things. It used another quart for the rest of the trip. So that's 2 quarts of oil for a 250 mile trip.

When I got to Atlanta, I climbed underneath and looked around..thinking my oil pan gasket had started leaking again..but...it looked like someone had just taken an oil sprayer and hosed down the side of the engine on the passenger side...all over the motor mount, engine shock, crossmember, all under the starter and the wastegate was sopping wet with oil. It was dirty before, but definately not this bad. The oil pan gasket was seeping a little, but not leaking profusely, same for the valve cover gasket. The drain tube for the turbo seemed relatively dry, and the 116 doesn't have the oil separator set up. There was some minor splotchy spray like patterns of oil on the valve cover gasket, and the only reason I noticed this is because I had just cleaned it a couple of weeks prior. I also noticed a thin film of oil all over the trunk lid and bumper.

Now the weird thing is that when I drove it around Atlanta the next day on city streets...it didn't leak at all. I probably drove for 50 or 60 miles, for several combined hours in stop and go traffic...made several stops in parking lots and it never leaked once..other than a drop or two.

On the trip back from Atlanta to Knoxville...it started puking again and I burned through about 1.5 quarts of oil.

The car ran great other than a couple of instances where I lost power on the interstate and had a little jerkiness...it did this a total of 3 or 4 times and never lasted more than a minute...i accredit this to a clogged fuel filter. I averaged 27MPG. My engine temp maintained between 80 and 100 except for a couple of times it went a little above 100 climbing hills. I had a pretty bad vibration past 70, but I think I have a wheel out of balance or a bad rim or something... I have minimal blow-by and my oil pressure stayed strong the entire trip.

So what could this be? Bad turbo seal? (the turbine feels tight and the car has plenty of power) I'm thinking oil is somehow spraying out of the back of the wastegate.....is this possible?

Please share anything....I'm at a loss.

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  #2  
Old 08-07-2009, 12:47 AM
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closely inspect your crankcase breathing system.

then the oil filter canister o-ring

Clean the bottom of the engine and the are where it meets the trans... remove the plastic cover on the bottom of the bell-housing. If your rear main seal is leaking, it will show up in there.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:49 AM
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some might suggest oil cooler lines... meh

edit: I don't think would be the case considering where you are finding oil
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Last edited by jt20; 08-07-2009 at 01:00 AM. Reason: thought
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sknaffl View Post

Now the weird thing is that when I drove it around Atlanta the next day on city streets...it didn't leak at all. I probably drove for 50 or 60 miles, for several combined hours in stop and go traffic...made several stops in parking lots and it never leaked once..other than a drop or two.

driving in the city is not as demanding as the highway. Blowby build-up in the case would not be as great.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:01 AM
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the wastegate hose can spew oil... its usually broken and not visible.

edit: but not quarts at a time!!
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Last edited by jt20; 08-07-2009 at 01:06 AM. Reason: clarity
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2009, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jt20 View Post
closely inspect your crankcase breathing system.

then the oil filter canister o-ring

Clean the bottom of the engine and the are where it meets the trans... remove the plastic cover on the bottom of the bell-housing. If your rear main seal is leaking, it will show up in there.
Wouldn't my rear main seal leak all the time?

Also...I checked my blowby when I pulled off the interstate on the ride back...after about 75 miles....and it was about normal...the cap danced a little but by no means was it anything out of the ordinary.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:39 PM
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If your 80 is like my 79, the PCV vents into the air filter to turbo U tube. I'd check to make sure that the constant high rpm's of highway driving is not pushing oil past the valve cover baffle into that U-tube and it's leaking out somewhere on to the passenger side of the engine.
I'd clean off the passenger side of the engine at the car wash, go for a highway drive of 10 miles or so and then see if I could find the source of the oil. On the passenger side I think it's limited to either the turbo oil feed/drain system or the PCV hose, if it's not the valve cover.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
I'd clean off the passenger side of the engine at the car wash, go for a highway drive of 10 miles or so and then see if I could find the source of the oil. On the passenger side I think it's limited to either the turbo oil feed/drain system or the PCV hose, if it's not the valve cover.
x2. You may also not be seeing it if it is sort of a pinhole leak. Once the oil heats up and becomes thinner, it is much easier for it to penetrate a small leak, though I still imagine you'd see a trace of it.
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2009, 02:50 PM
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Here's another thought. Does the turbo oil return tube have a valve in the bottom of it? If so, the oil flow thru that tube might be adequate for stop and go driving but sustained highway driving may be filling up that drain tube, causing a leak at some point.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2009, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sknaffl View Post
Wouldn't my rear main seal leak all the time?

Also...I checked my blowby when I pulled off the interstate on the ride back...after about 75 miles....and it was about normal...the cap danced a little but by no means was it anything out of the ordinary.

If crank case pressure builds and the rear seal is weak.. it will leak when there is pressure... it sounds unlikely after rereading your post.

That blowby test means nothing. The next time you feel your car losing power, pull the breather tube on the VC off of whatever its connected to. Drive as you were when the car was bogging down.

crankcase pressure will shut your car down if it builds too much.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:57 PM
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If we're making bets, my bet is on the turbo oiler/return line.
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2009, 07:31 PM
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Well....I guess I will start by cleaning everything up and checking from there.

JT20...you mentioned crankcase pressure would cut the engine...I wonder if that could have been the cause for my moments of hesitation and I misdiagnosed as a fuel filter? Maybe there is a clog somewhere in the PCV system...I will investigate.

Thanks for the replies...I will let you know what I find this weekend.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:37 PM
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thats what I'm trying to say.
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  #14  
Old 08-07-2009, 08:16 PM
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I also have to go along with the CrankCase Pressure. Ideling ins one thing a long high speed trip is another.

I have also seen this on a gas car that my Father had. In his case the Valve Guides were worn out and if the Breather Cap on the Valve cover was left on Oil would come out from between his Oil Pan Gasket. I used to drive the Car with the Breather off and tears in my eyes due to the Exhaust getting past his exhaust Valve Stems.

So for some reason the Blow-by pressure at high speed may not be able go get out of your system fast enough.
I also wonder if some Camshaft or IP timing issue could also be making it worse.
Check out your plumbing and see if something is plugged.

If for some reason it turns out the Exhaust Valve Stem Seals on your car are shot at least they do not cost much. Less than $20. I bought mine but have not gotten around to changing them.

This is most likely not the problem but if your Air Filter is plugged up enough it can cause Oil to be pulled past the Turbo Charger Seal on the intake side. I have see this happen many times on the Big Rigs back in the 1970s.
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  #15  
Old 08-07-2009, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel911 View Post
I also wonder if some Camshaft or IP timing issue could also be making it worse.
That had crossed my mind, but this car starts so easily, and runs so well I had ruled that out. I checked chain stretch when I did the valve adjustment and it was at 1 deg.

Quote:
Check out your plumbing and see if something is plugged.
That will be the first order of business tomorrow.

Quote:
If for some reason it turns out the Exhaust Valve Stem Seals on your car are shot at least they do not cost much. Less than $20. I bought mine but have not gotten around to changing them.
This had also crossed my mind....but I have almost zero smoke at start up and the smoke I do have is black.

After reading through some of these replies...and doing some searching on similar topics on the forum, I'm thinking I have a clog somewhere or a poor flow pattern or something....or maybe it is the turbo seals?...The top of the oil drain from the turbo into the oil pan seems relatively dry compared to the rest of the spray pattern......hmmm

I will really dig in tomorrow and try and post some pics of the results.

Thanks for the help!

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