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  #1  
Old 12-24-2000, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: SW Colorado USA
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So I had planned this wonderful Christmas vacation in So. Calif. with my newly purchased Gwagen. I must have been naughty, I'm wondering if this thing is the proverbial piece of coal for my stocking. First it ran rough, turned out to be a cracked plastic air tube between the MAF and throttle. Runs great now, except for a BIG leak. The shop that fixed the rough running said it was the rear crank seal, minor and don't worry yet. WRONG!! We drove 200 miles round trip to Disneyland yesterday. When we got there I noticed oil on the back of the truck. The whole underside took an oil bath, not to mention the whole back side of the truck. It appears to have lost over a half a quart in 200 miles. Not good considering I had planned to drive it 2000 miles home to Minnesota next week. Now what? Am I safe to drive it and add oil at every gas stop? Could this seal fail worse and strand me or cause major damage? I suspect I will have a very hard time getting it repaired next week with the holidays. Is this a known failure for a 65k mile M104? What is the approximate labor time for replacement? Any help is appreciated, Merry Christmas, Brent
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1995 G320
1984 280GE
1971 Unimog 416
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Old 12-24-2000, 08:41 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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I have replaced a few of the rear main seals in the 104 engine, however, I would not think it would leak that badly unless it was installed incorrectly. ON a sedan, the labor time is around 8-10 hours I think. The G will be more because of the transfer case and 4 wheel drive.

Be sure to have the head gasket checked before doing this, the head gasket is the most common of oil leaks for this enigne.
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Old 12-24-2000, 10:33 PM
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Donnie,
I am still driving mine with the leak and am planning on pulling the starter tomorrow to look up above it to make dog gone sure whether it is the head gasket or the rear main seal. I would be thinking bad thoughts if I pulled the tranny and it was not the rear main seal. I am definitely seeing oil on the outside of the bell housing and oil hanging off of the bolt threads. Even looks like there is some indication of oil down the side of the engine in the area of the starter. Now, my question is - how in the world is oil "puddling" in the bottom of the bell housing if it is coming from the rear of the head gasket (where the starter bolts on maybe)? Wouldn't it just flow to the lowest exterior point and blow off? Also, records on this car show that the head gasket was replaced around 40k miles ago. Shouldn't it have lasted longer than that if this turns out to be the problem? Personally, I feel like removing/replacing the head to replace the head gasket will be easier than the transmission for the rear main.
thanks for any answers/replys
Have a Merry Christmas - I have got to go be S. Claus for a little while.
Jim
'95 E320 - 104 engine.
'97 Honda CRV
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Old 12-24-2000, 11:50 PM
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Jim,Donnie, Looks like I have a very similar situation, the oil is all over the bottom of the bell housing. There is an access hole for the flywheel on the bottom of the bell housing, oil does not seem to be coming out of here. I will pull it tomorrow, I would think that if it was the rear seal the oil would literally pour out. My starter is in the way also, not to mention a big frame rail. This area was my original suspicion. One other symptom, it does not make a puddle in the driveway, the oil accumulated while driving at highway speeds, does that offer clues? I would guess the rear seal would continue leaking after shut down. Is the head gasket capable of leaking at that rapid a rate? It also sounds like the repairs will be similar, I heard 10.3 hrs book time to do the HG on the G. The rear seal shouldn't be any tougher on the G, remember the transfer case is connected by a driveshaft not bolted to the transmission. Brent
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Old 12-25-2000, 08:32 AM
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I will remove the starter in the next couple of hours and let ya'll know what I find. G-man I am pretty sure that if it is the rear main that it would NOT continue to leak after shut off and I feel the same holds true for the rear of the head gasket. My plans are to do the repairs starting Jan. 4th - whether it is the head gasket or the rear seal. I have some time off and will be able to take my time with it.
Jim
'95 E320
'97 Honda CRV
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Old 12-25-2000, 10:21 AM
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Without a doubt

it is the rear main seal. I pulled the starter off and you can see evidence of oil inside the bell housing area where the starter bolts on. The "moisture" underneath the starter leads me to believe that the oil probably seeps out between where the starter bolts up and/or the turbulance is such in this area while driving down the road that it just blows up on the outside housing area.
Jim
'95 E320
'97 Honda CRV
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