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  #1  
Old 10-13-2003, 06:35 PM
spyderdog's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 7
280 SE Massive Oil Loss

Hello out there,

I was driving my 1972 280 SE 4.5 over the weekend and developed a massive oil leak whereby I had to have the car placed on a flatbed to get home. I got under the car and noticed it dripping on the driver side (LHD), down towards the back of the block, where it meets the transmission. From underneath I can see it coming down from the top of the block, just below the rear of exhaust manifold. Looking down at the engine from under the hood, it's just slightly moist around the back of the manifold. I checked the valve covers and they were fine.

Before I begin to remove the brake booster, manifold and all sorts of clutter, would anyone know if this might be a blown head gasket, or if there is a specific component located on that side of the motor that might have blown a seal?

Thanks you,
Mark
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2003, 08:53 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Isn't the oil pressure gauge line on the back of that head? Nothing else on that side that I know of.

Oil filter and associated lines, etc are all on the right front.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2003, 10:09 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 481
psfred is spot on there is indeed an oil pressure gauge line there. Good chance that is where your leak is comeing from at least it is better than a head gasket.
m
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Martin Ingram
Colorado Springs
2005 320 CDI
2006.5 VW Jetta TDI
1991 560SEL (179000 Sold)
1972 280SEL 4.5 ('The Lead Sled' 320000 miles when sold.)
1972 220D (225000 when sold)
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2003, 09:55 AM
spyderdog's Avatar
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Location: Long Island, New York
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Relieved Pressure!

AH, you guys are the BEST! What a relief! I've only had the car a few months so I'm not that familiar with its mechanics yet. I bought a Chilton book, but it's not very detailed.

Would you know the best way to access where that line is... should I approach it from on top, or below the motor?

Thanks again so much!
Mark Cimino
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2003, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 481
spyderdog,
Lift the car and confirm where you leak is, then follow to your source. If it is the oil pressure line it is easy to access from the top and you should see loads of oil spray on the back of the engine and fire wall.
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Martin Ingram
Colorado Springs
2005 320 CDI
2006.5 VW Jetta TDI
1991 560SEL (179000 Sold)
1972 280SEL 4.5 ('The Lead Sled' 320000 miles when sold.)
1972 220D (225000 when sold)
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2003, 05:20 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 7
Thanks for all you insight Martin,

I'll snoop around this weekend and see whats going on in there... unfortunately, by the time I get home its too late, and dark, to tool around.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 10-21-2003, 05:45 PM
spyderdog's Avatar
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Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 7
leak no more!

Well, luckily it wasn't even the oil guage line. The valve cover gasket gave out. And I think I know why. 2 weeks ago after I changed the oil, I was checking for any loose bolts and tightend down the valve covers.. the bolts were easy to turn. Anyhows I guess after squeezing the old gasket and then taking it for a drive from Long Island into New York City, the gasket had just about enough from highway driving and then stop and go.

Thanks again for you everyones concern and help.

Sincerely,
Mark
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2003, 08:32 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Mark:

Here are instructions on valve cover gasket replacement (so you won't cut one again):

Remove old gasket. Clean valve cover and head with solvent. Must be absolutely clean and DRY, no oil, not even a film. Install gasket on valve cover, it pushes on.

Install valve cover to head, making SURE that the gasket didn't slip anywhere. Lift cover and thump firmly down on head. Repeat until the muffled "thumpf" becomes a distinct "clop", like a horse's hoof on the radio. You will hear it when it happens. This seats the gasket properly.

Install and tight the bolts ONLY using the head of your ratchet, not the handle. Not much pressure is required, and if you turn them down "snug" (that is, bottomed out), you will cut a nice slice competely though the gasket near the bolts. I know, I've done it.

You can always tighten them a bit more later if you need to.

Peter
__________________
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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