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Unread 01-21-2014, 06:42 AM   #1
JBlue
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Oil leaking question

Background: 2000 XJ, 115k, 4.0 automatic with a replacement engine with 88k on it from a 2001 XJ.

So pretty common, but the Jeep is leaking from a few different spots. I cleaned up the engine yesterday so I will double check the engine again next weekend to see where the new oil goes but it is definitely leaking from the oil pan gasket in a couple of different spots. There's a good amount of fresh oil over the starter and a good amount of buildup near the oil filter adapter and a leak infront of the main seal. There's also a decent build up (and dripping) near the rear of the engine (potential RMS?).

So the plan of attack is to do this in stages for timing. The valve cover appears OK but I wanted to take a look inside from the top so my plan was this weekend to take care of the valve cover gasket to check out the rockers and condition and also take care of the oil filter adapter. Then re-clean the engine. Then the following weekend do the oil pan gasket and rms. Then do the main seal another weekend.

A couple of questions. Does this plan make sense? Also, I did a lot of searching on here (and other sites). My oil pan gasket is leaking in a couple of spots. How do you tell if there is a RMS leak when you have a lot of oil back there? Secondly (and most importantly), if I already have the oil pan off, shouldn't I just do the RMS anyway if there is a chance it's leaking? It seems that if I have the pan off, I might as well do the RMS.

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Unread 01-21-2014, 06:59 AM   #2
green97xjsport
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Your plan is good, but, definitely do the rear main when you do the pan gasket, your there, and it's an easy swap. Take care of the oil adapter like you plan, Do the valve cover and the distributor gasket, then you should have piece of mind, curious though, why was the motor swapped at such a young mileage for the 4.0 ???
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Unread 01-21-2014, 07:08 AM   #3
JBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green97xjsport View Post
Your plan is good, but, definitely do the rear main when you do the pan gasket, your there, and it's an easy swap. Take care of the oil adapter like you plan, Do the valve cover and the distributor gasket, then you should have piece of mind, curious though, why was the motor swapped at such a young mileage for the 4.0 ???
Great to hear. I bought this truck for a pretty penny because the body is great and low mileage and then I had disapearing coolant and a 0331 head. I pretty much made the used car place replace after I saw the oil pressure was not good at all. I didn't know much about Jeeps before this one (even though I owned 2 before this). I learned a ton in the past 6 months. I want to pull the valve cover mostly just to see the condition of the top of the head/rockers.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 07:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBlue View Post
Great to hear. I bought this truck for a pretty penny because the body is great and low mileage and then I had disapearing coolant and a 0331 head. I pretty much made the used car place replace after I saw the oil pressure was not good at all. I didn't know much about Jeeps before this one (even though I owned 2 before this). I learned a ton in the past 6 months. I want to pull the valve cover mostly just to see the condition of the top of the head/rockers.
You may not need the RMS or oil pan gasket.

You're on the right track for sure.




I'd be looking up ABOVE first, and VERIFYING the source of the oil leak YOURSELF.

Everybody, who doesn't own or have to pay for or perform your vehicle repairs, loves to poke their noggin UNDER the Jeep and come out bearing the false bad news that your RMS is leaking.

Many mechanics, friends, people on Jeep forums who canít see your Jeep from where theyíre at, and good old Uncle Bob seem to enjoy telling you itís the rear main seal. Has a catastrophic ring to it, doesnít it?

A simple leak at the back of the valve cover or other source could produce the same symptoms. You donít need to be a mechanic to figure this out. If you have good eyesight and a dim flashlight, youíre good to go on your own. Don't jump on the RMS/oil pan gasket bandwagon right off the bat.

Almost any oil leak on your 4.0 is gonna drip from the RMS area for two simple reasons.

First off, the engine sits nose-up and any oil will run back to the RMS area. Secondly, the RMS area is also the lowest point on the engine. Simple physics and the old plumber's adage apply here. "***** flows downhill".

Valve cover gasket, oil pressure sending unit, oil filter adapter seals and distributor gasket, in that order, have to be eliminated as possibilities first.

Revised 02-26-2013
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Unread 01-21-2014, 08:40 AM   #5
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Cruiser, I've read your message a few times and took it to heart. I was under the jeep with a flashlight hand cleaning the engine with a rag and degreaser. It's leaking from the oil pan in a few different spots, no question. There's a lot of oil coming from the rear as well. I was thinking it's probably the rms but the oil pan definitely needs to be replaced. While off might as well do the rms. make sense?

Also, my mechanic told me my main seal is leaking. I took a look and there is fresh oil dropping down in the front and it's not coming from the valve cover so he must be right. It doesn't sound like a common leak.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 09:02 AM   #6
green97xjsport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiser54 View Post
You may not need the RMS or oil pan gasket.
Agreed, my advice to replacing the rear main seal was "if" he was replacing the oil pan gasket anyway, as he said it had multiple leaks, whether confirmed or not, and replacing any gaskets associated with oil leaks, can be considered good preventive maintenance as well. As far as cost, it's up to the owner to decide what is or isn't cost prohibited at this time.

Quote:
jblue-definitely leaking from the oil pan gasket in a couple of different spots.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 09:52 AM   #7
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I just did all of the things you are planning over the last two weekends.

Sounds like a good plan. Make sure you leave time extra time for the pan drop and RMS. It took me awhile to get the pan back on with the gasket in the correct place. You don't really know if its good until you fill it back up with oil, so this can take some time. (I had to do mine twice) In the end, I found the dowels that the FSM recommends made it pretty straight forward.

Also, a lot of people have trouble breaking the oil filter adapter bolt loose, so be prepared for that pain as well.

I used the blue rubber felpro gaskets for the oil pan and valve cover. They made things go easier.

Good luck and take some advil now.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 10:10 AM   #8
JBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadsXJ
I just did all of the things you are planning over the last two weekends. Sounds like a good plan. Make sure you leave time extra time for the pan drop and RMS. It took me awhile to get the pan back on with the gasket in the correct place. You don't really know if its good until you fill it back up with oil, so this can take some time. (I had to do mine twice) In the end, I found the dowels that the FSM recommends made it pretty straight forward. Also, a lot of people have trouble breaking the oil filter adapter bolt loose, so be prepared for that pain as well. I used the blue rubber felpro gaskets for the oil pan and valve cover. They made things go easier. Good luck and take some advil now.
Thanks Chad. I'm not too mechanical so the rms makes me a bit nervous, but it's too expensive to have a mechanic do it. I'm going to do felpro based I everything I've read here. I'm giving myself the full day for the oil pan rms fix. I'm going to leave the main seal fix for the spring when I'm redoing the cooling system.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 10:46 AM   #9
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IMHO the valve cover gasket, the oil filter adapter O-rings and the distributor gasket are all relatively easy compared to the Oil pan/ RMS.

I would do those first like you plan and then see if its still leaking enough to require more work.

Like cruiser54 said, you may not need to do the Oilpan/RMS, or at least you could wait until it's warmer outside.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 02:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBlue View Post
Cruiser, I've read your message a few times and took it to heart. I was under the jeep with a flashlight hand cleaning the engine with a rag and degreaser. It's leaking from the oil pan in a few different spots, no question. There's a lot of oil coming from the rear as well. I was thinking it's probably the rms but the oil pan definitely needs to be replaced. While off might as well do the rms. make sense?

Also, my mechanic told me my main seal is leaking. I took a look and there is fresh oil dropping down in the front and it's not coming from the valve cover so he must be right. It doesn't sound like a common leak.
You've done an excellent job at performing your own diagnosis.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 04:17 PM   #11
Holder350
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Like Crusier I always cringe when I hear someone say their RMS is leaking, because most just repeat what they have heard from someone else, or they are assuming that's the issue.

Looks like you've got it figured out tho. The only other advice I have is to really check the oil filter adapter housing for leakage, I've seen many leak, and to make sure the CCV system is working correctly.

When you get around to doing the front seal, there's a good possibility that the seal has worn a groove in the sealing surface on the balancer. If that's the case you have a couple options, one being to replace the balancer or you can buy a repair sleeve that slides over it.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 06:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Holder350
Like Crusier I always cringe when I hear someone say their RMS is leaking, because most just repeat what they have heard from someone else, or they are assuming that's the issue. Looks like you've got it figured out tho. The only other advice I have is to really check the oil filter adapter housing for leakage, I've seen many leak, and to make sure the CCV system is working correctly. When you get around to doing the front seal, there's a good possibility that the seal has worn a groove in the sealing surface on the balancer. If that's the case you have a couple options, one being to replace the balancer or you can buy a repair sleeve that slides over it.
Well during my research I kept reading cruisers advice and it got through to me. I cleaned the heck out of the oil filter adapter area and no way that's the oil leaking from the rear of the engine. I'm hoping that's it's not the rms but with the oil pan leaking I feel I might as well do the rms, I don't want to have to drop the pan 2x.

I'm admiringly scared of the front seal repair. Thanks for the advice, I'm going to need to do a lot of research before tackling that (or break down and pay for a mechanic). Thanks as always for your help fellas.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 07:49 PM   #13
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Well during my research I kept reading cruisers advice and it got through to me. I cleaned the heck out of the oil filter adapter area and no way that's the oil leaking from the rear of the engine. I'm hoping that's it's not the rms but with the oil pan leaking I feel I might as well do the rms, I don't want to have to drop the pan 2x.

I'm admiringly scared of the front seal repair. Thanks for the advice, I'm going to need to do a lot of research before tackling that (or break down and pay for a mechanic). Thanks as always for your help fellas.
Have you checked the pan bolts for tightness yet?
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If you own a Renix Jeep, you'll want to check this out. >

An index to over 25 write-ups can be found in Post #1.

Cruiser's Mostly Renix Tips
My Jeep Technical Photos

http://www.cherokeeforum.com/g/album/1725214
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Unread 01-21-2014, 08:12 PM   #14
JBlue
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Originally Posted by cruiser54
Have you checked the pan bolts for tightness yet?
No I haven't done that. I'll check this weekend when doing the other work.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 08:14 PM   #15
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No I haven't done that. I'll check this weekend when doing the other work.

The 2000 uses that one-piece pan gasket from the factory. Good chance if the bolts are a little loose, you could get lucky.
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Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
If you own a Renix Jeep, you'll want to check this out. >

An index to over 25 write-ups can be found in Post #1.

Cruiser's Mostly Renix Tips
My Jeep Technical Photos

http://www.cherokeeforum.com/g/album/1725214
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