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Unread 06-02-2011, 08:04 PM   #1
Colt44
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Found the oil leak - distributor! Now what? PICTURES ADDED

I've been chasing an oil leak for awhile and couldn't figure out where it was coming from. We just got a pressure washer so I gave the motor a very thorough cleaning and after a little driving discovered oil coming out around the distributor where it goes into the block.

So, is there a seal, gasket or o-ring that I can replace, or will I have to get a new distributor? This is slightly complicated by the fact that I've upgraded to MPFI and the distributor has been modified to work with fuel injection.

Any suggestions as to how I should approach fixing the problem?

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Last edited by Colt44; 06-04-2011 at 02:13 PM.. Reason: Note addition of pictures
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Unread 06-02-2011, 08:29 PM   #2
Alby63
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Should be a gasket. http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/web...___#fragment-2
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Unread 06-02-2011, 08:33 PM   #3
WindKnot
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There should be a gasket at the base of the distributor right where it fits into the block. Felpro and all the others make them but brace yourself, they run about $14 for a felt circle about 2 inches in diameter! How bad is the leak?

You'll have to pull the dizzy out to replace it. I'd make all kinds of alignment marks so that if you CAREFULLY pull it out without moving anything, you can slip it back in and line everything back up.
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Unread 06-03-2011, 12:21 AM   #4
MoC
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If you change the gasket and it starts leaking again it is likely from engine blow by which means your rings are going bad. Do you have any smoke or oil around your breather?
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Unread 06-03-2011, 12:25 AM   #5
MoC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindKnot View Post
There should be a gasket at the base of the distributor right where it fits into the block. Felpro and all the others make them but brace yourself, they run about $14 for a felt circle about 2 inches in diameter! How bad is the leak?

You'll have to pull the dizzy out to replace it. I'd make all kinds of alignment marks so that if you CAREFULLY pull it out without moving anything, you can slip it back in and line everything back up.
The correct way to do that is to pull it, replace the gasket, find #1 TDC on the exhaust stroke, then restab the distributer and set you timing back. Check it with a timing gun before you pull it so you can set it back to whatever timing you are running.
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Unread 06-03-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
Lordwrench
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"it is likely from engine blow by which means your rings are going bad."

Or simply a plugged/disconnected/inop PCV system,as in my case.free fix.
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Unread 06-03-2011, 11:34 AM   #7
Colt44
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Pictures Added

First, a little more explanation. This engine was pretty messy when I first got the jeep and I spent awhile tracking down and fixing numerous leaks. It had a Clifford valve cover which leaked a lot of oil - turned out that there is a special Clifford VC gasket, but PO had used a standard one so no surprise it was blowing oil. The grommets were loose, too. All that really didn't go away until after the head swap earlier this year, and there hadn't been any significant leakage again until now. I finally decided to get to the bottom of this "last" () leak, so I slathered on the degreaser and cleaned the engine really well with a pressure washer. So, at last, a clean, dry engine. The only oil I see after a bit of driving is up the distributor shaft and around where the shaft goes into the block. There is a very tiny damp spot around the dipstick tube, but I'll look at that later.

I know that leaks around both the distributor shaft (significant amount) and dipstick tube (very small) might seem to indicate blow-by, but there is no smoke in the exhaust and the engine, which had supposedly been rebuilt not too long before I acquired the jeep in early 2006, does not consume oil, so I don't think it's the rings.

There is no smoke or oil coming from any of the plumbing going through the grommets on top of the valve cover, either the breather or the vacuum line. There's no PCV valve, because this engine not only has MPFI but has been upgraded to the 4.0 head. As per the 4.0 set-up, there is a breather at the front (looks like a tiny K&N filter) and at the rear a connection from the VC to the intake manifold, the tubing and connectors for which were taken from a '91 YJ.

All signs appear to point to the distributor gasket. The distributor was pulled and modified when we added the MPFI; perhaps the gasket was damaged or lost at that time and I just never noticed the leak until other issues were fixed along with the head swap.

Not too long ago the rubber tubing connecting the vacuum line from the VC to the IM broke, and the engine did blow some oil (the VC bolts turned out to be loose - my fault from the head swap) until I reconnected the line to the intake. I'll check to make sure all the various connections are tight and tubes unblocked before I take the next step and pull the distributor.

Gasket by Felpro is available for $1.99 from Advance, AutoZone, etc. so not sure why WindKnot had to plunk down $14.99. The Felpro part is a flat gasket; I've seen people in other threads talking about an o-ring instead - is that an option? A recommended option?

Thanks for all the advice, BTW.

Here are a few photos:
dsc_0027a.jpg   dsc_0030a.jpg   dsc_0028a.jpg  
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Unread 01-16-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
rksnow1
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I know this is an older post but Any luck ever getting this leak fixed? Did you use the felt gasket or Oring on the dizzy? I have the same issue with the distributer leaking and replaced the felt gasket. Couldnt find an Oring that fit exactly. If you used the Oring what model and vehicle did you find it for?

Thanks
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Unread 06-04-2013, 12:08 PM   #9
tommyf59
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looks like the dizzy hold down clamp is upside down, oops.
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Unread 06-04-2013, 02:46 PM   #10
keith460
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No its not.... and that was 2 years ago.
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