Oil front of engine - likely culprits? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-06-2020, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
AustinLonghorn
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Oil front of engine - likely culprits?

Howdy y'all,

Doing the water pump, thermostat, radiator, etc., and while I have everything apart, wondering about the oily sludge buildup just above the harmonic balancer?

The valve cover is leaking and I'll be doing that next, but can't see how the oil would pool in this particular location.

Thanks for any ideas out there.

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post #2 of 20 Old 06-06-2020, 04:41 PM
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Which engine?

The 4.7 V8 has an oil pressure sensor on the front of the engine that is prone to leaking.

The oil goes everywhere but is usually on the front and dripping off the oil filter.

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post #3 of 20 Old 06-06-2020, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
AustinLonghorn
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Originally Posted by CJREX View Post
Which engine?

The 4.7 V8 has an oil pressure sensor on the front of the engine that is prone to leaking.

The oil goes everywhere but is usually on the front and dripping off the oil filter.
Ahh, sorry about that - it's the 4.0.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 11:15 AM
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Possibly a leaky timing chain cover gasket or weeping timing chain cover crank seal. It's pretty easy to do. Hardest part is getting the harmonic balancer off. Based on what I see in the picture I would clean it up and leave it unless you need to replace the harmonic balancer. It doesn't look bad enough for me anyway to justify the time to fix it.

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post #5 of 20 Old 06-07-2020, 04:09 PM
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X2, it does look like the front main seal, or could even be the oil pan gasket that runs along just under the crank. Seems like a small leak right now, but that could change...Now is a good time to address as you have all the other parts out of the way for access.

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post #6 of 20 Old 06-09-2020, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by downs View Post
Possibly a leaky timing chain cover gasket or weeping timing chain cover crank seal. It's pretty easy to do. Hardest part is getting the harmonic balancer off. Based on what I see in the picture I would clean it up and leave it unless you need to replace the harmonic balancer. It doesn't look bad enough for me anyway to justify the time to fix it.
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Originally Posted by Bigrigr View Post
X2, it does look like the front main seal, or could even be the oil pan gasket that runs along just under the crank. Seems like a small leak right now, but that could change...Now is a good time to address as you have all the other parts out of the way for access.
Thanks, y'all - gave me a direction to head on this.

Some of the timing cover gasket sets (like the Fel-Pro one) seem to also want you to do the oil pan gasket, which probably also means the rear main seal (I just haven't looked yet, but there are probably small leaks all over the place). Is the timing cover gasket / seal something that can be done independently of the pan?

I thought I was just going to do the water pump, thermostat, new rad/heater hoses, radiator, etc., but it's turned into the valve cover gasket and new A/C compressor/accumulator as well (had to remove the A/C condenser to fit the new radiator in, and was time for a new compressor).

I'm leaning toward buttoning up the various repairs I've inadvertently started before I unleash more problems - what y'all think?
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-09-2020, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by AustinLonghorn View Post
I'm leaning toward buttoning up the various repairs I've inadvertently started before I unleash more problems - what y'all think?
That is what I would do. Find where your leak first is then fix it.
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-11-2020, 12:56 AM
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The timing cover i believe bolts to the front of the pan, and would have to be removed from the pan when taking it off the engine, which could damage the oil pan gasket, thus why they recommend the new oil pan gasket at the same time. If you take the pan off, you dont have to mess with the rear main seal. To do that one the trans or engine has to come out...

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post #9 of 20 Old 06-11-2020, 05:38 AM
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...To do that one the trans or engine has to come out...
Not on the 4.0L. You drop the pan, remove the girdle, remove the last bearing cap, and its a 2 piece seal that gets installed and removed with a punch and pliers. They're much easier to replace but also much more likely to fail because 2 piece. I just did mine about a month ago and it was TEDIOUS.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-11-2020, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by coldspit47 View Post
Not on the 4.0L. You drop the pan, remove the girdle, remove the last bearing cap, and its a 2 piece seal that gets installed and removed with a punch and pliers. They're much easier to replace but also much more likely to fail because 2 piece. I just did mine about a month ago and it was TEDIOUS.
Yup. Once youve done a few you can knock it ouy in a few hours if you use a drill/driver or airtools to get the oil pan bolts out. Invest in the Felpro permadry pan gasket. It comes with centering dowels that make the job 100 times easier putting the pan back on.

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post #11 of 20 Old 06-11-2020, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by coldspit47 View Post
Not on the 4.0L. You drop the pan, remove the girdle, remove the last bearing cap, and its a 2 piece seal that gets installed and removed with a punch and pliers. They're much easier to replace but also much more likely to fail because 2 piece. I just did mine about a month ago and it was TEDIOUS.

Good to know Coldspit. Sounds just like an old chevy v-8. I do not have first hand experience on that one.

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post #12 of 20 Old 06-13-2020, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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OK, y'all have motivated me to do the timing cover gasket / seal and the oil pan gasket while I have it apart this far. The rear main seal is probably also leaking, but this car has an infinite amount of problems if I just keep working my way backward (there's also a really troubling electrical fault somewhere that I need to fix after all of this stuff; the instrument cluster and all interior functions -windows, door locks, overhead console - intermittently just stop working, and the DRBIII knock-off I'm using is reporting various modules - PCM, BCM, etc. - losing connectivity to each other).
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post #13 of 20 Old 06-13-2020, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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...I forgot to add, "and the harmonic balancer, too". Looks like the rubber is cracking on this one.
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post #14 of 20 Old 06-14-2020, 08:43 AM
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Yep, now is the time...However, if you do the pan gasket, I strongly recommend doing that rear main while you are there, It's only one more step, and you will have to remove that oil pan again later to do it. Sounds like it really isnt to bad to do...
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post #15 of 20 Old 06-15-2020, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bigrigr View Post
Yep, now is the time...However, if you do the pan gasket, I strongly recommend doing that rear main while you are there, It's only one more step, and you will have to remove that oil pan again later to do it. Sounds like it really isnt to bad to do...
Yeah - that's good advice; I pulled the two seal halves out on Saturday after I realized there was no need to separate the transmission, etc.

After unloading the suspension, the oil pan came right off without any fanagling whatsoever. No removal of the oil pump pickup, etc. This is a RWD, so maybe more of a pain on a 4WD? So one bright spot so far - something that was unexpectedly EASIER than planned.

I'm currently trying to figure out the best way to safely install the new seal in the timing chain cover without damaging the cover, the seal, etc. I've seen folks recommend PVC pipe, a large socket, buy a proper seal installer kit. Don't have anything in the garage that's the right size for this seal (National 321460). Any tips?
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