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Old 09-27-2006, 14:00   #1 (permalink)
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Any ideas for eliminating an oil leak permanently?

This is a simple problem that is really annoying me. I have an '85 Crown Vic with the 302 (5.0 litre) engine. It's leaking oil from around the timing cover. No big deal, right? Well, not normally, except that I've done the job twice and the leak just re-occurs.

History - I'm not an idiot, nor a newbie, to engine repairs. Usually when I fix an oil leak, it never returns. Obviously my Crown Vic has a sense of humour.

Does anyone have any wild ideas to seal this thing to prevent it from ever leaking again? It use to leak when I first got the car two years ago. Earlier this year, it was necessary to replace the waterpump, so while I was at it, I knew it would be a good opportunity to fix the leak at the timing cover. A new gasket was purchased. I even used some high-temp silicone sealant (which was also recommended in the kit). The leak was "fixed" for a little while. Now it's as bad as it always was.

I also have noticed that some of the bolts that secure the timing cover to the block loosen over time. Re-tightening to spec doesn't fix the leak, though. Naturally this is due to the fact that the timing cover is aluminum, and expands & contracts at a different rate than the hardened steel bolts, and the cast iron block.

Surely I can't be the only one with this problem. Too bad there wasn't a neoprene (similar to rubber) gasket available as opposed to the silly paper gasket - I know that would be the ultimate resolve. I replaced my valve cover gaskets with the neoprene ones, and haven't had a drop of oil leak in those areas.

Open to ideas - even considering welding at this point (just kidding). I've tried two different types of silicone now, too - still no luck.
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Old 09-27-2006, 16:41   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Any ideas for eliminating an oil leak permanently?

maybe your cover is warped?
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Old 09-27-2006, 18:00   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Any ideas for eliminating an oil leak permanently?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambykin
This is a simple problem that is really annoying me. I have an '85 Crown Vic with the 302 (5.0 litre) engine. It's leaking oil from around the timing cover. No big deal, right? Well, not normally, except that I've done the job twice and the leak just re-occurs.

History - I'm not an idiot, nor a newbie, to engine repairs. Usually when I fix an oil leak, it never returns. Obviously my Crown Vic has a sense of humour.

Does anyone have any wild ideas to seal this thing to prevent it from ever leaking again? It use to leak when I first got the car two years ago. Earlier this year, it was necessary to replace the waterpump, so while I was at it, I knew it would be a good opportunity to fix the leak at the timing cover. A new gasket was purchased. I even used some high-temp silicone sealant (which was also recommended in the kit). The leak was "fixed" for a little while. Now it's as bad as it always was.

I also have noticed that some of the bolts that secure the timing cover to the block loosen over time. Re-tightening to spec doesn't fix the leak, though. Naturally this is due to the fact that the timing cover is aluminum, and expands & contracts at a different rate than the hardened steel bolts, and the cast iron block.

Surely I can't be the only one with this problem. Too bad there wasn't a neoprene (similar to rubber) gasket available as opposed to the silly paper gasket - I know that would be the ultimate resolve. I replaced my valve cover gaskets with the neoprene ones, and haven't had a drop of oil leak in those areas.

Open to ideas - even considering welding at this point (just kidding). I've tried two different types of silicone now, too - still no luck.
Next time you do it check both the cover and the point it bolts to with a straight edge , one of them may well be warped and need either flat filing or replacement .
I do expect the cover to be warped a little.
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Old 09-27-2006, 21:07   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Any ideas for eliminating an oil leak permanently?

That thought has crossed my mind (naturally, AFTER I did the job twice). I don't expect the block surface to be warped - the engine has never been overheated. Since the cover is of an aluminum alloy, it's wouldn't be unusual for such a lightweight part to warp. If aluminum cylinder heads on cast blocks can warp, so can this small piece...

Thanks for the input. I'll check the part for straightness the next time I decide to tackle the job. Possibly a machine shop that machines heads to get them flat again can do a similar "shaving" to the timing cover. Again, too bad there wasn't a neoprene gasket for this - it would compensate for small variances across the surface of the timing cover.
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Old 09-28-2006, 16:39   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Any ideas for eliminating an oil leak permanently?

In addition to the straightening, try and use some loc-tite on the bolts when replacing them. Then get a sheet of gasket material(neoprene or cork) and cut out your own gasket. That and the loc-tite should fix your problem.
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Old 09-28-2006, 19:28   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Any ideas for eliminating an oil leak permanently?

I did some research - it turns out that I can purchase a new timing cover from Summit Racing, and I can even get one locally through NAPA. Purchasing one locally would be cheaper as I wouldn't be subjected to exchange rate, duty, and shipping charges. $140 Canadian will get me set as far as the timing cover. It might be better to replace it as opposed to having the old one machined.

Gaskets - maybe I should have researched this as well, instead of simply posting a plea. Summit Racing sells a number of different gasket kits for this engine. Some kits actually do have a timing cover gasket that is made of cork particles bonded together with neoprene. For $25 I get a complete gasket kit made of this material.

While I like the idea of making my own gasket out of neoprene, if I can purchase such a beast, I will. For $25, it's money well-spent, and I don't have to spend the extra time required fabricating my own gasket. I think I'm getting a little lazier as I age - there was a time when I made a lot of my own gaskets. I do appreciate the suggestion, though.

Anyway, if it helps anyone when either replacing old gaskets, or for an engine rebuild, here's the link to the gasket kit I found:

Fel-Pro Timing Cover Gaskets: FEL-TCS-45450 - summitracing.com
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