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Old 12-30-2003, 13:54   #1 (permalink)
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Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

I have an 86 XF auto, and just had my dead 3.3 changed over for a 4.1 a week or two ago, but on the drive home smelt a bit of smoke so popped the bonnet and there was oil over the inside (passenger side) of the catalytic converter and underneath it throwing off smoke. I assumed it was just some leftover oil from the old engine, but subsequently drove for Xmas from NSW Central West to Melbourne and every time I stopped there was smoke billowing out off the catalytic and to some extent along the exhaust pipe for about 2 or 3 feet back. The bottom of the car is generally oily too, more on the drivers side though.

In Melb I got a mechanic to check, and he had a quick look and thought it might be the rocker cover leaking, and as all the bolts were loose I had them tightened. It was probably my imagination but it did seem to make a difference, although I noticed that with city driving the problem didn't seem to reoccur anyhow, even though I drove for a hour or so at a time.

I've since driven back, and the problem showed up again, although it seems to be not so bad. On the drive there and back I had to add at least a litre of oil (1600km round trip roughly), and where that went I'm not sure. Could the engine be leaking oil from somewhere onto the converter? I've checked the block below the head and there are no leaks to speak of, and the engine and sump is pretty dry. The bell housing seems to be the area where the leak is occurring. There are some clean shiny areas where it looks like oil might have kept it clean.

To complicate this issue the engine blows blue smoke on start up when it is hot, so what that indicates I don't know, but I don't think all the oil consumption is due to rings etc.

I might have two issues here, but the oil on the converter is my main problem. If I have a big end bearing leak would that throw oil on the catalytic converter? If a big end issue is my problem I'm taking the car straight back to the guys who put the supposedly good engine in.

Apart from this issue and a bit of smoke on hot starts, the engine has run like a gem.
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Last edited by XFer; 12-30-2003 at 14:25. Reason: Added pic
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Old 12-30-2003, 15:05   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

could it be power steering fluid? common problem on the EA's.

Jase
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Old 12-30-2003, 18:09   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by galapogos01
could it be power steering fluid? common problem on the EA's.

Jase
Mate, I was thinking that too, but can't see any obvious leaks. Besides, the p/s fluid level is nice and high and to make this much mess I'd have lost a fair bit by now.... just thinking what they might have left undone/loose when they put the new donk in, if it isn't engine oil.

I'm going to wash the engine and tranny thoroughly top and bottom and take it for a spin and see if I can get any clues.

Anyone else care to comment? Cheers.
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Old 12-31-2003, 17:43   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

holy shit that's alot of oil leaking!! you'd definitely be able to tell what sort of oil it is....

Yeah give it a good clean down and you'll pick the spot straight away....

Thanks
Craig
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Old 01-01-2004, 00:23   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

Try a new rocker cover gasket 1st; it may well be just leaking out the rear and down between the engine and firewall onto the torque converter. Tightening the cover will make no difference if the gasket is broken out of alignment or over compressed.
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Old 01-01-2004, 13:40   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussiblue
Try a new rocker cover gasket 1st; it may well be just leaking out the rear and down between the engine and firewall onto the torque converter. Tightening the cover will make no difference if the gasket is broken out of alignment or over compressed.
Would the rocker cover gasket leak that much oil? The engine block doesn't seem too oily at the back. I wondered if it is a leak from the rocker cover gasket, where the oil would run to. Just can't seem to see much oil around the bell housing, just mostly around the bottom.

I'm going to give it a shot anyhow. I've been told the cork ones are a waste of time and to get a neoprene one. I should be able to pick one up today and fit it tonight, so fingers crossed. Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2004, 06:08   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

There could be one of three things in the first problem with the smoke on the converter. Could be transmission fluid leaking from the front seal. If the torque converter was removed during the transplant, it is possible to damage the seal in the gearbox.

The next possible thing could be oil leaking from your rear main seal (motor). To destinguish between the two, There is a cover plate on the bell housing with about 6 bolts holding it on. If you remove it then you should be able to see the torque converter. Inside the bell housing, check for oil residue that looks fresh. You may be able to destinguish between the two by smell.

If all else fails, there could be a leak from your power stearing box (if applicable). The bottom seal has a tendancy to leak after a while. (Sucks to change the seal).

The oil being used in the motor may be due to another problem such as stuffed rings.

My old XF had a tendancy to blow blue smoke when started hot. A mate of mine said that it was due to carbon deposits building up on the piston crowns??? Aparently it was because the carbon allowed the oil that lubricated the bore to be ignited upon ignition because of capilary action. He told me to lean out the mixture and run it for a while on the road. It sorta helped but i think it was more valve stem seals.

Hope this can help.
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Old 01-03-2004, 07:39   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

Yeah, I agree with coupefan,
The way to check where oil leaks are coming from, see on that pic, how the L/h side of the trans pan is clean, this usually indicates the oil is directly hitting that area, hence it is clean.

It will either be the rear main seal, or the torque converter, at the very worst it could be a damaged pump on the trans from the engine swap.

If you look closely at the bell housing (i cant see it all that well due to me using a laptop - the contrast ratio's arent too spot on) but there is oil dripping from the edge around the bolt on the left and also the bottom of the bell housing, to me the oil seems a but too red to be engine oil, so I would say it most likely is the front seal or oil pump on the trans.
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Old 01-03-2004, 07:41   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

on another note, (its been quite a while since i had my XE) but where do the oil cooler lines leave the 35 series auto's, it could be possible one of these is leaking too - but i have a funny feeling they are on the passenger side due to the radiator layout (trans core is on passenger side.)
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Old 01-03-2004, 13:34   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Oil smoking on catalytic converter!!

Thanks a heap guys. My weekends been thrown out of whack so I can't check it till early in the week now, but that's great advice. I have to say, the color looks a bit red as far as i can tell, and from the smell too, I'm leaning towards transmission fluid. I just assumed it was engine oil at the start. Will keep you posted on how it all pans out in the next couple of days.

Cheers.
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