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Gaaoooooo
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Discussion Starter #1
I just recently started noticing quarter to silver dollar sized spots in my driveway scattered about depending on where I park my truck, upon taking a look under I notice that the rear part of the oil pan/bellhousing/good portion of the tranny up until about the y pipe crossover is decently "glazed" with oil. Naturally the oil finds the lowest point which is the very bottom of the bellhousing where it mates to the oil pan...My initial thought (as I always think of the worst possible scenario, usually ends up being that for me!) is rear main seal, however I used a brand new seal when I rebuilt the motor last year (10k miles on it since) so it seems kind of odd to me for that to be going already? My other thoughts are maybe a few loose bolts on the oil pan that need snugging, oil pressure sender (couldn't really see any leakage down the top of the bellhousing), or a leaking oil dipstick tube? I need to get this thing on a lift to further inspect, I guess my question is how likely are the 4 scenario's I've mentioned here?
 

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Hi Mike. Just out of curiosity, did you smear a lite film of oil on the seal lip before
you put it all back together ? I'm sure you did, but I was just wondering.

I hope it's only the sender..
 

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Gaaoooooo
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13,572 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Mike. Just out of curiosity, did you smear a lite film of oil on the seal lip before
you put it all back together ? I'm sure you did, but I was just wondering.

I hope it's only the sender..
Yes I do remember putting oil on the seal lip when I installed. I hope it is anything but the rear main seal.
 

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loco hombre
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Valve covers perhaps? I hadn't really heard of anybody having issues with them leak, but my passenger side gasket was crusty and it was leaking and down the back of the block. I said a few potty mouth words, thinking it was my rear main also, but it was those.
 

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Gaaoooooo
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Discussion Starter #5
I reached my hand behind the right side valve cover and didn't notice anything wet, I'll have to check the left side....grrrr I am tired of having to fix something on this truck every other month!
 

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loco hombre
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hehe... I hear ya, man. my 96 has had a "few" parts through it. I just buy everything I can with "Limited" Lifetime Warranty. "Limited" isn't so much so... most places just replace it, no questions asked.

Replaced 2 times: radiator (LLT), balljoints (LLT), pitman arm (LLT), idler arm (LLT), oil cooler lines (4WD, no choice), water pump (LLT), idler pulley, belt tensioner

Replaced 1 time : alternator (LLT), intake manifold gaskets, valve cover gaskets, CV shafts (LLT), steering gear (old one was getting very sloppy, even with proper adjustment), tie rod ends (LLT), front hubs (LLT), vent fan (LLT), all the sway bar crap (except bar), shocks, pretty much anything/everything suspension save for springs and control arms.

Bleh, thats just the list I can think of in 30 seconds, also... I know, not really even a hell of a lot, but even with LLT 'easy exchange' parts I get cheesed at regular work at inconvenient times. The Mazda has had.... sway bar end links. That was a tough one. :)
 

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Gaaoooooo
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Discussion Starter #7
The thing that aggrivates me about potentially having to replace the seal is more so the fact that the seal costs $12 yet half of the friggin drivetrain has to be removed from the truck to get to it....
 

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Gaaoooooo
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Discussion Starter #9
weekend project :( I am trying to find time to do mine
Ya it might have to end up being that, I dread doing that on my back though and it sucks since the motor was rebuilt with a new seal 10k miles ago! I am hoping I will find that it is something else once I get a chance to check it out closer on a lift.
 

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I just recently started noticing quarter to silver dollar sized spots in my driveway scattered about depending on where I park my truck, upon taking a look under I notice that the rear part of the oil pan/bellhousing/good portion of the tranny up until about the y pipe crossover is decently "glazed" with oil. Naturally the oil finds the lowest point which is the very bottom of the bellhousing where it mates to the oil pan...My initial thought (as I always think of the worst possible scenario, usually ends up being that for me!) is rear main seal, however I used a brand new seal when I rebuilt the motor last year (10k miles on it since) so it seems kind of odd to me for that to be going already? My other thoughts are maybe a few loose bolts on the oil pan that need snugging, oil pressure sender (couldn't really see any leakage down the top of the bellhousing), or a leaking oil dipstick tube? I need to get this thing on a lift to further inspect, I guess my question is how likely are the 4 scenario's I've mentioned here?

probably a stupid question but are you sure it's oil and not trans fluid?
 

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Starting from scratch...
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3,349 Posts
The thing that aggrivates me about potentially having to replace the seal is more so the fact that the seal costs $12 yet half of the friggin drivetrain has to be removed from the truck to get to it....
No shit, right? I was almost relieved when my trans starting slipping, because then I wasn't so bummed about having to drop the trans just to get to a leaking seal.....
 

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Gaaoooooo
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13,572 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
probably a stupid question but are you sure it's oil and not trans fluid?
I considered that but I don't see why it would be on the oil pan that far forward of where the tranny mates to the engine, it looks like it is almost starting on the oil pan and seeping back but like I said can't tell for sure without being able to get a closer look. If it was tranny fluid it's just as bad, it would have to come out as that would mean it's leaking from the input shaft area behind the slave cylinder....GRRRRRRR
 

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Good Bye SonomaST
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7,145 Posts
did u feel around ur oil pressure sender? my friends was leaking but with the cluttered view it didnt look like until i stuck my hand back there and it came out covered in oil. with logic you pretty much have to think its either the sender or valve cover gaskets if im correctly picturing what you are saying. if it looks like it just starts at the oil pan, its possible the gasket is decaying, truck is almost 8 years old.
 

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Gaaoooooo
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13,572 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
did u feel around ur oil pressure sender? my friends was leaking but with the cluttered view it didnt look like until i stuck my hand back there and it came out covered in oil. with logic you pretty much have to think its either the sender or valve cover gaskets if im correctly picturing what you are saying. if it looks like it just starts at the oil pan, its possible the gasket is decaying, truck is almost 8 years old.
I only felt down behind the pass. valve cover quickly because the motor was still very hot, I will check closer on the pressure sender though. As for the seal, yes the truck is almost 8 years old but the motor was completely rebuilt with all new gaskets last June ~ 10k miles ago.

I've heard of people having a leaking dipstick tube, I know I had some difficulty installing it even with the motor sitting on the engine stand and am hoping that over time and rough roads it maybe has loosened up a bit? Hoping to get it on a lift maybe Friday I have the day off.
 

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Mike is there any chance that it's the paper gasket where the oil line adapter
plate bolts up to the engine block where the filter goes ? I know mine leaked
from there and I had to replace the paper gasket and the o-ring. GM parts
guy told me this is a something that happens a LOT on 4.3's with this adapter.

Mine did the same thing. Leaked down and oil was thrown around the area
due to the wind blowing in there while driving....I didn't think mine could
go as fast as that to get ANY kind of wind blowing, but it did. I changed
it out and the leak stopped. I sure hope it's something easy like this.
 

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Gaaoooooo
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13,572 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Mike is there any chance that it's the paper gasket where the oil line adapter
plate bolts up to the engine block where the filter goes ? I know mine leaked
from there and I had to replace the paper gasket and the o-ring. GM parts
guy told me this is a something that happens a LOT on 4.3's with this adapter.

Mine did the same thing. Leaked down and oil was thrown around the area
due to the wind blowing in there while driving....I didn't think mine could
go as fast as that to get ANY kind of wind blowing, but it did. I changed
it out and the leak stopped. I sure hope it's something easy like this.
I wish it was that easy, however I don't have the the oil line adapter block as I deleted that years ago :(
 

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Gaaoooooo
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13,572 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well I dug the jack out from the basement and was able to get one side high enough to crawl under to take a peek and I think my worst thought is the case, rear main seal :(

I wanted to check the dipstick area so I looked in that area and almost was relieved at first because I saw the side of the oil pan in that area was wet, but then I got further under and noticed that the starter had oil on it and where that bolts up to the block the area that is somewhat exposed to the flywheel is wet with oil film. I also was able to look inside the tranny through the vent holes and it does look to be wet in there somewhat...can I pretty much guarantee it is the rear main based on this? Any estimates on what this would cost to have done by a shop with a lift since I am severely not enthused about wrestling the tranny out on my back with little to no space to work in?
 

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bling bling like WHOA
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646 Posts
I have been told anywhere from 400 to 600 for a shop to do it.

And as far as I know if you see oil inside the vent holes it is the rear main for sure... Thats what I looked at for mine.
 

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Gaaoooooo
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13,572 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I have been told anywhere from 400 to 600 for a shop to do it.

And as far as I know if you see oil inside the vent holes it is the rear main for sure... Thats what I looked at for mine.
Ya that is basically what I am seeing, I have a family friend with a garage so I could probably have it done for 300-400...I'm just trying to be 100% sure it is the rear main, seems a little odd to me that only the starter and surrounding area would be wet along with the same side inside of the tranny housing yet the left side (oil filter side and inside the tranny) is not wet?
 
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