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Oil leaks 3000

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7166937491 Avatar
7166937491 Frank Herstek
Buffalo, NY, USA   USA
I cannot accept the fact that oil leaks are inevitable. Will someone please identify a list of potential leaks, remedies and how owners could address this dilemma. There is no such thing as a no solution, and accepting oil leaks is too easy of a way to just give up. I would be willing to try and furthermore begin to address this foolish problem.

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
So I'm guessing this is your first British car. That's just how you tell you've got oil in the motor, the time to worry is when it's not leaking oil.

bluecatmodels Avatar
bluecatmodels Silver Member Dave W
Three Rivers, CA, USA   USA
Frank,
As for leaks, you just have to fix them as you find them. Anywhere on these cars where there is a connection with fluids, oil, brake fluid, gas, etc. have a potential for leakage. Seals dry out, connections get loose, you name it. These cars are old. I have conquered most of them on my car, but there's always something more.
Dave

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layaj2 Andy Lay
Bisley, Surrey, UK   GBR
I have a technical solution. It's called a drip tray (or three) on the garage floor.

zayante Avatar
zayante Chris Attias
Felton, CA, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB
1965 Land Rover Series IIA "Mrs. Merdle"
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 "Louise"
At some point, you have to decide what amount of leakage is acceptable, because there will always be some.

A few problems (and possible solutions) are:

-The oil slinger at the back of the crank, rather than a modern seal. Wear to the rear main bearing can make the leaking worse. The "solution" is modifying the back plate with a modern oil seal, available from several sources. I'm told this can be done with the transmission out and the engine in place.

-A non-gasketed joint between two sections of the overdrive. One solution is using a very good sealer between them during assembly.

-A warped timing chain/gear cover and/or worn oil seal. This can be reduced by installing new seal and a Kilmartin Timing Cover Brace (AH680) to replace individual washers securing the lower half of the cover.

-A switch to the use of synthetic lubricants in an engine or transmission with old gaskets and seals.

-Aged gaskets and seals. Some can be replaced in-situ, and others would only be worth doing as part of a rebuild.

I've got a leaky seal on the overdrive oil drain plug. It was probably reused more than once and tightened with a hammer and screwdriver rather than a wrench. It'll be replaced in the next tranny oil change.

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
I've also been told that it's supposed to leak as this helps to stop rust from forming once everything gets coated.

catpaver Richard Bucknam
Grand Rapids, MI, USA   USA
So does a switch to synthetic oil on a car with old gaskets increase or decrease the rate of leakage?

zayante Avatar
zayante Chris Attias
Felton, CA, USA   USA
1964 MG MGB
1965 Land Rover Series IIA "Mrs. Merdle"
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 "Louise"
The common wisdom is that going from conventional mineral oil to synthetic can increase leakage and oil consumption in an older car.

Oil manufacturers give various reasons for increased leakage or oil consumption:

-AMSOIL believes that their synthetic oil may reveal problems caused by years of mineral oil deposits on old seals, including shrinkage, embrittlement, and removal of dirt and sludge that are masking leaks in the old seals. They also point out that what they describe as synthetic oils from other manufacturers, made with "Group V ester base stock" can degrade some types of older seal materials, and gasket joints made with RTV sealant. They recommend seal replacement if a change to synthetic oil causes problems with the old seals.

-Royal Purple states that full synthetics do not damage seals or cause increased oil consumption. However, they may remove earlier oil deposits, which can reveal pre-existing conditions. “New” leaks are most commonly a sign of seals and gaskets that were already in poor condition. In such a case, even if an oil spot was never seen on the ground, dirty oil residue will be observed on the exterior of the engine, indicating a pre-existing leak. The two most common root causes of a perceived increase in oil consumption are: 1.) oil consumption that has always been there, but that is now apparent because of the longer oil drain interval (not indicative of a problem); and 2.) The removal of piston ring deposits that cause an actual, but temporary, increase in combustion blow-by and oil consumption.

Most of the arguments made by oil manufacturers assume a reasonably modern engine (say, post 1990), made with modern seal materials, in good condition. An old engine with 50+ year old shrunken seals, bearing or journal wear or generally looser tolerances might make leakage with a synthetic oil more likely.

RAC68 Avatar
RAC68 Raymond Carbone
NJ, Jersey Shore, USA   USA
Hi Frank,

I have driven my Healey in Buffalo in the winter through what was announced as flurries and leaking oil was not my worry. Keep in mind you are dealing with quite a few oil seals along with a rear main engine with a reverse screw to keep oil in the engine. Add to this are the many cork gaskets that are inappropriately torqued to ride of relatively small seats and you have many places to address. Please don't misunderstand, you will be able to control most of the leakage through properly installed seals and gaskets but, then again, this will take time.

During your discovery, enjoy driving your Healey,
Ray(64BJ8P1) original owner

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