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Thread: Oil soaked engine bay

  1. #21
    Jedi Knight nevets's Avatar
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    I did some further poking around and still cannot locate the source of the oil leak. I attached a few pics which will hopefully trigger some additional comments /suggestions.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member 4tecdog's Avatar
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Experienced quite a few leaks in this area mainly from tappet cover gaskets, cured them once and for all by using new cork gaskets sealed both sides with a product we use a lot in the marine trade called quicksilver perfect seal it is impervious to fuel and oil and is good under pressure and Vaccum in relatively high temps, the big bonus is it never sets hard so can be easily disassembled. Also seals very well on rocker covers and sump gaskets.

  3. #23
    Jedi Knight Healey Nut's Avatar
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Did you change your oil filter recently . Take the whole assembly off at the long bolts so the head remains on the filter canister .check the O ring for the filter canister is located correctly and not pinched . Replace the small circle gasket and try again .
    Last edited by Healey Nut; 10-28-2017 at 08:37 AM.
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
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  4. #24
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    I don't have anything new to add, other than seconding what others have said, you described oil misting all over the place and soaking the engine bay. Unless you have some crazy crankcase pressure and no way to vent I wouldn't think this could be caused by a bad valve cover gasket.

    Try running the motor with the oil filler cap on top of the valve cover off. Cover the opening with you hand (you wear a nitrile glove if you are the tidy sort). A little perceptible air pressure is normal, if it is blowing out pretty hard our spewing out more than an occasional drop of oil you may have blowby issues and or worn rocker bushes allowing too much oil through to the upper head.

    As I recall the 6 cylinder Healey has no pcv (positive crankcase ventilation) valve, just a vented cap or a vent pipe, make sure that is not clogged.

    As mentioned check the oil filter area and any oil supply hoses, including the little hose to the oil pressure guage.

    Good luck, if I sort of rambled it sounds like more than just a bad seal or gasket somewhere, you either have a crankcase pressure issue or oil leaking from somewhere in the pressurised system, most likely (and probably only viable short of a catastrophic hole in the block) external sources of pressurised oil are the oil filter or external oil lines.

  5. #25
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Check that the T fitting on the valve cover isn’t screwed down too far.
    Patrick
    '67 Metallic Golden Beige/Red
    Owned since '72

  6. #26
    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Remember that the fan will be blowing it everywhere



    Bob

  7. #27
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Quote Originally Posted by vette View Post
    Silicone gaskets aren't always the "cats meow" to stopping leaks. They can work fine, but sometimes they don't. I have reverted back to cork gaskets in most cases and I use the cork gasket with a thin smear of Black RTV gasket maker sealant on both sides of the gasket. You can use gray RTV gasket maker as well. And now there is a green RTV gasket maker used where there is EP Gear lube present. But don't use clear silicone gasket sealer. It is junk and is degregated by oil and gasoline. When using the RTV gasket makers it is important to give them time to cure. In my mind that means 24 hours or at least overnight. Their packaging will lead you to believe that you can put the parts into service right away but if you really want it to last, wait overnight. Also on installation, let the stuff set up a little before mating the surfaces and then don't over tighten. You just need to get the pieces to be a good snug put together then the RTV will do the rest.
    A couple of things I learned about cork gaskets in my years racing Spridgets:
    First, be sure the surfaces on both the head and valve cover are very clean and dry
    Second check the valve cover with a straight edge to be sure it is straight and square (a bent or twisted valve cover will never seal)
    Use a fresh, brand new cork gasket that fits correctly, if it is stretched out or you have to stretch it to fit it is probably NG
    Using RTV (Blue, Black, etc.) glue the cork gasket to the valve cover and put it on a flat true surface sitting on the gasket with some weight on the top of the valve cover (a lb or two will do)
    After checking to be sure it is all sitting straight leave it be until the RTV is completely cured (an hour or two or more if possible, half hour minimum)
    Once it is cured, use New rubbers for he VC bolts. Refit the valve cover and be very careful not to over tighten the bolts as this will warp the valve cover

    By doing it this way you should be able to remove and replace the valve cover many times without having to replace the gasket again.

    Cheers,
    Dan M.

  8. #28

    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    I like Healey Nut's idea. but also check to make sure that the hose on the "T" at the top of the Valve Cover is not broken.
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  9. #29

    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Count me in on the oil filter O-ring as well. Doesn't take much to get things a little off-center and the cannister loosens up with a few miles of driving. And I'd rather not discuss the time I put a new O ring in without removing the old one in my bugeye. Tightened up fine and had great oil pressure with no leaks on checking it. About 100 miles it worked loose while I was doing about 70 mph with a subsequent rebuild needed.


    Rick

  10. #30
    Obi Wan Patrick67BJ8's Avatar
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Quote Originally Posted by vette View Post
    I like Healey Nut's idea. but also check to make sure that the hose on the "T" at the top of the Valve Cover is not broken.
    The T on the valve cover is a problem if it’s screwed down tight against the rocker are pedestal.
    Patrick
    '67 Metallic Golden Beige/Red
    Owned since '72

  11. #31
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Once I drove down to a dynoshop about 100 mls from where I live without any problems. Then the car was strapped to the rollers and revved up to 6000 rpm when the oil canister seal gave way and the mist of oil covered just about anything in the engine bay in a fraction of a second . . .

  12. #32
    Jedi Knight nevets's Avatar
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Thanks for the comments. I just had my knee scoped. As soon as I am up and about I will continue the oil leak investigation. Concerning the oil filter, which was changed about 75 miles ago, as a way of determining if the o-ring is the problem, I thought I would put a plastic bag over the canister and seal it up with tape, then drive the car to see if any oil accumulates inside the bag. I will also check the valve cover T and hoses. I believe my rocker shaft is good. I opened the valve cover cap with the engine running and oil was not spewing out. I thought of the oil pressure gauge pipe, but ruled that out because the gauge appears to be functioning properly, even with the amount of oil I was losing. I will report back later.

  13. #33
    Jedi Knight nevets's Avatar
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    Re: Oil soaked engine bay

    Update...After eliminating the oil filter canister seal, oil pressure gauge pipe and tachometer drive oil feed pipe as possible sources of the oil leak, I decided to check the alloy valve cover gasket. It was pretty deteriorated and crusty. So after carefully cleaning the mating surfaces, I installed a new silicone gasket and went for yet another test drive. All seems good now. I decided to tempt fate and clean up the engine bay and wash the car. I think I did a reasonable job considering it was 45 degrees outside. I may get one or two more drives in before putting it to bed for the winter, which should confirm that the silicone gasket is doing its job.

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