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TR2/3/3A Oil Leaks

Redoakboo

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I think I'm closing in on my oil leaks, in my newly restored 54 TR-2. The last leak appears to be in the area of the fuel pump? After running the engine for several minutes, watching oil leak out in a constant drip, the gasket around the fuel pump shows alot of oil dripping from the gasket.
The fuel pump is new, as well as the gasket. I have reached The Peter Principle on solving oil leaks.

Any suggestions?


Dick
 

sp53

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The Peter Principle does not apply to a triumph. The cars are not manufactured anymore and we are all like Dutch boys putting our fingers in the Triumph dike of oil leaks. Driving an early TR is an evolutionary experience of engineering with new problems coming to fruition from Places that normally could not leak oil. Kinda, like the discovery channel, no Peter Principle just an all-encompassing leak.
 

sp53

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I think there is a fitting for the oil gauge in that area there also. Let it leak until you are more comfortable with the car and keep your eye on the source and amount; it is normal to have those problems with a new old rebuilt motor; I doubt you will let it run out of oil. A little oil looks big. I often used baby power dusting in the general area to find the leak it will turn a different color where the leak is, but I heard David used some flour, should work the same.
 

DavidApp

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Are you sure it is the fuel pump not the oil gallery plug a bit above and to the rear of the fuel pump. The oil is under pressure there not just being splashed around.

David
 

Merlin63Tr4

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The fuel pump could have a distorted mounting flange/base even if new.

M.
 
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Redoakboo

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David,

I really had a big leak when I first cranked the engine. I had left the plug off at the rear end of the head. After I corrected that problem, I discovered the oil filter attach housing leaking bad. I took it off and discovered small pieces of the "O" ring still in the slot, under the new ring I put on. Is the plug you referenced a different one then the one on the backside of the head?
 

Sarastro

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I'll echo David's comment--I had an awful time sealing those plugs in the oil gallery. I don't understand why it was so difficult, but some of the copper washers I used didn't fit well, and I ended up making my own sealing washers. Then added sealer and torqued them pretty well.

It can be tricky sometimes to find the sources of those leaks.
 

Graham H

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Have you rechecked the plug at the back of the head, it should have a copper washer to help seal it.

Graham
 

CJD

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Copper is self sealing. If you are re-using a copper washer, however, you must anneal it back to soft, as it work hardens and loses is sealing ability after use. To anneal simply heat with a torch to red hot and gradually allow it to return to dark metal by feathering the torch. Once dark, remove the heat and let it air cool on its own. Finish by sanding the faces flat and smooth with 600 grit paper on a perfectly flat surface.
 

sp53

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Dick I am not sure what you are sealing. Copper washers are an excellent sealer. If you are sealing those 3 special bolts that go into the block above cam bearings. I would use a copper washer and put some aviation gasket sealer on the bolt also, and I would let the sealer set up some maybe 15 minutes that depends on temperature and amount; the heat speeds up drying time and the amount of thickness takes longer, easy stuff. The aviation seal would work good on the threads of the bolt and perhaps help the copper some on the face seal.
 
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Redoakboo

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Those three plugs seem to be O.K. The leak is in the transmission. The plug in the bottom that looks like a freeze plug, if it were on the engine, is leaking transmission fluid.I plan to drain the transmission to change the gasket on the large brass overdrive plug. When I get it good and dry, I would like to apply some type of sealant around the seam to stop the leak

Dick.
 

sp53

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Dick , when you sent me some pics by email, I tried to post them and they would not post. It looked to me like the format the picture was taken in could not be posted, but I am sure of that stuff. The Jpegs format always post well.
 

CJD

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I have a engineering degree, so have spent a lot of time taking tests on that. When you heat to cherry red the metal becomes amorphous, or without grain structure. If you cool fast by quenching, the grain structure becomes very small and interlocked. That hardens the metal, making it strong but but too brittle to be useful. If the metal cools slowly, then it forms a large grain structure that has less internal stresses. Large grains unstressed is called "dead soft". To "heat treat" a metal you heat to amorphous and then quench in water or oil (or other fancy liquids depending on the alloy) to its hardest state. The next step is to heat the hardened metal to a temperature slightly below the temp to make it amorphous, and hold it there for a specific time. This relaxes the internal stress and somewhat softens the metal while retaining the strength from the small grain structure. When you buy metal, the "T4" or "T6" tells you the level of heat treating it has received. T4 would be less strong but softer than T6.

The other way of affecting hardness is to "work harden" a metal. This stretches the grain structure through bending the metal, once again making it harder, stronger, and more brittle. "H" on the metal designation tells you the amount of work hardening it has received, like H3.

Now lets relate this to our copper. It comes dead soft. Once you crimp it under a bolt head it is soft enough to conform to the steel bolt and engine block. This also work hardens the copper into a harder state. If you re-use it, it is not soft enough to conform, so if the surfaces of the bolt head and block are too rough, it cannot seal a second time. Thus the need to anneal.

Annealing is done by heating to amorphous and slowly cooling to allow the grain structure to re-form into nice large and unstressed grains. Some jet engine fan blades are 3 feet long, but carefully cooled in a vacuum and very slowly into a single grain! Large grain is soft but very fatigue resistant. Fortunately, some metals, pure copper being one, are not heat treatable. That is how you can get away with quenching it in water while red hot. But the proper way of annealing any metal is to slow cool it to dead soft. Copper, although not heat treatable, is work hardenable.

The key takeaway is that every metal and its alloy behaves differently when subjected to work and temperature hardening. You can get away with quenching pure copper in water. If you do the same to steel it will turn into the hardest, brittle and unusable metal...martensite.
 
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Redoakboo

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John,

I too, have a engineering degree from Ga Tech. To save time, I always buy new copper washers when needed.

Thanks, Dick
 
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