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bad oil leak from head gasket?

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  #21  
Old 06-08-2018, 12:41 PM
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1) No, this is the car that is timed correctly.
2) About being wet underneath--It is wet behind the engine in multiple places on the frame, but it is not wet all the way back that far as I recollect. The head gasket oil leak is supposedly on the side of the engine facing the front of the car. I sense there are multiple leaks by the multiple oil spot pattern that the car leaves whenever I park it. Hence why I need to get the car on a left and carefully inspect.

Aside #1:: There must be some ooze from the valve cover gasket when car is off as there is no vacuum with the car off,(see previous post) so I assume some oil draining down oozes from the spot I described yesterday. I also noticed that there seems to be an increasing separation between the valve cover and the head approaching the spot where it now mini-hemorrhages when off. I have a zillion pictures with the car running. Don't know if I have any while off.

Aside # 2: PCV nonsense may have contributed but to me, it looks like the cam cover gasket is not fully seated at the leftmost front bolt (facing the car) OR either the cover or head is warped (low probability - would leak from more locations in that area). The whole front edge was weeping oil for weeks after the valve cover gasket replacement. I'll chalk part of that up to the clogged PCV valve and increased pressure. That has completely stopped, including when off.

I checked the torque on all the cam cover bolts and although they read high on my brand new torque wrench (supposedly -- I have not sought out another bolt on the car to check), they are equal, so the takeaway seems to be someone ****ed that up and the gasket is getting pinched and is not in its groove in that location. I do not believe increased crankcase pressure could cause a separation between the cover and the head.,

3) I run 10W30 now, but only switched from 5W30 about 20K ago, so the accelerated wear damage had already taken its toll. I had always ran 5W30 in both the original engines (before I knew better) and no oil burning issues before 130K on each. It was cold in Jersey long enough during the year (long winters) that I played it safe and ran 5W30 in the winter--but never changed to 10W30. Too late now.
I have put less than 25K on the car(rebuilt engine) in the last 5 years but it is driven multiple times a week.

I think it is a combo of leaking and burning, caused by negligent non-replacement of a $5 part and not using a heavy enough oil.
That's right -- Unc -- if you're out there -- I didn't listen to your advice, and now I'm likely paying the price.

I haven't even had access to a helper to just stand on the gas so that I could watch if it is spraying oil underneath. I suppose a brick + the rev limiter at 0 mph would accomplish the same (4k rpm). Funny how typing stuff in the forum gives me ideas on the fly.

I'm going to have to redo the valve cover gasket because I am tired of even more oil on the ground, and I can't stand when people do **** incorrectly to my car, even though I am the biggest offender at that. Big ol' hypocrite I am.
Plus it's a learning experience. I've never done one. I know way too much "theory" (I think I do, which is dangerous) and have way too little hands-on experience because the few things that go wrong on a Saturn S car are easily remedied, and I've driven Saturn s cars since '92 uninterrupted.

Bones -- get ready for an LS1 swap.....you have 30K warning

I'll be back with an update when I have something to update.
 

Last edited by derf; 06-08-2018 at 12:45 PM.
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  #22  
Old 06-09-2018, 01:28 AM
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I am in Eastern Washington state at my grand daughters high school graduation.
More when I get home.
 
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  #23  
Old 06-10-2018, 04:20 AM
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Finally got the car up on the lift today.

The right side front frame member below and behind (in line with) the corner of the cam cover gasket that's leaking is soaked with oil from getting blown back while driving.

The underside of the transmission case and where it meets the engine are also soaked with oil.

Last but not least, there is oil pooling on the flat landing on the lower left hand side of the block (front of car).

There is a film of oil below the entire left edge where the cam cover meets the head, and the gasket was indeed overtightened and is now distorted in the area that leaks.

Used Brakecleen to rinse down all oily residue, top and bottom and wiped dry.

Ran car at idle at operating temp for several minutes. No sign of leaks or oozing on the bottom. Held at about 3k rpm for several minutes. No sign of leaks underneath.

Dropped lift back down and repeated same tests.

Conclusion:

Only active leak found at idle or at rough equivalent of highway RPMs (not truly representative since there is no physical load on the engine, so throttle not as open as it would be in real life) is a the leak between the cam cover and the head in the left front quarter.

As I view it, that can cover leak MAY be leaking around the front of the engine, causing the oil residue on the frame behind behind it, AND oil from that same leak is migrating dowh the left side of the block, pooling on the ledge, then getting blown underneath to the tranny case and the bottom back of the block.

Ultimate confirmation of the above comes when I put it on ramps tomorrow.

There does not seem to be any sign of an oil leak from the head gasket. In his partial defense, you cannot see the head block mating area clearly from the bottom. I think he mistook oil running down off that ledge as having come from the head gasket area.

And I thought I finally found a shop to send my baby to. The owner is incredibly knowledgeable, but he's got at least one new chump working for him, and that's a shame as the original three mechanics there 5 years back were great.

Guess I'll be learning some more new stuff soon.
 
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  #24  
Old 06-10-2018, 11:58 AM
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Maybe a properly installed gasket along with your new pcv might dry it up! I recommend the higher priced gasket for longer life. I had to replace the inexpensive valve cover gasket at 10k miles on my L61.
 
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  #25  
Old 06-11-2018, 08:55 AM
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I used a Fel-Pro with the replacement grommets.
However, I guess if someone distorts it in the process of overtightening it (Validated my new inch lb wrench to within 2 of my brother n law's old properly taken care of craftsman torque wrench. about 116 on 89 in lb spec bolts all around) trying to get it to not weep and now all out leak, it doesn't matter what brand was in there. I'm thinking the mating surfaces were not properly cleaned, just like every other part of the job was half assed by the mechanic (leaving me a block covered in dirty oil, etc.)

FEL-PRO VS50454R do I assume the felpro was good and the installation bad and order another set? They have had QC issues from time on the DOHC gaskets. Watched some dude on a How To Youtube go to install it --right shape but 3 in too long......
ACDELCO 21007365 does NOT come with replacement grommets -- they are no longer available thru parts sites --still need to check ebay
APEX AVC382S is this a decent brand? Not familiar with it
ENGINETECH VCS19A again, decent brand?

Ordered the AC Delco with MAHLE grommet set (Actually made by victor reinz who supposedly also supplies the gasket to felpro (?) ) since AC Delco does not come with grommets. I figure the new ones in there are mashed from overtightening so I got more.
People on Ebay want an obscene amnt of $ for the AC Delco Grommets. Bite me.

Parts come by end of the week.
 
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  #26  
Old 06-11-2018, 12:26 PM
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I would add a “little” silicone where your car leaked previously. Are there cutouts where the camshaft holes were machined? Add some silicone to any sharp corners. Just get it wet not a bead. Avoid enginetech, that is the brand that I had leak at 10k miles.
 
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  #27  
Old 06-11-2018, 09:34 PM
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Indeed, the Chilton manual indicates using some rtv in specific locations. There is actually a separation between the cover and head near the leak spot. Can see gasket and get a fingernail in between. Leak is at sharp corner to the left of that area. Gasket must have been forced from its groove by being over torqued or it was not sized correctly.

Turn off engine, leaks slowly. Disonnect pcv valve. from intake, and here comes the oil.....

Just realize I should order myself a second set of gaskets and grommets because I have never done this before and if I screw it up I will have to wait another 4 days for parts. Always handy to have spares.
 
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  #28  
Old 07-11-2018, 06:48 PM
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OK I'm getting ready to replace the cam cover gasket myself this time. It is the only external oil leak I can find.

I have the preformed AC Delco gasket. It says I need to hit the T joints where the cam cover meets the timing cover with some RTV. Makes sense. also on the cover before putting in the gasket (2 mm bead)

What type/material/color/flavor. I got the RTV part, but there are many.

All suggestions appreciated.
-----
PS: I have a bad tremor so I'll be sure to capture a pic of my perfectly straight 2mm bead.

Oh, I semiconfirmed the bolts were overtorqued to about 112 in lbs instead ot 83 per torque spec. measured within 3 in lb to a 20 yr old decent craftsman click type that has been cared for

I don't think the mechanic ever looked at Alldata, just did it by feel, then kept tightening b c it kept leaking, in part b c my PCV was stuck partly open/closed and the pressure was pushing oil past the gasket.
I bet I won't find any RTV at the T joints either. That's where the hemmorhage is when you stop the engine or remove the vacuum from the PCV while running.
 
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  #29  
Old 07-11-2018, 10:43 PM
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You also may find a rolled edge on the gasket. I would choose the color you like, I use the gray/silver for aluminum engines.
We used to use the “new” blue on our Chevy six blue stock car engine back in the 70s. The infield speed bumps were hell on our oil pan, thanks to blue silicone the race went on!
Now they use a white line what sissies. LOL
 
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  #30  
Old 07-11-2018, 11:45 PM
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ok then. I thought they were rated for different temperatures and such and had different elasticity at different temps.

The owner of the shop had me get the black stuff for when he replaced the oil pan. Not a drop leaks. He said that one resists cracking over time with the temp cycling.
 
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