Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Engine oil leak...

Engine Oil Leak

General area, engine on left, transmission on right
It all started off as I was getting ready to leave Vashon, in the RV, to attend the monthly scooter meeting.  I backed up to empty my black and grey water tanks with not a care in the world.  Emptied tanks and was putting hose back in, then glanced back and saw a sight that would make anyone shudder..  A nice, steady stream of oil coming from back end of engine...  There was a really good sized puddle on the ground, at least a quart over a 3-5 minutes time frame..  Bad bad thing.

Moved the RV off to the side so could see what happened, and it was at this point that noticed had a steady stream of oil from my parking place to the dump station, then to where I parked.  Again, really not a good sign.  Went to get maintenance guy and we cleaned up the area to help mitigate effects on the environment..  Icky icky icky, but got it done to their liking, which is important!

Point of leak (cleaned up
While on island, some mechanics helped me try and figure this out, and we went with the cheap solution first, which was to simply plug the hole with a 3/4" brass plug.  This worked well, until drove a few miles up and down Vashon Highway (real name, I swear). Once got back and removed the plug, some oil came out, more than just couple drips.  Their thinking was that with the plug missing, oil would follow the easiest path.  Made sense so tried it, and it really didn't work all that well.

I stayed on Vashon Island for couple more days and called around to several garages to see who could fit me in.  Was very close to one place but they wouldn't let me stay in RV and don't really have any other place to stay, especially with two wonderful cats (Scatter and Paisley).  Until I found the one below.  Very happy with them!

Place of leak with oil pan

With the worst fears confirmed, went to Bay Engine and Truck Repair, in the Port of Tacoma area.  I couldn't find a web site for them yet one of the garages recommended them, and they could fit me in fairly early, with a promise to look at it on Thursday.

I must say, overall am very very pleased with the service they gave me!  They're great folks, very knowledgeable, and do great work.  One thing is that they're not really setup to do RV's, or much work underneath vehicles, as they don't have a heavy duty lift, other than those rolling hydraulic pump jacks.  They even let me take pictures of parts of the process, which have included here!

Driveshaft unhooked
I will also HIGHLY Recommend them if anyone needs work done in the area.  Very knowledgeable, very helpful, and all the guys that work there are super.

And, they admit when there's a goober.

The uninstall process went fairly smooth, they had to unhook driveshaft, unhook cables, remove bolts in flywheel / flexplate, and all sorts of other stuff am glossing over, where it seems easy but reality is a different story.  There was a lot of hours done in just removing things.  Putting together was quicker, but still unexpected things always happen.

Transmission / Engine seperated
Next major milestone was removal of all bolts, and removal of transmission from the engine flywheel.  That made me happy!

This opened up where the bad gasket was.  Removing the gasket was fairly easy.  They had a nifty little tool that was able to pull it out.  Not sure what the tool is named, but it had a little slide hammer, with a screw on one end which went into the old gasket.  They then slid hammer portion and it pulled out the old seal.

Now, this is where the little goober happened, and extra effort, and some more parts, needed.

After removing the seal, there was what seemed like another gasket there that needed to be removed, and mechanic thought it was welded in place with some type of epoxy or something.  Spent some time trying to chip away, only to realize they were chipping away at the rear cover, which houses the rear main seal (ebay link).  The part number is 3921043, for a Cummins diesel.  Couldn't really find a different link.

Due to this, had to drop oil pan, remove some engine mounts, replace couple more gaskets, do some extra cleaning, and all that happy fun fun stuff. 

The all important Rear Main Seal in the middle

This extra work was a mixed blessing in a way..  It added some extra time to the project, more time than I really wanted, yet it also allowed me to change the engine oil, which have been meaning to.  Didn't expect to replace all the other gaskets, such as oil pan gasket, rear cover gasket, and some type of seal kit (not these seals either).

Putting it together was pretty easy and it went together fairly quickly overall.  We had to replace a band clamp as the exhaust pipe was totally disconnected from exhaust manifold, yet most of the exhaust did go through exhaust pipe, some didn't, which probably affected a lot of things.  This band clamp was a royal pain to put in.

After it was all assembled, drove RV around for a little bit, and no more oil leak!  Went to local truck stop and spent the night so they could verify in the morning.  The following morning, as I arrived, it was sprinkling.  Soon as mechanic crawled under it started raining..  Bummer bummer.  He gave the job a clean bill of health and off I went!

Now, the bill..  Total was $2,642.25.  It seems like a lot, and it is, but seeing as this is the only real true repair have had to do it really isn't all that bad.  Diesel engines run forever and are cheap on maintenance, but, when maintenance is done, it really adds up.  Still, over two years or so, that's pretty inexpensive and now it's good for another 20 years, or until an alternate form of propulsion comes along.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone deserves a little TLC. This even means your engine of your care. This is N important aspect that the Apache Oil Company takes seriously. They offer a plethora of DIY projects to help others in their time of need whether it be due to a natural disaster or just a knock on your engine.

    Abraham Yates @ Apache Oil Company