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Oil Leak - Crank and Oil Pump Seals, saved motor
Posted by Mark in Marine (MN) [Email] (more from Mark in Marine (MN)) on Sun, 13 Mar 2011 16:15:03

I must be getting into the once-a-week stage of life for our 1999 9-5 2.3L sedan. Received a Cell phone call on Friday night at 11:30p.m. from my seventeen year old daughter on her way home - she said the oil light had flickered, she had shut off the car, and would I come and get her? I drove 12 miles with four quarts of oil, added about 1 1/2, and limped the car home in snow squalls. This leak seemed to come on fast - no oil on garage floor last Sunday, but extensive leak on Friday. I think our daughter saved us a motor!

Saturday morning I didn't even have to really look for the leak - there was a steady drip as soon as I started the engine - right side behind the crank pulley and harmonic balancer. Thanks to the site contributors here, I had a pretty good diagnosis -- and doing both crank and oil pump seals was clearly the right choice. I was able to get these on Saturday from Andrews (Princeton, MN), and although I was busy Saturday afternoon, I had hopes to get the job done Sunday p.m.

I saw from posts that I needed a more substantial snap ring pliers. I bought the largest snap ring pliers that I could find (NAPA 3152, ratcheting). This is only barely rated for the oil pump ring, but I have no Snap-On contact, and I needed the tool today. It worked fine, and I would not use anything smaller - the ratchet feature is extremely helpful. I left it 'loaded' - in a confined spot for safety - and the rachet release made re-installing very easy.

I also replaced the PCV6 check valve as a precaution. The old one was functional by 'breath test', but just in case the leak was 'pressurized' I didn't want to take the chance. My crank seal showed slight wear, but the oil pump seal broke as I removed it, and it's cross-section had become square. At 167K miles I guess it's to be expected.

Points to Note: 1) John Myers and others gave good advice on removing the snap ring that holds the oil pump nose on - be safe, use a large enough pliers with a ratchet feature if you can, 2) If you change out the crank seal, absolutely change the oil pump seal too, 3) Check PCV valve in case it is pressurizing your crankcase.

Thanks to those who have posted on crank and oil pump seals and made my repair go well! (about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, but I'm too much a perfectionist to be fast the first time)

Mark in Marine (MN)

posted by 74.46.228...

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