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Thread: Oil Leak & Timing Chains

  1. #1
    Enthusiast pfnsht's Avatar
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    Oil Leak & Timing Chains

    Hi all,

    I've had a leak for a while that has now got quite a bit worse - 1/2 litre of oil leaked over the last 200 miles.

    The oil is all on the timing chain side of the engine and covers from about half way down the timing chain casing to the sump and bell housing, plus splatters over the draft-shaft. Recently I fixed a leaking oil pressure sensor but this is all new oil now as I wiped that lot off at the time.

    I took a picture of the leak from the rear - view is from top down and looks moist with oil about halfway down, in line with the exhaust manifold level.

    Oil is also escaping from the front, behind the thermostat but I wasn't able to get a clear picture.

    IMG_3282.JPG

    When I changed the coil pack earlier this year I noticed oil on the tips of the threads too.

    The rocker cover gasket/top of the engine appear largely dry.

    This to me is pointing to some sort of failed seal on the timing chain cover. What do you guys think? I have no history of the chains being replaced and have been saving the pennies for this job (but unfortunately I can't do it right now). I'm assuming around £1k for this job. I have a mobile VAG mechanic but unsure whether to give this job over to him as he hasn't seen many VR6 engines and hasn't done a chain on one these before....Stealth is an hour away so is an option.

    The car has done 151k with FSH but has had little use in the last 7 years with only around 10k being covered in that time. I've been trying to use the car more but I guess things have started to perish over the last few years.

    I've also spotted a coolant leak under the rad too. Joys.
    Last edited by pfnsht; 4 Weeks Ago at 8:47 PM.
    1995 White VR6 CCGB Member 4303

  2. #2
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    Looking more like £1600 for parts and laboour for new seals chains guides etc. My new Rado chains done by the last owner and that was how much it cost him on receipt at a VW specialist /independent september 2018.I would not use a mobile mechanic for a large job like this personally. Are you sure its not coming from the oil sump or not the oil cooler , also oil filter housing check pressure switches and figure of 8 gasket. Also a fair bit of oil over time can leak out of the breather hose attached to the PCV vavle and intake as the engines are getting old.
    Last edited by Keyo; 4 Weeks Ago at 2:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast pfnsht's Avatar
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    Cheers Keyo. Just done the pressure switches (as they were leaking too!). The oil cooler looked fine a couple of months ago... but you never know.

    It’s had a new sump but the oil is leaking higher up.

    Fun times. May as well have a full top end refurb, head gasket plus some 268 cams if doing the chains.

  4. #4
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    Run your finger under the Manifold breather hose and see if there is any oil , its not a huge lot of oil but over time can lead to an oily engine bay.

  5. #5
    CF-oholic! fla's Avatar
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    Might be the main crank seal which is behind the gearbox. You can get a seal.conditioner by Forte which does a lot to stop seal leaks by allowing them to swell and create a better seal. Clran it all up first and then see where you're getting your oil trails from.
    Hasan
    VR6 Auto to manual conversion, beige leather, aircon, TT comps, blue dash lights & switches, Koni TA/Nothelle springs, OBD2, 264 cams, Schrick

    my car

  6. #6
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    Would crank seal be commonly changed when changing the timing belt because I believe the gearbox has to be removed.

  7. #7
    Enthusiast pfnsht's Avatar
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    Cheers guys. The crank seal probably should be changed when having chains done, along with the clutch. The crank seal sits behind the flywheel so would be a little bit more effort but well worth doing...

    I've spent a couple of hours looking around and stripping bits off. Some pictures and laughable text annotations... I think I have a couple of leaks;

    1) a light leak around the bottom right of the rocker cover (but this could just be overflow from poor oil filling). See pics, moist oil also spreads slight underneath inlet manifold behind the electrical connector).

    2) I believe the Crank Seal is probably leaking too. Oil above gearbox, behind thermostat (could that be head gasket too?) and quite a bit of oil around sump and gear box join. Oil has spread over as far as the power steering pump

    Pics

    Sump/Gearbox
    Gearbox-Sump.JPG

    PS Pump
    PS Pump.JPG

    Upper timing chain cover/behind coil pack (3 pics at diff angles..)
    upper timing chain cover.JPG

    upper timing chain cover2.JPG

    upper timing chain cover3.JPG

    Back of engine in-line with exhaust manifold

    back.JPG

    Ahhh, what next. Well I'll take Hasan's advice and clean it up with degreaser and put some Forte stop leaks in for now. I do not feel confident enough to take all this apart on my drive (wish I had a garage!). I'll get my VAG mechanic to take a look but if doing crank then it's quite a list of jobs that will follow whilst it gets stripped down - clutch and chains for sure, concerned it could be head gasket too. There is dark colour that has appeared at bottom of the (new) header tank too:

    Headtank.JPG

    It would probably be easier and cheaper to pop 1.8t in there if it turns into a couple of grands worth of work.
    1995 White VR6 CCGB Member 4303

  8. #8
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    I wouldnt get to overwhelmed by it old cars always leak a bit of oil in the engine bay. If you want to be proactive you could have a compression test for the head gasket which wouldnt cost much. I have attached a receipt to give you an idea of what would be replaced if the timing chains were done. Will also be really good for the cars value.

    Corrado Timing.jpeg

  9. #9
    Enthusiast pfnsht's Avatar
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    Cheers Keyo. I was hoping to have a cheaper year this year having spent £3,750 on it last year!
    1995 White VR6 CCGB Member 4303

  10. #10
    I was going to say exactly this. Doesn't look too bad to me.. FWIW they also burn a lot sporadically at this sort of age so judge it on how badly you want it done. That said the timing chains is a risk anytime beyond 80-100k miles so if it's never been done I would definitely consider it. Also, don't know what Stealth are charging for this job these days but I'd bet they charge a lot less than that, just because they can do them more quickly with the probably ridiculous number of them they've done over the years.
    Last edited by dr_mat; 4 Weeks Ago at 8:35 PM.
    [ WARNING: the above message may contain irony, sarcasm and outright lies. ]

    ** Every time you think about sex, another Corrado gets written off. **

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