EDIT: Bulleted version
- Did first oil change at 3000-ish miles; bell housing wet
- checked, not coming from oil pan
- bring it to dealer, dealer says is not oil plate or rear main, but oil gallery plug of some sort
- toyota still researching, but last time seen, only repair was replace engine
SO, I have this 1gr-fe in my tacoma. I noticed at about 3000 miles that I had a tiny bit of wetness (oil) on the bottom of the bell housing.
I wiped it off to see how fast it was accumulating, as I couldn't get into the dealer, and it wasn't obvious where it was coming from.
After I watched it for a while more (and the wife returned with the second car) I brought it into the shop, pretty sure, almost positive that I had a leaky rear main or oil plate.
The service writer looked at it and agreed, probably what it is.
Well, they put dye in it and confirmed the leak was from the bell housing and proceed to pull the transmission/transfer case. Once they pulled it, they found it wasn't the rear main.
He described it as a "rear oil gallery plug thing". Apparently left over from machining the block or some over pressure blow out hole. It was seeping, probably doing it from day it was built.
Apparently its not replaceable. Or at least in a way that makes toyota happy. He says he's seen one before, but on the front. On the front it's behind the timing cover.
The way to resolve the problem (and he's still validating this with toyota in case they've come up with a tsb or unpublished fix) is replacing the engine. Says he's already done it on one, and that's what it looks like.
Gave me a loaner and said he'd call when Toyota got back to him.
Great service over at the Servco stores though. I bet if I walked into the GMC dealer down the road with the same problem, they'd spray it with brake cleaner and tell me it was fixed. Maybe put some silicone on it.
Kind of sucks. If I had known what it was, I would have waited 30000 miles to replace it. Assuming new engine that is. But who knew. I haven't seen it in any threads here...
Will update when he calls me back. Like I said, he's only seen one and tacoma is the most popular truck in the state by far and toyota sells most of the cars on island. Or at least is the biggest seller.
Not a running rampant issue. Then again. Its a small seep that probably wouldn't get worse, so there may be people living with it.