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Engine Oil Leak Search Result Questions

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by yoTaco98, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Nov 26, 2011 at 1:33 PM
    #1
    yoTaco98

    yoTaco98 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Folks I need some help regarding items that came up on my oil leak forum search.

    I have 98 v6 that had a minor leak coming from the fly wheel plate and the valve covers. I removed the fly wheel cover but that entire area was clean. I've also replaced the valve cover gaskets.

    Now couple months later, I realize that the the prior leak that was losing 2mm on the dip stick is now loosing 8mm. So my leak is bigger. I also believe there's a oil pan leak so I'm planning on replacing the gasket there.

    So I did a search and came up with some question regarding what others have posted. if I could get some help, I really appreciate your advice.

    1) Many of you have said that switching to synthetic would cause leaks. And I did switch to Mobil 1 for high mileage thinking that would be ok. Could this have made the the leak worse, and if so, can I switch back to conventional and reverse the issue?

    2) Everyone has said to clean the engine, but the I'm a little concerned. I read brake clean can be damaging to rubber parts and degreaser requires you to wash it off with water which I really don't want to get anything wet that shouldn't like the alternator. I don't really want damage any electrical components. How do you guys clean the engine?

    3) Many of you mention using dye and a black light to identify the leak. Advance Auto Parts says they don't sell anything like this. He pretty much acted like I was pulling his chain. So who has done the dye in the engine and where did you buy it and and what brand do you recommend?

    4) I did replace the valve cover gaskets and I torqued them down to spec. I didn't use OEM gaskets so is possible that's where I screwed up? Should I have used the OEM ones? Could the valve cover be slights warped? Although our gaskets don't require RTV, has anyone lined it with RTV anyways?

    5) If it is the rear main seal? How expensive is it to fix? Is it something I can do myself?

    And lastly, should I just take it to the dealer and pay them the $100 diagnosis fee and let them find the leak?

    Sorry for all the question, I really appreciate your help.

    BTW the truck has 175 k on it.
     
  2. Nov 26, 2011 at 2:38 PM
    #2
    twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    On mine I thought I had a rear main leak turned out the oil filter was a tiny bit loose seaping oil and running towards the back of the engine I tightened it up.
     
  3. Nov 27, 2011 at 2:13 PM
    #3
    JDMcQ

    JDMcQ Well-Known Member

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    Switching to synthetic will not cause leaks.

    Do not use brake cleaner to clean your engine. Use engine degreaser, you can cover the alternator with a plastic bag if you are concerned about getting it wet.
     
  4. Nov 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM
    #4
    JDMcQ

    JDMcQ Well-Known Member

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    :rofl:
     
  5. Nov 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM
    #5
    joes06tacoma

    joes06tacoma Well-Known Member

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    Switching to synthetic won't cause a leak, but it will make an existing leak worse. Switching back to conventional will likely improve the situation.

    Using engine degreaser is best. I have used brake cleaner spareingly before, on a cold engine.

    NAPA should have engine oil dye in stock. That's where I have bought it. You probably won't need a blacklight. Just get the motor clean and a bright flashlight is usually enough to find where it's coming from.

    Rear main seal isn't difficult, just have to pull the transmission, requires a transmission jack and lots of patience. I recommend reading the factory service manual before you decide whether to do it yourself.

    I doubt that using aftermarket gaskets would cause a problem.
     
  6. Nov 27, 2011 at 2:44 PM
    #6
    yoTaco98

    yoTaco98 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So the degreaser wont damage any rubber or electrical components?

    I'm going to tape a plastic bag around the alternator, is there anything else I should avoid?

    Oh, is true the engine should be hot?
     
  7. Nov 27, 2011 at 3:55 PM
    #7
    JDMcQ

    JDMcQ Well-Known Member

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    Engine degreaser will not hurt anything. Some types of degreaser (Simple Green, Greased Lightning) will etch aluminum.

    The engine should be warm-ish, not hot.
     
  8. Nov 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM
    #8
    yoTaco98

    yoTaco98 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the help guys.

    I ordered OEM valve cover gaskets and OEM rtv (FIPG ).

    I'm going clean the engine and put some dye in there. Hopefully I can find this leak and hopefully it's not the oil pan. I'm not looking at removing the front diff to replace that gasket.

    But I guess its better than replacing the rear seal.
     
  9. Nov 28, 2011 at 7:46 PM
    #9
    too old

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    I'm going to offer experience I had on an older SUV with about 100,000 miles on it. I switched to synthetic oil and almost immediately the next day developed a drip onto the pavement near the bell housing for the automatic transmission. I wiped everything down and could not find the source of the leak. It wasn't a dramatic leak, but annoying. I switched back to regular dinosaur oil but the leak persisted. Checked for loose anything but never found the source of the leak.

    I traded it in for my present 03 Tacoma double cab with the 2.7L four wacker. I doubt if I'll buy another Toyota again. :confused: A whole other bunch of issues.
     
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