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Oil leaking...no idea how to fix it. Help! :(

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1 May 2001
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Point of No Return
So the other day I went to pass a few cars to make an exit ramp, and downshifted to 3rd gear, applied throttle, and shifted at around 7,000 RPM or so. Nothing crazy. But afterwards I thought I could smell a burning oil smell. While I drive fast, I actually do not really get on the car very much and do not really get into the high RPM range, so I initially just dismissed it. But when I got home I decided to investigate further. Here is what I saw after putting the car into the air.

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So I sprayed everything down with brake cleaner to see if I could find the source of the leak, and did not see anything. Well today I put the car in the air and looked again because I had a few oil drips in the garage, and this is what I found.

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The thing is that if you look in the center of that, it looks like there is a chip out of the metal, and I think the oil drip is originating from there and blowing onto the rest of the parts, but am not sure. I have no idea what to do, and do not really trust the dealer in this instance, so any help is appreciated.

The car is a 1994 NSX with just over 184,500 miles.
 
Probably rear main leak.

Let me know if we can help.

Do you think that chip has anything to do with it? Where is the rear main seal so that I can get a better picture?

What sucks even more is this was right after telling my wife that I was driving to NSXPO in Colorado because the car is reliable despite its mileage. Grrrrr.
 
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Do you think that chip has anything to do with it? Where is the rear main seal so that I can get a better picture?

What sucks even more is this was right after telling my wife that I was driving to NSXPO in Colorado because the car is reliable despite its mileage. Grrrrr.

No the chip/weep hole is there for this reason. The black inspection cover is removable. If you remove that it is most likely really wet inside there. You should be able to see the flywheel/clutch when it is removed. Its still reliable just needs a little love. We can fix it in a days time. I have them in stock. May want to consider a clutch too if yours has a lot of miles as the trans has to come out to do the rear main.

Edit: Just saw the question - you will not be able to see the rear main until the trans is removed.
 
Mitch from where the oil is in the first picture, I am not so sure about a rear main leak. The spot near the "chip" on the bottom of the trans is where oil from all leaks ends up (it is the lowest point). I would look higher first and check the valve covers, spool valves and oil pressure sender block. An oil leak from any of these points will make a picture like the one you posted. FYI I had the exact same drip in the exact same spot- it ended up being my front valve cover.
 
Mitch from where the oil is in the first picture, I am not so sure about a rear main leak. The spot near the "chip" on the bottom of the trans is where oil from all leaks ends up (it is the lowest point). I would look higher first and check the valve covers, spool valves and oil pressure sender block. An oil leak from any of these points will make a picture like the one you posted. FYI I had the exact same drip in the exact same spot- it ended up being my front valve cover.

I thought he had mentioned that is where the oil was originating and as it was coming from there it was spraying over the other parts?
 
Look up at the usual suspects - valve cover gaskets, spool valves, cam plugs. Most oil leaks on these engines originate in these places and seep downwards.
 
I could not find any oil leaks up high. Where are the cam seals?
 
I have a leak that is similar. Mine is to the best of my diagnostics coming from the main shaft seal on the tranny. I put a dye in the engine oil and the leaking fluid does not have the dye. I have checked the tranny fluid level over the last month or so and it is not going down still right at the top of the fill hole. If I take the tranny fill bolt out oil will eventually slowly drip down. I investigated the cost of replacement and been quoted in the 2-2.5k range since tranny rebuilt should be done at the smae time then another 2k for a clutch if needed. I am thinking about doing it myself after I heal from my accident. Cost of parts to just fix the leak will be very little so just paying for the labor to get to the parts. In the mean time I have been lead to believe that as long as it shifts smoothly and I check the fluid level regularly that the leak is not big enough to cause any immediate issues.

To verify your leak you can get the dye and a UV light and add it to either the enigne oil or tranny fluid and see if it lights up or not.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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I have a leak that is similar. Mine is to the best of my diagnostics coming from the main shaft seal on the tranny. I put a dye in the engine oil and the leaking fluid does not have the dye. I have checked the tranny fluid level over the last month or so and it is not going down still right at the top of the fill hole. If I take the tranny fill bolt out oil will eventually slowly drip down. I investigated the cost of replacement and been quoted in the 2-2.5k range since tranny rebuilt should be done at the smae time then another 2k for a clutch if needed. I am thinking about doing it myself after I heal from my accident. Cost of parts to just fix the leak will be very little so just paying for the labor to get to the parts. In the mean time I have been lead to believe that as long as it shifts smoothly and I check the fluid level regularly that the leak is not big enough to cause any immediate issues.

To verify your leak you can get the dye and a UV light and add it to either the enigne oil or tranny fluid and see if it lights up or not.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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There should be no reason for a trans rebuild unless there is an issue there?
 
My friend had an oil leak on his NSX and the first picture looks like what I saw when underneath the car. We couldn't find it initially but when it went to the service shop, it was a pinched valve cover gasket closest to the firewall (installed incorrectly on the last service). Leak was gone after the gasket was replaced. May want to double check the valve cover gaskets.
 
Out of curiousity did you check the oil pan bolts? I noticed the oil is coming DOWN fron the stiffener bracket, which tells me the wetness starts at the oil pan hieght. Just a thought. If you remove the cover as mentioned you can see enough to determine if the main seal is the issue.

HTH,
LarryB
 
Out of curiousity did you check the oil pan bolts? I noticed the oil is coming DOWN fron the stiffener bracket, which tells me the wetness starts at the oil pan hieght. Just a thought. If you remove the cover as mentioned you can see enough to determine if the main seal is the issue.

HTH,
LarryB

I will check the bolts and see if they are tight. As far as the main seal, I may be able to remove the cover, but am not sure what I will be looking for.
 
I will check the bolts and see if they are tight. As far as the main seal, I may be able to remove the cover, but am not sure what I will be looking for.

You should be able to see the lower curve of the mainseal, or generally look in the middle and see if the wetness is coming from behind the flywheel(engine block side);)
 
Just a hint if your not sure if it's engine or gearbox oil: they smell quite different.
 
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