Perished seal in oil strainer and oil in heater boxes

Discussion in 'Engine & Transmission' started by Tash, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. Tash

    Tash Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Kalgoorlie
    Hey good people - my poor old bus seems to be having some issues. I have oil apparently leaking out of the heater boxes ( and it's not coming from the rocker cover gaskets) - a significant amount of oil.
    I'm heading overseas until Christmas in a week - but would really appreciate an idea of what I might be facing before leaving.

    Two months ago my mechanical fuel pump died and filled the engine with fuel ( mixed with the oil). This was drained, fuel pump changed, new oil and oil filter. After driving it for about 50km ( over 2 weeks not all at once) I've just changed the oil and filter again. There appears to be the remains of a rubber seal and a few hard grainy bits of crud inside the oil strainer.

    1975, 1800 type 4.
    hopefully the attached photos help with describing this - I'm new to my bus and still learning many things.
    Any ideas - please?



    Okay, right now I can't downsize the pictures enough even using a screenshot. I'll have access to a real computer tomorrow and shall try then.
     
  2. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,665
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    You can't have oil leaking out of heater boxes as they don't contain oil.
    If its definitely not rocker cover seals then drop the lower tinware that covers the pushrod tubes and inspect for leaks.
    Also could be oil filter. Or if above oil filter, oil cooler.

    Where does oil appear on the hearer boxes?

    If the hard gasket bits in the oil strainer are curved, but square edged like broken rings, that they would form a circle about 1cm then likely the engine had valve seals fitted and these have broken.
    If so don't worry.
    They are not normally fitted.
    Occurrence should diminish.
    Shouldn't cause any issues.
     
    Mordred likes this.
  3. Tash

    Tash Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Kalgoorlie
    Thanks cbus. The pushrod tubes seem fine as well.

    The rubber that has been caught in the strainer has a much wider diameter - maybe 6 - 10 cm.

    Wish I could put these photos up right now.

    It's been getting progressively worse leak wise the last couple of weeks. I am suspicious of the oil cooler anyway - as the bus has been running hot and cannot figure out why.

    I live in a small town where there's no VW gurus ( that I can find anyway) so I'm kind of limited with whom to go to.

    Once she's been driving for about ten minutes I start to also get white smoke via the fan at the front
    I figure that once this is all resolved that will eventually burn off.

    I'll be at work in 12 hours ( ugh) and will sort these photos out as soon as I can.

    The oil appears on both heater boxes, mainly towards the front ends ( drivers end). The right one is far worse and will also drip oil off the base - I guess it trickles to a certain point then drops down.

    Sorry - I know this is quite vague. Hopefully the pics will provide, literally, a clearer picture.
     
  4. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,665
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Sounding a bit like rear main and front ( behind fan) seals may have copped it from the fuel in sump exercise.
    Rubber often swells in solvents and fuel so I am taking a punt that this is a possibility that these seals may be vulnerable to such.
    Should be some knowledgeable types that can confirm,deny.
     
    David H likes this.
  5. Tash

    Tash Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Kalgoorlie
    Thanks again - I somehow think you are one of the knowledgeable ones :)
    If this is the case - looks like the engine needs to come out (is this correct?).

    Forgive the extra questions - if the engine needs to come out - and this wont be happening until after I'm back from overseas. However, whilst the engine is out - what else might I do at the same type to make life better for my van? I've had my suspicions of the stock oil cooler, so I figure this is a good time to replace it. What else is advisable/worthwhile to check that my not be obvious to me?

    Again, thank you.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  6. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,665
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    The rubber is silicone sealant.
    Some monkey has been heavy handed with.
    It is affected by petrol so this may have been a factor in its dislodgement.
    Hopefully the strainer is catching most of it. ?
    Worst issue is bits may block oil galleries but I wouldn't strip the motor to chase it.

    Don't know re oil leaks.
    Do a thorough search for origins.
    Clean engine , run, then look for fresh oil leaks.

    Will cover other issues late
     
    David H likes this.
  7. Tash

    Tash Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Kalgoorlie
    True- I really hope the strainer is catching most of it. The leaks - which still appear to be from the heater boxes (I know this doesn't make sense - I'll take some clearer photos tonight) have been getting progressively worse. I have cleaned things up 3 times so far and gone out on short trips - the oil always pools and seeps from the same spots.
    Until then :)
    and thanks for your time and help - much appreciated.
     
  8. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,665
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    I'm still punting for corner of rocker covers as source if oil.
    Otherwise push rod tubes at that end.
    Remove and replace the rocker gaskets.
    Glue them in place with a sparing amount if ht silicone but NONE exposed to inner surface.
    Let it set before clamping.
    Ensures gasket doesn't dislodge while installing or suck in later.
    Ensure a fair pressure exerted by clamps.
     
    Mordred and David H like this.
  9. David H

    David H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,910
    Location:
    newcastle
    Oil cooler &/or filter is LHS only so that's why cbus looking further up to rocker gaskets/pushrod tubes. Be Irish & remove that lower pushrod tinware, clean, drive & observe...to be sure:D. If not you'll have 6 months to work it out;).

    Cheers
     
  10. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,395
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    take the blue cover off to get a better look at where the leak is coming from

    My 2c is on the rocker or maybe the upper push rod seal

    upload_2018-6-26_8-15-11.png
     
  11. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,774
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    As posted, oil on the heater boxes is coming from above..... it cannot come from the heater boxes themselves.
    Most common, in my experience, is from rocker covers if the vehicle is not serviced regularly, as the gaskets should be replaced every 5,000 k when the valves are done.
    If it is being serviced and the rocker cover gaskets replaced, next most frequent cause is o-rings on push rods....( pushrod seals )
    Other trap is using cheap gaskets.....if you want to prevent oil leaks, only use the best quality parts.
    Should drop the tinware as advised and get a good, high powered torch to look around.
    Hopefully nothing more involved.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
    KahunaKombi likes this.
  12. Tash

    Tash Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Kalgoorlie
    Thanks everyone. I'll be back under with a good torch tonight.
     
  13. Tash

    Tash Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Kalgoorlie
    And fresh photos tomorrow
     
    oldman and Weekender like this.
  14. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,774
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    .....that sealant material looks horribly like someone tried to ( over) glue/silicone the rocker cover gaskets to the covers.
    Sealant really should not be required. Proper fitting, correct thickness, good quality cork gaskets can be held in place with a light smear of oil while you clip the covers in place.
    Simple...;)
    Cheap, thinner gaskets do not retain the same tension in the rocker cover springs/clips, leading to leaks........a lot of folks use gasket goo or similar to compensate.
    Problem with that is, the gaskets get permanently compressed over time ( 'cause they are not replaced regularly ) and they lose their sealing ability as their flexibility is lost. ( They have no re-bound when compressed...)
    I've always replaced the gaskets at 5K when I do the valves......never had a leak from them.
    It'd be interesting to see if your gaskets have been glued/silicone on.......easy enough to determine....just drop one of the covers and check....it should just peel off....
    Other issue with sealing gaskets is that when you DO choose to replace them, it can be a bitch to scrape every little bit off to ensure a good seal with the new ones......anything left on will most likely cause a leak.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
    David H likes this.
  15. Mordred

    Mordred Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,635
    Location:
    Penna, Hobart
    I agree with Mark and Cbus, that seal material in the strainer is almost certainly off the valve cover and the remnants have found their way down one of the rocker tubes and in to the sump. With these motors you can replace the rocker tube seals without removing the heads. Only thing to remember is to get Viton seals to replace the originals particularly for the head end as it gets really hot. They are heat and oil resistant and and you don't use sealant to fit them as they will leak. They need to be able to move a little as the engine warms and cools.

    Good luck

    Adrian
     

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