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CamoKing

Oil shower insults a sparkling clean engine bay

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Once again, I ask for this great RATSUN site for member's indulgence on a problem I face with this '82 Datsun 720, Z22.

 

Proceeding along with the rebuild, I installed a reman. alternator and returned to the 'tuning' and valve clearance.  Because of the ticking after the 'hot' set last week, I set the lash cold  to see if ticking would stop or be reduced.  It fired up nicely and it seemed I was on track to setting a smoother idle.  So, I backed out of my driveway to spin around the block and heat it up; changed my mind since it was getting late. I was 'driving' for only about 10 minutes.  

Opened the hood to find that oil had been spewed over almost everything!  Mostly toward the driver's side front.  A significant amount was puddled below the radiator and the cooling fan had oil sitting in its front recess facing the radiator?!?  The inside of the hood was dripping.  Oil was on the firewall.       Obviously, the cooling fan was slinging oil.  Where was it coming from?   Though this is a substantial leak, its location is not obvious; it is late in the day, too.

 

First guess implicates the rocker cover gasket which is a new cork style from the set I purchased for my head rebuild.  However this does not account for the magnitude of oil and its presence on the opposite side of the cooling fan.   Could oil be making its way through the water pump and in to the fan ??  If so, I should see oil in the coolant, right?

 

This oil leak was not evident at all during last week's initial start up.  All I did today was set a cold valve lash and install a reman. alternator.   It was idling better.  With all that oil I wonder if the front main seal blew; I don't think all this oil would be found up top.  Can't find the source.  😞

 

This is a new problem.  I was expecting the unexpected in the process of  'waking  this engine up'  after a months of sleeping.  But, today's oil shower may signal a conclusion to this adventure in auto mechanics.  Where is this oil leaking from?

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

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If you ran it before with no problem and it happened after setting the valves the half moon rubber plug under the front of the gasket may have fallen out or the cover gasket isn't on right. If the oil fill cap on?

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Give the engine a bath in dawn detergent and watch it. I had my oil filler cap come off while driving. I thought that water was coming up from under the cowling and hit the windshield wipers. Colossal mess!

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4 hours ago, bottomwatcher said:

Give the engine a bath in dawn detergent and watch it. I had my oil filler cap come off while driving. I thought that water was coming up from under the cowling and hit the windshield wipers. Colossal mess!

MESS is right!  I hadn't put the cowling back on so oil droplets made their way to the outside surface of the hood; Up UP and AWAY....jeez

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11 hours ago, datzenmike said:

If you ran it before with no problem and it happened after setting the valves the half moon rubber plug under the front of the gasket may have fallen out or the cover gasket isn't on right. If the oil fill cap on?

Looking for answers today, Mike.  

Is the cork gasket problematic?  I RTV'd it to the rocker cover and left the head side naked.  Also, how much torque is usually applied to the valve cover bolts?

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valve cover bolts are like hand tight but even  and tight is like 5-7 pounds

 

 

do not overtighten the cork as it will split and actually make it worse

Edited by banzai510(hainz)

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     Look down at the cooling fan with oily blades and a little pool on the low point.:pYrZQ2b.jpg

Thanks, Hainz.  That is what I thought.  I may be over-tight.   I'm wondering how many times one can take the cover off/on before the cork loses 'suppleness'.  I have been Off & On at least 6 times so far.  It does seem to be leaking around intake plugs #1 & #2 and down the block on that side.  I may have to buy a new gasket after all.

 

However, I am really puzzled by the oil puddle in the recess of the cooling fan facing the radiator ?  If the cover gasket leaks, how could oil get to the front of the fan??

Edited by CamoKing
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5 hours ago, vicdat said:

....start it up an look for the source...

 

 

WIll do...after I get a new cover gasket.  For now,   I'd like to relate today's observations which may have bearing upon this oily subject.  I see oil around intake sparks #1 , #2, and in nearby recesses on the intake manifold.  This 'fugitive' oil like most oil retrieved from other areas is light colored and looking fresh.  All the oil seen in the head is as black as night.   The oil on the dipstick is clear and golden.  WTF?  If oil leaked from the head, it would expect it to be black.  Right? 

Why oh why isn't the oil in the head looking fresh?     Oil pump not working?  Oil pick up too gunked up?  Clogged passages?   Seems like there is an oil circulation problem here.

 

 

G4kwqLX.jpg

View of spark plug #1 and #2

 

 

ChaLAVx.jpgBlack oil in head galley

 

 

 

Also, the plugs from #1 & #2 are oily......

 

Auto60p.jpg

 

 

  Oil in the combustion chamber.  I can't deal with failing piston rings (there has been some oil burning during initial start-up).  

I'd like to find a way to diagnose the apparent oil circulation problem ; and maybe solve it.  

I'd like to get this truck running at least as good as it was before all this tear down.

But first, I need to eliminate the cover gasket as a source of leaking oil.  Off to the auto parts store to order some new cork with fingers crossed.

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Clean it first, then fire it up and look for leaks. Hard to tell where it's coming from when everything is oily.

 

I don't think you could get such a hard oil mess if your circulation was faulty.

 

Black oil in the head? It's not super clean, but I wouldn't say it's black.

 

Are you sure the plugs didn't get oil on them when you removed them? Oil sitting in the plug recess is going to drip somewhere.

 

Does this truck have power steering? Maybe it's got a leak, hence the oil up in the fan.

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The Z series have a half moon part front and back that lines up with the cam. Maybe so the can bearing surfaces can be drilled? The gasket set includes new rubber ones that should have a smear of sealer to hold and reduce leaking. If one of these was missing it would blow out towards the fan.

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9 minutes ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

Clean it first, then fire it up and look for leaks. Hard to tell where it's coming from when everything is oily.

 

I don't think you could get such a hard oil mess if your circulation was faulty.

 

Black oil in the head? It's not super clean, but I wouldn't say it's black.

 

Are you sure the plugs didn't get oil on them when you removed them? Oil sitting in the plug recess is going to drip somewhere.

 

Does this truck have power steering? Maybe it's got a leak, hence the oil up in the fan.

Many thanks for the reply to my exasperating situation.  I'm calmer today.   Power steering has not been reinstalled yet.  I'm still bugged by the color contrast between the oil in the head and what I see coming out and on the dipstick.  But, that will be dismissed for now.

 

Here is a scenario that provides a plausible explanation for the presence of oil in the fan and below the radiator.  :    Oil is being 'projected' on to the hood's underside, flowing downward due to gravity to the cooling fan, dripping between the radiator and fan (I do not have the cowling/hood installed) --  and THEN being spewed back in to the bay.  Some oil is bound to be trapped in the fan's pocket.    I can imagine this happening when the oil fill cap is off because the timing chain would sling oil up and out.  But this cap is on tight.  Oil must be squirting from somewhere else.  And, if that "hood scenario" is correct, the oil has to be shooting upwards.

 

No two ways about it.   I must fire it up and observe; this time with plastic protective covers on the vulnerable areas.  (And more coffee) 

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, datzenmike said:

The Z series have a half moon part front and back that lines up with the cam. Maybe so the can bearing surfaces can be drilled? The gasket set includes new rubber ones that should have a smear of sealer to hold and reduce leaking. If one of these was missing it would blow out towards the fan.

I did install both plugs, Mike though FELpro shorted me one.  The set only had one so I used an old one up front.  I did smear RTV and it is in place.  No leaking there.  THanks.

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Have you checked your oil pressure sending unit?

Have you refilled your oil to the proper level?

Are you using the correct bolts in your valve cover? 

 

Had the same (?) thing happen once on an L after swapping to an internally regulated alternator, doing a valve adjustment and scrubbing the engine bay. At idle it would drip a little, under load with max oil pressure it would spray oil everywhere, including the fan. Coincidentally it is between cylinders 2 and 3 below your intake manifold... If you don't know, its the round doohickey with one wire going to it...

 

If your cork gasket is still pliable, clean and of uniform thickness, run it. If its not replace it...

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....maybe that doohickey is the oil sending unit...

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1 hour ago, mike said:

Have you checked your oil pressure sending unit?

Have you refilled your oil to the proper level?

Are you using the correct bolts in your valve cover? 

 

Had the same (?) thing happen once on an L after swapping to an internally regulated alternator, doing a valve adjustment and scrubbing the engine bay. At idle it would drip a little, under load with max oil pressure it would spray oil everywhere, including the fan. Coincidentally it is between cylinders 2 and 3 below your intake manifold... If you don't know, its the round doohickey with one wire going to it...

 

If your cork gasket is still pliable, clean and of uniform thickness, run it. If its not replace it...

Really appreciate you response, Mike.  To answer - Yes, yes, and yes.   I wish I could say you nailed it with your tip about the oil switch.  Hadn't considered that at all.       Alas,.....

.....The oil pressure switch/sending unit is dry as a bone.  I think this darn cork gasket is involved but I can't imagine it would lead profusely  and send oil out with force. 

Proceeding to put the cover back on and start up to observe.  Cleaned out most of the spewed oil and have placed some plastic over areas in the line of 'fire'.   I will pay special attention to the oil switch area this time.  Thanks.

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Damn, thought I had it. Sounded way too similar... Besides, theres only a couple places on the engine that will push that much oil out in that short of a time. 

 

After you get it cleaned up, pulling your fan/alt belt should help in diagnosis as it will keep the fan from blowing oil everywhere and make the leak easier to spot.

 

Good luck.

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double gasket on fram oil filter. Old gast was left and you put another oil filter on.

Fram oil filter the relief valve failed.?

 

be honest I don't know..

you said this was running before so I assume the oilpump worked

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48 minutes ago, mike said:

Damn, thought I had it. Sounded way too similar... Besides, theres only a couple places on the engine that will push that much oil out in that short of a time. 

 

After you get it cleaned up, pulling your fan/alt belt should help in diagnosis as it will keep the fan from blowing oil everywhere and make the leak easier to spot.

 

Good luck.

To be clear  -- run it without the fan ?? (and also the alternator which is on the same belt)

Never done that.  I guess you can do it safely for a short period in idle.

Lacking skill I'll always take any luck.   Thanks

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47 minutes ago, banzai510(hainz) said:

double gasket on fram oil filter. Old gast was left and you put another oil filter on.

Fram oil filter the relief valve failed.?

 

be honest I don't know..

you said this was running before so I assume the oilpump worked

Hi, Hainz.  

Short history.  I ran the truck for about 750 miles many, many months ago.  As soon as I got it, I had the oil changed w/filter.  That is the same 'generic' filter returned to the truck weeks ago upon replacing the oil .  I know, I know.  That may be a mistake  .  But I was intending to get a quality filter after an initial tune/run period;  flush/drain refill w/new filter.

 

The oil pump:   Lacking experience, I did not secure the timing chain properly while working on the top end. 

Needed to take the timing cover off to get things right and replace the bent tensioner.  During this process I did remove the oil pump and returned it containing some oil.

Do you think it is not working or barely working?  Oil pressure seems to be where it was before this whole rebuild started (according to the gauge in the console).  WHAT is a usual

oil psi reading?

 

Get the picture...I have more time than brains or $$ on my hands.

Thanks for the comments

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10 psi for 1000 rpm is considered safe but a little low imo. The pumps are self priming but it is better to fill with oil to speed up the process. Running without the belt means the water pump isn't pumping. Ok for a short run if it helps isolate a problem. That much oil mess should be obvious just by watching.

 

 

 

 

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As oil leakage past bearings, oil jets and cam doesn't change with engine speed but the pump output does, the pressure quickly goes up with the RPMs. Your oil pressure at low speeds and idle depends on your bearing wear. Cold oil or thicker weight oil will be slightly higher.

 

Hot idle of over 25 is nice but I've had 17 before on a very old and used L20B. By 2,000 you should be near 50 PSI. All pumps are regulated to 50-60 PSI.

 

 

 

You had the oil pump off. Did the gasket tear when removing or replacing it. Check your oil level and top it up if needed. Start engine and have someone revit up while you watch the oip pump. Fifty PSI will spray pretty good.

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I don't think pump is self priming what ever that means. You need oil in there to create a sucktion so one primes the pump by filling it up with oil..  If you drove it 750 miles then its fine and also it squirted it all over the motor so its go to be working.

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The oil pump clearances are very tight so I think it will draw oil up from the pan.... but common sense would dictate filling with grease or oil to help it prime. I do.

 

Like I said the gasket may be torn or even missing or even the bolts forgotten and not tight. Oil would shoot out all over the front of the engine and the fan.

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1 hour ago, datzenmike said:

The oil pump clearances are very tight so I think it will draw oil up from the pan.... but common sense would dictate filling with grease or oil to help it prime. I do.

 

Like I said the gasket may be torn or even missing or even the bolts forgotten and not tight. Oil would shoot out all over the front of the engine and the fan.

Don't think the oil pump is a problem.  Primed when returned to the truck with new gasket.  I am seeing psi about 35 psi @1000 rpm (about 1/4" to the left of 45 psi mark on the gauge).

Getting back to the 'oil spill', I ran it yesterday watching for leaks.  NO LEAKS.  Warmed up, idling fair w/lash returned to cold setting.  Sounds OK for now.  Still - NO LEAKs.  Just like the other day BEFORE backing out for a test drive which was aborted due to lack of power steering.  I intend to put the pump on when its running better.

 

A-HA.  The lines to the power steering pump may still have some fluid in them.   I don't know the mechanics here but I am guessing that by turning the wheels some fluid could be forced out of an open line.  Is that possible?  Indeed, I find that one of the lines did not have a plug in it and it is kinda pointing toward the cooling fan.   Add to this the nagging fact that the color of the fluid found pooling in several places was not really looking like motor oil, new or old;  it was reddish orange. 

 

Conclusion:  I think that when I backed out and did some turning on to the street, power steering fluid burped out toward the fan and spewed into the engine bay.  Does this sound like a plausible explanation.    ??     

I will proceed working under the assumption that NO MOTOR OIL IS LEAKING.  I won't be back under the hood for a few days to run out in the street WITH the PS lines plugged. 

But I think this topic has come to a close. 

ON deck:  burning oil

Thanks for all your help !

 

 

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