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  #1  
Old 09-21-2019, 03:58 PM
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Pesky oil leaks - 2003 3.0 w/56k miles

I bought this '03 3.0 with only 55k miles, and it had a lot of oil leaks.

I've done the OFHG (sourced from BMW) and VCG as well as put in a new PS high pressure hose and return hose (from the reservoir to the PS pump).

That's taken care of the major leaks, but I'm still getting oil drops forming underneath on both sides of the motor, and I can't figure out where. It seems to accumulate at the bottom of the front diff and the passenger side axle support as well as in back at the bellhousing. (I'll try to snap pictures when I have it in the air next)

It's definitely not gear oil. Seems like engine oil and not PS fluid (it's thin but not red). I'm thinking the only culprits left could be the oil pan gasket and/or rear main seal (yikes). The trouble is the fan and airflow is blowing the oil all over the place making it real hard to tell where it originated. Any tips on narrowing it down? Anyone ever tried the UV dye?

p.s. - the VANOS hose off the oil filter housing is dry, and there is no pooling in the engine block webbing below the OFH. So, I think that one's OK now although it is in the vicinity of where I see oil accumulating most (front left of motor).
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2019, 08:01 PM
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How crackly are the pollution system hoses? I had to replace some brittle ones that leaked a bit. We use UV additive at work. The trick is to not let it sit too long or it's harder to track the source. Lowe's has Craftsman UV flashlights for about $10. Very handy.As a bonus, you can find all the places your dog peed on the rug and check out your hotel room.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:27 PM
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I had to replace it once in a single car. the crankshaft sensor o-ring was bad, and it was leaking quite an amount of oil. If not check the CCV hoses.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:02 PM
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The crank sensor o-ring is a likely culprit. I would remove the stiffening plate and wash down the belly of the beast and maybe even put in some florescent dye.
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:33 AM
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^Yep. Get 3 or 4 cans of brake clean and some engine degreaser (I use purple power) and clean everything well. Then you should be able to see where the leak is originating from after a drive or so (maybe just sitting). The UV dye is not a bad idea either.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
^Yep. Get 3 or 4 cans of brake clean and some engine degreaser (I use purple power) and clean everything well. Then you should be able to see where the leak is originating from after a drive or so (maybe just sitting). The UV dye is not a bad idea either.
That's what I did to nail own my very small oil leak. Degreased the motor then put dye in the oil. Very slight leak from the pan gasket. Not bad enough that I'm going to go through the pain of changing the gasket. I don't get drips. Just a film of oil that gets blown back along the engine. Looks much worse that it is. Occasional degreasing takes care of it.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:15 PM
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Good suggestions, all - thanks! I put the vehicle in the air but didn't feel like getting too messy and pulling the stiffening plate (for the 3rd time in a week!).

The CCV hoses all look good and dry - don't see any weeping on them.
I think the crank sensor is too far back for where I'm seeing the oil accumulate. The accumulation is more towards the front of the engine.

The front main seal looks good. I'm not sure about the rear. I sent a bore scope up there, but with the resolution of the camera and the light it's hard to tell what's going on.

I just don't see an oil pan gasket problem. Yeah, there's an oily film all over everything, but I don't see any 'clean' streaks of oil indicating the type of leak that would leave drops overnight.

I do see two potential problems. The oil drain plug has a droplet formed on it (torqued correctly with a fresh crush ring). And, the power steering pump bracket has droplets formed on it that I've previously wiped off. These are right under the oil filter housing; so, maybe I still have a problem there.

Here are a few pics I was able to snap without removing the reinforcement plate.

You can see the accumulation at the bellhousing, at the ps pump bracket, and the splash shield (showing the most fresh oil dripping on the front of the subframe, right under the ps pump).
Attached Images
    
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:58 AM
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So, I had to take my '01 3.0 5MT in for an airbag recall, and it has the EXACT same oil leak as this '03 - accumulation at the bellhousing, front diff, and right axle support bearing with VCG and OFHG done.

Dealer says the leak is coming from the oil pan gasket, which I kind of figured but was hoping not to hear. I guess I'll be tackling that as I need to put new axles in and am going to swap out the diffs to 3.64 ratio units.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e39_touring View Post
So, I had to take my '01 3.0 5MT in for an airbag recall, and it has the EXACT same oil leak as this '03 - accumulation at the bellhousing, front diff, and right axle support bearing with VCG and OFHG done.

Dealer says the leak is coming from the oil pan gasket, which I kind of figured but was hoping not to hear. I guess I'll be tackling that as I need to put new axles in and am going to swap out the diffs to 3.64 ratio units.

Not to change the topic to much but, from what vehicle are you sourcing the diff?
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:25 AM
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Unhappy

Dorty some how it double post.
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R56 Mini Cooper S 07-sold. I should have keept it
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