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Old 08-21-2015, 11:44 PM   #1
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Default What part of the engine is this?

I have an oil leak/drip and not sure what I am looking at. It is near the oil filter but on a vertical/cover plate. What is the the name of the plate/part and how screwed am I?





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Old 08-22-2015, 12:08 AM   #2
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It looks like the transmission bell housing that bolts directly to the block. If you have red trans fluid there, it would be the front transmission seal or a leak in the torque converter. If it is engine oil and coming from inside the bell housing, it is likely the rear main seal on the engine crankshaft.

It is often coming from up above, and you should look carefully. You may get lucky and find it coming from the valve covers on the top of the engine. They are easy and cheap to fix compared to the other places.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:16 AM   #3
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It is definitely engine oil and comming from that little notch in that cover.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKFlipFloop View Post
It is definitely engine oil and comming from that little notch in that cover.
Unless there is a leak above that can get into the housing on top (very rare) then I would say you are looking at a rear main seal. On a Dodge, it can often be replaced without pulling the engine, but not always, and you will always have to pull the transmission to get at it.

Not particularly easy or cheap repair. 100s of dollars labor and about $10 for the part.

The good thing is with an automatic (no clutch), the oil will do no real harm except make a mess of the entire underneath of the van, as long as you keep the oil full. It will get progressively worse, and may eventually lower the oil pressure a little bit.

You can try running some of the "oil for older vehicles" as they contain some seal softeners which sometimes will help. In an old vehicle there is little they will hurt.

How many miles on the engine?
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:55 AM   #5
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that notch is on the vertical plate near the engine, not near the crank shaft.
It is where the engine connects to the transmission
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:05 AM   #6
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Yep, should have bolts all the way around the housing. That housing is hollow with just the torque converter going around in it. The crankshaft comes out into the middle of it to the converter and if the seal around it leaks, it just runs down the back of the block and comes out the notch in the cover. That is what the notch is for. You should be able to easily remove the cover and look to see where the oil is coming from.
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Old 08-22-2015, 02:41 AM   #7
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A $500 repair for a $10 part. My guess would be rear main seal which means dropping the transmission.

If you're going to do it, I suggest going to a transmission shop to get it done. While you're there get the transmission serviced too.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:24 AM   #8
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I did some reading and it turns out on a Dodge 360 the seal is a 2 piece seal. All that has to be done is have the oil pan dropped, oil pump removed and the bearing cap removed. The tranny can stay in. In fact alot of guys do it themselves. =)
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:28 AM   #9
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55k miles but it sat in a barn for awhile.

318/360 Rear Main Seal Replacement =)
gonna be easier than i thought
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Old 08-22-2015, 09:41 AM   #10
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On a machine that sits the seals will dry out and maybe crack.

as above get an oil additive and see if that loosens the seals and allows them to swell and seal as they should.

most likely the rear main seal is the culprit, but make sure that it isn;t coming from above- make SURE the top of the motor is clean.

spray on foot powder ( 99 store) sprayed on a suspect area will show the source of a seep.

if you have to do this job, I looked at the instructions- DISCONNECT the battery - he omitted this I think

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Old 08-22-2015, 01:01 PM   #11
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The two piece seal makes it a bit better, but the instructions may have underestimated a little on the ease of doing it in place because the transmission tries to hold the crank up tight. It can be very hard to get enough room to get the old seal out. It is pretty common to have to loosen 3 of the 5 main caps to get the crank to drop enough, sometimes even a rod cap. The big thing, as mentioned is retorqueing them, but also you need to make sure nothing gets under them as you mess around, as it will mess up the bearing clearance. Generally, if I loosen a cap, once the rear is back on and holding things up, I would take of the other caps I had loosened and clean the surfaces and then put them on and retorque. Before retorqueing most folks will loosen the the non removed caps just a little so they can all be retorqued in the correct order.

The biggest error with Chrysler seals is getting them in backwards for some reason it happens a lot, so beware. And do put in an oil pump while you are there, HD preferred.
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