Massive oil leak from passenger's rear of engine - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
'99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the '99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-06-2018, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Massive oil leak from passenger's rear of engine

Hey guys,

For those who don't know me, I'm the idiot that decided to put a T444E from a school bus into my truck. That I just bought with a bad engine because someone changed the oil to flush the gallons of coolant out of the crankcase right before I looked at it.

Fast forward a week and a half of fighting with the truck and a tremendous amount of regret, and it's back together with a slightly more fresh engine. 114K miles from a school bus with rust and a slipping transmission. Went to fill it up with oil, and noticed that it dripped oil from the flywheel inspection cover. Important detail number one. Not a ton of oil, but a definite drip that stopped pretty much immediately after I stopped adding oil.

Everything else looked good, so I fired it up. Started pretty quickly for an engine that hadn't run in forever. Shut it off pretty much immediately after it found idle, as I hadn't filled the radiator, anticipating something going wrong and having to take it all back apart. Looked under the truck, and it was gushing oil. Like if you turned a quart bottle upside down. Said some choice words, put a drain pan under it, and called it a night.

Today, there's probably at least a quart and a half of oil in the drain pan. I started it back up on the lift, let it start to leak, and shut it down and ran the lift up. It's leaking in a steady stream from what looks like the passenger's side rear corner of the oil pan. Now, in the T444E swap, the oil pan is one of the things that has to be swapped over, so the pan was off. I also don't have a engine stand capable of turning this engine upside down, so I had to do it right side up which is a no-no according to International. But I did it as right as possible under the circumstances. The pan was removed, the mating surfaces rigorously cleaned, and the engine was left to drip for several days. Cleaned every day with brake clean to prevent as much oil contamination as possible. It went back together with the TA31 sealant, as per International. Even so, I didn't expect it to be perfect, though I can guarantee that it's far from the worst oil pan job done on these engines. Figured that a slow leak was better than a big orange paperweight taking up room in my shop.

My first thought seeing this leak was that the seal failed, but with the amount of oil that is leaking, I don't think it's possible for it to be the pan seal unless there's something else going on. There would have to be a large hole and a ton of pressure in the crankcase for it to leak this much from between the pan and the mating surface. Again, multiple steady streams. So my next thought was rear main seal. Like an idiot, I didn't replace that when I had the engine out. But again, unless there's a huge chunk of the seal that's just gone, I can't imagine it leaking this much.

What's throwing me off is that it leaked when filling with oil. A lot of the common leaks on this truck don't seem compatible with the way it's behaving. Turbo o rings can't leak when filling, since there's no oil going in that direction when the engine is off. Rear main would be unlikely to leak when filling. Oil pan shouldn't leak when filling, since it would have to navigate the thick layer of sealant, along with the fact that the pan is bolted against the mating surface, while under no pressure at all. Cracked cylinder shouldn't leak when filling.

So my question is, what is on this engine that would A) leak in a steady drip when adding oil to an empty crankcase B) leak like a garden hose when running, even after a few seconds and C) leak from the rear passenger's side corner of the pan.

Hopefully someone has some suggestions, because I've spent pushing 4 grand and a week and a half of labor to have a truck that I still can't drive.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-06-2018, 07:33 PM
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Massive oil leak from passenger's rear of engine

The only thing i can think that would leak when filling would be the valve cover gasket, the oil fuller neck oring, and the drain plug. Maybe the adapter for the dipstick. None of those are especially pressurized when running though. Anything that leaks up top will run down the back of the motor. Any of the HPOP hose fittings could do that, but only when running.

The dipstick adapter is going to be my guess.


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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-06-2018, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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The only thing i can think that would leak when filling would be the valve cover gasket, the oil fuller neck oring, and the drain plug. Maybe the adapter for the dipstick. None of those are especially pressurized when running though. Anything that leaks up top will run down the back of the motor. Any of the HPOP hose fittings could do that, but only when running.

The dipstick adapter is going to be my guess.


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I hosed the pan down with brake cleaner, the dipstick adapter is full of silicone from previous repairs but is dry as a bone for now. I know exactly where it looks like it's leaking from (corner of oil pan) but I can't come up with anything that would both leak a little when filling and then leak A LOT when running.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-07-2018, 11:42 AM
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Check the valley on top of the motor. You have a drain hole on the back side of the engine on the passenger side that drains any oil/fuel down the back side.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-08-2018, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Check the valley on top of the motor. You have a drain hole on the back side of the engine on the passenger side that drains any oil/fuel down the back side.
DENNY
Yeah, I know about the valley, but I don't think there's any way oil is leaking from anything up top when filling through the filler neck.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-08-2018, 03:06 PM
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I saw a video on Powerstrokehelp that showed a block that had cracked in the area you describe. This was due to a highly tuned engine on a lifted truck with a young kid behind the wheel. Not saying this is the case with your engine, but its a possibility.

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-08-2018, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jleedog View Post
I saw a video on Powerstrokehelp that showed a block that had cracked in the area you describe. This was due to a highly tuned engine on a lifted truck with a young kid behind the wheel. Not saying this is the case with your engine, but its a possibility.
I'm not eliminating any possibilities, but this engine came out of a school bus with a bad transmission and rust. I personally know the people at the salvage yard the engine came from, and they drove the bus to their yard. This truck would not make it more than 5 miles with this leak. I'm not denying the possibility, but it seems incredibly unlikely that a detuned and fleet maintained bus motor has a cracked block.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-08-2018, 07:13 PM
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I posted this up in your thread over on PSN also:

Someone suggested that it could be a HPO rail plug leaking...

The HPO rail plug wouldn't leak while adding oil, only when the engine was running. That leak certainly could be a damaged rocker cover gasket, however. But it would have to be REALLY damaged to leak that much (like missing a section...).

Also, any particular reason you chose to try and retrofit a T444 into the truck, instead of just trying to find a used Powerstroke? Would have been a much easier swap (and probably cheaper in the long run, too).

~Al
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-08-2018, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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I posted this up in your thread over on PSN also:

Someone suggested that it could be a HPO rail plug leaking...

The HPO rail plug wouldn't leak while adding oil, only when the engine was running. That leak certainly could be a damaged rocker cover gasket, however. But it would have to be REALLY damaged to leak that much (like missing a section...).

Also, any particular reason you chose to try and retrofit a T444 into the truck, instead of just trying to find a used Powerstroke? Would have been a much easier swap (and probably cheaper in the long run, too).

~Al
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Hey Al,

Like your profile pic I did the bus motor because I got the complete motor for $1500 with 114K miles, 10 miles away from me at a salvage yard I work with a lot (I'm also a salvage dealer). Figured I could swap everything over and sell some of the accessories to get some money back out of it. A PS with similar miles would have been significantly more expensive, though at the end of the day I think I should have paid the money as it would have saved a lot of time. I also had more faith in a detuned and fleet maintained motor than a used truck motor. So I don't think it would have saved money, but definitely time.

Anyway, looked at it again tonight. Definitely seems to be leaking from the pan. Not at all sure how that's even possible to be honest, but that's what's wet. Wanted to start it and look at blowby, but the starter seems to have died. This truck is cursed.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-08-2018, 11:06 PM
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Hey Al,

Like your profile pic I did the bus motor because I got the complete motor for $1500 with 114K miles, 10 miles away from me at a salvage yard I work with a lot (I'm also a salvage dealer). Figured I could swap everything over and sell some of the accessories to get some money back out of it. A PS with similar miles would have been significantly more expensive, though at the end of the day I think I should have paid the money as it would have saved a lot of time. I also had more faith in a detuned and fleet maintained motor than a used truck motor. So I don't think it would have saved money, but definitely time.

Anyway, looked at it again tonight. Definitely seems to be leaking from the pan. Not at all sure how that's even possible to be honest, but that's what's wet. Wanted to start it and look at blowby, but the starter seems to have died. This truck is cursed.
Got it.

Yeah, $1500 is a deal, for sure. Even with the additioanl time, It's probably still cheaper...

Keep lookin'. One thing about oil leaks is, they really can't hide.

Keep us up-to-date as to what you discover.


Thanks


~Al

Al in SoCal
AFE Intake; Garrett 38R; DieselSite Turbine Jacket
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Swamp's: 160cc/30% Injectors & HVHF IDM; DP-Tuner F5; Fluidamper Balancer
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-08-2018, 11:30 PM
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I'm guessing you have leaks in several different places. Probably O-rings, pan gasket, and dipstick tube at least.

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-09-2018, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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I'm guessing you have leaks in several different places. Probably O-rings, pan gasket, and dipstick tube at least.
O rings and dipstick were already checked earlier in the thread. Don't think there are any o rings that would leak when adding oil anyway. I've pretty much determined that it's the pan, I just can't figure out how that's possible.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-09-2018, 12:27 AM
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Did you slop oil into the valley when filling? That would run down the back.



I know I've never done that.

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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-09-2018, 10:44 AM
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I was looking at some pictures of the 7.3 block looks like you have a oil galley plug in the back. I never really noticed it when I was changing my clutch but Kevin might know. Look at your old engine.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-10-2018, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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The oil Galley plug is a possibility, and would explain the volume, but I am almost 100% confident that it's in place and tight. As for leaking from the top of the engine when filling, I'm not sure that I'm getting my point across regarding volume. I have a video, but I doubt that I can post links due to my post count. However, this is the oil pan that was under the truck for the 15 seconds that it ran. That's a 7 quart pan.

As far as I'm concerned, there's not a seal, o-ring, gasket, whatever on this truck that could leak that much, and you would know if it was easily visible at a leak rate of 20 quarts per minute.
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Last edited by Redlineauto; 09-10-2018 at 01:02 AM.
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