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using UV dye to track oil leak sources
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airkooledchris
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:46 am    Post subject: using UV dye to track oil leak sources Reply with quote

So I pulled the drivetrain from my bus last weekend, so I could start dealing with a multitude of oil leaks and general cleanup needed on tinware/battery tray and a host of other engine compartment area needs.

Before I pulled the motor I dye'd the oil with UV dye, then ran it for a few weeks with the dye in it.

I haven't yet drained the oil from the motor, so it's sitting on a stand now and im watching to see where it leaks from. I had a pretty good idea when it was still in the bus, but it's nice to see it without all of the tinware on it and with easier access to everything.


At first glance im sure someone would have assumed that my oil leaks were from the main seal and maybe the oil pressure switch, but neither of those two turned out to be true.

For the one that looks like a main seal issue, it's actually coming entirely from this side of this case bolt:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.




For the one that looked like maybe the oil switch or oil cooler, it's mostly from the oil filter mount:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



And lastly, it looks like the oil cooler itself is weeping as well:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



I have to say im a big fan of this method for tracking oil leak sources down. It really takes the guessing work out of it, and might help avoid replacing parts that are still good. (if that main seal isn't leaking, im leaving it alone as it's only a year and a half old or so)

The pushrod tube seals are mostly dry with a few little dribbles here and there, so I may do those since I have such easy access right now.
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tootype2crazy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really cool. I have a lot of experience with type 4 engines both from my own cars and working on others. I have a good eye for seeing where a leak comes from, but this would make it a cakewalk. I might have to add this to my arsenal.
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eche_bus
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used this dye to find an otherwise impossible to locate oil leak at the back corner of the intake on my Mustang's 428CJ. Due to the location, a close inspection without the dye couldn't find the point of origin. Once the dye was used, within minutes it was made obvious. I wish I could say the repair was as easy - the intake manifold weighs half what a whole 2.0L VW engine weighs, and the pushrods run through the intake so there was plenty of challenge.

Good system. Highly recommended.
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madmike
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old skool method,, don't clean it and drive down a dusty road Confused
the leak will clean off the dust Laughing
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poptop tom
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Chris, how long is usually required to run the engine when using the dye?
And what will be your fix for the leaking case bolt?
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airkooledchris
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

poptop tom wrote:
Hey Chris, how long is usually required to run the engine when using the dye?
And what will be your fix for the leaking case bolt?



This was my first attempt with the stuff, so I can't say exactly. It probably just depends on how much of a leak you have. I bet a short highway drive would be good enough for most setups.

As for fixing the leak at that case bolt - I honestly don't know. I saw a thread here a while back with someone having the same problem, but don't recall the fix. I imagine some combination of proper torque on the bolt and maybe some Permatex Form-A-Gasket on the threads?
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udidwht
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The oil is weeping down the threads of the bolt. Remove the bolt and clean everything well. Then use 'thread sealant' on the threads/bolt and nut. Re-torque
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morymob
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

U probably could have just set at a fast idle 4 a few mnutes and located the leak, by driving it as u did u just spread oil/dye all over the place making it harder ti pin point leak area. The green stuff will give u a quick visible spot without the uv lamp. We just yesterday tracked ac leak on a tour bus that had been in several 'repair shops??' to locate the freon leak, that is one big monstrosity, hard to get to but in a couple hrs had it located, will make repair monday, used the green stuff.
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aogrady
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Interesting - is this a specific UV dye for oil, or can you use any UV dye? What mix do you use for this?

Regards,

Alistair

1970 Westy. UK
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morymob
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Local flaps has the UV stuff, the pen lite uv lites are pretty mickey mouse, fair if used after dark. Don't have fans blowing on area u look at , seems to work better or maybe just was a larger amt at the time.
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dugfresh
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an oil leak that I used corn starch to pinpoint. I just threw it at the likely spots and it sticks to everything... but the leaking oil seeps in and then sorta gels up where the leak is. But it only works where you can get the starch.
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airkooledchris
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aogrady wrote:
Hi,

Interesting - is this a specific UV dye for oil, or can you use any UV dye? What mix do you use for this?

Regards,

Alistair

1970 Westy. UK



The stuff I used was called Tracerline All-In-One Oil Dye, which is specific for this purpose. Ive heard others state that you can get it at some auto-parts stores as well, but I had to order mine online.
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aogrady
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replys, i'll take a look at that one

Cheers,

Alistair
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poptop tom
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was able to pick up the dye, and the glasses/flashlight at my local Auto Zone yesterday.

So most FLAPS should stock them. I had to ask though. They weren't out on the shelves or on display, but stored in the back storage room.
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mikedjames
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks a good idea.

I should have done this - I once found an oil leak by removing all the tinware and then cleaning the suspected area with carburettor cleaner and then starting the engine and running for about a minute.

To get the engine started I had to refit it to the bus as I do not have a spare bellhousing for the starter. And then pull it and fix the leak before putting it back in.
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Tom Powell
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

poptop tom wrote:
I was able to pick up the dye, and the glasses/flashlight at my local Auto Zone yesterday.

So most FLAPS should stock them. ...


Autozone has a kit for $80 with more than oil dye. It has cooling and refrigeration dyes and it may not be in stock at your local.
Amazon sells the oil dye, glasses and a UV flashlight for much less, but you may have to buy from more than one vendor and wait a few days for delivery.

Aloha
tp
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