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help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks
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loveevan
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:14 pm    Post subject: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

Hello,

I just got a 1978 vw high top camper with the type 4 engine (my first type 4) and at the end of a great 1100 mile trip the recently rebuilt (not by me) engine just let loose with its oil.

Engine still ran, still runs with adding oil, but just pours it out somewhere in the area of the cooling fan shroud (on face of engine in the type 4) and then blows it all over, primarily through its own ducting over the cylinders it is attempting to cool, but also in the engine compartment below about the crank shaft seal.

I can sort of see the crankshaft seal from the passenger side by putting a flashlight glowing from underneath and sideways looking past the back of the alternator, and the crankshaft seal looks completely dry, actually about the only place in that area that the oil didn't get spread around to.

So, the question is this. What else is in the area, that could lose a lot of oil, more at high rpms, in an engine with no major blow-by (revved with dipstick out, nothing coming out there) and would then be basically in the airflow of the fan and its ductwork to blow over the cylinders, through the rubber elbow that cools the alternator, and some in the bottom of the tin under the fan in the engine compartment? The dipstick seal is new and not the source either.

To give context, I'm generally decent at diagnosing type 2 engines, but this type has me stumped and I'm working in an apartment parking lot so I haven't just taken it all apart to see more directly, because I'm not really supposed to be working on it here and I have limited tools with me right now.

Smile thanks for any suggestions or insights into what is in this region that would leak this way and in this volume

evan
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timvw7476
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

That area has many suspect leak areas, oil pressure switch, oil cooler
transfer ports/loose cooler, plus welch plugs just under the cooler, pushed
into the case itself. Then there's the oil pump, if your engine has a
Shadek pump, the cover can work loose....pressurized oil galore.
Maybe blast the area with brake cleaner, start it & see if you can find the
origin? I would do that before any disassembly.
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:41 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

Oil cooler seals just to the left and forward of fanseal, oil pressure switch just to the left and above from fan seal, there is an oil galley plug...small one at 3 oclock on the fan seal about 1/2" away....rarely see issues with that one but itw possible.
The oil pump is right below the fan seal at 6 oclock. It would be virtually impossible for a type 4 pump to leak in a pressurized manner e,externally...but if an aftermarket type 1 pump was installed and has a bad plate gasket....maybe.

The oil filter is at 7 oclock to the fan seal and fowrward about 2.5 inches. It could be either of the galley plugs that feed the oil filter arm.....or the filter arm to vase gasket or the oil filter gasket itself.
Ray
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

Iíd guess you have a leak from an engine case oil gallery plug behind the fan shroud or from your oil cooler
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:07 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

Clean it up, and inspect. It's the only way you're going to know where it's coming from.
Oil pump leak is easy to see from the bottom of the engine.
Mine has a small leak there. Trying to figure out how I'm going to address it.....I've tried a paper gasket, and even a thicker gasket, but that's for another thread! Rolling Eyes .

Good luck
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I don't think I've ever seen an engine in worse shape.
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

You canít use thick gaskets on oil pumps. If you do, the gears have larger end play resulting in low oil pressure when the engine warms up. I know this from experience.

I also know that massive leaks as the OP reports come from gallery plugs.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:05 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

The oil pressure switch can blow apart causing a leak that will drain the crankcase over a couple of minutes. The good thing about this happening is that the oil light should come on immediately as the switch fails, long before the oil level gets dangerously low.

A galley plug blowing will drain the crankcase within seconds often resulting in sudden engine failure before you can get the clutch pushed in and hit the key to kill the ignition.
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loveevan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:07 am    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

Smile thank you all for sharing possible places this oil is coming from

it doesn't drain in seconds, but does start draining right away when running and drains more and faster when driving highway speed/rpm

doesn't seem to drain when standing still, other than what has already been flung about dripping off for a little while after stopping the engine

do any of you have a good graphic for this, maybe diagram of this side of the type 4 engine? maybe what is behind that fan duct/shroud?

for the things that have been mentioned, how much do I need to remove to be able to see these things?

is this an engine out situation, in which case, well, i don't have current access to do that myself , or , can i remove the fan and maybe that front half of the ducting and tin to actually directly see this side of the engine and all those oil leak possibilities with the engine still in place?

i have cleaned it all off the best i could with Purple Power and brake cleaner, then run it a bit more

with the fan flinging it around throughout that housing, i can't tell where its coming from, must be some place that would have direct ability to be inside that shroud

can i take that front fan housing stuff off fairly easily with the engine in place?

and if i do, can i run the engine briefly to try to get he oil to show its exit point?


thanks again for the help, when i do figure this out i'll definitely report back what it was

Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:42 am    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

There is a front seal behind the fan running on a separate fan mount- it might be that. With luck.

Also look into the on-going debate about replacing the fan shrouds lower studs with bolts- makes removal a snap. But a little hard on the threads.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

Here's a shot of case halves separated, the allen plugs at the lower left
are where factory plugs would be used. It's possible to pull the fan, housing
and alternator & leave the hub flange in place, but as I recall it helps to
remove the oil filler which means draining oil, pulling tube, reinstall tube
& oil & running the engine five minutes at a time looking for leaks.
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

This plug would only leak after engine shut down

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:00 am    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

check for blowby. Might be excessive blowby and a plugged breather forcing oil out.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

My money is on an oil gallery plug.

If it leaks only a little when the engine is cool and you are not traveling far, and leaks more after it's all warmed up and put under load, then that is a good indicator for a leaking gallery plug.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
check for blowby. Might be excessive blowby and a plugged breather forcing oil out.


If the engine is primarily blowing oil out under load, this would be a good bet.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

Thanks for all the suggestions,

I think at one point had at least 3 separate oil leaks.

The first and most significant was the engine rebuilder didn't properly tighten the head bolts, so near the end of an 1100 mile Colorado to San Diego trip, the heads loosened up and oil just came massively out the sides of the cylinder to case and cylinder to head areas.

The second, that vw shop didn't tighten the oil filter. It was very hand loose, so that could explain some of the oil on that side of the engine.

Currently, I warmed up the engine and had my girlfriend rev it pretty high, because the leak only happens with sustained high revving, and saw the oil gurgle and spurt out of the top of the dipstick tube (with dipstick out to see if this would happen).

I looked at the large hose from breather to air intake behind the air filter and it seemed unclogged. This is a rebuilt engine with new heads, so shouldn't be blowby from the rings, unless one broke.

The seal at the top of the dipstick itself where it seats at the top of the tube was no good, so I burned it out, and reshaped the little bell shaped top that had been ovaled at some point, and put in 2 5mm o-rings. I think they will seal, but not sure if I want them to if I don't have good crankcase ventilation.

All this to say, there may still be other leaks, but right now, how do I thoroughly check the crankcase ventilation system to see why it pushes oil out the dipstick tube at sustained high rpm on a warmed motor?

Or, is it supposed to do that and I just need a better seal at the top of the dipstick?

thanks

all is well

evan
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:55 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

loveevan wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions,

evan



Is the dipstick boot between the fan housing and the oil fill pipe visible under the car certifiably good?
Colin
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

Amskeptic wrote:
loveevan wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions,

evan



Is the dipstick boot between the fan housing and the oil fill pipe visible under the car certifiably good?
Colin


This one...

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:06 pm    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

yes, the shop that tightened the head bolts and re-did the valve adjustment put on a new dipstick boot. It may have been yet another leak prior to that but it is good now.

I have, just yesterday, seen large amounts of oil come all the way up the dipstick tube and out the top when held at high rev.

So, i'm looking for reasons why the oil would come out the dipstick tube at the top when at high rev. Should it do that and I just need a better seal at the top of the dipstick? Or should it not do that and I have too much crankcase pressure, but only at high rev?

I actually have a slight vacuum at idle.

all help is appreciated

thanks

Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:45 am    Post subject: Re: help me figure out a type 4 late bay massive oil leak, thanks Reply with quote

loveevan wrote:
I have, just yesterday, seen large amounts of oil come all the way up the dipstick tube and out the top when held at high rev.

So, i'm looking for reasons why the oil would come out the dipstick tube at the top when at high rev.



I think this reply is your future diagnostic path:

SGKent wrote:
check for blowby. Might be excessive blowby and a plugged breather forcing oil out.



As the piston rings and cylinders wear over time, pressure from combustion can work its way into the case. (Pressure that leaks into the case is called "blow-by.") This pressure has to go somewhere, so it will utilize the path of least resistance. All combustion engines have a breather system designed to accommodate the life of the engine, but if your breather system is faulty or incomplete, it may not be able to handle the pressure.

Also consider that the case pressure is greatest under high RPM full throttle running. When you let off the throttle at high RPMs, there is very little case pressure. (But if your rings/cylinders are worn, then oil can actually be sucked up into the combustion chamber. This may manifest itself as a cloud of smoke when you let off the gas at high RPMs.)

For now, let's check your breather system. I am going to assume based on your year and location that you have stock L-Jet fuel injection with all stock parts. Most breather valves, (sometimes erroneously called PCV valves- true for most cars but not ours,) are blown or have ripped diaphragms, which will actually let the engine case pressure breathe better. The large (22mm ID) hose from the crankcase breather to the S-boot should be inspected for blockage, and the breather valve itself could be inspected for blockage. (I put a new hose on each end and blow slowly. Most valves allow air passage both ways, indicating they are blown but still breathable. When new, they had a slight restriction under low pressure in one direction only. I forget which.)

--

Once you've confirmed that your breather is intact, we can think about why there is so much case pressure.

You've stated that the engine was recently rebuilt. Did you or the builder perform a ring break-in procedure? It would have involved a long empty road in third gear and lots of acceleration and deceleration. If not, you might still be able to seat the rings a little better and gain some control over blow-by.

Greetings from San Diego!
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