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Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop
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MIR
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:23 am    Post subject: Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

VAN: Air cooled 1980 Westfalia

I know there are threads depicting oil leaks, but i have seen nothing like this before. When we noticed the leak, we tried putting in petroleum, that they gave us in O'Reillys as a general cure, in case it was just loose seals, but that did not seem to help.


We drove the van 6 months across Oregon and California and there were no leaks. But the driving was sporadic and not intense. We just had an oil and filter change before going cross country. The weather got really hot and when we reached Arizona, it started leaking and it does not seem to stop.

We let it rest overnight and in the morning it was still leaking. This is how it looks when we start the van, huge smoke, big puddle:

Link

The oil puddle is the smaller one tho. It is the accumulation of nightly dripping. The bigger puddle is grey water from morning face washing and stuff.

The three leaking spots:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Exhaust seems to be rich:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Engine video, i can't spot anything funny:

Link


It drives a little funny. Most of the time it seems to be driving fine, but at moments feels like the pressure is low and it kind of sputters. We parked it now and are gonna let it rest till monday, when mechanics open. We are "stuck" in YUMA, Arizona and there are no westy specialists here, so we were thinking of taking it to a regular mechanic to have a look.

Any suggestions on how to handle this?

Thank you <3
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:09 pm    Post subject: Re: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

MIR wrote:
...We are "stuck" in YUMA, Arizona and there are no westy specialists here, so we were thinking of taking it to a regular mechanic to have a look...


Many years ago we were also stuck in Yuma with a Vanagon problem and we took it to Hans Grimm who was very capable and helped us out.

Hans will be a bit older now but I was still able to find his business address and number on the internet so it might be worth checking out:

Recreational Action
508 East 22nd St
Yuma, AZ 85365
Phone: (928) 783-9070

Google says it is a boat dealer and perhaps it was - I think it was a guy at a parts store that directed us to Hans - anyway, he certainly knew VWs.

http://tinyurl.com/hbtatc3

Okay, digging deeper - it looks like that location is now John's Auto Service:

http://www.autorepairyuma.com/
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

And after the engine warms up it stop smoking out the tailpipe?

The leak you or somebody there will have to find it.
Too many possibilities via the internet where it might be coming from.

It would be guessing at the best.
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MIR
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
Many years ago we were also stuck in Yuma with a Vanagon problem and we took it to Hans Grimm who was very capable and helped us out.


Quite the coincidence, hehe.Thank you so much, i'll try to track him down. Smile


Terry Kay wrote:
And after the engine warms up it stop smoking out the tailpipe?


Well, we didn't dare drive it too far, so i don't think we really got it super warm, but for the 4 miles we did do, it did seem to stabilise after a while. Smoke definitely not present after the first mile, pressure also got better.

But dripping just NEVER stops. It just keeps coming ...
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

Another shop in Yuma:

Off Road Buggy Supply
2525 East 16th Street
Yuma, Arizona 85365
Phone: (928) 783-6265

Comes recommended on Roadhaus.com.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: Re: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

MIR wrote:


But dripping just NEVER stops. It just keeps coming ...


Well yeah, that's how oil leaks work. They don't just stop on their own -- until you run out of oil anyway.

Likely suspects for high-volume oil leaks would be crankshaft rear main seal and, if on the left side, oil cooler seals.

Also you said you recently had an oil and filter change, may want to pull the filter and make sure you don't have a double gasket on there. Sometimes the gasket from the old filter sticks on the housing when removing the old filter and if you don't notice, and put the new filter on with its own gasket, it will leak like hell. That would also be a high-volume leak.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Re: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

sjbartnik wrote:
... Also you said you recently had an oil and filter change, may want to pull the filter and make sure you don't have a double gasket on there. Sometimes the gasket from the old filter sticks on the housing when removing the old filter and if you don't notice, and put the new filter on with its own gasket, it will leak like hell. That would also be a high-volume leak.


The proper way to tighten an oil filter is hand tight then another 3/4 turn with the oil filter wrench. Over tightening can cause the gasket to buckle resulting in a leak. The gasket should be greased lightly before installation.

I recently did an oil change and had a leak from the drain plug. I had used a new flat crush washer and tried several oval crush washers. None of those stopped the leak. I busted out the fifty year old Permatex #3 aviation gasket sealer and slathered that on and over a new oval crush washer, torqued it and the leak stopped.

Aloha
tp
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MIR
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

Thank you all for the insights!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

As you probably know, the snoke is a bad sign that something is pretty worn out, vavle guides, rings, what ever. unless your oil leak is dripping into a hole in the muffler that is!

Id not be driving it much except to a place that diagnois the engine with a simple inexpensive compression test (you can do this your self too, very easy, the tool can be bought (i bet harbor friegth has them cheap) or some autoparts stores lend out tools like this for free, I know O'Riellys does.

any way a compression test, or the slightly more involved leak down test will give a clue to engine health, also you advised you can save money by only top end rebuild, ask them to run a hot oil pressure test, if it is good, yeah a top end rebuild might benok, but if pressure is low, you reaaly should both top and bottom ends of motor at same time as both are worn out, the oil pressure test on a fully wqrmed up motor is a good indicator of this. a test ran cool, not warmed up is nearly worthless, must be warmed up, as should the two other aforementioned tests

to find oil leak sources......, take it to a place you can hose it off, a coin op car wash with a oil basin, a place with high pressure steam wands are good, or at home hook the hose you use to your hotwater heater or garage sink for hot water, buy several cans of engine foamy degreaser and use it per instructions, get it all clean and rinsed top and bottom . Then run the van and keep checking top and bottom for the leak, try to catch it before it drips far or is spread by road wind turbulance, thus you can find the source
besure to degrease well around the oil pressure sender on top near the spark coil, they can leak, and it is in the air path of the cooling blower, so any leak there is spread all over, and out seams and ends of the cooling tin. Leaks on the sender are hard to see cause it is deep in the tin, and is supposed to be sealed witha a rubber boot around the acess hole in the tin. water and degreaser inside the cylinder, head tin is fine, so is degreaser, you can acess this via spark plug acess holes when wire is removed. Besure to keep water and cleaners arway from engine electrics, the alter ators, distributor, connectors, intake airmeter, and assorted electric gizmos



good luck
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

Tom Powell wrote:
...The proper way to tighten an oil filter is hand tight then another 3/4 turn with the oil filter wrench...


I have never used a wrench to tighten an oil filter. I was taught to spin it on until the gasket makes contact, then tighten another turn by hand.

Wearing a latex glove makes it easier to grip & tighten.

Of course the gasket is smeared with clean oil before the filter goes on.

I suppose there are different opinions on this but seems like wrench tightening after hand-tightening risks over-doing it.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
Tom Powell wrote:
...The proper way to tighten an oil filter is hand tight then another 3/4 turn with the oil filter wrench...


I have never used a wrench to tighten an oil filter. I was taught to spin it on until the gasket makes contact, then tighten another turn by hand.

Wearing a latex glove makes it easier to grip & tighten.

Of course the gasket is smeared with clean oil before the filter goes on.

I suppose there are different opinions on this but seems like wrench tightening after hand-tightening risks over-doing it.



ditto that above for the vanagon..... unless the filter is a restricted spot that you cant get your hand around you dont need a wrench to install, as average grip should suffice. The stock vanagon filter never needed a wrench for me (wasser boxer) to install nor remove. a wrench can I suppose be handy to free a stuck on filter even if access is good, I have run into a few supper tight filters on some other cars in my life and they needed a filter wrench to remove, dispite good hand access.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

Yep, I am in the hand tighten 1/2 to 3/4 turn by hand on all my cars for the last 35 years. Never had a filter seized that way, but I have had issues when a shop does an oil change. YMMV.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

keep in mind this engine is a type iv, the filter is a bit recessed. A wrecnh can be helpful on a type IV more so than a wasser boxer, although often the type IV can be removed by hand, it is a bit cramped. I have had this motor in a 914, and it could be difficult sometimes to grab the filter, once and a while used a wrench. I then went with a remote full flow filter, easy to get too now.


good luck
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

Just wanted to let you know, and anyone ever reading, what the issue was in the end.

There was too much oil. I misread the level of oil and kept adding it, thinking our engine is eating it all up due to extreme heat. We had 2 and a half quarts too much in the engine so it leaked out of every nook and cranny it could.

We just drained the oil and put in the correct amount and it was all good.

Feeling dumb and happy at the same time, we journeyed on and are now already in Louisiana. The baby purrs.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:27 am    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

It's really fortunate that's all it was. Make sure your crank case breather valve isn't obstructed. The pressure will look for another way out.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Re: Air-cooled: INSANE oil leak in three spots, does not stop Reply with quote

MIR wrote:
...Feeling dumb and happy at the same time... in Louisiana...


A perfect combination.

Louisiana - 'Come as you are -- leave different'.
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