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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Oil leak?

oil leak engine

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6 replies to this topic

#1 its_masters


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Posted 01 May 2014 - 11:58 AM

I bought a 1998 Subaru Legacy Brighton a few weeks ago needing "a clutch and an oil change."  While it does need both, there is also an oil leak i cannot trace.  My entire underside was oil on it, but the drip is dripping off of the oil pan, where most of the oil is coated on. I think it's either the plug/plug seal, the gasket, or the oil pan itself.  If i replace that, i would do all of those, but i wanted to know if there are any other possibilites for issues before i invest in that. 


Here's the leak at the oil pan:

Attached Files

Edited by its_masters, 01 May 2014 - 12:02 PM.

#2 jarl


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Posted 01 May 2014 - 12:38 PM

That's the rust-proofing mechanism ;)

In these cars all the leaks end up making a mess like the one you see. You'll have to clean the engine to be able to pinpoint where it's coming from, but a rear separator plate comes to mind...

#3 Rooster2


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Posted 01 May 2014 - 12:41 PM

Suggest you take your car to one of those do it yourself wand car washes. Clean the oil off from the top, and also especially from the bottom of the motor. Only then, will you be able to see where the oil is leaking from. My guess is the valve covers, or front seal. Rather doubt that it is the oil pan gasket. Looks like oil is dripping down to the bottom of the motor.


If you find the leak, and it is not that bad, then I would recommend using one of those "stop leak" additive products to the engine oil. I have done that with both of my Subies for years. The product never entirely stops the leaks, but does swell the seals to drastically reduce oil leakage. I change brands of stop leak, which seems to help as well.


If severe leak, then that calls for repair shop work to replace gaskets or seals.

#4 willwright


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Posted 01 May 2014 - 06:40 PM

If your going to do the. Clutch, reseal the separator plates on the back of the engine. Would be a great time to do valve covers and timing set if it hasn't been done in a while. Along with timing set , do front crankshaft seal and can seals. My point is , your already there, reseal it , do timing set , put your clutch in and enjoy it for many more leak free miles. P.s.... do oil pump o rung and reseal while your there.

#5 upnorthguy


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Posted 01 May 2014 - 09:23 PM

Beer Garage has some excellent photos and descriptions of a number of seals he did that the gang described above (crank/cam seals, oil pump o-ring, oil separator plate on back of engine).

#6 its_masters


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Posted 01 May 2014 - 09:23 PM

Thanks everyone! I'll be pulling the engine and tranny soon enough, but work is already started so I won't be able to take it to a car wash... I can take care of the cleaning once it is out.  I plan on doing the rear separator plate, the o ring, the timing belt cover (It already has a bad gasket, but doesn't seem to leak), and a few more seals. I have some stop leak ready for when we are finished or if we end up just pulling the transmission, then it'll work for now.  I want to pull everything though... It just depends on the work time I get in.  The valve covers seem to be fine, they actually have no oil one or near them. But i will check everything out if/when we pull it. Thanks again! :)  

#7 its_masters


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Posted 05 July 2014 - 05:02 PM

I did the separator plate. That leak is gone, but now my front main seal is leaking. And my transmission went down the toilet, so now I'll be using as a semi-parts car for the 98 Outback I'll be getting soon.

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