This week I am pulling the engine to do a timing belt. While I have it out I am planning on going through and fixing all the oil leaks. Most annoying of the oil drips is when it hits the hot exhaust and a cloud of smoke billows out. There is a puddle on the passenger side cross-member that drips onto the exhaust below. I clean the puddle, a new one forms and so on. The thing is that the car drives fine, so that was why I didn't immediately park it and fix the leaks. They aren't at easy to get to places like the covers or I would have already fixed them by now.
Of course I wish to have a better idea of just where the leaks are happening so I am darn sure to fix it right. I have done several UV leak tests. Bought the UV kit with the UV light, the glasses and the bottle of dye. I quickly found out that without even any dye, oil fluoresces green under UV light. This makes it extremely difficult to determine what is glowing green because it was from the dye mixed oil and not the regular oil from before the dye. So again I did the UV test this time degreasing prior to dumping the dye and still I was not able to definitively identify the leak(s). Still it wasn't so obvious to me exactly where every leak was coming from. Even tried it with three bottles of dye. Made it a brighter green but I still could not say with certainty where every leak was happening.
I noticed that the seam where the head gasket is seemed "wet" horizontally. it possible that the head gasket leaks oil without leaking coolant? I always thought you had to be getting the milkshake oil before you could declare the head gasket bad. That is really my biggest question - do I have to do the head gaskets? Will I screw it up?
The fact is all the rubber in this car is over 20 years old. To my knowledge they haven't made a rubber that lasts forever, so I am content with just replacing every seal and gasket on the top end. It isn't super expensive and will be easy once I pull the engine.
What gnaws at me most is that without knowing for sure where the passenger side oil puddle comes from, I may miss it on the engine work, put the engine back in and get a puddle again. Any suggestions?