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  #1  
Old 03-18-2009, 10:45 PM
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Post 1997 drivers side oil leak

This is my first time using this forum. Thanks for any helpful info anyone can provide. I've got a 1997 2.2 l, with a bad oil leak on the drivers side of the engine. It looks to be coming from above the oil pan gasket but I wouldn't yet sware to it. Oil is on the drivers side end, puddling on the transaxle, then dripping from the frame. I just replaced the valve cover gasket and that didn't get it. I have read somewhere that in 1997, in doing away with distributor, a plug has been used to seal a hole and this plug sometimes leaks. Any word on this? Where is the plug located? Is it behind the bracket that supports the intake and to which the ignition modules are attached? Thanks again.
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Last edited by LAROCK; 03-18-2009 at 10:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2009, 01:51 PM
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Not sure.

If you remove the valve cover and follow the intake camshaft towards the drivers side, the hole would be inline with the shaft. The dist used to plug in this hole and be driven by the intake shaft. This shaft is the one closest to the firewall.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:20 PM
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Default 1997 drivers side oil leak

Thanks very much for the response. Over the last few days I've gotten a few occasions to get the car up on the jack stands. I got some brakleen, cleaned things off, kept narrowing things down and I've found the leak. It is not engine oil but rather what I assume to be power steering fluid. The boot covering the inner tie rod end is cracked and the oil is leaking out of there. My question now is, "Why is the boot filled with power steering fluid?" A couple months ago I replaced a driver's side tie rod on another Camry and I don't recall the boot being filled with fluid. Is there a seal where the tie rod attaches to the rack and pinion assembly? I'll do a little research and see what I can come up with. Thanks again.

LAROCK
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:43 PM
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The boot only protects the steering rod and seal from dirt and debris, it does not keep the oil from coming out of the steering housing.

The seal inside the housing is worn out.

The fix is time consuming and requires taking out the steering housing. It is often cheaper to but a new or rebuilt steering unit then to take the old one apart (shop for aftermarket parts to save money).

The steering rod rack needs to be removed to change the seal, this can only be done with the unit out of the car.

Some owners attempt to use a PS system sealer that is added to the PS fluid. Results are mixed but might be worth a shot.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:26 PM
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Thank you again for the helpful info. I went to the auto parts store where I do most of my business, asked for some Lucas power steering stopleak, got to talking with the guy behind the counter and wouldn't you know he said he has used the product on his 1997 Camry and seen pretty good results. We are hopeful.
LAROCK
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAROCK View Post
Thank you again for the helpful info. I went to the auto parts store where I do most of my business, asked for some Lucas power steering stopleak, got to talking with the guy behind the counter and wouldn't you know he said he has used the product on his 1997 Camry and seen pretty good results. We are hopeful.
LAROCK
Is your power steering resevoir actually low on fluid? If not- chances are you actually have an engine oil leak. On models without a distributor- a "cam plug" was installed where the distributor would be. This is a very common source of leakage that happens to leak on the drivers side. On top of that- the oil pan itself leaks through the split seam. Not neccesarily through the oil pan seal. The only fix would be to replace the entire oil pan itself and the cam plug.

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Old 03-25-2009, 12:25 PM
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Thanks for the response. I need to give a bit more info on these matters. I started this thread because I have two 1997 Camrys with drivers side oil leaks. On the one I was tackling first, I believe I have accurately identified it as a rack and pinion seal leak. Fluid was coming from a cracked inner tie rod end boot. Power steering fluid level in the reservoir was dropping, I've just tried some stop leak and have already seen good improvement. BUT ...

The on other car oil is definitely not coming from the same location. There is a steady drip onto the flex pipe. I have already replaced the valve cover gasket and the oil pan gasket. This past weekend I laid under the car for at least 10 minutes while it was running, exhaust unbolted from the manifold, engine to trans bracket removed, that little cover over the bottom of the fly wheel removed, so as to get a good look at the left end of the oil pan and the area where the engine and trans are joined.

I see a small amount of oil begin to appear at the lower rear left corner of the oil pan on the machined surface not covered by the oil pan and a small drop starts to appear on the lip of the oil pan a few inches to the right, directly over the flex pipe. It is curious that the quantity of oil that appears while the vehicle is idling and I am underneath it, is considerably less than what seems to start leaking when I take the vehicle out on the road.

I thought I did a good clean, careful job with the gasket replacement; surfaces clean, ample amount of RTV, screwed snuggly. I read on somebodies post that it is particularly important to get the RTV on the outer edge of the left end of the oil pan to get a proper seal as there are no bolts there. Perhaps I missed there. I have also read that an improperly functioning PCV system can result in excessive pressure in the crank case, causing or aggravating a leak.

With regard to the seal where the distributor used to be, is that the seal in the head behind the bracket that supports the intake and to which the distributor modules are now attached? And the seam in the oil pan itself, where is it located? or are you saying that perhaps the oil pan is warped and I am not getting a good seal?

I am trying to be in denial regarding a rear main seal leak.

Don't hesitate to reccommend redoing something I've already done if you think I need to.

Thanks for reading and any suggestions.

LAROCK
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAROCK View Post
With regard to the seal where the distributor used to be, is that the seal in the head behind the bracket that supports the intake and to which the distributor modules are now attached? And the seam in the oil pan itself, where is it located? or are you saying that perhaps the oil pan is warped and I am not getting a good seal?

I am trying to be in denial regarding a rear main seal leak.

Don't hesitate to reccommend redoing something I've already done if you think I need to.

Thanks for reading and any suggestions.

LAROCK
The plug where the distributor used to be is accessed with the valve cover removed. It is not really visible from the outside because of the bracket the coils are mounted to is covering it. To replace it- remove the valve cover and remove the cap that would have otherwise be used for the distributor. From there, remove the plug. U can apply some FIPG around the plug for good measure before reinstalling- making sure the aluminum areas are clean. Also- when installing the valve cover- apply some FIPG on the corner areas where the cam caps are just for good measure. Being that this plug sits directly over the transaxle area- its leakage are can appear to be from that of the rear main seal- even though the rear main is dry.
Also- as far as the oil pan goes. It is made of 2 pieces of metal formed to the shape of the pan. If you look at the rolled edges of the pan, you'll see that it is actually 2 pieces of metal sandwiched together. It is very common for oil to leak from between the 2 seams. Any amount of FIPG on the pan won't help at this point. Simply replace the pan and recheck.

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Old 03-30-2009, 08:12 AM
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After more thorough cleaning and time beneath the car I do not think there is any significant leak from the distributor plug and there doesn't seem to be any leak from between the layers of the oil pan.

As the oil is brownish in color it did not occur to me that it could be trans fluid. This is a car I just bought; it was a one owner vehicle and he had lots of service records from the dealership. I had never checked the trans fluid. Upon checking I found it was about three cups overfilled and it is brownish in color. I am now thinking that my leak may well be from the trans. I have siphoned off the excess fluid but it looks like I still have a leak. I believe this may well explain why I don't see much of a leak when the car is idling up on jack stands. But when I take the car out on the highway and trans fluid pressure builds, fluid is probably being forced out a seal on the end toward the motor and then getting flung around by the fly wheel and dripping from the joint between trans and motor. Sound plausible?

Any thoughts on what now? If the leak is from the trans where it is attached to the motor is there a seal that can only be accessed by dropping the trans? Is it at all possible that with the excess fluid removed the problem might go away?

Thanks again for the help.

LAROCK
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:50 PM
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How did you check the trans fluid, engine on and fluid hot?

Leaking of the trans seal between the trans and engine is not common.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:50 PM
 
 
 
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1997, 22, camry, cover, fluid, hot, leak, leaking, oil, pan, removal, replace, toyata, toyota, trans, valve

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