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Front engine leak - oil pressure

Old 03-03-2012, 11:22 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Flatlands - KC
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Default Front engine leak - oil pressure

I will start off saying thanks to anyone who reads and replys to these forums - your help is appreciated.
My 92 camry manual trans 4 cyl - 200k - is sitting on jack stands in my driveway with the timing belt just removed. I guessed that the culprit would present itself when i got down to this part but everything looks fairly new under the covers. timing belt looks good. slight spray of oil on the inside of the upper TB cover where the tensioner pulley is. Water pump appears tight and clean. Again no drips indicating that oil is excessively leaking on a daily basis. Used breaker bar and starter to get lower crankshaft pulley bolt loose - How do I get that back on? I have power tools with impact settings but no air tools. How do i get the oil pulley off?
I have a 6" diameter drip every where I go. Last week the oil lamp/light came on the dash - now daily - and it goes off when I come to a stop sign. I thought it would be a common front seal leak setting off the light - low oil - for the age of the car. I couldn't tell the mileage written down for last timing belt change. but looks really good - no oily or signs of cracking.
I read several of the other 'front engine leak threads' and I'm down to taking off the oil pulley (the only gasket i didn't buy in advance).
Disclaimer: my auto mechanics tool kit is limited to moderate; it always takes me three times the time I think it will take even if I think i have everything to do the job, I usually end up calling my uncle (who taught automechanics to HS kids for 20 years) for advice or to borrow a tool.

sorry for the long post. I'm sure i missed something that will come up as question...
Old 03-04-2012, 11:23 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,742

If you think the leak is from under the timing cover there are only so many places it can occur.

You are changing the cam and crank seals?

Unless you know the belt has very low miles and your broke change the belt regardless of what it looks like.

To change the oil pump drive shaft seal you need to remove the pump. Once the pump is off place the gear attached to the drive shaft in a soft jaw vice (or place it between something soft before putting into the vice). With gear secure remove the nut on the drive shaft pulley ended.

The seals is the same design as the cam and crank.

When shopping for the seal also pickup the preformed o-ring that that seals the pump body to the engine. The o-ring may be a Toyota only part.

When reinstalling the pump gears make sure dot on each gear face points in the same direction.

To hold the crank pulley firm there are several options.

-Obtain or fabricate a tool that mounts where the starter goes to lock the ring gear.

-Bolt a long section of wood or metal to the puller holes on the front of the pulley. When
the pulley starts to rotate it the section will bind up with floor.

An oil pump seal leak can result in the loss of a lot of oil quickly, much quicker then a cam or crank seal.
Old 03-04-2012, 10:03 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 337

in general, you can rent a cordless impact wrench. I was told that DeWault has absolutely jaw breaking 18V ones.
LIke Joey said - if you got that far, and at that mileage, you replace belt and water pump; also, belt tensioner.
What you should have done, instead of guessing, was to put some contrast dye into oil and then shine UV light and spot it. Leaks are very hard to spot, esp on high mileage cars, when EVERYTHING is smeared into oily dirty crud.
I'd go for broke, still add dye, disable ignition, and crank engine few times from starter, just to get oil going. Let it sit overnight, then bring that UV light and use it. Otherwise, you may be replacing half the front because of old oil pan gasket leak or oil sensor leak. Or other areas it can leak from.
My 2 pennies.
Old 03-08-2012, 12:22 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Flatlands - KC
Posts: 5

Oil pan gasket may be next. There is still a leak. But I want to take care of another find first - the drip i discovered after topping off the radiator. It's down at lower passenger side. I will get under there this weekend and update. (easy to post pics or not?)
I had to work on Monday and the car had to be running so I went for it - replacing with what I had in my hands. Replaced cam seal, valve cover seals (4 washer seals and the valve cover gasket). Like I said before - and I'll likely go back in sooner than later - the t-belt looked good albeit there were signs of oil under the cover. I don't know how old they were. I wiped the inside out with some rags and I'll know next time i take the cover off if there are proplems. I go about 10 miles to work and back per day with short portion on hiway. Driveway is looking pretty good after 3 days - it's definitely less leaky. But now I see the coolant leak. I will fix that, degrease the engine and get back on here to report. Thanks for the tips.
Old 03-08-2012, 11:02 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 337

pics wise, you just go to tinypic or photobucket, upload your pics, and post image links here.
aftermarket radiators are very cheap. don't try to patch it, unless you have real pro stuff.
you should replace timing belt. period. does not matter what it LOOKS like. you there - you replace everything you can. Murphy's law will, otherwise, make you revisit same area again and again.
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