Friday, October 14, 2011

On Leaky Oil Pans and Intake Manifolds

Before I pulled this engine I knew I had some serious oil leaks. I was getting drips on the garage floor and the whole bottom of the car was coated with oil. It was coming from the front of the engine but I could also see some coming out of the weep hole on the transmission. I figured it was the front crank seal and the rear seal. The more I thought about it, the more I started to doubt that such epic leakage could come from just those seals, especially since the front seal was replaced about 35k miles ago and the rear about 45k ago. On a hunch last night I poured 4 quarts of oil into the engine as it sits on the stand. Within minutes I could see it starting to seep out - from the oil pan on both the front and rear of the engine! You don't hear about oil pan leaks on these cars very much, but it looks like I'll be pulling the oil pan off and resealing it this weekend.
So tonight I pulled the oil pan off. I found the plastic seals at both the front and rear to be a little crispy so I'll have to get some new ones before I can button it back up. The local NAPA has them so I should be able to do that this weekend. There's not a gasket per se. The oil pan is sealed with RTV and a bunch of M6 bolts. Meanwhile, I got the injector o-rings and new fuel rail bolts I ordered earlier in the week, so tonight I was able to install the injectors, fuel rail, the new engine harness, and the intake manifold. As you can see I installed the timing belt a couple evenings ago after I found my missing tensioner mounting bolt. It's amazing how easy it is when the engine is out of the car!
I know I had said I wasn't going to polish the oil pan, but now that it's off the engine I will take the opportunity to spruce it up a little. I also wanted to celebrate getting a new battery pack for my long-dead RIGID cordless drill. Sometimes it's easier to use the drill for wire brushing parts than the right-angle die grinder.
To install the '99/'00 NB head on the NA engine, you have to use the NB fuel rail with the NA fuel pressure regulator because the '99 has no return line to the fuel tank. The FPR installs on the opposite end of the rail than on the '94 and the fuel lines are oriented differently. This photo shows the orientation that works. If you flip it over to orient the fuel line downward the vacuum fitting is blocked. You can't see it but the input to the fuel rail is almost directly under this FPR. I'll have to work out the routing of the fuel lines later.
When I took the old injectors out the harness just crumbled in my hands, so I got a new one. It was about $150. This end of the harness plugs into the coils.
Since I'm just re-sealing the oil pan I don't need to mess with this baffle. It was nice to get a look inside there, though.

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