P38A P38 V8 front cover oil leak

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paul.adshead

Member
Posts
23
Hi guys.
I have an oil leak from my front cover, from behind the 'plug' that seals the end of the 'plugged oil-cooler bypass valve' channel. I believe that under the 'plug' is an o-ring that does the sealing - I am guessing this o-ring has gone hard/cracked.

Would anyone know the dimensions of the o-ring concerned?

I note the the plug is retained with an internal 'C-clip'. Has anyone tried just using oil pressure to push out the 'plug' (i.e. brief cranking with fuel/ignition disabled, once the 'C-clip' has been removed)? What other ways have been used to push out the 'plug'? How stuck in there, is it?

Picture/diagram below.
 

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  • P38_front_cover_oil_flow_leak.jpg
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Have you tried removing the circlip and see if the spring pushes it out?
No, I was trying to find out the o-ring size before I get in there (and have a disabled vehicle).
In order to access the spot, you need to:
- remove the viscous fan;
- drain most of the coolant;
- remove the water-pump supply hose,
just so that you can see the C-clip and plug - I still don't know if that is enough access to remove and re-install the plug though..
 
No, I was trying to find out the o-ring size before I get in there (and have a disabled vehicle).
In order to access the spot, you need to:
- remove the viscous fan;
- drain most of the coolant;
- remove the water-pump supply hose,
just so that you can see the C-clip and plug - I still don't know if that is enough access to remove and re-install the plug though..
I think @Saint.V8 had experience with the front cover/ sump ,I've tagged him so he may respond, I'm a diesel engine guy. Is there anything in Rave about it? good luck and welcome.
 
I think @Saint.V8 had experience with the front cover/ sump ,I've tagged him so he may respond, I'm a diesel engine guy. Is there anything in Rave about it? good luck and welcome.

He did. And @MrGorsky although iirc the latter just fitted a front cover from Saint that was surplus to requirements for some reason.
 
Dats my pic too....hee hee...

There is an O Ring on the cap held in by the circlip - O Ring size unknown, sorry...but they go brittle and/or flatten out causing a leak.

360.jpg
400.jpg


And before you ask, this was not the O ring that caused my curios lack of oil pressure - that was on the oil pick up tube - @Grrrrrr and @MrGorsky figured that one out!
 
There is an O Ring on the cap held in by the circlip - O Ring size unknown, sorry...but they go brittle and/or flatten out causing a leak.
Useful photo. Do you have any tips/ideas re removing the cap with the front cover still in place? Do you think cranking with the circlip out, i.e. using oil pressure, would push out the plug?

And before you ask, this was not the O ring that caused my curios lack of oil pressure - that was on the oil pick up tube
What were the symptoms of that? Just at startup, or did it continue after startup?
 
Useful photo. Do you have any tips/ideas re removing the cap with the front cover still in place? Do you think cranking with the circlip out, i.e. using oil pressure, would push out the plug?


What were the symptoms of that? Just at startup, or did it continue after startup?
@Saint.V8 did a couple of write ups they're in the Technical archive,top left of the home page.
 
Useful photo. Do you have any tips/ideas re removing the cap with the front cover still in place? Do you think cranking with the circlip out, i.e. using oil pressure, would push out the plug?


What were the symptoms of that? Just at startup, or did it continue after startup?

The pickup o-ring? Low all the time. Think Saint did a video somewhere.
 
OK, so I got stuck into this a few days back.

Steps to do so:
- Remove the viscous fan (this video may help:
);
- Remove the serpentine belt, and the belt tensioner;
- Carefully drain coolant into a clean bucket, from the drain in the bottom-centre of the radiator;
- Remove the water-pump supply-hose, off the water-pump inlet (fold rearwards out of the way);
- Carefully release the connector off the cam-position-sensor (- located directly under water pump inlet).

At this point you should be looking at something like this:

2022-02-11 18.28.06,25pc.jpg
 
Now get into the repair.
- Remove the internal circlip, using circlip pliers (- fairly easy using 45° tips);
- Use a strong magnet to rock the steel cap back and forth, until it pops out (- there is some spring assistance from behind);
If this hadn't of worked, I was just going to put a jumper wire across where the starter-motor relay goes, in order to pulse the starter motor, creating oil pressure to push the plug out. It would have been a little messy, but a lot better than having to remove the oil filter and trying to prod from underneath etc, or even having to fully remove the full front cover unit off the engine....

It soon became apparent why it was leaking. After 25 years the o-ring was very much flat and had virtually no ability to seal.

2022-02-11 18.25.17.25pc.jpg
 
The core-ID of the o-ring channel is 19mm. The OD of the plug is 22mm.
I bought two similar o-rings 18x2 and 19x2. I tried the 19x2, but there was too much force needed to install the plug. I went with the 18x2 and with a liberal coating of vaseline a little persuasion from the back of a socket-extension, it went in really nicely.

2022-02-11 20.11.11.25pc.jpg
 
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