Oil Leak Help

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jagiven
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Oil Leak Help

Post by jagiven » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:14 am

So let me start off with, I drive this car a lot! I would guess between 3.5K and 5K miles most summers. I did not need to do an oil change this past summer, I just had to keep adding oil :( so I need to fix the issue, as the carboard under my T was highly soaked in oil, and left her mark everywhere. I put two small catch pans under the T last fall when I parked after the last trip, within a week I collected about 3/4 cup of oil in the two small pans. Most of the oil was collected within a day or two. One pan was under the starter weep hole, the other under the drain plug (low point). As winter progressed, no more oil has collected in the pans.

Up until this past summer, she would mark her spot, with a few small droplets. But it's becoming a puddle.

I feel that the leak is coming from near the Starter. The oil pan on that side from the starter to the drain plug is really wet with oil. I have not found the source. The area under each of the peddle shafts are dry, as it the area around the Hogs Head inspection cover.

I thought it was the starter as it was dripping a ton of oil from the weep hole. - it was rebuilt, with modern seals. The leak maybe less, but still leaks, and the weep hole always has an oil droplet forming.

About the same time, I replaced the gasket on the drain plug. New copper crush ring. No noticeable change in the oil leak.

This past week I pulled the oil pan. I found the previous owner painted (primed and painted) the mating surfaces. Ground the paint off, and reinstalled, with new gasket and Permatex. Also installed the Texas T neoprene washer set. - no clue if this will help. The engine rebuilder had used the cotton string method to seal the bolts, there were lots of oil buggers hanging from them.

Sametime, replaced the oil drain plug with a new magnetic plug and copper crush gasket. Wondering if a neoprene O-Ring would be a better choice?? (I have not added the new oil yet, so there is time to make a change)

Next thought, it could be leaking from is between the block and the pan. If they painted the oil pan flanges, why not these matting surfaces. I really do not want to pull the engine! I can tell they used Permatex on the surfaces. Some of the bolts have a lot of oil buggers growing on them. I'm thinking of pulling the bolts one at a time, and doing one of two things. Clean the bolt and reinstall with a little Permatex to help seal the hole/threads. Or look to see if I can purchase and install the similar neoprene washers, as with the oil pan. My concern here is ensuring the engine block and pan mesh up correctly, and secured together.

Any thoughts on places to look or tips to reduce the oil loss? Thanks
Last edited by jagiven on Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:23 am, edited 4 times in total.


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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Humblej » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:18 am

Bendix cover.

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by John.Zibell » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:47 am

I wouldn't recommend the neoprene o-ring on the drain plug. Getting the plug tight would damage the o-ring, and if you don't damage the o-ring the plug won't be tight enough and may fall out, losing all oil. stick with the copper gasket. As for the other leaks, just chase them one at a time. The Bendix cover as stated earlier is a good place to start. Once off, I'd remove the Bendix plus starter and check the seals and gasket.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by jagiven » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:50 am

When the Starter was rebuilt, I installed new cork gaskets for both the Starter and Bendix cover. I could double check that the screws are all tight.

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by John.Zibell » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:54 am

jagiven wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:50 am
When the Starter was rebuilt, I installed new cork gaskets for both the Starter and Bendix cover. I could double check that the screws are all tight.
Did you use any sealant? Also paper gaskets may be better in those locations. Cork compresses and my cause a leak in those areas.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by jagiven » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:16 am

john.zibell wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:54 am
jagiven wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:50 am
When the Starter was rebuilt, I installed new cork gaskets for both the Starter and Bendix cover. I could double check that the screws are all tight.
Did you use any sealant? Also paper gaskets may be better in those locations. Cork compresses and my cause a leak in those areas.
I did not use any sealants in this location. Never have in the past.

Now what did I use for gasket material? hum, just the standard gaskets all the vendors sell, maybe they were paper, just remember them feeling heaver than paper.

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by RajoRacer » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:51 am

Many "oil drips" migrating to the drain plug most often are the rivets leaking from the c.c. arms - run the engine to temp., wipe under both c.c. arms then watch.

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by NHUSA » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:29 pm

My T leaked a lot of oil from the seam along the front of the hog's head and pan.
Since I am lazy and the oil is not under pressure, I cleaned the seam with carb cleaner and rubber black silicon into the seam.
The leaks stopped.
NH - Where I live - not the carburetor ! :lol:

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Ruxstel24 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:36 pm

When a T stops leaking oil, then it's time to worry....
It's probably out of oil !! :lol:


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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Martin » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:38 pm

I've had good luck with the UV dye sold at all auto parts stores to find oil and water leaks.

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by twrenn » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:38 pm

Here's a dumb suggestion..why not thoroughly clean the entire engine\trans. area, make sure your engine is topped off with oil, start it up sitting on a clean surface, grab a beer and lay down next to the car and just wait for things to happen. I bet something will show up in less than 20 minutes. Just a thought!

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by RajoRacer » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:06 pm

Exactly, Tim !


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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:03 pm

It shouldn't matter a bit if mating surfaces were painted prior to assembly.

Have a close look at your bendix cover. Some have had bendix bolts come loose within at some time in their long life. The bolts can rub around and make a tiny hole that leaks oil like a fire hose when the car is running. And yes, use sealant when replacing the cover.

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by RajoRacer » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:23 pm

Jerry has made a valid point regarding the Bendix drive cover - I recently removed one from a car that had the Bendix drive spring installed with incorrect bolts resulting in a "tattle-tale" mark inside the can and apparently had been rubbed & pierced and had been soldered back together ! The correct 2 bolts have a VERY THIN head - make sure of that on your Bendix can !

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Oldav8tor » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:35 pm

Oops! Wrote this before I read Martin's post. Sorry for the duplication but it does work.

They make a dye you can add to the oil that shows up under UV light. Many mechanic shops use it. Clean the underside of the engine off as best you can, add the dye, run the engine a bit and light it up with the UV. I used it on my Jeep to find a leak - worked great!
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by ericmac » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:57 pm

In my quick scan of responses I didn't pick up anyone honing in on pedal shafts. I did a very extensive hogshead rebuild on my '26 Touring. That cured probably 95% of the leak problem, not 100 %, it's still a Model T after all, but it was significantly better. That is a tough and expensive place to start but I bet will wind up being your problem. All the best.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Steve Jelf » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:31 pm

My bad oil leak last fall turned out to be at the mag post. The flywheel throws a lot of oil up there, so a leak at the post can be pretty bad. Loose starter and Bendix screws are common leak sources, and so are valve covers. I like Tim's idea. Wipe it all clean, start it up, and watch.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by AdminJeff » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:14 am

Steve Jelf wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:31 pm
My bad oil leak last fall turned out to be at the mag post. The flywheel throws a lot of oil up there, so a leak at the post can be pretty bad. Loose starter and Bendix screws are common leak sources, and so are valve covers. I like Tim's idea. Wipe it all clean, start it up, and watch.

These suggestions are all right on. Like you, I drive my car ALOT. Even this winter I’ve got more than 1000 miles on it. My car leaked more than a cup a day when I first got it. My long asphalt driveway tells the whole story there. Good thing the storms have been non-stop.

Mag post - it was crazy how much oil came out of that thing. No mag on my car so I welded it closed, much cheaper than a new one.
Bendix cover - same, even though there was a gasket there. Use Permatex black.
Valve covers - were bent by PO. Straighten and seal.
Inspection pan cover bolts - a little permatex black on the threads before installing did the trick there. Thanks Steve Tomaso!
Now it’s down to the pedals, 99% of the rest of it. That’s a job for another winter but at least now I can live with a few drops after every drive. Walmart sells those big drip pans cheap.

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by George Andreasen » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:49 am

I just finished rebuilding my hog's head and have it ready to install on the engine. I used the "O" ring method of sealing and I think it will work quite well, as I can just feel the resistance of the rings when I move the pedals. I used a conical shaped grindstone to form the surfaces inside the pedal supports and it only took about five minutes each. Since the low speed pedal O ring is on the inside of the HH, I drilled a 3/16 hole through the shaft support on the outside for an occasional drop of oil. I'll install a Gits flip top oiler there.

The only part I didn't seal was the throw out bearing shaft at the rear, as it can be removed and two grooves machined in the surface for O rings. However, after my experience with drilling out those pedal pins, I'm really leery of any more drilling! I'll just let it leak a little bit!


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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Norman Kling » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:51 am

I have experienced leaks at the junction between the crankcase, block, and hogshead. Usually the felt won't leak around the back of the block, but at the junction where all come together, it is hard to get everything tight without the dread snapping of the edge of the hogs head. I have had good experiences by cleaning very well the surface where the leak appears and then taking a putty knife or large screw driver with some Ultra Black and try to force it into that joint. Let it set up and the leaks will diminish or disappear. That area is so close to the starter that some of that oil might run onto the starter and appear to be leaking from the starter.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by TonyB » Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:02 pm

The reply about the lack of oil leaks reminds me of a The Centerdoor currently in the workshop. A magnet broke with lots of damage (story for another time) and it lost oil and then the leak stopped.
Here is why
AC076A80-3F7F-4BE3-A1B4-5ED0C015637D.jpeg
Yes it lost all the oil thru the holes in the pan 😊😊
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by jagiven » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:48 pm

This evening I checked the bendix cover, no damage. Removed the starter, and glued both gaskets. I also cleaned up a lot of oil.

The weather is poor here, maybe this weekend, I can start up the T, and let it idle.


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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Marshall V. Daut » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:50 pm

The crankcase arms are riveted and sealed inside with brass. If a rivet works loose from vibration or age, oil will run out from between the arm and the crankcase, and then down to the oil drain plug, the lowest part of the power plant. It will drip off the plug, making you think the oil is coming from beneath the plug. The permanent fix is not appealing: engine removal, disassembly and heating/shrinking the old rivet, or drilling it out and installing a new one. A lot of work just to repair a loose rivet.
An aged friend asked me to find a leak in his non-starter 1914 Model T in 2017. I wiped everything clean from the oil-encrusted bottom of the crankcase and let the engine run for a while. Sure enough! A stream of oil developed from behind the driver's side crankcase arm. The friend didn't want to do a complete disassembly to make a proper repair, so I wire brushed off the paint and oil residue crud from around the arm and sealed it up but good along three sides with a black RTV., forcing it in as far as I could behind the arm. I also put a bunch down the top where the gap is widest. I know this will not work forever, but at least it will stop most of the oil leakage in this area until the engine is removed and the pan taken off to re-seat and seal the loose rivet. I haven't heard any complaint from the man, so it must have at least mitigated the leakage.
I asked here at the time if a self-sealing "blind" rivet would work in this application, installed while the engine was still in the chassis: drain the oil, drill out the old rivet and install the self-sealing rivet. I don't recall receiving any positive feedback to my question, so I didn't go that route. Surely, there must be SOME kind of expanding rivet that could be used here? (assuming this is your problem)
I agree that the usual suspects in your case are the starter, the Bendix cover, a non-sealing drain plug and/or the juncture between the engine block and the transmission cover. I've had oil leakage problems over the years in ALL those places! Start your sleuthing there, as the chances are good that the leak is originating among those traditional troublemakers.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by SurfCityGene » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:24 pm

Ultra Black or The Right Stuff both from Permatex are the very best sealants to use to prevent oil leaks. Not all RTV's perform equally! It's Most important to remove ALL oily residue.
I remember a post a long time ago where someone recommended attaching a vacuum to the crankcase to help suck the sealant into the leaking area. Sounded like an idea worth considering in some cases. Another area to consider is the crankshaft in front of the engine. Oil leaking from there will get blown back and covers much of the engine all the way back to the differential over time. This leak can easily be fixed by adding an external seal to the front cover using Ultra Black sealer.

If your rivets are loose I would be consider adding a brace under the pan to help support the engine and relieve some of the weight from loose rivets or a cracked support arm until a proper repair can be made.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:14 pm

Gene

good info, but as for the vacuum trick, I read it too, way back when, and must say that it is bunk. Nothing magic about vacuum...it is some reduction of of pressure below (let's say, sea level) atmospheric pressure of 14.7 PSI. To remove nearly all traces of atmospheric pressure, scientists use roots type blowers or roughing pumps, coupled to diffusion pumps and cryo-pumps, etc. and never get rid of "all" atmosphere...something is always outgassing and replacing what is being evacuated, albeit a super-duper tiny amount. Enough of the science, now to math...let's assume the shop vac is used...the level of "vacuum" it can create is minimal in the sense of evacuating any real portion of atmosphere from a sealed chamber. And that assumes the crankcase is sealed at the 4th main (no clearance) the valve lifters are sealed (no clearance), etc, etc, etc. Enough with the leaks. Let's go to math. If you COULD remove all atmospheric pressure from the interior of the crank case, the most pressure pushing on the RTV is 14.7 PSI. Remember the huckster vacuum cleaner salesman that picked up a 16 lb bowling ball? He did it with a funnel shaped fitting about 6 inches in diameter (a little over 28 sq" area of 14.7 PSI pushing the ball up into the funnel). No wonder it picked up the ball! So let's go the other direction...14.7 PSI acting on a leak 1/32" across...A pretty significant oil leak!...with a perfect vacuum on the crankcase side (which is impossible, but let's use it for "best case" sealing "push"), But wait! the leak isn't usually a perfect tiny hole, but a tortured twisted path, creating conductance issues and reducing vacuum flow through there...OOPS, science...we're past that, so let's get back to the fact that there is a grand total of .0008 sq/in area of cross section of leak path, so the atmospheric pressure outside is a whopping total of .011 lb pushing against that hole with that black viscous stuff called ultra black.

It's one of those ideas that sounds so obvious, it MUST work. Unfortunately the physics of flow coupled to mathematics of area involved, mixed into the problem of viscosity of RTV says it CAN'T work. Pulling that stuff into a leak with a vacuum ain't gonna happen. One may schmear some random RTV over a suspected leak and succeed, but it wasn't because pressure pushed it into the hole.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by davidheavner » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:35 pm

When I first got my T, I had a bad oil leak around the Bendix cover. I didn't know it was the Bendix until I had the transmission rebuilt and found that the Bendix cover had a hole in it. The Bendix itself also needed replacing. After fixing the cover and replacing the Bendix, all is well. No more leaks at least in that area.

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by ABoer » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:14 pm

As our Model T also mark her territory ,
I made a diaper for her.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by John l » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:28 pm

It the way a T marks its territory .

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by jagiven » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:57 am

The oil and dye are in the engine, but I have not had a chance to run the engine as it has been to dang cold to leave the garage door open and snows when I have a chance to pull it out onto the driveway, so it is staying in its warm stall.

However, I grabbed the black light, found one oil leak, the lower peacock valve for checking oil level. It is leaking around the threads. Feel like draining the oil, pull the valve and re-seat it, before starting it up. It is not a lot, but there is a small droplet on the drain plug.


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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by SurfCityGene » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:21 pm

If you don't like oil leaks Then Ultra Black or The Right Stuff made by Permatex is your Best Friend. Once you try it when putting things together you'll never be without some in the shop. It also is great for patching a small tear in the top material and a thousand other uses!
Just clean the surface before use.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:36 pm

I agree with Gene, but Ultra Black is better if you're slow like me. The Right Stuff is the wrong stuff for us slowpokes. Sets up too fast.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Mark Osterman » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:38 pm

The art of model T oil drippings
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by 46woodduck » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:52 pm

I have to agree with the wash the engine clean, let it dry and then run it method. If it's leaking that much the location should become obvious.
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Erik Barrett » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:16 pm

If you have no magneto coil ring, oil can leak out the bolt holes for it. They are occasionally drilled through the front of the hogshead seal area. Look down between the starter and the block and probe with a scribe the see if there is a partial hole poking through.


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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Scottio » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:55 pm

twrenn wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:38 pm
Here's a dumb suggestion..why not thoroughly clean the entire engine\trans. area, make sure your engine is topped off with oil, start it up sitting on a clean surface, grab a beer and lay down next to the car and just wait for things to happen. I bet something will show up in less than 20 minutes. Just a thought!
X 2

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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by jagiven » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:50 pm

Scottio wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:55 pm
twrenn wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:38 pm
start it up sitting on a clean surface, grab a beer and lay down next to the car and just wait for things to happen. I bet something will show up in less than 20 minutes. Just a thought!
X 2
Sounds wonderful, if I was in Sunny California. But here in tropical Minnesota, the only place to do that is in the garage, but because it snows almost every day. Actually we had some sun this week. The garage thing, sounds like suicide. Just have to wait a few more weeks.


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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by Art McTevia » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:23 pm

twrenn wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:38 pm
Here's a dumb suggestion..why not thoroughly clean the entire engine\trans. area, make sure your engine is topped off with oil, start it up sitting on a clean surface, grab a beer and lay down next to the car and just wait for things to happen. I bet something will show up in less than 20 minutes. Just a thought!
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Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by samuel pine » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:46 am

Ha you ain't seen oil leaks until you drive a truck or bus with a screamin Jimmy Detroit Diesel.


46woodduck
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:53 am
First Name: Thomas
Last Name: Petry
Location: Southern California

Re: Oil Leak Help

Post by 46woodduck » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:27 am

As a friend who was into old British motorcycles used to say, "if it's not leaking oil, it doesn't have any in it".
Life is good on the lunatic fringe. Tom

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