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Old 03-15-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
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Default rear main oil leak?

I just bought this truck (96 XL, 5.8L, E4OD, 4wd) about 2 months ago. It has got a slight oil leak, which, from the best of my ability, appears to be coming from the plate between the engine and the bellhousing. Based on some online searches, and from what some people have told me, it is probably a rear main seal leak, which makes sense.

Couple questions:

1) Is there a way to confirm that it is definitely the rear main seal? I have also read that it could be the head gasket or valve covers leaking down.

2) if it is the rear main seal, are there any additives that actually work in reconditioning it? Blue Devil Rear Main Sealant? Bar's Rear Main Sealant? Would I do just as well adding snake oil to my crankcase?

I know ultimately, it needs to be replaced. Was just hoping to buy myself some time.

Thanks
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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My truck has the same problem so i would like ideas to on sealing it because i really dont want to pull the engine
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
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You ain't gotta pull the engine. Just the trans. I'm doing mine this weekend hopefully if whoever borrowed the trans jack from my bud's shop brings it back this week. I've been using the Lucas oil stabilizer in mine. It hasn't stopped the leak but after using it a few times it has slowed down some
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:38 PM   #4
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You want to buy some time, buy some oil.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:57 PM   #5
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Try using a high mileage motor oil, such as Maxlife, Supertech High Mileage, Quaker State Defy or Pennzoil High Mileage. That is truly your best shot at stopping it without pulling the engine or trans.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:00 PM   #6
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I just did this...some will argue that pulling the engine is easier but I feel that the transmission is easier. The biggest PITA are the bell housing bolts which must be done for either pull sooooo.

I took a look at this write up from the FSB (full size Bronco) site and it's pretty good and detailed http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52700. Plus, it's the exact setup that I have (5.8/E4OD/4WD). Read it carefully and decide for yourself. One difference between this tutorial and what I did was that my '95 has NO access panel in the floor to ease the removal of the top bolts. I removed the upper intake to get at them which wasn't a big deal and the new gaskets for it were only a few dollars. Anyway, mine was leaking pretty badly and since I was at it and the transmission was out of the way, I replaced the y-pipe and cat too. Since THESE were out of the way, I dropped the engine's oil pan and replaced its gasket as well. I did not have to raise the engine or even pull the pan completely out either. So, I did the rear main seal, oil pan gasket, front pump seal for the E4OD and its pan gasket and filter too. I did every bit of it myself but had a buddy help yank it off of the motor and guide it back together.

Again, I contemplated pulling the engine instead but decided that I didn't want to deal with the A/C, pwr steering, and other accessories, fuel, coolant, numerous vacuum lines and electrical connections. You'll need some safe and sturdy jack stands, a transmission jack (I borrowed one), a buttload of rags and patience, and some time to do it right.

BTW...it doesn't leak ONE DROP now!!!

Last edited by F100builder; 03-15-2012 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qdeezie View Post
Try using a high mileage motor oil, such as Maxlife, Supertech High Mileage, Quaker State Defy or Pennzoil High Mileage. That is truly your best shot at stopping it without pulling the engine or trans.
I wouldn't use anything with "high mileage" in the title. All it does is expand the rubber seals. Anytime you expand rubber, you severely shorten it's useable life. That would be fine if the rear main was the only rubber seal, but any other rubber that the engine uses will also do that (crank seal, valve cover, etc.). Food for thought.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F100builder
I just did this...some will argue that pulling the engine is easier but I feel that the transmission is easier. The biggest PITA are the bell housing bolts which must be done for either pull sooooo.

I took a look at this write up from the FSB (full size Bronco) site and it's pretty good and detailed http://fullsizebronco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52700. Plus, it's the exact setup that I have (5.8/E4OD/4WD). Read it carefully and decide for yourself. One difference between this tutorial and what I did was that my '95 has NO access panel in the floor to ease the removal of the top bolts. I removed the upper intake to get at them which wasn't a big deal and the new gaskets for it were only a few dollars. Anyway, mine was leaking pretty badly and since I was at it and the transmission was out of the way, I replaced the y-pipe and cat too. Since THESE were out of the way, I dropped the engine's oil pan and replaced its gasket as well. I did not have to raise the engine or even pull the pan completely out either. So, I did the rear main seal, oil pan gasket, front pump seal for the E4OD and its pan gasket and filter too. I did every bit of it myself but had a buddy help yank it off of the motor and guide it back together.

Again, I contemplated pulling the engine instead but decided that I didn't want to deal with the A/C, pwr steering, and other accessories, fuel, coolant, numerous vacuum lines and electrical connections. You'll need some safe and sturdy jack stands, a transmission jack (I borrowed one), a buttload of rags and patience, and some time to do it right.

BTW...it doesn't leak ONE DROP now!!!
I'm glad my friend is a mechanic and used to work in a trans shop. Makes this kind of stuff so much easier
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshtowal View Post
I wouldn't use anything with "high mileage" in the title. All it does is expand the rubber seals. Anytime you expand rubber, you severely shorten it's useable life. That would be fine if the rear main was the only rubber seal, but any other rubber that the engine uses will also do that (crank seal, valve cover, etc.). Food for thought.
I disagree. What if the oil was changed next to never? What happens then is that the seals become hard/brittle due to a lack of seal conditioning additives.

Ever noticed how a new seal is flexible and an old seal is brittle? There's a reason for the flexibility of new seals.

The high mileage oil doesn't just go in and "swell" the seals, it reconditions those dried out seals so that flexibility within the seals will return which may slow or stop the leak. Also, high mileage oil has additives that protect against wear and a higher detergent level than a conventional oil. I'm sure there's a small degree of swelling, but from my experience, the good seals remained good.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qdeezie View Post
I disagree. What if the oil was changed next to never? What happens then is that the seals become hard/brittle due to a lack of seal conditioning additives.

Ever noticed how a new seal is flexible and an old seal is brittle? There's a reason for the flexibility of new seals.

The high mileage oil doesn't just go in and "swell" the seals, it reconditions those dried out seals so that flexibility within the seals will return which may slow or stop the leak. Also, high mileage oil has additives that protect against wear and a higher detergent level than a conventional oil. I'm sure there's a small degree of swelling, but from my experience, the good seals remained good.
If it was truly that good for the engine, why should you only use it once you get to that magic mileage number? If you're going to be replacing your old, tired engine, but need to buy some time until you have more time/money to do it, by all means, go for it. I've never looked, so I have no idea, but I would at the very least check to see if it "meets or exceeds" Ford's criteria before you use it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:27 PM
 
 
 
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