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What is this leak?

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Old 02-26-2015, 05:33 PM   #1
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Default What is this leak?

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Just happened to notice today while looking at the engine after turning it off, I saw some tiny bubbles coming from behind the bolt head. This bolt is located just below and a little to the right of the thermostat. I also included a close-up photo. Looks as though it's been leaking for some while. Any recommendations?


This is a 1995 F150 I6 Manual with 177,xxx miles. Thank you for any recommendations.
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Old 02-26-2015, 09:34 PM   #2
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That looks like the timing cover. If it's bubbling at that bolt your thermostat housing is probably leaking and coolant running down onto the cover bolt. I don't think the bubbling is coming from the timing cover.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:35 PM   #3
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Well, I felt all around the thermostat which was replaced about 6 months ago. It's dry as a bone. Doesn't appear to me at this point something is dripping on top of the leaky, bubbly bolt.

It looks really gummy and oily in that area and for sure tiny bubbles are coming from that cover at that bolt. Even after I shut the engine off I could watch a little bubble or two bubble up from that cover (assuming it's the timing cover). I'm still stumped. Should I maybe snug up those bolts some?
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:44 PM   #4
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Snug it up a bit. It's possible I guess for it to get hot enough to bubble oil. Make sure your PCV system is functioning properly. That's not a spot I would think oil would just run out of unless the gasket wasn't compressed enough AND pressure was building up in the crankcase. Does it leak anywhere else?
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:06 PM   #5
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I need to replace the oil sending unit as it's leaking oil from there, so I'm not sure if there's leaks from anywhere else.
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Old Yesterday, 12:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf_Chaser View Post
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Click the image to open in full size.
Just happened to notice today while looking at the engine after turning it off, I saw some tiny bubbles coming from behind the bolt head. This bolt is located just below and a little to the right of the thermostat. I also included a close-up photo. Looks as though it's been leaking for some while. Any recommendations?


This is a 1995 F150 I6 Manual with 177,xxx miles. Thank you for any recommendations.

Its hard to tell from the pic but that couldn't be the water pump could it? I replaced mine not too long ago because it was leaking.
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Old Yesterday, 09:22 AM   #7
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Bubbles mean pressure is building up - so pcv as mentioned by ncranchero. Crankcase areas should (theoretically) be at negative pressure with the motor running.
You can tighten the bolts a little, but I'd address the pcv system first. If pressure is building up, it has to go somewhere - most common place is the rear main seal. #1 reason why they leak.
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Old Yesterday, 11:59 PM   #8
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I agree check the pcv valve and the vacuum hose. I am unfamiliar with the pcv on an I6 but on my 5.0 the fitting on the rear of the intake for the pcv was almost plugged up with carbon so check that for sure. If you replace the pcv valve get a motorcraft, much higher quality than other brands and fit much better as well.
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