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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, I found the leak today and it's coming from my oil pan gasket.

So, tommorow, a friend and I are changing it, so what would you recommend I change the oil to? It's got 110K on the motor, and the oil was always fossil stuff.

We were talking about running seafoam through the crankcase and then dumping the oil and filter and then putting the new gasket and RTV on, and then filling it up with Royal Purple Oil. What do you guys think?
 

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Experience>Post Count
Camry and Hilux
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1,426 Posts
Dude, I know, several months after the fact, but don't put Seafoam in your car, it messes the engine up and also Royal Purple is not worth the money because it doesn;t do much, Amsoil is much better, full synthetic.
 

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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
...Well, my friend and I ran the engine for a good 10 minutes, and the oil leak is massive. I still don't know where it's coming from, but it was running down on top of the transmission and leaking off of it. There was a puddle of probably a good 3/4 quart of oil after we turned the engine on. I don't know what to do anymore. I was almost completely sure that I was done, and I'm not sure I have the resources to pay for this anymore.

Any ideas what might be leaking? It's not the head gasket, because there's no coolant leaking, so either valve cover gasket or something else maybe?

I dunno, but here's a pic of my engine.

 

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Registered
07 tundra
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56 Posts
just had the same problem at about the same mileage. here's the deal you are getting a leak from behind the oil pump seal. it looks line a long crooked black rubber band. u might as well change the front oil pump seal while it's off the car too. and the front crankshaft seal is probably leaking too. don't just replace it without first installing a camshaft sleeve over it (it's called a redi sleeve part number nat 99166 $29.99) if you don't the new seal will leak right away.
 

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Registered
Toyota Camry
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1,820 Posts
If you're going to be changing your oil pan gasket, you're obviously going to have to change the oil since you have to drain it all anyways to drop the pan. Mine is leaking as well but I'm waiting until spring to fix it. As far as Royal Purple goes, I've used it before and my engine didn't react to it well. I do have a different engine than you though.
 

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Registered
98' LGT
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1,114 Posts
wow, I'd never heard of this oil O-ring issue on here, then mine went 2 weeks ago, and so is everyone elses. I lost 2 quarts in 45 miles and almost toasted the motor (discovered the stock oil pressure switch wire was rusted off). While your in there, you might as well do timing belt, and water pump.
 

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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Wait, so it's an oil pump seal or an oil o-ring?

I'm taking in to a shop tommorow to see what the hell it is anyway, but I'd like to know so I could mention it.
 

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RX-7 Restorations
18 Camry SE
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1,570 Posts
if you post a pic of your leak we can better determine what the leak is. a leaking oil pump is not out of the question. you need to tell us specifically where the leak is and how much oil is leaking. does it leak only when the engine is running? does is leak when the car is parked and the engine off?
 

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mixed bag 'o vehicles
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2,862 Posts
Sniperdude said:
Wait, so it's an oil pump seal or an oil o-ring?

I'm taking in to a shop tommorow to see what the hell it is anyway, but I'd like to know so I could mention it.
there are two seals - one is an oil pump seal that is the seal around the pulley and the other is an o-ring goes between the pulley and part of the housing to the rest of the oil pump. thats where my oil leak is on my 96 camry. well, those seals along with the cam and distributor seals i already replaced.
 

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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well, I drove to the shop today and the car was really running rough. The oil light was flickering like crazy and 3/4 of the way there it stayed on and I smelled burning, so I hope the mechanic can fix it.
 

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RX-7 Restorations
18 Camry SE
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1,570 Posts
keep us posted. the light was flickering because you're too low on oil.
 

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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
Joined
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
mazdaverx7 said:
keep us posted. the light was flickering because you're too low on oil.
You know what's odd about that is I checked the oil level via dipstick and it was way higher than the full mark should be, and the light meaning it's low is kind of odd to me.

Also the oil was very dark/black.
 

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I work on euros.
96 Toy Camry Sport
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210 Posts
umm...shit. the light on our cars is not oil level, it's oil pressure! driving with it on can roach your bearings quickly - I hope you drove softly. Either you put more than 4 quarts of oil in and managed to aereate the oil (putting lots of little air bubbles in and reducing oil pressure) or your oil is not getting back to the pickup tube. The latter I have heard a couple cases of, where engines are so sludged up the oil can't drain back down very quickly. PRAY that this is not the case. If you pulled the oil pan, you would have seen this condition, though.

you say it's dumping oil on the transmission? that means it's either valve cover (unlikely, your engine looks fairly oil free outside), or the distributor o-ring. I can see from your picture your oil pressure sending switch is dry, so that is ruled out. Often, when the distributor o-ring leaks, people think it's valve cover or head gasket. it dumps oil down the back of the block, running under the intake manifold, and dripping on the exhaust. it also pours engine oil across the back of the transmission.

Your thought process regarding the head gasket is flawed, any single passage can leak without affecting any others. however, yours is probably fine.

as far as the engine oil goes, my boss told me he's opened up a couple of AMSOIL motors, and yes, they are clean. He used DELO around the same time (Diesel Engine Lubricating Oil), and the high amount of detergents kept his motor just as clean. I just put 15w40 DELO in my 5s today, and my butt dyno tells me I got a little more power from ring sealing. We'll see if it stops my leaks...
 

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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Well, last night, when we were working on it, I dumped seafoam into the engine, and it was rather sludged from what I could see from the oil port on the engine, so like 1/3 of a bottle of seafoam, ran it for ten minutes, and oil was coming out just like usual, except this time it was alot. I'm hoping that a lot of the chunks didn't come and clog the oil pickup screen.

I'm not sure, but I think the mechanic will be able to understand what's going on. He works on audis and mercedes and the such, so he is well-versed in imports. I wish I could fix it myself, but I am just not that knowledgeable in the mechanics of the engine.
 

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I work on euros.
96 Toy Camry Sport
Joined
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210 Posts
Sometimes it's best to know when to let someone else handle it. for future reference, the oil cap area is a low-airflow zone, and is prone to some sludging. it's not a very good indicator for the rest of the motor. With the chunks clogging the pickup screen, shutting the engine off actually takes the suction away and lets the carbon fall back down to the bottom of the pan. it's not a solution, just a mental note. I hope everything comes out ok.
 

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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Yeah, I hope it turns out.

I spent 950 on a new auto tranny. 390 on new brake system. Close to 1,000.00 in new body parts, lights, etc....

So, there's only so much I can do to this car before I give up on it. My family doesn't work, both my parents are disabled, and if I work, I lose my college grants and whatnot, so it's a sad situation for myself, but I hope it turns out alright.
 

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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
Joined
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Just for kicks, posting two pics from just starting to completely finished. The front end is completely rebuilt. New fenders, fender liners, hood, front bumper, headlights, clear markers, and clear corners.

I managed to do it in a few days.

Beginning:


End:


Just posting these till' I get updates on the actual problem with the car. Let me know what you think.

- Mike
 

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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
Joined
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Just an update here. Mechanic called in today and said that I have two big engine leaks, and it's going to cost 320 dollars. Not the worst price, but I was expecting a little less.

Hopefully it'll be a lot more sludge-free this time!!!
 

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5S-FU
96 Toyota Camry LE
Joined
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Well, I just called the mechanic, and I got some crappy news.

The O-Ring on the distributor was leaking, the valve cover gasket was leaking. So he fixed those, washed the engine, and now checked the engine again.

So now.... the rear main engine seal is leaking badly. We're talking like 2 quarts per minute.

The two seals before this cost 320.00. This rear engine seal will cost approxiametly 400.00, because you have to drop the trans and all that.

Now here's a question I have for you guys... I paid a mechanic to take out my old tranny and put in a used one. Now, if I had him do that, shouldn't he have put a new gasket on? Therefore, can I press him to do this gratis?

Thanks.
 
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