: LS2 Rear Main Seal Leak?



mstrjon32
03-01-11, 10:25 AM
So I've got the V up on the lift on Sunday, changing the transmission fluid and such, and I noticed that the underside of the oil pan is covered in a fine glaze of oil. I tried to look up to see where it was leaking from, and I couldn't really see where it might be coming from, but it runs up at least the side of the pan. Today, I'm looking on the web and I see that there have been a few LS-engine TSB's for improperly installed rear main seals and for porous rear engine covers that could lead to leaking. Most of the comments on the web I see are from GTO owners, but I was wondering if any V owners have had any issues with this?

Frankly, I really don't care that it's leaking. The oil level isn't even down, and I'm sure the leak is slow enough that it really doesn't make a difference. But, I do have to have the car inspected in Germany soon, and I suspect they're going to give me a hard time about it, so I'd rather fix it before I put it on the boat. I could just spray it down with degreaser and wash it down before the inspection...

Houdini
03-01-11, 11:57 AM
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-cts-v-series-forum-2009/217626-rear-main-seal-tsb-05-06-a.html

mstrjon32
03-01-11, 12:08 PM
Ah, thanks. I didn't search the V2 forums...

Still have to ask if any V1 owners have attempted to fix this themselves? I'm guessing the shop would want 10 hours or more for this, and I really don't want to pay for it out of pocket.

mstrjon32
03-01-11, 12:37 PM
Here's a better question: Is this even worth fixing, or should I just get under there with some degreaser the day before my inspection and wash off all the oil? I don't really see the harm in letting it leak a little, and I'm pretty anal retentive, but not so much that it needs to fixed right away. I've let the rear main in my Jeep leak for the past 70K miles, and I don't really see why I can't do the same with this car.

Who knows, I might pull the transmission to replace the clutch one day anyway, so I could always take care of it then.

PISNUOFF
03-01-11, 12:53 PM
Where is the oil? On the oil pan? Is it leaking from the front crankshaft seal or from the bell housing. I suspect that if it's on the oil pan itself, it is leaking from the crankshaft pulley seal (if it's a seal at all, could be the pan gasket or front/rear cover gaskets).

Houdini
03-01-11, 01:15 PM
If the car was still under warranty I wouldn't let it stand. Without warranty, I would probably just let it go and deal with it if you ever pull the trans for a clutch.

mstrjon32
03-01-11, 01:33 PM
I'm bringing the car back into the shop tomorrow to put in the new shifter. I'll take some pictures of it then, but it looks like it's leaking from the rear of the engine near the bell housing. It appears the fit the published TSB pretty well.

Unfortunately, it is not under warranty, and since I'm not the original owner, I doubt I could get a good will warranty repair out of them.

mberisha
03-02-11, 03:26 AM
So I've got the V up on the lift on Sunday, changing the transmission fluid and such, and I noticed that the underside of the oil pan is covered in a fine glaze of oil. I tried to look up to see where it was leaking from, and I couldn't really see where it might be coming from, but it runs up at least the side of the pan. Today, I'm looking on the web and I see that there have been a few LS-engine TSB's for improperly installed rear main seals and for porous rear engine covers that could lead to leaking. Most of the comments on the web I see are from GTO owners, but I was wondering if any V owners have had any issues with this?

Frankly, I really don't care that it's leaking. The oil level isn't even down, and I'm sure the leak is slow enough that it really doesn't make a difference. But, I do have to have the car inspected in Germany soon, and I suspect they're going to give me a hard time about it, so I'd rather fix it before I put it on the boat. I could just spray it down with degreaser and wash it down before the inspection...

As far as the inspection....if there isn't ALOT of oil....I don't think they'd even notice it....

They put those cars through like an assembly line...so as long as the oil doesn't jump out at them....I wouldn't sweat it...

mstrjon32
03-02-11, 09:55 AM
Well, the bottom of the oil pan was covered in oil....but it won't be when I drop it off for inspection. :)

mberisha
03-02-11, 09:58 AM
Well, the bottom of the oil pan was covered in oil....but it won't be when I drop it off for inspection. :)

Also...I was thinking...if you are having oil leaking issues...and you are contemplating getting it fixed...do it in the states....

Because once you get over here....it's ever GM for itself....

mstrjon32
03-02-11, 10:17 AM
Yeah, well that was part of the reason I was thinking about doing it here at home first, but at this point I am out of time to mess with it on my own, and it's going to be at least a grand to get it fixed at the dealer. I'm just going to ship the car and if I have to pull the transmission or the engine myself and fix it over there, so be it.

Maybe I'll buy you some beers and you can come up and give me a hand. :)

mberisha
03-03-11, 05:40 AM
Yeah, well that was part of the reason I was thinking about doing it here at home first, but at this point I am out of time to mess with it on my own, and it's going to be at least a grand to get it fixed at the dealer. I'm just going to ship the car and if I have to pull the transmission or the engine myself and fix it over there, so be it.

Maybe I'll buy you some beers and you can come up and give me a hand. :)

That's a done deal right there...my favorite currency....and it's a better conversion rate than the dollar to the euro.....

Jbawden
03-03-11, 10:23 AM
I had this done under warranty a few weeks ago, they had my car from Monday to Friday. It's big job for sure, but not terribly complicated. With the proper amount of room and so forth, I would attempt it. But, I'd plan some other mods while I was at it such as flywheel, clutch, and shifter updates/mods.

lollygagger8
03-03-11, 02:11 PM
Quit towing all those vehicles with your truck motors! :lildevil:

The Tony Show
03-03-11, 02:18 PM
Not to scare you, but I thought my LS6 V had a rear main seal issue and it turned out to be block porosity near the starter instead.

I hadn't noticed any problems with the clutch, but when we pulled the transmission to work on it the flywheel had been oiled and the bellhousing was full of burned up oil ash and clutch material.

CadzillaTN
03-03-11, 08:23 PM
Nice thread! I've had a mystery film of oil on my trans for a while. I'm due back to the dealer in a few weeks to get that checked out as well as some other mystery leak of clear fluid from above the trans ..

I wonder if this is where the 1+ qt of oil is going every 2k miles... Eh,sems like i'd notice that much on the case and underbody. This is just a film but it is all over where the bellhousing meets the trans. I'll try to get a pic.

CadzillaTN
09-25-11, 08:15 PM
finally got the pics...

Before my warranty expired, I stressed that I had "some sort" of oil leak, either a block porosity issue, or rear main seal. I informed them that I have alot of oil residue around where the bellhousing meets the block and it wasn't normal. (coupled by the fact that I'd complained numerous times about losing a quart of oil every 2,000 miles with granny driving) They said, "we don't see anything" it must be leftover from an oil change. Yeah, right....I knew they were blowing smoke up my butt and just didn't want to tackle the problem...

Fast forward 2 months. I've only driven my car about 150 miles since my warranty expired in early July. I've been slowly working on it and today I finally got the clutch and bellhousing out...-- something tells me it isn't supposed to look like this:

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMG_5506.jpg

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMG_5504.jpg

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMG_5508.jpg

http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMG_5510.jpg

Now the question is, which problem do I have?..............

Here's my beef- these clowns replaced my flywheel on my last warranty visit. I didn't ask them to, but that's another story. Seems to me any mechanic worth half his weight in old used socks would get in here and say, "hey, this doesn't look right"... right? doesn't matter. The goal now is to fix this issue.

How do I clean this mess up, and what do you all suggest I replace?...

thanks

rand49er
09-25-11, 09:46 PM
That sure looks like a rear main seal leak alright. Doesn't quite look like a quart-every-2k leak, though.

I can, however, explain why the dealer didn't replace it. They used a blind mechanic.

cts-v avino
09-26-11, 08:47 AM
Mine also had a leak from there. The dealer ended up replacing the cover with the gasket.

rand49er
09-26-11, 08:52 AM
Mine also had a leak from there. The dealer ended up replacing the cover with the gasket."Cover?" If you mean the oil pan, that's a distinct possiblity, too. Sure would be cheaper than a rear main seal.

Not cheap, just cheaper.

M5eater
09-26-11, 08:57 AM
That sure looks like a rear main seal leak alright. Doesn't quite look like a quart-every-2k leak, though.

I can, however, explain why the dealer didn't replace it. They used a blind mechanic.

I don't know, the seal is seeping standing still, I can't imagine how bad it is when it's moving at a couple thousand RPM. Even though it doesn't look like there's a lot of standing oil there, if it isn't a quart every 2K, it's most of it.


Fast forward 2 months. I've only driven my car about 150 miles since my warranty expired in early July. I've been slowly working on it and today I finally got the clutch and bellhousing out...-- something tells me it isn't supposed to look like this:


you need to call back, this was an un-diagnosed pre-existing issue you brought up before the warranty period expired. You should still be covered. This problem did not occur within 2 months or 150miles. It looks like it started happening 10K- a year ago. it's a little late to go asking them again, or it would be very inconvient at this point, but the Warranty does provide for reinbursement for labor/parts in emergecy situations and customer parts exchanges without requiring a serivce visit in some cases. I would be looking for parts reinbursement at this point.

cts-v avino
09-26-11, 08:59 AM
If you look at the picture the seal is in a cover they replaced the whole thing. I had the clutch off recently and there are no leaks now for about 10k miles.

PISNUOFF
09-26-11, 10:10 AM
That looks like it's possibly leaking at the corners where the rear cover seal meets the oil pan seal. That is a very common place to leak (both front timing cover and rear cover). The rear main (crank) seal is pressed into the cover from the inside. It would require you to remove the cover which is easy enough, just make sure you get the cover positioned properly with respect to the block surface for the pan. Make sure you put silicone at the bottom corners when you reinstall the oil pan.

You could also roll the dice and just lower the pan at the rear and squeeze some silicone at the corners. If you think the real seal is actually ok.

CadzillaTN
10-12-11, 02:40 AM
I don't know what it's supposed to look like, and seeing as there was visibile fresh oil collected at the bottom of the seal, I assume it's leaking slightly. I agree, it also appears the corners of the pan might be leaking too...I need to get those plastic guards off and clean everything up.

I'll be doing the following:

-replace oil pan gasket- I assume this is necessary, but may perform the diceroll mod mentioned above since I can do this repair later with the trans and everything still on...

-perform porosity tsb on the rear engine cover, maybe add a bit more rtv at the bottom where it meets the oil pan.

-replace rear main seal- I've done alot of cross research for this on the vette forums etc... seems like it's simple, but easy to foul up. I could buy the whole cover with seal, but I think I'd rather attempt just the seal. There's a tool that assists installation and makes sure the seal seats perfectly, but that tool is in a kit that's ~$300-400..so, not sure on this one. I'm going to get the old one out and see how it all fits together.

CadzillaTN
10-24-11, 12:14 AM
well I dove into this repair this weekend...

the tsb didn't make alot of sense- put the rtv on the engine block, then reinstall the gasket. Assumption is the porosity is in the block..but once i got the rear cover off it seemed like slight surface imperfection was on it, not the block surface. no time to buy another one... putting the rtv between the gasket and the block wouldn't help that would it? oh well. I did it anyway, cant hurt anything.

I decided to skip the oil pan gasket for now..didn't even drop it in the rear to add any sealant. Probably a mistake- it did look like perhaps that oil could be coming from the seam where the rear cover meets the pan gasket.I didn't realize the whole crossmember had to be dropped to replace the oil pan gasket.I did buy it, maybe sometime down the road. I guess you have to remove the bottom 2 bellhousing bolts to do this with the clutch and everything installed??...

the rear main seal is a different part number, looks different than the old one as well. It's not as tall but the effective sealing portion looks to be a bit beefier.

here are a few pics.


oil all cleaned up
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2218.jpg

rear cover and gasket. note the oil on the gasket. I wonder if it was blowing by there.. the block didn't seem to be any less smooth than the other areas in this spot..
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2219.jpg

rear cover off
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2222.jpg

rear seal removed from the rear cover. The seal would not be very easy to pry out with the cover still on the engine..you have to do it bit by bit from each of the 3 notches on the cover.
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2283.jpg

parts- sealant (not cheap- $27) rear seal $28, rear cover gasket $26, J Tool- on loan (oil pan gasket, not pictured- $30)
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2280.jpg

differences in the old and new seal
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2301.jpg
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMG_5512.jpg
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMG_5520.jpg

rtv on the block. I scraped most of this off, especially around that top area
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2286.jpg

J-tool in action
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2304.jpg
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2307.jpg

new seal installed, bottomed out in the cover.
http://i1027.photobucket.com/albums/y332/memphisctsv/IMAG2308.jpg

M5eater
10-24-11, 07:04 AM
putting the rtv between the gasket and the block wouldn't help that would it? oh well. I did it anyway, cant hurt anything.


I would do it anyway like you did, there's no disadvantage. The idea is to fill the pores of the castings with RTV.

CadzillaTN
11-10-11, 10:13 PM
So nobody thought to recommend I replace the $10 pilot bearing while I was in there?

FM!