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90 SDV - low miles - OIL LEAKS

1439 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Dave S Texas
This car has only driven 22k miles, so obviously has spent a lot of time doing nothing. Dry seals? Whatever... here's what I saw today.

The passenger side of the engine shows considerable old oil, with the grit that has stuck to it. Under the car I see oil on the starter motor and around the various pans.

In such situations over the decades, I've cleaned up the engine and then monitored daily to see where the weeping comes from. However, I'm a stranger to this 4.5 and wonder if there's something common that should be looked at first.

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Nothing special about the 4.5. Do what you have always done.
Have you every tightened the sump bolts? the Cadillac has a lot of them. Couldn't hurt. they tend to loosen up with vibration and time and oil can leak from there.
Take the car to the car-wash and give the engine a good bath. Oil on the starter-motor is most likely coming from the valve-cover above. Check the bolts for being snug. If, after the bath, you see the valve-cover is a leaker, change the gasket. The torque on those bolts is 8ft/llbs. Do not overtighten them. That is what causes them to leak.....
Though I've had this car for only two weeks, I'm increasingly happy with it so will continue optimization. I pressure washed the top of the engine yesterday, and will watch closely. Let's assume the leak is something as simple as valve cover gaskets. Last time I did it was on a Mustang 289, where everything was easy and accessible, so it went quickly.

This sideways V8 looks like another story - how big a task is it?
It's a little tighter to get at the rear valve cover bolts on a sidewinder. Depends on just how much room there is. I can't recall, but I'd think there is still enough room. Northstar is another story.
I think on the front (RH) one big problem is the power steering pump has to be unbolted and gently moved away (and the drive belt, of course) and the front FIs are in the way. fuel rail might need removing (yuk). The other valve cover near the firewall looks to be real PITA, I never had to do that one but even the spark plug change out was Houdini-style antics for me. that valve cover has all sorts of little cables wires and hoses in the way and bolted to it. the 4.5L may have a little bit more room tho' than my 4.9L.
If the oil is leaking from the valve-cover above the starter, that is the one to change. Don't make this a major project if the rear cover isn't leaking.....
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