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HELP: Fluid leak near clutch housing

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by enjoythemusic, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    #1 enjoythemusic, Jul 5, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Well, after cleaning the engine and THINKING it was something else... Seems i have a leak that is showing itself just at the clutch linkage opening (on the driver's side of engine, bottom of the housing). Below are some pics. Anyone have an idea as it SEEMS to be motor oil and not clutch fluid from the viscosity and color of it (but like anything, i could be wrong).

    It appears to NOT be leaking from the location you see in the pics, but flowing down from ???? and reaching the point you see in the pics.

    Thanks, ALL help is ALWAYS appreciated.

    PS: MANY thanks go out to Verell for the help on the phone this weekend, but it appears to be a different problem than i first thought :(
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  3. wolftalk

    wolftalk Formula Junior

    Jan 27, 2004
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    phil
    could be one of:

    1] oil from filter area entering bell housing at the timing inspection plate and exiting the weep hole. Hopefully it's this one. Did you change oil filter recently?

    2] rear main seal. You'd have to pull the bell housing, clutch and flywheel to verify/replace.

    3] oil seepage along the bell housing stud(s). I had this on a 328 recently, but only externalized when the bh was off. I removed the stud and waited until oil stopped flowing, cleaned out hole, replaced stud with silicone

    4] stuff running around exterior of bell housing, but it sure looks like it's coming out of the weep hole.

    Leak dye works pretty well for finding the source. If it's the rear seal, you'll only see the dye at the weep hole.
     
  4. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Wolf:

    Yes, but this was AFTER i noticed i had a problem. BASICALLY...

    EARLY STAGE WHEN I FIRST NOTICED IT THREE DAYS AGO: Was losing some fluid (oil) and some of it was on the rearmost (near taillights) spark plug wires. Checked the distributor under the plastic protector and it was dry. Fluid at this 'early' stage was also leaking all the way to the bottom and dripping off the tranny bolts at bottom of car. There was indeed oil soaking on the inspection plate. Basically, it was a real friggen mess.

    YESTERDAY: jacked up the car, removed the driver's rear tire/etc and cleaned the engine. The timing inspection plate had oil on it and after discussing matters with Verell it appeared to be a POSSIBLE leak from the BLOW BY SYSTEM hose (Ferrari 308 parts catalog dated 361/85 page TAV 14 part number 118960.

    Changed oil filter (Baldwin) and for the first time ever after many oil changes the damn thing dripped big time! A BIG mess of course. This was not good timing for MORE oil to be dripping. (insert explicitives here... in Italian of course so the car could understand my frustration)


    TODAY: Did a monster major cleaning of the engine. Heck, i'd almost eat off of it now! Tightened both hose clamps associated with part number 118960 in the blow by system. Started car and after 20 minutes i made sure she was running hot. There was no leak coming from the part number 118960 now any leaks from an upper part like the oil filter, etc). So... MAYBE i fixed the problem and residual from the oil blow by AND/OR the oil filter change leak was just filtering down BUT... (the plot thickens)


    SO...

    The engine seems to NEED to be HOT for the leak to show up. It DOES NOT leak when cold. Only when the engine is damn hot (90C oil / 90C water) does it appear to leak at this point you see in the photos above IF IT IS A LEAK and not residual oil from previous situations.


    It might be this as the leak seems to only appear when engine is hot.


    Excellent guess, but nope as this was what i THOUGHT it was yesterday and tried back tracking it. This lead me to the blow by hone mentioned above.


    Verell also suggested dye and am hoping i fixed it BUT it seems to leak when hot. Will drive her around some and keep checking. Was hoping it was the dreaded oil filter leak, but it seems it may have been the blow by hose... but after running the car until hot the leak SEEMED TO show itself only when things were HOT (as in 90C oil and 90C water).



    Hopefully the added detail above might help us pin it down. i am HOPING it was the blow by and all the damn oil from the filter leaked into the inspection plate. BUT have a feeling it is something else.

    MANY MANY thanks as ALL help is ALWAYS appreciated.
     
  5. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    Steven,
    Pull the inspection plate (2 10mm nuts). It should have a fairly thick rubber gasket on the bottom. Examine the sealing surface of the gasket carefully to see if there are signs of oil on the sealing area of the gasket inside the bell housing. If it is dry, then it's unlikely the oil got in there.

    If the rear seal is leaking, the flywheel may have slung oil up onto the triangular are of the gasket inside the housing, hence examining the sealing area to for signs of seepage.

    Usually the gasket does an excellent job of keeping oil out of the bell housing.

    BTW, from the pix it looks like the weep hole has been weeping for quite a while. If the insp. plate gasket's sealing area is dry, combined with the symptom (only when hot & running a while) my bet is on the rear seal.

    However, a thin film of oil can invisibly travel a long way, esp. inside a seam, & misslead you. Hence the UV dye test is the only conclusive way to diagnose a leak.

    Stop by an auto parts store & get a container of UV dye, usually enough for 1 or 2 tests. Pour the recommended amount in & take an early evening drive to my place. We'll put it up on the lift & should easily spot the leak.

    You could even do the test by yourself. I believe AutoZone sells a $35 or $40 UV leak detection kit with yellow glasses, a UV LED light,& dye.

    Often you can pour the dye in, start the engine & watch the dye as it appears & flows down to where it's dripping.
     
  6. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Pulled it today, there was oil on the outermost section but not much on the center inside portion as far as i could tell. So i used a clean cloth and cleaned it all around, then reattached.


    Damn, and that is gonna cost how many hours of work??? What gets me is that a few days ago HOW could this situation could ALSO cause oil to get under/around the oil filter and ALSO the rear spark plug wires??? Could the bell housing seal do that too??? Today it seems there was NO oil coming from the top area whatsoever. None.


    Many thanks for the very generous offer my friend. First i want to see IF it keeps weeping or was it just the gunk trickling down from the oil filter overflow last night (but knowing my luck...) as this was the first time the car had been warmed up since. Need to get my car inspected so will drive it tomorrow or Thursday and then know for sure.

    Many thanks again for... everything. It is very much appreciated.
     
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  8. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Well... i did clean it and it seems fresh oil just likes to drip out there. Need to drive the car (as mentioned before) to be sure of things. Seems this may be a 6+ hour job to correct IF it is the seal.

    And if they are in there... would it make sense to have the clutch 'upgraded' and also have installed a lightweight flywheel?
     
  9. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    There are only 2 things that can leak inside the bell housing:
    - Rear crankshaft main seal (leaks engine oil
    - Seal for the drive shaft into the transfer case (leaks trans. lube)


    If it's the main seal & you've been planning a clutch & flywheel upgrade, now be the time to have it done as they have to be pulled to replace the rear crankshaft main seal. Also, if the main seal is leaking, there's some chance that you've got oil into the clutch, so there's even more incentive as the clutch disc may need replacing & flywheel resurfaced. Also, the clutch will need adjusting. 6-8 hours sounds about right.

    If it's the drive shaft seal, then only the bell housing needs to be pulled & the seal replaced. Roughly 1/3 the work of replacing the main seal. Unlikely that lube got into the clutch itself.
     
  10. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

    Jul 21, 2002
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    Steven
    I think Verell has it right, like most times. My rear main had gone and I was able to do it when I pulled the motor (did the front too which was harder). When the main seal has gone, engine oil leaks onto the flywheel and gets splattered everywhere by centrifugal force. What you are seeing on the plug wires is probably coming from the breather slots in the clutch housing.

    When you disassemble everything, use a good quality sealant on the reassembly and don't forget to Loctite (blue) the flywheel bolts. Also, you may need to replace the lower transfer gear lock ring (the one that gets deformed on assembly).

    If you want to make it look nice, clean it all up when it is off and reassemble with new hardware.

    If you go the lightened flywheel route (I like it) there are lots of options, as you know, for the clutch - flywheel combination. Don't forget to get it dynamically balanced with the clutch plate.
    Philip

    By the way, most people like the Baldwins. I could never get them to seal and they leaked oil at the base of the mount.
     
  11. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Thanks everyone. Once the rain stops i will take her out for a drive and see if it still leaks after the basic work i have done so far... but we all KNOW it is probably something more $$$$ :(


    Will check the base and other things during my drive tomorrow or so. As for lightweight fly/clutch... Any recommendations for 'fun' street use and some track? You are well-experienced/researched this and your advice would be VERY MUCH welcome. Perhaps start a new thread is best. MANY thanks!!!
     
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  13. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    1) Search the archives, there are several good clutch options discussed. I think I'd go with lightening the flywheel along with sending the clutch to Centerforce for a rebuild like Chrismorse did.

    2)Better get that new thread started quick befor 5 more jump in w/clutch suggestions.
     
  14. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

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    #11 chrismorse, Jul 7, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017

    Thanks Verell,

    I needed a bit of a boot to post the clutch/light flywheel stuff, but was just waiting to finally get it all together. More on that later, but to the point:

    My PO had Centerforce rebuild his clutch with the dual friction stuff. (an oil leak on the disc) and go through the pressureplate about 5000 miles and 5 years ago.

    One of the pucks came off the disc and stacked on to another puck and i could not release the clutch.

    Tried a clutch cable, Humbly, to no avail.

    Pulled the clutch and found the problem, called the Centerforce people, who said this was an unknown problem, send it down, i did, they offered to rebuild the disc with carbon kevlar, disassemble the pressure plate and reset for 10-15% more pressure and ship it back for $185.00

    I Thought this was way beyond any manufacturers warranty and was, frankly, impresed with their integrity.

    While this was going on, I removed the flywheel and made a few inquires, here about lightening the "wheel", to which Verell responded and sought input from Ferrarifixer, who emailed me with good info.

    So, I went to an eccentric, racing mortorcycle machinist, who rejoices in the name, "Stormy Winter", and he said, sure, I can take it down a bit and showed me a few pictures of what he had done and I showed him the posts form Ferrarifixer and a photo of my work truck flywheel, (12 lb billet).

    I asked him to check the balance of the wheel and the pressureplate. His machined wheel was within 1 gram in 6 inches, as was the Centerforce rebuild. HOt Stuff.

    Hope this photo of the failed disc, the relined disc and the flywheel come through.

    The stock 308 wheel weighs about 15-16 pounds.

    The weight watchers version weighs about 8.5 pounds and cost me $400. The approximately 50% reduction in weight does not accurately reflect the reduction in moment of inertia, i don't know what it is but i am guessing about 60-65% reduction in flywheel moment reduction.

    To put this all in perspective, you need to remember that the approximately 13 pound pressureplate remains unaffected in terms of inertia.

    Having driven three prior vehicles with lightened flywheels, i am smiling and looking foreward to the responsiveness.

    I will post results when it hits the road, with a recap of the work.

    hth,
    chris
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  15. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Thanks Chris! If you could PM me the various contact details it would be greatly appreciated. Was looking to do most of the clutch stuff this coming winter, though the car may have thrown me a curve ball to push ahead the schedule.
     
  16. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    Usually seals don't leak very much oil, Worst case your clutch may start slipping a bit, but since you're planning to redo it anyway, you still may be able to live with it until the winter.
     
  17. pma1010

    pma1010 F1 Rookie

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    Steven:
    I went aluminum from Tate Casey at Carobu: see the dry sump thread for pics or PM me. Work of art (shame no one sees it). Anyway, functionally it has inserts of a different material which can be changed as it wears. Nice. Weight is about 10lbs versus about 17 - 18 for stock (if I recall correctly) with a more even thickness (lower MOI than stock).

    I chose to stay with the stock clutch -- after a dialog with Tate I did not want to go too light. You can get into "blipping" the throttle on upshifts... Not nice.

    It does spin up faster than stock. Great at the track. OK on the street.

    Paul Sloan (I think it was) has a very trick looking machined flywheel for his 4V, but he is using a trick clutch. I think Nick/Mark Lewis is doing something too.

    Ultimate is probably a carbon carbon set up but this is a high $ investment.

    Net net, there are several options and (hard to imagine, right?) lots of opinions. BTW, I found it quite a fun project to do over a couple of weekends -- not too hard and you can pull the big spacer behind the flywheel too and seal it all up with a new gasket/silicon so you are done for a while.

    Philip
     
  18. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Philip and Verell,

    As always, you both are a scholar and a gentlemen. many thanks for the info!
     
  19. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Verell (and all),

    Taking the car to KTR at 9am tomorrow morning so we can fix this ASAP. The plans were/are taking her to Lime Rock on Sunday for Skip Barber racing shool and then and racing her Friday/Saturday. Verell, if you are in the area feel free to stop by KTR or call me. i should have the car for your picnic on Sunday, if not then i guess will drive the truck and you'll know the bad news...
     
  20. Sloan83qv

    Sloan83qv F1 Rookie
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    #17 Sloan83qv, Jul 20, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017

    This is what Nick supplied for my car: 7.5" double plate with light flywheel
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  21. Matt Morgan, "Kermit"

    Matt Morgan, "Kermit" Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2003
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    Paul,
    I am familiar with that clutch, as I have a car in that he sold one to as well. You are going to have some difficulty in starting out at first, as the friction surfaces are still "fuzzy" and the machine marks still grabby. I found that it had about 1/4 to 5/16 " travel from initial engagement, to full lock up. Whle it did get smoother after it was worna bit, be ready for a challenge if the cams are very big. As I recall it was either Phillip or Mark E. that said it was a track only unit. I believe it can be streetable now that I have run it a while, but you sure want to keep your attention on it. The stuningly low rotating inertia makes it easy to stall (I did a LOT). However, as every cloud has a silver lining, you won't find a faster shifting tranny anywhere. The low rotating mass is easy for the synchros to handle. It will go thru the gears sounding like a Jap Bike, really amazing!
    Best of luck.
    Kermit
     
  22. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    And the result...

    Needed a new gasket it seems. KTR European took her all apart and the flywheel looks fine but the clutch disc's life was near end time (maybe 20% or so and not looking smooth so... Time was not on my side, decided on AP/Stock replacement new clutch and may do flywheel at a later date. Also, we noticed the passenger side rear axle boot had come loose so...

    As for the whole race clutch/flywheel... there is a time when all the cards are on the table and while a trick race setup would have been nice, have a feeling for the 95% street driving i do a race clutch would have been not fun (especially for city driving). As for the light flywheel, i may do that at a later date (perhaps September or this fall). A shame no one stocks a light flywheel.

    Many, MANY thanks to EVERYONE for ALL your help on this thread AND previous posting on Fchat. Used the SEARCH function as well quite a bit. Fchat is a great resource and the car should be ready tomorrow (Friday) so i can pick her up Saturday in time for Verell's BBQ and then on Sunday driving her to Lime Rock for racing during the FCA event.

    What a long strange trip its been...
     
  23. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    PLEASE GUYS -- NO MORE OLD NEWS REGARDING THE SLOAN-KERMIT ISSUE. NON-MODS DON'T NEED TO BASH PAUL FOR BRINGING IT UP, SINCE PAUL HAS BEEN WARNED ALREADY, AND KERMIT ALSO KNOWS THE GUIDELINES AS THEY PERTAIN TO HIM.

    Most of us are rather tired of this. If Paul jumps on Kermit's non-commercial comments and brings up the old issue, there will be a temp ban. If Kermit goes into selling mode, there will be a temp ban. The mods are all very familiar with this stuff. If you see a problem, don't jump in, but report the post by using the "!" button in the top right hand corner. Both guys have a lot of good insight to offer on a variety of topics, and we value them highly... but not at the expense of violating board rules or directions from the moderators.
     
  24. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Mike,

    What did I seem to miss. Matt said GOOD things about the clutch didn't he? Maybe I'm reading "really amazing" wrong though?
     
  25. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    Yes. The "negative" part started with Paul's response to the "Best of luck" closing note and the deleted messages didn't relate to the clutch issue at all, so you didn't miss anything technical.
     
  26. Verell

    Verell F1 Veteran
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    Steven,
    Birdman & I ran into KTR's Andy & Jim while having lunch @Tinys. Told they're welcome to come to the BBQ.

    Why don't you leave them a copy of the directions when you're picking up your car.

    - Verell
     
  27. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Verell,

    Will do. Picking up car at 1230pm (Saturday) or so.
     

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