Oil Leaks

Although Mothers Day was a really busy day, I found some time in the morning to get some work done on the car. I spent a couple hours jacking the car up, and going over the engine to determine what the problem might be, and if there was a problem. While I was at it, I gave the whole car a quick once over and looked at the rear ride height.

There was no appreciable increase in the size of the oil drip on the floor when I jacked the car up, from what I found Saturday morning. I poked around the block and I found two small leaks on the engine.

There was oil on the rear face of the passenger side head, although it was very little. I cleaned that oil off and will see if it returns. It may have just been some dripping from when Mike replaced the gasket on the valve cover.

The second leak was very clearly coming from the corner of the oil pan. After cleaning up all the oil mess that was on the bellhousing and adapter plate, I re-torqued the bolts on the oil pan. With the heat cycling, all of them had loosened up slightly, with the half-inch bolts around the crankshaft seal a full turn loose. I tightened them all up to 10 ft/lbs (120 in/lbs) and will have to wait and see. If it continues to drip from there, I can tighten the bolts to 15 ft/lbs and try again. Its so little, though, I’m not concerned about the leaking — my old 911 leaked a LOT more than the 351 is now.

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Part of what Mike did to the car, when he replaced the gaskets on the valve covers, was to add a different oil cap with a PCV valve and a line running to the throttle body. He hadn’t mentioned before that it was necessary, and I didn’t get those parts with the engine. He thought there was likely some oil spray coming from the old oil cap.

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While the car was up on jack stands, I also adjusted the suspension to raise the car up slightly. I had had the upper shock mount adjusted 11 turns down on the collar and moved it down to 17 turns, which was about 3/4″. (Any farther and I would’ve needed a spring compressor, which is one tool that scares the $*@! out of me…)

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The new ride height is probably about an inch and a half higher than it had been previously. Where there was less than a quarter inch gap along the inside of the tire, there’s now more like 5/8-3/4″ gap.

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I suspect the new ride height will substantially reduce the rubbing on the tires. I haven’t decided if I think its really *too* high at this point. I’m going to raise the fronts a bit this week and see how I think the car looks. I may have to lower the back slightly.

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The weather has turned cold this week, and I will likely not get much, if any, driving in. I need to take the car for a spin to check on the oil leak, and will try to get the car in for an alignment sooner than later. I’m also going to order a replacement ABS panel to re-fabricate a new console panel with.

Other than those items, the car is in good shape for the Open House in a month. I’m looking forward to both the open house as well as cruise-ins at places like Kimball Farms this summer.