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2005 Sudden oil leak - front


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5 replies to this topic

#1 05cruiser

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Posted December 17, 2011 at 06:10 pm

2005 Cruiser, non-turbo, manual transmission, 110,000 miles (mostly highway). Timing belt was replaced 10,000 miles ago. Headgasket was replaced at 30k under warranty after minor oil leakage. Now, today I noticed fairly major leakage -- a large spot of oil in the garage and I was down almost a quart. Looking underneath, it appears to be coming from the front of the engine, not oil pressure sensor. Did a google search and it sounds like some people have had thrust bearing failure, mostly in 2006+ models, causing the front seal to pop out. Hoping this isn't the case or I will be an unhappy camper... is this a common problem, or could it be related to my timing belt replacement?

Thanks,

Stephen

#2 ImperialCrown

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Posted December 17, 2011 at 06:43 pm

With the inner fender splash shield removed, get a prybar in there and gently try to move the front crank pulley in and out. A dial indicator would be helpful as movement may be impossible to see by eye (endplay spec is .0035"-.0094"). I don't see this issue listed in the 2005 information, but 2006+ yes. This doesn't mean that it couldn't happen to a 2005, but keep your fingers crossed.
With the top t/belt shield removed, you may be able to peer down towards the crank sprocket for wetness.

Edited by ImperialCrown, December 17, 2011 at 06:54 pm.


#3 dana44

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Posted December 17, 2011 at 07:34 pm

The problem noted was a camshaft and cam seal on the front of the head, something about the way they were machined, but they usually started leaking within the first six months of ownership and maybe 350 or so actually occured real quick after purchase, after the first 50 I think they got the rest fixed as a dealer recall on the spot, almost zero chance you have one of them after this many miles.

With that said, timing belt change by itself has no issues with oil or seals whatsoever, unless the camshafts were removed. Need to do some more searching to see if it is coming from the camshaft or lower at the crankshaft. At least they are designed that if they leak they won't contaminate the timing belt, but I don't think the timing belt change and the leak are related.

#4 05cruiser

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Posted December 20, 2011 at 11:10 am

As always, thanks for your input. It looks like it is the crankshaft seal. Mechanic is taking a closer look at it right now and will check the end play. Will let you know how it turns out.

Thanks,
Stephen

#5 05cruiser

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Posted December 20, 2011 at 02:54 pm

Got bad news... that the seal didn't fail; it was blown out of the engine. Crankshaft end play measured .0090... which seems to be right on the edge of specs. Mechanic offered to put in crank kit but it would be 14 hours of labor with no real guarantee... I declined... I'm just having him put in a new seal and we will cross our fingers... was that the right thing to do?

It's frustrating... I've enjoyed the cruiser but I don't feel like this is something that should be happening in a car that has only had rather slow highway miles (live in rural Minnesota!).

#6 05cruiser

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Posted January 4, 2012 at 11:41 am

Just wanted to give you all an update. After a new crank seal, the leak is fixed. The dealer wouldn't guarantee the repair; said that quite a few engine blocks had been replaced due to this issue. He said something about the design of the engine changing in 2005 in regards to the thrust bearings that made them more vulnerable to wear. Or that 5-speed models might put more stress on the engine and cause this failure sooner... or that the original seal on the engine simply wasn't properly installed. Who knows??? Regardless I hope it stays put and we're cruising again! Thank you all for your help...


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