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1999 PF oil leaking badly


hbwb
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Ok so it has been leaking for some time and by the looks of it it looked to be the front seals, aka cam and crank seals. So i finally get on it and replace all three seals and the old ones were all hard as a rock. (hey it's only got 344800 miles on it) I wrapped it up today and checked under for leaks and nothing. The wife and I drive to the store which is about a mile away and oil is now leaking worse than before. I go back into it and the seals are dry but there is quite a bit of oi in there. Thinking maybe oil pump or is there something I am overlooking? Also to replace the oil pump do you have to drop the oil pan? 

 

I hope somebody can help me out with an answer. That would make my job a bit easier.

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You found a bunch of oil inside the timing belt cover but no apparent seepage from the seals? The oil pump isn't inside the timing belt cover, it's on the side of the engine where the oil filter attaches.

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You are talking about the VGe 3.3 right? 

 

This item at the link is inside the front cover behind the harmonic balancer.

 

https://partsology.com/products/oil-pump-infiniti-nissan-qx4-pathfinder-96-00-3-3l-op634-3?gclid=Cj0KCQiA37KbBhDgARIsAIzce15-akPFTO3b_XpBG-l_nONXWXeZWPB0k1Ay-ZvrTYzr-_0Ta1sC_S0aAjJFEALw_wcB

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The oil pump is located on the front of the motor, behind the harmonic balancer and timing belt. Removing the timing belt sprocket and alignment plates will reveal the seal. 

 

The service manual does state you need to remove the oil pan to remove the pump. (LC-5) 

 

Capture.jpg.039f6885f8d25666630ba70f03762150.jpg

Edited by Strato_54
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Thanks Strato_54. I was watching a youtube video on removing the oil pan and saw the bottom of the oil pump. I believe they require the pan removal because of the pickup tube that is attached to the bottom of the oil pump. There doesn't seem to be any bolts n the bottom of the oil pump that bolts it on except the 4 bolts of the pan itself and the two bolts for the tube. I was thinking if I could drop the pan a couple inches I might be able to unhook the tube without having to totally remove the oil pan. 

 

Is there anything else inside the timing belt area that could cause an oil leak? When I put the seals in and checked it for leaks there was no leak detected until I drove it a bit and then it was leaking more than it did with the old seals. It's almost like the new seals created pressure that forced another leak but I can't see where it is coming from. 

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Looking at the oil pump I see there are four oil pan bolts attached and a couple bolts that connect the pickup tube to the pump. Now it is a real pain to drop the oil pan as it is right above the differential. From videos I have seen the steering and differential has to come out to get the pan out. Seems I only have to drop the pan a couple inches to access the bolts to the pickup tube. Too bad there is not enough clearance for even that maneuver. What I am thinking is maybe I could lift the engine instead. Disconnecting the engine mounts and lifting the engine slightly for clearance seems doable. 

 

I have not had a chance to look it over closely yet to see how viable this approach may be. Ok so for anyone who has pulled an engine from one of these does that seem to make sense? Is there enough room up top to raise the engine a few inches without removing a bunch of stuff? Like I said I have not had a chance to look it over but getting some input from others might help me out here.

 

Many thanks to all who took the time to look at this thread and especially any who give input of ideas. Your help is greatly appreciated. 

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When the crank seal on mine failed, the washer on the crank flung the oil away from the seal. Where the oil ended up made me think the oil pump was the problem. A new crank seal got rid of the leak. I know you just did yours--all the same I would open it up and check that the crank seal isn't the problem (scuffed crank, groove where the seal rides, spring popped out during installation, defective seal) before assuming the oil pump gasket chose this moment to give up. 


I don't know how worn your engine is at 345k, but unless it has absolutely hellacious blowby or a clogged PCV valve, crankcase pressure shouldn't be the issue here.
 

If you do have to drop the oil pump, dropping the pan a few inches may let you get to the pump, but you'll need more than that to properly clean and re-seal the pan. At some point the PITA of working on an engine with a truck in the way outweighs the PITA of pulling the engine.

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It has been cold here and I am a bit of a sissy when it comes to cold weather so have not even attempted to mess with it. In my younger days sure but I am now 66 and do not like being out in the cold all that much. 

 

 I looked over the seal as best as I could and did not see any damage. If it suddenly started passing more oil than all 3 seals did prior I would think there would be a great indication visible. Anyway I have decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and remove the oil pan which means removing the differential and all that. I got to thinking if I dropped the pan at all I would need to clean it and use new gaskets anyway or else I would likely just create another leak. 

 

The engine is fine sans the oil leak. My sis-in-law's dad bought it new then she got it from him later and my wife bought it from her about 10 years ago and it has not been abused or anything. I have put quite a bit of work into it over the years and have too much sweat invested in it to just walk away from it. Well I probably would if it was mine but it is the wife's so .....

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Well I got to thinking about what Startibartfast said and thought I'd take another look at the crankshaft seal. I mean the oil pump shouldn't just start leaking like that when it had not before. It was hard to get in close enough to see it well so I took a few pictures and looked at them. It seems the seal is buggered up at the top lip so I will be replacing it. Saved me some work I was not looking forward to by dropping the pan. 

 

So thanks a lot man. I sure am glad you replied and I will post again after I get the new seal in and put it all back together to let everyone know how it went. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

No leaks but now it will not idle once engine is warmed up. Unhook the MAF sensor and it idles but plug it back in and she dies. 

 

Any ideas? 

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At least the leak stopped! Figures it came up with something new.

 

If this started when you fixed the leak, I would double-check the stuff you had apart. PCV hoses back on? Any damage to the intake boot? Any vacuum lines messed up? Sounds like a vacuum leak to me.

 

Mine stalls on warm idle now and then. Weak connector. Hasn't done it since I picked up a replacement connector, naturally. If you don't find a vacuum leak, inspect the MAF connector. Might as well check the sensor too, on the off chance something got in while you had stuff torn apart.

 

You counted teeth when reinstalling the timing belt, right? I imagine you'd have worse symptoms if that was a tooth off.

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