1st Gen R53 Oil leak.

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by MCS02, Apr 24, 2018.

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  1. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    When I drive the R53 For 20 or 30 min. and come to a stop light I can smell burnt oil. Like it is getting on the exhaust. Last summer I changed the clutch and replaced the main seal. I also replaced the oil cooler/ oil housing gasket and oil sending O-ring on the front of the engine. the front seal was replaced about 3 years ago when I put the ATI damper on it. I also did the oil pan at that time.

    So I climbed under there today. there is oil on the oil cooler where the water hoses go into it. but where it bolts to the car is clean. The front passenger side is oily and you can see oil running from that corner across the oil pan. but the oil looks like it is coming from higher. One of the bolts for the top motor mount goes through the front of the head has a oil drip on it. the valve cover is not leaking, its is dry. I have no oil and water mixing. The only two places I can think it could be coming from is the timing chain cover on the front or the head. Here are some pictures.

    Any ideas



    IMG_5389.JPG IMG_5391.JPG IMG_5397.JPG IMG_5398.JPG

    So I did this with Simple Green


    IMG_5399.JPG
     
  2. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    somewhere around the oil filter looks most likely. Some oil will move up with air flow and g forces, so unless there is a lot above that area, I wouldn't worry about anything higher than where you can find a lot of oil. It is amazing where you will find oil on the backside of the engine if you let the dip stick and CPS leak long enough. I had oil all over the car in the left side and all it was were those leaks behind the radiator.
     
  3. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    Tomorrow I am going let it just sit and run then jack it up and see if I can see where it is coming from. I will drop the front cover and look at the front. I didn't think of the dip stick tube.
     
  4. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    Not saying it's that. Looks like too much fresh flow to be creeping around from the front, unless something like the dip stick tube got unseated. That's unlikely. You'd also have oil on the alternator and not so much on the exhaust. I would check oil filter area in detail if possible. I bought a USB inspection camera just for stuff like that.
     
  5. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    What is that? A small camera that you can mount in there or one with a stethoscope (or whatever you call it?)
     
  6. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Lee,

    It looks like you have an old school TV Dinner on your intake box. Lol

    As for your oil leak look at your upper tensioner bolt area. Also the upper bushing on your tensions is going fail soon you don’t adjust it. Zoom in on you picture to see what I mean.

    I think you oil leak is up by the valve cover / timing chain cover area. Start with wrench and start checking the tightness of each bolt in that area. (Every bolt) Also double check the valve cover bolts torque settings because one of them could have backed out of spec.
     
  7. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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  8. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    He forgot to peel the foil back over the brownie compartment... it's gonna be all soggy now!

    How is the valve cover gasket? Most of the stuff on the bottom of the oil pan I would have blamed on a front crank sensor (those things start leaking within months of being installed), but several of those were way too high, IMHO, for that to be the sole cause.
     
  9. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    I fixed one of them over 3 years ago, no leaks over 15k miles. Must confess, I always add some high temp RTV silicone to add a little extra insurance, though.

    None of my cars have had an oil leak after I fixed the ones I found on them. All three had dip stick and CPS sensor leaks. One had a top valve cover leak. That's it. All other oil found under the cars has to be blamed on the sloppy oil changer pulling a filter before it was fully drained or transmission oil drain bolts not tightened enough.
     
  10. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    @agranger @Dave.0 That is where I cook my food on long trips! Ok my CAI did not have a top so not so cold. So I made a top and seal it with metal tape. I cut a big hole in the plastic under the grill so it gets lots of cold air. I usually redo it when it starts to look bad. If you two want I will make you one.:D

    The valve cover is dry. The area around the crank polly did not have any wet oil. I could see behind the oil filter/oil cooler is is dry. The oil you see running across the oil pan is because it is jacked up on that one side.

    I will check the timing chain cove bolts. @Dave.0 it does look like the shock on the tensioner is leaking.

    Problem #2 when I turn the car from lock to lock I get a loud cracking/popping sound from the front end. I have jacked is up several times but every thing feels tight. It has almost 170k on it and all I have changed is the lower control arm bushings.

    I am going to let it run sitting still then jack it up and take the wheels off and poke around and see what I find.

    There is a 06 JCW with the factory aero kit and sun roof for sail about 3 hours from me. Its $5000 its starting to look good
     
  11. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    could be tie rod ends. I replaced them on my 100k Mini last summer. The old ones were ok, but when I got them off, the link was just floppy loose, while the new part was nearly impossible to move in the ball joint or whatever it is called, just tight and unlikely to make any noise when pushed to the extreme steering positions at the end of your lock.

    could totally be something else, but at 170k, I would say all your ball joints and tie rod ends are worn out. .
     
  12. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    Nice - didn't realize they made those USB... I see a new tool in my future. :D
     
  13. Sully

    Sully Administrator
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    How many miles?
     
  14. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I think its around 130k. The problem is when I run the vin it doesn't say its a JCW. I need to email the guy.
     
  15. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    @fishmonger You are right with the high miles I have its time to replace them. I think when I get back from the dragon it will be time to rebuild the hole front end. I may be pulling the engine away.

    So here is what I found on the oil leak. I cleaned the engine agin and let it run. In the picture below I could see oil starting at the place the arrow is and then it ran down to the oil pan the to a bolt on the oil pan in the corner then down the pan to drip. That is the timing chain cover. under the crank pulley was dry everything els was dry. Above that bolt was dry.

    IMG_5417.JPG
    IMG_5411.jpg
    IMG_5416.JPG

    I cant find any oil coming out of the valve cover. So I guess I will pull the timing chain cover and replace the gasket. If I am going to do that it may be easer to pull the engine and do the oil pan gasket, new belt and tensioner, new crank seal, and rebuild the front end

    Fun!
     
  16. fishmonger

    fishmonger Well-Known Member

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    likely isn't a JCW then. in 05/06 these were factory options, not dealer installed. Sellers love to call their cars JCW because they see them sell for more, and most buyers don't know the difference.
     
  17. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    True, but some dealers still installed the JCW kits on cars.

    BMW / MINI had JCW kits in the supply line they needed sold because they knew the next car would have the great turbo N14 motor.
     
  18. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
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    I am thinking if I have to drop the sub frame to do the front end I could just drop the engine and put it on my engine stand and clean it up really good. This is one of those project that turns into something big before you know it.

    I am thinking the Mini may be a S with a aero kit and not a JCW
     

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