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Old 02-26-2015, 10:25 PM   #1
Goldpanner
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97 Tracer with a severe oil leak

Our 97 tracer has a severe oil leak, the leak seems to be coming from the passenger side just behind the timing belt cover towards the bottom, it is a substantial drip at idle, and it blows out about 3 quarts of oil in less then 45 miles.
I have searched and searched online for any kind of help that might be common to this 2.0L engine, but I have not found anything with this type of problem.
The oil filter, pressure switch, valve cover gasket areas are dry, no leaks, the oil pan gasket is dry, no leaks, it is a pressure leak only, it don't drip unless it is running, it is very hard to see exactly where it is coming from, except for down where I mentioned above.
I'm assuming it's coming from the oil pump gasket area only because with that kind of oil loss it has to be in that area, but unless I remove the timing belt covers I will never find out, and once I do I can't run the engine to verify the leaky area.
The oil leak area is to the right of the timing cover as you are facing it, by the lower boss area.
So what I am asking is would any of you know if this is common or have any ideas where it is coming from or?
It is a reliable car, or it was until this happened, it started when my wife added too much oil, like about 3 quarts too much then drove it to work and the next day she complained of oil burning smell and the oil light blinking once in awhile, that is when I found out about all of this.
There are no other oil leak areas except where I mentioned, we cleaned the engine off to be sure it was only leaking there and it was.
Thanks ahead of time for your help.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:42 AM   #2
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Re: 97 Tracer with a severe oil leak

its probably the front crank seal where crankshaft come out of the front of the engine. they get hard with age and then start leaking, to replace it you can to take the timing belt cover and timing belt off and remove lower crank gear to replace it. the oil pump is right behind the seal so after it gets hard it stops sealing and dripping oil out. and might as well replace the front cam seal at the same time. also depending on the mileage or if timing belt has been oil contaminated you should also replace it at the same time
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:16 PM   #3
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Re: 97 Tracer with a severe oil leak

Thank you for the reply, I agree with your ideas on my issues, it makes sense. Now I have to wait until spring to be able to check it out.
No garage and I do the work outside And right now it's 14 degrees out so it will be awhile.
I will post again when I do the work to let ya know what it was so maybe it can help others, and I will replace the timing belt and pulley and water pump like I did before years ago to it, it's time for it so it will all work out, plus new seals.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:00 PM   #4
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Smile Re: 97 Tracer with a severe oil leak

Well finally was able to find the time to do the work and find out the cause of the major oil leak, it was the camshaft seal, it was laying loose, the only thing keeping it there was the timing cover, it was just dangling there, you couldn't see it until you removed the bolts from the cover.
So I replaced the camshaft and crankshaft seal which was not leaking but with 285,000 miles on this car I figured why not. And I replaced the timing belt, idler tensioner and water pump, the serpentine belt and the tensioner pulley and idler pulley, both pulleys were original parts, talk about long life
I rebuilt the alternator with a kit I purchased online at the same time, the bearings were whining, new bearings, regulator, split ring, brushes, $30.00 + postage. It was easy to do on this 3G alternator.
After all said and done the car started and ran like new, really impressed with a car that most say is a throw away at 130,000 miles, well this car is at 285,000 and she runs great, I guess when you take care of it the vehicle will last.
I hope this helps others, oh and I replaced the PCV valve too. All told about $180.00 to do it all, and about $300.00 in beer Peace out
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