Author Topic: Seeping oil from head gasket  (Read 211 times)

February 18, 2020, 08:15:29 am

hamman

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Seeping oil from head gasket
« on: February 18, 2020, 08:15:29 am »
Hi All;

I have noticed seepage of oil from the gasket area which has accelerated after pulling the engine this past summer to replace IM shaft bearings.  Is there any way I could have added to the seepage by supporting the engine's weight with the head support holes?  (BTW oil pressure is about 75psi on startup and about 20 on idle) Is there any sense in trying to simply give a little extra crank on the head bolts to see if that helps - or is replacing the head gasket the only way to go?

Oh, and one other question that may not be related, but has me scratching my head.  It's an '84 but has a CR code engine on the build tag.  I thought thought it should be a JK code for that year.  Thanks in advance for your advice. 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 09:00:49 am by hamman »



Reply #1February 18, 2020, 11:36:32 am

libbydiesel

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2020, 11:36:32 am »
Are you sure it is from the head gasket?  The valve cover is more likely to leak and can sometimes make it look like the head gasket is leaking.

I think it is feasible that lifting the engine by the stock lift points on the head could exacerbate a leaky gasket. 

There is not really any harm in trying to torque the head gaskets a bit more unless one of them snaps.  The only cost is your time and a new valve cover gasket.  It is not really likely that it will cure the issue, though.

I don't know which engine code would be sold stock in an '84.  CR, JK, and ME are interchangeable (they came in both hydraulic and solid lifter versions for the same code) so I don't see why the difference is anything other than academic. 
Use, abuse or ignorance of any information is at your own risk, confirmation or refutation is your own responsibility, no further 'proof' will be given, take it or leave it, YMMV,terms subject to change without notice, avoid contact with eyes or skin, contents known to cause cancer in California

Reply #2February 18, 2020, 08:36:09 pm

ORCoaster

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2020, 08:36:09 pm »
The little piece of gasket that goes over the cam can use dabs of sealer on it down at the top of the head.  That set up seems to leak for some reason.  Maybe the vibration.
Rabbit repairs to body damage need attention before trying to sell it in the spring

Reply #3February 18, 2020, 08:49:58 pm

hamman

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2020, 08:49:58 pm »
I picked up a valve cover gasket today and will pull the valve cover and try a bit of tightening.  Pretty sure I don't see any oil down the head, but it starts right where the gasket is.  Low mileage - 81,000 miles which makes it hard to explain the leaking head gasket.  Regardless, I will probably redo the valve cover gasket, then go ahead with pulling the head if need be.  Other than this, the car is great. 

Reply #4February 18, 2020, 10:46:05 pm

libbydiesel

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 10:46:05 pm »
Where on the engine is it leaking oil?  The most common place the head gasket will leak oil is from the pressurized oil channel toward the injector side of the engine and between the 3rd and 4th cylinders.  Much less common is a leak at one of the oil drains from the head - the two vertical bumps at the front of the head or the back two corners.  Oil at the back corners is also most often from the valve cover gasket.  If the oil is anywhere else then it is very unlikely that it is coming from a failure of the head gasket.
Use, abuse or ignorance of any information is at your own risk, confirmation or refutation is your own responsibility, no further 'proof' will be given, take it or leave it, YMMV,terms subject to change without notice, avoid contact with eyes or skin, contents known to cause cancer in California

Reply #5February 19, 2020, 01:17:33 pm

hamman

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2020, 01:17:33 pm »
I am seeing oil pooling above the oil filter.  Not enough leakage to drop my level much in the sump or on the floor but enough to notice. 

Reply #6February 19, 2020, 02:45:35 pm

libbydiesel

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 02:45:35 pm »
Yeah, that is the typical high pressure oil channel in the head gasket leaking.  I doubt re-torquing will fix it but it might, and it is unlikely to hurt anything.  If you decide to replace the headgasket, in my experience, spraying each of the surfaces (head, block, and both sides of gasket) with hylomar spray prevents that leak (or the slight weeping at the oil drains) from occurring. 
Use, abuse or ignorance of any information is at your own risk, confirmation or refutation is your own responsibility, no further 'proof' will be given, take it or leave it, YMMV,terms subject to change without notice, avoid contact with eyes or skin, contents known to cause cancer in California

Reply #7February 20, 2020, 12:17:16 am

fatmobile

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2020, 12:17:16 am »
 For the new valve cover gasket,
get the one for a 2.0 ABA block like a '93 Jetta.
 They are rubber and reusable.
Victor brand.

 For retorqueing the headbolts on a block with 12mm headbolts
it should be done with a beam style torque wrench.
 Back them off slightly then tighten until the torque quits increasing.
 They should start to stretch around 90 ftlb and the beam won't go farther.
Tornado red, '91 Golf 4 door,
with a re-ringed, '84 quantum, turbo diesel, MD block

Reply #8February 20, 2020, 07:37:59 am

hamman

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2020, 07:37:59 am »
Thanks for all the advice.  Much appreciated.  One more unrelated question.  The engine starts up with almost no cranking and i'm guessing has great compression.  However, it has a really rough idle with high vibration despite new mounts all around and proper alignment. Timing is set at .98mm.   I am thinking the injectors may need to be tested and adjusted for consistent pop pressure. I had used a local shop for that years ago with my ALH, but they are closed and local places now are pickup related.  Do you have any suggestions as to where I could send them off with good results? 

Reply #9February 20, 2020, 08:42:25 pm

fatmobile

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2020, 08:42:25 pm »
Idle too low?
Rough idle even after warmup?
Tornado red, '91 Golf 4 door,
with a re-ringed, '84 quantum, turbo diesel, MD block

Reply #10February 21, 2020, 10:41:04 pm

ORCoaster

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Re: Seeping oil from head gasket
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2020, 10:41:04 pm »
I second a too low idle,  give the adjustment a half a twist and see what happens. 
Rabbit repairs to body damage need attention before trying to sell it in the spring