Jump to content

300tdi timing belt done, but oil leaking

Recommended Posts

As above, did the timing belt change with new parts and seals on the crank and cover. That was a week ago, and since then I've driven for approximately 50 miles through regular traffic.

Having a look underneath, just having done a journey, I noticed fresh oil dripped on the panhard rod. Looking above that I can see oil has come out of the drain hole on the timing cover. Not huge amounts, but stuff that was not there before, say half a teaspoon.

So, it is possibly just some oil leaking as everything settles in, or am I looking at a strip down to trace the leak, as something has failed/ not been done right?

The other thing is, I need to do a journey next week which will be 120 miles, then a week later coming back the same distance. Is it likely to be okay, or am I pushing my luck?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You shouldn't have any oil leaking at all - there's no 'settling-in period'

As long as you don't have a wading plug fitted, then (assuming it's the crank seal), oil will run down the back of the timing case and out of the wading plug hole without touching the belt. Camshaft seal and any through-bolts that are now letting oil in should do the same thing. I wouldn't worry about engine oil leaking out unless it's a gusher :)

If engine oil does get on the belt, then it'll have a similar (but slower effect), as diesel does, in that it'll significantly weaken the belt and cause premature failure.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the speedy reasurance Les ;)

Part of me thinks fine, and part of me thinks I should strip it down at the next available opportunity.

I had been feeling good having done the job, and got everything done right ( started first time), so it bugs me that I missed something, or fitted a duff seal.

After this next trip, the next journey is a 3 week holiday driving around Europe, so it may just bug me too much to do that and always look in the engine bay to see glistening metalwork :( :( :angry:

Should I decide to go for a strip down, now or later, what should I look at replacing - other than any seals that are leaking - should I check the belt is free of oil, or replace it anyway?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's no big deal to remove the timing belt cover on a 300TDi (especially as you are now expert at doing it :) )

Due to the recent work, the cause of the oil leak will be easily identifiable (there'll be a 'track' where it's coming from). Buying decent oil seals is a bit of a nightmare - due to the huge amount of after-market suppliers/manufacturers there are. A Genuine crank seal (if that's the problem), is about £7 and worth the money when you consider the amount of work involved in replacing it.

Considering your expected journey - I would suggest you investigate it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Well the cam cover is off again :)

Outbound journey was okay, similar oil loss as noted before.

However at a service stop on the inbound journey, glanced under the front and saw a steady flow of oil (engine still running) and shiny metal from oil splatter. Pressed on as the remaining part of the journey was 40 miles, with regular glances at the oil pressure and temperature gauges, but they kept steady and made it back without further anxiety.

Checking the oil level later, and topping up took 1 litre to get it back up to the previous reading, mid point on the dip stick :unsure: So should be okay re any serious engine problems? :rolleyes:

Stripping it down and examining the parts, I found thin strips/ bits of rubber behind the crank sprocket. The crank oil seal looked okay, but will get replaced. Looking at the o-ring, it looks like the damaged part, but why it failed, I'm not sure :( So new parts on route and hopefully a w/e of careful reassembly.

Any suggestions of tips to ensure I avoid a repeat? The new parts will be genuine, but as the total mileage covered was approximatelt 300 mile, I'm sticking with the same tensioner, idler and crank sprocket.

Should the oil seal sit flush in the casing, or be sunk in a little?

Is the cambelt okay to refit, or should I replace it?

It all seemed to go well the first time, so I'm just looking to check I'm doing everything I can to avoid another timing rebuild until a more reasonable time/ mileage has elapsed. :P:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok to use the old timing gear - providing you are confident that no oil got on the belt (might be worth replacing the belt - just for the peace of mind factor)

The O-ring behind the sprocket is just compressed, so I don't understand how it can get damaged - is the ring not from the lip of the oil seal itself (this would explain the heavy leak).

Grease the outer edge of the seal, press it in util it's just below the casting of the timing case, then grease the inner lip. Also grease the seal land on the back of the sprocket (check that the seal land is clean and smooth). Reassemble as normal.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you say Les,

The seal is most likely the culprit, but nothing was apparent on a visual examination, and it was damaged during removal. The o-ring pops out so I checked that and found the shreds, but the source could be from elsewhere. I'll try to post some photos later of the bits in question.

Any tips for getting the seal in without the specific tool? Location is difficult to get all around it, so want to be able to drive it in without damaging/ distorting it. The previous one went in okay, so I'm probably getting too anxious :unsure:

New cambelt on the way - as you say, for the cost, its not worth the uncertainty :blink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well here is a photo of the offending oil seal and o-ring. Not much to make a clear diagnosis, especially as the oil seal looks worse from the removal process, than when sitting in situ. Some evidence of the o-ring failing, but as commented on by Les, that would not account for the amount of oil loss on its own :P

Anyway, new parts going in this w/e, so hopefully the oil leak problem will be resolved :blink:

The other photo is of the original crank sprocket and seal prior to removal, just for interest really. Miminal belt debris and wear and tear considering this was the first belt change in a new engine at 48,000 miles :o



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

use the crank pully to push the seal in

Turn it round the wrong way and use the flat face to push the seal into the casing. I use a spacer of sorts and the crank nut to wind it in and it goes in square every time. I only push it intill its level with the casing, if you push it in too far then the lip of the seal might not make a good contact

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a matter of course, whenever I replace a timing belt now I'll do all the front end oil seals too, after all its only a few extra hours to pull the timeing chest off a quick clean and replace all the seals and main gasket.

I've had 2x 300tdi's that the block to timing chest gasket has gone at the bottom right hand corner just above the sump joint, so worth replacing.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy