aka the wallet diet

Oily, Leaky S14 Solved

I feel I have won the battle of my leaky S14. 1-Up! It must be said the problem initiated when the donor engine was swapped. I had all of the oil pan and timing cover surfaces re-sealed while the engine was out. Unfortunately I used Hylomar, a product not familiar to me, but supposedly very good. Well, it didn’t work well for me. In all honesty, it’s probably user error. Oil was seeping out of every surface, or it seemed. Several two-inch puddles were left every time I parked. This time around I used something else, something I’m used to – regular silicone gasket maker (Hondabond HT) First, some basic steps in re-sealing the front timing cover and both oil pans without having to remove the head:

1. Pre-soak crank nut with penetrating fluid overnight. I used PB Blaster.
2. Drain oil and coolant
3. Disconnect and remove alternator, AFM/Airbox assembly, and hoses attached to the front timing cover. Also remove lower air valance.
4. Removing the water pump is optional. I didn’t remove it from the timing cover.
5. Lock the flywheel with a specialty tool, or jam a large screwdriver in the driver side bellhousing view port. I do the latter, works every time.
6. Using a powerful 1/2″ impact gun or 3/4″ – 1″ breaker bar with a 36 mm socket, remove the crank nut (right thread). FYI, I don’t like using the breaker bar method. IMO, puts a lot of stress on parts. Probably just me. If the nut doesn’t want to break loose, use a propane torch to carefully heat up the nut. Do this slowly and do not heat the pulley! The crank nut should now come loose. I used a 1/2″ air impact gun (~400 ft-lbs) from Harbor Freight. The nut broke loose after 5 seconds of full power.
7. Remove flywheel inspection cover, oil pump, and both oil pans. I only had to remove the driver side sway bar links to remove inspection cover. Upper oil pan slides out easily. Keep note of all bolts.
8. Clean all flange surfaces. This is where a can of Goof-Off really works nicely. It may seem like a docile home product, but it’s a super solvent. Use in a well ventilated area only! Spray it on the oil pan flanges and it’ll easily remove old grime, grease, and remnant sealer. Do the same for the block flanges. Use a Scotch pad if necessary. Finish with a wipe of brake cleaner.
9. Use your preferred sealant. I used Hondabond HT, it’s some of the best sealing stuff around. Only need to place it on one side, I opted for the cover and pan side for ease. Re-installation order is timing cover, upper pan, then lower pan. Place a 4-5 mm bead all the way around the cover/pan flange then smear it flat with your finger. The entire surface should be covered with a thin coat of sealant (no more than 1 mm). Also place a small bead in the upper timing corner where the block, head, and timing cover meet. This is a known leak zone. Attach the cover/pan to the other mating surface after one minute (for Hondabond). Do this for all then torque down normally.
10. Reattach all ancillaries and add fluids
11. Hondabond hardens after 3 hrs, and fully cures in 3 days.
12. Check for leaks

I have no leaks after a few days of driving. The dreaded upper timing case area is dry and everything has a nice gray bead. Now time to pressure wash my driveway. Arrg.

Sorry no pics! Hands too grimy.

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