91 MR2 NA - Various Leaks - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2017, 13:46 Thread Starter
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91 MR2 NA - Various Leaks

Hi everyone. I bought a 91 mr2 n/a w/ 159k miles the other week. I was told it had an oil leak, nevertheless I bought it anyway.

So now I am trying to go about fixing it since it seems to be losing quite a bit of oil.

Right now there is oil that drips underneath in two spots. I can add pics later.

But I have oil that looks wet on top of the fuel rail. Is this due to a leaking valve cover?
This may be the only leak or one of many. I have some engine degreaser to try and clean it up from underneath


Also, I looked under the car the other day and about mid way under the car I saw a puddle of red substance. Is this transmission fluid/gear fluid? It's possible it could have been from another car (in an apartment complex)

Let me know your thoughts.



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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2017, 13:50
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Valve cover leaks are common on MR2 and most of the time they look really bad. If your fuel rail covered in oil - that is most likely valve cover.
That red fluid, is it oil type? Usually red is coolant, I believe auto transmission fluid could be red but not manual gear box oil.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2017, 14:10 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 2ZZXRS View Post
Valve cover leaks are common on MR2 and most of the time they look really bad. If your fuel rail covered in oil - that is most likely valve cover.
That red fluid, is it oil type? Usually red is coolant, I believe auto transmission fluid could be red but not manual gear box oil.


Thanks. I'm ordering a new gasket tonight. Just want to keep it from dying until I get my v6 for a swap.
The red I don't think is oil. I smelled it and it wasn't an oil smell, plus completely different than the color of the oil I found on the dipstick.

So is it possible it's coolant?


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2017, 14:18
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Have you pulled a spark plug? Are those staying dry?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2017, 14:21 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Luni View Post
Have you pulled a spark plug? Are those staying dry?


No I haven't yet. I'll do that when I get home. So if it's got oil it's definitely the valve cover?


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2017, 14:57
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A very common oil leak is out the distributor shaft hole. This requires replacement of the distributor shaft o-ring. Another very common leak is the crankshaft seal. This requires basically a timing belt replacement. And another one is the oil pan gasket. After you get the VC handled, degrease the entire engine thoroughly, then inspect these other areas periodically. When you do the VC make sure the spark plug tube grommets are seated properly. Else oil will leak down into the spark plug tubes - this is another common leak.

For coolant leaks start by keeping a close eye on your coolant level. If any coolant is being lost then inspect all the hoses paying close attention to the areas where they clamp on to metal tubes. Sometimes you will feel a small amount of moisture there, or see traces of dried coolant. Have your system pressure tested, this will identify external leaks quickly.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2017, 15:10 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by merryfrankster View Post
A very common oil leak is out the distributor shaft hole. This requires replacement of the distributor shaft o-ring. Another very common leak is the crankshaft seal. This requires basically a timing belt replacement. And another one is the oil pan gasket. After you get the VC handled, degrease the entire engine thoroughly, then inspect these other areas periodically. When you do the VC make sure the spark plug tube grommets are seated properly. Else oil will leak down into the spark plug tubes - this is another common leak.



For coolant leaks start by keeping a close eye on your coolant level. If any coolant is being lost then inspect all the hoses paying close attention to the areas where they clamp on to metal tubes. Sometimes you will feel a small amount of moisture there, or see traces of dried coolant. Have your system pressure tested, this will identify external leaks quickly.


The coolant isn't leaking from around the engine. It's about mid way up the car. Almost like a line was clipped. But I'll check the coolant level and see where it's at.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2017, 18:45 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AceVL View Post
The coolant isn't leaking from around the engine. It's about mid way up the car. Almost like a line was clipped. But I'll check the coolant level and see where it's at.


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So I took some pics.


This is where it is. Really where the coolant is moving to and from the radiator. The end of the door for reference. I removed the panels, turned on the car and let it sit, revved it some then checked for additional liquid. Couldn't see anything leaking


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2017, 20:15
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Looks like it is coming from the hardline coolant pipes which run from radiator to engine bay. Common weak point is where the stainless pipes have a bracket welded to them for securing lines to chassis. Need to raise that side and pull plastic covers and have a decent look.

jim
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2017, 00:54
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I think it's more likely the heater pipes as they are brass and the weld point to the bracket gets weak from vibrations and leaks. My car did this on one of pipes. Sadly this is a drop fuel tank sort of job as they run over the fuel tank.

Unless Jim is right and it's the radiator stainless pipe which are under the fuel tank making it easier to fix. These don't tend to fail though.

Remove the plastic covers under the car and find the source of the leak.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2017, 10:55 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take another look and see if it's the ones on top of the gas tank and go from there


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2017, 16:47 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GDII View Post
I think it's more likely the heater pipes as they are brass and the weld point to the bracket gets weak from vibrations and leaks. My car did this on one of pipes. Sadly this is a drop fuel tank sort of job as they run over the fuel tank.



Unless Jim is right and it's the radiator stainless pipe which are under the fuel tank making it easier to fix. These don't tend to fail though.



Remove the plastic covers under the car and find the source of the leak.


Alright update time.

So now I have not any leaks under the car or noticeable loss of coolant from what I can see in the fill tank.

Is it possible the system got some air in it and leaked until the air was out?


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2017, 22:17
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When I purchased mine with 170k, every gasket was leaking. It looked as if the car had a well taken-care of life up until the last couple of years from the previous owner. At least the engine and tranny still run strong.

Buy some engine degreaser, wrap your distributor, and anything electrical. Degrease everything and drive for an hour or so and keep on the look-out for oil leaks.

Most likely you will be doing everything that I've done.
- Valve cover gasket (with plug seals)
- Oil pan gasket
- Oil pump gasket (timing kit)
- Crank seal (timing kit)
- Distributor seal (clean/rebuild when doing this)

I have yet to do the rear seal, not needed yet... Will just wait for clutch replacement. If you are loosing oil at a staggering rate, it will most likely be the pump seal. We were hard-pressed that the crank seal was the culprit, had a steady drip from the right corner on the oil pan running from the timing cover. I'll try and find the pic of the old pump gasket ..

Check all of your fluids. Bring it to a shop, ask them if you can see it up on a lift. Any normal place won't have a problem with this. It will also make troubleshooting much easier.

Last edited by prettycrazyodd; May 21st, 2017 at 22:21.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old June 12th, 2017, 16:44 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by prettycrazyodd View Post
When I purchased mine with 170k, every gasket was leaking. It looked as if the car had a well taken-care of life up until the last couple of years from the previous owner. At least the engine and tranny still run strong.

Buy some engine degreaser, wrap your distributor, and anything electrical. Degrease everything and drive for an hour or so and keep on the look-out for oil leaks.

Most likely you will be doing everything that I've done.
- Valve cover gasket (with plug seals)
- Oil pan gasket
- Oil pump gasket (timing kit)
- Crank seal (timing kit)
- Distributor seal (clean/rebuild when doing this)

I have yet to do the rear seal, not needed yet... Will just wait for clutch replacement. If you are loosing oil at a staggering rate, it will most likely be the pump seal. We were hard-pressed that the crank seal was the culprit, had a steady drip from the right corner on the oil pan running from the timing cover. I'll try and find the pic of the old pump gasket ..

Check all of your fluids. Bring it to a shop, ask them if you can see it up on a lift. Any normal place won't have a problem with this. It will also make troubleshooting much easier.


I've changed the valve cover gasket and that seems to have helped stopped a majority of the leak. But I still have one leak that is ending up right on top of the center exhaust pipe, where the heat shield/flex pipe is. Is there one particular leak that leads the oil to drop onto the exhaust pipe?



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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old June 12th, 2017, 22:11
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An oil pump gasket/o ring/shaft seal leak or sump leak can do this. Mine has a leak and it runs around the top pf the sump from the front (crank end) then falls on to the exhaust in that exact spot.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old June 19th, 2017, 17:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceVL View Post
I've changed the valve cover gasket and that seems to have helped stopped a majority of the leak. But I still have one leak that is ending up right on top of the center exhaust pipe, where the heat shield/flex pipe is. Is there one particular leak that leads the oil to drop onto the exhaust pipe?



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I would recommend completely De-greasing the engine and going from there. My valve cover dripped in a very specific way in that exact spot. Oil pan contributed.

Clean everything, dry it off and watch it while it's running.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old June 19th, 2017, 20:40
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Originally Posted by GDII View Post
An oil pump gasket/o ring/shaft seal leak or sump leak can do this. Mine has a leak and it runs around the top pf the sump from the front (crank end) then falls on to the exhaust in that exact spot.
Turns out my oil leak is not from the oil pump/front cover but rather the dizzy/valve cover. Need to sort that out as it's getting quite bad. I thought I'd update so you don't go looking in the wrong place or you look at both places. I need to locktight the valve cover bolts as the loosen very easy and are impossible to get at without disassembling the engine quite a bit.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2019, 09:56
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Hi. I came here looking to see why there would be oil on my spark plug, do you have any info on why this may be? all other plugs are dry. I believe the wet plug is on cylinder 1.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2019, 10:01 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Patricb91 View Post
Hi. I came here looking to see why there would be oil on my spark plug, do you have any info on why this may be? all other plugs are dry. I believe the wet plug is on cylinder 1.


There can be a few different reasons. But there are gaskets under the valve cover that help keep oil out of the spark plug tubes. Round gaskets, one per spark plug tube.
One of the gaskets could be dry or failing, Is it a large amount of oil? Or just a little. Most likely thatís what it is based on my experience.


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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old April 24th, 2019, 17:54
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Hey, thanks for the response, and you were right.

I went ahead and redid the valve cover gasket, which solved the problem. The last guy who owned mine did a lot of his own maintenance, but when I did it I went strictly by the Toyota book. When I took the old gasket off, I didn't find any form a gasket, so I cleaned thoroughly and used some in the appropriate places around the humps, and for good measure I popped out the semicircular plugs (marked with arrows) and redid those as well. No leaks since!
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