Locating my Oil leaks

Ok, before i begin, i must tell you my automotive knowledge of the oil system is limited, and this is as far as i have come along.
When I bought my 82 pickup, I was told it leaked oil. I soon found, when driving it every day, it actually leaked worse than when it sat. I have got it down to around 1 qt /1000 miles.
My first instinct was to check the pcv. I could not remove the valve (see my other post). So, i more or less put that project on the back burner. I then decided the oil was leaking out of the transmission, because it was covered in oil. I found, however, the oil was just blowing back onto the transmission.
So, i found the bottom of the oil pan is covered in oil on the engine. The front of the engine (think along fan and crankshaft) is covered, but not so much oil as a flat black sludge. I really don't think this is the current leak, but i could be wrong. when you look at either side of the engine, it has sludge on the front 3", but the sides are clean. The valve cover has some oil coming out, but i have been assured by many people this is relatively normal, as it is a small amount.
I interpreted this as, there once was bad oil leaks, but when they rebuilt it (around 25k ago), they did not clean the engine (hey, it wasn't me) and so the sludge is really not leaks, just buildup. The valve cover, i think, is normal. I think my problem lies either with the PCV being plugged, or the oil pan gasket. My current plan is to remove the valve cover and get the PCV out, and if that doesn't work, go for the oil pan gasket (tighten/replace if needed)
Does anybody have ANY ideas or suggestions?
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Chas wrote:

My '88 pickup has a 22R engine. At around 90,000 miles, it started blowing oil all over the engine compartment and engine. It turned out to be the damper pulley seal at the front of the engine. I don't know if the seal area was too soft or what it was, but it got a groove in it that let the oil leak out and spray everywhere. The shop pulled the pulley and put a sleeve on the seal area, then replaced the seal. Not a drop since. I now have 184,000 on it and the only small leak is from the rear-main seal. There's a little seepage from the valve cover gasket, but not enough to worry about.
I've found that the point where the oil is leaking will usually be nice and clean. After the oil runs along the engine or frame, it begins to collect dust and dirt and becomes that black sludgy tar you mention...
--
Tom - Vista, CA

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Chas wrote:

My '88 pickup has a 22R engine. At around 90,000 miles, it started blowing oil all over the engine compartment and engine. It turned out to be the damper pulley seal at the front of the engine. I don't know if the seal area was too soft or what it was, but it got a groove in it that let the oil leak out and spray everywhere. The shop pulled the pulley and put a sleeve on the seal area, then replaced the seal. Not a drop since. I now have 184,000 on it and the only small leak is from the rear-main seal. There's a little seepage from the valve cover gasket, but not enough to worry about.
I've found that the point where the oil is leaking will usually be nice and clean. After the oil runs along the engine or frame, it begins to collect dust and dirt and becomes that black sludgy tar you mention...
--
Tom - Vista, CA

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On Sat, 11 Aug 2007 21:21:42 -0700, Chas

Clean the engine well and then drive it for short periods and keep checking every few miles for oil wetting the surface of the engine. You can buy engine cleaner at any auto parts store. Follow the directions on the can. Do the cleaning at a DIY car wash because they capture oil runoff. ERS
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Okay, is there any danger to spraying the engine with high pressure?
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wrote:

Stay away from air intakes and electrical plugs/wire/leads/sparkplugs/distributors/coils etc. Wrap dissie with a thick plastic bag before you pressure wash your engine bay. Then spray with electroclean (Water dispersant) on all electrical plugs and joins before you run it.
You should be fine with that. Steam cleaning is best but not something you get to do at home usually.
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The MOST common oil leaks on a 22R are the front main shaft seal, and the valve cover gasket. The main shaft seal wears out every 100,000 miles or so. When it leaks the oil gets onto the harmonic balancer (main pulley) and is slung around the front of the engine. Air flow blows the oil back over the engine.
Repair is simple, but annoying. Pull the fan off the water pump, remove the main pulley, by pulling the front bolt. Purchase a repair sleeve from any parts shop. The sleeve gives you a new surface for the main seal. The sleeve can be pressed over the end of the pulley using a shop press or a carpenter's vise. Or you might get it on with a block of wood and a hammer.
You might as well replace or rebuild the oil pump while you are there. Replace the main seal and then reassemble.
Check here for simple instructions with pictures
<http://www.autozone.com/shopping/repairGuide.htm
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I've found you usually don't need a sleeve. Remove harmonic balancer, pull old seal with small screwdriver or cotter puller or seal puller. Replace w/ new seal. Seat carefully with block of wood or large socket. Replace HB and tighten front bolt. Replace fan belt. GTG.
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