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Help locating a pesky oil leak

Discussion in '3rd Gen 4Runners (1996-2002)' started by shoret, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Apr 15, 2016 at 5:33 AM
    #1
    shoret

    shoret [OP] New Member

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    97 4 Runner Base 4 cyl Base
    Recently purchased a 3rd Gen 2WD 4Runner (picture attached) for conversion into a camper/fishing/base camp vehicle. Vehicle runs great but had some cosmetic issues. Does not burn oil and gets decent MPG. However I have one issue that I cannot isolate and request your assistance. I have a pesky oil leak from the passenger side engine compartment. I have removed the skid plates and cleaned them off in a effort to isolate but have been unsuccessful to date. Leak appears to be originating somewhere under the exhaust connection on the passenger side engine compartment. Ironically the oil and trans fluids remain constant as I check them daily. Vehicle has 255K miles. Any suggestions which may assist in the trouble shooting and or potential culperts are welcomed. Some have indicated that it could be a damaged/broken oil sending unit, but quite honestly I have no idea what that looks like or where it is located? Others have suggested a much worse suggestion of a cracked block... I hope this is not the case.

    Appreciate your assistance and look forward to your response/suggestions.

    Best. Shorty sends...

    97 4 Runner.jpg
     
  2. Apr 15, 2016 at 6:45 AM
    #2
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue New Member

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    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff
    I'm going to give you the best advise your going to get. Go down to the parts house and get a bottle of trace dye. It's about ten bucks. Clean the shit out of everything with about three cans of brake clean. Put the dye in the oil and run it for a day. Bust out a black light kit- if you don't have one they are about 15 buck with the glasses maybe even cheaper. Go looking for were it seeps out at and go from there. You will save time and a lot of money this way.
     
    Bob likes this.
  3. Apr 15, 2016 at 7:03 AM
    #3
    shoret

    shoret [OP] New Member

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    Ol'Blue, roger, copy all. One alibi though if I may... ref the black light kit, will this detection device operate outdoors or do I need to be inside of a closed "darkened" garage? Luckily I am going to be near a Harbor Freight store today and will look for the kit. I really want to get this action closed as I am planning a trip to AK in July. Thanks for the sound advice. Best. Shorty sends... BTW, Thanks for your service!
     
    Bob likes this.
  4. Apr 15, 2016 at 7:35 AM
    #4
    RonT4R

    RonT4R New Member

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    Have you checked the valve covers? The rubber gasket/seals can leak pretty bad in areas around the back of the motor. Just a thought.
     
  5. Apr 15, 2016 at 7:46 AM
    #5
    shoret

    shoret [OP] New Member

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    4Runner4me, thanks for the 411. Yes I have and all appears good. The most forward and highest location I can see traces of oil is just forward of the oil filter and highest location is under a silver cover that covers the exhaust connection on the passanger side of the engine. I just got off of the phone with the folks at the Auto Hobby Shop here @ Redstone and I am going to go there and use their lift in conjunction with Ol'Blue's advice above. Hopefully looking at it (the engine bay) from a standing position might improve my situational awareness. Unfortunately I've got to take the safety class first on Wednesday so that will give me time to amass the required items. I'm smelling closure on the horizon... Thanks. Best. Shorty sends...
     
  6. Apr 15, 2016 at 10:34 AM
    #6
    Ol'Blue

    Ol'Blue New Member

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    "Not all who wander are lost"
    Vehicle:
    99 T4R LTD- 33's and locked, 01 SR5-,SAS Sold...
    A few things here and there. Still dreaming up stuff

    No you can see it in the day time. It will be easy to see.
     

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