Coolant leak from oil filter housing

Posted by majik2k5, Feb 25, 2006
Newbie Forum - Beginner/newbie/general DSM modification questions. First mods, how to run 10's when you haven't run 12's yet, any tech question that doesn't fit in another tech forum.

  1. majik2k5

    majik2k5 Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    83.3%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Posts:
    512
    Likes Received:
    18
    Lemoore, California
    I have a coolant leak coming from my oil filter housing (see picture). It seems to just drip out and not run down from something above. Is there a seal that can be replaced or is this just a common failure? I do know that coolant is in the oil filter housing to cool the oil.

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. Boostedexcel

    Boostedexcel Proven Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Posts:
    130
    Likes Received:
    1
    hidden hills, California
    This just happened to me...I gurantee its a bad o-ring from the water pump to main water pipe(right behind the power streering). Your gonna have to take off the alternator and power streering just to be able to get to it. Also check the water lines in that area, maybe you'll get lucky!
    #2
  3. megadeth0

    megadeth0 Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Posts:
    231
    Likes Received:
    4
    Spanish Fork, Utah
    If I were you I would very seriously look into finding a filter housing off a 90' and an external oil cooler. There have been countless problems with the one you have. Now onto the leak; Is it comming from up top or right out of the housing? You can't tell from the pictures. What was mentioned above is a very good possibility.:thumb:
    #3
  4. majik2k5

    majik2k5 Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    83.3%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Posts:
    512
    Likes Received:
    18
    Lemoore, California
    Well, the O-ring is a possibility, but I doubt it. The coolant leak is a problem, but the bigger problem on hand is that oil is somehow getting into the coolant. I don't see how the bad O-ring could allow oil into the coolant? Plus, I just replaced the waterpump so the O-ring is brand new.

    I thought maybe there was a seal in the oil filter housing that seperates the oil and the coolant since the '91 oil filter housings are internally cooled. Is this a possibility?

    The odd thing is, the oil is getting into the coolant, and no vice-versa. The oil is fine and there is no coolant in it at all.

    I talked with Brodie last night and we were stumped. Is it possible that there is oil left in the radiator that keeps surfacing? We flushed the system 2 or 3 times and it started to look better. But as soon as we put more coolant back in it, the oil came right back up.

    Anyone have any ideas on this?
    #4
  5. Quasimondo

    Quasimondo Proven Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Posts:
    1,754
    Likes Received:
    63
    Washington, D.C.
    It's a common failure. If you screw down the filter too tighty, you crack the seals and the oil and coolant could potential mix together. If you don't tighten the filter enough, it could potentially back off and you lose all of your oil while driving.

    Best bet is to replace that with a 1990 style oil filter housing that uses an air-to-air oil cooler. JNZ has the housings, and AN fittings will work with the stock oil cooler (I'm still trying to figure out what size fitting you need for the cooler and the housing)

    BTW, DSMotorsport sells external oil coolers and 90-style housings as well.
    #5
  6. majik2k5

    majik2k5 Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    83.3%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Posts:
    512
    Likes Received:
    18
    Lemoore, California
    Would a crack in the oil filter housing cause it to drip like that? It's just a drip, too. Not a huge leak. We pressure tested the system and only lost about 1 - 2 psi the whole time.

    The thing that has us confused is where the oil is getting into the coolant, but the coolant isn't getting into the oil.
    #6
  7. majik2k5

    majik2k5 Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    83.3%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Posts:
    512
    Likes Received:
    18
    Lemoore, California
    Well, it doesn't make sense. If the water line going to the housing was loose, it shouldn't be leaking clear over on the other side of the housing. Correct?
    #7
  8. olmytsi

    olmytsi Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Posts:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    17
    Miami, Florida
    I would replace it asap before mixing occurs in there.
    #8
  9. turboholic

    turboholic Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2002
    Posts:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    2
    Rialto, California
    http://www.vfaq.com/mods/oilcool.html
    #9
    tibby_boy likes this.
  10. Quasimondo

    Quasimondo Proven Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Posts:
    1,754
    Likes Received:
    63
    Washington, D.C.
    Those would be -6 AN fittings for the 90 style oil cooler, btw.
    #10
    tibby_boy likes this.
  11. majik2k5

    majik2k5 Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    83.3%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Posts:
    512
    Likes Received:
    18
    Lemoore, California
    Bingo.


    Thanks, alot.
    #11
  12. 95blackGsTurbo

    95blackGsTurbo DSM Wiseman

    Classifieds Rating:
    66.7%
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Posts:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    68
    Cottage Grove, Minnesota
    I would have to agree with this post. If it was leaking out of the housing it would have oil mixed with it or something. This is a common 1g problem. The o-ring on the waterpump goes out and it leaks. It runs down the waterpump and drops straight down onto the oil filter housing and makes it appear that the housing it leaking. This was the first problem I had to fix on my 92 I had.
    #12
  13. brodiedehass

    brodiedehass Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Posts:
    133
    Likes Received:
    7
    Millersburg, Ohio
    Majik2k5 and I checked the O-ring today and no leaks from it. Matter of fact, it didn't seem to leak at all today. Maybe its just possessed? :|
    #13
  14. majik2k5

    majik2k5 Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    83.3%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Posts:
    512
    Likes Received:
    18
    Lemoore, California
    Well, it stopped altogether for a few days. Drained it and put new coolant in it, 50/50. Parked it last night and it snowed. Came out this morning and there was a circle where the coolant had leaked and melted the snow away. Opened the coolant cap and looked down inside.....oil.
    #14
  15. olmytsi

    olmytsi Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Posts:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    17
    Miami, Florida
    I told you....shoulda listened to me LOL:)
    #15
  16. majik2k5

    majik2k5 Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    83.3%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Posts:
    512
    Likes Received:
    18
    Lemoore, California
    We'll replace it when we can narrow down what the problem is. From what we've accumulated so far, it's not 100% certain that the oil filter housing could cause mixing.

    And it's strange, because I'm losing oil... but the oil itself is fine. No coolant in it whatsoever.
    #16
  17. olmytsi

    olmytsi Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Posts:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    17
    Miami, Florida
    From what i was told, the reason why you don't get coolant in the oil is because higher oil pressure forces oil in the coolant but not the other way around at the oil filter housing.
    #17
    boostedinaz likes this.
  18. boostedinaz

    boostedinaz DSM Wiseman

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Posts:
    2,320
    Likes Received:
    13
    Scottsdale, Arizona

    Exactly. Drain the oild and use a 15/16 socket to get the cooler off. Replace the rubber seal and you will be done.
    #18
    majik2k5 likes this.
  19. brodiedehass

    brodiedehass Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Posts:
    133
    Likes Received:
    7
    Millersburg, Ohio
    But what about when you shut the car off and only have coolant pressure and no oil pressure? I would think coolant would get in the oil.
    #19
  20. olmytsi

    olmytsi Proven Member

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Posts:
    1,891
    Likes Received:
    17
    Miami, Florida
    Ask the Wiseman up there ^...i have no clue.
    #20
  21. 92awddsm

    92awddsm DSM Wiseman

    Classifieds Rating:
    100%
    DSM Profiles:
    1
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    Posts:
    3,934
    Likes Received:
    75
    Chesterfield, Virginia
    The oil filter mounting stud has been overtightened and crushed the cooling fins inside the cooler causing the oil to mix into the coolant. It probably cracked slightly on the outside also which is causing the coolant to spray when under pressure. There is no seal that can be replace to cure this due to the fact that the cooler is a sealed unit and no way for coolant and oil to mix unless damaged. The seal that boostedinaz is only there to seal the cooler to the housing to prvent oil leaks. It has nothing to do with yhe oil and coolant from mixing. As stated, the oil is getting in the coolant and not vice versa because the oil pressure is generally between 20-100+ psi in this location and your coolant system probably (shouldnt) go over 13psi of pressure. Now, quit driving it untill it is fixed because next thing you will be posting is "my engine died and I dont know why. The only problem to begin with was a faulty oil cooler"
    #21

Share This Page