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Leak from right rear, rusty brown/yellow fluid


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I pulled into the garage last night from a road trip and noticed a leak from the right side in the rear. It looks like a rusty, brownish/yellowish fluid. My mechanic is out of town for a week, so I'm trying to decide what to do. I opened the engine compartment and didn't see anything obvious (no fluid spary of blown hose). Any advice as to how to narrow this down so I can decide if its safe to start the engine and drive it in for repair?

I did drop some newspaper down, and it looks to be just a cup or so of liquid. Again, any advice appreciated. T

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I pulled into the garage last night from a road trip and noticed a leak from the right side in the rear. It looks like a rusty, brownish/yellowish fluid. My mechanic is out of town for a week, so I'm trying to decide what to do. I opened the engine compartment and didn't see anything obvious (no fluid spary of blown hose). Any advice as to how to narrow this down so I can decide if its safe to start the engine and drive it in for repair?

I did drop some newspaper down, and it looks to be just a cup or so of liquid. Again, any advice appreciated. T

Did you check the oil on your dipstick to see if it is a strange color? and/or in your coolant reservoir?

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The only brownish/yellowish fluid I can think of is dirty brake fluid or dirty transmission fluid (tiptronic). Like the others have said, start by checking all of your fluids - oil, coolant, brake - don't forget the brake fluid reservoir is under the front hood. Right side in the rear is where you fill up the power steering pump, but there isn't any way to check the level. The engine mount has more of a greenish black fluid in it.

Since you drove it home okay, you're probably ok to drive it to the repair shop so long as it's not too far.

Good Luck

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I'll take a look at fluid resovoirs and report what I find. I was hesitant to start the engine to warm the oil to check, but the consensus seems to be that would be OK sincex the ngine was runnign just fine when this occured. Thanks.

2001 Cab, manual. 29K miles.

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I check fluids. Coolant is fine. So is brake fluid. Nothing showed on the oil dipstick so i started the engine to let it warm up. The drip immediatley started and I took a photo (attached). Turned the engine right off and still got no mearurement on the dipstick. Guess its an oil leak. At 29K miles. Darn it.

So should I flat bed it or add oil and make the 15 mile drive to my mechanic?

post-2448-1248096702_thumb.jpg

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Looks like it is coming down the side of the cam cover. check the two green plugs on the end of the cover. Also, the oil cooler is mounted on the top of the engine above this location. Hard to see unless you take off the airbox.

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post-2448-1248362895_thumb.jpgIt was leaking steady with engine running, so it was picked up today. $125 to get it towed 15 miles. Cost to repair: Stay tuned.

If it's noticeably leaking out like that, I wouldn't drive it. You can get away with seeping, but not a big leak.
Edited by Loren
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Early report is valve cover and one plug (not spark plug, sounds like something in the head maybe). That came from the service advsior; waiting to talk with the mechanic to review cost (and underlying cause).

Edited by trauh
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The plugs can be replaced without removing the cam cover of dropping the engine. They are just pressure fit. tehy cost about $10-$13 and it should not take more than 1/2 a hour. The cam cover could also be leaking and that takes a while to get off and on. On the passenger side you have to remove the exhaust manifold to get it off, but it can be done with the engine in the car.

As to how one would go bad, not really sure. When I put my engine back together I had one blow out, but that was caused by the expansion plug in the end of the cam blowing out, and if that was the case you don't have oil just dripping out, it is spewing out.

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The only thing that would blow these caps out is oil leaking from the camshafts, which are pressurized with oil to feed the cam journals. Look inside the plug hole at the end of the cams. There are expansion plugs, here are a couple of pictures

post-7011-1248994142_thumb.jpg

post-7011-1248994168_thumb.jpg

When I reassembled my engine after repairing a cracked head I had one blow out on my 1-3 intake cam. Here is a picture of the cam without the plug

post-7011-1248994377_thumb.jpg

If one is blown out you will definitly see it and oil will pour out of the engine. If the plug is gone you cannot get one the right size to replace it, Porsche won't sell them and all the domestically available plugs are to deep to work, believe me I tried. Here are pictures of the plug and cap

post-7011-1248994635_thumb.jpg

post-7011-1248994653_thumb.jpg

The problem is that the OEM plug is only about .18" deep, and goes up against the shoulder you can see in the picture of the cam with no plug in it. The plug has to go in all the way as the widest part is the top, and it is an interference fit. All the domestic caps are .25+" and so won't go in far enough to fit with property tightness and blow right out.

The solution I found is to tap/thread the end of the cams and put in a threaded plug. Here are some pictures of this

post-7011-1248994890_thumb.jpg

See the next post for more info, this has reached the limits for pictures

Edited by Dharn55
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OK here are some more pictures of the threaded and plugged cam

post-7011-1248995192_thumb.jpg

post-7011-1248995213_thumb.jpg

post-7011-1248995232_thumb.jpg

I ended up taking out all four of my cams and having both ends of each one threaded and plugged.

There is another possible problem if the expansion plugs are still in place. The end journal/bearing will have oil pressuring out of it. This oil goes back into the engine through small passages in the head which can bee seen in this picture

post-7011-1248996087_thumb.jpg

If these pasages have somehow become clogged with something, then enough pressure will build up to blow out the plugs without spewing out oil like a missing expansion plug. I guess this could also be a source of the caps coming out/leaking.

Edited by Dharn55
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Theory #2 was exactly correct. They found excess sealant in the bottom (head must have been opened by the prior owner before I bought the car in 2004) had clogged an opening as you described. They are cleaning out and resealing the head. I just made another donation to the site in appreciation of all the help I received. Thank you again for sharing your experience.

Edited by trauh
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