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C20XE oil leak


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The engine has been rebuilt and I left it idle today to find the oil leak.  Oil is pouring (not dripping) out of the front left corner from the sump gasket.  Initially I thought it might be the oil pressure sender or oil filter but everything above the gasket seems dry. 

It currently has 2 cork gaskets and a baffle between them.  Is there an easy way of changing the sump gasket - had thought of holding the engine in place with a engine hoist and dropping the crossmember.

Any suggestions will be welcome.

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Before you start, make sure it aint the front crank seak, it will also show at left corner. If ur sure its the sump, not sure which is worse!

Ive used two gaskets, and sealant. Coat both sides of each gasket, and sump.I used gm sealant, only £6.

Also done as u described, dropped the cradle, u can bolt of calipers, i will lucky, as i had all bolts undone, and greased before hand. Completely removed cradle.

Its alot cleaner, and l think the pickup pipe would cause problems, if you try just dropping and not completely remove crossmember. 

Let us know how you get on.

Anyone even thinking if fitting one of these engines should at the least replace front and back oil seals, and replace both gaskets but use sealant on them too!

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Thanks for the replies, if it was the crank seal would the area above the sump gasket be wet?  I've got a payen gasket set in the shed which has 2 gaskets, I'll probably bin the baffle and use one of these gaskets keeping the other as a spare.  I haven't seen anything like it before - never had this problem with the 1.8!

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If your still mobile, i usually clean area really well, start her up and watch and see!

There is a aluminium lip, above sump at front of engine,  you should get oil collecting here, also clean all aluminium surfaces, as autocrosser said, could be a hairline crack in oil pump or housing

I use muckoff detergent wash, bike stuff. Moves oil, grease, and brakedust with ease, and is great value, and safe, etc!

 also the front crank seal is recessed back quite a bit, so may take a while to show......., cover may not get oily, unless oil hits the belt.

 but i think your safe to bet on the sump seal, this time.

I used two solid rubber gaskets, for the last fix, first time success, as the other double sided gasket that goes on lip of baffle plate, mentioned above tended to move out away from baffle plate when tightening sump. Therefore creating leaks.


Clean sump, baffle plate, block. Needs to be spotless.

Smear Sealant on top of baffle plate, gasket, smear gasket. Fit this to block using two shorter bolts.

Sump, smear sealant, gasket, smear gasket. Remove two short bolts, hold baffle plate in place, fit sump. Speed is king here!

Removing complete crossmember makes sense here! I had body of car supported on axle stands, and used engine crane to support engine.

 4 sump bolts, tighen slightly. Make sure everything is sitting sweet. Tighen each bolt equally, should you go round sump a few times!

So essentially its a sandwich.

Sump, sealant, gasket, sealant, baffle, sealant, gasket, sealant, block.

Now get out the the garage and most importantly let us know how you get on.




Edited by brady
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Thanks for all the information.  I'll have to give the area a good clean and see where it's coming from.  Car's not mobile as it has no MOT, etc.  As I previously said the oil is pouring out, just need to find where it's coming from!

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If it is the crank seal, first step is eat loads of weetabix,  that bolt at the front of the crank is mega tight, and it loosings with a bang!!! Mega pressure needed.

But get her clean first, no need for mot, should leak just a much ticking over!

I've a method to gettin that bolt loosened if needed!

Second bet, is either oul pump or crank seal!

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Even vauxhall said the used gasket sealant on all gaskets for these engines, both sides of the gasket. Vauxhall has its own part no for sealant, black stuff!

Good job the dont run these xes in cruise ships, environmental disasters! Exxon vaddez wouldnt have a look in!

Someone once said, the got it too oil tight, kept blowing out, pressurising the dipstick, weird!

Think the key is good oilseals, and gaskets, not ebay specials! And plenty of sealant



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  • 2 weeks later...

I held the engine in place with a engine crane and dropped the whole crossmember assembly.  Got the sump off and changed the gasket.  Re assembled everything and left it for 48 hours before filling it with oil and testing it again.

The sump has stopped leaking, but the oil pump gasket was weeping - tightened the bolts and all looks ok.  Went to put the timing belt cover on to notice that there's a small leak from the exhaust cam seal, I'll sort that out another time.

Also wired up a light and switch for the engine diagnosis to find that the hall sensor on the distributor has failed.  This car is determined to stay in hibernation!

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ive been told to use EcoTec gasket for the sump. Never really see many issues with leaky sumps on ecotecs.


My sump gasket leaked when I first built it up and put the engine in. So i had to lift the engine out slightly and drop the front axle all at the same time to re do it. (luckily the garage i worked for at the time has pits, an over head gantry and some 12ton pit jacks)


I used bond and seal black mastic, on both sides, with new gasket.



It still leaks..............


And so does the crank seal, 2 new seals and its still leaking. Maybe the cranks gone oval :(

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