Author Topic: Oil, Oil, Everywhere...  (Read 2592 times)

116.025

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Oil, Oil, Everywhere...
« on: 24 April 2007, 11:16 AM »
So I'm used to running quite a bit of oil through my 280SE, since it takes a quart every 200-400kms, thanks to worn-out valve stem seals and some leaks, but something happened last night.  I had just added a fresh quart, and took off to the post office, and was headed out of town to meet a friend, when I stopped at a traffic light.  As I stopped, I realized a cloud of blue smoke came with me, and continued to build as I sat there at the light, coming out from under the hood, which meant, since I had the blower on high, I got a good chance to smell (and choke on) it.  It smelled like oil burning.  Pressure was ok, but I quickly U-Turned and went back to the house.  Oil was dripping profusely off of the pan and the frame member that runs underneath the engine.  My first thought out on the road was that an oil cooler line had ruptured, but no.  In fact, the most puzzling part was that the source was not obvious at all.  For all that smoke, I would have expected to see the source, since it was apparently throwing oil on the exhaust.  And after being back at the house, the dripping slowed quite a bit, leaving me rather befuddled, since it looked like I had lost most of the quart I had added before the less than 10 mile trip to the post office.

Gents, I seek counsel on where to look first.  Granted, I didn't take an in depth look last night, but like I said, there wasn't a clear source, which was what surprised me.  Any brainstorming, ideas, and/or suggestions from you knowledgeable gentlemen is appreciated.

Ah well, for a car with just over 448,000 kms of which I've put ~57,000 of them on there with only brake pads and an alternator, I'm certainly not complaining, I just don't like to see my trusty friend (for lack of a better analogy) bleeding like that.  And since my 350 needs a chain tensioner, and my sister is borrowing my 420SEL, I'm having to borrow Dad's 300SDL, so I'm hoping to get one of my 116s back in a position I'm comfortable with driving ASAP.
Chad Johnson

'77 280SE Euro (4-Spd) Sold 1/5/09
'71 220D (4-spd)
'77 280SEL Euro (4-Spd) RIP
'89 420SEL
'78 350SE Euro
'86 300E 5-Spd RIP by Chevy S10
'83 380SL
"Don't Worry, Bobby, even a worn out Mercedes is better than a 2010 cracker-jack box

Mercules

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Re: Oil, Oil, Everywhere...
« Reply #1 on: 24 April 2007, 05:22 PM »
Gents, I seek counsel on where to look first.

Having just removed one of these engines I can agree with Pat
Its quite normal for a worn engine to be covered in oil, as the rings wear and blow by increases, the crankcase pressure increases and the oil finds ways out everywhere it can.
All you can do is degrease the engine bay / engine / underbody as much as you can, top up the oil then start the engine. It will be pretty clear where the source of the leak is from here.

CHeers - Cam

WGB

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Re: Oil, Oil, Everywhere...
« Reply #2 on: 24 April 2007, 05:36 PM »
Sounds a bit severe for a leaking seal.
?leaking high pressure line ?Leaking oil filter ?Leaking Cam gasket - I don't really know the 280 motor.

Bill

oscar

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Re: Oil, Oil, Everywhere...
« Reply #3 on: 24 April 2007, 06:10 PM »
Man that sux.  FWIW, my 280S with suspected head gasket leak always emits blue smoke from the engine bay once the exhaust warms up.  As mercules suggested I cleaned the motor of sorts and found that oil leaks from the right side around the sensor box but particularly from the gaskets onto the exhaust manifold.  It's minor in comparison to your problem and since I put that leak sealer in the radiator then flushed it, it's not as bad as it was before.  Last time I started it up it didn't smoke but it needs cracking open nonetheless.

Here's where my oil leak comes from, right along this join.

1973 350SE, my first & fave

michaeld

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Re: Oil, Oil, Everywhere...
« Reply #4 on: 24 April 2007, 09:53 PM »
Another suggestion on locating the source of your leak.

Fourescent dye.  Pour a couple ounces in, get a UV light, turn the engine on, and watch for the bright green spot.

I've got a UV leak detector with dyes for oil, A/C refrigerant, and coolant.

s class

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Re: Oil, Oil, Everywhere...
« Reply #5 on: 24 April 2007, 11:18 PM »
Ah man I feel your pain.  I would agree that the first step is to degrease.  Then top up the oil and run up to temp at idle.  For the size of the leak you are talking about, it should be easy to see where the problemis.  If you don't see the problem, it may be related to :

a) pressure - ie you need to load the engine to get enough pressure to cause the leaking
b) oil 'position' - such as what patrick talks about - and agreed the front crank oil seal is a likely suspect here.

to diagnose these you would have to drive.  Initially only a short distance before reinspecting.  You want to reinspect before you've blown out so muchoil again that the source is disguised.

Good luck.  Please keep us updated on this.

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

116.025

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Re: Oil, Oil, Everywhere...
« Reply #6 on: 01 May 2007, 06:26 AM »
Good luck.  Please keep us updated on this.

Latest on my 280SE:

I did finally get around to degreasing the engine the other day while I was waiting for chain, tensioner, and etc for my 350SE.  Here's what I discovered:  in spite of putting it through a variety of conditions (gentle running, then high revs, then fast corners, then hard braking, trying each in isolation for a 1.5 km run to see which would cause fluid to be leaked...) to try to cause it to happen again I found all of...NOTHING.  Yes, I spotted a leak or two, but nothing that would be the volume I encountered when this post was inspired.

I also discovered that after having water in the engine bay for the degrease, it no longer hits on all 6 cylinders  >:(  I thought of you, Oscar, after cleaning my engine then it not running so well  ::)  I even replaced the spark plug wires, dizzy cap, and rotor trying to remedy it :-\  Ugh.  I'll post my weekend experience with my 350 (including a freakin' tow home  >:( >:() in another thread when I have a moment.
Chad Johnson

'77 280SE Euro (4-Spd) Sold 1/5/09
'71 220D (4-spd)
'77 280SEL Euro (4-Spd) RIP
'89 420SEL
'78 350SE Euro
'86 300E 5-Spd RIP by Chevy S10
'83 380SL
"Don't Worry, Bobby, even a worn out Mercedes is better than a 2010 cracker-jack box

oscar

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Re: Oil, Oil, Everywhere...
« Reply #7 on: 01 May 2007, 08:25 AM »
Oh man, what can I tell ya.   You remembered my wet engine troubles :D boy I don't want to ever go there again.  Wish I could tell you what to do or check but I have no tips for wet k-jet. 

I do however believe my woes were caused by two problems;

1.Wet electrics

2.Then trigger points which I played with before dousing the engine with water.

Since you don't have trigger points, I'd say leave the hood open and let it dry out.  It was mild weather coming out of winter (same as you now I suppose) and it took a week or so to dry out.

As for the smoke, I noticed this bomb 280se I picked up leaks thru an oil cooler hose and the pipe is squashed.  I haven't tracked these pipes all the way but regardless, I don't see how these could throw oil up onto the exhaust?  I do notice that this leak is worse when parked down an incline nose first.  Maybe if the your 280 was parked at different angle it could've passively leaked whilst inactive for a while but where from.  You'd think throwing it around like you did would've encouraged the leak to show itself.

BTW, I haven't forgotten about PMing my engine No, just been busy, then lazy to follow thru.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

Nutz

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Re: Oil, Oil, Everywhere...
« Reply #8 on: 01 May 2007, 08:14 PM »
A vacuum gauge is your friend when you need to determine if the head gasket is blown.
BTW,blue smoke indicates worn valve guides or worn rings.