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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 Frontier XE crew cab LB 4x4 with auto trans. About 2 months ago my truck started leaking oil. Location seems to be from either the front of the oil pan or maybe front main seal. The leak started becoming a bit more noticeable so this past weekend i decided to drop the oil pan. Well after removing everything needed to get the oil pan down I cleaned everything up and replaced the front and rear grove gaskets (felpro) and re sealed the edges of the pan with high temp ultra black silicone that came with the felpro gaskets. I then re installed everything else and dropped the truck back down. I let the truck sit for about 24 hours before I filled the pan with oil. I then let it run for several minutes to check for any leaks but saw nothing so i thought i was good to go. So then on tuesday I decided to drive the truck to work, but made 2 stops on the way 2.5 hour drive. First stop was about 30 minutes into the drive to get gas and i noticed 1 small dime size drop of oil under the truck after sitting for about 5 minutes. My original thought was that it was probably residual oil from before that dripped down. I did a real good job cleaning the engine and everything when I put everything back in but i thought there was possibly still a chance something could drip down from a spot I didnt get. My second stop was to grab a bite to eat and I was parked for about 20 minutes. i looked under the truck again and had a volley ball size oil spot under the truck so i checked the oil and of course it was low so i added some to it. I knew i couldnt drive it around all week so i drove back home (2 hrs) and parked the truck back in my shop.
My question is have any of you changed your oil pan gasket that can give me pointers on making a better seal. It amazes me that nissan from the factory does/did not use a full pan gasket and would use a 2 part sealing system. My guess is i did not get a good seal somehow on the pan even though i used the required amount of RTV and torque'd the pan bolts to spec. I have not had a chance to get under the truck to verify that it is infact the oil pan but with as bad as it all the sudden started leaking after changing it I believe it has to be the culprit. Really chaps my buns because I put about 11 total hours into removing and re installing everything by myself to have it still leaking and, at that, leaking WAY worse. Can someone give me some advice on creating a better seal for the oil pan gasket?? Or is there another area which from experience you feel the oil could be coming from???? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I only get to spend 2 days on the weekend with my wife and son so when i waste 11 hours of time "not fixing" something is really frustrating. Im pretty mechanically savvy so its not like I'm a nub like I said i removed everything on saturday in time for dinner with the fam, and re-installed everything in time to watch my Pats win the superbowl.
 

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Use dye in your oil that will illuminate under UV light/bulb to find leaks. Best to clean engine first, then drive for a a couple hours. Your leak may be higher up such as a valve cover gasket?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought about doing that as well. May have to give it a shot. Thank you.
 

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If you re sealed the pan then you're probably mistaking it for a front crank seal leak, or less likely a front cam seal leak dripping down from the head through the timing cover

But more likely the crank seal. Mine leaked

The seal is very cheap


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If it got worse after you pulled the pan I wouldn't think your issue would be crank or cam seals. crankshaft and camshaft seals are cheap but they're a MF to get to. If you tear it down to replace the seals I'd replace the timing belt and components along with the water pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So tore it down to the oil pan again tonight just left it in to drain over night. Will pull the pan tomorrow. I put dye in it and used the UV light to help find the leak but not much help. Small leak from the front still dripping off the cover plate behind the harmonic balancer which is where the original leak was. However, the biggest leak is coming from the back of the engine either from dip in the oil pan or rear main seal. Thinking when I pull the pan down I may be able to tell better if it's the culprit again or narrow it down to the rear Seal. What do you guys think? Since I'm this far should I go ahead and replace the rear main Seal anyway? All that's left is unbolting the trans and rear drive shaft to slide it back enough to replace the seal.
 

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Rear main seal has been my leaking point, and I have the identical truck. I also need to replace a rusted oil pan, and have been reluctant to take on the project, you make it seem like it was no big deal, kudos to you! Did you do this in a home garage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a shop at my house so I have plenty of room but it could easily be done in a standard garage. First time took me about 5-6 hours to get the pan down but I had never done it before. Last night only took me about 2.5 hrs to get it down by myself. Besides basic wrenches and sockets all you need is a floor jack and stands. The higher you jack it up the more room you will have to work under it. These trucks have alot of sharp edges under them.
 

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I have a shop at my house so I have plenty of room but it could easily be done in a standard garage. First time took me about 5-6 hours to get the pan down but I had never done it before. Last night only took me about 2.5 hrs to get it down by myself. Besides basic wrenches and sockets all you need is a floor jack and stands. The higher you jack it up the more room you will have to work under it. These trucks have alot of sharp edges under them.
You should do a pic thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ha if I had the patience to do the uploading thing I would. I will give it a whirl putting it back up tho but won't be until next weekend. Waiting on my inch pounds torque wrench to come in for the oil pan bolts. I rented the last one but decided to buy it this time.
 

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Ha if I had the patience to do the uploading thing I would. I will give it a whirl putting it back up tho but won't be until next weekend. Waiting on my inch pounds torque wrench to come in for the oil pan bolts. I rented the last one but decided to buy it this time.
Got a question for anyonewho might have an answer.....my passengerside valve cover is in GFT leaking had been for awhile i did the left side and it sealedup perfect the right side however i changed twicein tree last month even iced boy blue devil and I'd its like a sieve its not warped tbere ate no scratches or gouges all tbough where the leak is (corner near fire wall low side) tbere is a few numbers stamped in to the head but the worst of art of the leak is just above the screw on tbe side that faces the fire wall what am i doing wrong ive tried toghte ing them snug. Smasheddown. As tight as i can....in the middlecouldnt tourqe them because i could not find an attchment to a phillips bit. For tourqe wrench. Am going to loosen and re-tourqe (i finallyfound something that i can use on the tourqe wrench) see if that di
Does it . if not I'll change again any advice on how to do it right thanks in advance
 

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Usually hand tightening the bolts will do just fine. Perhaps there is a problem with the valve cover that is causing it? You might consider dye testing so you can pinpoint exactly where the leak is coming from.
 
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