95 7.3 oil leak from intake - can it be fixed without removing the cylinder head? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:55 PM
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95 7.3 oil leak from intake - can it be fixed without removing the cylinder head?

I have an oil leak that drove me nuts trying to diagnose. I did eventually figure out where it is coming from, but now I need to figure out how to fix it...

It originates in the valley area but does not run out the hole in the back of the valley - the valley itself is completely clean & dry. The leak runs along the crack between the left cylinder head and the block (where the head gasket is), from front to back, and then runs down the back of the block above the starter and ends up dripping from the corner of the manual transmission housing or pooling up in the flywheel cover. Cleaning everything off and running for 100 miles or so, the oil starts to show up in a non-visible area under the rectangular shaped intake adapter and follows the head gasket gap to the back of the engine. I was unable to tell (and neither was a Ford Truck dealership mechanic) whether the leak is from the cylinder head, head gasket, or the intake seal to the head (there is no gasket there, just sealer). So what I did was shove some RTV silicone into about a 1 inch section of that head gasket gap near the back of the engine behind the intake in order to make a 'dam' type of thing, which worked - now the oil hits that dam of silicone and runs down into the valley instead of following the head gasket gap around the back of the cylinder head & block.

All this has led me to hypothesize that the leak is from that "intake adapter" as it is called in the service manual - the rectangular metal thing bolted to the head and with a round connection where the turbo charged air tube goes in.
Now in my mind there should not be any oil in there, right? That is only air coming from the turbo and going into the combustion chambers? But the dealership guy says those intake seals do leak oil, so that makes me think the turbo is sending oil into the air intake system or something. But I am not having any unusual smoke or drivability issues so I'll cross that turbo bridge when it becomes a problem.

So my current situation is that I would like to remove and re-seal that passenger-side intake adapter. The service manual says (as does the hourly-paid dealership mechanic) that the cylinder head must come off the engine in order to remove the intake adapter; it is not servicable with the head attached to the block.
It looks to me like it would be possible to get that intake off except for one bolt which is wedged up against the front cam gear cover at the very front top of the engine. There's no way that bolt is coming out without either removing the head or the cam gear cover.

Has anyone else seen this same intake oil leak problem? Anyone ever manage to get the intake off without removing the head? Did it fix the leak?
Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:12 AM
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I know the engine must come out to remove the front cover. The oil pan seals to it, and the oil pickup tube bolts to the front cover. I just pulled my engine because of a crack in the front cover. major pain in the ***. hope this helps.
may as well replace the turbo o rings while your in there.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:25 AM
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Yeah I had to pull the engine a couple years ago because the oil pan had rusted through (I live in Minnesota, where they salt the roads but not the popcorn). Not really a difficult job as far as pulling diesel engines goes, but still a lot of time and effort. I just hate the fact that to do nearly any engine repair - even an intake manifold or front cover - the first step is "remove engine from vehicle"...
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:54 AM
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Well.....I would take a good hard look at the plugs, (or the fitting for the high pressure oil feed line TO the heads), that seal up the High Pressure Oil rails that run along each head....it very well could be one of those leaking.....spray the whole thing down with brakekleen and dry it off .... then run it and get a good light and see if one of those is leaking....the o-rings get hard and leak after a while...and the plugs are loctited in, and you need to loctite them BACK in when changing the o-rings....

reason I mentioned this possibility, is that one on the front of mine went to leaking, and it ran down the EDGE of the front of the intake, and right exactly where you say yours is leaking, and then right along under the intake..... it wasn't much of a leak, and extremely hard to find..... easy fix tho....
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:05 PM
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Thanks for the tip. I did clean off the back of the head and verified that those plugs were not leaking, and the oil hose seems to be OK on both ends.
Where are the plugs on the front like you describe? On the actual front face of the head (like behind the alternator), or on the side of the head above the intake?
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:47 PM
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I was talking about the fittings that the High Pressure lines connect to, they also are o-ring fittings, and will leak eventually......
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