Timing Plate or Side Cover oil leak? - 1978 FJ40 2F (1 Viewer)

May 1, 2012
Nashville, TN
I've got an oily slimy mess from front to back on the lower half. Was planning to replace timing cover gasket and oil pan gasket, but now that I've torn into it and started cleaning things up a bit, I see there's a mess of oil that appears to be coming from either the timing plate or the front bottom of the side cover plate.

The first 2 pics are the mess before I cleaned it up.

The next 2 pics are after cleaning (but engine not started).

I'm somewhat intimidated with the idea of pulling the camshaft and all that goes with it to replace the timing plate gasket.

Any opinions as to whether this oil is coming from side cover VS timing plate? I'm definitely replacing side cover gasket at this point. Would it be unwise to leave the timing plate alone and hope the side cover is the culprit?

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