Trans/Engine Seal Leak?

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Nov 27, 2003
I've been watching this and although it never collects enough to drip, it def. is leaking or "sweating" or whatever. It is coming from the Tranny/engine seal- red arrow
Do I need to check further for something less obvious or is this a straighforward gasket replacement? It isn't a problem so I just plan on leaving it be for now- replacing that seal looks to be a all-day $$ affair. Bet that gasket only cost $30 too...:eek:

oil leak

yeah, think thats the rear main oil seal. Mine has a slow leak that drips right on the sway bar. weird...usually more on short trips than long ones. Has been that way for 5-6 years and hasn't got any worse. using Maxlife...prolly helps. not gonna hurt anything, I hafta add a 1/2 quart between oil changes but thats it. I would say no worries!
Qualify what's dripping first. Either engine oil or 'red' tranny oil.

In either case, the tranny could be dropped and seal(s) replaced.

Engine oil leak = rear main seal
Tranny leak = rubber rind seal around the oil pump and the paper gasket that is in between the pump and the tranny housing.

If you're only dripping a few drops, 'fa getta about it'. The 3FE are far more prone to leaks that FZ's.
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It's pretty common. Most often associated with a break in the seal between the upper oil pan and the rear main seal retainer. Second to that would be a rear main seal leak. The seal between the upper oil pan and retainer arch/engine block is Formed In Place Gasket (FIPG) sealer, and although the parts for this fix amount to about $20, the fix is a PITA because you have to raise the motor off the mounts about an 1 1/2" to get the pan out. Probably a full two dayer for a first timer. Personally, if it's not bad I'd leave it be.

To learn more, do a search using "retainer arch", and "rear main seal".


P.S., I've had a seep from the PHH manifest itself in this area two, so if you're using Green, there's an outside chance of it being that.
I agree with the forget about it. Eventually you won't be able too. It is suspicious for a rear main seal, or tranny input seal. Is it oil or ATF? Either one will be a complex DIY project. I don't know where a pan gasket leak can occur on an 80 but that would also be something to consider.

See you next week FirstToy!
thanks fellas, I'm just getting to know the engine and really eyeballing everything slowly as I have a few min. here and there.

-at this point it isn't even dripping, just kinda collecting there and probably blows back as I drive

-it is engine oil, not tranny red

-I read many rr main leak threads that end up being the pan. I made sure it was coming from the rr main and not elsewhere- def. from where the arrow is.

anyways, as I looked at it, I thought to myself "you know, this is gonna be one of those $30 parts w/ $700 labor charge"... hehe, guess I was right on that count.

Thanks, mind at ease. Checking off the list for now... :)
Rookie2 said:
P.S., I've had a seep from the PHH manifest itself in this area two, so if you're using Green, there's an outside chance of it being that.

The truck was sitting for awhile so it's def. not from the PHH. Believe it or not, it seems the PO changed the PHH. It looks new, green stripe too I think.
Mine seeps there as well. I usually isn't too bad on my truck, but I just switched to M1 10-30 Extended life and it's seeping a bit more now. Also the front of my oil pan is seeping again as well. I probably should have stuck with the Chevron Delo, but I got lazy.

I've been putting the fix off since it is a pain.
Sorry no to Hijack this thread but i have tranny leaks (red one).Just drip little everytime i warmed up the truck in the morning.What do i need to fix (replace)?
Start by tightening the 22 10mm bolts that hold the pan to the tranny body.
Then wipe down.
After, look to see if it still leaks. If so, then replace the tranny pan.

After which you notice it's still leaking (hopefully not from the pan gasket) then you'd have to drop the tranny to replace seals, gaskets, yah'd. . yah'd.
I can tell from the photo that it's oil - looks just like some heavier oil and it will leak less. Oil leaking from the holes in the front skid plate is probably a leaking oil pump gasket. You might want to check there too.

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