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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Afternoon,

Can someone confirm for me that the slot you look through in order to see if you have a rear seal leak is the circular one that is in the front of the transmission bell housing with three bolts holding it in place? Am I correct, that you just remove that to have a look and if there is oil inside the bell housing then it is indeed a rear seal leak. Many thanks. Ben.
 

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As it should be pretty dry inside the bellhousing, if you see fluid flowing inside, that's pretty much telling you that something is leaking in there. It could be the seal, but it could also be the torque converter itself. Do you see a trickle or do you actually see a flow of liquid in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi TheoR, The outside of that area is all soaking wet with oil but I cannot see where it comes from. Being a 96 there is no sump gasket but the sump was recently taken off and refitted after surfaces being cleaned also both the rocker gaskets were changed recently so it is unlikely coming from the top. Also it uses one hell of a lot of oil but the emissions are as good as when it was basically new and no smoke whatsoever from the exhaust under any circumstances whatsoever so it has to be an external leak, I have yet to open the inspection plate, just wanted to check that was the right place to look before removing it.I should add it is engine oil, not ATF.
 

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There isn't a hole to check rear seal,, you say no sump gasket, I can assure you that p38s do have a sump gasket,, there's a few spots that have a dab of silicon, I'm wondering if when replaced, they missed it out,, a picture would help so we can see where your talking about, but it seems you've covered both possible causes...
 

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I can assure you that p38s do have a sump gasket
I've had a Gems 4.6 engine series 46D (from 1996 ish) with a steel pan and a Bosch 4.6 series 60D (2000) with a alu pan.
The steel pan only needs RTV sealant as a gasket while the alu pan has a proper rubber gasket.
 

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Just to confirm, the GEMS sumps does not use a seal, only RTV sealant. The circular inspection hole will give you a clue, but you can also take off the plate on the lower halve of the bellhousing. That will give you a good view of the flywheel and torque converter and you should be able to feel the area around the rear crank seal as well. If you find oil, readish/sweet smelling points to ATF, dark would be engine oil.
 

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I stand corrected,14 rangies and all of mine have had gaskets, fact that oil is over the engine, I would say rocker covers, did they use cork or rubber
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all your input, all nice and dry in the bell housing, so pretty sure it is not the rear / main seal. Which was my only concern as the only seal that would be beyond fixing due to effort for now. Will begin to look else where for the leaks. New Rocker cover gaskets were rubber ones. and dry at that level even at the back.
 

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An often forgotten place to check for leaks is the valley pan end seals. If they were not perfectly aligned during assembly or during subsequent service or if the clamps have worked loose then the rear of the engine will get rather soaked in motor oil. From there the oil moves down the block and bell housing and rearward across the undercarriage.

As far as rocker covers it is rare that they fail as long as proper rubber gaskets with spacers are used and their proper torque is maintained. i for one have never seen cork gaskets for a P38, not even on the few 95s I have worked on. If someone is ending up with cork gaskets then it is another example of where aftermarket rubbish will cost you down the road.
 
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