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Hi all.

My son has an '04 D2 that we rebuilt the motor (it was given to him after the previous owner slipped a sleeve).

The rebuild was done about 9 months ago, and since then my son had put about 4,000 miles on it (about 800 of that on 500 and 300 mile day trips -- hey, we live in Texas, and people here will drive that far just for a good taco).

Since the rebuild, it has "consumed" oil and I have written several times about this. It will go 500-1,000 miles before the level on the dipstick drops from full to below add. 1-1.5 quarts tops it back up.

At first I thought it might be an issue with the rebuild (rings not seated right, bad break-in, etc.), however, on his recent trip home, I finally crawled underneath and am now concluding that the oil loss might just be the result of a bad seal at the rear main, oil pan or cuxiform seals as there is a building of oil at the base of the engine-tranny mating surface. There are no other leaks anywhere: the rest of the oil pan is clean and -drip dry, as are the valve covers, the front oil pump cover and the front main seal.

I have looked in the inspection hole at the bottom of the bell housing and there is oil there, however, it is limited to the very bottom of the bellhousing that there is no oil on the backplate of the engine (if there were, it would indicate a crank seal leak, right)

Also I would like to note that once the oil level gets below add (almost down to the little bakelite ball at the end of the dipstick), it seems to stop dropping further, leading me to believe that perhaps at that level, the oil is just at/below the top of the pan (can anyone confirm that?)

So a couple of questions:

1. can I drop the oil pan without de-mating the tranny and engine? (I can;t remember from the rebuild whether there was a lip there)

2. can I remove the crankshaft cap with the cruxiforms and holding in the crank seal without de-mating? Do I want to do that?

I am really thinking (hoping) that the issue is at either the oil pan seal or the cruxiform seals (and not the crank seal), especially as we had one hell of a time getting that cap back in once we had put in new cuxiforms (we spent 4-5x the aftermarket price for genuine LR seals as I was told that the engine seals was one place where you don't want to skimp on aftermarket stuff.

BTW, we used the real expensive ($25/tube) hylomar stuff that the shop manual specs rather than just some permatex, however we might have put it on too thin or let it skin-up too much before we got the cap back on.

And one final note: Either when we put the engine back together or beforehand, one of the holes for the two long engine-to-tranny mating bolts on the very bottom of the engine got stripped and we just left that bolt off figuring that the other 12+ bolts holding the engine to the bell housing were enough. We didn't discover it was stripped until we had the engine back in and mated to the tranny -- you know how hard that is -- and frankly didn't want to pull the engine out again just to put a helicoil in.

My son is planning on driving it to Colorado in about a month for spring break and I would like to see if I can fix this before then -- otherwise I will have to send him with a case of oil so he can add a quart at every fill-up.

Any thoughts, advice or similar experience would be appreciated.

Otherwise, the D2 has been great. We had the three amigos that required a going thru a standard plug-in sensor and new rear bearing (neither were probably not needed) before doing the end-to-end sensor wiring replacement (the original wiring with the connector at the hub end was showing 6ohms), a new MAF sensor and a new thermostat (the new 180 degree one we put in with the rebuild stuck open after 3-4 months). The thing runs like a champ and even cooperated by not throwing any codes before we go it inspected.
 

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From your detailed description, it does sound like it may be the back of the pan and yes you can drop the pan without detaching from the trans.
Dropping the pan should give you a better idea of the cause.
I would not consider dropping the main cap!
If it is the rear main, it will not give you the acces you need anyway. If it is the rear main toy will likely need to either pull the engine or transmission ( transmission is likely less work, no fun and definitely not light, pretty sure it weighs more than the engine)
Hope that helps somewhat
 
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