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Josh
Dodge Dakota
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11/04/2002
07:27:27

Subject: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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I went and got my oil changed last weekend and found out that my front oil seal is leaking. But, the thing that really torques me off is that the truck has on 24k miles on it and I baby the damn thing! Luckily, I have one more month under warranty to have it fixed. But, what are those monkeys going to have to do to my truck to fix it?!

Tell me, is it something to be very concerned about? To be honest, I have not had to add any oil between changes and I check it at every fill up. Also, I have read a bunch of posts from people with small leaks. Is it that bad? Will it get worse if I do not remedy it?

Help me out folks...

By the way, it is a 2000 RT CC.

Joshman



Dr. D
Dodge Dakota
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11/04/2002
07:59:08

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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Sometimes a front seal will leak and then stop leaking on an engine that is new or with low mileage.

I would wait until the last week of the warranty before you let someone replace the seal, Plus ... Check the crankcase ventilation system first for possible malfunctioning.

Dr. D



Josh
Dodge Dakota
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11/05/2002
07:23:05

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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Looks like it is the timing chain cover. At least, that is what the dealer told me.

I worry that it IS the front main seal but they just do not feel like fixing it under warranty!

Anyone run into that?



N.Fl.Dak
Dodge Dakota
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11/05/2002
11:36:03

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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Yes, I had the problem around 24K myself. They had to drop the tranny to replace it. Covered under warranty. Dealer claims it was a manufacturing defect and the seal got pinched at the factory.
Not really a big deal, other than the frustration and hassle of having a new truck with problems. It's the price we pay to drive American.
Good luck.



john hazelett
Dodge Dakota
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2/29/2004
13:11:52

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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i just noticed anoil leak from front engine seal at 24k miles. i hope that dodge dealer will fix it because i.m past my three years. dodge must be aware of this problem, why not a recall. i'd like to know what people think about living with the leak instead of fixing it. thanks



slickst6er
Dodge Dakota
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2/29/2004
14:59:56

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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american cars leak so you know where your parking spot is and when they aren't leaking - time to add oil.

They use cheap seals so they they save $20. it sucks. mine's leaking now. all the seals and gaskets suck. front, rear, tanny diff oil pan all show oil.




WipLash
R/T
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2/29/2004
15:08:20

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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N.FI.Dak,
Don't you mean the REAR engine seal? You don't have to pull the transmission to replace the front seal.

Josh,
You've got nothing to worry about. There is no front main seal. There is a front timing cover gasket and harmonic balancer seal. The oil from the front main simply drains back into the block. You could have a bad seal on the harmonic balancer. The seal is about $3.00. Throw the gasket away and use high temp ATV silicone (red) on the cover. It's not hard to do. This would be the best time to upgrade to a double roller timing chain. Even if you pay someone else to do it, all of the time consuming labor is already done when you go in to replace the seal. Just hand them the double roller timing chain and sprockets and have them install it when they replace the seal.

You don't want to put it off because the burnt hydrocarbons in the engine oil break down rubber parts quickly. The oil on your harmonic balancer will eventually break down the rubber cushion between the outer ring and the inner hub causing it to fail. It's also bad for your belts.



.boB
Dodge Dakota
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2/29/2004
18:45:06

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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Fortunatly, the seal is mounted to the cover from the outside. Not from the inside like a Ford. So you don't have to drop the oil pan or remove the front cover from the engine. Remove the balancer, pull out the seal, and put in a new one. There is a special tool available from Dodge to make this easier. Simple as that. In theory.

But the question you have to ask is, why is it leaking? A viton seal should last well over 100,000 miles if it's installed properly. When something breaks down, you need to understand why, or it will just happen again. So it either does not fit in the front cover properly, or the front cover is misaligned. If the seal didn't fit the front cover properly, a little silicone will fix that.

If the front cover is misalgined (most likely), it's a major job to fix. You have to remove all the front accessories, the oil pan, and the front cover. You need to drain the radiator, remove the fan, fan shroud and the bottom plastic pan, etc, etc, etc. It's a real pain.

On high mileage engines, the seal can actually wear a groove in the balancer shaft. A simple repair sleeve fixes that for less than $10. I've also seen the balance come loose on the crank snouts, and wobble just a little bit. I can't imagine that would happen after only 24K miles.

The dealer won't want to do this big job under warrenty. They will simply replace the seal and not check for proper alignment. So make sure that if they do this for you, they guarantee their work. If it starts leaking in another 20K miles because they didn't do it right, you'll be pissed.



Josh
Dodge Dakota
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3/01/2004
07:47:55

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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For me, it does not matter anyway anymore. My wife had a baby and I needed some family wheels. I sold the truck and bought a family 4-door...



Stevie P
Dodge Dakota
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5/18/2005
19:52:10

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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I'm on my second Dakota that leaks at the front crank seal! My '99 leaked right after warranty ran out. My '00 R/T leaks too at approx. 70k miles. This is obviously another one of those factory high-fail items that we have to deal with. I don't exactly like throwing money at it, but I love my R/T..so there!



Josh W
Dodge Dakota
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6/06/2005
12:00:48

RE: Front oil seal leak - HELP!
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Was just informed I have a front seal leak on an '02 3.9L Dakota and my warranty just ran out recently. Sounds like this is a common problem...





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