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-   -   Oil Leak From Exhaust Manifold Gaskets? Help Please. (https://www.yotatech.com/forums/f116/oil-leak-exhaust-manifold-gaskets-help-please-272196/)

jonschwenke 08-16-2013 06:09 PM

Oil Leak From Exhaust Manifold Gaskets? Help Please.
Hi, I believe this is my first post here, but I have come here several times for info and ideas. Thanks. I have a 92 Pickup 2wd w/ 22re engine.

I noticed some serious smoking coming from under the hood at the exhaust manifold. I pulled the heat shield, pressure washed the engine and started up and let it idle. It smoked a little from remaining surface oil burning off the manifold and pipe. After that, nothing. I figured I may have spilled some oil since I had done a recent oil change. I moved the truck back to the driveway and it started smoking again. Popped the hood and saw what looks like oil seeping from every gasket on the exhaust manifold. The one between the manifold and the block, and the ones between the "brass pipe" mounted to the manifold. I'm not very familiar with these engines since I haven't had to do hardly ANY repairs since we've owned it. Just basic maintenance.

I'm going to replace the exhaust manifold and gaskets, but I'm wondering if this problem is something worse than just some shot gaskets. Seems kinda strange that 3 gaskets would all start leaking at once. Also, I'm not certain how oil would leak from there. Exhaust gasses I can fathom, but oil?

Please help with diagnosing any other issues it could be, or ideas, or other areas to check. Thanks all.

RSR 08-16-2013 06:43 PM

You're exhaust manifold gasket should not be leaking oil, ever. They'll leak exhaust fumes but not oil. Save yourself time and don't mess with that... But if you're for some reason getting oil out of there for certain, it's probably a head gasket issue allowing oil into the cylinder (but I don't think that's the case and exhaust would have been leaking before the oil started).

If it's right above your exhaust manifold, it sounds like it's probably coming from your valve cover gasket. Search on here for pretty extensive writeups. If replacing the valve cover gasket, it's also a good time to check your valve clearances.

RSR 08-16-2013 06:44 PM

Pictures always help too btw. Welcome to the forum.

SPARKS89 08-16-2013 07:01 PM

I'm gonna go with the valve cover gasket too. If you've got oil coming out of the exhaust manifold gasket you've got SERIOUS problems and you'd have noticed a lot of bad things happening long before now. Sounds to me like your valve cover gasket has gone bad and it's leaking down onto the exhaust manifold. Clean it up, start the engine and watch it til you see where the oil is coming out. The gasket is easy to replace. Just don't tighten down the cover too much when you reinstall it or your rocker arms will tap the inside of the cover and you'll scratch your hair off trying to figure out where the knocking came from all of a sudden.

jonschwenke 08-16-2013 07:35 PM

Thanks guys. The valve cover gasket may be leaking as well, but there really appears to be fluid seeping from those gaskets. I pressure washed the area and can clearly see it. Maybe it's fuel? Antifreeze? For the sake of argument are there any circumstances under which that could occur? Blown head gasket? Cracked head? Warped head? Oil getting past the rings and blowing out the exhaust and seeping out compromised gaskets? Anything else? The fluid does seem clearish, but the oil is fresh... No overheating, but oil and coolant levels were low. Coolant had not been checked in a while. BTW the fluid is on the MANIFOLD side of the gasket at the top, which is why it seems unlikely a valve cover gasket. Also, it's leaking from the gaskets between the "brass pipe" and the manifold. What is that BTW?

I will take a closer look tomorrow and maybe a pic.

Thanks again.

SPARKS89 08-16-2013 07:39 PM

If you have bad piston rings or maybe a bad valve seal you MIGHT have the piston pushing oil out of the exhaust, but it would have to be a pretty good leak for that to happen and I'm sure you'd have other things going on caused by that that you would notice. Have you done a compression test?

jb451 08-17-2013 01:28 AM


Originally Posted by SPARKS89 (Post 52108949)
If you have bad piston rings or maybe a bad valve seal you MIGHT have the piston pushing oil out of the exhaust, but it would have to be a pretty good leak for that to happen and I'm sure you'd have other things going on caused by that that you would notice. Have you done a compression test?

^^I was going to go with this. But like others have said, you would have noticed the engine running like a turd if that were the case though. Have you noticed the engine eating oil lately?

jonschwenke 08-20-2013 12:20 PM

Ok guys... Here's the deal thus far....and thanks for all the support.

I think I've figured it out...mostly....maybe. The valve cover gasket appears to have been the source of the oil leak. However, there are some other circumstances of note. Oil leaking from the valve cover gasket was pooling on the engine side. It was then (I believe) wicking through the manifold bolt holes via a faulty gasket and coming through on the manifold side behind the bolt heads and nuts. Further, the rivets holding the heat shield portion of the manifold gasket on were allowing oil to pass to the manifold side. I have some pics for you.

This photo shows the discoloration from the oil leak. Kind of odd how much is actually on the manifold.


After watching the engine idle for a while I notice a bubble every now and then come from behind a nut and a bolt head .. the ones on either side of my finger.


This photo shows the leaking rivets and leaking nut.


So, in conclusion, you guys were right about the VCG. My exhaust manifold and gaskets also appear to be faulty. I will be replacing them next.

Thanks again for the diagnosis, and hopefully you learned something too! I sure did.

BTW what is that brass pipe? Some kind of EGR tube? Oil reclamation tube? And how bad does this color look.... approx 198k mi. Looks pretty burnt to me, but I've never had any overheating issues...unless my temp sender or gauge is bad.

RSR 08-20-2013 01:22 PM

Looks like standard oil residue/sludge build up. Try running some Amsoil engine cleaner through it. My oil was copper/amber color and came out coffee/dark chocolate black after running it for 12 minutes per instructions.

Really quieted down my engine and is also supposed to help with lubrication and eliminate hot spot spots in the engine...


jonschwenke 08-27-2013 10:55 PM

Oil leak diagnosis...Wrong again!!
The truck started smoking again today. The manifold had lot of oil on it...and the underside of the hood had some drops on it...HMM. After some further observation I noticed a tiny bit of fluid on the lower power steering lines. I checked the power steering reservoir...nearly empty. I filled it and started turning the steering wheel back and forth. Guess what! When I turned the wheel almost all the way to either side pinhole in a hose was shooting power steering fluid onto the manifold! There was very little fluid anywhere else. Not even where it was coming out of the hose. That has got to be one of the weirdest things. We were all wrong. I'm glad I figured it out finally. But I still will probably replace the manifold and gaskets because of the noticed bubbling at the nut and bolt heads. Outrageous!

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