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Old 10-02-2006, 11:19 AM
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Clean oil leaking, dirty oil on the dipstick?

Went to look at an 71 Chevy Nova that had a 350. The engine ran good, but one curious thing I noticed. There was a light leak, not certain where from, but the oil was collecting around the oil pan drain area. The oil that was leaking looked almost new, honey colored? The oil on the dip stick was dark, near black and had a normal used oil smell. The owner said the oil had been changed some 1000 miles earlier. Any ideas?

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Old 10-02-2006, 12:08 PM
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Rear main seal weeping. Take the drip from the drain plug you found and smear it on a piece of white paper. Then do the same with oil from the dipstick. I think you'll find they're remarkably close, but its quite possible that the leak drip came from 600 miles ago.

Oil only stays honey colored for a couple hundred miles before it mixes with other junk in the engine, so chances are the leaked oil was just from a few hundred miles ago.
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:05 PM
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I would think that the oil would have circulated enough over 1000 miles that the leaking oil would have turned the same color as the oil in the pan, maybe not? Anyway, no access to the car now.
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Old 10-02-2006, 05:25 PM
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Doc here,

Check for Brake fluid leaks..

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Old 10-02-2006, 05:56 PM
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Doc, I checked that at the time and it was definately oil.
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:06 PM
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Doc here,

Bout' the only other thing I can think of..Is the engine was a quart low BEFORE you got there..and the Seller is as nearsighted as me...and spilled some of it filling it up...

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Old 10-02-2006, 07:37 PM
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That's a possibility Doc!
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:06 PM
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JSdailey,

If it had a standard transmission it could have been gear lube leaking out of the front bearing cover and running down to the bottom of the engine.

Just thinking.

Scholman
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