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sump cracked- need temporary fix for leak

Posted by nomis3613 
Hi All,
Can you suggest a DIY bandaid fix to stop a cracked sump from dripping until I can get it fixed properly?

I was enjoying a great drive down a dirt road and, sure enough, the vulnerably-low M20 sump hit a rock and now has a crack which is slowly dripping. I'm going on holidays (not in the E30) in a couple of days and don't have time to get it fixed before then, so I'm just looking for a DIY way to stop the leak until I can get it fixed in a fortnight's time.

If necessary, I can avoid driving the car until it's fixed properly, just need something that will avoid me losing all my oil and getting kicked out of my apartment for leaking oil in the carpark!

Thanks heaps,
Simon



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2010 05:43AM by nomis3613.
I can't think of a way to fix that short of pulling it off and welding it. If it were me, for a quick solution I think I'd park the car where it could stay for a while, and then drain all the oil so that it didn't leave a big mess all over the ground. There will probably be residual oil still seeping through the crack, so I'd also leave a pan under there to catch the drips while I was away.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
rkj
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nomis3613
Hi All,
Can you suggest a DIY bandaid fix to stop a cracked sump from dripping until I can get it fixed properly?

I was enjoying a great drive down a dirt road and, sure enough, the vulnerably-low M20 sump hit a rock and now has a crack which is slowly dripping. I'm going on holidays (not in the E30) in a couple of days and don't have time to get it fixed before then, so I'm just looking for a DIY way to stop the leak until I can get it fixed in a fortnight's time.

If necessary, I can avoid driving the car until it's fixed properly, just need something that will avoid me losing all my oil and getting kicked out of my apartment for leaking oil in the carpark!

Thanks heaps,
Simon

This will work if you can get the crack to stop oozing oil, you might try draining the oil and jacking the car up in such a way that the small amount of oil left in the pan will drain in another area. Clean the crack with thinner and then alcohol after scuffing the whole area with 100 grit sandpaper, and then clean again with the alcohol (99% pure stuff, alcohol usually comes with oil mixed in). Then give the crack and 1/2 inch surrounding a blister pack with JB weld on a warm day (you can force it with a bright lamp if the day is damp or cold); a blister pack is nothing more than a piece of two inch masking tape over the mended area to force the JB stuff into the crack and hold the goo in place till it hardens.

A true blister pack is used in fiberglass repairs with clear plastic sheet and you squeegee the bubbles out of the repaired area under pressure from the pack.

Good luck, Rick
Thanks guys.

Rick, I got the JB Weld and my DIY Blister Pack looks pretty dodgy, so fingers crossed it holds. Will this survive a sump's operating temperature for the odd trip or 2, or do I need to avoid using the car until I take it somewhere to get a proper fix?
I've seen guys repair stripped cylinder head bolts with JB weld. It is pretty hardy stuff.

alan
rkj
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nomis3613
Thanks guys.

Rick, I got the JB Weld and my DIY Blister Pack looks pretty dodgy, so fingers crossed it holds. Will this survive a sump's operating temperature for the odd trip or 2, or do I need to avoid using the car until I take it somewhere to get a proper fix?

Yes, as Alan points out, it's mighty tough stuff but everything has to be hospital clean for the JB stuff to stick and work right, I've got it on one of my motorcycles (yup, on the alloy oil pan) and it's held for two years without a drop of leakage. I have a new pan but haven't got a chance to pull it down yet.

I do feel better having the pan in stock though eye rolling smiley

It sounded like your leak was a slower constant type so if you monitor it with a piece of cardboard under the pan you should be able to keep tabs on it. Did you drain the oil and clean that crack the best possible?, did the crack stop oozing oil before the JB weld went on??

Rick
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nomis3613

Will this survive a sump's operating temperature for the odd trip or 2, or do I need to avoid using the car until I take it somewhere to get a proper fix?

I fixed a hole in the top of one of my VW crankcases with JB weld at least 10 years ago. It's still doing just fine. If you get it in there right, it'll last as close to forever as you'll need.

John
Cool! That would be a great bonus if it could actually be the permanant fix.

My feeble first attempt didn't hold, I'll try harder to get it "hospital clean" (!) tonight and have another go.
To prevent busted oil pans, get yourself one of these. They're worth their weight in oil.

Custom made Skid Plate for E30: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=111469


rkj
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Ferdinand
To prevent busted oil pans, get yourself one of these. They're worth their weight in oil.

Custom made Skid Plate for E30: http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=111469


That looks like a nice shield Ferdy, but can you change the oil with it in place, and do you get brackets???

Rick
Isn't the round hole the access to the drain plug?


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rkj
That looks like a nice shield Ferdy, but can you change the oil with it in place, and do you get brackets???

You get that bag of necessary nuts and bolts, and instructions. No brackets required.

You do need to drill 7 holes in the lower rad support to attach the front end of the plate. The two holes in the lip at the back end of the plate line up with the bolts of the steering rack where it mounts onto the suspension crossmember. You use those same bolts. It's a slick setup.

This photo shows the skid plate installed, with the normal plastic splash shield removed. After installing the skidplate the splash shield goes back on so you don't see that row of shiny bolt heads.

The circular hole in the skidplate lines up with the oil drain plug. If you're careful the oil drains out cleanly without touching the plate. If you're not careful it splashes onto the plate and makes a mess.


rkj
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Ferdinand


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rkj
That looks like a nice shield Ferdy, but can you change the oil with it in place, and do you get brackets???

You get that bag of necessary nuts and bolts, and instructions. No brackets required.

You do need to drill 7 holes in the lower rad support to attach the front end of the plate. The two holes in the lip at the back end of the plate line up with the bolts of the steering rack where it mounts onto the suspension crossmember. You use those same bolts. It's a slick setup.

This photo shows the skid plate installed, with the normal plastic splash shield removed. After installing the skidplate the splash shield goes back on so you don't see that row of shiny bolt heads.

The circular hole in the skidplate lines up with the oil drain plug. If you're careful the oil drains out cleanly without touching the plate. If you're not careful it splashes onto the plate and makes a mess.


Sounds and looks like a winner Ferdinand, anybody who has put an oil pan on an E30 should see this as a cheap insurance policy thumbs up

Rick
And oil on the bottom of the car prevents it from rusting smiling smiley
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rkj
It sounded like your leak was a slower constant type so if you monitor it with a piece of cardboard under the pan you should be able to keep tabs on it. Did you drain the oil and clean that crack the best possible?, did the crack stop oozing oil before the JB weld went on??
Rick

Despite my pathetic initial attempt, it actually sealed the main leak so now it's dripping slow enough that I would be happy to leave it for a week with a drip can. But anyway, I decided to have a better 2nd attempt last night- hopefully it will fix the sump permanantly and I will have a car that doesn't need immediate fixing when I get back in a week's time.

Regardless of what happens with this sump, I'll get a spare sump off a wrecker cos I know it could happen again.

Thanks,
Simon
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nomis3613
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rkj
It sounded like your leak was a slower constant type so if you monitor it with a piece of cardboard under the pan you should be able to keep tabs on it. Did you drain the oil and clean that crack the best possible?, did the crack stop oozing oil before the JB weld went on??
Rick

Despite my pathetic initial attempt, it actually sealed the main leak so now it's dripping slow enough that I would be happy to leave it for a week with a drip can. But anyway, I decided to have a better 2nd attempt last night- hopefully it will fix the sump permanently and I will have a car that doesn't need immediate fixing when I get back in a week's time.

Regardless of what happens with this sump, I'll get a spare sump off a wrecker cos I know it could happen again.

Thanks,
Simon

Hi Simon,

While I have little practical advice to help, perhaps you will settle for some amusement instead.

Rejoice that your car does not look like the monster below which apparently requires both an oil pan accessory and a tire block chained to the front bumper for parking on level ground. At least the beast has the honestly of olive drab paint and no chrome fittings. I snapped this shot during a trip to New York City. Although not inherently obvious in the photo, the driver has chosen to park along side a yellow curb at Carnegie Hall.



Kelly
I had no idea that such a vehicle was required for travelling in NYC :tongue:

As for the E30 sump, my 2nd JB Weld attempt was much better but still not perfect. Enough for a small bowl to contain the drips while I was away though.
rkj
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nomis3613
I had no idea that such a vehicle was required for travelling in NYC :tongue:

As for the E30 sump, my 2nd JB Weld attempt was much better but still not perfect. Enough for a small bowl to contain the drips while I was away though.

Perseverance furthers, old Taoist saying smiling smiley

Rick
I've driven the car a couple of times since I've been back, and I think the crack is growing. It is about 1/2" long and right in the front-right corner of the oil pan. Would welding (proper, not JB ) stop the crack from growing? Or is the oil pan now destined for the scrap heap?

Thanks,
Simon



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2010 08:23PM by nomis3613.
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nomis3613
Would welding (proper, not JB ) stop the crack from growing? Or is the oil pan now destined for the scrap heap?

Thanks,
Simon

Welding should fix it. It would be even better if you can drill a small hole at each end of the crack to eliminate the end of the crack that's trying to spread.

John
Thanks John.

The permanent fix with be a change-over oil pan (avoids the time the car is off the road dragging out while waiting for an aluminium welder). A reco'd oil pan is ~US$175 which seems fair enough, but 2 independant workshops have said about US$350 in labour to swap the oil pan. That's more than a timing belt swap! They say it's a hard job, so I think I'll cough up the cash and leave it to the experts, but I'm just wondering why is it such a big job?? (my car is right hand drive, by the way) Has anyone here done it themselves?
rkj
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nomis3613
Thanks John.

The permanent fix with be a change-over oil pan (avoids the time the car is off the road dragging out while waiting for an aluminium welder). A reco'd oil pan is ~US$175 which seems fair enough, but 2 independant workshops have said about US$350 in labour to swap the oil pan. That's more than a timing belt swap! They say it's a hard job, so I think I'll cough up the cash and leave it to the experts, but I'm just wondering why is it such a big job?? (my car is right hand drive, by the way) Has anyone here done it themselves?

I've done it and It is a pain in the ass job; it'll be 350 well spent smileys with beer
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