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Old 02-05-2010, 10:24 PM   #1
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My pickup had an $1800 oil leak!

Not really SMB news, although it's the 7.3L engine. I've had an oil leak from the front crankshaft seal for some time now that I've been ignoring. It gets real bad (spots the driveway) when I change the oil, but then gets better as the oil thickens...

Well I haven't been watching the oil levels closely and the other day the truck wouldn't start. Turns out I was down a bit of oil- 5 quarts to be exact! That prompted me to look for a mechanic as there has been no oil on the driveway, no new leaks underneath and no obvious damage (honestly, I was expecting a quarter sized hole in the oil pan or something).

Anyway I found a highly recommended diesel shop (Antero Automotive and Diesel) in Lakewood and took it up there. The front crankshaft seal wasn't bad enough to account for more than a gallon and no spotting, so looked further which lead to my turbo.... the shaft was loose and that the oil was probably going past the seals and getting burned.

In addition I had a squeal in the front belt and a bad tensioner pully. Whether the turbo needed rebuilding was questionable, and the front housing around the crankshaft seal might have been bad. Since the housing was so expensive to replace (12 hours of labor!) they recommended I gamble on the seal being the only necessary fix. During the few hours I was in the waiting room I saw them treat a lot of customers very well, and almost all of their business was repeat.

In the end things were worse and better than they thought. I got a used replacement turbo (with upgrades!) for free, the crankshaft case did not need to be repaired, and they took an extra day to double-double check everything. It was dark by the time I got back so I haven't looked at the work, but it runs like a top (which admittedly it did before...) and I feel good about their thoroughness and the service.

The truck has had only two other < $400 problems in the nine odd years I've owned it, so I think that I was ahead of the service game before this happened, and since just the rebuild of the turbo would have been nearly $400 I think I got away pretty good with the truck all buttoned up for the next 100,000 or so... of course it's only got 55K on the clock, but I bought it with 22K and it has been sitting a lot in it's 11 years of existence.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:35 PM   #2
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Re: My pickup had an $1800 oil leak!

Well if it makes you feel any better, that probably would have been a $4000 - $5000 repair at a Ford dealership.

Yeah those kind of repairs hurt, but $1800 would only be about 4-6 months of payments on a new truck. You're well ahead of the game.


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