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  #1  
Old 04-23-2012, 05:11 PM
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Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

After a few weeks of procrastination I finally crawled under my SVX this afternoon. I was mainly looking for the source of a rattle and the small oil leak. I got a bonus surprise under the hood.

I have an oil leak that seems to be dripping down in the general vicinity of the inside of the front drivers side axel. It's hard to tell because the whole area is covered in oil. I looked around everywhere I could see both below and above the area and I cannot find an obvious place where the oil is leaking. Can someone give me some direction on how to go about finding the source? Any picture you have for reference would be great too. My mechanic skills are mediocre and best and the SVX is brand new to me. Here is a pic that probably won't help any, lol:


Next is a rattle that I assumed was exhaust related just by the sound. It's somewhere on the driver's side front, is usually only audible when slowly accelerating as slow speeds, and seems to go away mostly, if not entirely when the engine is warmed up. I got to (literally) poking around and I could recreate a similar sound from what appears to be just a cover bolted over the exhaust after the drivers side cat. The passenger side just has plain exhaust pipe here. Is that likely to be my source of the rattling? Is that piece vital or can I just remove it? Here is a pic that shows the passenger side with plain exhaust pipe on the left and the driver's side with what looks like just a cover bolted over it on the right:


Finally I found an important looking part just sitting loose on top of my alternator when I popped the hood. It looks like it could possibly be some sort of check valve because there is a cylinder inside that slide back and forth freely. Any idea what part apparently has fallen off of my SVX?





Any help you can offer is appreciated! I'd really love to get everything fixed up and keep this car a long time! I love it so far!
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2012, 05:38 PM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

Rattle is the exhaust cover . Put there so if you go on a leaf covered road you won't start a fire . Looks like the PO removed the pass side already. Oil leak , could not begin to take a good guess. Could be a number of places. That looks and sounds like it might be an old removed PCV valve PO left there.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:02 PM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

Thank you
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:34 PM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

I used to just remove heat shields like that one when they started rattling. My new favorite 'fix' is much quicker.

Drill a very small pilot hole in the heat shield, but not the pipe itself. The heat shield is much thinner, so this is not difficult to do.

Get a sheet metal screw, and zip it into the hole you just drilled. You just want it in far enough to contact the pipe inside, maybe press against the pipe a little.

Viola. Now it can't rattle, so you have a quiet heat shield.

When it comes to your oil leaks, it really could be coming from anywhere. With that much oil, I suspect the valve cover gaskets.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:21 PM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

It appears that someone has already butchered your exhaust.

Start saving up for a front main seal, cam seal, and valve cover gasket replacement. The good news is you can put these off as long as you can stand the smell of burnt oil and the cost of topping off the oil as needed. The bad news is, the burnt oil smoke gets increasingly embarrassing.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:47 PM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

I had a leak in that area that I just had fixed, it was leaking transmission fluid from where the soft transmission lines attached to the metal ones. Tranny oil was dripping all over the axles and powersteer rack. It looked just like yours does.
And yes that is a pcv valve, I agree it was probably left there by accident, they are not going to just fall out since one side is screwed in an the other is attached to a hose.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:02 PM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

Do I suck it up and go to a professional to at least diagnose the source of the leak? I can do fine with most work that doesn't require a lot of specialty tools if I have good directions, but I don't want to start just buying parts and replacing things until I luck into finding the right source.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:14 PM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

What year is your SVX? Unless you can prove it's been done recently, you're pretty much guaranteed to need your valve cover gaskets replaced- it's a safe, relatively cheap and easy place to start. Lots of information on how to do it here. If that stops the leak, you're lucky- it could be any number of things in that area.

I'd try to identify the fluid if you haven't already-- reddish is transmission or power steering fluid (both use ATF), brown/black is oil and could be coming from the engine itself or the front diff I suppose. Of course oil tends to travel and doesn't necessarily drip down from its point of origin. If you have a newer SVX (I thing '94 or newer) it could be the oil separator plate on the back of the engine. Subaru changed the design from a metal one in '92 to a plastic one that tends to crack and leak. The revised replacement one is metal-- go figure!

Good luck! I have leaks in that area I've been trying to get stopped for nearly 2 years. ALL old Subarus leak though- it just comes with the territory.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:17 AM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

Try cleaning everything really well. Then check daily to see where the leak is starting from. If that doesn't work, you could look into a dye. You could get a dye kit for less than it would cost to take it to a mechanic. Get a new tool out of it too!
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:53 AM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

I am 90% sure it's oil and my car is an early 92
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:37 AM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

if you know a good mechanic they can smoke the crankase to find leaks. they pressurize the crankcase with a thin white smoke and then wherever it comes out is leaking. generally not an expensive thing to do as there is very little work involved.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:08 PM
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

I've been advised I may as well do plugs if I am already going to do the valve cover caskets. Are there any plugs for the SVX that are particularly good or bad?
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:45 AM
92snowmachine 92snowmachine is offline
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Re: Please help me with leaking oil, rattling exhaust and what is this part?

i used the denso iridium power plugs, have noticed no difference between them and the ngk platinums last time (i do plugs about once a year) but no complaints either. basically if you get something that isn't a copper core plug you should be ok.
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1992 SVX
1979 K5 Blazer Cheyenne
1956 Plymouth Belvedere - Daisy
1967 Chevy C20
1953 Chevy 210
1969 Plymouth Satellite
1949 Chevy Thriftmaster
1959 Chevy Apache
1951 Chevy Stepside
1969 Chevy Camper Special
1978 Ford F150 w/ stroked 460
1986 Volvo 740 turbo wagon
1999 GMC 2500 Creep Van
1994 Impreza Outback
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