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Dan, Auto Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 3490
Experience:  GM Mark of Excellence/ Service Guild Participant with 13 years experience, ASE Master Certified
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1997 Buick Park Avenue: passenger side..the vibration damper

Resolved Question:

1997 Buick Park Avenue, 53,000 miles, small oil leak at the front of the engine, spread by the front 1/16th inch of the serpentine belt to spray tiny droplets into the engine compartment (passenger side). The source of the oil appears to be the vibration damper on the crankshaft. The back of the damper is dry. The front of the damper is slightly oily, the quantity of oil loss is very small. Does the vibration damper attach bolt (cap screw) seal to the crankshaft oil pressure bore? If so is the seal leak a probable cause?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Dan replied 9 years ago.
Ok, to find this leak I would put oil dye in and using a black lamp locate the source of the leak. These engines are known to leak from the oil pan, front timing cover area and the oil sending units. The best and surest way to find the leak is to add dye, drive the car for a week if possible and put on a lift while running the engine at 1000-1500 RPM. This should force the oil from the leaking source.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hi Dan,
The oil pan is dry. I dont know where the sending unit is located. The timing cover area is dry. The only real oily place seems to be the front of the vibration damper. Since the oil gets thrown all over the engine compartment on the passenger side it seems the dye would be thrown also. Is this correct, does the dye penetrate the oil? The inside of the damper is dry, the oil pan is dry, so I was tentatively ruling out a front main bearing seal. But I dont know if the bolt mounting the damper to the crank shaft has a seal to hold oil pressure. That seems to be where the oil is coming from. Do you have any engine assembly books that might clear that up for me? Where is the oil sender?
Thanks, Larry
Expert:  Dan replied 9 years ago.

Yes the dye mixes with the engine oil and comes out where the oil leak is. The engine oil sending unit is located above the oil filter on the right rear of the engine. Here is what I have for diagrams for that engine ok. I still think the dye is your best bet for finding the leak and if the oil pan and timing cover look dry suspect the front main oil seal around the crank seal.

Engine Block and Components

Object Number: 49121  Size: LF

(1)Balance Shaft Gear Bolt
(2)Balance Shaft Gear
(3)Balance Shaft Gear Pin
(4)Balance Shaft Retainer Bolt
(5)Balance Shaft Retainer
(6)Balance Shaft
(7)Balance Shaft Rear Bushing
(8)Piston Pin Retainer Clip
(9)Piston Pin
(10)Piston Rings
(12)Connecting Rod
(13)Connecting Rod Cap Bearings
(14)Connecting Rod Cap
(15)Connecting Rod Cap Bolt
(16)Crankshaft Rear Oil Seal Housing Bolt
(17)Crankshaft Rear Oil Seal Housing
(18)Crankshaft Rear Oil Seal Housing Gasket
(19)Cylinder Head Location Hole Pin
(20)Engine Block
(21)ESC Knock Sensor
(22)Oil Level Indicator
(23)Oil Level Indicator Tube Bolt
(24)Oil Level Indicator Tube
(25)Oil Pump Screen
(26)Oil Pump Screen Bolt
(27)Oil Pump Screen Gasket
(28)Engine Block Core Hole Plug
(29)Engine Front Cover Pin
(30)Engine Block Oil Gallery Plug
(31)Engine Front Cover Pin
(32)Oil Pressure Relief Valve Spring
(33)Oil Pressure Relief Valve
(34)Oil Filter Adapter Gasket
(35)Oil Filter Adapter
(36)Oil Filter Adapter Bolt
(37)Oil Filter
(38)Timing Chain Dampner
(39)Crankshaft Sprocket
(40)Camshaft Sprocket Bolt
(41)Timing Chain
(42)Camshaft Position Sensor
(43)Camshaft Sprocket
(44)Balance Shaft Drive Gear
(45)Camshaft Thrust Plate Bolt
(46)Camshaft Thrust Plate
(47)Camshaft Key
(49)Camshaft Bearings

Crankshaft and Components

Object Number: 49124  Size: MF

(1)Water Pump Pulley Bolt
(2)Water Pump Pulley
(3)Water Pump Bolt
(4)Water Pump
(5)Crankshaft Front Oil Seal
(6)Water Pump Gasket
(7)Engine Front Cover
(8)Engine Front Cover Gasket
(9)Oil Pump Gear Set
(10)Oil Pump Cover
(11)Oil Pump Cover Bolt
(12)Crankshaft Balancer Key
(13)Crankshaft Upper Bearing
(14)Engine Crankshaft
(15)Crankshaft Rear Oil Seal
(17)Flywheel Bolt
(18)Side Main Bolt
(19)Crankshaft Main Bearing Cap Bolt
(20)Crankshaft Lower Bearing
(21)Crankshaft Main Bearing Cap
(22)Oil Pan Gasket (Includes Baffle)
(23)Engine Oil Pan
(24)Oil Level Sensor
(25)Oil Pan Bolt
(26)Oil Pan Drain Plug Gasket
(27)Oil Pan Drain Plug
(28)Crankshaft Position Sensor Shield
(29)Crankshaft Balancer
(30)Crankshaft Balancer Washer
(31)Crankshaft Balancer Bolt
(32)Crankshaft Position Sensor
(33)Camshaft Position Sensor
(34)Camshaft Position Sensor Bolt

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