Oil leak hunt

When I was working on the manifold leaks I noticed that there is an oil leak down by the oil pump. It is not streaming out, but the engine pan is wet and there was oil on the bottom of that brass fitting. This week I finally got after it.

That is a pressure port on the oil pump. Originally, the line to the oil pressure gauge plugged in there directly. When the partial flow oil filter was added, that special brass fitting was installed. It is a restrictor fitting to limit the flow though the filter. That just means it has a smaller than normal passage in it. It also has two flare fitting outlets. One (the steel line) runs to the oil filter. The other (the copper line) runs to the oil pressure gauge. Copper is not really a good idea for oil lines, when vibrated it tends to work harden and crack. I probably should replace that someday.

Sorry for the lack of pictures here. For some reason I just forgot to take them until I was nearly done. The first thing I did was lift the car and remove then engine pan. It was not obvious where the oil was coming from. So I took loose the two oil lines and removed the brass fitting to inspect. I was really concerned the fitting might be damaged. I don’t know where to get another one. But the fitting looked good. The only potential issues I saw were that the NPT threads on the fitting had no sealer or Teflon tape. I also thought the flare on the copper line looked janky. I pulled the line out, which was not as simple as I would have liked. The line is snaked along the block behind a bunch of stuff. Then a bell housing bolt needs to be removed to release the clip holding the line. Finally for good measure the other end is kind of wedged between the head and the firewall so getting two wrenches on it was a huge PITA. But I got it out. One the bench I closely inspected it and could not see any reason for it not to seal.

I finally decided to work on the assumption that the fitting was leaking at the oil pump. So I put it back together with Teflon tape on the NTP threads. For good measure, I reversed the two oil lines just to see if that helped too.
Here is what it all looked like re-assembled (except for the engine pan). I lost some oil out of the oil pump during this and was really concerned that the pump might lose it’s prime. But when I started the engine I had good oil pressure and no signs of leaking. I put about 10 miles on the car and it still seems dry so maybe it is fixed?


Oil leak hunt — 3 Comments

  1. I would like to improve the wheels on my 41 champ. Can’t find the 4 stud pattern anywhere so far. I want to have tubeless rims for good modern tires. Anybody have an idea?

    • Nope, you will not find anything. But you can get radial tires from Coker that fit those wheels and you will never know the tubes are there.

    • Dave, I also have a 41 Champion, and would like to change out the wheels & tires. I haven’t started that search yet due to other pressing repairs. When you find the replacement wheels please share your find. There’s got to be a replacement wheel out there!

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