k9ofstrikex
I recently bought a 64 Beetle, just before I bought it I took it to a VW specialist in the area for a pre-purchase inspection. Unfortunately, they didn't do such a good job and thanks to the endless wisdom of the great state of California I wasn't allowed to look at the car at all when they had it on the lift...

Long story short, there is an oil leak on the car that they mis-diagnosed as the oil sump plate gasket. After changing out the gasket and about thirty seconds of cleaning the sump plate, it was painfully obvious the mechanics barely even looked at the car and that the leak was coming from somewhere else higher up. Looking at the surfaces where the tranny and the engine mate up, it is clean and dry and the flywheel seal has been recently replaced.

With my limited VW knowledge I am plum out of ideas and would like to figure it out before I have to resort to taring it apart and throwing parts at it. I would also like to take this chance to all of you who have responded to my questions in the past. Your insight has been very helpful and I know that if anyone will have the answers, it will be one of you!
Quote 0 0
MY72BUG
Hmmmmm.   This requires a bit more information before anyone could take a stab at the source of your oil leak.
1. To the best of your knowledge, has anyone been working on the engine to the point where they had to split the case?
2. Does the engine leak at rest or must it be running to produce the leak?
3. What sort of volume are we talking about; a few drops or a regular puddle?
4. Is the leak entirely associated with the underside of the engine or is there any sign of oil upstairs in the engine compartment proper?
     The layout of your flat opposing four offers some intriguing possibilities for oil leaks.  Unlike other cars, your valve covers attach to the sides of the engine rather than the top.  If oil pools in the valve covers, leaks of some degree are just about a given.  A rotten push rod tube can be a major source for an oil leak as can the push rod tube seals at each end of the push rod tube.  The oil cooler at the top of the engine could have a bad seal or a pin hole or two in the cooler itself.
     How long has it been since the engine was rebuilt?  Old gaskets and seals bake glass hard and seepage of oil around them just happens.  If your engine is running well and the leak consists of a few drops coming from parts unknown throw a piece of cardboard or some kitty litter under the car and just keep an eye on your oil level.  Be prepared to keep it topped up as part of your weekly maintenance routine.  If we are into Exon Valdeez territory with the oil loss ask yourself if an engine rebuild is in order.  If the engine runs fine but still leaks like a sieve, consider giving it a steam cleaning and then start her up and crawl under the beast and have a look to see if you can spot the route from which the oil flows.  If it is from up top you will have to pull the engine to deal with it.  At that point it can be anything from a two dollar seal right up to a cracked engine case - especially the point where the oil cooler attaches to the case.  If someone has worked on the engine and split the case to do it you could be in for a real time if they pried the case open and damaged the sealing surfaces.  Fill in a few of the blanks and post back to me.  Dan  (MY72BUG)  in Goderich.


I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
Quote 0 0
jrrhdmust
On mine it was leaking from the push rod tubes.


71 Super Beetle
Quote 0 0
k9ofstrikex
I have not split the case on the engine, and according to the last owner, he never did either.

I notice the leak when I park the car after it has been recently run, it stops leaking after I let it sit for a while.

As far as volume, it is definitely a puddle. I would say that, on average, the puddle is roughly between the size of a size 12-13 shoe print and a note book, (usually closer to the shoe print).

The best that I can tell, and I will be looking into this a bit more carefully this weekend when I have some time during day light hours to look at the car, the oil is indeed coming from the lower portion of the engine on that back side.

I do have one leaky push-rod, but it is on the other side of the engine from the leak and none of the push rods are really near where the oil appears on the engine...

As far as a rebuild, the engine was rebuilt by the last owner within probably the last year or two...

I hope that helps clear it all up a bit for you, and when I get a chance to look it over more thoroughly I will definitely post more info. Also, if there is anything else you can think of that you would like to or need to know, please let me know, and I will do my best to get you a solid answer. Thanks again for all your help, it is greatly appreciated.

Beau


Quote 0 0
MY72BUG
OK.  Here is what we know.  The leak happens only when the engine is running ie: when the oil pump is pressurizing the system.  The leak is a puddle - not a few drops.  The problem is serious enough that it must be dealt with - no options there.  When you say that you have a leaky push rod tube and  the main problem is on the  "other side ", am I correct in guessing that the oil leak is worse on the left hand side of the engine?   (left  as in driver's side and I mean not your Aussie, Brit, Kiwi driver's side)  Also, does your clutch slip at all?  And by " back side " of the engine you mean the side where the clutch housing is located ie: toward the front of the car?  If all of that jives, I will go out on a limb and suspect the oil cooler is the culprit either the pin hole or general rot in the cooler or where the seals join the oil cooler to the top of the engine.  The oil will trickle or pour out while the oil pump is running and run down the side of the engine.  One point to ponder while you arrange to pull your mill - hope like crazy that the oil cooler problem does not involve case cracks where the oil cooler is bolted onto the top of the engine.  There are two cast magnesium "ears " on the engine case itself.  Damage to these can spell the end of your engine.  The seals for the oil cooler come in a variety of sizes.  If the wrong one(s) have been applied, this could be the source of the problem.  Check this out and let me know what you discover.  Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
Quote 0 0
Friedle

I have done oil cooler reseals on an engine in the car.  You have to take everything off the top of the engine: carb; intake manifold; generator/alternator come off with the fan, remove the decklid first make life much easier.  It can be done in day with great results, (if that is the problem), and you get a great view of the top of the engine while your there.  Please review all the info in the preceding posts, they are all right on...  Another way to get a good look is to steam clean, then back the bug up on ramps, (you know the kind you buy at parts stores). Keep us posted, Patrick. 

'72 Super. Paint-7/20/09, 400+k miles, New engine case "41" Brazil, rebuilt German heads, new Bosch electrics, new Solex German carb. new German silencer. Built by Steve Tims Performance/Enterprises, Riverside CA. '73 OEM airfilter, (Fram elemement), chrome stock wheels, daily driver, 25.46-27.50mpg, driven 20+years.
Quote 0 0
k9ofstrikex
Well folks, I finally got some time to clean up the underside of the beetle and the engine, and the results are in...       The symptoms for the oil cooler leak don't fit...     The stream of oil appears to be coming off the engine right on the center mark at the back of the engine (towards the front of the car). The oil that is leaking from the engine is dripping from the farthest back bump on the oil sump pan, where the pan (i believe) bolts together and appears to be seeping from the tiny little crack that exists where the back of the engine mates to the tranny. Is it maybe possible that when my engine was replaced that they mated an older style tranny with the newer style engine and that's whats causing the problem?... Any additional advice would be greatly appreciated...

By the way, I did any of you catch the new Top Gear last night? My roommates couldn't help but cheer for the indestructible, ominously looming Beetle. Any way, if any of you have not seen the new episode yet, I highly recommend you find a way to, it is perhaps the best I have ever seen (which says alot) and will bring great pride to any owner of one of these air cooled mini-monsters!
Quote 0 0
MY72BUG
This is starting to sound more like a leak at the main seal at the end of the crankshaft.  But - are you experiencing clutch slippage where the oil is coming out of the main seal and contaminating the clutch disc - flywheel interface?  If it is still dry in there the oil could still be making its merry way down from the top of the engine.  If it is leaking at the main seal, chances are you have one of three or all of three problems.  1. the rebuilder did not set the crankshaft end play correctly and the crank is whacking back and forth in there beating the daylights out of your seal causing the oil leak   2.   Someone  did at some point split your case  and  caused grief with the sealing surfaces  3.  There are problems with the crankshaft main bearings and the crankshaft is whipping about  causing oil to leak past the seal. 
     Any way you look at it, the next step is to pull the engine and get down and dirty.  I would sincerely hope that the problem is not associated with the main crank seal.  Just replacing the seal with a new one will do little.  You need to know why the seal failed.  Continue with the autopsy and let us know what you find.  The only way that the transmission swap could be at fault would be if the fit of the tip of the transmission shaft was too small for the bearings in the gland nut ( the big special nut that holds the flywheel onto the crankshaft )  This would cause some major damage down there and an oil leak would be the least that I would expect.  If the crank end play was set wrong or the gland nut wasn't torqued correctly, the whole works might me in the process of undoing itself.  The gland nuts go on with 250 ft.pounds of torque for the 1600 CC and around 210 for the older 1500, 1300 and 1200.  Mike the end of the tranny shaft and see how its fit is inside the gland nut.  At that point, you really need to consult an expert.  Hope that this comes together for you.  Dan ( MY72BUG) in Goderich

I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
Quote 0 0