[DML] vin 11501, first week of ownership blues (crankshaft seal)
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[DML] vin 11501, first week of ownership blues (crankshaft seal)

Last Saturday I was driving the Delorean and developed a serious oil 
leak (actually at first I thought it was the alternator, as the 
ammeter went offscale low), however when I pulled over I quickly lost 
what was left of the engine's oil.  The belts and pulleys were 
drenched in oil.   The rear of the car was also drenched in it.  It 
honestly looked like the engine exploded.   I had a flat-bed tow 
truck take 'us' back to homebase.  I was fairly upset, both by not 
knowing what combination of seals/gaskets had failed, and wondering 
if there was internal damage to the engine.  That and the fact that I 
had to be towed home, which contrasts with the image that your 
neighbors saw you excitedly leaving for a relaxing drive in 
your 'new' delorean with a image of it on a flatbed, you with oil on 
your jacket,jeans and a generaly depressed look.

Sunday morning I pulled the exhaust, rear fascia and the crank pulley 
(I had previously refilled the oil and ran the car in my garage to 
find the leak, coming from the crank pulley, remenicent of a water 
wheel boat).  The crank pulley nut was really on there, took a few 
hours to muscle it off (broke a extension to my breaker bar in the 

When I pulled the crankshaft oil seal I noticed there was a thin blue 
film around most (but not all) of the seal's perimeter.. otherwise it 
looked basically ok.  Adding to my puzzlement was the fact that the 
oil I caught in a tray while looking for the leak had a milky/blueish 
substance mixed into the oil.  At first I fiqured I had coolant 
mixing in due to bad head gasket(s).  I took some coolant out of the 
overflow bottle and put it in the pan, it didn't look at all like 
this blue-ish stuff.  Adding to the mystery (for me, you may have 
known right off) was that if I took oil from the pan (via the plug) 
the oil was normal looking.  

So by now it all hits home. The previous owner must have had the 
same catastrophic leak, and instead of replacing the seal with a new 
part, he put liquid gasket maker around it.  The blue-ish substance 
is bits of the liquid gasket material being ejected with the oil.  
Sound reasonable?

I ordered a new seal from DMC/houston, a new exhaust clamp (mine was 
really clean as far as those things go but it broke anyway), and new 
belts.   Normaly once I striped a car to this point I would do more, 
like replace the water pump, maybe even the head gaskets.etc.  
However my wife is flying in (she's a grad student many states away 
from me) this weekend, and I was going to take her for a nice drive 
in this car that cost us quite a bit.   I'm really hoping that I can 
install the new seal today (had it overnight'ed, the shipping was as 
much as the order) and button things back up so that we can still do 
that.  After this weekend though, I think I'm going to retire it 
until next spring and do some more work/checking to see what else may 
have been crazy glued.  

I do wish I would have ordered a new oil pressure sensor (gauge) I 
looked at it on my scope, I don't think its working properly. 

Anyway, I apologize for the length of the post.  I'm many things, 
but concise is not one of them.  Even though I had hoped for more 
reliablility, the car was pretty easy to work on, bolts move, frame 
looks brand new, clean.  I'm hoping once I compelte a critical mass 
of needed maintenance it will become more reliable.


VIN 11501  

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