Forum Chat #30 – V8 Front Cover Oil Repair

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Welcome to BamfordRose and another forum chat.  This week, we’re picking up on several posts that I’ve seen in several different areas. Talking about V8 Vantage front cover oil leak repair. We’ve touched on this subject before. Just wanted to make another video on again, just to keep it current.

There are several areas that the front cover can leak from. It could be the seal directly at the bottom of the front cover where it mates to the sump, which you can see in this picture of the underside of the car. Or now if we look at the engine, it could be from where each cam cover meets the top of the front cover, which is behind the pulleys here. That’s called the Tri-joint. So, it’s quite common for the front cover to leak. And when it leaks, it’s all about understanding the leak rate versus the mileage covered in a year.

If we go back to the picture of the engine and we can see underneath the car, the crossbar here. If it’s leaking, and the crossbar is saturated in oil, and the mileage is about two or three thousand, then that’s sort of go-no-go. That’s like yeah that needs fixing. If that cross bar isn’t covered with oil. It’s just contained locally to the bottom of the sump. Then you can probably get by with an annual clean off at service sort of maintenance type care.

If it comes to the point where it does need repair, as you can see from the car here. The front subframe is taken out, with the engine in the subframe. And then his picture of the front subframe, with the engine removed. And here’s the engine on the floor and this one’s already had the front cover done.

The whole process is to take the engine out of the frame, correct the front cover, put the engine back in, put the frame and engine back into the car. It’s going to be about 30 hours of labor. With oil, fluids, consumables and seals, that’s going to be about 300 quid, somewhere in that region. You know this job is all labor. And it’s all labor, because as we’ve shown here, the way that we do it.

The only correct way, if you’re going to take the front cover off of the engine, is to do it by taking the front subframe out of the car. It’s a false economy and brings quality into the job, or question mark on over quality into the job. If you remove all the ancillary, try and split the lower front subframe from the upper front subframe, clean never wants to come out without stripping threads. Then you’ve got compromised access to remove and refit the front cover, which brings into question, you know, is the repair actually going to be quality.

By the time you recover threads, you’ve removed down ancillary, you’ve done the job, you put everything back together again. It’s going to be there or there about, there 25 to 30-hour mark anyway. You might, as well just go straight in for doing it, the proper way which is to remove the front subframe.

I often see comments about varying prices on this job. Now you know, if it’s 30 hours labor, with V80. Let’s just say the labor rate is a hundred pound per hour. If it’s like, it’s been quoted out as in the order of three grand labor, with parts mirror that’s just cool, parts 500 pound. So, three thousand five hundred pounds. That’s about the right price for doing that job properly.

If the price is significantly cheaper, you really have to question the process that they’re going about doing the repair job. Because I’ve seen all too often front cover leaks on cars, we’re supposed it’s been done in the past, but now it’s leaking again.

When it comes to doing the job as well, it’s not just a case of putting a new seal in. You know really you need to be double-checking that the mating face at the front cover, it’s perfectly true. And if not, you know you need to correct that in the machine shop.

Because quite often, it’s not just inadequate sealing that it’s causing the problem. Its components, in this case, the front cover not being 100% true, that causes problems. There’s no point rebuilding with parts which are compromised, because the leak will only happen again eventually.

So, I could say it is an expensive job. We need to take this into account at point of purchase. I quit looking underneath the car, literally just crawl under the front and have a look because you can see that front cover joint, and you can see if the underside of the engine is wet. You know there’s some engines out there, 80 to 120 k, absolutely bone-dry. And if they’re going to leak, they probably leak in early life. You know up to about 30k. And afterwards if they’re dry, they’ll stay dry forever, more lightly. Okay! Hope that helps out explain front cover, all the leaks and the repair a bit more. See you in the next video.

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