Huddart engines (SBC) oil leak problems
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  1. #1
    Compulsive chicken choker English Impala's Avatar
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    Huddart engines (SBC) oil leak problems

    A mate has purchased a Cobra replica, not a home-built one but one built by A.K. Sportscars Ltd. It's a very well built (and expensive!) car that is fitted with a brand new 350 SBC built by Huddart engines backed by a Getrag 5 speed manual gearbox. So far it has covered 400 miles.

    When he took delivery a month ago he noticed an oil leak from underneath so I went to have a look and oil was leaking from the crankshaft rear oil seal. The supplying dealer took the car back and replaced the oil seal in-situ. The dealer kept the car for a few days to make sure the leak had stopped and it hadn't, so they took the engine out and replaced the crank seal again and also replaced the sump and seal "just in case". This was all refitted and checked. All was leak-free so they delivered the car back.

    Over the weekend John took the car out and no oil on the garage floor. Took it out later and one spot of oil on the floor. Next day took it out and more oil on the floor plus visible oil drips coming from the bellhousing dust shield....... Obviously looks like the crank oil seal again as there are no signs of oil anywhere else on the engine.

    Does anyone know if there are known issues with these engines? It is a "built" engine with a claimed 400bhp. If the crank seal is still leaking (and they have checked for any burrs on the end of the crank) what else could be causing it?

    Anywhere else and he wouldn't be too bothered but obviously a crank oil seal is going to get worse and could contaminate the clutch.

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    Stroker Kustom Jim's Avatar
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    Oil was dripping from my TH350 dust shield and I thought it was the convertor seal - not relevant as auto but it was engine oil colour so I checked and the tiny oil pressure port on the top of the engine deck behind the distributor and it has a tiny leak.
    It craftily goes down the back of the block and appears on the dust shield.

    Still haven't lost it completely as its a tiny fitting don't want to force my luck etc.

    See the white pipe...



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    neil still building it is offline
    my thoughts were a blocked/not effective enough breather too...especially on a fresh engine,till its all "bedded in"
    neil

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  6. #4
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie boblester40's Avatar
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    I thought Mike had retired many years ago , Think he still does some machining on the side but not sure he was still building engines ? is it a one piece or two piece seal ?

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    Compulsive chicken choker English Impala's Avatar
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    The leak definitely isn't coming from the top end of the engine, access (and visibility) is quite good all round and there is no evidence of any oil down the back.

    The warm running oil pressure is 3.5 bar (51 psi) which seems quite high, could it be that the engine has an uprated oil pump designed for racing and the occasional "spirited" blast along an A road just isn't enough and the engine is over-pressurising?

    The car was sold through Total Headturners (Essex) who, to be fair, have been really good about getting the problem sorted, so I'm just trying to guide them down the right road by calling on the knowledge of folks on here.

    I don't know whether it's a 1 or 2 piece seal as I've only seen the engine with the gearbox bolted in place.

  8. #6
    I'm a grown up member now !
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    black willy is offline
    if its leaking down the rear of the engine it could be the gallery plugs for the lifters or the cam plug. You can't see them as they're behind the bellhousing but the oil would come out in the same place. I would have thought they would have spotted it though when they changed the crank seal

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    Compulsive chicken choker English Impala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by black willy View Post
    if its leaking down the rear of the engine it could be the gallery plugs for the lifters or the cam plug. You can't see them as they're behind the bellhousing but the oil would come out in the same place. I would have thought they would have spotted it though when they changed the crank seal
    Thanks for that, but as the problem went away after the seal was changed (for a short time) before re-appearing I'm sure it's coming through the crank seal. I'm wondering if there's any end-float on the crank that could be damaging the seal?

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    Official RnS Addict mygasser's Avatar
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    i know you said it went away temporarily but that could be where the back of the block and in the bellhousing were cleaned of oil and it took a little while to get enough in the bellhousing/block area to leak out where you can see it. best to check other possibilities while you're looking, it may be something simple like a block plug or oil fitting as black willy suggested. as the crank was checked in the seal area for 'smoothness' i doubt end float would be an issue either.
    need a job done on your project? i may be able to help.

  11. #9
    TechnicalTom
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    Just to add to the good input so far . A problem can occur with crankshaft oil seals ,in fact any seals where the shaft gets a very slight groove from the oil seal lip rubbing the same spot over long periods , it might be barely visible , sometimes you will feel the imperfection with a finger nail ,a few solutions are worth trying , you could use a thicker gasket or even 2 gaskets between the alloy plate that holds the oil seal ( oil seal housing) this will move the lip of the oil seal onto better /ungrooved part of the crankshaft. I have also seen aftermarket /Chinese type crank shafts that were incorrectly machined a bit undersize on the front end of crankshaft causing the harmonic damper to " slide" on by hand.The diameter of the problem shaft was surely measured .

  12. #10
    Official RnS Addict Stude Star's Avatar
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    Is it running at 51psi hot at idle??

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