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 Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!

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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:58 pm

Here's my problem: I have a 94 RMW with 110K miles in very good condition, and well maintained.
When I bought the car at (80K miles) I changed the water pump and pump drive shaft seal behind it. It has leaked oil ever since.
I have changed the oil seal 4 times, maybe 5, always doing it properly with the special tool and even tried
a GM oil seal ($22!). I have installed it both lubed and dry. I even replaced the water pump drive gear/shaft as well (no easy task) but it still leaks.

A mechanic told me that the camshaft may not be spinning true, which makes the camshaft gear spin untrue, which in turn
makes the water pump drive gear and shaft wobble, which would then not seal well.

Someone else suggested that maybe it is the water pump itself with a shaft that wobbles, instead of the drive gear.
I paid top dollar for a good new water pump. I have not yet tried using yet another new water pump as that idea only came up today,
at the suggestion of another RMW owner.

I am out of ideas. How likely could it be that the camshaft is the problem and could it be diagnosed without the ordeal of removing it?

I am not opposed to adding an electric water pump, but I would have to go back inside the engine to remove the WP drive gear, because
it would still be sitting there spinning and leaking oil, even if it were no longer couple to the WP

If your suggestion solves the problem, I'll send you $20*...I swear I will! I am so tired of wet oil everywhere.

Anthony Ackrill

*only one winner!


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jayoldschool

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Join date : 2009-06-14

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:11 pm

I'll go 0% on the camshaft. Have a look at cam pics, look at the part of the cam that rides on the bearings. It's wide, the cam can't be bent.

You've replaced the seal... how about the O rings? #156 in the pics. LMK if you need my paypal address Wink


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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:55 pm

yes, i have replaced the o-rings, but they could not be the problem because they are outside of the shaft, AFTER the seal.
The suggestion about the camshaft was not that it was bent, but that maybe a bearing or journal is bad.
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paart



Posts : 80
Join date : 2015-10-10

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:06 am

There are three seals in the front of the timing cover, for the distributor, water pump and crankshaft. I'm guessing that you are completely certain that it’s the water pump seal that’s leaking, that is, it didn’t leak until you replaced the pump?

The small teflon seals (#156) are supposedly there to keep moisture out of the sleeve or coupling, to keep it from rusting. Nevertheless, I‘ve found mine rusted internally both times I replaced my water pump! Is the coupling straight and in good condition?

Like the previous poster, I think it’s very unlikely that the cam bearings are worn so badly that it’s causing your issue. I’ve disassembled high mileage engines and abused race engines, and not ever seen “that kind of” cam bearing wear, although roller cams (LT-1) are known to cause greater cam bearing wear overall, than stock flat tappet cams and springs.

You mentioned trying another new water pump. I would try to check the one you are removing for run-out, if possible. You could try putting the coupler on it, although the fit may be too sloppy to be of value. I’d try and compare it against the new one anyway.
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phantom 309

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Age : 107

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:57 am

I can solve your problem,

solution 1. drain the oil ,. no more leak,

solution 2, 2 gals of gas sprinkled liberally over entire car,. light carefully with match,.
the resulting heat will burn off any oil leaks,.

I,m fairly certain you are buggering up the seal when installing it,.

no bent cam,. no bent water pump,.jmho, which is the only one that counts.
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lakeffect
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Join date : 2009-08-18
Location : Rochester NY 14621

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:12 am

I can't run as fast as I used to, so I would not use a match.

Throwing a flaming torch from a safe distance will suffice, unless you like getting your eyebrows singed.
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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:50 am

having read about the importance of getting the seal installed correctly before i ever changed it for the first time 4 years ago,
and having bought and used the special seal installer tool EVERY time, and watched carefully as i used it,
I am confident that I am not screwing up the seal as i install it........ especially 5 times in a row.
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Superior Finish
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Location : Savannah, GA

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:57 pm

OK, as I see it, you re leaking oil from the timing cover....... it can come from only 1 of 2 places; the seal to shaft, and the seal to cover.

Seals have been replaced (more than once) and you still have a leak.

That leaves the cover. Nicked/scraped/bent cover?

Also, have you checked the intake gasket? Gravity is a bitch, but she's a predictable bitch...
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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:22 pm

it is definitely not coming from the intake gasket. it is dribbling from the seal.
each time i have installed the seal, i have been so careful in doing so, always using the install tool
nice and easy.....and the outer metal edge of the seal sits perfectly in its seat
and flush with the front engine cover. it can't go in any further or more perfectly looking.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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Bert Slater

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Posts : 239
Join date : 2015-03-23
Location : Melrose Florida

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:05 am

Anthony, you never said anything about 20 bucks!!! So is my opinion about the water pump being the culprit qualify? It will go to charity if it is it. The Roadmaster Wagon Recovery and Restoration Fund. Heck I will even match it!!!
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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:57 pm

bert, i contacted the tech support dept. of the water pump manufacturer and was told
that if the water pump's shaft was not "true" then it would be leaking coolant
out of the rear of the water pump.
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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:23 pm

the water pump drive gear shaft poking out of the front engine cover has play in it.
i can grab the the splined shaft and move it a little within the seal and actually see it squeeze
oil out of the seal around the edge of the dust seal. I read on other forums that play in this shaft
is okay because once the water pump is coupled to it and bolted down, that it holds the shaft steady.
How true is that? It sounds good in theory, but is that how it is SUPPOSED to work, designed by GM?

Also I discovered today that the water pump shaft coupling fits snuggly only on one end.
The other end has play in it. I now think that the culprit is the gear shaft in the engine cover having play in it
made worse by the coupling having play in it. each one making the other one worse?
Any opinions or experience from anyone else on this ???


Thanks a million......


I removed the water pump again today and the shaft on it is as straight and tight as can be with no play.
So I exonerate the water pump.
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paart



Posts : 80
Join date : 2015-10-10

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:28 pm

I've changed the water pump twice on mine, and it's been awhile, but I don't remember seeing any play in the drive. Trying to find a picture online produced the link below.

http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/wiki/Building_Chevy_LT1_engines

Scroll down a couple pages until you see the heading: Water Pump Drive Shaft.
On the right is a picture with a red arrow pointing to a "scored" shaft. From this picture, and a couple others I've found, it appears to be gear/shaft assembly, mounted on a plate, with a sizable bearing on the back. It looks like the mounting plate slides over two dowel pins with one bolt holding it in place. Read the caption under the picture. This could very well be your problem. In the main text, it gives the part number and states the prices is about $40 (this must have been pre-war, and don't ask which war!) Shocked I could not find that this item is still stocked by GM.

When I removed my water pump for replacement a little over a year ago, I found that the coupler stayed on the drive shaft. It came off fairly easily, but it had a lot of rust inside. I cleaned it, lubricated it, and reused it, but decided that if I do it again, I'll replace it. They are available, at dealers and on Ebay for only $45!!!! WOW.

If you do change out the pump drive, I'd replace the seal one more time. You are probably getting pretty good at it! Very Happy
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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:56 pm

thank you "paart" for a good suggestion. however, the shaft on mine is not at all scored or grooved.
I replaced the original one which had a very shallow scratch on it, but with the new
one in place it still leaks. I could not find a NEW unused gear/shaft and had to install a used one.
the bearing on it had a small amount of play in it, but no more than the original.
New ones are totally unavailable nationwide, it seems, so what i may try is to replace just the
bearing itself, since the bearing is a very common one, readily available, and then see how much play
is in the shaft.

Here's a new question: I went and retrieved my old original water pump and found that the splined
impeller shaft can be spun easily by hand. the new one which replaced it for the last 4 years
is very stiff and much harder to turn by hand. and ever since it has been on the car, the oil seal leaks.
could it be that the "drag" of the new stiff water pump impeller puts a load on the drive gear shaft, causing it to
pull to the side slightly as it spins, making the seal leak around the shaft?

today, i ran the motor with NO WATER PUMP on at all for only about a minute, and the drive shaft spun perfectly
true and no oil leaked from the seal...so.....yet another clue...
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paart



Posts : 80
Join date : 2015-10-10

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:40 pm

It’s interesting that there was no leakage with the pump off the engine. One minute isn’t a lot of running time, but I wouldn’t run an engine much longer than that without coolant, either.

You mentioned that the old pump turned very easily, while the new one was “stiff”. I’ve found this to be generally the situation with water pumps. I assume it’s due to new seals fitting tightly on the shaft. How does the one that you have been using compare with other (new one) you have?

Misalignment comes to mind, although it doesn’t seem possible. If the holes in the pump were not cast or drilled correctly, a leak would probably occur at the mating to the block. Yet there’s usually is a little “slop” in the pump holes to allow final alignment. Are the mounting bolts straight? I’d think it’s unlikely that they would be bent, since they are really tough bolts. I know this because the first time I changed my pump, the two long bolts were so badly corroded inside the pump housing (not the block) that I actually had to cut the pump off the engine with a cut-off wheel, then the work them out with an impact wrench, and heat! It took all day!
I ran a tap through the holes in the block, cleaned the bolts, and checked them for straightness, and they were fine, so I re-used them. Do you cross-tighten the bolts during installation?

If you look at the seal, are there any signs that the shaft was wearing the seal excessively on one side or top or bottom?

Then again, it could be a combination of a little extra play in the bearing, and a coupler that’s a little looser than it should be.
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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:25 pm

paart, the answer to most of your questions is "No"...all of those ideas have been checked out and eliminated
one way or the other. The pump I have been running on there for 4 years now IS the one which has a really stiff
turning shaft, and the seal has leaked ever since then. the old one i can spin freely with my fingers.
I wonder if this comparison is meaningless though, because an LT1 motor is "probably" quite a bit stronger
than my fingers and the difference in the two pumps may be inconsequential. I am going to try the old one though
and see what happens.

If that's not it, then i agree with you that it sounds like the bearing play and a worn coupler combination are good suspects.
my coupler fits snugly on one end and a little looser on the other. I have ordered a new one.

My last resort will be an electric pump...but i am determined to fix the problem, not work around it.

thanks for your thoughts.

your water pump story sounds like a "cuss-fest", in which every curse word known to man would've be employed.
YIKES!
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paart



Posts : 80
Join date : 2015-10-10

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:50 am

roadsurfer wrote:

your water pump story sounds like a "cuss-fest", in which every curse word known to man would've be employed.
YIKES!

As I recall, I invented few new ones, that no one had heard before!  Twisted Evil

The only other possibility I can think of would be if the pump housing was machined on the block mating surfaces incorrectly, so that the pump would mount on the block at a slight angle, side to side or top to bottom. This might be tough to see except that a straightedge might be helpful. A comparison with another pump could be revealing. Even a very small "tilt" would cause significant runout of the coupler, possibly causing a seal leak.

That's it--I'm plum out of ideas! Send the $20 to your favorite Presidential candidate! They need it!  cheers
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Bert Slater

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Join date : 2015-03-23
Location : Melrose Florida

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:27 am

Anthony, looks like the "newer pump" has the same issue as the "new" pump you bought the first time. I have found anytime a manufacturer goes above and beyond to replace a defective part they knew there was a problem anyway. AC/Delco sent me an alternator because they also had an issue and did not want their seller to be burdened with excessive returns or exchanges.
Those water pump housings are die cast and the tooling is not OEM. They are machined into tolerance and usually with a low Q/C pass rate. Out of tolerance means melt it back down and start over. The issue is the machining processes. Die casters like cheap and fast machinery from the 50's and 60's that are crap for tolerances.
The coupling I believe is there to compensate for low tolerances. Like u-joints under a car. There are two connections not one. Possibly a design issue to begin with.
The LT-1 was designed originally for Mercruiser to be a boat engine. That is why the opti is in the front and the cooling is counterflow. Cold water cracks blocks and heads are hotter than blocks so they preheat and even out the temp differences with fresh water cooling.
I think you are on the right track, but can probably figure the drive gear and shaft/bearing have been compromised too as well as the seal and pump. Good hunting!
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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:06 pm

i have compared the water pump with a brand new pump, out of the box. i pressed the mating surfaces back to back
and they were absolutely flush with each other with no imperfections detectable, and the mounting holes were all in
perfect alignment as well.

i am now going to remove the water pump drive gear assembly AGAIN and replace the bearing and use a new coupling
and water pump.. If that fails...then its on to a Meziere electric pump and thats that.
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roadsurfer



Posts : 43
Join date : 2011-02-28

PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:40 am

If anyone is still following this thread...I think the problem is solved...for now.
I removed the timing chain cover and pulled the water pump drive gear assembly and replaced
the bearing on the end of the shaft. SO far, after 30 miles...NO LEAK! Previously it would
leak 10 minutes after the repair job was completed while the engine was idling in the driveway.

With a new bearing in place the water pump drive gear shaft has almost NO play in it.
It used to be EASY to grab it with your fingers and jiggle it around, but now you have to really press on it
to make it move even just a small amount. I had read several times that play in the shaft was okay because the
water pump bolts on and locks it all down with the coupling. Well, okay...apparently you CAN have play in the
shaft and it will still be okay and not leak on some cars...but when the car was new with a new bearing the shaft wouldn't have play in it.,
but overtime when the bearing wears and the shaft wobbles, the water pump CAN hold it steady, but mine must have
been excessive and it leaked.


My original shaft was scored where the teflon seal and shaft mated so that seemed like the obvious problem.
I couldn't find a new assembly so I installed a used one with a super clean shiny shaft, yet it leaked too.
It too had a lot of play in it, but since I had read that that play is "okay" I didn't think it was the problem.
I tried a new water pump, a new GM coupling and a new GM teflon seal...and it still leaked.
Add a NEW bearing to the mix, taking out the play, and no leak.
So now with a new pump, coupling, seal and bearing, it is as similar to a brand new car as I can make it.


I was wanting someone to tell me a decisive solution which had not been thought of and which solved the problem.
After I suggested the bearing play, both Bert and Paart agreed that it sounded like it could be the problem.
I will happily send you each $10! (True, it was my own suggestion, but your agreement helped encourage me to
do the whole job ONE MORE TIME.) I bought a Kent-Moore water pump drive gear puller which is a joy to use, by the way.
That 10 minute part of the job is almost worth the other 8 hour of labor. Specialty tools are fun to use.

Thanks to all of you who offered advice. I would not do half the things I have down to my car without the help of
the Forum.
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Bert Slater

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PostSubject: Re: Solve my LT1 problem and win $20!   Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:42 pm

If you are going to Wagonfest/Turkey Run, just buy me a drink! I'm easy!!!
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