(Honda built) Acura TSX with heavy oil leak on passenger side of engine. - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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(Honda built) Acura TSX with heavy oil leak on passenger side of engine.

I posted this on an Acura site and it's not that active over there.

Question is what leaks oil from the passenger side of engine when driving? Details below.

I have a 2004 Acura TSX with the 2.4L i4 engine. It's like an Accord but tuned different (w free flowing dual exhaust as well). The 6 speed MT car sings, it's much more powerful than the 2.4L in the Accord sedan.
The TSX is like an Accord but it's really the Euro spec Accord which is a bit narrower, shorter and lighter than the American Accord sedan.

Anyway, there should be a lot of commonality here. There's a very bad / severe oil leak coming from the passenger side of the engine. I've isolated it. It's nowhere else. (Not VTEC valve / solenoid related, not oil pan, oil filter, filter gasket etc...).

I'm thinking front main seal. Best I can tell 99.99999% it's originating under the chain case there. I've cleaned it all off numerous times and that's where it's drooling out from behind.
It does not leak parked and off. It does not leak idling, which makes it harder to verify.

So... (to replace front main seal) I'm gearing up to do the dreaded crank pulley bolt removal, You know the Honda mechanical hell on earth thing.
Is there any other place that could be leaking behind that chain cover?
I don't want to remove the cover itself - the clearance is so small there that would be a lot more hellish work.
But that pulley bolt is pretty rotten to do as well. 217K and it's never been out (I have all the maintenance records from the car since 50K).

My plan is - since it's a manual 6 speed - is put it in 6th gear, leave clutch out, mash a wooden board in the driver area pin the brake pedal as tight as I can get it... and use this setup to hold the motor from spinning (I did this once on a Acura Integra). Chocked rear wheels and parking break on super tight. Do the 14mm linked w 17mm wrench trick to pull back the belt tensioner and pull the serpentine belt.
Then jack the front of the car up as high as I can get it into the air, attach a 19mm 1/2" socket with a very short extension - like 1-3" max onto a ratchet and slip a 4 foot rigid steel pipe over it, and after torching the bolt for several minutes (propane is all I got), hitting with a hammer on the bolt head several times, more heat, and then try to break that mofo out of there. I know it's going to be an awful battle already.

I've got to get this oil leak solved, so I can sell off this beloved manual transmission car as I can't drive one anymore and that's what led me here: buying an AT Accord coupe.

My Integra pulley bolt removal was simply awful. It laughed at two impact guns - one was borrowed from a professional car shop. I don't remember the torque ratings but they were easily in the 200 - 600 ft / lbs range that did nothing.

I'll probably post a write up to my process here about the pulley bolt removal since it's so difficult and I've learned a few tricks from studying up.


2011 Accord Coupe LX-S AT i4 cyl.
'04 Acura TSX 2.4L 6MT
'95 Acura Integra RS (bought new, had it 19.5 years!)
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post #2 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 03:48 PM
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post #3 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm. It could also be the higher up camshaft pulley seal which is then drooling down behind the cover and around the crankshaft pulley area. grr.
Any thoughts which one I should roll the dice on first?
Is one more apt to leak at 200K + miles than the other?

Ok I'm gonna post some oil drool pics here now:
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2011 Accord Coupe LX-S AT i4 cyl.
'04 Acura TSX 2.4L 6MT
'95 Acura Integra RS (bought new, had it 19.5 years!)

Last edited by namegoeshere; 12-03-2017 at 07:59 PM. Reason: merger
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post #4 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 04:07 PM
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reason for post#2 above is for us (more eyes) to help you avoid rolling the dice. use degreaser to get that mofo spotless, run it, and snap a pic of the fresh leak so we can determine where it is coming from. oil can trail and get slung around without much since of how it's doing it....get it clean and you'll see what I mean.

however, chris918 will help you roll the dice as his 2.4 accord has been repaired more than a nyc taxi back in the 70s.

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post #5 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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More pics:

My leak notes had a rate of spraying out 2 quarts in 800 miles.
It's hosing down the right (passenger side) of car and then splattering about everywhere.
I've really cleaned the oil pan and oil filter area and it does not show up there.

It's really seeming to be behind or above the crank pulley bolt.
Attached Images

2011 Accord Coupe LX-S AT i4 cyl.
'04 Acura TSX 2.4L 6MT
'95 Acura Integra RS (bought new, had it 19.5 years!)

Last edited by namegoeshere; 12-03-2017 at 07:59 PM. Reason: merge
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post #6 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 04:51 PM
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Vtec gasket

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post #7 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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If that's where I think it is: up high in the engine at the back of the motor then that's not it. If it's on the right of car I will try to see if it is.

And I think I was being a little dumb here. It's not a camshaft seal leak.
Take a look at this 2004 TSX engine that was pulled and bought for $1800 to install in a racer's Lotus:
I needed something like this to better conceptualize what's where and what could leak.
I believe my visual oil leak - or the result visually of that leak of what I can see with the car assembled is at the area of the lower left - that's the crank(shaft) pulley. It's quite wet behind there and the oil runs out the back.
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2011 Accord Coupe LX-S AT i4 cyl.
'04 Acura TSX 2.4L 6MT
'95 Acura Integra RS (bought new, had it 19.5 years!)
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post #8 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a pic of the engine directly viewed from the side. Again lower left is the crank pulley and where I'm seeing oil behind it coming from.

Next pic is the timing chain cover removed just to look what's behind there.
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2011 Accord Coupe LX-S AT i4 cyl.
'04 Acura TSX 2.4L 6MT
'95 Acura Integra RS (bought new, had it 19.5 years!)
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post #9 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 07:59 PM
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I have a 2005 TSX, and I have had the timing cover off when I replaced my timing chain. The chain cover is a solid piece of aluminum, no gasket as it is sealed with Hondabond. There is a small cover near the top of the crankshaft pulley, the cover is to replace the timing chain tensioner. If it is leaking from there it is easy to repair as there is 3 bolts and Hondabond to seal it back up. I suspect you have a bad front main seal.

As you said to replace that you need to remove the belt and the passenger side inner fender liner. Then remove the crankshaft pulley. To do that you need a special crankshaft holder tool and a couple of large breaker bars. Then pull the crankshaft pulley and pry out the old seal. Seat the new seal and reassemble.



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post #10 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 08:04 PM
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can't tell from pics where oil is hemorrhaging from, but you definitely need a tourniquet. i highly doubt he vtec gasket leaking is the cause of losing 1qt of oil per 400 miles as chris918 suggests, but i guess anything is possible. valve cover could be leaking, but that's a lot of oil loss for a vc leak.

i'm sure t-rd will be along monday morning to fill us in on what it could be besides the main seal. he'll probably also insist you check/replace your pcv valve after you get done wiping the oil off your hands.

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post #11 of 44 Old 12-03-2017, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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It's most definitely not a valve cover leak.
I was wondering if that small 3 bolt cover was the chain tensioner access plate, so I guess it is. If I recall, I don't the leak seems to be coming up that high. I will re-check to be sure. Thanks for that info, that's all very good to know.
But if leak isn't traced up that high, I guess it must be the crank oil seal.

You can buy a special tool to hold the crank, improvise and make one (there's several ideas circulating online) or in my case simply use the transmission and brake to hold the motor as this car is a standard transmission (AT peeps can't do that trick).

I just remember how bad the Integra crank bolt was to break free. There were 3 of us working on it to break it. My car was laid up for 4 weeks trying to get that damn bolt out (was finally done with a serious cheater bar extension).

Oh and I did pull the PCV valve and inspect it. It's fully functional and the hose to it is free and not clogged. I swapped in the newer lower mileage PCV valve from my '11 Honda Accord 2.4L as I had just installed a new one (that was back when I was gripped in terror about having a REAR main seal leak on that car. But it turned out it was the magically failed oil filter that cracked or something out of the blue.)

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'04 Acura TSX 2.4L 6MT
'95 Acura Integra RS (bought new, had it 19.5 years!)
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post #12 of 44 Old 12-04-2017, 03:49 AM
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The timing chain cover also mates up with the oil pan at the bottom, but if it is a leak in between the timing cover and the oil pan you will be removing the timing cover and resealing with Hondabond. Once you have the crankshaft pulley off you will see the problem. There are few tricks on getting the crankshaft pulley off, one involves using the starter to break loose the bolt.

Another involves a special thick walled socket to remove the bolt and an 1/2 impact wrench. Search for this :

Lisle 77080 19 mm Harmonic Balancer Socket for Honda




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post #13 of 44 Old 12-04-2017, 06:06 AM
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The trans for the TSX is on the driver's side when you are standing in front of the engine. Oil leak on that side usually points to the rear main seal, but it does not look like what you are showing in your pictures. At least I've never seen one that serious. If you'd like to try something before you take everything apart, try high mileage oil to attempt to reseal all seals and see if the leak slows.

But I think you need to take off the timing chain cover and reseal the entire thing using hondabond HT. While you are in there, install a new crankshaft seal also. Don't rule out valve cover leak. I have worked on my dad's 2008 Accord I4 and that valve cover oil leak was coming down the rear of the valve cover like a foot long waterfall onto the rear heat shield and was a huge mess. Since you'll be taking off the timing chain cover, just resealed the valve cover also using the FelPro gasket kit. Don't forget to use hondabond HT at the 4 kinked areas.

Get the crank pulley holding tool, don't improvise. It's not that expensive. I believe you can also rent it. If you'd like, use the starter bump method with the fuel pump fuse removed. This sometimes works and sometimes not.

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post #14 of 44 Old 12-04-2017, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg1c View Post
The timing chain cover also mates up with the oil pan at the bottom, but if it is a leak in between the timing cover and the oil pan you will be removing the timing cover and resealing with Hondabond. Once you have the crankshaft pulley off you will see the problem. There are few tricks on getting the crankshaft pulley off, one involves using the starter to break loose the bolt.

Another involves a special thick walled socket to remove the bolt and an 1/2 impact wrench. Search for this :

Lisle 77080 19 mm Harmonic Balancer Socket for Honda




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The Lisle socket is the only thing that got the pulley bolt of my '13 CR-V. FWIW my '13 CR-V wouldn't let me do the starter "trick" One click and it seems like the cpu knew something was wrong and shut down all electrical components. Once you remove the key and put it back in everything is fine.

Lisle 77080 + DeWalt DCF899M1 Cordless Impact took it right off. The DCF899M1 is perfect for those that don't have space for a big air compressor (no garage in rental )

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post #15 of 44 Old 12-04-2017, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your suggestions!
A couple things.
I know for sure it's not a Valve Cover leak as I've 360 degree-d all around it and it's totally dry at the seam (mating surfaces) and below it as well. I was all over that area. As well, with the VTEC gasket + VTEC solenoid. In fact I bought those parts - and then was disappointed under very close inspection after removing oil and inducing a new leak the oil was not coming from any of the 3 VTEC items.

AFAIK - only from reading, the starter bump method works, it works great.
But not on Hondas. Right?
I thought the engine travel direction was the wrong way vs. the crank pulley bolt. On my (Honda built) Acura Integra although it's based on the civic that engine's belts and crank shaft pulley were on the opposite side of the car (driver side) but to release the crank pulley bolt it was CCW direction aka "lefty-loosey". Although that was 10 years ago I recall it vividly.

And I also think that driving the car 'tightens' the crank pulley bolt if anything - it does not loosen it up due to the direction the motor spins.

I'm not sure why jamming the brake on with the car in highest gear and manual clutch out isn't a reasonable strategy. Are some people not familiar with that method (all AT guides etc...) or is there something with the larger engine in the Accord that makes that a no go?
That 100% worked on my " 'teg", but I also know a 50mm Honda sized crank pulley holder special tool can be 'loaned' for free from AZ by paying full price and returning it for a refund afterwards under the tool loaner program.


2011 Accord Coupe LX-S AT i4 cyl.
'04 Acura TSX 2.4L 6MT
'95 Acura Integra RS (bought new, had it 19.5 years!)
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