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Replacing Seals in 3.0 engine

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Old 02-12-2008, 10:46 AM
clivesay clivesay is offline
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Default Replacing Seals in 3.0 engine

Hello all. So happy to see this forum!

I have a 98 Grand Caravan SE with a 3.0 engine that leaks oil all over the place. I took it to a dealer who told me all the seals need to be replaced and quoted me about $300 in parts and $1300 in labor!

I am a DIY. Since the van is now an extra vehicle and costs almost nothing to insure, I want to try and fix this. Can anyone give me any hints? I've started to get some white smoke at idle so I'm wondering if my head gasket is bad too.

Can I keep this engine in the van to do this work? It's been a great van for almost 10yrs. I hate to let it go.

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Old 02-16-2008, 01:58 AM
vlmuke vlmuke is offline
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Default RE: Replacing Seals in 3.0 engine

what seals are you talking about valve seals, main, valve cover, or all of them?
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:07 AM
clivesay clivesay is offline
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Default RE: Replacing Seals in 3.0 engine

The guy at the dealership told me all seals. There is a lot of leakage at the front of the motor.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:14 AM
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dhvaughan dhvaughan is offline
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Default RE: Replacing Seals in 3.0 engine

i don't know anything about your 98, but i had an 88 with a 3.0 v6 a long time ago. mine was not too bad to work on. the front of the engine was on the passenger side, and by jacking it up and removing front tire and inner fender liner, you can get at everything pretty good. i once put on a water pump and timing belt. just strip off belts, ac, etc, etc and eventually you get down to a bare motor.

the first thing you need to do is locate a factory service manual (first choice) or haynes manual (second choice) and read up on the procedure. if you have oil leaks, one of them is likely the front crank seal. i don't know - but once the front of the motor is stripped, it should be easy and cheap to replace it. the rear main crank seal may be a different story.

valve seals can also be replaced. but, when they leak, it causes excessive blue smoke in the exhaust, not an external leak. i once paid a guy to do this, and how he did it was strip the top of the motor and remove valve covers and spark plugs. one cylinder at a time, he lowered the piston, fed in cotton string through the spark plug hole, and then rotated piston up. this pinned the valve. then he removed the valve sping holder, replaced the rubber seal, and reinstalled the spring. very clever. i think he charged me about $250 or so.

there are not too many places that an engine can leak oil. valve covers, oil pan. front and rear main seal. cam seals ?? intake ?? head gasket. you can probably easily fix anything except the rear main. i don't know about it - if its a 2 piece seal, you can do it w/o engine or trans removal. if its a 1 piece seal, then you got to pull, or drop, one of them.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:57 PM
dishdude2k dishdude2k is offline
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Default RE: Replacing Seals in 3.0 engine

your white smoke is valves.. mine is doin the same thing.. i just keep adding oil. and goin with it.. and it hasnt failed me.. its been doing this for about 8 months now.. maybe eventually i will fix it.. but hell.. i have takin it from north carolina to maryland about a dozen times.. and from north carolina to colorado twice.. with this happening.. and its still kickin out at almost 170k miles
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