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Major Oil Leaks.

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#1 austin g

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Posted 05 August 2022 - 05:37 AM

Hi guys, newbie here to the forum, so I recently bought a 1990,s Rover mini 998 which I knew was leaking oil somewhere, it turns out that the sump plug thread has been stripped and bodged back in somehow so I,m planning to fit a helicoil repair kit also oil is leaking from the pot joints so I need to fit new seals there too, I,ve done work on minis before but nothing as major as this so what I would like to know basically are both jobs  possible to do without removing the engine?

#2 Icey


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Posted 05 August 2022 - 08:06 AM

Pot joint seals, yes that's easy enough. I'd get the car in the air, pop the bottom ball joints and swing the hub out until the joint clears the cover. Unbolt and replace. (If he has stock, you can buy rebuilt covers from Guessworks).


For the sump plug - not sure, I've not personally had to do it. Looking at my helicoil set, space to drill and tap is going to be the challenge. And if you can get something in there, how 'square' will it be to the sealing face? (if it's on the piss it'll just leak again). Hold for others to comment on that one, there may be a trick...


If you do have to take the engine out, it's really not a big deal as long as you have some off road space. Buy/borrow/rent a crane and then just work through unbolting everything. If wires make you nervous, label them all as you unplug them. With a bit of practise it only takes a couple of hours to pull an engine out.

#3 Steam


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Posted 05 August 2022 - 09:00 AM

There are jigs / frames around that allow the drill and taps to be kept square and straight, I think there are even plans for one on here but I cannot find it just now.
To be honest there are better ways / systema than helicoil.

#4 Gilles1000


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Posted 05 August 2022 - 09:34 AM

I changed the seals behind the pot joint in place without unscrewing the diff side covers.

For this I completely removed the transmissions and also renewed both Pot joints boots as I was at it and they were split.

I removed the old seals with a tool looking like a fork to ease them out. Pressed gently the new one in with a big enough nut to spread the load.

#5 Ethel


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Posted 05 August 2022 - 10:28 AM

Give the pot joints a good wobble and inspect the bronze bushes they turn in, once the pots are removed. If the bushes are worn replacing the seals alone won't be a long term fix. You can take the covers off with the engine in, but swot up on setting the diff preload. Simplest would be to replace the gaskets  like for like, so try & identify the type.


There are several topics on stripped sump plugs if you want to look at your options.

#6 MatthewsDad


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Posted 05 August 2022 - 03:30 PM

As above, several helpful threads on stripped sump threads, one by Spider.

#7 austin g

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Posted 06 August 2022 - 01:01 AM

Thanks for the advice guys, that was my biggest concern being able to get a helicoil fixing dead square on so as ensure it does what its supposed to do, it does look a bit tight for room down there so I might venture to remove the engine which means I,ll have to get the air con system depressurised, a job for specialist air con engineers so I,m told.

#8 Quinlan minor

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Posted 06 August 2022 - 07:29 AM

to be honest, I'd go for a TIME-SERT over a Helicoil, every time, particularly on a sump plug.


#9 Shooter63


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Posted 07 August 2022 - 08:00 AM

While I agree that timeserts are an excellent option the cost of a kit is mega money, try £250.00 and you'll have to find someone with one in stock over here, if not there will be import+VAT charges on top as well. Helicoil works well, I've actually done one with the engine in place, not the easiest job but definitely not the worst, the ultimate is the idea from the legendary 'Spider' on here using a M20 bolt with a 5/8 unc thread through the centre, but you still need to drill and tap the existing NFG hole though.


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