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sicclee

Crazy leak, timing cover

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2002 mazda 626 LX, 2.5L V6 (KL)

 I have a major oil leak that has saturated the most of the bottom of my engine compartment on the passenger side. The timing cover has come away from the engine in multiple places, including where the two pieces meet in the middle. I've already done some work in that area of the engine, including changing the alternator and replacing the crankshaft pulley and both belts. My questions:

1. What would cause the timing cover to not meet up with the block anymore? it's as if it is warped, there's large gaps on the top of both sides.

2. Is it difficult to change these pieces, relative to the other work i've done on this car? Do I have to remove the motor mount or any other components to gain access to the covers or bolts? 

 3. Apparently they don't make after-market timing covers. Is this because they don't require replacement very often? OEM parts are about $200. Any reason I shouldn't get a pair from a salvage yard?

4. Could a timing cover failure like this lead to such a big leak, or is it likely something else is leaking as well? 

5. Whats the best way to clean all this up after I've fixed the problem?

 

Thanks!

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1. Dunno. Possibly some previous owner who changed the timing belt and forced the timing cover back on?

2. If I remember correctly, you don't need to remove the motor mount or anything. [Edit: You need to remove the dipstick holder; I can't remember if you have to remove the crank pulley and accessory belts.] It's just very awkward to get the timing cover into place in such a cramped location.

3. The timing cover should never (normally) need replacing. Get one from a junkyard.

4. No. The timing cover's job is to keep dirt off the timing belt; not to keep oil in. Something else is causing the leak. My guess is that the camshaft cap has come loose. It's about the size of a US quarter, very near the oil dipstick, just underneath that thing for lifting the engine. Common problem. Let's hope my guess is right, because that's an easy fix.

5. Rags. But the worry is that oil has gotten onto the timing belt, which will shorten its life.

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Most likely the cam caps need to be replaced I had the same issue in the past. I would replace everything except those because I was scared.  The oil and heat does warp the covers.  If you look around online you might find a mazda dealer selling wholesale or clearing them out for less.  The you pull it and salvage yards will have plenty of covers for you now since the cars out being retired now.  I lost min last year with 250k.  

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