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1997 Ls Oil Pan Gasket Leak


auto1bp
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i just recently serviced my 97 ls and now when i am parked on a hill i see a quarter sized oil spot on the driveway under the back of the oil pan, all the oil seals have been replaced along with belts, pulleys, waterpump, timing belt, power steering pump was rebuilt and new hoses, i have checked the oil pan plug and it seems ok but i do see a couple of drops of oil on the back of the oil pan and it looks as though there may be some seepage around the gasket. the motor is a 99 motor and has only about 90k on it now. i am thinking i need to replace the lower oil pan gasket and hoping it is nothing more. should this gasket be worn out at 90-100k? could this be anything else? or does it sound like i am on the right track? any advice would be appreciated. thanks brad

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i just recently serviced my 97 ls and now when i am parked on a hill i see a quarter sized oil spot on the driveway under the back of the oil pan, all the oil seals have been replaced along with belts, pulleys, waterpump, timing belt, power steering pump was rebuilt and new hoses, i have checked the oil pan plug and it seems ok but i do see a couple of drops of oil on the back of the oil pan and it looks as though there may be some seepage around the gasket. the motor is a 99 motor and has only about 90k on it now. i am thinking i need to replace the lower oil pan gasket and hoping it is nothing more. should this gasket be worn out at 90-100k? could this be anything else? or does it sound like i am on the right track? any advice would be appreciated. thanks brad

Welcome auto1bp. :cheers:

Oil leaks can be difficult to track down. You want to start by thoroughly degreasing the underneath and then monitoring for a leak. If you have been a good boy, it is only a loose oil pan bolt or gasket. However, it could be several things. As your car travels forward every leak tends to travel backward, so the back of the pan is a logical place to notice a leak.

When you say that "all the oil seals have been replaced", do you include front and rear crankshaft main seals?

Do you only notice the leak when parked on a hill? (then dont park on hills...problem solved :whistles: ).

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i just recently serviced my 97 ls and now when i am parked on a hill i see a quarter sized oil spot on the driveway under the back of the oil pan, all the oil seals have been replaced along with belts, pulleys, waterpump, timing belt, power steering pump was rebuilt and new hoses, i have checked the oil pan plug and it seems ok but i do see a couple of drops of oil on the back of the oil pan and it looks as though there may be some seepage around the gasket. the motor is a 99 motor and has only about 90k on it now. i am thinking i need to replace the lower oil pan gasket and hoping it is nothing more. should this gasket be worn out at 90-100k? could this be anything else? or does it sound like i am on the right track? any advice would be appreciated. thanks brad

Welcome auto1bp. :cheers:

Oil leaks can be difficult to track down. You want to start by thoroughly degreasing the underneath and then monitoring for a leak. If you have been a good boy, it is only a loose oil pan bolt or gasket. However, it could be several things. As your car travels forward every leak tends to travel backward, so the back of the pan is a logical place to notice a leak.

When you say that "all the oil seals have been replaced", do you include front and rear crankshaft main seals?

Do you only notice the leak when parked on a hill? (then dont park on hills...problem solved :whistles: ).

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thanks, i am not sure about the front crankshaft seal, we checked the rear one when servicing it and no leaks then (1 month ago) as far as the hill goes, it is my driveway, so i don't have much choice as far as the parking, we also cleaned the motor up after the power steering pump was rebuilt, so it is pretty clean underneath it, i got underneath it today with some lights and could not find anything leaking or evidence of any oil except for around the oil pan, i have got to change the oil in a few hundred miles, so i may just see about changing the gasket then and hope for the best. thanks brad

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First check the oil pan bolts for tightness. A little snugging may be all that is needed depending upon the severity of the leak.

Now, a more curious question...You put a 99 VVTi engine in a 97 LS? Thats a different motor, electronics-wise. Did you change the ECU and other related electronics? What happened to the original 97 motor?

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First check the oil pan bolts for tightness. A little snugging may be all that is needed depending upon the severity of the leak.

Now, a more curious question...You put a 99 VVTi engine in a 97 LS? Thats a different motor, electronics-wise. Did you change the ECU and other related electronics? What happened to the original 97 motor?

i am assuming that it was no good, the owner before me had it maintained at lexus of chicagoland, before i bought it i checked with them and got the service history and they told me about the new motor they installed, they also put a 98 transmission in it, i was kind of skeptical about the motor until i drove it and realized that it had quite a bit more horsepower than some other 96 and 97 ls400's that i have sold, it has made it interesting when i am buying parts for it. i am not sure about them changing the ecu, but it seems like that they would have had to do it for the motor and tranny to work properly, from looking at the service records it seems that the previous owner had more money than sense. i will try and check the oil pan bolts for tightness before dropping the pan. thanks for your help brad

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First check the oil pan bolts for tightness. A little snugging may be all that is needed depending upon the severity of the leak.

Now, a more curious question...You put a 99 VVTi engine in a 97 LS? Thats a different motor, electronics-wise. Did you change the ECU and other related electronics? What happened to the original 97 motor?

i am assuming that it was no good, the owner before me had it maintained at lexus of chicagoland, before i bought it i checked with them and got the service history and they told me about the new motor they installed, they also put a 98 transmission in it, i was kind of skeptical about the motor until i drove it and realized that it had quite a bit more horsepower than some other 96 and 97 ls400's that i have sold, it has made it interesting when i am buying parts for it. i am not sure about them changing the ecu, but it seems like that they would have had to do it for the motor and tranny to work properly, from looking at the service records it seems that the previous owner had more money than sense. i will try and check the oil pan bolts for tightness before dropping the pan. thanks for your help brad.....i tightened a couple of oil pan bolts that were a little loose, no more leak thanks brad

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