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I knew I shouldn't have cracked a joke about Wills oil slick......


Well, I was out to dinner with some friends. Time to leave. I jump in the car and start it up. Starts instantly. Runs for a minute or two and the oil light comes on and I hear something squirting in the engine compartment. Turn engine off and lift clam shell. There is oil all over the right side of the firewall, the front of the engine, and around oil filter area, and a big puddle under the car. Well damn!


It's in the 40's, I'm out in an area with no cell service, and about 12 miles from home. I use the restaurants phone to call the only two (yes two) local tow services. One of them can't come because both of their drivers are out dear hunting and the other doesn't answer. Country living at it's best. I talk to the owner of the restaurant and he'll let me park my car on the side of the building until I can pick it up. I also tell him I'll clean the oil slick in his gravel parking lot. It happens to be right in front of the front door. I get a ride home. Luckily I had the tonneau cover with me. I'll get home throw a tarp in the truck, and come back to cover the car for the night.


I get home and make one last call to the guy that didn't answer. He answers, oh happy day. He was busy at an accident but agrees to meet me out there tonight. I load up some 2x10's, a shovel, and a bucket in the 4 runner and head out. On the way, I pick up a bucket full of crush and run. I get back to the restaurant and I help the owner cover the oil with some sand that he had and the crush and run that I had. The funny thing is, the spot I parked had a pile of sand on it already from a previous diesel leak from another car. It was a cursed parking spot.


The tow truck arrives and we use the 2x10s to get the car up the ramp without scraping anything. We get the car back home in the garage. The only thing I had time to do tonight, was jack the rear of the car up and put it on stands. I guess I'm going to put some more oil in it, disable the ignition, and turn it over to see exactly where it shoots out of. Does this seem like a good way to find the leak? It might be messy, but It's the only way I can think of doing it. I will give it a thorough look see before I do anything first. The way it looks from just my brief examination, is it squirted out the filter. I'll know more when I get a chance.


The good thing is, that it only costs me $60 to get it towed, so I gave the guy a $20 dollar bill, as a tip, that I had found on the restaurant floor when I was on the phone calling him the first time. It's a strange world out there.

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Bummer! Start by examining the hoses for tears (and ends, to be sure they are tight), the oil filter (again, make sure it's tight), and generally looking for any clues to where it's coming from. I like the idea of turning it over with no power to the coil to see where it's coming from if you need to. Sounds like you caught it before it did any real damage. Al


When you get to the point that your 'middle age years' are but a nostalgic memory then your dinners out become long lingering affairs, and 40degrees is definitely COLD!!



Doubled-up filter seals seems like it should be double the protection.

If so, and the problem was them sticking, then would a smear of Chapstick solve the problem?



I'm (was) running Brad Penn 20/50, until it all got squirted out.  It's amazing how much oil, in such a short time, can come out of that compromised seal.


It was a shop dinner with coworkers, so we were drinking some beer and having a good ol time for about 3 hours.


So, I think I'm going to run a lighter oil for the winter months. Our winters aren't that bad, so if the roads are dry, I'm driving.


My oil system has a remote cooler. Maybe I need an oil thermostat that takes the cooler out of the loop during cold times.

I've seen enough filter O-rings sticking to the filter mount that I ALWAYS feel around the mount surface to make sure nothing's stuck on there before spinning on a new filter.  


But even with nothing stuck to the mount surface before you spin a new filter on, it's getting easier to over-tighten a filter these days, and if the gasket sticks to the mount before you stop tightening the canister, it can make the gasket/O-ring 'pooch' out as it ruptures and leak.  And it might not happen immediately, either.


Always put some new oil on all of the mounting surface of the new filter's O-ring gasket, and once it gets seated to the mount I never go more than 1/2 turn beyond that.


Get rid of that 50 wt oil, too.....Especially in cooler weather, but you don't need it in the summer, either.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I know I've said this before, but here it is again- the 51515R is a race filter using a less restrictive filter media, rated at 28 gallons per minute through larger bearing clearances for engines that live their lives above 5,000 rpm. A 60 micron particle is large enough to damage a bearing at the clearances our street engines are built.


The Wix 51515 is rated at 290lbs burst strength, has an anti-drainback valve, is rated at 7-9gpm (more than enough for even a 30mm oil pump in an aircooled VW street engine) and will trap particles almost 1/3 the size of the race filter. The equivelant Napa, being made by Wix, is the same. I see no reason for there to be particles that large floating around our engines when there are filters so much more suited for our use.


And David, I can relate!

Last edited by ALB

So I get some 10/30 in the mail. Push the car into the driveway, wrap the air cleaners and distributor in plastic, and spray the firewall and the front of the engine with a degreaser. I scrub the firewall, engine, and tranny with a soft brush and some soapy warm water. I then spray it all off with hot water. I blow it with a blower and push it back in the garage.


After a couple of hours with a fan blowing on the engine compartment, I disable the ignition by removing the rotor and disengaging the main lead at the coil. I add oil and turn engine over until I'm happy with the level of oil.


I put the ignition back together and start it. Only two cylinders are firing. I pop the distributer cap back off and notice some moisture. I leave it open overnight with the fan running.


I retry it today and only one cylinder fires. I checked the ohms on the coil and it checks out and there is gas squirting into the carbs. I have the compufire points in it.


Should I yank them and put in some regular points?

Is there some way to check the electronic points?


At least the engine compartment looks pretty again.

Last edited by Carlos G
Originally Posted by Alan Merklin - Drclock. Chambersburg PA:

Rare but I have seen it,  after you spray a VW motor the plug wells fill and ground out the plug wires..

Aye...nice call, Alan. When it rained on various trips, my engine lid grill would admit water while driving and when opening up the lid while filling up with gas ( or a beer stop ) to check the oil, that collected water would piss right into a spark plug hole on the Soob and exhibit the same symptoms Carlos is talking about.


Carlos, try to blow compressed air into the spark plug holes...with the plugs still installed.  

Not going to be coil or points, they work "all 4"  or it doesn't run.  

Start at the dizzy check connections and water in the cap plug wells, hairline cracked cap, check for spark at the plug end of each wire, if good then pull each plug with the wire attached ground the thread portion of the plug and check for good spark.

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Carlos, as you've probably read, I had the same thing happen twice in the first two days I owned my new VS. I fixed it the second time (first time the dealer "fixed" it) by tightening the nipple the filter screws onto and fixing it in place with Locktite.


When I replaced the Fram filter, I opened all five different filters that the auto store had in the size I needed. Of them, only the Mobile 1 had a retaining "wall" on both the inside and outside of the rubber gasket to keep it in place. The rest of the brands had simply peened either the inside or outside or both to "hold" the gasket in index, all of these allowed me to easily pull the gasket off the filter with my fingers. I couldn't get the Mobile 1 to budge and when, a week later, on a cold morning when my engine just didn't want to warm up (another case for the thermostat and flaps!), I spilled all of the 30 weight for a half-mile or so out of my ruptured doghouse cooler...the Mobile 1 filter was intact and leak-free.


I'm relieved to hear your fix was much less traumatic than mine! No more blipping the throttle when cold!

We are learning. I also found out that my firewall isn't watertight, so water got into the cockpit and got the carpet wet.


I also need to get a temperature controlled bypass for my external cooler to aid in warm up. I might also change out my filter adapter to take the bigger Napa 1515 filter.


When I pulled my car outside tonight to let it run for awhile, I noticed my brake lights weren't working. Freak an A, it's always something. The Spyders use a trailer module to make the one-bulb tail lights work as tail, turn, and brake. I've already replaced it once. Damn, someone should make a 3 filament bulb. I guess I need to do some investigating. Working under the dash is a severe pain in the back.


Did someone say Madness...........

Carlos... & everyone else too


Fiddling under the dash is physical torture!

Especially for old bones that no longer bend and twist with ease, and that are wrapped in muscles that very quickly ache from strain.

But it has to be done!...The 'madness' requires it.


I envision a 'clamped' driver's seat that can easily be removed.

A splined steering wheel (per Wolfgang's suggestion) that simply pulls off the column. The open floor is now padded with a one piece deck lounge cushion that is double folded over the clutch and brake pedals as a head rest. Illumination from two small battery LED's...with perhaps a small cylindrical LED flashlight that can be held in the mouth. A pouch with every miniature tool possibly required resting on your chest.


Oh... and some soft soothing music in the background that sort of drowns out the groaning and cursing.




Carlos---one place water gets into the car that seems like the firewall are where the windshield rivets come through the cowl ---right under the bottom edge of the windshield up under the dash.  There are 10 or so rivets there and a dab of silicone o each rivet will stop water from entering where those rivets are.  


That's the only place I ever had water penetrating the cabin at the front.

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