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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I noticed the dreaded couple of oil spots on my road where the 156 JTS has been sat. This seems to have started a week ago or so and the oil level has dropped significantly. A look with a torch seems to suggest front of engine, below exhaust manifold.

See video here: Youtube video

Any ideas where it could be coming from?

Thanks
 

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Take off your engine cover for a better look. Most likely cam carrier gasket as sprint_veloce mentioned above.
 

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Check the oil filter.
Could be loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick replies. Took the cover off, oil pooling in cylinder 1 and 2 near coils but its not obvious whether the cam cover seal is causing it or whether it was slap dash filling by previous owner. Hard to see whether this is where it's trickling down to make the mess in my video before. I'll check the oil filter next. Can oil pooling be a sign of knackered cam cover plug seal rings? The big rubber seal under the oil cap is twisted but that's just to support the plastic cover I think.
 

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The oil on top looks like from sloppy filling. It is also dry, not fresh.

I'm still betting on a loose oil filter. :thinking:
 

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Checking the oil filter should be easy enough. And the oil pool near the plugs is almost definitely from spills during topping up the oil.

Cam cover gaskets are known to leak on the cambelt side so sometimes a little bit of sealant is useful on the corners and around the plug wells. But try the oil filter first and then maybe take a further look around the cover gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Checked the oil filter, nice and tight. Looking even further it seems the bulk of the oil is under no. 4 cylinder (assuming no 1 is cambelt end), maybe a bit under no3. It's quite oily around the dipstick seal. Is there anything else under or near the exhaust manifold on cylinder 4 that could leak oil? I just can't see under there without serious disassembly.

I might get it up to temp and see if anything is obviously leaking.
 

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Has the dipstick tube seal started to disintegrate? The crankcase is under slight pressure so it will find a way out ..
 

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The studs for the exhaust manifold can leak oil, as they go through the head into an oilway.
 

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I would clean all the cruddy oily mess off the cam cover and plastic coolant manifold and surrounding areas and run the engine and see what reappears.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Managed to shove a gopro down the gap and although its almost impossible to get it angled in the right place, with lighting, I think I've found the culprit, see top left of this blurry screen grab, the lower-right manifold stud has oil around it.

The studs for the exhaust manifold can leak oil, as they go through the head into an oilway.
You might be the winner!

I ran it up to temperature, its running terribly, 'coughing'/doing its random misfire (even worse than when I bought it 3 months ago) at idle, the revs stay constant it just misfires randomly. There's a faint hiss coming from near cylinder no.1, and something whines with the engine revs, presumably alternator bearings or similar. Despite me proclaiming my love for this car to anyone in earshot, I'm getting fed up with its 'quirks'. And this is on a 1 owner full service history car.

Its booked into Darren Slade in Bristol next week for him to give it the once over. Biggest worry is I checked the oil level and it was fine, few days later noticed a drip, then checked the level the next day and it was below the minimum mark on the dipstick. Hope there's no cam damage...
 

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