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SA4x4 Clinic got a technical query

Prado Leak

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Question by: Graham Murray Answer by: Arnold VenterI own an ’05 Land Cruiser Prado with the 1GR-FE 4.0-litre engine and 145 000 km on the clock. I’ve just returned from a trip to the Kaokoveld where the vehicle performed beautifully on some tough terrain – Van Zyl’s Pass, Kunene River track and several riverbeds.
However, on my return trip to JHB I noticed an oil leak between the engine and automatic transmission. The leaking fluid appears to be engine oil; could it be a rear crankshaft oil seal? Is the leak a result of the trip’s toughness, or just luck of the draw? Lastly, is this a common Prado problem?
Graham Murray

THE EXPERT’S OPINION:
I wouldn’t say it’s a common occurrence on these vehicles but we have seen – and repaired – a few cases. The cause of the failure is often a result of dirt and water contamination in the bell housing area; once this happens it forms a grinding paste on the working surfaces. The seal, being the weakest component, is gradually worn away until it develops an oil leak.
After repairing the seal we generally block off the bellhousing area to prevent further dirt contamination and future seal failure.
Arnold Venter
CRD (4×4 fitment & repairs)
(011) 907 0580 / arnold@crd.co.za