Rear main seal or valve cover leak? Your opinions on cost of repair.

Austin704

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Austin, Texas
I'm considering the purchase of a 2005 TJ Sport with the 4.0L I6. Crawled around underneath and found an oily mess... Would like your thoughts. Mine are rear main seal or valve cover leak. Curious to know approximate cost of repair for both. Owner says it occasionally drips oil in the garage but not much. Says oil level remains steady--but the entire drivetrain is covered in old oil, which appears to have been blown back by the wind at speed. Including photo of engine compartment. Jeep clean otherwise. Frame in good shape. Asking $17500.

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I'm considering the purchase of a 2005 TJ Sport with the 4.0L I6. Crawled around underneath and found an oily mess... Would like your thoughts. Mine are rear main seal or valve cover leak. Curious to know approximate cost of repair for both. Owner says it occasionally drips oil in the garage but not much. Says oil level remains steady--but the entire drivetrain is covered in old oil, which appears to have been blown back by the wind at speed. Including photo of engine compartment. Jeep clean otherwise. Frame in good shape. Asking $17500.

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Not even taking a RMS replacement into the equation, 17,5 is LJ territory.
 
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With that much crud on the pan, I think the oil pan gasket is one issue. Lots of times you can simply tighten the oil pan and valve cover bolts to stop a leak.
 
In the pictures the Jeep appears to be in nice condition and the 76K on the odometer is certainly a selling factor, but the oil leak underneath is a concern.
Repairing of the valve cover gasket can be performed by you for $40 and a ratchet with a 12mm socket.
The oil pan and rear main seal is more involved; a reputable mechanic can repair these for around $1000 as posted above.
As discussed above; the asking price of $17.5K is excessive and would be what you would expect to pay for a LJR if you could find one.
IF the owner is not willing to accept 12.5K as discussed above; then walk away.
 
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Pricey but that seems in line with what I have seen in my research.

Be insistent that they guarantee the work if you decide to do it. I have seen many people who still have leaks in that seal after changing it and the workshop has even told them that it is a problem with their engine.
 
Be insistent that they guarantee the work if you decide to do it. I have seen many people who still have leaks in that seal after changing it and the workshop has even told them that it is a problem with their engine.

Local shops here guarantee their work for 1 year. The seal will leak again on day 366. :cautious:
 
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A good shop should be able to knock that out in 3ish hours, provided the nuts aren't seized on the Y-Pipe at the manifold. Even then, that's just an extra 10ish minutes with a good cutting wheel. Down here in Houston the going flag hour rate is roughly $160-$200, not sure what good ole Austin rates are. You can save a lot of coin if you do it yourself. Its not a difficult job if you have some mechanical ability and general hand tools.

Side note, that's a lot of oil/grim for only having 76K on it. I'm with others on that price, way to much. Is that the going price for Jeeps up there? If so, change your search area to down here, plenty of jeeps just as nice, or nicer than this one for far less coin.