View Full Version : Oil filter gasket blowing out...loosing all my oil!!

05-04-2004, 09:52 PM
This is getting ridiculous.......this is now the second time in 3 months that my oil filter has loosened up and all my oil has shot out, causing me to loose all oil pressure and shut her off immediately. I'm lucky I haven't damaged any bearings. The engine was rebuilt back in Aug 2002, and I only have about 10k on it since theat rebuild.

Does anyone have any idea why this would happen? When I rebuilt the engine, I reused the original oil cooler.....could it be warped or something, allowing the filter to loosen up? Both times now the filter gasket was blown out of place, allowing oil to shoot out.

Any ideas?....otherwise I'll have to retighten it every week to be sure it is tight. :confused:

05-04-2004, 10:08 PM
All I can think of is if you are not lubricating the o-ring seal when you install your new oil filter causing it to tear on installation.

05-04-2004, 10:21 PM
I always pre-oil the gaskets, and the gasket isn't tearing, it is "pushing" out and letting oil blow out.

05-04-2004, 10:46 PM
How close is the filter to the sub-frame or what condition are the engine mounts? Does the old filter have any scrapes on the side. Good luck

05-05-2004, 12:54 AM
What brand filters are you useing, and are you getting it tight enough when you install it?? Only times I've heard of an oil filter getting lose and blowinf oil was when it wasn't installed tight. Also, next time you have the filter off, check the big nut that holds on the oil cooler. Mine was loose causing some minor leakage.

Dick Adams
05-05-2004, 06:29 AM
Have you checked your oil pressure? It's possible the relief valve in the oil pump is sticking causing the oil pressure to go too high. This could blow out the o ring. I would get a real oil pressure gauge on it to see what the oil pressure is.

Joisey Jim
05-05-2004, 01:22 PM
JC - I'd check what Brian mentioned. The threaded stud which the filter screws onto has come loose a couple of times on my SC's. There is also a gasket between the regular filter housing on the block & the added cooler casing - if that's failing then the stud will loosen and you'll also get a leak, which runs down the filter, looking like you didn't put it on tight enough. I'd unscrew the stud, pull off the cooler, replace the gasket (I recall a regular filter ring gasket worked, as Ford wanted $5) and then tighten down the stud again, maybe use a little loctite.

05-05-2004, 09:22 PM
It isn't rubbing the subframe or anything. I have new motor mounts in it.

I use Purolator filters, and never had the problem on the SC, or any one of my other 3 cars, before. I tightened it enough. In fact, after it happened the first time, I cranked down on the filter wiht the filter wrench to make sure it was really tight.

The nut holding the cooler on is tight. The gasket between the coller and the mounting base is fine.

The oil pressure seems normal. It fluctuates between just below the "N" in NORM and about the middle of NORM.

I'm still at a loss..........

05-05-2004, 10:07 PM
The factory gauge is really an on/off switch. If you have voltage from the sensor the gauge shows normal. It's just an idiot light made to look like a real gauge. The only way to tell real oil pressures is to hook up a mechanical gauge to the engine.

I always just put the filter on by hand until it touches then one additional 3/4 turn with a oil fitler wrench. Always do the oil change with the engine only slightly warm not HOT. What weight oil do you run, is it a heavy weight oil? Don't have any other ideas offhand.


05-05-2004, 10:19 PM
You might try a diffent brand of filter or check to make sure its right one. I cant think of anything that would cause this then what was mentiond before

05-05-2004, 10:52 PM
Could the mating surface of your oil cooler have gotten warped somehow???

05-06-2004, 01:28 AM
I Know This May Sound Too Simple, But Check And Make Sure That Your Last Oil Filter Gasket Is Not Stuck On The Housing. The Only Time I've Ever Seen Oil Leak From There Is When It Has A Double Gasket. Just A Thought. Other Than That, I Don't Know.

05-06-2004, 06:02 PM
It seems logical that the only things which can act upon the filter to cause this sort of phenomenon are too much oil pressure causing seal blow out, a damaged oil cooler, or a poorly manufactured filter.

Reguarding oil pressure, if it was high enough to blow out the filter seal, I'm sure it would be high enough to do other significant damage. Therefore, I think this should be explored as a final possibility. As the others said, you will need a factory gauge attached to were the stock electric sending unit is, the factory gauge is nothing more than a switch at or around 7 psi.

It seems you have already checked at least some components of the oil intercooler. I am not so familiar with this part, but it sounds logical that perhaps you have a piece of gasket left over or even a warped/cracked surface. The only trouble here is I don't know why these things would not cause a problem almost instantaneously.

The only other possibility I can currently think of is that a batch of filters from Purolator were produced with manufactured flaws. Perhaps the glue holding the seal to the casing was applied improperly and fails. The timeframe between failures could also make sense here, as glue which is already improperly applied could be weakening as it cycles between hot and cold. If the glue were to fail, I could see the seal blowing out in the fashion you describe.

If you are unable to find anything else, I would try to fit a filter not made by champion labratories. While these are reputable filters, I suppose its possible they had a bad batch. A Motorcraft filter would work well for this purpose, as would an A/C Delco.

Goodluck, I hope you find the cause...

05-06-2004, 09:43 PM
The filter gasket is not stuck to the cooler, and the cooler mounting surface looks good. I don't see how the filter could really be at fault....I use a regular Purolator the first time, and then a Pure One the last time.

Somehow the filter is loosening enough to allow the oil pressure to blow part of the filter gasket out of its groove an allow oil to blow out, literally. All the oil comes out in a matter of seconds.

I keep hearing that the stock oil guage is just like a dummy light, but then why does it vary with different ranges during different engine conditions? It seems to be responding to varying levels of oil pressure, not just showing pressure when it is above a certain point. My factory temp guage is pretty accurate when it comes to telling the water temp.

I may just get another oil cooler and see if that does the trick.

05-06-2004, 09:57 PM
Last time that happened to me was when I bought the STP Silver bullet. They made the gasket with 2 layers and of course the oil blew out between where the 2 were glued together.. (DOH!) :rolleyes: Don't know how many engines they ended up paying for, but they stopped making the silver bullet filter. :)

Joisey Jim
05-07-2004, 02:58 PM
The only other thing I can think of, is if you ran the car with bad motor mounts for a long time that maybe the oil cooler casing is warped from when the filter was rubbing on the frame. Take a close look at the mating surface as well and, when the filter gasket first makes contact, take a small mirror and check to see if there is one spot with a gap. Are you also sure that there isn't a crack in the sump pan (from where the P/S lines rubbed, before you changed the mounts) or that the front crank seal isn't bad - both could cause a substantial leak that looks like it's coming from the filter area.
Good luck.

PS - if your oil pressure is exceptionally high, then there should be other signs - like the valve cover gaskets leaking, pcv valve clogged with oil, oil coming back into the air intake tube from the pcv vent line, oil spurting out of the dip-stick tube,etc.

05-09-2004, 09:01 PM
I did have one bad motor mount, but it wasn't so bad that the filter ever rubbed teh subframe, or the pan either.

It is definitely the filter coming loose and the gasket pushing out. I've seen it both times....I just don't know why?????

05-09-2004, 09:32 PM
It's definitely coming from the o-ring? I remember when I was alot less experienced I used a channel-lock like filter wrench to tighten the filter and I had poked a hole in the side of it so it leaked the oil out.