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Pelican Technical Article:

Fixing Common Oil Leaks

Time:

12 hr

Tab:

$40 to $200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Need full set

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)

Parts Required:

New gaskets, o-rings, valve covers

Hot Tip:

Replace all the seals that might leak when you have the engine out of the car.

Performance Gain:

No more oil leaks!

Complementary Modification:

Installation of Turbo Valve Covers, Installing collapsible oil return tubes.
101 Projects for Your Porsche 911

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's book, 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Porsche 911 owner's collection. See The Official Book Website for more details.

One of the most frustrating aspects of owning an older Porsche is the inevitable existence of oil leaks. The 911 engine in particular has a lot of different seals and connections that can often deteriorate with age, resulting in a large amount of oil leaks. Unfortunately, some of these leaks cannot be fixed without the engine removed from the car, or the fuel injection removed from the top of the engine. It's a wise idea to start with the leaks that are easiest to fix, and then move onto battling the harder ones later.

Perhaps the easiest oil leak to fix is the one involving the valve covers. Early covers manufactured out of magnesium had a tendency to warp and leak past the valve covers seals. The easiest solution to this problem is to replace your valve covers with 911 Turbo valve covers. These covers are manufactured out of aluminum and reinforced to reduce the warping that is often associated with the magnesium covers. For more information on installing the Turbo Valve Covers, see Pelican Technical Article: Upgrading to Turbo Valve Covers.

Some of the most common oil leaks cannot be fixed, unfortunately, without removing either the engine or the fuel injection. Some of the components and areas most susceptible to leaking are located in the front of the engine near the flywheel and are completely blocked by the fuel injection components. One such spot is the location where the crankcase breather hose is connected. Tightened around its fixture with a hose clamp, this hose can sometimes come loose or split, spilling oil all over the top of the engine. The solution is to replace the hose and retighten it with a new clamp. The crankcase breather cover where the hose mounts is also a problematic area for oil leaks. This small cover for the top of the engine has a gasket that seals it from leaking. Replacement is simple: remove the cover and install the new gasket with a slight bit of gasket sealer.

Right near the crankcase breather hose is the oil pressure warning lamp switch. Not only does this component often begin to leak out of its housing, but it also can leak at the connection to the case. The fix is to replace the entire sender (about $10). Make sure that the new one is tightened properly in the case, and also use a new metal crush washer gasket. Be careful not to over tighten the switch, as this may ultimately cause its housing to separate and leak oil. This can sometimes be blindly repaired without removing the engine or fuel injection - even though you can't actually see what your doing. On early cars, the oil pressure sending unit which also often leaks, was installed in this location.

Directly adjacent to the oil pressure switch is the thermostat, which controls the flow of oil to the oil cooler. The thermostat has an internal o-ring which seals itself against its housing and prevents oil from leaking out across the top of the engine. The thermostat can see somewhat high oil pressures, so it is especially prone to oil leaks around this seal. To repair the problem, simply remove the two 10mm nuts that hold the thermostat to the case. Gently pry up the edges of the thermostat with a screwdriver, replace the o-ring, and then reinsert into the case. It should be noted that all o-rings when installed should be liberally coated with fresh, clean motor oil prior to installation.

Located in the same general area is the oil cooler. The three seals that mate the oil cooler to the engine case also have a tendency to become brittle and leak. Replacement requires the removal of the oil cooler: a task that can be accomplished with the engine in the car. You need to disconnect the oil line that mates to the oil tank and loosen up the surrounding sheet metal in order to gain access to the three nuts that mount the cooler. Wet the seals with a bit of fresh oil when you remount the cooler. If you suspect that the oil cooler itself might be leaking, then it may be a wise idea to have the oil cooler pressure tested for leaks at your local machine shop.

Connected to the oil cooler is an S-shaped hose that attaches to the oil tank. This rubber hose can develop cracks and leak over the years. It's best to replace this hose if there are signs of weakness in the rubber. The hose is simply connected with two hose clamps, and easily removed. Make sure that you empty the oil from the engine and the tank prior to disconnecting this hose, or you will have a mess on your hands. The other oil lines than run under the engine and mate to the tank have a tendency to leak as well. Carefully inspect all lines for oil leaks, cracks, and breaks when you are looking under the engine.

The oil tank level sender has been known to cause a leak from its seal with the tank. For more information on replacing the sender and this seal, see Pelican Technical Article: Oil Level Sender Replacement.

Underneath the valve covers lie the rockers, which have been known to occasionally leak. The factory originally didn't supply a seal for these rockers. Instead, they use a compression fit to seal the oil inside the internal cambers. The Porsche factory workshop manual summarizes the design quite well:

"The rocker shafts are designed so that tightening of the Allen screw compresses the two cone-shaped pieces (nut and bush) against the coned ends of the rocker shaft and spreads the ends. As the rocker shaft ends spread the rocker shaft is tightened in it bore in the camshaft housing and thus prevented from turning or axial movement."

However, this design doesn't always work too well. If the shafts or the cone-shaped pieces don't mesh properly, then there might be room for oil to seep out. A secret fix is a small rubber seal that fits into the small groove of the rocker shaft, and helps to seal the internal chamber. This part was a race-motor part that was not originally used on the production engines, but works pretty well to stop these oil leaks when installed. The part number for this rocker arm shaft seal is 911.099.103.52, and you need two of them for each rocker for a total of twelve.

Another common oil leak comes from the oil return tubes. The seals at the end of the tubes expand and contract many times over the years, and develop small oil leaks. For more information on the replacement of these seals, please see Pelican Technical Article: Replacing Oil Return Tubes, Replacing Oil Return Tubes.

At the lower rear of the engine are the cam housing covers. These are sealed with thin paper gaskets that can develop leaks if not installed properly. Replacement of these gaskets is a bit of a pain, requiring removal of the muffler, and the rear engine shelf sheet metal. For more information on replacing these gaskets, please see Pelican Technical Article: Upgrading to Late-Style 911 Carrera Chain Tensioners, Upgrading to Carrera Chain Tensioners.

On the top-rear of the engine are the camshaft oil feed lines. These lines supply the cam towers with oil to lubricate the cams and the rocker arms. These lines have a tendency to vibrate and develop leaks over the life of the motor. Replacement is an easy process, although you might have to remove the distributor in order to reach one of the fittings. Make sure that you use new sealing rings when you remount the lines. Project 16 details the installation of these lines in further detail.

Adjacent to the right cam oil line on the later cars is the oil pressure sending unit. This unit has a tendency to leak where it is attached to the case, and also from its own housing. Carefully inspect the sender, and replace it if you think that it might be leaking. Since access to the sending is fairly straightforward, it is not necessary to be cautious: don't replace it unless it is leaking. On the early cars, this unit is located towards the front of the engine compartment.

The flywheel seal is another one of those common and mysterious leaks on the 911. Unfortunately, the flywheel seal cannot be replaced without removing the engine and the clutch. For more information on the replacement of this seal, please see Pelican Technical Article: Clutch Replacement, 911 Clutch Replacement.

On the very rear of the engine is the pulley seal. In order to replace this seal, you need to remove the muffler, rear engine shelf, the motor mount bar, and the rear pulley. Removal and replacement of the seal is similar in nature to the replacement of the flywheel seal. Be careful not to scratch the outer surface of the crankshaft when you replace the seal.

Valve covers are notorious for leaking, especially on the 911s equipped with magnesium valve covers.
Figure 1

Valve covers are notorious for leaking, especially on the 911s equipped with magnesium valve covers. If yours are leaking, replace the gaskets first. There are available silicone beaded gaskets which more pliable and supposedly stop oil leaks much better than the standard gaskets. If your oil leaks persist, consider upgrading to Turbo Valve Covers (See Pelican Technical Article: Upgrading to Turbo Valve Covers).

The crankcase breather hose mounts to the top of the engine and is sealed to the case by the gasket shown here.
Figure 2

The crankcase breather hose mounts to the top of the engine and is sealed to the case by the gasket shown here. Replacement of this gasket requires removal of the engine or fuel injection system, and should be replaced every time that you have access enough to reach it.

The crankcase breather hose could be another source of oil leaks.
Figure 3

The crankcase breather hose could be another source of oil leaks. It sometimes has a habit of coming loose and slipping off of its mount. Make sure that you have a clamp on the hose to secure it to its mount (shown by arrow).

The oil cooler thermostat o-ring is another source of troublesome oil leaks.
Figure 4

The oil cooler thermostat o-ring is another source of troublesome oil leaks. Replacement is almost impossible without removing the engine or the fuel injection. Install the o-ring wet by placing a little bit of oil on the o-ring seal when you install it.

The oil pressure switch located all the way behind the fuel injection is one of those annoying $3 parts that have a tendency to fail.
Figure 5

The oil pressure switch located all the way behind the fuel injection is one of those annoying $3 parts that have a tendency to fail. It is recommended to swap this part out with a new one every time that you have access to it (usually when the engine or fuel injection is removed).

The rocker arm seal is one of the best kept secrets.
Figure 6

The rocker arm seal is one of the best kept secrets. Not an original production engine part, this little seal fits in the small groove of the rocker arm (shown in photo), and helps to seal the shaft from leaking. Normally, the expansion of the end of the shaft in the cam towers is supposed to seal the rockers, but this sometimes fails, especially on rebuilt engines.

When the engine is out, access to the oil cooler is easier than when it's in the car.
Figure 7

When the engine is out, access to the oil cooler is easier than when it's in the car. The oil cooler seals are well known for their ability to spring leaks. Replacement of these three seals (two identical sized ones on top, one on the bottom) is easy once the oil cooler has been removed.

The flexible oil cam lines deteriorate over time, and spring leaks at the points where the rubber meets the hard lines (shown by arrow).
Figure 8

The flexible oil cam lines deteriorate over time, and spring leaks at the points where the rubber meets the hard lines (shown by arrow). These lines are generally pretty accessible from the rear of the car. The only component that might get in the way would be the distributor, which is easily removed.

This photo shows the distributor o-ring that seals it to the engine case.
Figure 9

This photo shows the distributor o-ring that seals it to the engine case. Although not a high oil pressure area, this seal does sometime fail. Make sure that you place the engine at Top Dead Center before you remove the distributor. That way, you can make sure that you replace the distributor into its proper position again.

The oil pressure sender can leak from its base or directly from the main unit.
Figure 10

The oil pressure sender can leak from its base or directly from the main unit. Replacement is easy since the unit is located near the rear of the car. Wrap a bit of Teflon pipe sealing tape around the connection to assure that it won't leak.

Underneath the crankshaft pulley is located the main shaft seal.
Figure 11

Underneath the crankshaft pulley is located the main shaft seal. Replacement requires removing the motor mount, the pulley, and a few other parts to reach the seal. It can be removed and pressed in similar to the replacement of the flywheel seal. This photo shows the seal as installed inside of the number eight bearing, prior to the crankshaft being installed into the engine case.

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Comments and Suggestions:
SHARKY Comments: I WILL BE REPLACING THE REAR CRANKSHAFT SEAL LOCATED BEHIND THE LOWER FAN-BELT PULLEY ON A 1972 911E. WHAT IS THE PROPER TORQUE FOR THE BOLT HOLDING THE PULLEY ON TO THE CRANK? THANK YOU
November 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.


I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.


Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dolemite Comments: My 1979sc Targa jas a oil leak under/near right rear wheel smokes when warming up and looks like near oil filter. Do the engine has to be removed and what is the average price for rapair? veh has been sitting up in garage but started once in a while.
October 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the filter, lines or tank leaking. The thermostat is common also, that would likely require engine removal to replace.



I am not sure what the repair will cost in your area. Call a few shops and ask for a quote. It is also a good idea to have them confirm what the issue is.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
harold Comments: I have a 73 911S with what looks like an oil leak from the engine mounted oil cooler, can this be removed and seals replaced without removing the engine?
September 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On the engine, I don't think so. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bert Comments: My dad's 1971 911T with a 3.2L from an '88 had no noticeable leaks, then suddenly one morning there was a large pool of oil on the garage floor. What are the most likely places for a large amount of oil to drain while the engine is off?
August 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The camshaft covers or an oil hose. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
WHT911 Comments: 1987 911 Carrera, 68K miles on it, probably 2K on the recent engine rebuild. Always been tight as a drum but now it looks like I have a fluid leak assuming oil causing a lot of smoking, I beleive the fluid is dripping right on to the exhaust cross over tube. Any guesses about where it is most likely coming from? Thanks
June 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most likely would be the cam covers. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Teutonic Emergency Comments: My all original 1986 3.2 Carrera has 27K kms on it. It has never leaked oil anywhere. I just noticed a small amount of oil that is on the garage floor at the front left corner of the car, just under the bumper. What is the most likely source of this and what repair would be needed? Thanks for your input.
May 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most likely the cam covers. probably just gaskets. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dooodahman Comments: If you are going to replace the oil pressure sending unit, please read the threads on these boards about how to safely remove this unit. Potential disaster including a broken case may await those who do not.
April 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Would mind sharing some tips with us? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
captain Comments: I have a 1971 911t I have recently gone through the motor. Everything is fine until the car sits for about 2 weeks and then it has a steady oil leak. Is the oil tank level too high or is there a check valve malfunti
March 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Where is the leak coming from? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gearhead Comments: I wish to replace the rear crankshaft seal on my 83SC. Can you tell me if the bolt securing this pulley is right or left hand thread? I do not want to damage it with the impact wrench.
February 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should come off counterclockwise. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Carrera Comments: I have a 1997 993 and when I am on a slanted driveway oil seams to freely flow out at at alarming rate. Also I have some leaks and I heard of Perma tech what are your thoughts of that? One last thing when I open my door it doesn't trip the inside lights, I am sure it's simple fix
Thanks for your help
February 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You may have a faulty valve cover gasket or oil line. I would start by locating the leak and repairing it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
harold Comments: I have a 1973 911S and have a slight leak both sides of engine between the head and cylinder. 5-6 drops a day can I retorque the head bolts and cam tower bolts to specification and solve this leak? Should I go to a thicker oil 20-40 perhaps would this help
October 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thicker oil will not solve a leak. The leak is likely due to a faulty gasket, replacing the gaskets is best way (only way) to solve leak. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mark13 Comments: Thanks Nick for your help. Turned out to be a loose casing throughbolt, so I replaced the 'O'ring and re-torqued. It would have stopped leaking once the casing expanded when hot. I replaced the seals with an extra set that I got from you at the same time. I checked my thermostat at the same time and it wouldn't even open at 290 degF so will replace that too. Thanks again. mark13
October 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
mark13 Comments: Hi guys, Ive recently replaced the oil cooler seals on my 2.7- 7R and all was good. Then after a particularly slow drive on a hot day it has developed a leak tricklefrom the same area drain hole but only when cold. Does the oil cooler bypass oil gallery when thermostat closedintersect with the 2 casing throughbolts in this section?
October 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The seal is likely faulty, contracting when cold. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
wayne Comments: I have a 1983 911SC that has a small oil leak coming from the center of the split case obviously on the bottom where it can be easily seen. Is there any simple solution? Can anything be done from the outside that wouldn't require pull the engine?

Thanks for any thoughts

Wcolony
September 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not that I am aware of. Case likely needs to be resealed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ac Comments: My 911 Porsche suddenly stopped and then I was able to drive again for short distance, when I parked it oil gushed from under it, not from the drain plug, looked like from the engine front
July 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Assuming air-cooled, guessing at the year and model. The oil pressure sender or oil thermostat may have leaked. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Torrey Comments: Getting ready to re-seal a 1998 Porsche Carrera S with multiple oil leaks. After removing upper engine cover found oil at parting line of cylinder liners to crankcase drivers side two cylinders nearest crank pulley. Was wondering if this is a common leak or if oil is more likely migrating there from another area/leak? Thank you
June 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove the air duct on top of the alternator and look inside the shroud. You will probably see that the case through bolt O-rings are leaking. If you can post a pic of this that would help our fellow Pelicans! - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Tmar Comments: I just installed the a new S hose and Rothsport oil inlet check valve. I also changed the oil and filter using 20W-50. I now have oil leaks on undler the engine but not around the new installs. Should I have used a heavier oil
March 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Heavy oil won't fix leaks. I would try to locate the area of the leak and repair it. Could be a gasket or a hose. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kike Comments: I have a 911S 1,977 With The 2.7 engine but i am not sure wich measure i have to buy on The Crankshaft ? Can you help me?
February 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure what you are looking for. Can you rephrase the question? For a faster response for parts ordering, Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
julio Comments: how easy to check oil cooler on 928 1979
October 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not bad, it is in the right front fender. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nicc Comments: I have a 1978 911SC. It's not driven often and I developed an oil leak where it constantly drips on the exhaust and would be burning off when warmed up. After I drove it last and parked for a few weeks there was a large amount of oil that leaked to the floor. Not sure where to start to find the correct seal or hose to replace.
October 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check the cam covers first. They are common to leak. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bill Comments: I have a 98 carrera s. I am finding oil drops on the floor. I have an appt with porsche in a few days to diagnose. I know it can't be diagnosed on this forum but of all the leaks discussed, can they accurately diagnose where the leak is coming from?
thx
Bill
October 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They should be able to pinpoint the leak. Most experienced shops can narrow it down. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Flight 911 Comments: I have a 1979 911SC and my mechanic showed me an oil leak coming from one of the connections of the oil thermostat assembly. He suggested replacing the oil thermostat assembly but I want to know if a simple o-ring would help with the leak. Any suggestions are appreciated!
September 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If coming from the connector, the thermostat has to be replaced. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ricardo Comments: The oil leaks in my 1987 911 coupe seem to be independent of the engine running, i.e. they occur in the garage. Which issues should I discard if any from the comprehensive list in this excellent technical report? Would it be smart to start out with silicone valve cover gaskets? Thanks,
August 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would inspect the oil lines and valve cover gaskets. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ray C. Braganza Comments: any info on oil leaks for 993 series. all of these article pertain SC and older P-cars
July 31, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The largest culprits being: cam covers, crank and cam seals. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sam Comments: My 1975 911 porsche targa has a lot of oil in the air filter box, i was told that its time to change the engine. I have no idea what causes it, could you please tell me what to do with this big problem?
May 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be a plugged breather hose. See this discussion:
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-911-technical-forum/105947-oil-fuel-airbox-911-sc-please-help.html - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
white 993 Comments: I am replacing the oil line from the oil tank to the left lower side of engine on my 1971 911T.

There is a clamp on top of the transaxle that hold the oil line. Can the clamp be removed without lowering the engine/trans?
March 31, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would lower it a little. It will be much easier. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pepe Comments: Hi question is ...are the oil return tubes kit hard to fit?
February 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, depending one the model, you crush them to remove, then install the new ones. Not too bad at all. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pepe Comments: I have a 1985 Targa and there is a slight oil leak when the car sits in the garage camshaft o rings ? can these be replaced without taking out the engine?
does not seem to leak .. when car is running
January 31, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I cannot guess where the leak is without more info. But I would suspect the valve covers. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
77 volksrod Comments: my 77 fuel injected beetle has not ran in at lest 2 years. I have replaced all hoses and fuel parts,car runs but hard to start and when driven it leaks oil badly from behind the crankcase pulley. Blow by?? what could be the cause?? Most of smoke is coming from oil being thrown everywhere.
September 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is a seal behind the crankshaft pulley, sounds like it may be bad. Check that the breather isn't plugged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BillsPorsche Comments: 1979 911 SC - have a very good oil leak under/near the right rear tire. Checked the easy things like filter and drain plug. No smoke at all when I drive, only a small puddle each time I return home on the garage floor. Puddle is getting larger. Help/suggestions? Sept 2013
September 19, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This could be from the oil tank or one of the oil hoses. I would inspect them all. The cleaner wet areas will be the current leaks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JohnGalt Comments: Started my 1974 911 today after sitting for several months while away. Car started fine but I noticed oil leaking from passenger side of exhaust and white smoke. That cleared up after running for about twenty minutes. Never a problem when driving often. No idea what to look at first...
August 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: White smoke usually means coolant or brake fluid. Since you are air cooled that's not an issue. Are you sure it's not blue smoke? (oil leak?) Water in the fuel will create steam from combustion chamber. If it's oil then you valve guide seals are leaking oil into the combustion chamber and burning it off in 20 minutes - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
elk hunter Comments: Thanks for all the information-you guys are a heavensent. Will be sure to purchase parts from you when i discover what all i need for my 1987 911 turbo. Not sure where the leaks are but sits on my car lift and leaks about 1 gal. a year. after running for about 15 minutes it started leaking bad into the air cleaner box.
February 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is there an area of the engine with an external leak. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
doc d Comments: our customers car a 1974 targa seemes to be leaking oil from the center right front area we have seen it coming from what looks to be an open tube perhapes the breather the oil level in the tank seems to flucate up and down and at one point there was alot of oil in the air filter box any ideas?
March 21, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If there is high mileage on the engine or they take a lot of short trips then there is probably a lot of blow-by (combustion gases that get past the rings) and this can cause crankcase pressure to push oil out of the engine and into the breather pipe. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Minimo Comments: My 2.7 engine smokes when started after it sits for a few days. If I drive the car daily it doesn't smoke when started.
I removed the spark plugs and noticed one plug coated in oil.
Is the oil coming from worn out valve guides or the rocker seals? Rocker seals would be easy to install.
December 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The valve guide seals are letting oil run down the guide into the combustion chamber causing the engine to smoke, luckily only in that one cylinder. An experienced tech can fill the cylinder with compressed air (from an air compressor) and remove the valve spring keeper, collar and spring to get access to the valve guide seals and replace them. Because of the boxer engine design there is little danger of dropping a valve into the cylinder requiring the cylinder head be removed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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