I was at the workshop of one of my clients & noticed a small engine oil leak on the ground, beneath their Case 855E track loader or drott as they are commonly called here. I suggested that we had better take a look ASAP, as that type of leak is usually caused by a hole in the engine oil pan – caused by friction & moisture from dirty machine bellypans.
We soon removed the heavy, smelly belly pans to reveal, as expected, a small pinhole caused by a combination of rust & friction. As the last bolt of the engine oil pan was removed & the pan tilted forward, there was a very unnatural rattle that came from the pan …… what the???
This engine was in perfect running order, nothing out of the ordinary was expected.
I was fully expecting to see some stones or some other form of foreign matter, but what I found was nothing short of amazing – a main bearing retaining bolt !! The head of one of the bolts on the #2 cap had broken off the bolt & over a period of time the remaining stud had unscrewed & also fallen into the pan.
Once fully cleaned the amount of time that these items had been rattling around was revealed. The amount of shine on both the broken bolts & the bottom of the pan makes me think this had been going on for at least a couple of thousand hours!!
The #2 cap was removed, fully expecting some type of fretting to have occurred – nothing! – absolutely perfect condition. Two new bolts were ordered & fitted, along with a new pan & gasket & it went back to work.
This is one time a lack of preventative maintenance, by not clearing dirty belly pans, actually may have saved this machine owner, a more expensive engine rebuild !! 😉