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So I am not the original owner so I have no background on this car, but while removing the intake manifold to repair a coolant leak I found an odd "patch" on the back of the oil filter housing. I have attached pictures with a zoomed in view of the "patch".

This area is just below where one of the hard pipes was leaking coolant in addition to the valve cover gasket leaking (fixed now). In general this car being 18 year old and the associated time of grime built up with the wetness from the coolant, it's hard to tell if this "patch" is leaking oil. However, I don't really notice anything dripping. But this is on top of the engine so it'd likely only leak when running.

I haven't removed the rubbery gasket material someone used yet since I wanted to do a bit of research first. I had no idea the housing would even require such a "fix" as I always thought it was a solid piece. Clearly the gasket leaks but this is towards the back.

If anyone has some experience with this, let me know. Only thing I can think is that it was cracked and this considered a very misguided solution. Clearly before putting everything back together, I want to sort this one out.

Thanks!
 

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That looks like the OFH was damaged and someone patched it with RTV or something similar. I wouldn't trust the stuff. I'd buy a used OFH to be safe. Don't forget to replace the VANOS hose while you're in there.
 

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So I am not the original owner so I have no background on this car, but while removing the intake manifold to repair a coolant leak I found an odd "patch" on the back of the oil filter housing. I have attached pictures with a zoomed in view of the "patch".

This area is just below where one of the hard pipes was leaking coolant in addition to the valve cover gasket leaking (fixed now). In general this car being 18 year old and the associated time of grime built up with the wetness from the coolant, it's hard to tell if this "patch" is leaking oil. However, I don't really notice anything dripping. But this is on top of the engine so it'd likely only leak when running.

I haven't removed the rubbery gasket material someone used yet since I wanted to do a bit of research first. I had no idea the housing would even require such a "fix" as I always thought it was a solid piece. Clearly the gasket leaks but this is towards the back.

If anyone has some experience with this, let me know. Only thing I can think is that it was cracked and this considered a very misguided solution. Clearly before putting everything back together, I want to sort this one out.

Thanks!
Previous owner looks to have sealed the blind plug. Maybe it was leaking and he didn't have the tool, or over tightened it and cracked something. I understand the desire to remedy that "fix".

<img src="https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4200/34084318414_2bd83543c3_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="image">
 

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i didn't notice a blind plug on my ofh , just did it last week, is it motor specific?

looks like that is the vanos housing no?
 
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