'19 Jeep 2.0T oil leak -- VVT actuator

D60

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Nov 6, 2017
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Colo
Looking at a '19 Cherokee with the 2.0T and a whopping 25k miles.

Complaint is a (surprisingly healthy) oil leak. It very much appears to be coming from the RH cam/VVT actuator in the front of the valve cover.

I checked all three retaining bolts and they're tight (loose fasteners anywhere and everywhere were not uncommon during these years for Stellantis)

At this moment I'm relatively confident in my diagnosis. I've got a seal on order, part 4893806AB. This seal appears to be used for several applications of the era, including the more common 3.6.

The only thing that gives me pause is that I can't find other reports of oil leaks at this exact location, although the 2.0 seems to have a healthy share of oil leaks in general.

I'm posting just to see if anyone else has encountered this, or maybe someone found similar but discovered the problem to actually be something else, etc. Anecdotal experience is always helpful.

At front of valve cover:
20240305_201936.jpg

It's completely soaked the engine mount brackets below, and the belt drive has kindly distributed oil throughout:
20240305_202029.jpg

General layout of valve cover, resident toddler indicates suspected problem seal with scribbled red arrow:
Screenshot_20240305_232518_Chrome.jpg
 
I haven't seen this on a 2.0L Jeep yet but have seen it on several other makes/models. Looking at your photo it looks like you have made the correct diagnosis and that is what I would do as well. If you want 100% certainty you would just have to clean it all up and see it it leaks at the same spot again - but your photos show a relatively clean motor to start.
 
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long shot but could it be leaking out thru the harness connector? Like thru the where the connector plugs into the actuator? Looks wet up in that area too.
 
Well, I tackled this today. It was easy of course, so no amazing tech here.

The local dealer soaked me for $8 for the seal, which honestly is quite high, but whatever. I ordered two because if I only got one guaranteed something would somehow go wrong.

I elected to remove the airbox but it's not necessary. What really makes life easier is removing the rear-most motor mount bolt.

Removed:
20240308_165028.jpg


I almost feel like this is a design flaw. Look at the gap with new seal installed. I made sure the seal groove was clean and free of debris. I carefully made sure the seal was uniformly and completely seated. I put a straight edge on the actuator when not installed, so it must be flexing. A three-bolt pattern seems inadequate. Four or five bolts would spread the load:
20240308_171637.jpg

My grubby self kept soiling the white fender, so I had an excuse to use a fender cover (grubby paw print to left was wiped away after photo).
20240308_174327.jpg

Finally, if you don't follow the "Working On" thread, have no life and wanna see how badly a dealer can screw up an airbox:
 
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