Oil Leak - Rear Main Seal
I have a 2000 Chevy Silverado Z-71 5.3L truck that has 208K miles on it. For the last 6 months I have been dealing with a one quart per week oil leak that I have been putting off doing something about. Yesterday, I took it down to the carwash and used the degreaser to clean up the engine real good in hopes of determining the leak to be something other than the rear main seal. But, it is clearly coming out through the weep hole in the bottom of the bell housing where the transmission connects to the engine and I cannot see any oil dripping from above as it would if it was coming from the valve covers.
My garage is so full and my driveway so steep I wouldn't trust jack stands on it. If I put the truck on jack stands in front of my house by the curb, the city would be by in short order with some nice things to say. I took it to the shop and they gave me a quote of $916. They said the reason it was so high was they had to remove both drive shafts, the frame cross member, the exhaust system, the transmission, etc. and have to use the standard 8 hour time for that maintenance. Heck, a friend of mine told me all you had to do was disconnect the transmission and scoot it back after disconnecting the drive shafts, he made it sound a lot easier than they did.
I have no desire to buy another vehicle. I have actually said and mean it that I plan on using this vehicle till I don't need one anymore (I'm 47 years old). I found another shop down the street that is saying they will do it for between $350 and $400 although they are of a little shadier nature and are not a national chain. I am caught between many choices: getting it repaired at one of the previously mentioned shops, buying another used truck and selling this one, having a shop put a used short block in my truck, having a shop put a new crate engine in my truck, buying another truck and then clean out my garage and then pulling my Z-71 engine and totally rebuilding it and reinstalling it.
If anyone makes it through this entire long wordy post, please feel free to offer any advice on what you would suggest I do. Obviously, my current plan is to put a quart of oil in my truck every 3-5 days at ~$4 a quart.