Rear main bearing seal tips please - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Lorne
 
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Looks like our rear main is leaking as we have engine oil in the flywheel cover. Cant think of anywhere else that would leak into that area. Having never done this before can anybody give advice as to what seals etc to use and the best/easiest way to do it. I can pull engine out again if necessary easily as we havent reinstalled front clip etc. Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 04, 01:16 AM
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Ahh, the ever sinking feeling of a leaky seal.

A couple tips having worked for me are to offset the joint of the seal by a few degrees. The second tip is to clean with lacquer thinner, or Brakleen, both sides of the joint of the bearing cap and block. Lay in a 3/64 to 1/16 inch diameter bead of RTV or a smidgen of gasket sealer, Indianhead Shellac, something pliable on the block or cap. Make sure the lip points inward.

Join the two together and torque the cap to specs. Be sure to start the added sealant just inside of the seal, like the point of the V the seal sets upon. Then install the oil pan.

Hope to see some others submit their suggestions.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 04, 04:54 AM
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The only tip I can think of right now is to be sure it is the rear main seal. Oil will flow down from the top so I would start by cleaning everything off and getting it good and dry then use some talcum powder to positively locate the leak. The oil pressure sender hole can leak, the intake manifold can leak at the rear, the rear cam bearing plug can leak etc.

Fixing a rear main leak is a chore but it might be something else that is easy to fix so I would verify the leak before I got too far into it.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 04, 05:18 AM
 
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I second what Mark said! Make sure it's not running down from on top. Valve cover gaskets, under the dist. Are a couple more possible places.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 04, 06:15 AM
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And that pesky Oil Sending Unit back there...

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 04, 05:59 PM
 
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One other thing you can do to the bottom of the rear main if you want to is file a couple of little-bitty grooves, one on each side, at the shortest spots that go from the lip seal area back into the open part of the motor so that no oil can seep out of the block by way of the main flats themselves.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 04, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for replies. My service manual shows it can be changed without removing bearing cap. Anybody done it this way? Im a novice and a little nervous of removing and retorquing the cap. I will check and make sure the problem is the seal but have looked and cant see how else oil can get into the inspection cover area as it appears to seal tightly to engine leading me to believe it has to come from the area within the inspection plate area. Thanks again
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 04, 09:16 PM
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I would like ot see how you can change the rear main without removing the cap. I don;t think it is possible, you have the crank flange in the way, not to mention the grove that mates with the rear seal. Even with removing the cap it is going to be a little bit of a chore to replace it with the crank in place (it can be done though). Install the seal offset as mentioned above (so the seal mating surface and the block to cap parting line are not matched up). You also want to make sure the new seal is lubed slightly (should't be a problem with a engine that has been running). Personally I would pull the engine to do the job, it's a hassle to do in the car and it's really not that hard to pull the engine (just my opinion).

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 04, 01:23 AM
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MickyT, you must be referring to a one piece seal rear main seal rather than a two-piece seal, as in an 86 or newer block.

Well, then its pretty simple, remove the engine or remove the transmission.

Some of the same suggestions mentioned will apply.
1. Lube the lip of the seal.
2. Use some sealer about the diameter of the seal body.
3. When removing the old seal, be certain not to mar/scratch the seal interface area, ie., the crankshaft and the block. If you do, use emery paper to smooth out the scratches.
4. Install the new seal straight, using a section of PVC/pipe the same diameter as the seal body helps the install.
5. Continue to install the seal a bit below the surface to allow the lip to seal against an unused portion of the crankshaft.

Generally, the seals are installed flush, but, you suggested your's may be leaking. Hence, a groove is worn into the shaft. By installing the seal below the surface helps in re-sealing.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 04, 05:48 AM
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Everett good point I didn't consider he could be talking about a "new" one piece style block. Is that the case?

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 04, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
My service manual shows it can be changed without removing bearing cap.
This statement suggested to me its a one-piece seal, he did not mention this in his first post, or I missed it.

Apparently, we may have read too much into the post, we took for granted it was a OE block vice a newer block.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 04, 01:12 PM
 
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I've never done either the two or one piece seals in the car but years ago have shimmed a leaking "rope" seal in the car using a thin piece of metal that is like what a windshield wiper rubber blade has on it..

I still have the plastic guide gizmo with the mandrel in it that you hammer on to drive the thin strip behind the "rope" with that I used way back when somewhere..

Boy this is going back a long way.....

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 04, 01:55 AM
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Yea pdq67, but do you have the "chinese finger" to pull the new rope seal through along with the "screw-on T-handle" to pull the old seal out?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 04, 02:10 AM
 
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No, but I have seen them.. He, He!! But talk about antique tools!!

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 04, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Its an original 327. So its a 2 piece I guess? I must of read the manual wrong. Im on a fishing trip right now - awesome salmon fishing! Thanks for tips.
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