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Old 09-02-2007, 10:18 PM   #1
TimAT
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Rear Main Seal Replacement

I got an email from another member and sent this to him. Figured I'd post it too, maybe one of the mods will make a new sticky.

Basic, easy to follow, do it once rear main seal change.

Once you have the pan down, remove the oil pump and pickup. Remove the rear main cap. The lower half of the seal is right there. Don't scratch the bearing. Take a small screwdriver and pop the lower half out of the cap, then use the screwdriver, (I have one that I did a little bit of grinding on so it's got a better flat end) and push on the exposed end of the upper half of the seal. You may hve to tap it a little bit to break the upper seal loose. Drive it out until you can get a good grip on it and then just walk it on out. Now the old seal is out, clean the block and the seal groove with something like brake cleaner, just hose it out really well.

The trick part is next. GM and the aftermarket have 3 different widths of rear seals. The difference in them is from the dust lip on the back to the wiper lip on the forward side of the seal. The best (and widest one) is the one you need to find. The biggest distance between the two lips. You may have to hunt for it. GM had them all under the same part number, but there are different ones. The side of the seal that is "UP" in this picture is the "FRONT"



Take the rear main cap to your bench grinder and use the wire wheel on the mating surfaces adjacent to the seal. Look at the second picture. Where you want to buff the cap is where the sealant is applied. Don't get so far forward to catch the bearing. Buff the cap, get it really clean. Then hose it down with the brake cleaner too. Let it dry while you install the upper half of the seal.





In the package there is a little plastic "spoon". Use it to install BOTH the upper and lower halves. Put a little bit of grease on the lips of the upper seal. If you don't, the rib on the inside of the seal gets sliced off and will seep underneath the seal.

Once you have the lower seal in place, wipe a little bit of grease on the lips of that seal too. Apply a very thin coat of form-a-gasket or an anerobic sealer or something like that on the cap next to the seal. Just above the pan gasket groove. Install the cap, torque to specs and install the oil pump, and pan. Use a dab of RTV at the corners where the gasket turns to go over the cap or timing cover. Do this on both the old style 4 piece gaskets AND the new one piece..


I've done literally hundreds of rear main seals over 15+ years of working for Chevy dealers and NEVER had to do the same one twice.

I hope this helps and I also hope I didn't confuse the issue for you. If you have any questions, just drop me a note..

Last edited by TimAT; 10-03-2008 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:24 PM   #2
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What if you have a one piece seal




Kevin
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It is what It is.

Those satisfactions are permanent

Everything is going too fast and not fast enough
Old 09-02-2007, 10:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
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What if you have a one piece seal




Kevin
In your case, it just blows out somewhere else.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:36 PM   #4
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In your case, it just blows out somewhere else.
Thats hitt'n below the belt,next thing you know you will be posting that i screwed up my firing order
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It is what It is.

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Everything is going too fast and not fast enough
Old 09-02-2007, 11:38 PM   #5
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What if you have a one piece seal




Kevin
then you have the wrong engine.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:51 PM   #6
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then you have the wrong engine.
How's it wrong don't tale me i have the wrong motor in my vette





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It is what It is.

Those satisfactions are permanent

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Old 09-03-2007, 08:03 AM   #7
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How's it wrong don't tale me i have the wrong motor in my vette





Kevin
Why not?

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if you don't ask, you get the same answer as no.
Old 09-03-2007, 08:55 AM   #8
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This would be a great thread for the general automotive section. Alot of 'how to" like this thread
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If you ever here me say "While I'm at it", smack me over the head with a 2x4.
Old 09-03-2007, 09:18 AM   #9
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Thanks again for the post Tim. I hope to get this far later today. then we'll really see if your instructions are idiot proof.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimAT View Post

I hope this helps and I also hope I didn't confuse the issue for you. If you have any questions, just drop me a note..
That said it all in a simple Accurate way.Covered all the Bases. Even I could do it Now..no questions, but Thanks Man..Good one! Needs to be a sticky.
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:45 AM   #11
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[/QUOTE] I've done literally hundreds of rear main seals over 15+ years of working for Chevy dealers and NEVER had to do the same one twice.

..[/QUOTE]
Then you probably have done some of the old rope seals then? You needed a dent puller to yank out the old seal, then you got a chinese handcuff in the kit and had to pull the new rope seal through while turning the crank, then cut off the excess. The lower half was put in the bearing cap, than a special half moon tool was used to "pack" it down. It was always a PITA with no guarantee of success. Ahhh, the good old days....
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2012: "Hoping" for "Change".
Old 09-03-2007, 11:09 AM   #12
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It was always a PITA with no guarantee of success. Ahhh, the good old days....
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:30 AM   #13
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I've done literally hundreds of rear main seals over 15+ years of working for Chevy dealers and NEVER had to do the same one twice.

..[/QUOTE]
Then you probably have done some of the old rope seals then? You needed a dent puller to yank out the old seal, then you got a chinese handcuff in the kit and had to pull the new rope seal through while turning the crank, then cut off the excess. The lower half was put in the bearing cap, than a special half moon tool was used to "pack" it down. It was always a PITA with no guarantee of success. Ahhh, the good old days....[/QUOTE]

Jeeze. That's Model T technology.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:37 AM   #14
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I always thought it was a rather archaic way of sealing an engine.. Kind of like cork.. dated technology...

Oh, and I'm talking early 80s too, not the 50s....
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2012: "Hoping" for "Change".
Old 09-03-2007, 11:53 AM   #15
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Telling someone here, maybe Tim last time I saw him, about the Caddy seals used in 455 Poncho engines....split rear main seal...wire core/support....

they needed to be end gapped, ground to spec to fit the block and then the cap....with about2-3 mills/end tension clearance.....


don't ask, but I remember fighting thisone about 15? years ago....

finally found it the hard way with filling the engine while on the hook....tipping it back with about 3 gallons of oil in it...drop the oil, and find the leak the hard way....took about 3 attempts, then I got smart and actually MIKED the damn seal, found out it was actually OVAL.....
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GENE

IT is not the SIZE of the problem, but the perfection of the solution......

Airheads are immune to logic and common sense.

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