BADASS of New England

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 Question on rear main seal... LT1 guru's this is for YOU

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Ironfistdog



Posts : 2124
Join date : 2011-01-11
Age : 35
Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Question on rear main seal... LT1 guru's this is for YOU   Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:14 pm

So I took the TC out of the dggm FWB, swapped it out with a known good one, and removed the flexplate for inspections. FP looks good, I'm praying it was the TC. so I tilt the motor down a little and see oil piss out of the rear main seal. I'm assuming this is the Valdez issue. So I run to get a new one and get back and it's sprinkling. Damn it!!!! Figured it would be an easy out so I got under there anyway………

Let me tell you. I have never said so many F,S,A,C,and B words in my life!
This thing would NOT pry out!!!!! I got the trans and TC in the way one way, cats in the way to the sides, no leverage and everything covered in ATF and oil.
So after having a mini nervous breakdown and almost deliberately kicking the jack stand out so the car would fall on me and put me out of my misery I decide to undo the seal housing bolts and try and remove....
Well I discovered that the studs are held by the rear 2 nuts of the oil pan, undid those and now I realize the pan actually has to be dropped to take it off. AAAAAAAAAAAAAND of course after removing the bolts and nuts I reached up and the seal popped out Mad
So my question(s) is/are this:

1. what's the odds of just putting the bolts and nuts back in and it not having a leak,
2. Can the oil seal be skipped and replaced with just RTV silicone?
3 can I just assemble the rear seal first and hook the tranny back up before doing the oil pan (with flexplate attached to crank)?
4. ANYONE WANNA BUY A USED CADILLAC????????? Wink
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nailhead445



Posts : 22
Join date : 2011-09-27

PostSubject: Rear main seal   Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:17 pm

I can't offer advice, but am very interested in your eventual findings. I've got to do one on my '96 Roadmaster. According to my factory shop manual, you have to remove the oil pan to do the job. But, I'm in and out of Nissan dealerships all day, and some of them were former Buick dealers. So sometimes I seek out the oldtimers for advice on repairs. When I asked about the oil seal job, one of the most knowledgable guys said "No, why would you have to remove the oil pan". To which I answered, "Well, because that's what the shop manual said to do". He insisted that it wasn't necessary. ??????? Then he showed me some dedicated Kent Moore tool.
Then again, when I was facing three fuel pump replacements (2 Roadmasters and an SS), all these guys were saying that I was wrong....that they had never seen fuel pump problems, and to just swap out the Opti-Spark! I think what it boils down to is that the reason they never saw fuel pump problems is because they all managed to last through the warranty period and the Opti's didn't. So after a while, it was just Opti, Opti, Opti, OPti. Anyway, I'd appreciated knowing how you made out with it.
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Ironfistdog



Posts : 2124
Join date : 2011-01-11
Age : 35
Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: Question on rear main seal... LT1 guru's this is for YOU   Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:47 pm

I got Pissed off and pulled the whole engine out!!!!
Not sure what the fate of the car is now but this is what you need to know:

Rear main seal itself can be pulled out without removing anything else but the flexplate and pushing trans back.
You use a flathead screwdriver or pick set to pull it at the 3 designated slots.
The rear main housing is held to the back of the engine with 4 bolts and one nut over a stud on the back and the 2 rear oil pan bolts are actually studs for the housing. The oil pan MUST be dropped to remove the housing.
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Machine-De-Zine



Posts : 512
Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 60
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Question on rear main seal... LT1 guru's this is for YOU   Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:32 pm

You had me LOL when I read you wanted to kick out the jack, as I have given MY jack that same glaring look!

As an engine builder/machinist, & not a mechanic, I take a different view of how best to re-seal an engine.
Mechanics get book-time (in dealerships), - & don't own the car to live with the consequences of a partially failed crank seal R&R job.
I know very well what shortcuts dealership mechanics take, because their results very often end up on my work bench.
In my case, failure is not an option, so I always have the pan off, but remember, I am nearly ALWAYS doing this on an engine stand.
Its the front that will cost you the most hours of labor, if you do choose to completely pull off the oil pan for BOTH seals.
Don't forget that the cam Opti & WP drives protrude from the front timing cover and have seals that should be replaced.
The entire front of the engine will have to be R&Red, because your front crank seal is most likely as old as your rear (leaking) seal.
If the front seal is new-ish, you can leave the front alone on a pan re-seal, its the pan that has to come off for a front or rear re-seal.
I don't use "Cookies" to prep for gaskets, as they remove metal too easily, and it looks a bit amateurish to me.
There is also the very real risk of "cookie" abrasive debris being introduced into the inside of the engine, a very big no-no!
I use a good quality gasket scraper and a razor blade followed by some strong cleaner like TPC or Brake Kleen.
I really like the blue one piece silicone oil pan gaskets with the built in bolt sleeves to establish perfect crush,
install them dry except for at the four corners where the front and rear seal covers meet the block.
There I use ULTRA-GREY sealant. I also thoroughly wire brush and wash all fasteners for an unobstructed attachment.
You should always verify that the threaded holes are also free of old gasket material and debris.
Keep in mind that you must inspect the seal surfaces of both the crank and front balancer,
because years and miles of old dirty oil will cause there to be deep grooves at those locations.
There are sleeve repair kits if the grooves are too deep and you can thereby avoid buying a new crank and/or damper assy.
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IMPALADAKID
Admin


Posts : 1512
Join date : 2009-01-17
Age : 48

PostSubject: Re: Question on rear main seal... LT1 guru's this is for YOU   Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:53 pm

Since you are there, you might as well purchase a Fel-Pro conversion kit. It gives you everything you need from the front cover gasket, one piece rear seal housing gasket, one piece oil pan gasket, both water pump, and all the seals front to rear including the oil filter adapter. The kit is to enclose the short block. It comes with every gasket and seal except head, valve cover and intake gaskets

_________________
2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 5.3 Aluminum V8 (My daily)
2007 Pontiac G6 VL 2.4 I4 (Wife's Daily)
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nailhead445



Posts : 22
Join date : 2011-09-27

PostSubject: Rear main seal   Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:03 pm

Thanks, guys for all the specific help. Being a cheapskate, and also focibly retired w/little dough, but lots of time, I'm probably going to go for just the seal, if that's what proves out, once it's apart. I've always gotten' a kick out of "Beating the system", but a couple of times it's almost beaten me. I started welding oil pans (On the car) in the sixties. When one of them blew up on me...did I go "Oh, that was a mistake, I better take them off in the future"? Hell, no, I just went like "Well, what 's needed for combustion?....fuel, oxygen, and spark/heat". Well, I couldn't do anything about the fuel or heat, so I just started pumping the crankcases full of exhaust gas (From a well tuned car), and continued on welding! No problems after that. And I would price the job just under the cost of the full pan removal. Once the word got out, that's about all I did for a while (Boston streets, and pre-breathalyzer era).
As Yogi Berra is supposed to have said...."In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice"
"BUT IN PRACTICE, THERE IS".
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Machine-De-Zine



Posts : 512
Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 60
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Question on rear main seal... LT1 guru's this is for YOU   Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:59 pm

nailhead445 wrote:
Then he showed me some dedicated Kent Moore tool.

That Kent Moore tool was most likely a devise intended to locate the seal housing in such a way as to place the actual seal "dead-on", & centered to the shaft to prevent off-center seal leaks.
Some engines are a real p.i.t.a. when the mains have been align bored and honed, because the crank center line moves up in the block a small but often significant amount.
The seal will be slightly relieved of it's tension at the bottom, but crank seals CAN accommodate a few thousandths of off-center distance.
We did a Lambo V-12 that was very fussy when the crankshaft mains had to be align bored, and because the front four overhead cam drive case was dowelled to both the one piece main cap structure AND the cylinder case, there was quite a lot of very careful machine work to be done!
The customer wanted to assemble the engine himself, crude as he was, and that precipitated us having to re-do the entire job when he over-did it with Ultra Grey silicone that SOMEHOW found it self squeezed all the way up behind the main bearing shells!
Its been a few years, but the metric to english conversion put the main crankshaft oil clearance at a tick over 0.0010", & not the more common .0020"-.0025" of most American HP iron.
Needless to say, the crank would not turn, but THAT didn't seem to dissuade him from trying to run the engine! He also destroyed an expensive, & monstrous Bosch starter motor in his efforts to run it!!
The head gaskets ALONE I was told were $1,000.00, each!


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Machine-De-Zine



Posts : 512
Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 60
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Question on rear main seal... LT1 guru's this is for YOU   Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:19 pm

nailhead445 wrote:
Thanks, guys for all the specific help. Being a cheapskate, and also focibly retired w/little dough, but lots of time, I'm probably going to go for just the seal, if that's what proves out, once it's apart. I've always gotten' a kick out of "Beating the system", but a couple of times it's almost beaten me. I started welding oil pans (On the car) in the sixties. When one of them blew up on me...did I go "Oh, that was a mistake, I better take them off in the future"? Hell, no, I just went like "Well, what 's needed for combustion?....fuel, oxygen, and spark/heat". Well, I couldn't do anything about the fuel or heat, so I just started pumping the crankcases full of exhaust gas (From a well tuned car), and continued on welding! No problems after that. And I would price the job just under the cost of the full pan removal. Once the word got out, that's about all I did for a while (Boston streets, and pre-breathalyzer era).
As Yogi Berra is supposed to have said...."In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice"
"BUT IN PRACTICE, THERE IS".

I just love the American spirit of "can-do-ism"!

In the past, I've smiled upon walking off any jobs that rewarded me with taking personal risks in the name of saving someone else a few dollars.

Usually I silver-braze to repair oil pans and gas tanks, & I weld them during fabrication, but ALWAYS off the vehicle!
Sure it can be done on the vehicle, but has anyone seen the safety video of the guy that, while cutting it with a torch, blew up a 55 gallon drum that literally went ballistic?
Ive heard that exhaust gas works, and it does stand to reason, but my employers had me use the inert gas piped in from our MIG or TIG welding set-ups, same concept.
It made me wonder then why they were so willing to "waste" all that expensive argon, helium or nitrogen, but then I've never seen an explosion in person!
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nailhead445



Posts : 22
Join date : 2011-09-27

PostSubject: Rear main seal   Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:27 pm

Holy cow. I hadn't considered the effect of align-boring on seal centering, when a separate housing is involved. As they say, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance".
Much of my early engine experience involved VW, Porsche, and Corvair engines, all air cooled. One good thing about them was that each crankcase half, was the main bearing cap for the other half! Henry Elfrink said in his definitive text on disassembling the Porsche engine that "The right half comes off first....or just comes off". When you had the case and the crank done, you had to order main bearings that were both "Oversized" & "Undersized" at the same time. Tenderfoot parts people would sometimes look at me like "What the hell'r'u talkin' about?" I covered a class for an instructor that was out, one day and the students had put a VW engine (Aircooled) together, but it wouldn't bar over. For two days they had been forcing rotation from both ends at once with huge combination wrenches. I told them that they had probably pinched a misaligned main with a locating dowel, and if they didn't disassemble the engine, that I would. Upon disassembly, the bearing was pinched (Ruined) but in addition to that, they had been sold std. bearings in a box marked "Undersized". If they hadn't pinched the bearing, the engine would have barred over all right (Very easily) and they would have been totally miffed by the lack of oil pressure (About .012" clearance). Luckily the supplier replaced the bearings at no cost to them, due to the packaging error. Always pays to mike everything up, no matter what it says on the box.
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