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Old 08-29-2010, 09:19 PM
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Chief Gunner Chief Gunner is offline
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Join Date: Mar 10, 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
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Rear Main Seal.....what I learned

Well,
This past weekend, I tackled the rear main seal for the first time. I got the pan off (without removing exhaust) and got the rear main cap off without an issue. I easily got the upper seal out as easy as pie. The lower seal popped out just as easy. this is where I ran into a little trouble. I got a little arrogant and attempted to get the new upper seal in without loosening the other main caps. I put oil on both sides and started to work the upper seal in. It was a tight fit, but I worked slowly inch by inch. I got most of it in and with about 2-3 inches left.......it tore down to the wire . That ended the night. Next day, I find another seal and try again. This time I had a friend slowly turn the crank shaft while I slide the seal in. I got to the same area and once again.....it tore . We find a third seal and pick it up. This time, I loosen all the other caps just a little and try again. Still tight, but it felt a little better till I got to about 2-3 inches then.......it tore . We stated planing with the caps and crank shaft. I found that if I pulled down on the crank shaft a little, one of the torn seals slide right in as if there were a vacuum pulling it in. So, the third day, we get our hands on another seal. My buddy held the crank down while I worked the seal in place.....Success!!!!!!!! I got the lower seal in place, got the rear cap back in place, and torqued all the caps working from center out at 50, 75, then 100 ft-lbs. I started to get the oil pan gaskets in place then found that the lip on the lower rear main seal has a little notch it has to fit in and when I torqued it down, it wasn't in that notch properly. So, off comes the rear main cap, get the ears of the lower seal in place, and re-install/ torque the rear main cap. Got the oil pan gasket in place, and finally got the oil pan back in place. So lessons learned below:

1. If the upper RMS seal is tight going in, put some downward pressure on the crankshaft, the upper seal should just slide right in.
2. Make sure that the lips of the lower seal sit in the notch before and as your torquing the rear main cap.
3. Take your time with everything. The times I was ready to throw a wrench across the garage was the times I took a 10 or 15 minute break to cool down.

I know this is a long post, but I felt mt sad and pathetic story should be told so that hopefully others getting ready to do this job can pick up some tips/ tricks. Overall, looking back, if I had to do it again, it would be real easy. I know what to look for and how things should go in. Those of you who are contimplating this job, just take your time and do it. It isn't too hard, just dirty.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:41 PM
FSJ Guy FSJ Guy is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 20, 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 10,061
The second time's always easier.

By the 4th time, you can do it with your eyes closed!
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:22 AM
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Chief Gunner Chief Gunner is offline
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Yea, getting ready to do number two on a friends wag in a month or so. Heres hoping it will go easier.
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The War Wagon: 1986 GW- SOA/SF on 33X12.50's, 360/727/NP228, CS 144 Alt, OBA
Wife's DD: 2012 Ford Focus SEL



My carbon foot print is bigger than your's.
WWW.SOCALULTIMATE4X4.COM

Last edited by Chief Gunner : 08-30-2010 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:29 AM
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caionneach caionneach is offline
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Join Date: Aug 19, 2003
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
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Not only do I loosen up all the caps, but I loosen all the belts on the front of the engine because they maintain upward pressure on the crankshaft. Makes a difference.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:23 AM
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Billygoat Billygoat is offline
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Join Date: Mar 16, 2004
Location: Southwest Wisconsin
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Not sure on an Automatic, but on a stick, take all the caps off and the crank is still held up by the tranny, the rear will not drop.
I found that you coat the entire top seal with assembly lube and push it in (toward the crank) to compress the lip it will slide right in.
You get a feel for it after you tear a couple....
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:14 AM
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Chief Gunner Chief Gunner is offline
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Join Date: Mar 10, 2006
Location: Austin, Texas
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I have the trans out right now to change out the input seal and figured that I would do the rms at the same time. I like the fact that I had to put downward pressure on the crankshaft. I was worried that the shaft would drop a little. I didn't like the idea of the shaft becoming unseated in the bearing journals. At the end of the day, I think it worked out beter that way. BUt I appreceate all the tips and tricks. Hopefully this will be a better job for the next guy who has to do this for the first time.
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The War Wagon: 1986 GW- SOA/SF on 33X12.50's, 360/727/NP228, CS 144 Alt, OBA
Wife's DD: 2012 Ford Focus SEL



My carbon foot print is bigger than your's.
WWW.SOCALULTIMATE4X4.COM
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