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Old 11-09-2017, 09:28 AM   #1
willowbilly3
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Default rear main seal replacement

I have done a few of these many years ago but my memory tends to forget all but the traumatic, struggles, pain ect. Lol. My 59 4x4 pickup sat for at least 25 years before I saved it. Now the rear main is puking oil, surprise surprise. The factory manual only shows the installation with the block bare and special tool.
I remember (and may still have) an installation kit, which never worked very well getting the rotten old upped half out. I remember spending 1/2 day getting all the crumbled up crap out and now at 64, probably won't or can't lay under a car that long.
Suggestions? Tricks I forgot or never knew? thanks
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:22 AM   #2
Ole Don
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Default Re: rear main seal replacement

I once had the upper half of a rope seal stuck so bad I had to pull the trans back and drop the crank down a quarter inch. It can be done, but can also be a head ache.
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:44 AM   #3
Sid
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Default Re: rear main seal replacement

Getting the old rope out is the biggest problem. It helps slightly by loosening all the main caps. As you may already know there is now a 2 piece neoprene type seal.Only use the one made by Best gasket co. Other brands don't seem to hold up well. When you install this seal slightly "clock" the upper half so the one side of the seal is above the edge of the block by 1/4 inch or so. Do the same with the lower half to match. This puts mating surface of seal away from the block mating surface. Be sure to put a small dab of silicone on the lower half of the seal retainer before installing.You may also a very small amount of silicone in the grooves for the side rails also. Leave the bolts slightly loose,then put a dab of silicone in the side rails,install side rails,then the little metal pieces then finish tightening your seal retainer. That little metal nail piece goes between the block and side seal. I also prefer Permatex "Right Stull" for this but the red silicone works well if you prefer. Your new seal should have a small "shoe horn" with it to assist getting the upper half started around the crank. Eaton Balancing in Texas Or John Mummert in Calif. are good sources for the seal.
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Old 11-09-2017, 10:57 AM   #4
Motorhead6
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Default Re: rear main seal replacement

If you are going to use the neoprene seal, be sure to remove the pointed dowel that is there to keep the rope seal from slipping around with the rotation of the crank. This is not needed with the neoprene seal and will damage it. The dowel is on the rear main cap and is easy to remove once you have it off.

Before you go to all of the trouble of replacing the rear main seal, put some K&W stop leak in the oil and run it for a month or so. There is a good chance that this will rejuvenate the old rope seal and stop or at least severely slow the leak. Good luck.
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:53 PM   #5
oldave57
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Default Re: rear main seal replacement

Removal of the upper half of the rope seal is nearly an impossible task with the crankshaft in place. It can be done, but as you know from experience it is very difficult. One trick that I did on a 1954 Ford I had years ago as a second car (239 Y-Block) was to leave the old rope seal on the upper half and run a steel wire under the seal (between the seal and seal housing). The best wire to use would be something like a choke cable (those kits are pretty cheap) because it needs to be a stiff wire to be able to push it under the seal. As I recall, it was fairly easy to start the wire under the seal and then push it a little at a time with pliers gripping as close as possible to the seal split line so the wire didn't bend. You push the wire until it goes completely around the upper half, then clip it off even with the seal split and install a new rope seal in the lower half cap. I know it sounds very "shade tree" but it worked very well on that old car which I kept for a couple years after the seal fix.

Good luck,
Dave
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:56 AM   #6
willowbilly3
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Default Re: rear main seal replacement

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I've got some guaranteed to work snake oil in it now, what can it hurt. I do like to drive the old truck everyday, just around town errands. I'm not sure what to do with it. I like the old truck but it's too slow to take out on the open road and after a few miles, the oil pressure gets weak. It runs great and doesn't smoke but might just be best to pull the engine and fix it right. It's about ready for a clutch anyway.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:49 AM   #7
Tiffansy
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Default Re: rear main seal replacement

I once had the upper half of a rope seal stuck so bad I had to pull the trans back and drop the crank down a quarter inch. It can be done, but can also be a head ache.
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