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  Mustangsandmore Forum Archive
  '64 1/2 to '68 1/2 -- The Classic Mustang
  Rear Main Seal HELP!

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Author Topic:   Rear Main Seal HELP!
rockafellz
Gearhead

Posts: 1459
From: San Lorenzo, CA, USA
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 03-04-2002 01:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rockafellz        Reply w/Quote
Hey Fellas,

I was hoping I could get your help with regards to the rear main seal. I'm trying to visualize the steps and I need a little help. I'm a novice mechanic that isn't afraid to get dirty and learn as much a possible.

I've searched the entire 1966 Ford Mustang shop manual and I can't find good enough instructions on how to perform this fix with the engine still in the car. I would appreciate it if you could add/remove steps from the checklist. I can follow directions very well... I just need a good set of instructions.

1. Raise the car so we have enough workspace.
2. Remove front sway bar (neccessary?)
3. Drain oil and unbolt and remove oil pan.
4. ???

I'm not sure what to visualize at that point and what to remove and what to replace. =) that's where I need help. I've been searching M&M and I noticed that there are two different types of seals, rubber and a 'rope' type seal. If I have a rope type seal, is it possible to replace it with rubber seal? What material is the actual 'rope' seal made of? What are the torque specs I should use if there are any bolts I have to retighten. I'll do what the shop manual says for torque specs of the oil pan. Also, I plan on replacing the oil pan gasket. Is that recommended or not required?

Any response is greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Erik

------------------
1966 Ford Mustang / 289 / C4

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 03-04-2002 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Pretty easy Erik. Sway bar does not have to come off. Just the engine crossmember.
Jack up the car and place it on jack stands.

Drain the oil.

Remove the engine crossmember.

Remove the oil pan.

Clean everything with brake clean.

Remove rear main cap.

Remove old seal half from said cap.

Remove other half from block via push or pull.

INstall a neoprene replacment seal. You will just fish the block half through. DOn't forget to lube it well.

INstall the other half in the main cap.

Lube the main bearing.

Reinstall the main cap and torque to 75 ft lbs.

Install new pan gasket and reinstall the oil pan.

Etc. Etc.

Have fun.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator/ non 65-66 Mustang owner sensitivity co-ordinator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Part time secret agent license #0089
US Class Nationals link

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-04-2002 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
Alex is right, but missed a couple things.

You also want to remember to remove the spike in the main cap that held the old rope seal, and stagger the seal 1/4" in the block for better sealing. Also, make sure the seal is install in the right direction, with the lips of the seal pointing towards the engine. Install them wrong and they'll leak worse than before.

While the pan is off, staighten any pulled bolt holes with a hammer, socket, and piece of wood.
You'll also want to get some spray tack gasket sealer and 'glue' the gasket onto the cleaned block pan rails, or the oil pan gasket will keep falling as you reinstall the pan. You'll also need some RTV sealer to seal between the gaskets and the rubber end seals.

Do not overtighten, or you will split the ends of the gasket. You want to just see the gasket start to compress.

------------------

'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

MCA Member # 47773

Reality is a good thing, try it sometime.

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 03-04-2002 03:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
I used the "short" version.

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator/ non 65-66 Mustang owner sensitivity co-ordinator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Part time secret agent license #0089
US Class Nationals link

Wicked-Toy
Gearhead

Posts: 252
From: Richmond, VA USA
Registered: Jun 99

posted 03-04-2002 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Wicked-Toy        Reply w/Quote
Also remove the two bolts holding the idler arm to the frame and pull down on the steering linkage. Makes the oil pan slide right out. Did this about two weeks ago on a 65 with a 69 engine. It had the rubber split seal and took us about 1-1/2 hours to do.

------------------
Scott Akom
65 Coupe (Modified)
68 Coupe (Son's)
2000 GT Conv. (Wifes)
1987 GT Conv. (Son's)
1966 Project Conv.[URL=http://www.geocities.com/motorcity/flats/3845/65dsde2.jpg
www.mustangsandmore.com/ubb/WickedToy.html

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-04-2002 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moneymaker:
I used the "short" version.


You'll give someone oily shoes that way!

------------------

'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

MCA Member # 47773

Reality is a good thing, try it sometime.

kid vishus
Gearhead

Posts: 7251
From: middle of NC
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 03-04-2002 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kid vishus        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveLaRiviere:
. Also, make sure the seal is install in the right direction, with the lips of the seal pointing towards the engine. Install them wrong and they'll leak worse than before.


Did that one time. Made a helluva mess on the floor while the car was running .

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 03-05-2002 12:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Oily shoes?

------------------
Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator/ non 65-66 Mustang owner sensitivity co-ordinator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Part time secret agent license #0089
US Class Nationals link

rockafellz
Gearhead

Posts: 1459
From: San Lorenzo, CA, USA
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 03-12-2002 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rockafellz        Reply w/Quote
Hey Fellas,

Thanks for the replies. I've looked at my rebuilding manuals and understand pretty much everything you mentioned except for the seal lips. I went out and bought the seals last weekend and I bought the rubber seals. The seals seem to have a triangular point sort of like below...
.
|\
| \
---

Does the point (dot) go in or face towards the front of does it face away towards the transmission? The point is not exactly centered and is offset a little bit.

Thanks in advance!! You guys have been a great help!!

Regards,

Erik

p.s. please see my next post "transmission replace checklist".

Clark
Gearhead

Posts: 749
From: Rowlett,Texas
Registered: Aug 99

posted 03-12-2002 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Clark        Reply w/Quote
Erik,
The picture you have given us is not as clear as I would like so I will explain the best I can. Try and imagine the oil pressure inside the engine wanting to get by the seal. If the open side of the seal faces in to the engine the pressure will fill this side and force the seal to pinch against the crank (eng > trans). In contrast if it is installed the opposite way the oil pressure will push the seal away from the crank (eng < trans).

Hope this helps, if not hang in there someone else will weigh in that might have a better explanation.

------------------
69 351W Sportsroof Deluxe

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-12-2002 12:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveLaRiviere:
Also, make sure the seal is install in the right direction, with the lips of the seal pointing towards the engine. Install them wrong and they'll leak worse than before.

------------------

'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

MCA Member # 47773

Always borrow money from a pessimist, they don't expect it back.

SuperDave
Gearhead

Posts: 123
From: Tacoma, WA USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 03-13-2002 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SuperDave        Reply w/Quote
Lisle makes a tool called a "Sneaky Pete" that makes upper seal removal and installation a snap. Us "old timey" guys have used them for years.

rockafellz
Gearhead

Posts: 1459
From: San Lorenzo, CA, USA
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 03-13-2002 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rockafellz        Reply w/Quote
Hey Superdave,

Is there a place I can buy that online?

Or even possibly a place like Sears or Kragen?

Can I use this with rubber seals or rope type only?

Thanks.

Regards,

Erik

[This message has been edited by rockafellz (edited 03-13-2002).]

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-13-2002 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SuperDave:
Lisle makes a tool called a "Sneaky Pete" that makes upper seal removal and installation a snap. Us "old timey" guys have used them for years.

Yup, and it's great to get the new guys with. "Put your finger here, just for a second..."

------------------

'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

MCA Member # 47773

Always borrow money from a pessimist, they don't expect it back.

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-13-2002 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
Erik, any good auto parts store has them. Lisle is a very common maker.

It's a tubular net made of stainless steel wire that closes as you pull it.

It also has a very non-PC name, too, but I doubt you'll see it advertised under that name these days.

Edit: It's for the rope type seal, you'll damage the rubber seal if you install it with that tool. You won't need to, anyway.

I used to only use the sneaky pete when I had a stuck one. Most of the ones I did came out with just needle nose pliers.
------------------

'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

MCA Member # 47773

Always borrow money from a pessimist, they don't expect it back.

[This message has been edited by SteveLaRiviere (edited 03-13-2002).]

rockafellz
Gearhead

Posts: 1459
From: San Lorenzo, CA, USA
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 03-13-2002 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rockafellz        Reply w/Quote
Steve or SD,

Can I use this with rubber seals or rope type only?

Thanks again!!

Regards,

Erik

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-13-2002 01:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
I answer you above, but I'll add the rubber one will slide in on it's own due to it's steel backing not letting it flex much in that direction.

------------------

'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

MCA Member # 47773

Always borrow money from a pessimist, they don't expect it back.

sigtauenus
Gearhead

Posts: 3969
From: Va Beach
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 03-13-2002 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sigtauenus        Reply w/Quote
I just did my rear main seal this weekend, first time for me too. It was suprisingly easy, I used a screwdriver to push up on one side of the seal in the block, which pushed it out on the other side about 3/8 or 1/2 in, enough to grab with pliers and pull it out the rest of the way. The new one went in with no problem.

I was also suprised that Chilton's says you need to loosed up all the other main caps. I took the advice above and only took off the rear main cap, did not have to touch any of the others, and the rear seal came out and went back in no problem. The seal I had had a very clear picture on the package showing which way to install it.

So far, no leaks.

SuperDave
Gearhead

Posts: 123
From: Tacoma, WA USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 03-13-2002 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SuperDave        Reply w/Quote
Chilton's is famous for labor-intensive repairs; Haynes will actually simplfy repairs and even show make how to make your own special tools sometimes.

BTW, I tossed every Chilton's in my collection for exactly that reason.

mvierow
Gearhead

Posts: 209
From: Bay Area, Ca
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 03-13-2002 08:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mvierow        Reply w/Quote
Chilton's has beter electrical diagrams than Haynes though, imho.. and you can never have too much literature

rockafellz
Gearhead

Posts: 1459
From: San Lorenzo, CA, USA
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 04-01-2002 04:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rockafellz        Reply w/Quote
UPDATE:

Ok fellas,

I did this before swapping in the Dynamic C4. Fairly straight forward process and successful!!

Only problem we came across was putting the top half of the seal into the block. I sort of ate up part of the top half. It would've probably still worked but I went out and bought a new one anyway just to make sure. Lubing it very well is the KEY!! Also noticed when I removed the rear main cap, man did that sludge on the bolts STINK!! Worse than gear oil!! Another thing, we found plastic fragments and a few metal fragments in the oil pan and oil pickup. Any idea where those small plastic and metal pieces came from?

Overall, changing the rear main seal was a SUCCESSFUL project with NO MORE LEAKING!! Although I haven't really pushed the engine to WOT yet. Just took it for a test run but all seems well.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR ALL YOUR HELP!!

I had my "Rebuilding a Small Block Ford" book and a printed copy of this exact thread right next to me in the garage the entire time!!

Thanks again.

Regards,

Erik

Hemikiller
Gearhead

Posts: 726
From: Killingworth, CT
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 04-01-2002 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hemikiller        Reply w/Quote
The pieces of metal and plastic are most likely from the cam gear. Ford enjoyed installing an aluminum and nylon time bomb in their motors. When the nylon coating ont he cam gear had reached sufficient critical mass, and at the most inopportune time, it will begin shedding pieces of itself at random, hoping to make its way into the oil pump, to barber pole your oil pump drive, and cause a serious loss of oil pressure (IE.....0 pressure!!!) This was all in the name of a "quiet" timing chain..... Been there, done that, changed a timing chain on the side of I-95 one summer's day, the oil pump the next.....(at home though) I recommend that if you haven't changed, or are not sure of the lineage of the timing set, to immediately get a fresh one in there. Otherwise, it may just be a left over from a past experience the motor had.

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 04-01-2002 06:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
Nice job, Erik!

Hemikiller is right, it's most likely an old timing gear's remnants.

------------------

'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

MCA Member # 47773

rockafellz
Gearhead

Posts: 1459
From: San Lorenzo, CA, USA
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 04-02-2002 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rockafellz        Reply w/Quote
Hemikiller,

I was a little confused from your post. Correct me if i'm wrong, but you recommend I check/replace the timing gears and the oil pump?

That would probably explain my low oil pressure. Although I thought the oil pickup screen would block those plastic parts from entering the oil pump? Am I mistaken?

That would be a fun upcoming project now that i've had a little experience with the oil pan and rear main seal. Won't be as overwhelming. I think the biggest part of doing something I've never done is the anxiousness buildup before actually tackling the job.

Erik

[This message has been edited by rockafellz (edited 04-02-2002).]

Hemikiller
Gearhead

Posts: 726
From: Killingworth, CT
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 04-02-2002 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hemikiller        Reply w/Quote
Erik: I admire the way you feel about working on your car, I wish more people could have that mindset, after all, it's just a big collection of nuts, bolts, and metal parts! I always looked at a new, never before attempted project on my cars as a challenge. Unfortunately, after 14 years of 71-73 Mustangs, there aren't a lot of things I haven't done.

Sorry about the cryptic post, I find some of the dumb things Ford did very amusing at times.

A good way to check if the timing chain is tired is to put a timing light on the motor, and watch it at idle. If the timing mark is walking a couple degrees back and forth, the chain is stretched, and probably original, depending on the mileage of your motor. It's good insurance either way to replace the chain and gears. I'd recommend a Cloyes or a Dynagear roller setup. A little pricey, but you will never wear it out.

The oil pump screen is supposed to prevent the junk from getting into the pump, but Ford put a grommet in the middle of the screen, that was supposed to allow oil through in case the screen got sludged up. Of course, this allows little pieces of nylon into your pump. Unfortunately, you'll have to drop your pan again to do a pump. I'd pull the timing cover and chain first, if it's original, then plan on dropping the pan again to remove any crud that has accumulated since you did the rear seal. If it's aftermarket, with no nylon, then the pieces in the pan were leftovers fron the original chain set and you should be OK Depending where you get your parts, you could do the pump, driveshaft and timing set for well under $125. Just some food for thought.

Laserchill
Gearhead

Posts: 151
From: Kernersville, NC
Registered: Mar 2004

posted 03-16-2004 07:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Laserchill        Reply w/Quote
Hey Guys,
I had to dig up an old thread for some help.
This is exactly what I needed.
On thing, however. Does anyone have a picture of that oil seal "lip" the way it is suppose to go.
Fortunately, I have my 289 on an engine stand and can see it very well. I just wish it was a little more clear on how that rear seal was installed.
This site is incredible.
Thanks.
Laserchill

dmac0923
Journeyman

Posts: 9
From: New York
Registered: Mar 2004

posted 03-24-2004 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dmac0923        Reply w/Quote
do you have to drop the tranny to do a rear main on a 351C?

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-25-2004 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
No, just the pan and real main cap.

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

jeeeptech
Journeyman

Posts: 14
From: TR S.C.
Registered: Mar 2004

posted 03-25-2004 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jeeeptech        Reply w/Quote
The rear main seal works like an old fish trap you install it so that the pressure of the oil forces it closed not open..I think I ve got a photo somewhere ..

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