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1978 280z
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Discussion Starter #1
My rear main seal is somehow stuck in its housing. It had a pretty substantial leak so I bought a new one to replace it. By looking at the new one It looks like there's a metal coiled ring surrounded by the rubber housing of the seal. I am thinking of taking a propane torch to the stuck seal, similar to buring a suspension bushing out of it's housing. Has anyone had this problem before? Is it possible to burn this out or could I somehow damage the aluminum housing? Any advice helps.

Thanks
 

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the seals have a metal spring inside them to hold shape. have you tried a seal puller? they have them at your local auto parts store and that should do the trick
 

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1978 280z
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Discussion Starter #3
the seals have a metal spring inside them to hold shape. have you tried a seal puller? they have them at your local auto parts store and that should do the trick
I bought this from harbor freight: Seal Puller
with 2 Tips

The tips are too thick and cumbersome to fit into the space between the seal and the crankshaft.

And a set of craftsman picks: https://www.lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-...iogPDLJzPJjbh2RefghoCZfwQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

It literally bent the hook pick when I tried pulling it out.

Is there a diffrent kind of seal puller you had in mind?
 

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Wow it bent the puller? Are you sure you're pulling the right thing? Can you take a picture?
 

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1978 280z
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Discussion Starter #5
Wow it bent the puller? Are you sure you're pulling the right thing? Can you take a picture?
I'm putting the pick in the space between the seal and the crank. I just tried burning the rubber and it seems theres a steel ring under the rubber of the seal. I cant put my clutch and trans back untill I replace this thing. It's really got me stumped.
20200527_001054.jpg
20200527_000919.jpg
20200527_000912.jpg
 

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Try running a sheet metal screw into the steel part of the seal. You can use it as something to grip with a slide hammer or a big pair of pliers. If you try to pry on it make sure you protect the surfaces by bracing with a piece of wood or plastic and stay away from the machined surface on the crank and housing.
 

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I'd be reluctant to use heat. You will be able to pry it out with a little precision and patience. Give it a good spray of a penetrant, let in soak in for a while, then use most any prying device like a small screw driver or very small chisel but be very careful not to mar the mating surface where the seal meets the block. Just take your time, it will come out!
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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I'd be reluctant to use heat. You will be able to pry it out with a little precision and patience. Give it a good spray of a penetrant, let in soak in for a while, then use most any prying device like a small screw driver or very small chisel but be very careful not to mar the mating surface where the seal meets the block. Just take your time, it will come out!
This seems accurate to me. If you have to take it out in pieces, so be it. Just don't nick or gouge any of the sealing surfaces.
 

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In line with UncleWiggly, run a small screw into the rubber and see if it bottoms out on a (the) metal backing ring. If it is an aluminum housing, take a small magnet, strongest you can get, and see if you sense any steel "feel" around the outside edge of the rubber.
 

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1978 280z
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Discussion Starter #10
So I finally got it out after many attempts. I'm not sure what cause my seal to be so stuck but if anyone is trying to get their stuck rear main out this is how I did it:

1. Drill hole directly onto exposed face of seal to release some pressure.( make sure you drill right in the middle of the two mating surfaces. You dont wanna get scratches on either)
2. Use a pry tool or a sheet metal screw. Insert in the hole and pull.
3. This should "open" a section of the lip for you to put a pry tool/ screwdriver ins between the crank and seal.
4. "Open" the lip the whole way around the seal. You should be able to see the spring that hold the seals shape.
5. Use sheet metal cutters to cut relief cuts all around the seals "open" lip
6. Pull on the lip using vise grips and it should slide right out.

Good luck 🥴
I attached some pictures of the seal once it came out so you can see what I mean by "opening" the seal lip.
20200528_014800.jpg
 

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First of all you should NEVER put something between the crank and the seal. You run the risk of scarring the crank. You're also prying on the weakest part of the seal. You should refrain from using heat as well. Hopefully you didn't heat things up too much because if you did you could compromise the side seals on the rear main cap. Take a slotted screw driver with a tip that is about 7mm wide and tap it in so that it's between the OD of the seal and the block or rear main cap. Tap it in about 5mm and then give it a little pry and see if it moves. If it does then tap it in deeper and pry it out. In some cases you may have to do that 3-5 times in different spots to weaken the metal frame of the seal. They usually pry right out. Seal pullers don't usually work on these seals, especially if they're from Harbor Freight.
Make sure that you lube up the ID of the new seal with grease before you put it on. As you tap it into place go around the seal so it doesn't contort the new seal. Continue going all the way around the seal until the seal is flush with the outside of the block. Be patient as you're tapping. It usually takes me 3-5 minutes to replace a rear crank seal. Z man of Washington
 
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