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Rear main seal installation
#1
Video 
Did I do this right?  Should it be this hard to pound it in?  Is it in backward?  Vehicle is a 93 f150 4.9 I6.  Thanks

[video=youtube]http://https://youtu.be/7s92z2WmxPY[/video]
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#2
Hi,

Nice work on the video!

The good news is you did not install the seal backwards, and it looks like the crankshaft was clean and dry (which is good, because it needs to be for a PTFE seal).

However, it looks like you didn't use the protective sleeve to keep the seal lip in place during the installation. Because of this, the lip could have folded over, and if it didn't, it still makes it hard to install and could leak. Using a hammer directly on the seal can damage the seal or cause it to become cocked or distorted. A rubber hammer isn't the best tool for use with the driver, either - it will just bounce off the seal driver (or whatever you’re using, the PVC drain cleanout you used is fine) - and makes it hard to install.

In the future, you could apply some oil to the O.D. of the seal, which would make it a bit easier to install.

It's nearly impossible to say if it will leak or not. It does appear to be seated properly and is facing the correct direction. However the lip could have been damaged during the installation.
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#3
Thanks for the insight. is there a video or are photos somewhere showing how to use that protective sleeve? If the lip did fold over, will it start leaking pretty much immediately or might it take months? And: so the difficulty getting it in was because of the O.D, right? Meaning the I.D. isn't too small, and it won't be digging into the crank end then?
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#4
Hi,

There is a video we shot in regards to various RMB seal installations. It is in the editing process as we speak - I'm not sure when it will be up on your YouTube channel but it will be soon.

It will leak right away if the inner portion of the seal folded over.

The difficulty in installing the seal was definitely from the O.D. of the seal. Think of it this way: The seal is a press fit, so you are installing a seal that is slightly larger than the space it fits in to in the block. A little bit of oil on the outside of the seal only can help. The other issue was the rubber mallet - it just doesn't convey the force needed to install the RMB seal. Instead, it was bouncing off of your seal installer. In the future, a dead blow mallet or a large ball peen hammer will be more effective. Only use the hammer on the seal installer though, and not the seal itself.

The PTFE sealing at the I.D. of the seal is designed to ride on top of the crank. It will not dig in or leave a groove in the crank like a lip seal can.
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#5
I purchased a 2900 rear main seal (high performance) for my chevy 350. I noticed you mentioned applying a light coat of motor oil to the outside diameter of the seal to ease installation. The instructions say to only apply oil to the inside diameter of the seal. Is that correct?
Also, will i be able to tell which side of the seal faces inboard to the engine?
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#6
(01-11-2017, 01:37 AM)Jon K Wrote:  I purchased a 2900 rear main seal (high performance) for my chevy 350. I noticed you mentioned applying a light coat of motor oil to the outside diameter of the seal to ease installation. The instructions say to only apply oil to the inside diameter of the seal. Is that correct?
Also, will i be able to tell which side of the seal faces inboard to the engine?

Hi Jon,

The mention of applying oil to the outside of RMB seals is for the large one-piece RMB (rear main bearing) seals. Those types of RMB seals are press-fit into a bore, and trying to push dry rubber into the bore creates a lot of friction, so we recommend applying a light coat of oil to the outside.

Two piece RMB seals, such as the 2900 seal you have, only need oil applied to the seal’s lip to prevent damage to the lip during initial startup. The two piece RMB seals are “slippery” enough that they should slide into the seal cavity without too much effort. The seal’s lip has some give to it and can collapse slightly during the installation, so it should not be too difficult to get in installed. Use a little bit of clean oil on the seal lip.

As for the direction - Looking at the sides that lead up to the RMB seal’s lip, one side is flat and the other is tapered. The flat side should face the front of the engine.
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#7
Hi.

Like Michiganshooter, today I just replaced the rear main seal on my 1995 F150 4.9 L 6 cyl with the Felpro PTFE seal and like him I really did not know how to properly use the plastic sleeve provided with the seal.  Without explicit instructions or a simple drawing, I was just guessing.  The plastic sleeve is slightly tapered and If I remember right the larger end goes onto the crankshaft flange.   I also don't know how far this plastic sleeve was supposed to be driven onto the crankshaft flange and how to do this since the plastic is kind of flimsey and it is a tight fit. Should the plastic sleeve be driven over the flange far enough so that the seal never touches the flange during installation,  until end when the sleeve is withdrawn or does the plastic sleeve just mate to the end of the flange to get the seal started and then the seal slides across the outer radius of the flange during installation, which I think is what I did.  Also should I have cleaned the surface of the flange with a solvent or alcohol to remove all traces of oil or is just wiping with a paper shop towel ok?  I fear I have wasted $20 and will have to do this again since I don't feel confident the seal did not double over upon installation as you mention is a possibility or that the surface was clean enough..
I did my rear main seal yesterday on a 1995 F150 4.9 L 6 cyl using the PTFE type seal.  I too was not sure how to use the plastic sleeve.  If I remember right one end is slightly larger than the other but neither end seemed to slip over the crankshaft flange too well.  Was the sleeve supposed to be forced on far enough to allow the seal to slide all the way in to position without touching the flange OD and then withdrawn.  I just kind of pushed the sleeve on which did not go very far and then tapped the seal in with a block of wood. It would be helpful if instructions more specific were provided with the seal including a basic drawing showing the sleeve installed on the crankshaft flange.  Also should the seal be wiped clean with some kind of solvent such as alcohol or is it sufficient to just wipe the surface with a clean shop towel. The autoparts store manager was not sure either as he said he had not used the PTFE type.
Thanks.
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#8
(01-12-2017, 07:22 AM)Guest Wrote:  Hi.

Like Michiganshooter, today I just replaced the rear main seal on my 1995 F150 4.9 L 6 cyl with the Felpro PTFE seal and like him I really did not know how to properly use the plastic sleeve provided with the seal.  Without explicit instructions or a simple drawing, I was just guessing.  The plastic sleeve is slightly tapered and If I remember right the larger end goes onto the crankshaft flange.   I also don't know how far this plastic sleeve was supposed to be driven onto the crankshaft flange and how to do this since the plastic is kind of flimsey and it is a tight fit. Should the plastic sleeve be driven over the flange far enough so that the seal never touches the flange during installation,  until end when the sleeve is withdrawn or does the plastic sleeve just mate to the end of the flange to get the seal started and then the seal slides across the outer radius of the flange during installation, which I think is what I did.  Also should I have cleaned the surface of the flange with a solvent or alcohol to remove all traces of oil or is just wiping with a paper shop towel ok?  I fear I have wasted $20 and will have to do this again since I don't feel confident the seal did not double over upon installation as you mention is a possibility or that the surface was clean enough..
I did my rear main seal yesterday on a 1995 F150 4.9 L 6 cyl using the PTFE type seal.  I too was not sure how to use the plastic sleeve.  If I remember right one end is slightly larger than the other but neither end seemed to slip over the crankshaft flange too well.  Was the sleeve supposed to be forced on far enough to allow the seal to slide all the way in to position without touching the flange OD and then withdrawn.  I just kind of pushed the sleeve on which did not go very far and then tapped the seal in with a block of wood. It would be helpful if instructions more specific were provided with the seal including a basic drawing showing the sleeve installed on the crankshaft flange.  Also should the seal be wiped clean with some kind of solvent such as alcohol or is it sufficient to just wipe the surface with a clean shop towel. The autoparts store manager was not sure either as he said he had not used the PTFE type.
Thanks.

Hi,

The seal come with a FIT form, I-95, in the box which states the seal must be installed dry, no lubrication on the seal lip or crankshaft. A solvent should be used to ensure the crankshaft sealing area is clean and then allowed to dry.

In this case, the sleeve and seal are installed onto the crank together and then the sleeve is removed. PTFE seals are different than rubber lip seals as the seal “lays” on the crank. This seal has the PTFE sealing lip facing one direction and a dust lip on the rubber face of the seal. The dust lip faces the rear of the engine. The sleeve will expand the PTFE sealing lip to ensure it fits “over” the crank. A little lube can be applied to the O.D. of the seal that fits into the block to help with the installation. The plastic sleeve will be a tight fit onto the crank and the seal will slide along the sleeve as the seal is being pressed in. Once the seal is flush with the block, the sleeve can be removed and the project can continue to be reassembled.

If you do not have confidence in your installation or feel that there was oil on the crank – which will result in a leak – now is the time to re-install a new seal. It is easier now to do it again than having to pull the vehicle back apart.

We can't provide the repair manual illustrations as they are copyright-protected. We strongly recommend using the latest edition of the repair manual for your application to ensure you have the correct torque specifications, sequence, and other procedures to ensure a reliable repair. Printed manuals can be purchased, as can electronic access to a manual through a website such as AllDataDIY.com - If you do not wish to purchase a manual, you can check with your local library as they may have a copy available.
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