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Practical Engine Building: Installing Crankshaft Oil Seals

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Installing Crankshaft Oil Seals


00:00 - When we're assembling a fresh engine, one of the important tasks to complete is installing brand new oil seals.
00:06 Often these will be installed on the front of the crankshaft as well as the rear.
00:11 It's important to make sure that these are installed correctly, otherwise our freshly built engine is likely to suffer from an oil leak.
00:18 Now this isn't an overly difficult task, however I know that a lot of novice engine builders still have difficulty in completing it.
00:26 So in this section we're going to have a look at what we're trying to do and a couple of ways we can achieve it.
00:32 Now I actually have here a set of crankshaft seal installation and removal tools.
00:39 These are available at a relatively modest price.
00:42 And if you are going to be servicing engines frequently, one of these kits can make a lot of sense.
00:48 In particular these kits actually make it really easy to remove and install these seals when the engine is still assembled.
00:55 So this is a kit that can be useful over and above just simply building engines.
01:03 Now there's also the opportunity to install seals without such a kit and I know that a lot of novice engine builders won't have one of these kits on hand so we'll look at what our other options are.
01:16 For the demonstration we're going to be looking at installing a front crank seal in the oil pump housing for a Toyota 2JZ as well as the rear crank seal assembly that'll go into the rear main seal housing.
01:29 Let's start with our front crank seal, and this is a genuine factory Toyota crankshaft seal.
01:37 Now it's really important when we install one of these seals to make sure it's installed squarely into the housing, and we want to also install the seal dry.
01:48 There's no need to lubricate the outside surface of the seal and in fact that will be detrimental.
01:54 So for this particular installation I'm going to be using one of the components from our seal installation tool.
02:01 What we wanna do is find one that is the same outside diameter as our seal, or very slightly smaller than the seal.
02:10 And this will allow us to press down correctly on the outside diameter of the seal which is going to push it into the housing.
02:18 What I'm going to do is I'll just locate the seal approximately into the housing where it's going to be going, we'll place the installation tool over the top of the seal.
02:28 I'll just hold that with my left hand.
02:30 What I'm going to do is gently tap down on the housing using a hammer.
02:36 When we do this it's really important to stop frequently and just inspect our progress.
02:41 We want to make sure that that seal is being installed squarely.
02:45 And if it's not, we can adjust where we're focusing our efforts with the hammer.
02:50 We don't need to apply much force here, just some gentle taps will push the seal into place so let's go through and do that now.
03:13 So as I'm installing the seal, what I'm doing is moving the place where I'm striking the installation tool around with the hammer, and this is allowing me to adjust any offset that I'm getting to make sure that I'm keeping the seal square.
03:28 In particular right now we've got the seal about half installed and what I can see is that at this location here the seal is physically lower, it's pressed further into the housing than it is around here.
03:39 So I need to correct this by focusing some effort on this side of the installation tool.
04:10 And as I'm installing the seal, the other thing I'm doing is just using my finger to run around the seal and just feel where it's either high or low in that housing, and again this just helps guide me with where exactly I need to focus a little bit more effort.
04:38 And what we're aiming for here, we're just about flush with the housing, so I'm taking my time there, I'm making small adjustments.
04:44 It's always easier to push the seal in further.
04:48 If we find we've gone too far, it's a little bit difficult to extract it without doing damage.
04:53 What we want to do is just end up with our seal very slightly lower than the front face of the housing.
05:00 So I'm just going to continue now.
05:05 OK so that's our crankshaft front seal installed.
05:08 Now we've got it nice and square.
05:09 It's just very very slightly below the surface of the oil pump housing assembly.
05:17 So that's complete.
05:18 We'll move on and we'll have a look at installing our rear main seal.
05:24 Now with our rear main seal, our oil seal installation kit doesn't have an installing tool large enough for our rear main seal.
05:35 So this is a situation that a lot of you will be in.
05:38 And what we want to do is simply find something that is appropriately sized to the diameter of that particular seal.
05:46 So an old pulley or something of that nature that's just got a solid surface that's about the same size as the outside diameter of our seal, is what we're looking for here.
05:57 We can use that to help install the seal.
06:00 So let's go through the process now.
06:02 It's going to be a repeat of what we've just looked at.
06:08 OK so we've now got our rear main seal installed as well.
06:12 So that's the process that we can go through for installing our seals.
06:16 It is a relatively straightforward process but it is important to take your time, make sure that the seal is installed square with the housing and also make sure that it is installed to the correct depth.

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