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Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: Ray Coker ()
Date: March 23, 2021 03:29AM

What are some suggestions on the correct/best front main crank seal to use to prevent leaking? Tips? Ideas? Folklore remedies?

My engine is new and has break-in oil in it and the seal is leaking with less than one hour of run time and no test drives. Is there a chance the 20-50 oil that will go in after the break-in time will not leak? I'm fully prepared to remove the engine and transmission to install a new crank seal but for now I'm looking for the "magic formula".

The engine was assembled by a very reliable Corvair guy but sometimes things happen.

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: March 23, 2021 03:43AM

Did you install a Viton seal? If so do NOT use.

I would purchase from John Sweet, have never had issues with any of his seals and gaskets. He is jasvair here on the site. His email js189@zoominternet.net

-Tom


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
65' Monza MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block (Sold)
86' BMW 325es
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo
67' UltraVan 211 "Violet"
NFCC, UMCC
Grand Island, NY

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: alphasud ()
Date: March 23, 2021 05:12AM

I think the first thing to do would be to remove the harmonic balancer and inspect the sealing area of the balancer. Make sure the oil deflector has been installed on the crankshaft. Remove leaking seal and look for damage on the seal lip. Also place the leaking seal back on the HB to check the diameter of the sealing surface. Maybe HB if new was made incorrectly. Also before disassembly make sure the oil is actually leaking from the front crank and not the cover gasket on the oil filter adapter.

David North Idaho
1965 Corsa Turbo converted to 140
1971 Super Beetle with 2.5L Subaru engine
1965 Corsa mid engine project
1973 Mercedes 280 project

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: toms73novass ()
Date: March 23, 2021 05:28AM

Front seal would be around crank on bell housing....... Harmonic end is rear? Silly rear engine smiling smiley

-Tom


63' Monza Spyder Convertable (in process) MY Build Thread
65' Monza MY Build Thread
73' NovaSS 454 Big block (Sold)
86' BMW 325es
98' VW Jetta TDI, for daughter
01' Audi Allroad Stage 3 twin turbo
67' UltraVan 211 "Violet"
NFCC, UMCC
Grand Island, NY

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: v8vair ()
Date: March 23, 2021 06:21AM

Ive run into this a few times and my cure has been to polish the sealing surface with some fine Emory cloth, get it as slick as you can. My two race motors and my Spyder ive done this and all three are dry with the Clarkes seal

1965 Crown V8 Racer
1964 Bill Thomas Monza Replica Racer
1964 Spyder Street Car
1979 Mazda RX7

Mike Levine

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: Ray Coker ()
Date: March 23, 2021 07:41AM

Thanks, I'm aware Viton seals do not work with rotating parts. I'll contact John.

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: Ray Coker ()
Date: March 23, 2021 07:42AM

It's the front seal, bellhousing to crank seal. Thanks anyway.

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: Ray Coker ()
Date: March 23, 2021 07:44AM

Great idea, thanks. I'll be removing the driveline soon to attack the dreaded leak.

Thanks

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: Phil Dally ()
Date: March 23, 2021 07:52AM

My Dad always told me, "No such thing as a mechanic in a can."

So I hate to admit I used it...but this stuff worked on SuperVair.

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: Cheepfk ()
Date: March 23, 2021 09:04AM

I looked at the front crank seal that John Sweet sells online and decided not to purchase it. From his photo it looks like a low quality old (rusty) Felpro or Victor seal.
Compared to Clarks seal which looks much more robust that I decided to purchase instead. The photo is from his listing.

Fred K.

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: March 23, 2021 09:23AM

I recall the shop manual says to place some grease in the "V" area or the flexible seal before installing the seal. It helps keep oil in place. Otherwise a new seal without grease can run dry and overheat in short order.

As Tom said - front or rear is confusing on a Vair engine. Depends on point of reference. Best to say bellhousing seal, or harmonic balancer seal.

Yes many have reported the "viton" seals don't work well for the bellhousing or harmonic balancer seal. Use the original style.

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: v8vair ()
Date: March 23, 2021 09:53AM

My dad told me years ago to pack the spring area with grease so when you drive the seal in its less likely the spring will come out ? Sounded good to me smiling smiley

1965 Crown V8 Racer
1964 Bill Thomas Monza Replica Racer
1964 Spyder Street Car
1979 Mazda RX7

Mike Levine

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: WalterElias ()
Date: March 23, 2021 08:41PM

Sometimes a seal just goes in wrong or is bad right out of the box. Looks right when you tap it into place but like they say, the proof is in the pudding. You don't really know for sure until you run it.

We're lucky that our front and rear crank seals have a relatively wide contact surface with the housing and that there are metal lips on the seals to help determine if the seal is seated or not.

Recently, I replaced the motor in my Toyota truck and replaced the front and rear crank seals. The contact surface surface with the case on them is very narrow and the rear main seal will just keep going further into the motor if you keep tapping since there is no lip. Also, the original seals on the original Toyota motor were....Viton... and on the replacement motor I acquired, the original seals were also Viton....and I replaced them with Japanese seals made from Viton.

My theory on the Viton seal controversy and the Corvair is that there was a problem with the rubber formulation for a batch that one of the vendors had made up and that was the source of the deterioration problem. I had them in our UltraVan and when I had a chance to replace them, I did. Blew the differential up and that was the perfect opportunity so I replaced them with standard seals just for peace of mind in case my theory was wrong. BTW, the Viton seals I removed show signs of deterioration so I was glad I replaced them before they failed (around 15,000 miles).

I hate to say it but I think you just need to pull it and see why it is leaking. A new seal shouldn't be doing that and it will never be easier than it is now. Bummer but hey, at least it's in your driveway or garage and not a long way from home!

Cheers,

Dan Kling
1961 Greenbrier Deluxe, 110 HP, 4spd, 3.89 stump puller
1963 Spyder Coupe, restored, converted to 4spd Saginaw
1967 UltraVan #299, The migration has begun, we're on the road again......Save the Whales!

Photos of our Greenbrier, UltraVan and work-in-progress @

[www.flickr.com]

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: March 23, 2021 08:56PM

How do you know the Toyota seals were Viton? Were they marked?

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 116 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: Ray Coker ()
Date: March 24, 2021 05:56AM

I thank everyone for their suggestions. I'm removing the driveline tomorrow to replace the seal.

When you look at what is going on around all of us, this problem is the size of an ant. I'll do the job with music in the background, the necessary parts on hand and a smile on my face.

Soon I'll be heading to the Mini Convention in Springfield IL.

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: TerribleTed ()
Date: March 24, 2021 07:27AM

Other things that you can do. Clark's sells a seal spacer that installs between the seal and the bellhousing moving the seal about 1/8" to contact a different spot on the crank, this works sometimes. There are also speedy sleeves available that can be installed on the crank to provide a new surface that is slightly larger in diameter for the seal to ride on, I have done this a couple times for grooved cranks in the past and they worked well. Be sure to pack the seal with grease between the lips before install. You can also use some non hardening sealer like Permatex #2 between the seal and the bellhousing just to be sure it is not leaking from there.

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

Avid Corvair hobbiest since 1984.
I have personally performed ground up restoration on over 20 Corvairs.
I currently work full time at restoring and repairing Corvairs.
Located in the Atlanta Georgia area.
[www.facebook.com]

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: March 24, 2021 10:22AM

Yes Walter Viton material comes in different formulations depending on application.

Judging by past negative comments the Vitor material in the Corvair seals is not the correct type of Viton.

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: March 24, 2021 11:13AM

You may find that it is the crank bolts leaking and not the seal. There is also a gasket between the crank gear and crank but it is crazy fun to replace since you have to take the crank out and press it apart. I've never had that gasket leak. You should also inspect the bellhousing for cracks.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 116 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: Noel Felty ()
Date: March 24, 2021 12:29PM

Non hardening sealant on the crank bolts is must.i

Noel Felty
Brevard, NC
1966 Corsa 140 Before

1966 Corsa After

1972 Ford f100

Corsa SC
NC Mountain Corvairs

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Re: Leaking Front Main Seal
Posted by: WalterElias ()
Date: March 24, 2021 07:05PM

joelsplace Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How do you know the Toyota seals were Viton? Were they marked?

The rear main seal on both my old engine and on the replacement Motor were NOK BH4215G and brown in appearance. BH4215 as far as I could find crossed to a Viton seal made by Toyota OE manufacturer NOK.

Dan Kling
1961 Greenbrier Deluxe, 110 HP, 4spd, 3.89 stump puller
1963 Spyder Coupe, restored, converted to 4spd Saginaw
1967 UltraVan #299, The migration has begun, we're on the road again......Save the Whales!

Photos of our Greenbrier, UltraVan and work-in-progress @

[www.flickr.com]

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