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Replacing front and rear seals

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  • Replacing front and rear seals

    We purchased a 1962 Hawk about 1 1/2 years ago. It happens that my wife and I actually remember the car from a previous owner about 10 - 15 years. We haven't started the body work yet, but that will start after I have some other projects completed. I found out today that the engine had been "gone through" some years ago. This testimony came from this same reliable previous owner of some years ago. The car has not been run that much since though.

    The problem is that the engine leaks oil pretty badly from the front and rear seal. It leaks whether its moving or not! Probably more when the engine is running though.

    My question is whether the seals can be replaced without removing the engine and how this can be accomplished. I don't recall if the repair manual presents a very good detail of how to accomplish the replacement without removing the engine.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    They can be replaced without removing the engine. The front one's easier, by far, than the rear one. But it can be done.

    You need to do some detective work before you go to all the trouble of replacing the rear seal. Just because oil drips off the rear of the engine - that does not automatically mean that the rear seal's gone south. Often, the valve cover or the lifter valley cover gaskets are the culprit. In fact, since you say that it drips even AFTER it stops running, that might be a clue that the valve cover gaskets are leaking. Since most of the oil settles in the oil pan WELL BELOW the rear main seal when not running, it's unlikely that that's where the leak is. Since the valve covers hold a bit of oil in their back, lower corners while the engine's off, they can leak that bit of oil until it's all out.
    The felt seal at the front of the engine DOES have a reputation of hardening and shrinking over time. Again tho, engine off, there's no oil in the vicinity of this seal to leak down. Of course, it may trickle a bit until any leaked oil runs off and drips away.
    There's a way to convert this front seal to a rubber lip seal and this would offer better, longer leak resistance.
    I suggest you check the valley cover's gasket or tightness, the valve covers as well and then make sure you snug all the oil pan bolts. There's a standing joke about Stude's leaking oil - "If it ain't leakin', you're probably out of oil!"
    They CAN be made leak free - but it AIN'T easy![}]

    I forgot to add that you should check to make sure the crankcase draft tube is clean to where engine gasses can escape. OR, if it has a PCV valve, it has to be in working order. If not, pent up engine pressure will seek an outlet and blow past the seals. This will make it leak as well![V]

    Miscreant at large.
    No deceptive flags to prove I'm patriotic - no biblical BS to impress - just ME and Studebakers - as it should be.