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Old 06-21-2007, 01:54 AM   #1
Patrick Olsen
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Join Date: Jul 1999
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Location: Where the Navy sends me...
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1997 Legacy 2.5GT
1996 Impreza coupe

Default How deep should front main seal be installed?

A few weekends ago I installed a used engine I got off Ebay in my car. The instructions that came with the engine said to replace the various seals (cams, front and rear crank), so I did all that. It was the first time I had replaced any of those before, so it's entirely possible I did something wrong. To the best of my recollection, I installed the front main seal so that it was flush with the face of the oil pump.

This past weekend the car started leaking oil like it was going out of style. Wednesday evening I pulled the timing belt and all the sprockets - cam seals all look good, but the front main seal was absolutely toast. It was actually protruding slightly (maybe 1/16" or slightly less) from the recess that it sits in, and the back of the crank sprocket had shaved all the rubber off the outer face of the seal.

The FSM doesn't really say anything about how exactly to install the seal - it just says "Use ST to install main seal", or words that effect. The Haynes Manual isn't very specific, either.

So, to keep this from happening again, I'd like to know how to install the front main seal properly. Should I push it in until it bottoms out in the recess? Or does it just need to be inserted so that it's a little deeper than flush with the face of the oil pump? Does anybody put sealant around the outer diameter to help hold it in place? (The FSM doesn't say to do that, so I don't think it should be necessary.) Is there some reason the seal would have "walked" forward, as mine appears to have done?

Thanks!
Pat Olsen
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:35 AM   #2
Aaron'z 2.5RS
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I just did this to my 99rs and wouldn't you know, i can't remember... It's been 6 months now and no problem.

I do want to say "crown" out and i seated it in as far as it would go...

I'll put some more thought into it and try and get back to you... but, i'm 56.32% positive it was like above...
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:39 AM   #3
avk
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This one has to be driven all the way, then the face of the seal will be at the bottom of the chamfered edge as it should. But make sure the pump outlet is correctly sealed with its O-ring, so that pressurized oil is not escaping along the crankshaft and pushing the seal out.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:56 PM   #4
Patrick Olsen
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1996 Impreza coupe

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I'm wondering if that o-ring failed, avk, because the seal was definitely farther out than I installed it. I'm going to pull the pump off to check everything, replace the o-ring, and reinstall. Hopefully I won't screw it up.

I just got back from the dealer to pick up a new front seal. I asked one of the tech guys and he confirmed that you want the seal to be bottomed out in the recess. He said a nut driver (screwdriver with a 1/4" tip on it for sockets) makes a good tool to push the seal in with. The outer diameter should be clean and dry, and he said they put white lithium grease or Vaseline in the inner diameter of the seal (where it rides on the crank) to help it slide on without the rolling the lip up.

Pat
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:03 PM   #5
munkis
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should be about 1 mm recessed. just about lined up with the small bevel. I usually use a 10mm deep 1/4" socket and tap around the perimeter in star pattern with half the socket on the seal the other half touching the oil pump.

Never had a problem.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:59 PM   #6
avk
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Looks like it will be the usual pump reseal, with checking the screws on the back cover, new O-ring, and new sealant between the pump and the block. As for driving the seal, I followed the idea of using a PVC plumbing (drainage) fitting of appropriate size, but that's just one way to do it.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:20 AM   #7
Patrick Olsen
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1996 Impreza coupe

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I ended up using a short piece of steel pipe I had sitting in the garage, worked like a charm. Doesn't appear to be leaking, but we'll see how things look after a day or two of driving.

Pat
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