Front Main Seal - Modern or Felt?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2012: Front Main Seal - Modern or Felt?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil on Sunday, December 02, 2012 - 08:05 pm:

Now that my new motor is finally nearing completion I'm getting ready to button up the timing cover and install a new front main seal. I bought one of the modern style seals which is supposed to be more oil tight but got to thinking that the surface on my new crankshaft may be too rough for it. Possibly I should just use the old felt style seal? Here are a couple of pics of the crank with the cover dry fitted:

CrankPits01

CrankPits02

If I go back to the felt seal, does it need to be cut in half? The one in the gasket kit looks like a small donut with a slice in one side but not the other. Why wasn't it sliced in half from the factory? I understand that the seal needs to be soaked in oil for a couple of hours. Does it need to be fitted in with silicone sealer in the timing cover also or is it a tight enough fit without that extra step?

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Frank Harris from Long Beach & Big Bear on Sunday, December 02, 2012 - 08:12 pm:

buy a shell of the correct size and slip it over the shaft. Then get a modern seal from a T supplier and don't drip any more.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil on Sunday, December 02, 2012 - 08:16 pm:

I bought a sleeve for the nose of a Chevy six in my old '51 pickup one time. Is that the sort of thing you are thinking of? Where would you find one for a T?

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Terry Woods, Katy, Texas on Sunday, December 02, 2012 - 08:24 pm:

Lang's has it # 3012 SL. $37.50. Modern seal # 3012 M $5.95. Other vendors may have these, too. They're the only way to go with a crank like yours, unless you like leaks.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil on Sunday, December 02, 2012 - 08:29 pm:

Thanks Terry, that gives me a start. I'll see if I can get one ordered Monday.

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Zibell on Sunday, December 02, 2012 - 09:34 pm:

Lang's pricing beats the price from a general supplier http://www.mcmaster.com/#shaft-repair-sleeves/=kfaod6 Be advised these shaft repair sleeves are very delicate. If you aren't a machinist, I'd suggest taking the crank and sleeve to a machine shop you trust. I've used them when working on motorcycles and it is very easy to damage them when you are trying to install them. Considering the distance you need to get the sleeve to travel over the crank nose it will not be an easy install.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Loso St Joseph, MN on Sunday, December 02, 2012 - 10:41 pm:

I usually have my cranks turned down and fit a stainless steel sleeve over it and then I always use the Model A type rope seal; hasn't let me down in over 2 dozen engine rebuilds. Make sure to soak it in oil first.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Sunday, December 02, 2012 - 11:06 pm:

You might see what the auto supply can do for your crank diameter. A sleeve locally might be quicker and less expensive. you would Loctite it in place on the shaft. Bob's in Rockford, Illinois sells a Model T rope seal. I think you will find a Model A seal too fat. The modern seal will work well. It just can't be replaced without pulling the engine.
The fix for a leaking modern seal would be to glue another seal on the face of the engine with an RTV product. If I had the engine out like you do, I would use a sleeve and a modern seal. Any bearing house will have the seal in stock.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Monday, December 03, 2012 - 03:11 am:

Paul, A modern neopreme seal will work fine on your crank. Put your engine together and then install the seal to the outside of the front cover. We did a demonstration at the LB and OC club meetings about that very thing. You'll never have another leak there again. Give me a call and I'll explain the procedure so you get it right.

Gene


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Andy Loso St Joseph, MN on Monday, December 03, 2012 - 07:03 am:

Bob's doesn't sell one, Snyder's does and it is the same as an A. It will pack right into the timing cover and they work great.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By john kuehn on Monday, December 03, 2012 - 09:02 am:

The front seal trick works wonders that Gene Carrothers mentioned.
I picked up the procedure on this forum a while back. It does work and will end the drip.
It will go on just behind the front pulley on the front cover. Do a forum search and you see the procedure on installation. As a matter of fact I installed the A type rope seal as the original.
I then used the modern neoprene seal on the front cover. Works fine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Treace, North FL on Monday, December 03, 2012 - 09:11 am:

Thanks Gene and John

Gonna do that 'dual' seal trick on the '23 cut-down. When assembled the engine, posted about which seal to use. Most replied to turn the crank, but that was out as the rods were all bolted up.

So I chose the rope seal. Have used them before, and thought best of it.

But have weeping leak now.....


Placing the rope seal.

So, will pull the crank pulley and place a neoprene seal just behind the pulley and see if that stops the weeping.

Condition of worn shaft, some pitting, thought that the rope seal would work. :-(


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Milton,WA on Monday, December 03, 2012 - 10:05 am:

Front seal leaks can be mis-identified as the front crankcase mount/dam areas also have a tendency to leak or weep and it shows at the bottom of the c.c. at the hole to remove the fan drive pulley.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Monday, December 03, 2012 - 11:15 am:

I like to use the old rope seals like Dan posted the picture of. They don't make them any more to my knowledge, but I still pick them up at swap meets. The earlier engines use one from a V8 60, which are narrower.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Holcomb, Watertown WI on Monday, December 03, 2012 - 12:32 pm:

ford 8N worked for mine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil on Monday, December 03, 2012 - 04:59 pm:

Thanks guys, I went ahead and ordered the sleeve from Lang's along with a couple of other items. With any luck, I can button up this motor after getting the bits back more than six months ago.

I was lucky enough to see and hear Gene's presentation of the external oil seal a couple of months ago at the Orange County Model T Club meeting. I think this is a fine idea for a leaky T that needs a remedial treatment. In this case I hope to head the leaks off before they happen by careful assembly with modern sealer & seals wherever these will not be visible to the eye.

For those of you who have used the modern seal, what is the best assembly order? Is the seal fitted to the timing cover and then coaxed over the crank snout or is it fitted over the crank snout first and then teased into the cover while the cover is being fitted to the front of the engine? I sure do not wish to install the seal loaded in one direction which might lead to early failure . . .

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Monday, December 03, 2012 - 06:01 pm:

Hey Vintage O'. If you have any trouble with that sleeve going on don't be afraid to just leave it off. Looking at the condition of your crankshaft you'll not have any issues with oil leaking there.. It's always good practice to run some emery cloth over the seal area in any case.

Put everything together on the front except the pulley. If you still have it on the engine stand, rotate it so the crank is up and it'll be the easiest to work on.

Very simply clean off any paint or oil and grease around the area where the seal will fit against. Fit your new seal so it conforms nicely to the area above and below the split. Remember to cut your seal into a daisy pattern and also check to see you have clearance between the pulley and the engine face. I use "The Right Stuff" by Permatex but other adhesives may also work.

Give a holler if you have any questions or need some help.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Todd on Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - 11:02 am:

Anyone have a part # for the "outside" seal?

Quote: "Remember to cut your seal into a daisy pattern"

Gene, can you explain this?

Thanks, Ken


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - 12:00 pm:

Wonder why the shaft takes such a beating in that spot. Dirt/junk imbedded in the seal material? If it leaks it's getting lubed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil on Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - 03:09 pm:

Just looking at the damage, it looks like water probably got into the felt seal and rusted pits in the crank over the years the motor stood idle. This is just speculation on my part . . .

Vintage Paul


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - 10:43 pm:

Ken, Many of the T's don't have much clearance between the fan pulley and the front of the block. Also flattening out the seal gives more area to stick to the front of the engine.

The shoulder of the seal can be cut all around the outside with a pair of tin snips and then flattened out so it resembles a daisy flower.

The "petals" will be about 1/4" wide and can be trimmed and shaped to conform to the front of the block and timing cover above and below the crankshaft.
REMEMBER to install the seal backwards so this allows the metal to sit flush to the engine surface with rubber on front side. Yes, I know it's not correct but with no pressure the seal still does its job.

I have not heard anyone having trouble damaging the seal's neopreme but be careful. I have never heard anyone that has tried this sealing method say it wasn't successful.

Also, With the seal on the outside, removal of timing cover is very easy and it is nearly undetectable to most eyes.

Try it you'll like it. YMMV


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Adam Doleshal on Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 11:49 am:

Big downfall with the modern seal, is if you ever take your front cover off for any reason (like if you change the cam), then you really have to pull the engine and remove and reinstall the pan to get everything to seal up properly again. When I thought about this a few years ago, I stopped using the modern seals and went back to the regular felt. If the crank shaft is smooth at the contact area and if you saturated the felt in oil before installing, the felt seal works very well. Yes, you will occasionally get a couple drops of oil past the seal, but not even as much as you would get if you over-lubricate your fan!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 04:27 pm:

Adam,

You misread about installing the seal to the OUTSIDE instead of in the rope seal groove.

It is a simple task to remove the seal adhesive and many times its even possible to reuse the old seal after removing the timing cover.

You are correct when the seal is installed at rebuild IN the groove that it becomes more difficult to remove the timing cover but local LB 500 racer is able to carefully remove his cover I think because he uses very little glue in the groove. I recommend using the seal on the outside.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul O'Neil on Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 05:23 pm:

Gene - I had misunderstood as well. You are suggesting not using ANY seal in the normal position and going entirely with the outside seal?

Adam - I am assured by one of our local T club fellows who does the Montana race (and takes his motor apart often) that the front cover CAN be winkled off the front of the motor with the modern seal in place. Possibly it is one of those operations that require your tongue to be held in the right place?

Vintage Paul, still trying to puzzle my way forward . . .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Max L. Christenson on Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 05:51 pm:

So, if using the modern crankshaft neoprene seal, one is supposed to cut the horizontal part of a modern seal into equal parts around its circumference, and then place the seal flat against the front of the timing gear cover and and lower crankshaft cover, and hope it holds, without placing any felt or rope in the trough/groove in the upper groove of the timing gear cover or the lower crankshaft cover?

That is truly amazing, and requires a great amount of trust in such a fix.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey, Hayward Ca. on Thursday, December 06, 2012 - 09:44 pm:

I worked at a VW air cooled rebuild place back when those cars were popular.
They had no seal there whatsoever.
The shop owner made up a cutter that went in place of the crank pulley.
He would have someone run the starter to turn the engine while he operated the cutter.
The cutter would spin around and cut metal away and they would stop remove the cutter and pound in a VW front wheel grease seal.
The cutting not only held the seal but set it back into the engine enough to clear the pulley.
The VW being aluminum type alloy cut pretty easily, I don't think you'd have much luck doing that to the front of a T pan but you could cut a little off the rear of the crank pulley and redrill for the pulley pin to move it forward some and shim the fan forward enough to match.? That would save cutting the seal to flatten it out.
I don't think I've ever had a T that leaked from the front seal.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Friday, December 07, 2012 - 02:05 am:

Guys if you have your engine apart install the seal that comes with the gasket kit or a modern one in the groove.
I used the rope type when I had my engine apart.
It leaked maybe cause I have a lot of oil going to the front of the engine with the outside oil line. I don't like leaks when I can easily stop them.

MAX If you have relatively clean surface and use a good adhesive such as The Right Stuff by Permantex your seal will not come off or leak, In worst case you simply remove the pulley and apply another seal. No need to tear down an engine. Nice thing is you can't see it.

You do not have to cut the seal metal in equal strips but enough to be able to flatten out the metal, Place the seal with the rubber OUT and then form it to the front surface of the engine. Trim it to fit apply some Right Stuff and slide the seal on, put the pulley back on and Wah La, No more oil seeping from the crankshaft.

Like I said before, I don't know anyone using this method that doesn't love it.

I do have say that I didn't think up this neat trick but a local OC club Montana 500 racer that drives a Green Machine.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Hycner on Monday, December 17, 2012 - 07:21 pm:

OK, i'm curious about the neoprene seal on the outside of the cover. What holds it in place and what is the seal part#?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Monday, December 17, 2012 - 08:40 pm:

It says apply some adhesive like "The Right Stuff". This is what several of us here have used with perfect results.

You can use the seal from the T vendors or a C/R #12458 will also work. This seal is just slightly over 1/4" thick. I have heard of guys using them without cutting the flange and flattening them out like a daisy flower but I still would recommend that procedure because then you can conform the seal to the front of the engine surface. DON'T Forget to reverse the seal and install it backwards so you get more surface area against the engine.

Try it you'll like it!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Monday, December 17, 2012 - 08:47 pm:

It says apply some adhesive like "The Right Stuff". This is what several of us here have used with perfect results.

You can use the seal from the T vendors or a C/R #12458 will also work. This seal is just slightly over 1/4" thick. I have heard of guys using them without cutting the flange and flattening them out like a daisy flower but I still would recommend that procedure because then you can conform the seal to the front of the engine surface. DON'T Forget to reverse the seal and install it backwards so you get more surface area against the engine.

Try it you'll like it!


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