Do any of you guys run felt seals on the crank? I just finished my rebuild and have it running on the test stand and don't like the oil leak at the front of the crank. I went with a felt seal after struggling with a Teflon seal while trying to fit the timing gear cover plate. I just couldn't get enough crush on the Teflon rope, even after beating the hell out of it on the bench, to get the proper centering of the timer. So, I had felt seals in the gasket set and used them. Now, I'm pissed. I soaked them in oil before installing them. Grrrrr
I use the felt seals and I do several rebuilds a year, first when all is clean, I place the dry felt in the grooves with some silicon sealer and then G clamp a socket the same ID as the shaft into it for several hours. I cut a square out of the gaskets so the felt is all round the crank, assemble with a lick of oil or grease and no issues there after.
To guarantee you will have no oil leaking from the front seal there is only one sure thing.
Install a modern oil seal to the Outside of the engine. Buy the thinnest one and glue it on with Ultra Black by Permatex backwards if you need the extra clearance. make sure you clean off all the oil from the front where the seal will face. If you have a clearance issue with the pulley you can cut and flatten out your seal to look like a daisy flower and then form it to the engine surfaces.
WaLa,,, no leaks
Biggest culprit is a rough surface on the crank where the seal rides.
Langs sells a slip on sleeve to smooth up the crankshaft. You can install a modern seal in the seal recess using RTV to hold it place. Both are likely available at your local auto supply or bearing house. The felt seal will most likely weep a little even under the best of conditions.
Dave: You did not say what year engine you tried the Teflon seal. There are two different seals, the early years require the narrow seal, the transition years my require a narrow and a larger seal. and later engines require the larger seal entirely. Langs sell both sizes.
Dave, if you slightly hammer the rope seal flat, it makes it a little more malleable and easier to work with. Once flattened, slide the thinner portion into the groove and then hammer it into position with a large socket with roughly the same diameter of the seal. This worked great for me, hope this helps.
Here are some pictures about the oil seal as Gene Carrothers mention
The teflon seal, even after I beat it on the bench and did the socket trick, as Mike Bender shows on his videos, just wouldn't let me get the cover centered over the cam. These pictures of the modern seal are very interesting and rather than pull the engine apart again, this definitely seems the way to proceed. Any chance you guys would have a seal number for me so I can order one in?
I use the rope seals they've always used. I pick them up at swap meets. Some people don't plan ahead!
Agree with Frank - I've only ever used the felt seals. Not any appreciable leakage if installed properly. You must roll the felt with grease in your palm before installing it. Then stuff it in the grooves.
If you were to install the felt seals dry then the crankshaft will be scored and then you will have lots of leakage.
I use the Model A rope seals. The Model A crank shaft is larger in diameter so the seals do have to be trimmed down a bit at the ends that stick up. You need some crush but not the amount you would have if you didn't trim. I leave about an 1/8 inch after doing the seating with a socket. The pan gasket sits between them so that provides more crush.
You may be trying to crush more then what can be done if the ends stick up too high.
Royce, glad to hear that you use the felt. I did oil mine heavily before installing them so as not to burn them. I'm not looking forward to tearing the hogshead, bands, ball cap, pan and front cover back apart to get in there to redo that seal. So, this idea of putting a rubber seal outside is pretty appealing.
Dave , I don't have the seal # , but I have the dimension :
ID 30 mm
OD 40 mm
width 4 mm
Dave, If I remember right try looking at a CR seal #12458. I think that one will work OK. The idea is to get one with the correct ID and a large OD so you have a adequate contact surface.
Just don't tell any of the nay sayers and no one will know you did it and you'll be so happy with no seeping oil coming thru the rope. I know some guys install this seal on the inside during assembly but I don't. let us know It works for ya.
Thanks guys. My local NAPA store had the 12458 in stock. $8.39 and no shipping cost. I'll cut it like the pictures show and bed it in place with Ultra Black.
Dave, you might try the following.
Just pull the front cover, with the motor still in the car. Compress the felt seal in the pan with a 1/4" pin punch on each side. I have been able to drive this down some 3/8" each side. Then you can add more felt to fill the holes.
I feel the felt supplied in the gasket kits is not dense enough to make a good seal, so I don't use them as is. Stuffing in more helps. Then I use an A model rope seal in the cover. Leave it a bit proud, form it with an appropriate sized socket and button it all up. It has worked well, twice now. Save the engine pull down until it is needed for something else later down the track.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Thanks Allan. While I was assembling this motor, the felt did seem a bit lacking for density, so I did add in an extra chunk to one end. I wish I had backed it up with some silicone under it in the groove to make it sit higher, as was mentioned earlier in this thread. . At this point, rather than mess with that cover and possibly create other leaks, I'm going to go with the external seal approach and see how that holds up. I'm still running on the test stand and have 7 hours on it now, dumping the oil every 45 minutes. The damn pedal shafts are leaking past the o-rings at a surprising clip too. The o-rings were done 4 years ago. Just gonna leave that alone.
Why isn't in the car out driving like 6 hours run time ago? Why are you dumping the oil every 45 mins?
My understanding is to break in a engine it needs to be run at different RPM's and loads not at a set RPM no load run.
Not putting your method down, just want to know your reasons.
Well, this engine has been apart twice for metal in the oil. Last time, I did 20 minutes on the test stand and then put it into the car and drove it a total of maybe 6 hours and did maybe 4 oil changes. The oil looked terrible and I pulled the engine back out of the car. We all know just how fun that is.
A buddy of mine works in the shops at Greenfield Village and I told him of my dilemma, while standing in the Model T shop with all of the mechanics in earshot. They all piped up with..."20 minutes on the test stand? No way! We run all of our rebuilds on the stand a minimum of 6 hours and dump the oil many times during that break in. It's a lot of work to put one into the car and then pull it out again." So, I'm going with what those guys say over ANYBODY else.
I'm at 9 hours and 14 oil changes now and still don't like how the oil looks. I may be pulling this old girl back apart. Not happy.
Good enough. It's not a filtered system and does not take very long for oil to get black. Are you concerned about the black sludge that may be accumulating on stuff inside or is it still shinny metal pieces? The black sludge that stick to magnets is normal process of the ring scraping up and down the cylinder walls. Have you thought about adding a bypass oil filter system?
Your image did not come through.
Well, the oil comes out the same amber color as when it goes in, except it's loaded with non-ferrous metal particles. The magnet on the screen has the typical black dust on it from the rings seating in the bores, but not at any alarming rate. How does a bypass filter system work on a model T? any pictures of one installed?
Maybe something like this.
You could also Google mtfca; oil filter
It seems that what ever was wearing itself in got happy. The last two test runs showed less metal so I'm putting it into the car. I want to thank Gene's buddy for coming up with that external seal concept for the front end of the crank. I just put it on and like it a lot. Some of the surrounding bolts were also a little loose, so between the seal and the tight bolts, all should be fine. Thanks for all the input.