I have read a bunch of threads on sealing up the front crank bearing at the timing cover. I do not want to start another thread discussion about gluing a modern neoprene seal backwards on the timing cover. But I am wondering, is there a source for the correct rope type seal? The vendors tell me they can't find it. Fel-pro has a kit for the T but does not list the rope seal separately. I have found rope seals on the hot rod sites like Jegs, but they do not list diameters, sizes, or other specs. Does anyone have a part number and source for the right rope seal? Thanks, Bill
William, there are two different seals depending on the year of the engine. 09-13, 12-27. Here's a link.
The later ones fit the later pans and covers very well. If you have an earlier front cover the later one is too large of diameter, and the smaller one they sell is a little too small for a good seal. I spoke with Dave at Chaffin's about this; he suggested using a piece of flat shoe lace under the rope seal on the early covers to make the rope mate up better. I'll be trying this in the next week and can let you know how it goes.
That would be great, Gary. I bought the big one from Lang'so and the small one from Chaffin's, and Glen told me the same thing. Fel-pro lists a gasket kit for the T along with seals for many cars going into the 50s. I will try calling them to see if they can cross reference by rope diameter. Maybe they make the perfect seal but just list it for another car.
Also, have you tried using a seal extractor while the crank is still in the block? We used to call them a "sneaky Pete" also known as a "Chinese seal installer". Maybe I am asking for trouble and should just replace the seal in the timing cover and leave the pan part alone?
Thank you for your help! Cheers!
I believe the narrow rope seal was used much later than 1913. I have 1915 front covers on both my '13s, and they still use the early seal. I like the '15 covers, because you can use a modern camshaft seal in them.
I just mounted my original 7 rivet pan and a front cover that is about a 1915; as Larry said, it can take the modern cam seal. Both the pan and the cover are made for the smaller (early) rope seal.
On the pan there was a small bump, maybe 3/32" high, in the channel where the rope seal goes. This did not interfere with anything, but it would prevent removing any existing seal without removing the pan. If you could remove an old one (think felt and picking it apart bit by bit) you could never install a new one without removing the pan. I do not know if this was a casting defect or there by design to prevent the seal from moving.
For the new seal I used 2 layers of flat shoe lace below the seal. First a small bead of Ultra Black, then a shoe lace, another bead of Ultra Black, another shoe lace, another small bead of sealant, then the rope seal. I set the rope seal with a socket, then trimmed the ends, leaving them a bit proud so they will seal against the mate in the front cover once all gaskets are in place.
For the front cover, two layers of shoe lace was too much, one was not quite enough, so I used a narrow strip of leather instead and trimmed it the same.
Assembly was similar to when I used later (thicker) seals in a pan and front cover that would accept them; I still needed to draw the bolts up before the alignment gauge would go in, and there was a noticeable but not huge difference in the amount of drag from the seal when I turned the engine over.
Nice work and very helpful, thanks.
Cheers! And thanks Gary! Bill