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rear main sear replacement

1363 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  KEN-E
Now I realize I may be getting in way over my head here to replace the rear main seal in y truck but, it seems simple enough from the manual's decription.

My question is what the hell is the left engine to transmission strut? It says that that must de disconnected but I cannot find a picture of what it is and cannot think of what it would be.

Any help in this matter would be appreciated. Also if you have any advise for the whole process let me know.
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tsegeela said:
My question is what the hell is the left engine to transmission strut? It says that that must de disconnected but I cannot find a picture of what it is and cannot think of what it would be.
It's like a brace.

If you look between the starter and the engine block, you'll see a length of metal that bolts into the engine block at the top end and the transmission at the bottom. I always found it easier to remove the starter to get at the upper bolt (on the block).

A little more info assuming this is a 318 or 360. I have done this twice on 2 different trucks. I ran into problems on my first time because the motor mounts were worn and I had a hard time to get the oil pan back up because of the cross member. I had to turn the crankshaft by hand (using the bolt at the front of the engine) to get the counter weights out of the way so the oil pan would go up. I also screwed up the oil pan gasket and had to drop it again and do it right.

Watch out when you are scraping the old gasket surface. The front 2 bolts go into the timing chain cover and that's aluminum (softer than the block).

Good luck and there's a lot of knowledge here to help you if you get stuck. The first time I did it I had to come in the house and login in here to ask questions.

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I havn't done it yet, still waiting for it to warm up enough, but I've also asked some ?'s and done my homework. Theres nothing to it. From what i've read and from what others have said the hardest part is sealing up the pan again. There is a how too on it over at, its for a magnum engine, but its all the same steps basically.
Just did mine a few months back ('87 318 2wd). If you even suspect you have a rope seal in your engine you will need a few special tools. To get the rope seal out (amazing they can leak sooo bad but stick to the block so well!) you need something that can screw into the rope so you can pull it out. The kit I got from NAPA was just a screw eye but the part from the threads to the "eye" was about 4 inches long. Just screw it into the rope far enough to grab some material but not so far that you are trying to screw into the block (about one inch) and then pull down and the seal should come out. Clean the passages as best you can. To put the new neoprene split seal (the ONLY way to go with a new rear main) the kit had a "t"-handle rod and on hte end of it were several thin wire loops all bunched together. You thread the wire loop up over the crankshaft until they are sticking out the other side and then put the new upper part of the seal into the wire loops and pull the seal into place.

Make sure you put them in the correct way. To help with the oil pan gasket...use some fishing line (or thin thread) and loosley tie the four corners on the gasket to the pan. Once you get a coulple of bolts started you can cut the line and pull it free. If you have problems (assuming the four piece 318 oil pan gasket set up) getting the pan into place with the front "U" seal (for the timing cover) in the pan, leave it out and you will gain a little clearance to slid it into place and you can easily replace the "U" seal once the pan is slid all the way forward.


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As cooper said, get the crank counterweights into the block and out of the way, especially for re-assembly. I also like to rebove the brake line support on the crossmember, it usually gets in the way.
Also, I have done the rear seal more times than I'd like to remember and I have found that the best way to re-install the pan is first, put a small amout of 3M Weatherstrip adhesive on the rear pan seal, just enough that you can put it up in position on the block and have it stay there. Then, put a tiny dab of RTV on the same seal where it will contact the side gaskets. Next, put the adhesive on the block for the side gaskets, then put the gaskets on and make sure they stay.
Now, mount the front seal to the pan, again using RTV where it contacts the side gaskets. Then just carefully put the pan up and bolt it up.
I drove myself crazy before I figured out the counterweight trick and the use of the adhesive. When I used to put the gaskets on the pan, instead of the block, I always boogered them up trying to install them, but now its cake!
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I did mine last year in the parking lot here at school. As for the special tool....mine was a screw and a pair of plyers. It really isn't hard, the worst part is getting the pan back up without loosing the gasket.
hint for putting the pan back up....

get some stranded wire 10 or 12 guage and strip off about a 3-4 inch section. then cut the individual strands off one by one...use them to twist tie the gasket on to the pan using the bolt holes. the strands will be strong enough to holt the gasket on, keep it lined up for the bolts and thin enought that it wont comprimise the seal when the bolts are tightened.

yea its pretty easy just make sure that you get the right oil pan gasket and have a putty knife or two handy to break the oil pan free mine was a bear to get off and the tip pat gave about the gasket and wire I wish I would have known that last summer. oh and be carefuk with the oil pump be sure to tighten little by little on each bolt I wasnt payin no attention when I did mine and shaterd the inner sleve in it. only 18 dollars but is was another trip to the parts house when my only wheels where sittin on jack stands :D
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